Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Social Sciences in Management Education

Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Social Sciences in Management Education

Article excerpt


Management of today's organisations unquestionably faces several major challenges - globalization, information technology explosion, cultural diversity of workforce, flexible structure, to name a few. But, as always, management of human resources of the organisation remains the major challenge and more so in the changing environment. Currently, fierce competitions between organizations are compelling managers to strive towards better standards of performance and achieve excellence in all spheres of its operations. The technological and human components of work are inextricably blended and therefore brings forth major shift in organizational philosophy. In this scenario, the examination of areas and scope of management education assumes considerable significance.

Management is always about people; its essence is dealing with human nature (Hofstede, 1999), The human resources of the organization and how they are managed represent the competitive advantage of today's and tomorrow's organizations (Pfeffer, 1998). Because the nature of job and work is drastically changing and businesses are valued according to their contributions to the local and global communities, present and future management professionals cannot survive on their technical expertise alone. The conceptual and human dimensions of management are increasingly becoming more important.

Concept of Management

The dominant conception of a manager, as advanced by consultants, business schools and professionals themselves, is of a technocrat, competent at rational problem solving and calculated decision making. Managers are conceived purely in economic terms - those,, who fail to translate their values into purely economical gains, are considered as failures. In other words, management education is conceived solely as training in the management of an economy. This economic conception and mindset prioritizes short term over long term interests and monetary gains and profits are treated as sole measure of welfare for all (Hendry, 1999). The less measurable but more meaningful goals of personal and social development and well being are driven out. A company or the organization is conceived solely as an economy and not as a community as well. The traditional bureaucracy and scientific management philosophy still forms a part of the idea of management education and practice.

The Changing Scenario

Both business schools and technological institutes, in prioritising the so called, useful and economic value and in neglecting humanities, are adopting almost an out-of-synch model of business enterprise. Business today is increasingly moving away from traditional bureaucratic structures and moving closer towards individualistic market-oriented cultures. The economy is characterized by a high rate of technological progress involving new high tech products. The widespread utilization Tof computers and Information Technology has revolutionized the organization of business and Government bureaucracies.

These organizations put a premium on workers who can precisely hold together the operations - balancing and directing the diverse entrepreneurial energies and interests towards a common end. The technical problem solving is carried out generally through skilled technicians and professionals today. The more significant role of a manager is to relate models to real life situations work well with other members of the team or with clients and analyze the changes in labour demand and organizational revolutions accompanying the adoption of new technologies.

With broader and flexible job definitions, extended networks and diverse communication channels, and self operating work teams, the functions and role of manager is changing from that of a contributor to more of a facilitator. The core of the challenge is to combine enterprise with humanity, to channel and direct the entrepreneurial energies that are being released so as to serve both the needs of the organization and of the society at large. …

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