In 1978 the UK-based Institute of Practitioners in Work Study, Organisation and Methods (IPWSOM) renamed itself the Institute of Management Services (IMS). The Institute had in turn been formed from two other Institutes and two Societies following a sequence of mergers and name changes. The name Management Services was designed to embrace a knowledge base largely described by Institute’s original name of Work Study, Organisation and Methods.
The IMS currently summarises its Body of Knowledge as a range of methodologies and techniques for the improvement of productivity and quality, embracing the disciplines of industrial engineering, work study, organisation and methods, systems analysis, and a wide range of management information and control techniques. In the US, a substantially similar knowledge base is defined as Industrial Engineering.
Both the Management Services and Industrial Engineering methodologies retain their value and bodies of loyal adherents. However they have tended to be overshadowed by more recent related techniques like Lean Management, Six Sigma and Business Process Re-engineering, as well as by the increasing popularity and relevance of: marketing, human resources, IT and personal computing.
Although the term Management Services now rates more than six-times as many Google hits as its US equivalent, it suffers from a lack of specificity. This is because, in addition to the IMS definition, Management Services can be defined in several other ways:
- a body of knowledge covering areas such as legal services, information technology, personnel, economic intelligence, and similar specialist support services;
- a department or team of internally employed technical and professional specialists offering services or advice to management; or,
- a company providing professional administration in a particular area of specialisation which could be property, marketing, HR, IT, waste management or residential homes.