The direction and administration of an organization, estate or business.
The concept, in spite of an enormous quantity of publications of widely different scope and kind, remains quite fuzzy.
Various viewpoints appeared since the mid- 19th Century, when management was practized in a intuitive and generally authoritarian fashion.
So-called scientific management appeared next, with FAYOL and TAYLOR, whose views largely reflected the deterministic and mechanicist orientation of 1880-1930, with a dominant interest in quantitative efficiency and maximization of operative results.
Later on, economic and social influences seeped into management theories, according to the growing influence of working classes and the problems spawned by the big depression of the thirties.
The present situation seems to herald new and very deep conceptual changes, originating mainly in the growing instabilities resulting from accelerated technical change (including globalization by computers and telecommunications); differential evolution in different economic zones; population explosion (and, within few decades, universal ageing); and most recently the growing ecological problems.
The first result has been an explosion of partial solutions promoted by the so-called "gurus", most of them adressing symptoms more than causes and, in some cases, proposing "ways to do right the wrong things" (R.L. ACKOFF, 1995, p.43-6). In management, we are obviously suffering of overspecialized myopia.
It could not be said that systemics has completely resolved this issue. However, the global approach is powerfully present in P.B. CHECKLAND's Soft Systems Methodology; in J. WARFIELD's Interactive Management (and complementary Global Design Technique); in B. BANATHY's Co-participative Design; M. JACKSON's Total Systems Intervention and in J.A. JOHANNESSEN's Heterarchic-holographic model… to name only some very significant proposals.
Management cannot anymore be stripped of its more general human and ecological dimensions and becomes a most important and allembracing issue in systemics.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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