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Management : art or science.

Management has been defined in many different ways. Used collectively, management refers to individuals engaged in planning and decision making, controlling and directing the efforts of members of an organization and using organizational resources in order to achieve stated goals; on the other hand management is the process undertaken by one or more individuals to coordinate the activities of others to achieve results not achievable by one individual acting alone.

The well-known American business professor and consultant Peter Drucker believes that the work of management is to make people productive. To regain the competitive edge in the international arena, society must have managerial competence. Drucker’s view emphasizes performance, quality and service.

Another view of management is presented in the popular best-seller, “ In Search of Excellence” , where Peters and Waterman state, They emphasise mentorship, love for managing and working with people; managers are excellent communicators and value shapers, lightning rods to get the job done. The effective managers do intend to make employees productive and they also have the ability to inspire people.

All above mentioned can be summarized in the following definition of management:

Management is the process of achieving organizational objectives within changing environment by balancing efficiency, effectiveness and equity, obtaining the most from limited resources, and working with and through other people.

Why study management? Learning about management is important for two reasons.

First, our society depends on specialized institutions and organizations to provide the goods and services we desire. Managers have the authority and responsibility to build safe or unsafe products, seek war or peace, clean up or pollute the environment. Managers establish the conditions under which we are provided jobs, incomes, lifestyles, products, services, protection, health care and knowledge. It would be very difficult to find anyone who is neither a manager nor affected by decisions of a manager. Poor management is at the bottom of the most business failures. The second reason is that individuals not trained as managers often find themselves in managerial positions. Many individuals presently being trained to be teachers, accountants, musicians, or artists will one day earn their living as managers. They will manage schools, accounting firms, orchestras and theatre.

Managerial levels.The main responsibility of all managers is to use the resources of their organization effectively and economically to achieve its objectives.

As a business grows and has more people than the owner or chief executive can effectively manage, the problem is solved by introducing a second layer of managers. As the business continue to grow, a third layer of managers is introduced. These managers report to the second layer. In very large companies, there may be 10 or 12 levels of managers between the president and the worker in the factory.

Top-managers are more involved in long-range planning and policy making. They make strategic decisions concerning the future of the company.It is the job of a company’s top managers to take responsibility for innovation, manage a business’s relations with the outside world. Top managers are appointed, supervised and dismissed by a company’s board of directors.

Middle management and supervisors generally make day-to-day decisions which help an organization to run efficiently and smoothly.. Managers at this level spend a great deal of tome communicating, coordinating and making decisions which affect the daily operation of heir organization.

Functions of a manager. Henry Fayol, manager of a large coal company said that to manage is “ to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control”. In this way he identified five functions :

1)Planning. The manager should make the best possible forecast of events that may affect the firm and should draw up plans to guide future decisions. 2) Organising. This managerial function determines the appropriate machines, material and human mix necessary to accomplish the actions planned.3)Commanding. Managers should have direct, two-way communication with subordinates and continually evaluate the organizational structure and subordinates. They should not hesitate to change the structure if they consider it faulty or to fire subordinates who are incompetient.4) Coordinating. This function includes activities that bind together all individual efforts and direct them toward a common objective.5)Controlling. This means ensuring that actual activities are consistent with plans. Fayol’s definition is still accepted by many people today, though some writers on management have modified his description. Instead of talking about command, they say a manager must motivate or direct and lead other workers.

An interesting modern view on managers is supplied by an American writer Peter Drucker.:1) Setting objectives. 2)Organising. 2) Motivating and communicating. 3)Measuring. 4) Developing people. Good managers need not be geniuses but must bring character to the job.

Management skills.

The mix of skills differs depending on the level of the manager in the organisation. Theorists usually identify three different kinds of basic managerial skills: technical, human and conceptual, needed by managers at all levels.

Human skill is the ability to communicate, motivate and lead individuals and group(middle ranks).Technical skill is the ability to use the techniques, procedures and tools of specific field(lower levels). Conceptual skill is the ability to plan, coordinate and integrate all of the organisation’s interests and activities (upper levels).

The evolution of Management.

Classical approach The views that we now call the classic perspective really developed at the end of 19 century. Under classical approach we can identify 3 management schools: scientific management, bureaucracy and administrative/management principles.

Scientific Management the movement’s pioneer Frederic Taylor, an American engineer. He set a pattern for industrial work which many others have followed, and his ideas are still of practical importance. He argued that work should be studied and analysed systematically. The new method was scientific. The way of doing a job was no longer determined by guesswork and rule-of-thumb practices. Instead, management should work out scientifically the method for producing the best result. Thus, Taylorism was founded on six key ideas:* observation and analysis of every aspect of the production process;* experiments to discover the optimal methods ; * standartisation and elaboration of instructions for the workers; * selection and training; * payment by results; * cooperation between labour and management. The weakness of this approach was that it focused on the system of work rather than on the worker. Another criticism is that the worker has to do the same boring, repetitive job hour after hour, day after day while maintaining a high level of productivity.

Bureaucracy. The study of bureaucracy looked at the problem of managing the organization as a whole. Advocates, led by a well-known sociologist Max Weber, argued that there must be one best way to run an organization. This was the rational-legal model of organization. The elements of a bureaucracy are the following:

§ Division of labour;

§ Organisation of positions into a hierarchy;

§ People assigned to positions based on qualifications;

§ Decisions and actions recorded in writing;

§ Separation of management from ownership;

All subjects to rules and procedures applied impersonally and equally to ensure predictable behavior

Management principles : The Theory of Fayol. Fayol identified general abilities, principles and functions of management. 1)Abilities required of managers. He distinguishes management from other abilities required of people in organizations and indicated the need for and the possibility of teaching management as a discipline. 2)General principles of management are: Division of labour, Authority and responsibility, Discipline, Unity of command, Unity of management, Subordination of individual interests to the common goal, Renumeration of the staff, Centralisation, The Hierarchy, Order, Equity, Stability of staff, Initiative, Esprit de Corps.

3)Functions of management.Planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, controlling.

Human Relations Approach . Hawthorne Studies

Human Relations Approach. Hawthorne Studies. The human aspects of work and organisation were not ignored but treated as a secondary issue in increasing the efficiency of enterprises.

Professor Mayo and his colleagues held a series of experiments on how working conditions affected output.

The researchers came to the conclusion that social relations among workers and their bosses affected output, quality of work and motivation. Another important finding was that a worker needed more than money and good working conditions to be productive. The feeling of belonging to a group and the status within that group strongly affected the behavior.

Human Relations Movement The Theory of . Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) introduced the concept that the attitudes managers hold about the nature of people greatly influence their behavior. His Theory X and Theory Y were ideal types describing typical management attitudes presented in terms of assumptions. The theory X managers behaved according to the following assumptions: * The average person dislikes work and will avoid it if possible; * The average employee has little ambition, prefers direction and desires job security above all other outcomes; * Most employees avoid taking on responsibilities; * Therefore, most people must be coerced, directed and closely supervised or threatened to get them to put in adequate effort to achieve organizational objectives. The Theory Y managers behaved according to the different set of assumptions: * The expenditure of effort, both physical and mental, is as natural as play or rest; * Control and direction are not the only means of stimulating effort; a person will exercise self-control and self-direction; * The average person learns, when encouraged, and is prepared to both accept and seek responsibility; * People are interested in demonstrating imagination, ingenuity and creativity to sokve organizational problems; * In most industrial jobs, employees’ intellectual potential is only partially tapped.

Management Science/Quantitative Approach

Management science is a quantitatively oriented discipline, studying such topics as time-and-motion experiments, inventory control, work flow, computers and systems theory.

This approach builds mathematical models and uses a wide range of mathematical techniques that have been developed to help organizations solve problems and optimize the supply. The tools used in Operation Research are probability theory, queuing and game theory, linear programming, decisions tree.

Integrating Approaches. Two integrative trends have developed: Systems Approach.

The approach is built around the idea of system. The idea is called synergy.

Within every organization there are many systems, from the company at large to the various departments and units within it. Division, departments and individuals all influence each other.

The systems concept is useful to managers because it helps them understand how their organizations function. The key features of systems: Holism. The system which has should be viewed as a whole; Open system. The system interacts with other systems; Hierarchy. An organization is a subsystem of the entire industry.

Contingency Approach. The focal point of this approach is the situation, the specific set of circumstances that influences the organisation most at a particular time. By this approach, managers can better understand exactly which techniques will best contribute to the achievement of organizational objectives in a particular situation. The methodology of the contingency approach can be expressed as a four-step process.

1. The manager must become familiar with the tools of the management profession.

2. Every management concept and technique has both advantages and disadvantages;

3. The manager needs to be able to interpret the situation properly;

4. The manager must be able to match the specific techniques with the fewest potential drawbacks to the specific situation.

Management: Art or Science?

Science and art go hand in hand. Science is organised knowledge. Art is the application of knowledge to achieve a desired result in practice. As an art, management requires the use of behavioural and judgmental skills that cannot be quantified or categorised the way scientific information in the fields of chemistry, biology and physics can be. When dealing with people, managers approach management as an art, when dealing with material things, they approach it as a science.

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 2293

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