Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Business Administration: Disciplinary Perspective

by Dr. Heather Rickgarn 

The discipline of business with the concentration in management is quite broad with intersections, including the various areas of expertise such as: entrepreneurship, general management principles, human resource management, leadership styles, strategy, and supply chain management. Some of the key players in the study of management include Fredrick Taylor, Elton Mayo, Kurt Lewin, Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker, Fredrick Herzberg, Thomas Gilbert, Thomas Peters,   John Kotter, and Daniel Pink.

Taylor was one of the pioneers in studying management through his study in the late 1800s involving the use of scientific management principles, meaning the use of systems and the environment, rather than people, can influence organizational outcomes. Mayo changed this idea through the use of the Hawthorne studies in the early 1930s, with the conclusion that employee motivation can play a role in influencing productivity output. Along the lines of motivation, Maslow identified people have a hierarchy of needs, meaning lower-level needs have to be satisfied before the employee can be motivated to pursue higher-level needs. Around the same time, Drucker was able to identify the pillars of management we know and use today. In contrast, Herzberg identified there might be hygiene factors in addition to motivational factors that influence employee performance.

From the perspective of change that often occurs in business, Lewin identified through the research that three stages might be involved in the change process, including unfreezing, change, and refreezing. Kotter advanced the discussion of change to broaden this process to an eight-stage frame of implementing change, which further clarified the original intent of Lewin. Gilbert posited the use of performance measures and objectives could help in clarifying direction and achieving outcomes. Pink, one of the more recent scholars, explained the use of rewards and punishments could help in motivating people more, rather than relying on intrinsic factors solely.

Professional organizations

Management is a broad area for professional associations. One of the largest associations is the American Management Association. Other prominent professional organizations include Academy of Management, American Business Women's Association, American Society for Quality, American Association of Association ExecutivesAmerican Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, Association for Supply Chain Management which is part of APICS, Association for Talent Development, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Human Resource Development Professionals, Institute for Supply Chain Management, International Association for Human Resources Information, International Association of Administrative Professionals, National Association of Women Business Owners, Project Management Institute, Project and Operations Management Society, Society of Human Resource Management, and Strategic Management Society.

Students who are interested in participating in clubs or organizations on campus can reach out to SMSU –  Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) or SMSU Human Resources Club. Both of these clubs help with providing students with access to the national associations, including student membership access.

In the area of business management, blogs and advocacy groups can provide some context to new changes within the industry; however, there is a higher preference for scholarly work. Examples of non-scholarly publication sources that can help support your points include:

  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Business Today
  • Entrepreneur
  • Forbes
  • Fortune
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Inbound Logistics, Inc.
  • The New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • VentureBeat
  • Wired

Writing in Business Administration

Reading in Business Administration

Research in Business Administration

Documentation in Business Administration