Topics: Management, Casebook method, Case study Pages: 210 (40249 words) Published: April 29, 2015



Prepared by Dr Norris W Dalton.

Copyright 2002 SAIM

Management Practice


Copyright @ 2002 - South African Institute of Management
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from SAIM.

Copyright @ 2002

Copyright 2002 SAIM

First Edition (2002)

Management Practice




1. Introduction.


2. Management in Context.


3. Learning to be a manager.


4. Case-study analysis.


5. Problem-solving and decision-making.


6. Caselets: First-line and Middle-management (Tactical/operational levels). 21

7. Case-studies: Executive / Senior management (transitional / strategic level). 119

8. Case-studies: Management failures (Reference studies).


9. Lessons:


Business {Managerial) Failure.

10. References and Further Reading.

Copyright 2002 SAIM


Management Practice


Copyright 2002 SAIM

Management Practice


Management Principles are easy; Management Practice
is difficult.

1. Introduction
The Theory of Management (20%) is easy and can be learnt in a classroom setting, since it relates to knowledge acquisition and book-learning only, encompassing pre-defined contexts (i.e. a closed system).

The Practice of Management (80%) is difficult since it relates to a crisis-driven ‘real-world’ of irrational people, unpredictable events, competitive market warfare, cashflow shortages, problematical relationships, and an infinite number of unique contexts (i.e. an open system):-

 no two managers are identical (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually);  no two management contexts are identical (management does not operate in a vacuum);  a manager’s responsibility is usually greater than his/her authority for resolving the daily problems and crises in his/her context as they arise;

 a manager operates in a crisis-driven environment of inherent chaos (i.e. open system), and is often affected by external forces over which he/she has little or no control; and

 nobody, particularly the manager and his/her subordinates, is perfect, and all have a will-of-their-own.
The context determines the manager.
The manager shapes the context.
To the degree that the manager is congruent with his/her context; To that degree will the manager succeed or fail.
Every managerial context is different and subject to a variety of internal and external forces, catalysts (en-ablers) and constraints (dis-ablers) which are ever-changing with Time. Each context presents a unique challenge for the manager to test and develop his/her ‘will-to-manage’. The infinite variety of managerial contexts available to the managers are a potential minefield of traps and failures for the inexperienced and unaware manager. There is an inherent human tendency in most people to over-estimate their own abilities (Selfperception) and at the same time under-estimate the complexities and difficulties of the managerial context (managerial ignorance).

Opinions and Decisions are based upon Perceptions - not Actuality. Perceptions are the Reality in the management world.

Copyright 2002 SAIM

Management Practice


To be effective as a manager,
to mobilise the collective-will of the group of discordant wills (unit, department, division or company) for which he/she is responsible,
to make sound decisions (judgement) amongst competing alternatives, the manager must not only understand the uniqueness of his/her context, but also how he/she is perceived by all significant Others, who can impact on his/her managerial effectiveness.

To accomplish this, it is paramount that he/she understands, and is able...

References: 1. Peter Drucker
The Effective Executive.
The Laws of Business Management.
4. N. W . Chamberlain
5. John Flaherty
6. J Simpson & K Jowell
7. W M Berliner
Problems in Decision-making.
E B Flippo, Principles of Personnel Management (2nd ed.) (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), Chs 2, 3, 7, 11, 15
W Glueck, Personnel: A Diagnostic Approach (Dallas: Business Publications, 1974,) Chs. 3, 4, 6, 13, 14, and
W J de Villiers, The Effective Utilisation of Human Resources in the Republic of South Africa (Johannesburg:
Federale Mnybou - General Mining Group, 1974), Part 3, Chs 1, Part 4, Chs, 1 and 2.
R van der Merwe and S Miller, Measuring Absence and Labour Turnover (Johannesburg: McGraw-Hill, 1976).
C Orpen, Productivity and Black Workers in South Africa (Cape Town: Juta & Co. 1976).
M Feldberg, Organizational Behaviour (Cape Town: Juta & Co, 1975), Chs, X, VII, II, III.
D G Bowers and S E Seashore, ‘Peer Leadership within Work Groups’, in J H Donelly, Fundamentals of
Management (Dallas: Business Publications, 1975).
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