Management Philosophy Comparison
June 15, 2009
Management Philosophy Comparison
"Management aims to accomplish group purposes with the least expenditure of material or human resources" (Koontz, 1969, p. 415). The term management philosophy seems almost oxymoronic in that they appear to work toward different results. The goal of management should be to improve the organization. (Kirkeby, 2000) suggest that the objective of management has always been the goal of making the group, institution, organization, or nation, into the strongest organism possible. Triumph, subjugation, gaining strength, and survival are all priorities of management. These along with personal prestige, acquiring real estate (enlarging your territory), making lots of money, and transferring thought to action paint the perfect picture of today’s successful manager. (Kirkeby, 2000) believes that philosophy is just the opposite, suggesting that philosophy deals with power but in a different way, its focus is the power of thought instead of position or bottom line performance. The pursuit of philosophy is not one of financial gain for the individual but one of freedom and liberation of thought. Philosophy lends itself to a relationship with reality as opposed to management where goals exist to create, shape, and determine the best reality conducive to productivity. Philosophy does not insist on leading the individual to think, but rather presenting ideas and thought for evaluation and consideration of the individual, allowing them to pick, choose, and add to the original thought, and even completely dismiss. Dr. W. Edwards Deming - The system of profound knowledge/System Theory Dr. Deming was a known for his work in the many fields to include management philosophy. The management philosophy of Dr. Deming is centered on the system of profound knowledge. The System of Profound Knowledge was presented in his book titled “The New Economics”, (Deming, 1994). The system of profound knowledge provides a map of theory with assist us in understanding the organizations that we work in. It is comprised of four major tenets (Deming); “Appreciation of a System, Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Variation, and Psychology”. Deming goes on to suggest that “many themes show up in various parts of the System of Profound Knowledge, particularly those relating to organizational purpose, driving out fear in an organization, and understanding the implications of variation” (Deming, p. 11). Systems theory lays out management methods that can create systems out of organizations, and the advantages of these systems. There are many road blocks to the establishing an organizational system, (Deming, 1994) describes some of the road blocks as; focus on the benefit of performance from one aspect of the system. This feeds self interest and promotion. Internal competition; this leads to business units with holding information and not willing to share resources and the use of the performance appraisal; this creates a mind-set geared toward individual performance. (Deming) breaks down the four tenets that make up the system of profound knowledge; the Theory of Knowledge or epistemology as it is often referred provides a description for a system that focuses on learning and the use of theory. The Theory of Variation; its purpose is to assist managers in understanding what variation is and how this understanding will improve process within the system. Deming describes management as the ability to predict and for this reason an in-depth understanding of variation is all the more critical. Psychology; is seen and utilized in all aspects of Deming’s system. Deming’s suggest that manages must be able to identify psychological influences on and in their respective units if they are to become a true system. Scientific Management
There are examples all a round us concerning the...