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Tendencies Towards Developing a Unified Global Management Theory

Tendencies towards developing a unified global management theory may be classified into the following three categories:


(a) Historical tendencies.

(b) Conceptual tendencies

(c) Modem tendencies


Let us describe the major factors, comprised in each of the above stated three categories.


(a) Historical Tendencies


Some of the tendencies which favor the development of a global management theory and which have a historical origin or background are described below:


(i) System’s Approach to Managing:


System’s approach to managing, though thought to be new, is not really new. Scholars comment that it is something like old wine is a new bottle. The core of the concept of system’s approach is the recognition of the inter-relationships existing among various parts of an enterprise; and the relationship of the enterprise with the environment (i.e. the supra system). In fact, practitioners of management in the past also appreciated this sort of relationship and provided for it while managing their enterprises but. of course, without using the word system. Again, modem practitioners of management, the world over, manage by the system’s approach; as no manager can overlook the significance of interrelationship among various parts of their organization. Certainly then, the system’s approach to a managing is one of the building blocks, in developing an integrated global management theory.


(ii) Contingency or Situational Approach to Managing:


According to contingency or situational approach to managing, there is no universally accepted best way of managing all situations; the best system of managing depends on the realities of managerial situations. Intelligent managers in the past, always decided things, in view of the realities of the situation. Managers of to-day also, everywhere, appreciate and implement the contingency approach to managing; as this approach is nothing but common sense approach. Therefore, a universal belief by managers, everywhere, in the situational approach underpins the efforts involved in developing a unified global management theory.


(b) Conceptual Tendencies:


Some of the conceptual tendencies favoring the development of unified global management theory are described below:


(i) Popularity and use of principles of management:


There are a large number of principles of management concerning various managerial concepts and functional areas of management. Many management principles command universal recognition and implementation. Principles of management are popular and useful in that, it is easier to teach, do research and practice management; when one proceeds according to principles.


By testing the validity of existing principles, and developing new principles on the basis of empirical studies; scholars and researchers can provide a useful foundation on which to build a solid and unified global management theory. In fact, a theory of management could be built only around principles of management.


(ii) Operational School of Management – most popular way of structuring management knowledge:


Management textbooks based on operational school (i.e., analyzing managerial jobs in terms of functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling and co-coordinating) are used around the word. Practicing managers, everywhere, concern themselves with functions of planning, directing, controlling etc; while performing their managerial jobs in real life situations. Though may schools of management have grown in the present-day-times and many more are likely to emerge in future; there is no doubt that operational school will continue to retain its dominance over other school of management thought.


As such, the operational school is likely to provide the cementing force to efforts engaged in developing a unified global management theory.


(iii) Confluence of leadership and motivation concepts

(Confluence means the fact of two or more things becoming one).


Motivation is not only the heart of management; it is also the core of the process of leadership an exercise through which the manager (acting as a leader) tries to influence the behavior of subordinates, for an enthusiastic attainment of groups objectives. In fact, a leader is a flop till he I she is able to motivate subordinates; so that the subordinates see in the leader the means of attaining their personal objectives.


There is no controversy over the role of a manager moulded into a leader. Further, leader’s main weapon is the motivational technique. Hence, the confluence of leadership and motivation, which is just conceptual (and not newly innovated); provides a useful building block in developing a unified global management theory.


(c) Modern Tendencies


Some of the modern tendencies favoring the developing of a unified global management theory are described below:


(i) MNCs Management Practices


Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) management practices, provide the modern building blocks for developing a unified global management theory. While making decisions in areas of planning, organizing, leading and controlling; managements of MNCs must deal with new and different situations characteristic of many cultural perspectives, nations, governments, labor unions and other factors in the global area. Hence, management concepts, principles and techniques followed by MNCs may provide useful pillars to support the building of a unified global theory of management.


(ii) Case study approach to management education


Case study approach to imparting management education is rather new. It seeks to bridge the gulf between theory and practice of management. In case study approach, management knowledge and experience are imparted to students, trainees and others by analyzing international management cases, of diverse natures. Distilling basics of management from analyses of leading management cases is certainly going to make useful building material available for developing a unified global management theory.


(iii) Emphasis on behavioral approach to managing


Behavioral approach to managing is a positive contribution of the neo-classical approach to management. Now-a-days, behavioral approach, emphasizing on interpersonal and inter-group behavioral patterns, is being increasingly used in all functions of management i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.


Managers, in all leading organizations, all over the world, realize as to how difficult it is to understand and modify human behavior, for organizational purposes. New fields of managing which are emerging in view of the recognition of the behavioral aspects of managing are – Organizational Development (OD) and Organizational Behavior (OB).



Fundamentals of OD and OB are likely, to make meaningful contributions towards developing a unified global management theory.


(iv) Professionalization of Management


Management is getting professionalized, more and more, day-by-day everywhere, in the world. There is no doubt that professional managers follow a more comprehensive and broad-minded approach to managing enterprises. Innovation by, and experience of, professional managers is likely to make positive contributions towards developing a unified global management theory.


(v) Technological Revolution


Technology in the world is getting so much advanced now-a-days, that experts speak of a ‘technological revolution’ – the commercial world is passing through. Experts, researchers, and practitioners recognize the impact of technology on organizational structure, organizational behavior and may other aspects, having a bearing on managerial effectiveness.


Efforts of managers in coping with new technological implications, may provide useful hints for developing managerial concepts and techniques; which might be utilized in developing a unified global management theory.


(vi) Environment of Global Competition


In an environment of global competition, many co-operations feel problems of their survival, not the speak of growth. This problem applies to corporate enterprises (especially tiny enterprises) all over the world. Managements of many countries can contribute, under the circumstances, to management theory and practice, by suggesting hints for more effective planning, flexible approach to organizing, better management of human resources etc. – as means for ensuring survival and prosperity amidst globally increasing intense competitive conditions. Such suggestions of leading managements, all over the world, can provide building material for developing a unified global management theory.


(vii) Glossary of Management Concepts and Terms


(Glossary means a list of technical or special words, in a particular context, explaining their meanings).


One of the greatest obstacles in developing a unified global management theory has been the problem of semantics. Management people, authors, researchers etc. tend to use the same terms in different ways or use different terms for the same concept. Fortunately, the Fellows of the International Academy of Management (comprising management scholars and leaders, from over thirty countries) have undertaken the development of a glossary of management terms and concepts, in a number of languages. Such glossary may be a great aid in developing in unified global management theory.