At the beginning of the course students were exposed to organizational management theory and how theories evolved with the changing business climate. Theory went from focusing on operational efficiency to people centric models of resource distribution. Students learned that the role of the manager is to translate and implement the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of an organization into functional processes, procedures and rules.
In the 20th century many business managers adopted Fayol’s five pillars of management to assist them in their job. Hence, many organizations tend to use these tenets as their foundation for management systems. Also discussed in week’s one and two is the notion that contemporary business organizations are taking on a more collaborative environment to cope with the need for quick decision making to deal with change. Contemporary management theories suggest that management must be more organic in nature to create the competitive advantage.
The 21st century manager must be an “agile manager” in order to address the dynamic nature of conducting business in a transitional business environment. The “agile manager” seeks to combine the traditional functions of management as proposed by Fayol with the contemporary theories of management to help create a collaborative environment needed for creating a competitive advantage for a business. In past weeks’ students have learned how the POLC operates within business.
This week students will examine how the theories of systems thinking and agile management suggest ways to combine the POLC with the demands of the highly charged dynamic environment of the 21st century.
Theme 1: Systems thinking is a model of decision making that helps organizations change and adapt. For example, a person may look at trees, creatures, foliage, and water to know the forest. The trees, foliage, creatures and water is the system that comprise the forest. Applying this approach to business requires one to view the entirety of an organization as a complete system with integrated complex components. For a business to function successfully, the systems within an organization must have interaction and a connection between the components of the system. A highly functioning business system continually exchanges feedback with its parts and systems to ensure that each remains aligned to accomplish of the goal of the system and ultimately the business.
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