Management Theories

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Sample article: Management theories as seen in Vascellaro, J. D. (2008) ‘Yahoo! to overhaul operations in a bid to develop web services’, Wall Street Journal, 21 June 2008, p. A4. Reprinted in The Australian, 23 June 2008, p. 35.

This essay presents several management theories and ideas which can be seen in the Vascellaro article. They include Fayol’s four managerial functions, some ideas about levels of management, Mintzberg’s managerial roles, and challenges for management in the general and global environments, especially achieving a competitive advantage. The essay concludes by considering the implications of Ms Decker’s plan for Yahoo!’s staff.

Managerial functions, levels of management
Ms Susan Decker, the president of Yahoo!, will soon unveil a new ‘operational blueprint.’ A blueprint is a plan or model, so by definition this is part of the planning function. Because the change is a large one – it involves the whole organisation – it is not surprising that it involves the top levels of management.

The plan involves centralising the accounting functions of the company’s web services. This relates to the organising function in Yahoo!: we would expect to see more central control of employees who carry out accounting tasks if Ms Decker’s plan goes ahead. Because Ms Decker must ‘sell the plan to employees’ we can regard her as carrying out the function of leading, because leaders have to present a vision or idea to their organisation. The organising function appears again with the mention of the ‘internal shake-up’: the reporting relationships in Yahoo! are being changed ‘to restore confidence’. Presumably Ms Decker believes that new staff rather than the present executives would do a better job of putting her new plan in place. As well, several senior staff (three vice-presidents and several other executives) are leaving, so this means Yahoo will need to allocate their work to other people. The controlling function is not mentioned directly, but at...
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