Management is a fragmented and interdisciplinary area of study, with a lot of academic branches. Willman argues this tree is narrower at its roots, and these roots lie primarily in social science. Key to the purpose of the book is to present management theory as applied social science.
Developed out of a core management course at Master's level, this book introduces the field to students who may have little prior knowledge of management. Willman interprets 'management' broadly to embrace the sub-disciplines of strategy, finance, accounting, marketing, organisational behaviour and operations management. The text aims to show how they arose and how they relate, thus engaging the reader in a little history.
The book is integrative, in that it seeks to find common concerns in disparate literatures. It is also critical in that it seeks to comparatively evaluate contributions to the management field both in terms of theoretical contribution and practical impact. It is intended to be accessible to a range of readers, presenting technical materials in an informal way. Finally, it is introductory in that it assumes no previous knowledge of the academic management field.