Another way to look at the manager’s job is
from the perspective of managing systems.
system is a set of
interrelated and interdependent parts arranged in a manner that produces
whole. It’s a concept taken from the physical sciences and applied to
The two basic types of systems are
are not influenced by and do not interact with
dynamically interact with their environment.
Today, when we call organization systems, we mean open systems, that is,
an organization that constantly
interacts with its environment.
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.
1. The major components of a system are:
the various human, material, financial,
informational resources required to produce goods and services.
b. Transformation processes:
the organization’s managerial and
technological abilities that are applied to convert inputs into outputs.
the products, services, and other outcomes
produced by the
information about results and organizational
status relative to
2. Open versus closed systems.
These are terms indicating the relative degree
with which a
system interacts with its environment. While there are very few, if any,
completely open or
completely closed systems, we usually view open systems as those having
continual interaction with
its environment. Closed systems are those with little interaction and
feedback from their
3. Two major characteristics of open
a. Negative entropy
is the ability of open systems to bring in new
the form of inputs and feedback from the environment in order for the
organization to delay or to arrest entropy, the decaying process.
is the ability of the whole to equal more than
the sum of its
c. The systems viewpoint
suggests that managers are likely to be more
successful if they attempt to operate their units as open systems rather
than as closed system.
Employees’ Work Products and Services
Human Resources Activities Financial Results
Capital Management Activities Information
Technology Technology and Human Results
TEST YOURSELF !
Answer to Test Yourself on Management Viewpoints and Theories!!!!
1. What are some early evidences of management practice?
Some early evidences of management practice
are the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China,
and the status of Venice as a major economic trade center in the 1400s.
2. Explain why division of labor and the Industrial Revolution were
important to the study of
Division of labor increases productivity by
increasing each worker’s skill and dexterity, saves time
that is commonly lost in changing tasks, and creates labor-saving
inventions and machinery. During
the Industrial Revolution, business owners were creating large
businesses that required formalized
3. What are the four major approaches to the study of management?
The four major approaches to the study of
management are scientific, general administrative,
quantitative, and organizational behavior. Each is correct and makes an
important contribution to
our overall understanding of management.
4. What relevance does scientific
management have to current management practice?
Scientific management is the use of
scientific methods to define the “one best way” for a job to be
done. Its relevance to current management practice is that managers
still use many of the
techniques developed by Taylor, the Gilbreth, and other practitioners.
5. Describe Frederick W. Taylor’s contributions to scientific
Frederick Taylor defined four principles of
management—develop a science for each element of an
individual’s work; scientifically select, train, teach, and develop each
worker; cooperate with
workers to ensure that all work is done in accordance with the
principles of science; and divide
work and responsibility almost equally between management and workers.
6. Explain Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s contributions to scientific
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth studied work
arrangements to eliminate wasteful hand and body
motions. They also experimented with the design and use of proper tools
and equipment for
optimizing work performance.
7. Describe Fayol’s principles of management and how they compare
Henri Fayol’s principles of management were
division of work, authority, discipline, unity of
command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests,
scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure of personnel,
initiative, and esprit de corps. In contrast
to Taylor’s principles, Fayol’s focused on the entire organization and
not just the individual worker.
8. What did Weber contribution to the general administrative theories
Max Weber described an ideal type of
organization called a bureaucracy, characterized by division
of labor, a clearly defined hierarchy, detailed rules and regulations,
and impersonal relationships.
Rules and controls were to be applied uniformly, avoiding involvement
with individual personalities
and preferences of employees.
9. Explain how the quantitative approach evolved and how it has
contributed to the field of
The quantitative approach, also called
operations research or management science, is the use of
quantitative techniques to improve decision making, and it evolved out
of the development of
mathematical and statistical solutions to military problems during World
War II. After the war,
many quantitative techniques that had been used for military problems
were applied to the business
sector. The quantitative approach has added another dimension to the
evolution of management
practice and thinking and has contributed most directly to management
decision making in
planning and control.
10. What is organizational behavior?
Organizational behavior is the field of study
concerned with the actions or behavior of people at
11. What were some of the contributions of the early advocates of OB?
Early advocates of the OB approach were Robert
Owen, who proposed an idealized workplace
where work hours would be regulated, child labor outlawed, public
education and meals provided,
and business involved in community projects; Hugo Munsterberg, who
created the field of
industrial psychology, the study of individuals at work to maximize
their productivity and
adjustment; Mary Parker Follett, who thought that organizations should
be based on a group ethic
rather than on individualism to release individual potential; and
Chester Barnard, who saw
organizations as social systems that required human cooperation.
12. Describe the Hawthorne studies and their contribution to
The Hawthorne studies, conducted at the
Western Electric Company Works in Cicero Illinois,
from 1924 through the early 1930s, exposed an experimental group of
workers to various lighting
intensities while providing a control group with constant intensity. As
the level of light was
increased in the experimental group, the output of both groups
increased. The series of studies led
to a new emphasis on the human behavior
factor and helped change the dominant theme of the
time that employees were not different from any other machines the
13. How is globalization affecting the way managers do their jobs?
Management is no longer constrained by
national borders, and managers in organizations of all
sizes and types around the world are faced with the opportunities and
challenges of operating in a
14. What is workforce diversity, and what implications does it have
Workforce diversity exists when workers are
more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race,
ethnicity, age, and other characteristics that reflect their
differences. It’s an important issue because
as more women, minorities, elderly, and immigrants enter the job market
in the first part of the 21st
century, monumental changes are predicted in the workplace.
15. Discuss the three important themes in the definition of
First, is the pursuit of opportunities,
because entrepreneurship is about pursuing environmental
trends and changes that no one else has seen or paid attention to.
Second, is innovation, because entrepreneurship involves changing,
and introducing products or services or new ways of doing business.
Third, is growth, because entrepreneurs are not content to stay small or
to stay the same in size.
16. How is e-commerce different from e-business, and what are the
main forms of e-commerce
E-business is more than e-commerce, although
e-business can include e-commerce. E-business is a
comprehensive term describing the way an organization does its work by
using electronic linkages
with its key constituencies. The main forms of e-commerce transactions
17. Describe the three categories of e-business involvement.
The three main categories of e-business
enhanced—using the Internet to enhance but not
replace traditional ways of doing business;
enabled—using the Internet to perform its traditional
business functions better, but not to sell anything;
total—whole existence is made possible by and
revolves around the Internet.
18. Why should managers be concerned about innovation and
Without a constant flow of new ideas an
organization is doomed to obsolescence or failure. Also,
flexibility is required in a context where customers/needs may change
overnight, where new
competitors come and go quickly, and where employees and their skills
are shifted as needed from
project to project.
19. What is TQM, and how is it affecting manager’s jobs?
TQM is a philosophy of management driven by
continual improvement and response to customer,
employee, and supplier needs and expectations. It encompasses employees
and suppliers as well as
the people who purchase the organization’s goods or services. The
objective of managers is to
create an organization committed to continuous improvement in work
20. How does knowledge management fit into the concept of a learning
A learning organization is one that has
developed the capacity to continuously learn, adapt, and
change. Knowledge management involves cultivating a learning culture
members systematically gather knowledge and share it with others in the
organization in order to
achieve better performance.
21. What is workplace spirituality and how is it an issue that
managers must deal with?
is “a recognition of an inner life that
nourishes and is nourished by
meaningful work that takes place in the context of community.” Workers,
and society in general,
are searching for a deeper understanding of who they are and why they’re
here on Earth. They want
more than just a steady job and a paycheck. Current research studies
looking at the relationship
between workplace spirituality and productivity have shown interesting
spirituality is likely to be manifested in how managers treat employees
and how employees’
contributions are respected and valued.