What Effective Managers Really Do

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 369
  • Published : September 4, 2009
Open Document
Text Preview
An individual study on the article:

WHAT EFFECTIVE
MANAGERS REALLY DO (KOTTER, 1982)

11 12 1 2 10 9 3 8 4 7 6 5

MBA Public Governance 4 Management & Organization Dynamics Hugo Hendriks April 2004 Nijenrode University

Management & Organization Dynamics

April 9, 2004

What effective managers really do (Kotter, 1982)1
This paper is part of my exam of Management & Organization Dynamics at Nijenrode University. This paper starts with a summary of Kotters 1982 article What effective managers really do , by an experimental mind map (studying the background of this article, I ran in to the theory of mind mapping2 which I immediately would try to apply). After the summary I give my opinion on this article and try to adapt the theory to a problematic situation in my own organization. I conclude my paper with some critical notes on this article. Summary (applying the theory of mind mapping)

Figure 1: Summary of What effective managers really do

Why did I select this article? Triggered by a self-study course on time management, I ve made notes on my time spending from minute to minute for three days on a row in the summer of 2003. I noticed that on any particular day, I had several, not planned contacts with some of my colleagues, my employees and my (internal) customers. At that time I stipulated these contacts as a disturbance of my planned activities. Reading the article of Kotter, I wondered if maybe, my former conclusion was perhaps untrue. Importance of this article John Kotter3 is professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School. He wrote several books and articles about management and leadership. One of his best-known books is What effective leaders really do (Kotter, 1999)4. This article seems to be one of his earlier thoughts on this subject, although he doesn t mention the term leaders here, only managers. Also in 1999, a reprint of this article was published in Harvard Business Review, where Kotter added his own commentary on his previous article5.

Hugo Hendriks

MBA PG 4

1

Management & Organization Dynamics

April 9, 2004

I like this article because of its practical approach and because it questions the established theories about effective management (in terms of POS-DCoRB6; Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting and Budgeting). Mintzberg (1994)7 however uses a similar approach as Kotter. He presents a model in which the manager, his job and his agenda are placed in the centre. They are surrounded by roles managers perform at three levels: managing by information, managing through people, and managing action. He clarifies his model with examples from his observations and interviews with managers, similar to Kotter. It seems that Kotters article is an important one in the literature about managerial behaviour (his article has been cited numerous times). Possibilities for application of the theory of this article After studying this article and some related articles on the subject of effective management skills , I see two major possibilities to apply Kotters theory to my own organization. First I could try for myself to behave as an effective manager , according to the ideas of Kotter. That is, scheduling a flexible agenda and use my complete network to get things done. In fact, that was the main reason why I got interested in this article in the first place. Secondly, I could use Kotters theory to comment on a problematic situation in my own organization in which an extra management layer seems to develop without intention, as a result of the span of control of a department manager. In the following paragraphs I will explain this more. Time management Normally, I have a tight scheduled agenda. I plan my appointments and activities to make sure I finish my tasks within the agreed deadlines. As an experiment, I rescheduled my agenda for a few days and cancelled practically all my appointments. I tried to fulfil the supposed goals of the cancelled...
tracking img