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Formation of management thought in Russia and early USSR from the 1800s to the 1920s: Heroes and their creations

Vadim Marshev (Department of Management, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 5 April 2019

Issue publication date: 7 October 2019




During the first quarter of the twentieth century in Russia rapidly developed management thought, generated by many reasons, including socio-economic and political transformations, the results of scientific and practical activities of domestic and foreign experts in management. The purpose of this paper is, first, to acquaint readers with some of factors of the development of the history of Russian Management Thought in nineteenth century and at the beginning of twentieth century and, second, to present the most striking results of the formation of the History of Soviet Management Thought (SMT) in post-revolutionary Russia in the form of the movement of the so-called “The scientific organization of labor” (SOL), including “The scientific organization of managerial labor” (or SOML).


The review and causal analysis of the process of formation of the SMT and historiography of the SMT, a brief description of the institutions of SOL and SOMT and a comparative analysis of little-known works of some Russian authors on management topics of nineteenth century are chosen as research methods.


The paper emphasizes the action of objective historical inertia (or “non-Markoviness”) of the process of development of managerial thought, manifested, on the one hand, in the stable action of some management paradigms but, on the other hand, in identifying paradigmatic anomalies, in identifying the need for constant development of managerial thought, in the development of sought-after ideas and concepts of management, and even in the institutionalization of applied scientific research in the field of management throughout the country (in the form of SOL and SOML).


The paper attempts to attract the attention of researchers to the little-known Russian and Soviet authors and their little-known works in the field of management thought.



Marshev, V. (2019), "Formation of management thought in Russia and early USSR from the 1800s to the 1920s: Heroes and their creations", Journal of Management History, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 285-303.



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