Everyone manages. We manage our finances, time, careers, and relationships. We tend not to think of these activities as “managing” or of ourselves as being “managers.” Nevertheless, they are. These examples of managing or being managers are relatively simple and straightforward, even though we may find many of them fraught with difficulty. It is when the concepts of managing or being a manager are applied to organizations that complexity increases—almost always exponentially. At this point it becomes necessary to study and understand the theoretical bases of management. The practice of management and the classical enunciation of management principles can be traced to the 19th century.
The development of management as an academic discipline based on a body of knowledge that can be taught is a recent development and is generally attributed to the work of Peter F. Drucker in the latter half of the 20th century. That body of knowledge is taught in graduate schools of business and in programs that prepare managers of public health departments, programs, and health services organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. This chapter provides a basic introduction to management theory and problem solving, and concludes with a brief discussion of negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.
Managers are persons who are formally appointed to positions of authority in organizations. They enable others to do their work and are accountable to a higher authority for work results. Primarily, the differences between levels of managers are the degree of authority and the scope of their accountability for work results. Line managers manage people and things; staff managers, such as the human resources department and the fiscal office, support the work of line managers.
Management Functions and Decision Making
The five management functions of planning, organizing,
References: Nutt PC. How Top Managers in Health Organizations Set Directions that Guide Decision Making. Hospital and Health Services Administration. 1991;36(Spring):59. Nutt PC. The Identification of Solution Ideas During Organizational Decision Making. Management Science. 1993;39(September):1071–1072.