Theoretical Management and Its Modern Day Applicability

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The ability and means by which an organisation is run, requires for strong managerial expertise and leadership. The ability to realistically plan, organise resources effectively and efficiently, co-ordinate and control resources in this every changing, complex, dynamic environment is at the forefront of quality managerial practices. Good management has demonstrated itself more important than ever, with the peak Global Financial crisis in 2008/2009 proving that the historical theory’s and innovations in managerial practices are absolutely paramount to thriving economic prosperity. It is through the functions, approaches included in the literature of Henri Fayol’s 1949 English translated General and Industrial Management, Henry Mintzberg’s studies into managerial roles and German sociologist and economist Max Weber’s concept of bureaucracy that acknowledge and promote guidelines, expectations and accountability from managers. The extent, to which modern day management upholds and applies all three of these historical studies/ theories into modern management practices will be basis for coherent, strong, fully functioning and ultimately successful leadership. Although contextually theses theorists devised their work at different times in history, the underlying concepts are universal and valid. These theories foundations are undoubtedly necessary and are clearly applicable to contemporary modern day management. As noted by modern day academia (Schermerhorn et al 2011, p.103): “In this new and very challenging environment.., no one should sell history short. Knowledge gained through past experience can and should be used as a foundation for future success”. The management theories of Fayol, Mintzberg and Weber are still relevant and important to modern day managers, as they are a basis for the promotion of managerial strength, accountability and morality in their applications. In today’s globalised and ever-changing economy, scholar Charles Handy commented that there are such high performance roles and objectives to be followed by managers and organizations, with him labeling the current era as “the age of unreason” (Handy 1997, note 25). With that, the roles of managers are seen necessary to encompass a personalized as well as performance based engagement within the organization (Bartol et al 2011). The 21st Century manager must be a global strategist, someone who recognizes globalization, differing cultures, diversity and dynamic economies and someone who understands and appreciates them when it comes to planning. Finally the 21st century manager must be someone with high communication skills in being able to perform as an inspiring leader through captivating and enhancing workers participation, whilst guiding and directing simultaneously (Schermerhorn et al 2011). Undeniably to be a new age manager, one must reflect on past knowledge and discourse that are a result of Fayol’s, Mintzberg’s and Weber’s studies. There is a clear correlation between applying their theories of ‘managerial practices’ and an organizations competitive advantage and overall productivity. In 1916 French author Henri Fayol published General and Industrial Management, and with it came the conception of a theory relating to the primary functions of management. His characterization for the basis for managerial activities was the processes of drafting and planning foreseeable business goals, followed by seeing the execution of coordinating business activities, the continuance of leading, selecting and evaluating of workers, the sharing and collaboration of information for the solving of goals and the harmonization to facilitate overall success (Fayol 1949, p.5). Under this theory, “all managers regardless of title, level, type or organizational settings are responsible for the...
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