How has management theory advanced within the last hundred years

Are the structures and ideas of management theorists of the past still analogous to the task done by modern managers of today? Management theorists of the past have labeled three clear categories to help define the work description of your manager. They are management functions, roles and skills, that have been identified as being highly influential to the success of the manager, defined as "someone whose primary responsibility is to carry out the management process. " This essay talks about the work of three management theorists, Henri Fayol, Robert Katz and Henry Mintzberg and how their work comes even close to today's modern day managers.

Henri Fayol, a French industrialist, believed that management could be taught and was therefore always looking on improving the quality of management. In 1916 he wrote the book "administration industrielle et generale" which presented his views on the correct management of organisations and folks within them. That is known as administrative management, which is "a style of management that targets managing the total organisation. " Fayol believed that there were five management functions in which a manager must employ on his business to achieve success. These five functions were planning, organising, commanding, co-ordination and controlling. This is actually the functional view of management as it is over a day-to-day level. It describes the functions a manager must perform on a daily basis, which Fayol realised when working as an effective managing director of any mining company. He saw there is a dependence on managers to be trained because of the increasing complexity and growth of organisations over the world. THE LOOK function looks at the manager's ability to look ahead, considering the operating environment, forecasting what's possible and provide direction for the organizations employee's. Secondly the organising function is a key management function that is defined as "the procedure of assigning tasks, allocating resources and arranging activities to implement plans. " Managers have to group and deploy resources, either human resources such as employees or equipment resources such as machines, in the perfect way to attain the goals of the organisation. Thirdly Fayol determined was for a manager to command, which is to "lead, select and evaluate to get the best work at the program. " Managers must do these tasks as it can help them to attain the task that they had planned. The fourth function Henri Fayol recognized was coordination, which is to match diverse efforts together and ensure information is shared and problems are solved. Finally, Fayol identified the fifth aspect of management functions as controlling, which is "the process of measuring performance and taking action to ensure desired results. " The manager has to ensure that the functions of planning, leading and organising take place in such a way hat they are managed through timely, accurate and valid feedback based on a transparent measurement strategy. Fayol's management functions are centered on the main element relationships between a businesses personnel and its own management.

Harvard Scholar Robert Katz classified three essential skills for managers of a firm, technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills. Technical skills "is the capability to use a particular proficiency or expertise in you work, " for example skills learnt through the formal education such as University or TAFE and then further development through on the job training. These skills are very important in low-level management where in fact the manager continues to be hands on in the business. Human Skills "is the ability to work very well in cooperation with other folks, " this is very important at all levels of management as it shows a spirit of trust, enthusiasm and involvement in interpersonal relationships. A significant concept of human skills is emotional intelligence, which is "the capability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively" which Katz recognized as influential to a firms success due to the high interpersonal nature of business. Finally, there are Conceptual skills, which is " the ability to think analytically and solve complex problems. " Katz discovered this skill within the three essential skills of managers as all good managers be capable of view situations broadly and to solve problems to the benefit of everybody else. Managers with conceptual skills have the ability to break down problems into smaller parts, which is important for top level managers but is relatively unimportant for low lever managers. Katz's three essential skills of management are a requirement for business that want to be success in present day society.

Management theorist Henry Mintzberg in his book "the type of managerial work" (Mintzberg, H 1973, The nature of management, NY) written in 1973 offers an observation of corporate chief executives. He says "there is no break in the pace of activity during office hours. The mail telephone calls and meetings accounted for almost every minute from the moment these executives entered their offices each day until they departed in the evenings" (Mintzberg, H 1973, The type of management, New York). In todays modern era of technology this would add email to the list of preoccupations a manager handles on a daily basis. Mintzberg had realised the importance of what sort of manager uses his controlling powers and he recognised three important managerial roles when a manager must successfully perform for the manager to have the ability to run the business at its most efficient level. The three roles in which Mintzberg recognized were interpersonal, informational and decisional roles that can be further split into ten more specific roles. Interpersonal roles are what sort of manager interacts with other folks, both within the business like employees and external to the firm like customers. Interpersonal roles for managers can be further sectioned off into if the manager is a figurehead, leader or liason in the firm. Informational roles are 'how a manager exchanges and processes information' that your managers role is then to either monitor, disseminator and spokesperson for the firm. Finally, decisional roles which is 'how a manager uses information in decision making' and the managers role is then to be a business owner, disturbance handler, resource allocator or negotiator depending on the scenarios at hand for the manager. The roles of management are all interconnected and all managers must anticipate to perform the to be able to start to see the best from their business.

These management theorists however wrote their management functions, roles and skills in the 20th century, so are they still relevant in our 21st century business environment? An internal endeavor created by Google, the worlds major search engine, viewed what the eight most important traits for a manager to have to be successful. The usage of this article '8 traits of stellar managers, defined by googlers, " compiled by Judith Aquino really helps to link the management theories of Henri Fayol, Robert Katz and Henry Mintzberg to present day managers of the 21st century. The article, written on the 15 of March 2011, brings a modern day link to the management theorist's of the 20th century.

The importance of managers having technical skills in the workplace sometimes appears by its inclusion in the 8 traits of stellar management. It's important for manager's to own these skills as then they be capable of understand the various challenges and help their employees solve the problems they are facing. This important trait for managers is linked to Robert Katz's management skills. Katz believed that one of is own three essential skills for managers were that they had technical skills. That is seen as an important trait for managers of the 21st century as employees desire to be managed by a person who knows what they are doing and is able to give them advice about how to solve the various problems that they will probably face in your day to day life of the business. While using survey showing that Katz's technical skills remain an important trait which is admired in the business workplace makes me wonder if the three management theorist's, Robert Katz, Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg's work is still relevant in a 21st century business context.

Former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch said "good business leaders develop a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it in competition. " Google employees have recognised the importance of the business and its own manager using a plainly outlined vision and a technique for the employees. The manager must lead the employees by keeping all staff involved and working towards teams common goals and business vision. When looking at the management theorists of the 20th century we can easily see that each of them have their opinions on the businesses vision and strategy. Henry Mintzberg's leadership principle relates to the ways in which the firm looks to achieve its vision. With out a manager who is willing to lead his employees they will lack direction in their work, increasing the chance of mistakes being made by misled employees or the firm leaving its corporate vision. Henri Fayol's planning function is also related more to the businesses business strategy than the vision as it talks about how the business will enter its business strategy in to the business environment to help reach its vision. Both of these theories are still relevant in today's business environment as shown by their relevance to a manager's ability to have a clear vision and strategy.

Career development is an important aspect of any managers roles when running the business enterprise as employees want to feel like their efforts are being noticed and that their effort is furthering their careers. "An excellent manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who be employed by him. " Managers should make it known to their employees they are a valued member of the business and this the task the employees do for the firm can pay of with promotions and pay rises in the foreseeable future. Helping employees is linked to the management theories of Mintzberg and Fayol as it is both a role and a function that the manager must undertake to be able to successfully manager their employees.

The fifth most significant trait recognised by Google employees was the power because of their manager's tot be good communicators and willing to listen to ideas from all employees. It's important for manager's to hear others as well as sharing their opinion as then the opinions and concerns of your employees are heard and can be regarded more closely by the manager. Henri Fayol's commanding function shows the value to be a good communicator and listener for managers as the function requires them to lead, select and evaluate the staff to get the best out of them. This function recognises the importance of employee's ideas in the success of the business and the manager therefore must evaluate proposed ideas to obtain the best from the team. American businessman Lee Iacocca said on communication "you can have brilliant ideas, but if you cant get them across, your opinions wont get you anywhere" (Croce and Lyon 2004, p. 69). Henry Mintzberg's interpersonal roles will be the manager's responsibility when dealing with employees and their ideas. Robert Katz provides two management skills on the communication with employees and their ideas. Google recognising the importance of communication in the organisation among the three essential skills a manager will need to have to be successful shows Katz's theory of interpersonal skills. Katz also offers a more precise skill in which managers must have, this being communication skills, thought as "the power both to mention idea's and information to others effectively also to be receptive to ideas and information from others. " This skill that Katz states as being important to managerial success is what Google employees hold in high regard of their manager's as shown by its inclusion in the 8 traits of any stellar manager.

Henry Mintzberg's informational roles, which is the processing of information, is recognised in Google's survey where they admire managers who are productive and results orientated. Mintzberg's informational role accepts the necessity for managers to concentrate on helping the team achieve its goals by prioritizing work and removing obstacles. Robert Katz's decision-making skills, defined as "the ability to recognise and define problems and opportunities correctly then to choose an appropriate plan of action to resolve problems and capatilise on opportunities, " implies that his theory looks at how the business can be more productive and achieve their results through eliminating any problems and taking benefit of any opportunities the firm may encounter.

Employee's feeling that they belong as an important area of the business success is one of the key tasks a manager must undertake when running the firm. Making certain new employees feel welcome and move on to know your employees. Robert Katz's interpersonal skills are linked to this trait recognised by Google employees as it involves the relationships between employee's and managers, both working and outside of work relationships, to make the employee feel part of the team. Henri Fayol's Controlling function is also interrelated with taking involvement in your associates success and well-being as managers need to ensure everything happens according to plan, with corrective action set up. Fayol however has a more minor point in the controlling function, which is feedback, and this shows the employees that their input is important and taken into account when they provide suggestions to the managers of the firm.

At number 2, Google employees decided that a managers ability to empower your employees and not micromanage was a trait that they respected in their managers. Giving employees the area to tackle problems independently but nonetheless be there for advice is something that employee's admired as it provides them with a sense of responsibility and importance in the firm. Katz's time management skills is important when not micro-managing as the ability for the manager to delegate work to his staff and then empower those to complete these independently. Mintzberg's decisional role is also very important to managers as it involves that they allocate their resources (employees) to job certain jobs that are essential. Finally Fayol's Organising function is important as the manager is required to provide and mobalise resources, which is often human resources such as employees, to implement the plan.

The most significant trait in 'stellar managers' defined by way of a survey done by Google says that being truly a good coach is what they admire most in a manager. A manager who provides specific feedback through regular one-on-one meetings with employees, as well as offering solutions that are tailored to each employee's strengths. John Wooden said, "make sure that associates know they are working together with you, not for you. " Relationships will be the easiest way for employees to feel as if they can be on the same level to manager, which is therefore why Henry Mintzberg's interpersonal roles theory is very important to becoming a successful manager. Robert Katz's interpersonal skills are also applicable to being a good coach, as they are required to talk to, understand and motivate both individuals and groups. Both of these management theories along with communication skills will be the most influential management theories in being a good coach to their employees.

The work of management theorists of the past continues to be admired and applicable to modern managers in the 21st century. Google's survey shows a set of the main traits observed in a manager in the 21st century, and I've shown that there are many links that can be drawn between your work of management theorists Robert Katz, Henry Mintzberg and Henri Fayol and present day managers of the 21st century.

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