Introduction_to_Management_Notes - Page 1 of 10 MGT...

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Page 1 of 10 MGT 3200 (CHAPTER 1) INVITATION TO MANAGEMENT A) WHAT IS MANAGEMENT? Management is catholic. In other words, it is universal. It’s everywhere. We talk about managing on the job; managing the home; managing the family budget; managing one’s career; etc. 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 efficiency. 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 efficiency. 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. Poor 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 management. 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.
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Page 2 of 10 Management can also be considered a science. (You may hear it called a “bastard”
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Introduction_to_Management_Notes - Page 1 of 10 MGT...

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