Compare and Contrast the Traditional Roles of Managers Presented by Fayol’s Early Writings with More Contemporary Research of Stewart and Mintzberg.

Topics: Management, Leadership, Organization Pages: 6 (1976 words) Published: April 29, 2008
Compare and contrast the traditional roles of managers presented by Fayol’s early writings with more contemporary research of Stewart and Mintzberg. Support your answers with examples.

The roles of managers cannot be easily described as some people, such as Fayol, Stewart and Mintzberg, all have different interpretations of the phrase. Mullins (2005) said that the role of managers where that they are “essentially an integrating activity which permeates every facet of the operations of an organisation”. This essay is going to compare and contrast the interpretations of roles of managers as they are all different. There are two types of views, the traditional approach of the 19th and 20th century, and the systems approach from the 1960’s onwards. Fayol had a traditional approach to the roles of managers where as Stewart and Mintzberg had more of a systems approach.

Fayol’s approach is quite similar to Mintzberg’s way of classifying manager’s jobs. Fayol’s suggested that there were 5 main roles of managers, these being planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Mintzberg suggests that managers have quite similar roles as they have to be able to be a leader and communicate well. These are the two main roles of any manager as they need to be able to a good leader. If they have good leadership skills then they will get the trust from employees and the job will get done effectively. If you were to have a very weak leader then they would not have the authority to get anything done. This would be a very bad thing for the business as it would mean that they will not get anything done.

The classical approach was the framework to what management is all about. It was where all of the following theorists got their ideas from and then expanded on them. Therefore they can be said that they were the foundation thoughts for all the theorists. So most theorists are going to have quite a similar approach at the base of their argument then they will gradually change and go off in different areas. An example of this is that Fayol said that one of the five main elements of management was organising. Mintzberg and Stewart, as well as most theorists have said that organising is a crucial part of managing. Without organising there would be no need for a manager.

Stewart (1999) himself agrees that the first task of a manager is to get some objectives then plan in order to fulfil these objectives. So he is using Fayol’s traditional approach as he is saying that there is some planning that needs to be done in order to fulfil objectives. So both Mintzberg and Stewart have used Fayol’s principle that planning needs to be done in order to do anything thing. Therefore it can be said that every manager needs to be able to plan out what they need to do. It is a universal thing that all managers need to do in order to be successful at what they do. So Fayol’s work is principally the main areas that managers have to be good at in order to do anything, and then Mintzberg and Stewart have just adapted these points and expanded them so to make more sense and to go into the subject further.

There are some similarities between the traditional roles and the more recent ones as in Fayol’s 14 principles he stated that there was a scalar chain, where the person at the top has all of the commands then it is passed town the ranks until it gets to the workers at the bottom. This is still present in current organisations and will be for organisations in the future. There is not going to be an organisation that has commands from the workers to the people who run it at the top. The closest we can get to this today is with Kaizen, continual improvement as the workforce give ideas and tell the higher managers what they think they can do to make their jobs a lot easier. Contrasts

As Mintzberg (1973) says “Managerial work is enormously complex, far more than so than a reading of traditional...
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