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What is Business Administration?

Business Administration is the process of making and executing financial, marketing, operational, and hiring decisions to positively affect the stability, growth, and profitability of a commercial enterprise.

This unique discipline evolved from human discovery and scientific inquiry. Here is a brief survey of Business Administration's more important historical and scientific discoveries.

2300 BCE: The Beginnings of Commerce

Sumerian cuneiform tablet, circa 2300 BCE

Some of mankind's earliest writings were not about gods or heroes, but about business administration. In his book "Sumerian Business and Administrative Documents", George A. Barton's translation of cuneiform tablets described the business dealings between Sumerian priests, nobles, and merchants circa 2300 BCE.

1458: The Invention of Accounting

Benedikt Kotruljevic, Of Marketing and the Perfect Merchant (1573)

In 1458, Benedikt Kotruljevic (or Benedetto Cotrugli Raguseo) described double entry bookkeeping in his manuscript "Book on the Art of Trade". The concept was later republished in his popular handbook "Of Marketing and the Perfect Merchant" (1573). Kotruljevic's work was of one of mankind's great commercial breakthroughs --- the science of Accounting.

1776:  A Revolution in Economics

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)

The origins of modern economics can be traced back to 1776 and Adam Smith's seminal work "The Wealth of Nations" --- published sixteen years after the start of the Industrial Revolution. The advent of machine power brought radical changes in manufacturing. These led to a level of economic growth unprecedented in human history.

1800s: Dawn of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

John Stuart Mill, philosopher and political economist

With changes in manufacturing came changes in society. The work of 19th century English philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill brought scientific examination to industrial processes and the role of labor in commerce. His writings would illuminate the vestiges of feudalism still lurking in an ever-expanding industrial economy.

1914: The Science of Management is Born

Henri Fayol, General and Industrial Management (1914)

As more goods became mass-produced so, too, did the problems of managing mass production. Henri Fayol solved these problems in his book "General and Industrial Management" (1914). His new science of business management would be administered by five basic tasks: planning, organizing, command, coordination, and control.

The Science of Business Administration

Business Administration seeks to improve the fortunes of a commercial enterprise by applying a unique array of scientific tools (mathematics, statistics) and practices (accounting, marketing, finance) to assure the proper use of natural, capital, and human resources.

Business administration is a practical science most people can learn and successfully apply to any job position or business problem. From the solo entrepreneur to a multi-national corporation, every business concern needs skilled administrators in order to succeed.

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