Chapter One: Introduction

The three most important management issues in a contemporary environment are change, technology and globalism. The four perspectives of management are the organisational context, the human factor, managing paradoxes and the entrepreneurial mind-set.

Management is a process involving planning, organising, deciding and evaluating. Planning involves estimating future conditions and circumstances. Organising involves systematically putting resources together. Deciding in the process of attempting to influence people to attain organisational objectives. Controlling is regulating the work of those whom a manager is responsible.

Mintzberg's managerial roles involves the categories of interpersonal, informational and decisional. Interpersonal includes figurehead, leadership and liaison. Informational involves monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson. Decisional involves entrepreneurial, disturbance-handler, resource-allocator and negotiator. Stewart characterised management (indeed, all roles) according to demands placed upon it, constraints placed upon and choices permitted in it. Management skills include technical, interpersonal and conceptual. As a manager advances in their level, the technical skills will decline and conceptual skills will increase. Interpersonal skills, which must be high to begin with, will remain static.

Management involves assembling and using sets of resources (human, material, financial and information). Management involves acting in a goal-orientated manner to complete tasks. Management involves activities carried out in an organisational setting. Managerial activities (such as planning, goal-setting) can occur in non-organisational settings, however management must involve other people. Therefore managers must be adept at assessing other people's capabilities, matching them with responsibilities, and motivating them.

Management requires simultaneously mastering multiple and potentially conflicting situations which will involve trade-offs. The process may require integration, but the activities are often fragmented and do not occur in a sequential fashion. There must be a continious search and exploitation of new opportunities; managers must develop an entrepreneurial mind-set which requires a commitment to constantly learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge.