One of the oldest developments in business operation history is Adam Smith's treatise on world wealth titled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The second and third editions of this publication were compiled and re-published together in 1776 by London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. By 1905 the book was already in its 5th edition, which shows how historically relevant and powerful this publication was.
This publication was one of the earliest that dealt with topics that were later on revisited often, such as
- the division of labor
- the profits of stock
- the rent of the land
- the mercantile system
Compared to other historical developments such as the Post WWII Japanese Business strategies, or Maslow's Human Relations Movement of a similar time, Adam Smith can very well be considered one of the earliest records of a true analysis of "wealth" and "business".