The origins of management thought in Cracow

Stanisław Bieńkowski
Prof. Stanisław Bieńkowski

The history of the Management Process Department is closely related to the development of management thought in Cracow. In 1927, two years after the Higher School of Trade (antecessor of Cracow University of Economics) had been established, prof. Aleksander Rothert (1870-1937), representing the industrial engineering approach, gave an inaugural lecture on Principles of Work Organization. That moment is regarded as the beginning of management education in Cracow. Ten years later the lectures on Principles of Work Organization and Enterprise Organization & Management were conducted at the Cracow Trade Academy by doc. hab. Stanisław Bieńkowski (he obtained his habilitation in 1935 at Lviv Polytechnic National University under the supervision of prof. Edwin Hauswald).

In 1938 doc. S. Bieńkowski (1882-1958) established the Department of Enterprise Organization & Management. Unfortunately the outbreak of World War II in 1939 ceased the development of management science at the Trade Academy as the university was called at that time. It was not until 1945 that the Department of Enterprise Organization & Management was restored. Initially the department focused on the problems of work analysis, selection of employees, systems of control and assessment, productivity and profitability, and normalization and standardization in the industry. In 1949 the department introduced new courses: Organization and Administration of Trading Companies, Organization and Administration of Industrial Companies, and The Economics of the Industry.

After World War II

Ludwik Mayre
Prof. Ludwik Mayre

After World War II Poland was under communist rule for 45 years. Still, management thought in Cracow evolved and the department continued its activity. In 1950 the name of the department was changed by ministerial decree to the Department of Economics of Industry. Prof. S. Bieńkowski lost his position and took early retirement, whereas prof. Edward Rose was put in charge of the department under a new name. One year after there was another change of the head of the department and the office was taken over by prof. Ludwik Mayre (1899-1977). As the result of organizational changes the department was incorporated into the Faculty of Industry. The courses held at the department were as follows: Economics of Enterprise, Business Organization & Planning, Technology & Science of Mechanics, and Energy Economics.

In 1958 the department was renamed to the Department of Economics of Industrial Enterprises and incorporated into the Faculty of General Economics. Prof. L. Mayre was in charge of the department till 1968. The following new courses were held: Economics & Organization of Industrial Enterprises, Scientific Work Organization, Workplace Organization, and Technical Work Standardization.

The foundation of the Department of Organization & Management Theory

Jerzy Trzcieniecki
Prof. Jerzy Trzcieniecki

Another milestone in the development of organization and management thought at the Economic Academy in Cracow was the foundation in 1965 of the Department of Organization & Management Theory under the leadership of prof. (doc. dr) Jerzy Trzcieniecki. He was a close associate of prof. S. Bieńkowski and remained in charge of the department till 1970.

The staff of the department consisted of future docents: Zbigniew Martyniak, Antoni Westwalewicz (died in 1966), Adam Stabryła, Jan Targalski, Halina Piekarz, and Józef Machaczka. The department introduced a new course of Organization & Management Theory and contributed significantly to the elaboration of scripts and textbooks regarding the topic. Soon the department started its doctoral seminary, gathering a large group of prominent practitioners and academics.

In the late 60’s the Department of Organization & Management Theory was engaged in various research activities. The main area of interest was the theory of organizational structure, methodology of organizational studies, and decision theory. At that time many articles in magazines such as “Organization Review”, “Problems of Organization”, “Economics and Labor Organization” were published by the department staff. Theoretical analyses were accompanied by application solutions developed for such companies as WSK Mielec, Elbud Cracow, and Urban Project Office in Cracow.

The foundation of the Institute of Organization & Management

In 1969 the Higher School of Trade in Cracow was reorganized into a structure consisting of institutes. As a result the department was incorporated into the Institute of Industrial Economics as the Section of Organization & Management Theory. Three years later, in 1972, the independent Institute of Organization & Management was formed, with the sections of Organization & Management, Work Economics, and Lab of Organizational Techniques. From 1970 to 1990 the head of the institute was prof. J. Trzcieniecki, who became a professor extraordinarius of Economics in 1971 and was the author of the Polish curriculum of the course “Organization & Management Theory”. In 1972 “Working Papers of Higher School of Trade in Cracow No. 50” including articles written by the institute workers were published.

Growing number of employees, extensive research programs and studies conducted in Organization & Management (both full-time and part-time studies were under supervision of the institute) resulted in the necessity of nominating two deputy directors. In 1972 doc. Z. Martyniak took the position of Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs and in 1975 doc. A. Stabryła took the office as Deputy Director for Teaching Affairs. At the same time the institute conducted courses in three specializations: Organization of Scientific Research, Organization of Office Work and Improving Organizational Structures, later converted to Management in Business Organizations and Organization of Work Systems.

The first employee of the Institute of Organization & Management who obtained a PhD degree (in 1972) was Jan Targalski (under the supervision of prof. J. Trzcieniecki). His doctoral dissertation was titled “Decision-making Systems in Management”. The first habilitation colloquium of the employee of the institute took place in 1973, when doc. Z. Martyniak presented a dissertation titled “Models of Methods Applied in Organizational Studies”. The first professorial book prepared in the Institute of Organization & Management was a monograph written by prof. J. Trzcieniecki, entitled “Management Systems Design”, published by PWN in 1979. Another significant academic achievement was the contribution in the elaboration of the Encyclopedia of Organization & Management, published in 1981 by PWE. The first research programme titled “Methodology of Structural Studies of Product Turnover System” was conducted in 1976-1979 under the supervision of doc. A. Stabryła. The centrally controlled project was run on demand of the Institute for Internal Trade and Services.

Between 1972 and 1992 the Institute of Organization & Management prepared various expert opinions and scientific-commercial studies, being the result of active cooperation with business entities.

In the 80’s the institute consisted of several sections: of Management Strategy (prof. J. Trzcieniecki), of Management Techniques (prof. A. Stabryła – head of the section between 1985 and 1992), and of Methodology of Organizing (prof. Z. Martyniak, 1936-2002), whereas the section of Work Economics became independent. Prof. Z. Martyniak was a Deputy Director of the institute from 1972 to 1990.

In the late 80’s the Institute of Organization & Management started to cooperate with German and British research centers (University of Nuremberg, Fachhochschule in Münster, Teesside Business School, and Teesside Middlesbrough Politechic). The partnership included participation in international conferences and academic internships.

In the beginning of the 90’s two new sections were formed: of Organization of Managerial Work (prof. J. Targalski) and of Designing Management Systems (doc. J. Machaczka). In 1990 prof. Z. Martyniak took office as Director of Institute of Organization & Management.

The foundation of the Management Process Department

Adam Stabryła
Prof. Adam Stabryła

On April 1, 1992 the Institute of Organization & Management was closed and its sections were converted to departments and incorporated into the Faculty of Management (Management Process Department, prof. A. Stabryła and Department of Organization and Management Methods, prof. Z. Martyniak) and into the Faculty of Economy (Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, prof. J. Targalski; with sections of Entrepreneurship, prof. J. Targalski, of Fundamentals of Organization & Management, doc. J. Machaczka, and of Management Strategy, doc. Stanisław Galata). Moreover, the Section of Logistics, under the supervision of doc. Janusz Teczke, was formed at the Faculty of Economy.

Every two years since 2000 the Management Process Department organizes national scientific conferences thematically related to the research activity of the Department.

Pracownicy Katedry, 2015
Pracownicy Katedry Procesu Zarządzania, 2016 rok

Recent history

Since 2015, the function of the head of the Department of Management Process has been held by prof. UEK, dr hab. Paweł Cabała, at the same time, the staffing of managerial positions in the plant is changing. The head of the Department of Strategic Management is prof. UEK, dr hab. Czesław Mesjasz, and the Department of Project Management prof. UEK, dr hab. Pawel Cabala. Starting from October 1, 2019, at the Cracow University of Economics, the departments operating within the departments are liquidated. Currently, the Department is an organizational unit of the Institute of Management functioning as part of the College of Management and Quality Sciences of the Cracow University of Economics.

The foundation of the development of each scientific and research unit is the promotion work of its employees. During the 30 years of operation of the Department of Management Process, thirteen employees have obtained a doctoral degree. The topics of doctoral dissertations carried out at the Department fit into the contemporary problems of managing organizations. These were the issues of improving organizational structures and processes of interpersonal communication, marketing and logistics, information systems, control and quality as well as motivation and human resources management.

Pracownicy Katedry Procesu Zarządzania, kwiecień 2023 r.
Pracownicy Katedry Procesu Zarządzania, kwiecień 2023 r.