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ARCHIVES  July 2006, Week 2

ARCHIVES July 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Query + Fwd: Maarja again Re: Improving staff morale

From:

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Reply-To:

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Date:

Thu, 13 Jul 2006 12:04:16 -0400

Content-Type:

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text/plain (88 lines)

This is a great discussion, I'm really enjoying the glimpses at 
experiences people have had, good and bad!

Does anyone know of a good book that looks at management theory from 
the historians' viewpoint?  I'm thinking of an examination of the 
managment theory from Frederick Taylor's "scientific management" in 
1911 through Total Quality Management, job process re-engineering, and 
more recent initiatives.  I'm interested in both the history and the 
theory.  I've never studied it formally but have been doing some 
reading on my own.  This discussion has whetted my appetitite for more. 
  Please reply to me OFF LIST and thanks in advance for any suggested 
books!

One thinks of the 1950s as being the era of the struggling protagonist 
in the "Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (Sloan Wilson's 1955 book; 
Gregory Peck's 1956 movie).  On the other hand, some experts were 
thinking about what really was going on in the corporate world. And how 
to make that world work better, not just for the business, but for 
those working there.

Here are some more good observations from K. Brantley Watson's talk 
before ICAF in 1959, just as pertinent now as then.  I especially like 
the part about the limitations of an analytical, logical approach:

"In business we cut off our noses to spite our faces sometimes by 
saying [to subordinates]: 'The purposes of this business, when it comes 
to making a profit, are none of your business. Your business is to do 
this job. You let me run the organization.'

. . . .We have, as managers, a basic responsibility for [subordinates'] 
fundamental human well-being as members of this organization. And then 
the relationship, and the exercise of our management responsibility, 
becomes one not of controlling these people, suppressing them, keeping 
them in hand, but quite the opposite--of stimulating initiative; of 
encouraging suggestions, even critical comments that are constructive; 
of encouraging initiative and responsibility and the delegation of 
responsibility and participation; and encouraging all of the things 
that will make a person identify his effort with the basic purposes and 
objectives of our organization.

. . . .When we have a rigid, inflexible management organization, where, 
as I say, the chart itself is the criterion of relationships, and the 
lines are criteria and channels of communication, and the law is the 
printed specification -- all of that, don't misunderstand me, all of 
that is essential to good management -- but when we make it the basic 
criterion of management, then I say simply that psychologically we do 
not
realize the full potentialities of people. And so in all of our work I 
think our most important job as executives and managers is to establish 
the kind of climate, the kind of atmosphere, the kind of understanding, 
the kind of relationship which are of a co-operative nature; and on 
that basis, and on that basis alone, can we realize the full 
potentialities of people.

. . . .You know, where we -- and I refer to myself now, but I used to 
be teaching as a professor--make a serious mistake is because we're 
trained to be thoroughly logical, thoroughly analytical, thoroughly 
precise, so every little part of a situation just fits in perfectly. 
People don't behave that way. People behave as much by intuition and by 
stimulation and motivation of an indefinite sort as they do by the 
precise word of the order.

And we must take advantage of that by creating the kind of climate in 
which people are stimulated, in which they are motivated, in which they 
are enthusiastic, in which they feel that they are part of this thing.  
That affects communications, which is a most important skill and a most 
important requirement of good management."

Maarja



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