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Evolution of Management

Free essayManagement pertains to the coordination or organization of various activities, with reference to an organizational entity, with the aim of achieving a set of defined objectives or goals. Consequently, management is considered as a core factor in production, alongside such fundamentals as capital (money), organizational culture and its internal structure, labor force amongst others. A manager, or director, having the responsibility and power to oversee an enterprise’s general output, in addition to making decisions, makes this office a crucial factor in determining an entity’s worth. Through quality assessment, as well as experience-value indexing, an organization’s greater output, input, and contributions are rooted in the form of management, with great management contributing to enhanced productivity and overall impact.

Role-Play in Organizational Management

As Mintzberg’s Management Roles portray, there is a need for a manager to fit into his/ her working environment. As such, these roles are definitively categorized into informational, decisional and interpersonal roles. With reference to the first, there is monitor, spokesperson and disseminator. The second pertains to the presence of an entrepreneur, the negotiator, the resource allocator and the disturbance handler. Finally, the latter pertains to the leader, the figurehead and the liaison. Monitoring entails constant information seeking. Being a spokesperson entails the representation, and speaking on behalf of one’s organization, towards transmitting organizational information and goals. The disseminator communicates information, potentially useful, to an existing organization’s team members and colleagues. The entrepreneur creates and hence controls change, with problem solving, the generation and implementation of novel ideas being pertinent to such role-play.

Being a resource allocator entails determining where scarce organizational resources are best suited for application; as well as the allocation of funding, and assignment of staff to various roles. The disturbance handler takes charge, especially when an organization/ team members hit an unexpected hurdle, with mediation being present. Finally, the negotiator takes part in, and directs vital negotiations within the organization, department and team members. With liaison role-play, managers are able to communicate both to external and internal contacts, with such networking providing beneficial impacts on the organization. A figurehead portrays proper social behavior, by way of legal, ceremonial and socio-cultural role-play, hence providing inspiration to those who view them as their mentors and figures of authority. Lastly, the aspect of being a leader means demonstrating leadership skills to the overall organizational structure, as well as the team members and department involved (Mintzberg 2007).

Explicit knowledge refers to the type of information/ data that is articulated, recorded and expressed by amongst others: codes, numbers, musical notations and words, in addition to both scientific and mathematical formulae. Due to its ease of communication, storage and distribution, it is hence knowledge, which is accessible via books, the World Wide Web (internet) and oral or visual formats. Tacit knowledge refers to informal knowledge, not easily accessible, but rather unwritten, hidden and unspoken. As such, this form of knowledge is possessed by practically all human beings, with a basis on one’s experiences, intuition, insights and observations, which are crucial towards the internalization of such information.

Being integral to all individuals is gained by way of association and interaction hence useful in organizational contexts. Through teamwork, such knowledge is disseminated, especially by way of shared activities or role-play. Implicit knowledge, on the other hand, pertains to knowledge that is as such, not explicit, and hence concerns itself with the greater process of knowledge acquisition, especially by way of unconscious learning. In fact, a combination of tacit and explicit knowledge, differing from tacit by way of comprising knowledge, is both well transferable and communicable. Its utility may be in the form of forecasting risks, as evidenced by the presence of various entities affected (Owens 2002).

Historical Foundation and Evolution of Management

The earliest form is referred to as, classical management, which traces its basis to pre-20th century eras. Generally, it is concerned on ways of better managing organizational entities or work, with the aim of improved efficiency. Under this are found three categories/ areas such as administrative, scientific and bureaucratic facets of management. The industrial revolution provided a basis in which contemporary forms of production would thrive. As such, it entailed three core factors: the greater search for raw materials and fossil fuels; human input via greater utility of machines, and the production and sales aspect, where market arenas were a crucial fundamental. Basically, there have been three phases i.e. the initial textile industry, which concentrated on fabric production, with the manufacture/ processing of various home items being the second phase. Following was the industrial output of various machinery, equipment and tools, critical towards enhancing pertinent infrastructure and logistics.

Classical Management Beliefs

This era, being in the 20th century, witnessed input from such greats as Adam Smith, Karl Mark, Henri Fayol, Chester Bernard, Emile Durkheim and Taylor, F. W. amongst others. Their contributions were fundamentally altered the basics of social sectors such as economics (trade and commerce), governance (sociology and political science) and general advancement/ development. Of fundamental importance were the core factors of resource (money, labor/ workforce and logistics), and efficient/ effective utilization of these factors. With an increase in organizational size, as well as their complexity, this necessitated the specialization of daily running and management of resultant entities.

Through enhanced output, by way of the Industrial Revolution, various entities became aware of a need for better cost and expenditure balancing, saving, efficient and effective utility of available capacity and their management. Resource allocation, pricing and production aspects became fundamentals requiring a theoretical background and framework. Additionally were the crucial factors of quality control, work-planning, standardization, cost accounting and the interchangeability of components and system parts. Logistics and operations are also essential fundamentals, requiring greater input of scientific approach, with reference to input and utility in management (Skousen 2001).

Theories and Ideals: Classical Input

Adam Smith, through his publication, The Wealth of Nations and discussions of organizational division of labor, displayed how changes in various processes could enhance overall productivity, especially with regard to the manufacturing sector. He alluded to the necessity of the utilization of more productive labor, especially by way of deepening existent division of labor through specialization thus achieving greater output. By increasing production, there was a need to extent market arenas, with the pertinent aspects of inventing newer means of production, as well as its general re-organization.

Karl Marx, through his – Marxist theory – provided crucial information, especially to aspects such as labor, collective work-input, and the foundational basis of society. His theory considers the aspect of control as being a crucial role of an entity’s management/ executive, with post-modernist theories later on becoming a foundational basis for current critiques of managerialism. Due to the resultant division of labor, with the elite (Bourgeoisie) controlling and being in charge of production, while the masses (Proletariat/ labor force) provided the requisite labor. His discourse provided for a disorderly future, as social contexts showcased vast inequalities between the two aforementioned classes, because of disenfranchisement.

Emile Durkheim provided input displaying the concept of labor division, extending beyond the agricultural sector to manufacturing, with this shift being epitomized through enhanced specialization, task/ work interdependence and hierarchical order. Fredrick W. Taylor and Henry Ford improved the abovementioned, through their contribution to scientific management. This was to be espoused through specialization, standardization, rationalization, measurement and mass production assembly line concepts. Through the former’s techniques, a foundational basis was laid out for management control systems (Kotter 2002).

Positivism and Social Constructivism

Positivism, as an extension of empiricism, refers to the concept stating that only knowledge based on scientific proof holds true, especially with regard to sensory (human) perception. Social constructivism, on the other hand, pertains to the construction of knowledge from various avenues, collaboratively creating a small-scale version of shared culture, with respect to individual and group learning, by way of greater organizational interaction. The above two hold ground with reference to organizational management, as they rely on knowledge gained through experience, or that, which is empirically provable and true. Modernism, as rooted in a modernist approach, entails the utility of modern thought, practice and character. More specifically so is its greater contribution to current management, by way of its set practices and tendencies, traceable to the continuous dynamic aspect of Western society. Such change is indeed relevant to contemporary management styles through enhanced utility of current methodology, ideals and statistics.

Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s – General Systems Theory

Von Bertalanffy’s contribution to the concept of labor is crucial, as he sought to expound further on essential principles and laws explaining the prevailing systems, with regard to organizational entity management. Through a focus on the underlying, and hence related factors, he alluded to the necessity of analyzing a system’s functionality and effectiveness, from a holistic perspective, where synergy was present. Consequently, towards better understanding a system, there is a need for a greater willingness towards encountering such a system in its entirety, as opposed to viewing it from its various composite independent parts. Since a system is composed of various interrelated sub-systems, which can be very different, in terms of functionality and input.

Consequently, the aspect of specialization is enhanced, with this creating a necessity for both greater coordination and integration. Bolding’s (1956) – Hierarchy of Systems – provides a basis for the presence of a form of interaction between individuals with the surrounding environment. He alluded to the fact that an individual is composited of a structural complexity, of the matter immediately below, with individual behavior being rooted in both the arrangement and structure of the composite matter. A change in the surrounding environment indeed negates some of these basic building blocks to the background, restoring the preferred entities to the foreground, especially with respect to social interaction and organizational. The existence of a transcendental entity provides for further articulation of humanity, especially with regard to the uncontrollable nature of various phenomena (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin, & Cardy 2008).

Herbert Simon: Contributions to Management

A great thinker, Herbert Simon, provided a critique to the aforementioned, by way of questioning Bolding’s Hierarchy of systems, which provided a form of organization/ patterned interaction, with overall organizational management being influenced and hence shaped by the core components within. Thus, was the assumption of rationality, with reference to organizational decision making, especially under highly restrictive conditions. Herbert critiqued the above later on, based on former’s assumption that existing decision makers – management – do have the requisite knowledge of alternatives to be enacted. He criticized Bolding’s rational model, due to the fact that it did ignore the internal politics/ dynamics of any organizational system, with various alternatives providing for varied consequences as a result.

Simon’s critique of Bolding’s system, based majorly on rational order and interdependence, was informed by the fact that various problems posed, were indeed complex, with reference to the operational capacity of any system. As such, with reference to management, limitations were evident through the limitation of time, the existing information processing capacity of human beings (the rationalization process), and the surrounding organizational contexts and conflictual preferences amongst core decision makers, especially regarding an organization’s future goals and mission. Simon referred to these limitations as to bounded rationality, as full implementation of ideal rationalization was indeed evidently limited/ bound depending on various surrounding contexts/ aspects.

Modernism and Post-Modernism

The post-modernist approach is fundamentally related to the Modernist approach with the latter entailing a critical inclination to modernity, with reference to social interaction and order. With regard to management, Bolding’s systems’ hierarchical order and Simon’s bounded rationality showcased a modernist approach to human interaction, as well as existing social order. Dynamic changes, especially on various pertinent aspects of Western society i.e. their rapid industrialization, dynamism (with respect to social systems) and the globalization aspect provided a core basis of modernist thought. With a basis on self-consciousness that would often lead to human experimentation with both work and form, this drew human attention to the material factors and processes utilized, as well as the influential aspect of abstraction (Levenson 2000).

Post-modernism is often cited as an offshoot of modernism, with the difference being rooted within various prevailing contexts and human conceptualization. Through greater reinterpretation of the modern, as well as exhibition of enhanced awareness, this theory was more inclusive to late 20th century contexts. These include increased competitiveness, a greater understanding of existing market fundamentals/ mechanisms, the need for greater involvement, the acknowledgement of man as a client as well as a service customer, and focus on both preventative measures and grasp of market mechanisms/ dynamics, as well as enhanced organizational orientation to its set mission, goals and objectives.

Partly reacting to the organizational theory’s traditional approach of greater emphasis on formality, hierarchical order, rule/ regulation-reliance and formality amongst other aspects provides a critique to such perceptions. The above is evidently based on a greater lack of faith with regard to the rational. It hence is best espouses a post-bureaucratic inclination, where the aspect of de-differentiation (dissolution/ blurring of existing boundaries) is augmented by fragmentation of established structures into core departments. As such, currently the unique aspect of hyper-reality is present, where current human perceptions and experiences are influenced by a greater mix of real world contexts and virtual and artificial realities.

This hence provides quite a unique case scenario, as the post-modernist thought is not easily defined. Of significance is the fact that there exists not definitively structured set of ideals, which exemplify post modernism, as various ideals implied here often defy casual summarization. There is a conflicting aspect (paradox), with regard to postmodernist thought, in the fact that by focusing greater value on the diversity prevailing, there is a direct contradiction to the fundamental aspect of unification. Thus, the lack of an all-encompassing structure is negated to the background, with the focus being on the diversification aspect of current prevailing contexts. It is as such, influenced by existing liberal ideals, which provide for case scenarios (Childs 2000).

Post-Modernism: Influence/ Effect on Management

With greater diversification entailing enhanced liberal thought, post-modernism focuses on utility of imagination, conceptualization and, at times, irrationality, where both the physical (real world arena) and virtual realities co-exist and interact. There is hence a focus on projects/ goal attainment, as opposed to career paths/ choices, with individual identities and role-play becoming more transient and less solid. Influencing this is the prevailing aspect of competition, referenced on individual and group role-play, perspective/ ideals, experiences and the overarching nature of our anarchic global system.

The lack of certainty prevails over various aspects of society, and, as such, is considered with reference to organizational management. With a rejection of various fundamentals such as patterned/ systematized methodology, the notion of linearity and progress, post modernist view alludes to the occurrence of change at a given moment, thus shifting focus to the dynamic nature of contemporary organizational structuring. Such instability is crucial to the overall nature of current management methodology, as there is a need for due consideration for prevailing contexts (Owens 2002).

In conclusion, while management is pertinent to the overall wellbeing and nature of social interaction, development and order, the prevailing contexts under which this crucial role is enacted/ implemented, fundamentally influences the form of implementation. Lastly, from its advent, management as a field has undergone tremendous change and influence.