Schools of Mgmt Th - EM 660 Engineering Management Theory...

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EM 660 Engineering Management Theory Lecture 1 Handout The following is excerpted from: “Making Sense of Management Theory” by Harold Koontz In the somewhat immature field of the science management there have been a plethora of theories both substantiated with empirical data and not, which have caused confusion and misinterpretation. I will, at the risk of over simplification classify and describe the six schools of management thought. I. The Management Process School – This approach to management theory perceives management as a process of getting things done by people who operate in organized groups. By analyzing the process, establishing a conceptual framework for it, and identifying the principles underlying the process, this approach holds a particular theory of management. It regards management as a process that is essentially the same whether in business, government, or any other enterprise, and which involves the same process whether at the level of president or foreman in a given enterprise. It does, however, recognize that the environment of management differs widely between enterprises and levels. According to this school, management theory is seen as a way of summarizing and organizing experience so that practice can be improved. This school bases its approach to management theory on several fundamental beliefs. Specifically: Managing is a process that can best be dissected intellectually by analyzing the manager’s functions. Long experience with management in a variety of enterprise situations can be grounds for the distillation of certain fundamental truths or generalizations – usually referred to as principles that have a clarifying and predictive value in the understanding and improvement of managing. These fundamental beliefs can become focal points for useful research both to ascertain their validity and to improve their meaning and application in practice. Such beliefs can furnish elements, at least until disproved, of a useful theory of management. Managing is an art, but like medicine or engineering, one which can be improved by reliance on sound underlying principles. Principles in management, like principles in the biological and physical sciences, are
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2009 for the course EM 660 taught by Professor Utley during the Fall '06 term at University of Alabama - Huntsville.

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Schools of Mgmt Th - EM 660 Engineering Management Theory...

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