Quantitative Approach to Management:
involves the use of quantitative
techniques to improve decision making. This
approach has also been labeled operations research of management
science. It includes applications of
statistics, optimization models, information models, and computer
How Do Today’s Managers use the quantitative approach?
The quantitative approach has contributed
directly to management decision making in the areas of planning
and control. For instance, when managers make budgeting, scheduling,
quality control, and similar
decisions, they typically rely on quantitative techniques. The
availability of sophisticated computer software
programs to aid in developing models, equations, and formulas has made
the use of quantitative techniques
somewhat less intimidating for managers, although they must still be
able to interpret the results.
The quantitative approach, although important in its own way, has not
influenced management practice as
much as the next one we’re going to discuss–organizational behavior–for
a number of reasons. These
include the fact that many managers are unfamiliar with and intimidated
by quantitative tools, behavioral
problems are more widespread and visible, and it is easier for most
students and managers to relate to real,
day-to-day people problems than to the more abstract activity of
constructing quantitative models.
Branches in the Quantitative Management Viewpoint:
There are three main branches in the
Quantitative Management Viewpoint:
operations management, and management information systems
Management science (or operations research
as it has been called) is an approach aimed at
decision effectiveness through the use of sophisticated mathematical
models and statistical methods. This is
NOT a term to be used synonymously with either the term “Scientific
Management” described earlier
featuring Taylor and others or “The Science of Management,” a term that
usually refers broadly, to a
deliberate, rational approach to management issues.
is the function or field of expertise that is
primarily responsible for the
production and delivery of an organization’s products and services.
Management information systems (MIS)
is the name often given to the field of
focuses on designing and implementing computer-based information systems
for use by management
This school of thought or view point about
management includes those major ideas about managing and
organizations that have emerged since the 1950s. Some of the ideas,
systems theory for example, are rooted
in experiences gained during World War II.
The systems theory
approach is based on the notion that
organizations can be visualized as systems of
interrelated parts or subsystems that operate as a whole in pursuit of
common goals. This will be discussed
in more detail in the next session.
is the view that appropriate managerial action
depends on the particular parameters
of each situation. This approach is in marked contrast to the earliest
universal approach stemming from the
classical management school which suggested that there was one, and only
one, best decision for managers
to make which applied in all cases and to all organization, big or
little, for profit, or not-for-profit, etc.
generalized corollary to the universal approach is that the secret to
successful managing was just to keep
looking until that one best solution was “found.” “it all depends”,
would be the slogan of contingency
theory. The contingency approach applies particularly well in such areas
as environmental factors, strategy,
organizational design, technology, and leadership.
: Now that you’ve got a good understanding of
the evolution and past history of
management theories and practices, what current concepts and practices
are shaping today’s management
history and changing the way that managers do their jobs?
. Organizational operations no longer stop at
geographic borders. Managers in all
types and sizes of organizations are faced with the opportunities and
challenges of globalization.
refers to the process whereby an individual or
a group of individuals uses
organized efforts and means to pursue opportunities to create value and
grow by fulfilling wants and needs
through innovation and uniqueness.
1. Three important themes stand out in this definition:
a. The pursuit of opportunities
2. Entrepreneurship will continue to be important to societies around
C. Managing in an E-Business World.
(electronic business)—a comprehensive term
describing the way an organization does
its work by using electronic (Internet-based) linkages with key
constituencies in order to efficiently
and effectively achieve its goals.
(electronic commerce) is any form of business
exchange or transaction in which the
parties interact electronically.
D. Need for Innovation and Flexibility.
1. The constant flow of new ideas is crucial
for an organization to avoid obsolescence or failure.
2. Flexibility is valuable in a context where customers/ needs may
change overnight, where new
competitors come and go, and where employees and their skills are
shifted as need from project to
E. Quality Management Systems.
Total quality managementis a philosophy of management that is driven
by customer needs and
expectations and focuses on continual improvement in work processes
2. TQM was inspired by a small group of quality experts, of whom W.
Edwards Deming was one of
the chief proponents. He has also developed and presented his quality
philosophy and theory of profound
3. TQM represents a counterpoint to earlier management theorists who
believed that low costs were
the only road to increased productivity.
4. The objective of TQM is to create an organization committed to
F. Learning Organizations and Knowledge Management.
Managers now must deal with an environment
that is continually changing. The successful
organizations of the 21st century will be flexible, able to learn and
respond quickly, and be led by managers
who can effectively challenge conventional wisdom, manage the
organization’s knowledge base, and make
1. A learning organization
is one that has developed the capacity to
continuously adapt and change.
2. Knowledge management
involves cultivating a learning culture where
systematically gather knowledge and share it with others to achieve
G. Theory Z : William Ouchi’s
Theory Z combines positive aspects of American
management into a modified approach aimed at increasing managerial
effectiveness while remaining
compatible with the norms and values of society and culture.