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10 Introduction It is a common understanding that a managers role is to manage But how do they manage in todays rapidly changing world How do they resolve problems that they have never faced before Can managers still apply the rational analysis the management theory the problem solving and decision-making methods into practice To answer the above questions we need to understand the meaning of management the characteristic of todays organizational life and the relation between theories and practices As defined by Richard L Daft in Management Sixth Edition 2003 Management is the attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning organizing leading and controlling organizational resourcesP5 Thus to be successful managers should be able to achieve the organizational goal effectively and efficiently According to Henri Fayols description what managers do is plan organize coordinate direct and control Henri Fayol 1949 This description provides a broad overview of managerial activities but it is also very general and does not give us a sense of what managers do every day Gregory M Bounds Gregory H Dobbins Oscar S Fowler 1995 P7 Therefore Henry Mintzberg who followed managers around and recorded all their activities Henry Mintzberg 1973 worked out the answer for what managers actually do to plan organize lead and control - the description of managerial work that included three general characteristics and ten roles Interpersonal figurehead leader liaison Informational monitor disseminator spokesman and Decisional Roles entrepreneur disturbance handler resource allocator negotiator Bounds et al 1995 P8-9 The two descriptions are just different ways of looking at management Todays ambiguous and uncertain organizational life has created difficulty for managers to achieve organizational goals effectively and efficiently 11 Todays managers face ambiguous uncertain and complex situations Uncertainty means the manager has insufficient information to know the consequences of different actions Thomas S Bateman Scott A Snell 1996 P83 Ambiguity means that the goals
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