BUAD 801: Management Theory & Practice Registration Number: DP17MBA0967
Management seen as a multifaceted elephant is a figurative connotation and should be connoted as the multidisciplinary and expansive nature of management.
Management can be referred to as a system which specifies and organizes people working in an environment where definite task can be achieved. The Management concept originates from 5000B.C. since the agricultural revolution. The industrial revolution gave birth to the emergence of management, with changes to a new manufacturing process from manual production. Specialization, standardization, synchronization, maximization, and centralization are the five main characteristics of the industrial revolution. The evolution of management thought is associated with political, economic and social forces. The two important approaches that have been developed in other to study management are the classical and modern approaches. The classical approach is further subdivided into three namely, the scientific management, administrative management and bureaucratic management. The three approaches elucidated by the modern approach are namely the quantitative approach, system approach, and the contingency approach. The multifaceted nature of management is also visible in its number of contributors. The notable scholars with many varying contributions in the field of management are Charles Babbage, Fredrick W. Taylor, Henry Laurence Gantt, Henri Fayol, Robert Owen, Max Webber, and George E. Mayo. The lean management and just in time concept are the latest trends in management. The 5s, Six sigma, and Kaizen are other impressive developments in management. The waste eliminating technique to improve production efficiency in organizations is referred to as the 5S which are made of Japanese words starting with ‘S.’ Developed by Motorola in 1986 a technique used by firms for improving quality to meet perfection is the six sigma. While Kaizen means change or improvement for better in Japanese words. It is a philosophical underpinning emphasizing continuous improvement in engineering, manufacturing and business processes.
Harold Koontz in 1961 publication “The Management Theory Jungle”, was as a result of the inquiry into why brilliant academics had come up with such diverse findings and council concerning the field of management. At the time the theoretical assumptions about management submerged into different school of thoughts. Twenty years later in 1980 precisely Koontz discovered after repeating his exercise that the different approaches in management had increased from six to eleven. Many other scholars have observed and critiqued the variations and specializations that have proliferated research and teaching in management
after Koontz’ publications. Whitley in 1984 highlighted the fragments and proliferation of diffuse and unlinked ideas, objectives and techniques with multiple research interpretations as a function in management. Furthermore, In 1995 Donaldson saw the field of organizational theory consisting of multiple incompatible theoretical paradigms which negated one another rather than consolidation of associated paradigms.
However, few management intellects like Cheit in 1991 have suggested that the ongoing fragmentation of management curricula into less, focused sub systems and knowledge must be stopped by establishing a new order or bringing the different approaches into main school of thoughts or to a single approach (Donaldson suggests structural contingency theory). Also interdisciplinary educational and research programs in management schools could be established. Though this call for a new consensus may sound simple, specialization and differentiation in knowledge production are rigorous in the higher institution systems of advanced societies. Knights and Willmott in 1997 stated that notwithstanding the high demand for interdisciplinary research and teaching over decades past, management and business schools should be compelled to further value and further encourage cross-disciplinarily endeavors in management. Normatively this discussion frustrations lies in the inability to establish a clear demarcated body of knowledge for communicating a common ground for disciplines to meet unilaterally. Interdisciplinary work in management studies is propagated due to notion of discomfort in the status quo of the field of management and with the faith of the coming of a new dawn of knowledge far above the current fragmentation of the field.