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'Management: 1a) The control and making of decisions in a business or similar organisations' (Oxford advanced learner's dictionary, 1999: 712).

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Introduction

'Management: 1a) The control and making of decisions in a business or similar organisations' (Oxford advanced learner's dictionary, 1999: 712). This is the general definition of management. In this modern world today, there are many well-established profit and non-profit organisations. This information technology age has created a world with no boundaries where communication is never a problem and conducting a business is easier than ever. However, the ever-expanding organisations now have a more complex structure and competitions are greater than ever. Hence, all organisations today are seeking effective managers, and the quality of management is a key element of business success. Most successful managers today apply Henri Fayol's and Henry Mintzberg's ideas directly or indirectly. Henri Fayol's idea on the management functions created the framework for most of the organisations today. He introduced the five management functions, which includes planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling (Lamond, 1998: p 10). However, Fayol has been criticised by Mintzberg as it provides only vague managerial objectives. As an alternative, Mintzberg proposed ten management roles, which consist of three interpersonal roles (figurehead, liaison, and leader), three informational roles (monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson) ...read more.

Middle

She practices Mintzberg's idea on monitor (Jarvis, 2000). In a real life situation, MASkargo's senior general manager, J.J. Ong, practices monitor too by monitoring the oil prices and the supply and demand on a day to day basis to see if the business should increase their pricing (Nathan, 29 March 2003). Sam reports about the outcome of her complaints to the CEO and about the rising meat price. She too decided to put up the matter about the staffing on the agenda for next week's meeting. She plays the disseminator role by transmitting information received from outside source to the members of the organisation, which is one of Mintzberg's theories in both situations (Robbins et al, 2003, p 12). When Sam had the trouble with the staffing, she was practising both disturbance handler role and resource allocator role by Mintzberg. She was organising strategies to overcome the problem and wanted to allocate her staffs using a staff roster (I bid). Sam also discussed the meat price rise with the CEO, which could have impact on her budget and proved that she was practicing the disturbance handler role (I bid). ...read more.

Conclusion

Based on the definition of the above management theories and the relationship between the theories and the case study, there is a distinction between the rational-functional perspective of management and the social-reality perspective. Rational-functional perspective of management is more of the scientific approach of management. This means that there is an objective decision and productivity is more important. Whereas for social-reality perspective, the arts approach of management is more emphasised. Decisions are often subjective and there are social coalitions between stakeholders. Hence, "management is not an exact science, but rather is a mix of art, scientific methodology, intuition, investigation, and, most of all, experimentation" (Miller and Vaughan, 2001: 11). In conclusion, based on the case study, Fayol's management functions and Mintzberg's management roles can help to understand the rational-functional perspective and social-reality perspective of management. The management functions and roles shows the responsibility and duties of a manager meanwhile the rational-functional perspective and social-reality perspective of management are used to build organisations and guide them towards the organisation's goals. It is also a conceptual framework for organising knowledge and it provides a blueprint for action. By applying Fayol's and Mintzberg's theories, the managers can have a guideline for their managing, getting things done through people and can use the management theories to assist their work. ...read more.

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