Management is a crucial aspect of any organization, regardless of what the organization does, how they do it, or why they do it. The act of managing others is comprised of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling roles, all of which led to successful organizational outcomes…
This dimension of the so-called “classical”, or “technical-rational”, definition of management has remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s, when authors like David Knights, John Roberts, and Studs Terkel wrote about the working world and the conduct of managers within it. A technical-rational concept of a manager helps us, from an academic standpoint, comprehend the function and role of a manager within an organization. However, for a more in-depth understanding of what it means to manage people within the context of a work setting, one must actually go beyond simply learning the definitions and the principles to applying them in the real world. The application of one’s knowledge to a more realistic concept of management is an essential process to leads to a clearer picture of what is going on within the 21st century work environment. First, the classical definition of management includes a “planning” role, which refers to the predetermining a course of action for accomplishing organizational objectives (Watson, T. 2006). Planning is an activity that top-level managers perform to a larger degree than first-level managers; however, the need for planning, even at the most basic levels of an organization, is palpable, especially when crises arise that could have been prevented with low- or first-level planning. In addition, the planning role requires decision-making; that is, until a decision has been made or a plan has been set in place, the planning role of the manager is unfulfilled. Planning requires action above all. Second, the classical definition of management contains an “organizing” element, which means managers are in charge of arranging the relationships among work units for accomplishment of objectives and the granting of responsibility and authority to objective those objectives (Watson, T. 2006). An important consideration with respect to this organizing role is that a manager must not understand his power to be “power over people”; rather, one must understand that power to be “power between people” (Knights, D. & Roberts, J. 1982). By recognizing one’s dependence on staff, a manager can avoid the use of coercive force over others and an organization can reach its full potential. Similarly, the point of organizing is to utilize all of the resources available within an organization toward achieving a final goal. Thus, part of organizing the elements and relationships between them in an organization are an intentional, goal-directed process. Once every person knows his or her function within the whole and understands that role to be intentionally crafted, the manager has succeeded in filling the organizing role of management (Watson, T. 2006). Thirdly, successful managers fill a “leading” role. A “leading” role is creating an atmosphere that will assist and motivate people to achieve desired end results (Watson, T. 2006). Overall, this function relies heavily on an understanding of psychology and a mastering of the performance-environment. Top-level managers, who primarily focus on controlling and organizing, do very little leading; however, first-level supervisors, who lead on a daily basis in the presence of others, rely very heavily on this role. By taking a proactive approach to satisfy the motivations and desires of individuals, managers can avoid the most common source of organizational problems: people’s desires, attitudes, and behaviours. So long as a manager can inspire individuals to follow him, using ...
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