We can begin to analyze management starting with the 19th century, because it emerged as a theory only after the industrial and technological revolutions, when mass production, the appearance of machinery and market extension required a more solid discipline.
Due to the increase in production scale, business owners had to use a specialization of labor such as hiring salespersons, accountants, and delivery agents, and this led to creating standards for certain processes like quality control. By 1900, “management” existed as a business term, and various thinkers such as Adam Smith or Henry L. Gantt used the word “management” in their theory books.
During the 20th century, management theories bloomed while thinkers borrowed strategies from psychology and sociology to improve organizational management. Statistics and mathematic algorithms were also applied to organizational management to enhance the operational level. By 1946, the first specialist in management named Peter Druckerhad published his first book on the subject (Concept of the Corporation) and was sharing his knowledge with the owners of great enterprises such as General Motors.
Acquiring new knowledge and sharing it became necessary; specialists counted “knowledge” as one of the main resources of business, besides labor and capital. Knowledge management, nowadays a clearly defined discipline, emerged from the fact that employees weren’t merely executing tasks, but the working process was improving as they learned new information.
This way, the specialization of labor developed even more, and learning institutes and workshops were specially created for employees. Firms began to use knowledge as a competitive advantage. Knowledge management also refers to knowing how to process data and information, the execution methods and the communication channels.
Knowledge management co-existed with or flourished alongside data management. Data management as we know it presently was also turned into a theory in the late 20th century.
In the post-industrial revolution period, data management referred to using statistical data to improve production processes. Later on, collected data from production processes was used for understanding quality insights on customer satisfaction and business operations. While knowledge management was used to train the business operators to work more efficiently, data management enhanced the business’s operations. After the 20th century, with the development of developing the management field, data management was defined as the collection of data to improve business operations and lead business processes to client satisfaction.