Read the text and speak on the basic task, origins and functions of management.



From the history of management

Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money. According to the management guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005), the basic task of a management is twofold: marketing and innovation. Practice of modern management owes its origin to the 16th century enquiry into low-efficiency and failures of certain enterprises, conducted by the English statesman Sir Thomas More (1478-1535). As a discipline, management consists of the interlocking functions of formulating corporate policy and organizing, planning, controlling, and directing an organization’s resources to achieve the policy’s objectives.

Text 2

Read the text and explain with what other sciences management is connected and what methods and techniques it uses.

Management science

Management science is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics devoted to optimal decision planning, with strong links with economics, business, engineering, and other sciences. It uses various scientific research-based principles, strategies, and analytical methods including mathematical modeling and statistics to improve an organization’s ability to enact rational and meaningful management decisions by arriving at optimal solutions to complex decision problems. In short, management science helps businesses to achieve their goals using the scientific methods of operational research.

The techniques of management science are not restricted to business applications but may be applied to military, medical, public administration, charitable groups, political groups or community groups.

Text 3

Read the text and say what a systemic approach is and why it is so important for management.

Systems theory

The systems framework is fundamental to organizational theory as organizations are complex, dynamic and goal-oriented processes. Kurt Lewin was particularly influential in developing the systems perspective within organizational theory and coined the term “systems of ideology”.

A systemic view on organizations is transdisciplinary and integrative. The systems approach gives primacy to the interrelationships, not to the elements of the system. It is from these dynamic interrelationships that new properties of the system emerge. In recent years, systems thinking has been developed to provide techniques for studying systems in holistic ways to supplement traditional reductionistic methods. In this more recent tradition, systems theory in organizational studies is considered by some as a humanistic extension of the natural sciences.

Text 4

Read the text and speak on a key principle and rules of brainstorming.

Brainstorming

“Brainstorming” is a term used to describe finding a solution to a problem. Brainstorming is a technique with specific rules and procedures. It is really more of an idea-generation technique than a “solution” technique. Brainstorming is a technique that is used to develop a list of possible solutions to a problem. When individual members collectively use their past experiences to solve a common group problem, richer and better solutions arrive. That is a key principle of brainstorming.

The problem-solving process involves several distinct steps. The first step is problem definition, followed by the generation of alternative solutions, selection of an alternative, implementation of the alternative, and evaluation and feedback. The chosen solutions should be legal and ethical, some are routine and some are creative. Alex F. Osborn, the father of brainstorming, has worked out the following rules for brainstorming:

1. Groups should consist of five to seven people.

2. Everybody should be given the chance to contribute.

3. No criticism should be allowed during the idea-generation step.

4. Freewheeling and outlandish ideas should be encouraged.

5. “Piggybacking” off others’ ideas should be encouraged.

6. The greater the quantity and variety of ideas, the better.

7. Each idea should be evaluated in terms of the pros and cons, costs and benefits, feasibility, etc.

With brainstorming, people should feel free to suggest any ideas that come to their minds. All ideas should be recorded. An unobvious, outstanding, and one-in-a-million solution might be discovered.

Text 5


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