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Management : art or science.
The well-known American business professor and consultant Peter Drucker believes that the work of management is to make people productive. To regain the competitive edge in the international arena, society must have managerial competence. Drucker’s view emphasizes performance, quality and service.
Another view of management is presented in the popular best-seller, “ In Search of Excellence” , where Peters and Waterman state, They emphasise mentorship, love for managing and working with people; managers are excellent communicators and value shapers, lightning rods to get the job done. The effective managers do intend to make employees productive and they also have the ability to inspire people.
All above mentioned can be summarized in the following definition of management:
Management is the process of achieving organizational objectives within changing environment by balancing efficiency, effectiveness and equity, obtaining the most from limited resources, and working with and through other people.
Why study management? Learning about management is important for two reasons.
First, our society depends on specialized institutions and organizations to provide the goods and services we desire. Managers have the authority and responsibility to build safe or unsafe products, seek war or peace, clean up or pollute the environment. Managers establish the conditions under which we are provided jobs, incomes, lifestyles, products, services, protection, health care and knowledge. It would be very difficult to find anyone who is neither a manager nor affected by decisions of a manager. Poor management is at the bottom of the most business failures. The second reason is that individuals not trained as managers often find themselves in managerial positions. Many individuals presently being trained to be teachers, accountants, musicians, or artists will one day earn their living as managers. They will manage schools, accounting firms, orchestras and theatre.
Managerial levels.The main responsibility of all managers is to use the resources of their organization effectively and economically to achieve its objectives.
As a business grows and has more people than the owner or chief executive can effectively manage, the problem is solved by introducing a second layer of managers. As the business continue to grow, a third layer of managers is introduced. These managers report to the second layer. In very large companies, there may be 10 or 12 levels of managers between the president and the worker in the factory.
Top-managers are more involved in long-range planning and policy making. They make strategic decisions concerning the future of the company.It is the job of a company’s top managers to take responsibility for innovation, manage a business’s relations with the outside world. Top managers are appointed, supervised and dismissed by a company’s board of directors.
Middle management and supervisors generally make day-to-day decisions which help an organization to run efficiently and smoothly.. Managers at this level spend a great deal of tome communicating, coordinating and making decisions which affect the daily operation of heir organization.
Functions of a manager. Henry Fayol, manager of a large coal company said that to manage is “ to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control”. In this way he identified five functions :
1)Planning. The manager should make the best possible forecast of events that may affect the firm and should draw up plans to guide future decisions. 2) Organising. This managerial function determines the appropriate machines, material and human mix necessary to accomplish the actions planned.3)Commanding. Managers should have direct, two-way communication with subordinates and continually evaluate the organizational structure and subordinates. They should not hesitate to change the structure if they consider it faulty or to fire subordinates who are incompetient.4) Coordinating. This function includes activities that bind together all individual efforts and direct them toward a common objective.5)Controlling. This means ensuring that actual activities are consistent with plans. Fayol’s definition is still accepted by many people today, though some writers on management have modified his description. Instead of talking about command, they say a manager must motivate or direct and lead other workers.
An interesting modern view on managers is supplied by an American writer Peter Drucker.:1) Setting objectives. 2)Organising. 2) Motivating and communicating. 3)Measuring. 4) Developing people. Good managers need not be geniuses but must bring character to the job.
The mix of skills differs depending on the level of the manager in the organisation. Theorists usually identify three different kinds of basic managerial skills: technical, human and conceptual, needed by managers at all levels.
Human skill is the ability to communicate, motivate and lead individuals and group(middle ranks).Technical skill is the ability to use the techniques, procedures and tools of specific field(lower levels). Conceptual skill is the ability to plan, coordinate and integrate all of the organisation’s interests and activities (upper levels).
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