Tremendous strides have been made in business management trend during the past hundred years. The more important trends bearing on small business are summarized first. Naturally every trend is not of equal significance in all fields. These major trends are:
- Increasing size accompanied by greater attention to employee and public relations.
- Decentralization, management from a distance.
- Greater interdependence of all business.
- Closer color and coordination.
- increased accuracy of the measurement of operations.
- Professionalizing of management.
- Expanding use of machinery and technology.
- Greater reliance on research.
For over half a century business units in many fields increased in size, with a corresponding increase in the use of management methods suited to operating these larger units. Later, in manufacturing and some fields of merchandising, the establishment of branches began. This is turn required special techniques for so-called management from a distance, or centralized administration with decentralization management. This later trend has special significance for the independent small business operator because it shows how the best management principles and methods developed by large concerns can be used in the small unit.
Although the areas of emphasis and methods of application have varied to some extent from field to field, the general trend has been to seek closer co-ordination through better direction, supervision, and control over the activities of the business. Improved direction has stressed careful planning and policy formation. Better supervision has resulted from emphasizing the positive approach and developing impersonal supervising aids. Closer control has been developed over an increasing range of functions.