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Fundamentals of Management

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During my first weeks studying the Fundamentals of Management I realized how important managers are in today’s society. Not only because they are responsible for the decisions taken by a company, but also because they coordinate all the employees work and they try to achieve the business purpose in the best possible way. Today’s managers can look at more than 100 years of development of management that can help them to make important decisions. Managers also need to study the general and competitive environment in order to stay up to date with the changes. They can use PESTEL (I.e. Politics, Economics, Socio-cultural, Technological, Environmental, Legal) analysis to study and understand the external environment, the SWOT analysis to classify the internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the firm and Porter’s 5 forces (1979) to analyze the competitiveness of the business environment.

Furthermore, Mintzberg recognized that managers have different tasks depending on the situation. Thus he divided them in three groups:

Informational: managers share their knowledge and are active in the business meetings and personal relations. Include Monitor, Disseminator and Spokespersons.

Interpersonal: the manager interact with the employees in order to achieve organizational goals and includes Figurehead, Leaders and Liaison

Decisional: managers defend the business interests, start and improve a new project. Part of the group are Negotiators and Entrepreuners

During 1900-1925, managers approach to management was just about productivity. They trained employees in a way that they could produce more following defined procedures (assembly line production) and providing them with financial incentives. This scientific management model was published in Taylor’s book (1911) and then used by Henry Ford (1863–1947) in his car factory. I used to believe that this was the best method to produce more: employees get used to do the same activity everyday and were able to do the job faster, however, now I consider that this model was not only boring and repetitive, but it does not show any concern about the employees.

Then, Max Weber (1864-1920) adapted the company’s needs to the social changes and came up with a new theory: the Internal process model.

This model is characterized by a set of rules and regulations that everyone in the company must follow. A hierarchy system was adopted and everything was documented in order to better organize the company. However, the internal process model resulted slow, not flexible and not applicable to every company. In my opinion, this model is barely suitable for a 21st century business because today’s environment is changing too fast while bureaucracy is known to be slow.

Mayo’s (1880–1949) human relations model was a new revolutionary theory. Mayo’s Hawthorne experiments focused on studying the psychological and social needs of his employees. He thought that if workers are encouraged to actively participate in the business, they will be more productive and this will reflect in a higher quality of work. He conducted various experiments about the working environment

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