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Can Management be Taught?

Good morning, respected sir and my dear friends. Today, I’m going to present on the topic – ‘Can Management be Taught? ‘ Before starting with the topic, I would like to ask you what is management? Management is a set of activities (including planning and decision making, organizing, leading, and controlling) directed at an organization’s resources (human, financial, physical, and information) with the aim of achieving organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner. Everyone sitting in this room carries in his eyes the dream to become future Phillip Morris and Henry Ford.

But do the managers actually apply what they learn from academics, in real life business situations or is it only the work experience that counts to become a successful manager. To find out answer to this question I have interviewed three managers from different industrial sectors. The sample questionnaire provided to them is as follows – Due to certain restrictions I cannot disclose their names. Hence, I will name them as Mr. A, Mr. B, and Mr. C. Let me give you a brief introduction about these individuals – Mr. A is a Senior Manager in Information Technology Dept.of National Investment Company (W. L. L. ).

He has six

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years of experience in this company. He had completed his graduation, in business field from Bombay University. Mr. B is a Manager of National Bank of Abu Dhabi. He has two years of experience in this bank and has recently finished his MBA from University of Wollongong, Dubai. Mrs. C is a Human Resource Specialist in Al Tayer Group of Companies. She has three years of experience in this organization and had done her MBA in Human Resource from Bombay University.

To start with the questionnaire, the first question I asked them was that if they are of the opinion that academic qualifications are very important to be a successful manager, along with work experience. All of them had a positive answer. The next question was regarding which principle, according to them, should be followed by managers. * Mr. A answered that every manager should have an objective or a goal and perform actions and ‘walk-backward’ to check if desired objects are achieved.

According to Mr. B business conditions keep changing and he has to change strategies accordingly, hence there isn’t any hard and fast rule but yes management is a continuous process. * Mrs. C believes that the basic principle would be P. O. D. C, i. e. Planning, Organizing, Directing and Control. Though Mr. B said that management is a continuous process, it indirectly does imply that one should first plan and then control and take either corrective action and plan again for the future.

Next I asked them to quote some examples from their daily experiences, in which they have applied these management principles. The example given by Mr. A was very enlightening. He told that since he is in the IT dept. he is made responsible for anti-virus programs. To develop a strong system he has purchased the best anti-virus software available in the market and properly installed it to the company network (this is planning and performing actions).

And after this the first thing in the morning he does is to see to it that the program is running properly and that it is also update it regularly (this is control). Mr. B replied that while marketing investments, he does not do it overnight, but with thorough research and on a continuous basis. Mrs. C gave an example relating to performance appraisal. She told that the process involves planning out different ways of performance appraisal and deciding on who is going to be appraised and who are going to appraise their performances.

It also involves co-ordination with line managers and organizing different kinds of workshops for the staff. This is organizing. Next comes reviewing each individual and issuing relevant orders, either to promote or to provide training etc. This is directing and lastly controlling by checking whether the person in the new position can perform his job efficiently. By analyzing all these experiences, I have also started thinking that core of management lies in the principle of P. O. D. C. And by following this principle on a continuous basis I’m sure a manager would be successful.

Next I asked them their opinion on ethics and is it important for business houses to follow an ethical behavior. Before seeing the answers, lets first see what is ethics. Ethics is a study of moral obligation involving right versus wrong. Enron Corporation would be the best example to showcase an unethical behavior. It goes like this, last September top management assured Enron employees and shareholders that the company was healthy. Simultaneously the top management were selling their own shares of Enron stock and protecting their personal fortunes.

Many employees lost 70 to 90 percent of their retirement savings. They were forced to hold their Enron shares from October 16 to November 13 while the stock value plummeted. Also, in October, Enron’s accountant Arthur Anderson started shredding thousands of documents concerning Enron’s audits. On December 2, Enron laid off 4,000 employees and filed for bankruptcy. It was also discovered that the company had one billion in hidden debt over the past five years. Do you think what the company did was ethical?

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