Industrial Management

The term ‘industrial management’ is more relevant for engineering students, as it primarily focuses on operational aspects of management theories. However, to understand the basics of industrial management, it is desirable that students first understand the basic concept of management, its evolution and also why we must study it. Today’s organizations need to apply management practices to achieve their goals and objectives.


Application of management theories and concepts are now all pervasive and all encompassing. With best engineering skills and knowledge, professionals cannot just sustain since any operational issues require application of management techniques. Any engineer, by profession is also a manager, as engineers also qualify in the classical test of managerial roles of Mintzberg interpersonal role, informational role and decisional role.


In their interpersonal role, engineers need to interact and communicate with the people (both working under and above them) and manage their behavior to get the desired results. Engineers’ informational role is to collect, monitor and disseminate information to keep their workplace updated with the global changes.

And every engineer needs to take decision, now and then, as a part of his job. For all these reasons, the study of industrial management is important for engineers as they are the future managers for the organizations. Often, it is debated that management knowledge is in-built; hence, it requires no formal study of theories and concepts.

We can refute the statement all together. However, engineers gain application-based management knowledge through job experience. These knowledge inputs are very specific to their workplace.

Hence, we cannot call it validated management knowledge. Pre- understanding of the concepts and theories reinforced with the industry practices, make engineers more matured professionals. Hence, every engineer must be exposed to the management education.

Organization is made up of group of people with some specific goals, objectives and activities. Also, organization is defined as relations among components of a system.


Organizational structure denotes the components and relations that bind people working in the organization. Three pillars of organization are people, organization itself and technology. Issues regarding people encompass education, training and attitudes.

Organizational issues cover strategy, policy, culture and bureaucracy. Technological issues are hardware, software, telecommunications and information systems. Three different levels of organizational structure are strategic, tactical and operational. Strategic level represents decision-making level, i.e., the corporate or the top level of an organization.

Tactical or business level is the middle management level, where strategic decisions are transformed into tactics to achieve the strategic intents. Operational level represents the actual implementation level, where the first-level employees and workers execute the tactics adopting the actions plans.

Organizational behavior is the analysis of an organization’s structure and functions and the behavior of its people. Behavioral study encompasses both the group and the individuals. Theoretically, it is difficult to draw a borderline between management and organizational behavior. Rather, it can be said that one supplements the other. A couple of issues regarding organizational behavior have its root in the management process.


In fact, management studies have begun much before the start of the study of organizational behavior. The study of organizational behavior has its beginning from the middle of 12th century. Major focus of organizational behavior studies, therefore, borrow the support from management theories to understand the regulating features of structure, behavior of people and the issues concerning external and internal fit.


A successful managing of organizational behavior largely depends on the management practices prevailing in an organization. Understanding the basics of management, therefore, precedes understanding the organizational behavior. In the first two chapters, we shall discuss on basics and genesis of management to pave the foundation of our knowledge on organizational behavior.


Let us know understand how the concept of management has emerged. Tracing history, we find, before industrial revolution (which occurred in Europe in mid-1700s), people used to manage their own economic activity through home-centered production system.


They themselves were the owners of labor services and of means of capital. Participation being spontaneous (work being their own) and activities being small (confined within the family members), management as a significant human activity did not get recognized then. With the advancement of technology, communication, transportation, market domain had expanded beyond the neighborhood areas.

It was at this time only; the need for more organized production activity in the form of factory-centered production system had emerged. People then started working in groups to accomplish goals.

It was then not possible to achieve goals, working as individuals or individual households. Management then became an inevitable task to bring coordination between the individual efforts in groups.

With the increase in global competition and advancement of technology, the task of managers is becoming more and more important.

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