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Management Reflection

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Management is a concept that dates back to early civilizations. Those which paved the way for the concept we know today, entailing many figure heads boasting several principals and ideologies. The concept, that being the process of dealing with or controlling things and people has been and will continue to be a necessary component of organizations. Contemporary management in organizational context is constantly changing and can be looked at under a broad scope; by singling out some theories and foundations to these processes we can grasp ideas as to how these changes come about and how they can be changed in a beneficial way.

The divide between managerial ability and technical expertise is an extremely common management structure in organizations to create a top-down kind of management system. The grounds of this management principal backtracks to the mid-18th Century. Henri Fayol (1841-1925) was a mining engineer who later in his life preached concepts of management that could stem from his experience. One of them that is extensively applied in contemporary business management is the idea that “technical expertise can be destroyed by defective administration”. This in turn is understood and perceived that many organizations require a form of hierarchy, and degrees of command and accountability to function efficiently and effectively.

Fayol is also famous for the classical ‘school of management’ in which command and control is emphasized and published in “General and Industrial management” which is still highly referred to a century later. Fayol taught that management was comprised of five major components: Planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. Another part of Fayol’ comprehensive statements of management theory that is a testament to the ages and still highly regarded in contemporary management practices is his proposition of 14 management principals.

1. Division of work. Work should be divided among individuals and groups to ensure that effort and attention are focused on special portions of the task. Fayol presented work specialization as the best way to use the human resources of the organization.
2. Authority. Managers must be able to give orders. Authority gives them this right. Note that responsibility arises wherever authority is exercised.
3. Discipline. Employees must obey and respect the rules that govern the organization. Good discipline is the result of effective leadership, a clear understanding between management and workers regarding the organization’s rules, and the judicious use of penalties for infractions of the rules.
4. Unity of command. Every employee should receive orders from only one superior.
5. Unity of direction. Each group of organizational activities that have the same objective should be directed by one manager using one plan.
6. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest. The interests of any one employee or group of employees should not take precedence over the interests of the organization as a whole.
7. Remuneration. Workers must be paid a fair wage for their services.
8. Centralization. Centralization refers to the degree to which subordinates are involved in decision making. Whether decision making is centralized (to management) or decentralized (to subordinates) is a question of proper proportion. The task is to find the optimum degree of centralization for each situation.
9. Scalar chain. The line of authority from top management to the lowest ranks represents the scalar chain. Communications should follow this chain. However, if following the chain creates delays, cross-communications can be allowed if agreed to by all parties and superiors are kept informed.
10. Order. this principle is concerned with systematic arrangement of men, machine, material etc. there should be specific place for every employee in organization 11. Equity. Managers should be kind and fair to their subordinates. 12. Stability of tenure of personnel. High employee turnover is inefficient. Management should provide orderly personnel planning and ensure that replacements are available to fill vacancies.
13. Initiative. Employees who are allowed to originate and carry out plans will exert high levels of effort.
14. Esprit de corps. Promoting team spirit will build harmony and unity within the organization. In relation to the application of statements preached by theorists such as Fayol to contemporary management, other later theorists, using precedence to preach their own; differ to that of the ideas of their predecessors.

A good example of a theorist that referred to someone like Fayol, However proposed different theories that are evident in today’s management systems is Henry Mintzberg. In contrast to Fayol’ approach of command, control and planning management style, Mintzberg found that managers actually spend very little time on solitary tasks but rather spent majority of their working time contacting and reviews communication interruptions in the form of ‘reply’s’. Thus Mintzberg suggested that managers simply respond to the pressures of their responsibility rather than being proactive in planned practices. We can see Mintzberg rationale in some of his bolder statements from his published work such as below;

“The MBA is really about business, which would be fine except that people Leave these programs thinking they’ve been trained to do management. I Think every MBA should have a skull and crossbones stamped on their Forehead and underneath should be written: ‘Warning: not prepared to Manage

And the issue is not just that they are not trained to manage, but that they are given a totally wrong impression of what managing is; namely decision making by analysis. The impression they get from what they’ve studied is that people skills don’t really matter’”

~Henry Mintzberg
These kind of ideas are prevalent in managers today. Mintzberg’ statements hold value to contemporary management in terms of constant review. In specific the questioning and challenging of information and emphasis on people, and rapport within organizations. Theorists as above have been consistent throughout years spawning grounds for improvement in contemporary management as the need arises. The vast array of variables grow in size and complexity with the continuous advances in technology and workplace environment, Creating a constant need for improvement in current practices, somewhat out dating those that we know and implement currently.

The improvements needed and workplace environment is reliant upon the people working in said organization, thus the concepts and management practices learned in MGT1FOM may improve the modern workplace being that they will be put into practice by the ambitious rising managers of today. The practices taught in MGT1FOM stem from the classical management theorists that are internationally renowned. Many of these practices are opposing and ambiguous in application. It is evident that the practices are well referred and broadly spaced in terms of time and type of management theory; as to provide a wide perspective on the approach to managing people. It is important to
incorporate such practices into a subject that is classified as the “foundation” to management, more so in modern workplaces. With contemporary work places being so versatile and liquid it is important that managers have a large basis of management practices to ground themselves on.

In conclusion, it is very realistic in saying that there is and always will be a reason to make improvements in the workplace and practices of managing one. There will also always be managers who have successfully displayed practices which have worked well in their particular workplace, that we can refer to and attempt to adapt to a contemporary workplace. To complete tasks and fulfill responsibilities, managers need to attain prior, recent and relevant information that exists text and people’s heads who are widely dispersed internally and externally (university – MGT1FOM) regarding the organization. They have to make informed that can be overwhelming and not wholly assessed. In addition, simultaneously maintain coordinate and a rapport between subordinates, stake/shareholders, peers and people outside their authority.

Variables that may hinder or benefit managers include level of management, organizations size, and organizational structure, lateral interdependence, crisis conditions, and stage in the organizational life cycle. Despite all these demands and constraints, managers do have some alternatives. They have a choice in what aspects of the job to emphasize and how to allocate their time. Thus the teaching of foundations of management is somewhat vital to students who will one day fall into the role of controlling people or things; who can then refer to the many concepts, principals and styles of theorists who have in the past, successfully adopted and displayed managerial duties.


Robinson, D.
Management Theorists
In-text: (Robinson, 2014)
Bibliography: Robinson, D. 2014. Management of continual improvement for facilities and activities: A structured approach Available at: http://www.gdufs.biz/theorists.pdf [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014]. Heri, S.

Comparing Fayol and Mintzberg theories on management – Research Paper In-text: (Heri, 2008)
Bibliography: Heri, S. 2008 Comparing fayol and mintzberg s theories on management – Research Papers – Scatheri. [online] Available at: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Comparing-Fayol-And-Mintzberg%E2%80%99s-Theories-On-165063.html [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014]. YouTube.

Episode 142: Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles
Channel: Alanis Business Academy
In-text: (YouTube, 2014)
Bibliography: YouTube. 2014. Episode 142: Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgkQYRqxKTs [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].

Managing the modern workplace
In-text: (YouTube, 2014)
Channel: IBMIT Services
Bibliography: YouTube. 2014. Managing the modern workplace. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtrXI8MR3Tg [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014]. Massie, J. L. (1979). Essentials of management. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall.

Improving the organization and management of extension
November, 1997
M. W. Waldron, J. Vsanthakumar, and S. Arulraj
Kemo Inlernational Publish s.r.l

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