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A brief description of how business organizations evolved throughout human history.

An organization is defined as being a deliberate arrangement of people to accomplish some specific purpose (Robbins & Coulter, 2007, p. 17). A business is an organization of people under a structure that is distinctive to the companys goals. Over the course of human history the nature of organizations have evolved from being viewed as mechanistic to learning organizations. An impersonal approach to organizations was apparent during the times of dictatorship and tyranny from the rulers of ancient Egyptian and Mayan civilizations, who forced slaves to work to build pyramid structures. The ruling families continued to have power until a democracy was established. As the politics changed within each nation so did their methods of conducting business. It appears authoritarianism continued to be dominant in earlier times because of less competition from other businesses and more workers willing to work under extreme circumstances in order to provide support to their families. This allowed for organizational leaders to have one hundred percent control over how jobs were to be assigned as well as enforcing strict rules and regulations over employees.

Most business leaders were more concerned with productivity and viewed other humans as resources to be used and discarded. In 1776, Adam Smith introduced the division of labor concept, which separated jobs into narrow and repetitive tasks (Robbins & Coulter, 2007). This job-focused concept was utilized in factories in order to increase productivity and save time. In those days product efficiency was the main concern rather than the wellness of the employees. The industrial revolution of the eighteen-century was a period of time that had substituted human power for machine power. This led towards the development of certain management theories, which made organizations appear more mechanically determined. The scientific management theory, introduced by Frederick W. Taylor, used scientific methods in order to define the best one way for a job to be completed (Robbins & Coulter, 2007). The general administrative theory was also introduced around the same time frame and its focus was mostly towards the duties and responsibility of managers. Both theories of scientific management and general administrative emphasized rationality, predictability, impersonality, technical competence and authority (Robbins & Coulter, 2007). In both theories upper management had sole power and influence over the organization. Throughout centuries as humans continued to socially evolve the approaches within the organizations began to revolutionize from inflexible methods to becoming what is now referred to as learning organizations. According to Peter Senge, author of, The Fifth

Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (1990), the learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together Senge stresses that in order for companies to thrive in a rapidly changing environment everyone must adept to combining and promoting both generative and adaptive learning methods within the organization so that the people can collectively see the whole together http://www.infed.org. Senge reintroduces the systems viewpoint, which emphasizes its focus on viewing the organization as a whole. This view is generally directed towards addressing the importance of establishing a long-term vision. It also informs that short-term improvements could wind up being costly mistakes in the long run. Throughout Senges work he also encourages building a shared vision and team learning. This helps to eliminate controlling and impersonal behaviors of managers and high-level executives. Toyota Industries is a prominent example of how becoming a learning organization and adopting a systems viewpoint can prove to be both transformative and cost effective. Toyota is famous for inventing what they call lean production also known as The Toyota Production System or TPS. This process involves transforming mass production processes to lean processes in which the flow and pulling of parts are only done as needed rather than creating inventory (Liker, 2004). This method helps to eliminate wasted time, resources and reduce employee output demands by producing smaller quantities they can help to ensure higher quality standards. This system has allowed to Toyota to continue to uphold their companys long-term vision and philosophy of achieving Operational Excellence. Toyota is serious about long-term thinking. The focus from the very top of the company is to add value to customers and society