These four words, although vague, have dominated classical management theories. However, this is shown to be in contrast to the reality wherein “managers are not reflective, regulated workers, informed by their massive MIS systems, scientific, and professional”. In other words, in practice, managers fall short of what is expected of them.
The purpose of the article is to highlight these points as deficiencies and therefore the need for managers to take on their expected role in order to improve their effectiveness. The author’s intention is clearly set out: to divert the reader from Fayol’s words based on the classical view and “introduce him to a more supportable … description of managerial work”. This entails that managers recognise their role and develop an understanding of both themselves and their jobs. The study involved managers from selected western countries being observed intensively and in some cases their diaries and records analysed. The synthesis revealed findings contrary to the classical view. Four perspectives were found not to hold true and are therefore folklore:
(1) The manager is a reflective, systematic planner – Evidence showed that managers work unrelentingly, and their activities tend to be brief, various and discontinuous. Moreover, they dislike reflection and are more oriented towards action than planning.
(2) Effective managers have no regular duties i.e. they carefully organise everything and then reap the rewards of this organisation – Evidence shows that there are always exceptions, and there are also various regular duties to be performed such as ceremonious, negotiating and processing various types of information including its relation to the business environmental.
(3) Senior manager’s use aggregated information as this is best provided formally – Total or management information systems are not perfect. Evidence shows that manager’s tend to favour verbal mediation instead.