It seems obvious that many of today's fundamental management principles were understood and practiced far back in history, althought with different terminology. The major change over the centuris has been in the status of the worker, and the evolution is still in process. He has risen from a role of total servitude to one of considerable status, with a large measure of economic freedom.
By today's standards, the lot of the worker during the Middle Ages (about A.D 400 to 1400) can only be called grim. His goal was that of sustaining life, in which he was often unsuccessful. The possibility of any improvement of his lot would hardly even have entered his mind, and all his efforts had to be directed to maintaining a bare level of subsistence.