Understanding and managing human factors has assumed a central role in today's workplace; or perhaps, more accurately, understanding in order to manage. The basic but often puzzling and daunting task for managers is to productively handle the human factor, and an organizational life that has been `humanized'. The rise of the human factor is the result of a profound and pervasive shift that has radically altered the character of companies, organizations and management; while it has also fundamentally transformed the nature of human beings. Since its inception around 1900, the development of Western management thought has been characterized by the use of scientific theory and discipline to professionalize managerial practice. A re-examination of literature shows how, in the course of a century, Western management gradually turns towards and recognizes human beings as the decisive field of intervention for management, inasmuch as human drives and desires increasingly come to figure as the critical factor in value creation. What attracts most concern is motivation, which figures as a veritable fountainhead of infinite potential gain, but is also seen as prone to drying up if left untended or obstructed. Hence the turn from the explicit management of well defined tasks to forms of leadership looking to manage human capacities and dispositions. What is being managed now is human freedom, along with the future by which any claim to freedom makes sense. The Human Turn in Management Thought will be of relevance to academics and researchers with an interest in the history of management theory and practice, and business history. Likewise it should interest practitioners and theorists of contemporary management practices and related sub-disciplines.