MGT 3200 (CHAPTER 1)
INVITATION TO MANAGEMENT
WHAT IS MANAGEMENT?
Management is catholic.
In other words, it is universal.
We talk about
managing on the job; managing the home; managing the family budget; managing one’s
Management, however, is a relatively young field and as such, many of its
terms and concepts have yet to be standardized.
In terms of defining what management
is, there is no single, universally accepted definition.
But for our purposes, we will
define management as the process of achieving desired results through the efficient
utilization of human and material resources (Bedeian, 1993).
The above definition of management points out two key concerns in managing others: 1)
effectiveness and 2) efficiency.
Effectiveness is concerned with doing the right thing at
the right time in the right way.
In other words, it’s concerned with goal attainment.
Efficiency, on the other hand, is concerned with reducing waste or minimizing resource
costs since many resources are scarce (i.e., money, good people, equipment).
That is, it’s
concerned with getting more bang for the buck such as increasing outputs while
maintaining the same level of inputs or keeping the same level of outputs while
decreasing the level of inputs.
So, effectiveness is concerned with the ENDS and
efficiency is concerned with the MEANS to those ends.
These two goals are related in that it’s much easier to be effective if one disregards
For example, Seiko could produce more accurate and attractive timepieces if
it disregarded labor costs and material input costs.
Conversely, it becomes increasingly
more difficult to be effective when one becomes more and more concerned with
For example, a state university will find it very difficult to give its students a
high quality education if it has a shoe-string budget.
Just because organizations are efficient does not necessarily make them effective.
Sometimes organizations can do the wrong things well!
However, high efficiency is
more typically associated with high effectiveness than with low effectiveness.
management is most often due to both ineffectiveness and inefficiency or effectiveness
achieved through inefficiency.
The hallmark of good management is effectiveness
combined with efficiency.
But remember out of the two: effectiveness is more critical.
The definition of management also points out another major fact concerning
That is, the only way a manager gets things accomplished in an
organization is through other people.
A manager’s performance is contingent upon the
performance of people underneath him/her.
As the old saying goes “you’re only as good
as the people underneath you.”
Thus, as a manager, it’s your human resources that are
your most important resources.
In fact, this is something that we need to learn from the
Japanese who put a premium on developing their human resources.