Management Analysis in Public Organizations: History, Concepts, and Techniques

By Ray C. Oman; Stephen L. Damours et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Management Analysis Defined: Dilemmas and Opportunities in Organizations

U.S. organizations face many dilemmas as well as opportunities over the next decade. As discussed in the introduction, these dilemmas relate to problems of resource scarcity, such as tight budgets for many government agencies; increased competition for many private firms because of foreign competition; and a rapidly changing, even turbulent environment, brought on by poor management, obsolescence, and sectoral and regional changes. If organizations are to be successful and "hold their own," an even, balanced, and longer-term approach, based on sound management and organization principles, is necessary.

These trying times will call on the full range of managers' talents dealing with the gamut of classic management functions proposed by thinkers such as Henri Fayol1 and Luther Gulick, 2 including planning, organizing, directing, staffing, coordinating, reviewing, and budgeting (PODSCORB). 3 Although Henry Mintzberg in his book, The Nature of Managerial Work, 4 has characterized management in terms different from those of classic PODSCORB functions, citing the fragmentation and wide variety of the work, the role of managers in making decisions to run organizations is, if anything, accentuated. If one were to single out one aspect of a manager's job that could be thought of as most important, it would be decision making.

One of the characteristics of successful organizations is the ability to make good decisions. Decisions are key to organizational success because they establish the direction of the organization. Once a decision is made, the organization must live with it for a period of time. Further, decisions often provide the basis for the allocation of resources. A sound

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