Concurrent with the developments in the behavioral sciences were other developments, quite separate and independent, that affected management. Economics, the basic discipline of business for a century, began to direct its attention to business decisions. New meanings of old economic principles began to have practical applications for the manager. Accounting, too, took on a new outlook. It no longer looked only to past transactions but began to offer answers to problems dealing with the future.
Modern developments in management have promised help to the manager in still another area, namely how to handle uncertainty. The maturing of the field of statistics proved to be of great help. With the advent of computers, managers can now deal with theoretical problems in a more rigorous and definite manner. Other developments in quantitative analysis led to the creation of a new analytical profession called operations research. The limits of operations research are ill-defined, because its applications are constantly breaking out of previously conceived frameworks. Management science is a term of more recent origin and refers more specifically to the application of quantitative techniques to management problems.
The trend in the 1970s has focused on organizational behavior (built on the behavioral approach) as almost synonymous with management, while in the last decade, increasing attention has been given to what has been referred to as a "contingency theory" of management. This theory recognizes and makes use of the contribution of all approaches to the study of management. Its basic assumption is that the organization is so complex--in technology and market environment, in individual members, and in goals, objectives, policies, and procedures by which it operates--that each organization and situation must be considered independently in seeking solutions to management problems (Wren, 1994, chapter 19). Contingency theory hol...
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