The Evol

Lesson Topic:

The Evolution of Management Theories

Lesson Description:

Understand the history of management thought by studying management theories from the Industrial Revolution to today.

Learning Goals/Outcomes:

Students will be able to explain how the U.S. economy changed during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  The students will also be able to identify various theories of management.  In order for students to understand business in today's world, they need to understand the evolution of management.

Nebraska Standards:

NE.BMM.HS.4.29.B - Assess the relationship and evolution of management theories.
NE.BMM.HS.4.29.C - Analyze management theories and their application within a business environment.

Teacher Planning:

Equipment/Materials/Software Needed:

Projector, laptop

- Essentials of Contemporary Management, 7e, Gareth R. Jones & Jennifer M. George - pgs. 34-41
- Business Management, 13e, Burrow & Kleindl- pgs. 10-13

ABC Brainstorm (in groups)


Time Required for Lesson:

50 minute period


Technology Use:

Canva or Mindmup



Instructional Plan:

Anticipatory Set/Pre-Activity:

Meet your students at the door, but have the lights off as they walk in and find their seat.  Wait a minute and then turn on one set of lights.  See if they notice or ask why I did this?  At this time, I could also complete a Headspace 3-minute meditation with them.  Explain to them that the change in lighting was an example of the Hawthorne effect, which we will learn about today.

Benefits/Explanation/Real-World Connection:

Students will see that the theories from our past help explain how they are best motivated and the manager/leader that they work with the best. 

Activities (i.e. instructions, warm-up, lesson, cool-down):

Students may have already read this section of the chapter in our textbook, so they may already know the key terms.  In order to understand and find key vocabulary that relates to management theories, they will be broken into groups of 2 and complete an ABC Brainstorm.  I have also included a sample completed brainstorm sheet.  If you do not have a Business Management textbook with management theories, you could go to an online resource like Management Theories Every Small Business Owner Should Know and have students read and complete this form from that reading.

Download: ABC_example_Ch_2_blank.pdf

Download: ABC_example_Ch_2.pdf

Once they have completed that group work, show the video on Theory X and Theory Y here:  Theory X and Y


In order to tie in history with the present day, students will complete an internet search individually and in 1-2 words summarize a name for a management theory since 1950.  They will each be given a piece of paper and marker and write the word(s) on that paper along with a picture that would go along with this type of theory.  


Students will go to canva or mindmup and make a mind map consisting of at least four management theories learned today.  This may be considered homework or you could give them time to complete this the first 15 minutes of the next class period.  An example of a completed mindmup is below:  

Download: Management_Theories_Mindmup.pdf

Supplemental Information:

Modifications: N/A

Safety Precautions: N/A

Comments (adaptations for various grades/ages, teaching styles, etc.)


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