Evaluation of Management Thought

Topics: Management, Organization, Organizational studies Pages: 21 (7476 words) Published: April 16, 2014

Definition of Management

Management is the art, or science, of achieving goals through people. Since managers also supervise, management can be interpreted to mean literally “looking over” – i.e., making sure people do what they are supposed to do. Managers are, therefore, expected to ensure greater productivity or, using the current jargon, ‘continuous improvement’. More broadly, management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims (Koontz and Weihrich 1990, p. 4). In its expanded form, this basic definition means several things. First, as managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. Second, management applies to any kind of organization. Third, management applies to managers at all organizational levels. Fourth, the aim of all managers is the same – to create surplus. Finally, managing is concerned with productivity – this implies effectiveness and efficiency. Thus, management refers to the development of bureaucracy that derives its importance from the need for strategic planning, co-ordination, directing and controlling of large and complex decision-making process. Essentially, therefore, management entails the acquisition of managerial competence, and effectiveness in the following key areas: problem solving, administration, human resource management, and organizational leadership. First and foremost, management is about solving problems that keep emerging all the time in the course of an organization struggling to achieve its goals and objectives. Problem solving should be accompanied by problem identification, analysis and the implementation of remedies to managerial problems. Second, administration involves following laid down procedures (although procedures or rules should not be seen as ends in themselves) for the execution, control, communication, delegation and crisis management. Third, human resource management should be based on strategic integration of human resource, assessment of workers, and exchange of ideas between shareholders and workers. Finally, organizational leadership should be developed a long lines of interpersonal relationship, teamwork, self-motivation to perform, emotional strength and maturity to handle situations, personal integrity, and general management skills.

Evolution of Management

Management and organizations are products of their historical and social times and places. Thus, we can understand the evolution of management theory in terms of how people have wrestled with matters of relationships at particular times in history. One of the central lessons of this chapter, and of this book as a whole is that we can learn from the trials and tribulations of those who have preceded us in steering the fortunes of formal organizations. As you study management theory you will learn that although the particular concerns of Henry Ford and Alfred Sloan are very different from those facing managers in the mid‐1990s, we can still see ourselves continuing the traditions that these individuals began long before our time. By keeping in mind a framework of relationships and time, we can put ourselves in their shoes as students of management. Imagine that you are a manager at an American steel mill, textile factory, or one of Ford's plants in the early twentieth century. Your factory employs thousands of workers. This is a scale of enterprise unprecedented in Western history. Many of your employees were raised in agricultural communities. Industrial routines are new to them. Many of your employees, as well, are immigrants from other lands. They do not speak English well, if at all. As a manager under these circumstances, you will probably be very curious about how you can develop working relationships with these people. Your managerial effectiveness depends on how well you understand what it is...
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