Management MCO101 – Unit 1 – Management, Managers and The Evolution of Management Theory

Managers get work done through the agency of others. It is a wholly people-orientated exercise, and relies strongly on communication and organisation. Many theories of management derive form the human and social sciences. The knowledge derived from psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics and so forth is deemed ‘managerially relevant‘ that is, the use of case studies and examples of theories in practice should be close to enacting situations like those that learners will experience at work. The aim of developing management expertise through the application of theories is to improve effectiveness, and efficiency. The “case method” has been used diversely, as in the education and training of doctors, lawyers, social workers, and for many other purposes besides. It is often used in management text books to show the application and veracity of theories in their application in the workplace.

What you learn here is ho you assemble the combination of the customer needs, most of them unmet and many of them subtle, often developed by anthropologists; the competitive patterns, the actions being taken by the players in an industry; and the company’s own capabilities, which sounds like it ought be self-evident but my experience is that most organizations larger than a thousand people don’t know what they’re good at anymore. And giving them a clear and definitive catalog of the things that they are really quite skilled at can double or triple innovation successes — just that one phenomenon. Good diagnostics may also double or triple your success rate. Good customer insights can easily double or triple your rates of success. So you compound all those things and you combine them with good step-by-step protocols, and you help people to innovate in a way that makes it a routine activity.

The word effective

…is sometimes used in a quantitative way, “being very or not much effective”. However it does not inform on the direction (positive or negative) and the comparison to a standard of the given effect.


…on the other hand, is the ability to produce a desired amount of the desired effect, or success in achieving a given goal. Contrary to…


…the focus of efficacy is the achievement as such, not the resources spent in achieving the desired effect. Therefore, what is effective is not necessarily efficacious, and what is efficacious is not necessarily efficient.

An ordinary way to distinguish among effectiveness, efficacy, and efficiency:

* efficiency: doing things “right”, i.e. in the best and most economical way
* efficacy: getting things done, i.e. meeting immediate targets
* effectiveness: doing “right” things, i.e. setting right targets to achieve an overall goal (the effect)
* (effectivity: mostly synonym to effectiveness; usage is rather rare)

The four functions of management

There are four basic management concepts that allow any organization to handle planned, tactical and set decisions. Henri Fayol (born 1841 in Istanbul; died 1925 in Paris) was a French management theorist.

Fayol was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management, having proposed that there are five primary functions of management: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) commanding, (4) coordinating, and (5) controlling (Fayol, 1949, 1987).

Controlling is described in the sense that a manager must receive feedback on a process in order to make necessary adjustments. Fayol’s work has stood the test of time and has been shown to be relevant and appropriate to contemporary management. Many of today’s management texts including Daft (2005) have reduced the five functions to four: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) leading, and (4) controlling. Daft’s text is organized around Fayol’s four functions.

The four functions recur throughout the organization and are highly integrated. Can you plan without organizing? Is to manage to lead? Can you control without planning? Can you plan without leading? And so on.

The base function is to: Plan

It is the foundation area of management. It is the base upon which the all the areas of management should be built. Planning requires administration to assess; where the company is presently set, and where it would be in the upcoming. From there an appropriate course of action is determined and implemented to attain the company’s goals and objectives. Simply put, planning is selecting priorities and results (goals, objectives, etc.) and how those results will achieved. Planning typically includes identifying goals, objectives, methods, resources needed to carry out methods, responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks. Examples of planning are strategic planning, business planning, project planning, staffing planning, advertising and promotions planning, etc.

The subsequent function is to: Organize

The second function of the management is getting prepared, getting organized. Management must organize all its resources well before in hand to put into practice the course of action to decide that has been planned in the base function. Through this process, management will now determine the inside directorial configuration; establish and maintain relationships, and also assign required resources. Simply put, organizing is allocating and configuring resources to accomplish the preferred goals and objectives establishing during the planning processes.

The third function is to: Direct

Directing is the third function of the management. Working under this function helps the management to control and supervise the actions of the staff. This helps them to assist the staff in achieving the company’s goals and also accomplishing their personal or career goals which can be powered by motivation, communication, department dynamics, and department leadership. Simply put, leading is establishing direction and influencing people to follow that direction.

The final function is to: Control or Coordinating of resources

Control, the last of four functions of management, includes establishing performance standards which are of course based on the company’s objectives. It also involves evaluating and reporting of actual job performance. When these points are studied by the management then it is necessary to compare both the things. This study on comparision of both decides further corrective and preventive actions. Simply put, coordinating is monitoring and adjusting resources and processes to achieve goals and objectives in a highly effective and efficient fashion.

To control or lead? That is the question…


Knowledge over managerial levels

Knowledge over managerial levels

Top (or executive) managers are responsible for overseeing the whole organization and typically engage in more strategic and conceptual matters, with less attention to day-to-day detail.

Top managers have middle managers working for them and who are in charge of a major function or department.

Middle managers may have first-line managers working for them and who are responsible to manage the day-to-day activities of a group of workers.

Note that you can also have different types of managers across the same levels in the organization. A project manager is in charge of developing a certain project, e.g., development of a new building. (See Project Planning.) A functional manager is in charge of a major function, such as a department in the organization, e.g., marketing, sales, engineering, finance, etc. (For example, see Program Planning) A product manager is in charge of a product or service. Similarly, a product line manager is in charge of a group of closely related products. (See Product/Service Management.) General managers are in charge of numerous functions within an organization or department.

Mintzberg: The Managerial Roles

Henry Mintzberg (1973) groups managerial activities and roles as involving:

Managerial activities

Associated roles
interpersonal roles – arising from formal authority and status
and supporting the information and decision activities.

  • figurehead
  • liaison
  • leader
information processing roles

  • monitor
  • disseminator
  • spokesman
decision roles: making significant decisions

  • improver/changer
  • disturbance handler
  • resource allocator
  • negotiator

The broad proposition is that, as a senior manager enacts his/her role, these will come together as a gestalt (integrated whole) reflecting the manager’s competencies associated with the roles. In a sense therefore they act as evaluation criteria for assessing the performance of a manager in his/her role.

1. Figurehead.
Social, inspirational, legal and ceremonial duties must be carried out. The manager is a symbol and must be on-hand for people/agencies that will only deal with him/her because of status and authority.

2. The leader role
This is at the heart of the manager-subordinate relationship and managerial power and pervasive where subordinates are involved even where perhaps the relationship is not directly interpersonal. The manager

* defines the structures and environments within which sub-ordinates work and are motivated.
* oversees and questions activities to keep them alert.
* selects, encourages, promotes and disciplines.
* tries to balance subordinate and organisational needs for efficient operations.

3. Liaison:
This is the manager as an information and communication centre. It is vital to build up favours. Networking skills to shape maintain internal and external contacts for information exchange are essential. These ontacts give access to “databases”- facts, requirements, probabilities.

4. As ‘monitor’
– the manager seeks/receives information from many sources to evaluate the organisation’s performance, well-being and situation. Monitoring of internal operations, external events, ideas, trends, analysis and pressures is vital. Information to detect changes, problems & opportunities and to construct decision-making scenarios can be current/historic, tangible (hard) or soft, documented or non-documented.This role is about building and using an intelligence system. The manager must install and maintain this information system; by building contacts & training staff to deliver “information”.

5. As disseminator
– the manager brings external views into his/her organisation and facilitiates internal information flows between subordinates (factual or value-based).

The preferences of significant people are received and assimilated. The manager interprets/disseminates information to subordinates e.g. policies, rules, regulations. Values are also desseminated via conversations laced with imperatives and signs/icons about what is regarded as important or what ‘we believe in’.

There is a dilemma of delegation. Only the manager has the data for many decisions and often in the wrong form (verbal/memory vs. paper). Sharing is time-consuming and difficult. He/she and staff may be already overloaded. Communication consumes time. The adage ‘if you want to get things done, (it is best to do it yourself’ comes to mind. Why might this be a driver of managerial behavior (reluctance or constraints on the ability to delegate)?

6. As spokesman (P.R. capacity)
– the manager informs and lobbies others (external to his/her own organisational group). Key influencers and stakeholders are kept informed of performances, plans & policies. For outsiders, the manager is an expert in the field in which his/her organisation operates.

A senior manager is responsible for his/her organisation’s strategy-making system – generating and linking important decisions. He/she has the authority, information and capacity for control and integration over important decisions.

7. As initiator/changer
– he/she designs and initiates much of the controlled change in the organisation. Gaps are identified, improvement programmes defined. The manager initiates a series of related decisions/activities to achieve actual improvement. Improvement projects may be involved at various levels. The manager can

1. delegate all design responsibility selecting and even replace subordinates.
2. empower subordinates with responsbility for the design of the improvement programme but e.g. define the parameters/limits and veto or give the go-ahead on options.
3. supervise design directly.

Senior managers may have many projects at various development stages (emergent/dormant/nearly-ready) working on each periodically interspersed by waiting periods for information feedback or progress etc. Projects roll-on and roll-off,

8. the disturbance handler
– is a generalist role i.e. taking charge when the organisation hits an iceberg unexpectedly and where there is no clear programmed response. Disturbances may arise from staff, resources, threats or because others make mistakes or innovation has unexpected consequences. The role involves stepping in to calm matters, evaluate, re-allocate, support – removing the thorn – buying time. The metaphors here are

If you are up to your backside in alligators it is no use talking about draining the swamp.


Stop the bleeding as only then can you take care of the long term health of the patient. (not Mintzberg’s anecdote)

9. As resource allocator
– the manager oversees allocation of all resources (£, staff, reputation). This involves:

1. scheduling own time
2. programming work
3. authorising actions

With an eye to the diary (scheduling) the manager implicitly sets organisational priorities. Time and access involve opportunity costs. What fails to reach him/her, fails to get support.

The managerial task is to ensure the basic work system is in place and to programme staff overloads – what to do, by whom, what processing structures will be used.

Authorising major decisions before implementation is a control over resource allocation. This enables coordinative interventions e.g. authorisation within a policy or budgeting process in comparison to ad-hoc interventions. With limited time, complex issues and staff proposals that cannot be dismissed lightly, the manager may decide on the proposer rather than proposal.

To help evaluation processes, managers develop models and plans in their heads (they construe the relationships and signifiers in the situation). These models/constructions encompass rules, imperatives, criteria and preferences to evaluate proposals against. Loose, flexible and implicit plans are up-dated with new information.

10. The negotiator
– takes charge over important negotiating activities with other organisations. The spokesman, figurehead and resource allocator roles demand this.

An interesting online paper is Henry Mintzberg vs Henri Fayol: Of Lighthouses, Cubists and the Emperor’s New Clothes by David Lamont

To view slides full page or to download them click HERE.

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