History of Business Administration

Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 13, 2012 | © Courtesy of Maryland GovPics/Flickr.
Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 13, 2012 | © Courtesy of Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

Business Administration is combination of economics, social, behavioral and decision sciences, which addresses the interactions of Business Stakeholders and Business Environment in order to maximize the stakeholders’ value creation in a sustainable manner involving People, Capital and Technology. Since Human Capital is more important and sustainability is important consideration for business organizations, broadly Business Administration may be classified under social sciences.

Jaharkanti Dattagupta1

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

Business Administration as an independent science has a comparatively short history. Its origins date back to the times when universities or commercial colleges, such as the ones in Leipzig (1898) and Cologne (1901) where first established. Before, there had merely been a variety of contributions dealing with commercial issues, some of which are listed here:

  • 1494: Luca Pacioli, a Venetian Grey Friar and professor of Mathematics is the author of a business mathematics paper entitled “Summa de Arithmetica, Geometrica, Proportioni et Proportionalita”, in which he presents a first approach to accounting among other topics.
  • At the end of the 17th century, in the Age of Mercantilism (= the National Economic Policy in the Age of Absolutism from the 16th to the 18th century; the prime objective was the procurement of funds for the purpose of consolidating state power), Jacques Savary, a close confidant of Colbert, the French Minister of Finance in those days, wrote the work “Le Parfait Negociant”, which was also published in German under the title “Der vollkommene Kauf- und Handelsmann” (The Perfect Merchant). Roughly at the same time Paul Jacob Marperger was working on his first draft of a lexical summary of current commercial knowledge.
  • From 1752-1756 the five-volume lexicon “Eroffnete Akademie fur Kaufleute; oder vollstandiges Kaufmannslexikon” (Open Academy for Merchants: or A Complete Merchant Encyclopedia” is published in which, for the first time, a conscious distinction between Mercantile Science and Cameralism (= the term for economics sciences in Germany during Mercantilism; the science of public administration) is made.
  • The highlight and at the same time the end of commercial science is the work “System des Handels” (The System of Mercantilism) by Johann Michael Leuchs.
  • After the foundation of the commercial colleges, Business Administration develops into a science. The work “Allgemeine kaufmannische Betriebslehre als Privatwirtschaftslehre des Handels und der Industrie” (General Economic Principles as a Private Science of Commerce and the Industry) by Heinrich Nicklisch originates from those days.
  • Erich Gutenberg gives a particular impetus to Business Administration by identifying the principles of Business Administration in his three-volume work begun in 1951.
  • In the 1960s, decision-oriented Business Administration is developed which is derived from the Game Theory developed by J. von Naumann and O. Morgenstern.
  • In recent years, Business Administration has received a new impetus due to the increased significance of ecological and social aspects and the advancement of means of communication.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 13, 2012 | © Courtesy of Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "History of Business Administration," in Open Economics Blog, 25/11/2018, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/789.


  1. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/post/Business_administration_belongs_to_social_sciences_or_humanitarian_sciences. []

Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Instructor of Economics, Department of Business Administration, University of the People, U.S.A., 2013- Instructor of Economics, Department of Economics, UGSM-Monarch Business School, Switzerland, April 2011-January 2013; Director of the Economic Department for almost a year and co-founder of the Doctor in Economics degree (6 intensive courses plus a dissertation) Supplementary lectures in both economic and quantitative papers and with the occupation of the ph.d. candidate, Department of Public Administration, Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences, Greece, 2004-2008, Advisors: Prof. Nikolaos Karavitis (General Secretary of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, 1997-2004), Prof. Vassiliki Oikonomaki-Malindretou and Prof. Ioannis Vavouras (Former Rector of the Panteion University, 2000-2004)

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