Myth of managment

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Making decision is, om the one hand, one of the most fastinating mamifestations of biological activity and, on the other hand, a matter of terrifying for the whole of the human race. Althought this activity is both fascinating and awesome, it is difficult to find a satisfactory name for it in any of the common languages. In English we use terms as manager, administrator, executive or simple decision maker. Yet each of these terms fails someone to capture the true significance of the human being. Because we need a label to conduct our discussion, I shall risk choosing the term manager and being to say some things that will generalize on this term beyond its ordinary usage in English.

The manager is the man who decides among alternative choises. He must decide which choise he believes will lead to a certain desired objectives. But his decision is not an abstract one, because it creates a type of reality. The maneger is the man with the magic that enables him to create in the world a state of affairs that would not have occured except for him. We say that the manger is one who has the authority to make such choices. He is also a person who has the responsibility for the choises he has made in the sense that rest of his fellow men may judge wheter he should be rewarded or punished for his choises; he is the person who justifiably is the object of praise or blame.

So broad a description of the manager makes managers of us all. It is a common failing of the labels that language applies to things that they may be generalized to encompass everything, as philosophers have long recognized in the case of such labels as matter and mind. It takes no great sophomoric talent to see that the world is basically matter and that everything could be reduced thereto. Nor does it take any great astuteness to see that everything a human being recognizes any great astuteness to see that everything a human being recognizes as natural reality os the product of some mind or collection of minds. So, too, the label manager may become appropriately applied to practically everything or at least to every human, once we describe the manager as someone having the authority and responsibility for making choises. I am interested in the broad aspect of desicion making, but for present purposes I want to add one more stipulation that makes the label manager less general. This is the stipulation that managerial activity take place witthin a “system”: The manager must concern himself with interrelated parts of a complex arganization of activities, and he is responsible for the effectiveness of the whole system...

But even this further stipulation concerning the use of the label manager permits us to discribe many activities as management. It is true that in history of England and United States, the term management has often been narrowed to mean tha managing of mean the managing of industrial activities especially for the purpose of generating profit for an enterprise. In the connection management is contrasted with labor. In government actievities our use of term manager is often labelled administrator, and the term executive is often used to describe people who are given the legal authority to put into practice the law of the land. All these activities, wheter they be at the level of goverment or industry or education or health, or whatever, have a common groind which we wish to explore. The common ground is the burden of making choises about system improvement and the responsibility of responding to the choises made in a human envirovement in which there is bound to be opposition to what the manager has decided. Thus the head of a labor union, the state legislator. The head of a goverment agency, the foreman of a shop are all managers in our sense. So is a man in his own family a manager; so is the captain of a football team. Probably all of us some time or other in our lifes become managers when, because of oppointment to a committee or because of our political activities, we take on the authority and responsibility of making decisions in complex system. Managing is an activity of which we are all aware, and its consequences concern each one of us.

I said that managers must bear the burden of the burden of the decisison they make. I could have added, in more optimistic tone, that they enjoy the pleasure accompanying to make decisions. And certanly many managers in today`s society do find a great deal of phychic satisfaction in the role they play which society so clearly recognizes as important and which it credits with a great deal of prestige.