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Approaches to explain the concept and practice of management

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  1. Introduction
  2. Various approaches to management
    1. The empirical or case approach
    2. The interpersonal behaviour approach
    3. The group behaviour approach
    4. The socio technical system approach
    5. The decision theory approach
    6. The systems approach
    7. Mathematical or management science approach
    8. The contingency or situational approach
    9. Managerial roles approach
    10. The operational approach
  3. Functions of managers
    1. Planning
    2. Organizing
    3. Staffing
    4. Leading
    5. Controlling
    6. Co-ordination
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

Because of the extraordinary interest in management, a number of approaches exist to explain the nature of the concepts, theory and techniques underlying managerial practice. Both academic writers and practitioners have contributed to management theories. The variety of approaches to management analysis and the difference of views have resulted in much confusion as to what management is. What management theory and science are and how managerial events and facts should be analyzed.

As a matter of fact, the authors of management call this situation-?The Management Theory Jungle?. Though, the vegetation in this jungle has changed somewhat. New approaches have been developed and older approaches have taken on some new meanings. But the development of management science and theory still has the characteristics of the jungle.

[...] The Contingency or Situational Approach One approach to management thought and practice which has taken management academicians by storm is the contingency or situational approach. Essentially, this approach emphasizes the fact that what managers do in practice depends upon a given set of circumstances contingency or a specialized situation). Contingency theory takes into account not only a given situation, but also the influence of given solutions on behavior patterns of an enterprise. For example, an organization structured along the lines of operating functions such as finance, design, production & marketing might be most suitable for a given situation, however, some managers using this approach may become more loyal to the function or the department rather than the company. [...]

[...] The recognition of any organized enterprise as a social arrangement of many groups of individuals, with complex attitudes, pressures and conflicts arising from people's cultural background has been helpful to practicing managers. This approach recommends the behavioral elements in group activities. This must be integrated with design of the organization structure, staffing, planning & control. For E.g. If a group of individuals working on an assembly line in an automobile manufacturing unit cannot work cohesively as a group & in turn are inclined to show only individual efficiencies. [...]

[...] The Operational Approach The operational approach of management theory & science attempts to draw together the pertinent knowledge of management by relating it to the managerial job. Like other operational sciences, this approach puts together the concepts, principles & techniques that underline the task of managing. The operational approach recognizes that there is a central core of knowledge about managing, which exists only in the field of management. Structures such as line & staff, departmentation, managerial appraisal & various managerial control techniques involve concepts & theory found only where managers are involved. [...]

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