Monday, March 9, 2009

Gen “why” – Because it is important - “Management 101 Refresher”


This is part one of a three-part refresher series to remember leadership history. “Those that do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”

I was talking to a group of highly competent, intelligent Gen Y mentees the other day with reference to “the days when Theory X was prevalent in aerospace…” I then took the time to explain Theory X and Y and Douglas McGregor. From that, I decided a good leader really does need to understand the pioneers of management, quality and leadership theory.

These are the management pioneers that most influenced my early thoughts about leading people while in college. I would describe all of the pioneers, but that would not be blog-like, therefore, each has a link to a more thorough source.
• 1911 Principles of Scientific Management, Fredrick Taylor
• 1943 Theory of Hierarchy of Needs, Abraham Maslow
• 1946 Concept of the Corporation, Peter Drucker
• 1954 The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker
• 1968 Motivation-Hygiene Theory, Fredrick Hertzberg
• 1933 The Social Problems of an Industrialised Civilization (Human Relations Theory Hawthorne Effort), Elton Mayo
• 1960 The Human Side of the Enterprise (Theory X/Theory Y), Douglas McGregor

For some of us, this is like a walk down memory lane. Others may not be as familiar with them. One thing for sure, we owe it to the people we mentor to help them build their foundations on the theories of the original pioneers.

Are there any pioneers you would have added to this list? Will you share it with your mentees?

24 comments:

Anthony Reardon said...

"I might contend this. No doubts there are benefits to the study of the pioneers, especially when you need to work with others who have been influenced by them. However, the theories are possibly outdated and quite simply being replaced with completely new approaches. I recently took a business class and learned about Theory X and Y managers. If I recall, one was established as a top down controlling approach with the assumption people were automotons like parts in a machine. The convention has since been criticized in favor of coaching and teamwork ideas to get the most out of groups of people who need to work together. The next generation just as well might be learning about multi-agent systems, complex adaptive systems, and the intelligence of autonomous and cooperative organizations. You've got other training in organizations referring to Command and Control doctrine, or I even just noted Command vs. Market Economy in my Macro class. The knowledge may make the previous theories actually irrelevant. I do think it is worthwhile to learn the previous systems of thought, but not necessarily because they are critical to learning how to manage. I think the knowledge can be compared for its deficiencies, and understanding of the likely strengths and weaknesses in an organization where modern solutions should be implemented, and for the lexicon of conventional ideas that will need to be worked through with people. Best, Anthony"

Stephen D. Case said...

"Good list, thanks. Added a few to my "To Read" list."

Tripp Babbitt said...

"Two I would add to the list W. Edwards Deming and John Seddon. Deming for the Japanese Industrial Miracle and discounting Taylor's ideas of functional specialism. John Seddon for his work with service industry. Good stuff."

Matt Smith said...

"John- Being someone who makes a living helping companies work with the younger generation, kudos on taking on some mentees. This generation lacks good role models (look at the headlines in today's media) and you're doing it. I think it is important to differentiate between foundational knowledge in management and leadership. In the true school of leadership, the classics you need are: John Garner- he wrote the book "Leadership" which really was the pioneering resource. James MacGregor Burns would be another god father of theory. Books that are foundational- Gardner- Servant Leadership Leader's Companion- This is a great compilation of theory and has all the major writers historically chronicled You should also temper the discussion with some of the newer minds like: Heifetz Collins Hesselbein We've noticed this generation really identifies with the company/individual story type accounts too...I call them the "CEO" books. Matt Smith Generation Why - www.generationwhy.com

Carol Mase said...

"Actually John I worry a bit about leaning on the past thinking. We are in a new era and need a new logic of business, commerce, and organization. It is probably to be found in today's new thinkers, Meg Wheatley, Fritjof Capra, and Peter Senge to name a few. I think Thomas Friedman stated the need for this earlier this week when he opened his column with the following: Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.” I am seeking biomimetic processes that we can apply to business in order to build resilience, longevity, and innovation that can last through the changes that nature has seen. We have a lot to learn from our mentees about a highly connected non-linear world. Hopefully they have the patience to teach us.

Eileen Flaherty said...

"That's a good starting list. I'd add Michael Porter (competitive advantage) and Robert Kaplan (balanced scorecard). A good site is [http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3www%2Evaluebasedmanagement%2Enet*3/wGmB?_t=tracking_disc] -- which has links to management methods, models and theories plus their hall of fame thought leaders. [http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/leaders

Prabhu Sankaran said...

"I would add prominent economists Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, JP Morgan to the list. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Adam_Smith/R8st?_t=tracking_disc] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Milton_friedman/TwsK?_t=tracking_disc] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JP_Morgan|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3JP_Morgan/jeFh?_t=tracking_disc] and also living globalization experts like Thomas Friedman (author of The world is Flat) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Thomas_Friedman/eayi?_t=tracking_disc] I would also add Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt (father of Theory of Constraints) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliyahu_Goldratt|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Eliyahu_Goldratt/igwZ?_t=tracking_disc]"

Klint Kendrick, MBA, SPHR said...

"This type of list seems incomplete without considering J. Stacy Adams Equity Theory ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_theory|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Equity_theory/lZ_x?_t=tracking_disc]), or Vroom's Expectancy Theory ([http://www.12manage.com/methods_vroom_expectancy_theory.html|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3www%2E12manage%2Ecom*3methods_vroom_expectancy_theory%2Ehtml/yVPQ?_t=tracking_disc]). I'm working on a 2nd masters degree, part of which has been researching retention issues for minorities and Millennials (Gen Y). A review of the literature finds that most needs-based motivation theories (Maslow, Herzberg, Adams) are heavily influenced by culture, so it's important for managers to understand that what motivates one employee or group of employees may not motivate other employees or employee groups."

Donald Fish said...

"[http://web.cba.neu.edu/~ewertheim/introd/history.htm|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3web%2Ecba%2Eneu%2Eedu*3%7Eewertheim*3introd*3history%2Ehtm/miCM?_t=tracking_disc] This link is a summary of history and I thought matched up well with your references. Does it seem odd to anyone that we don't have a primary course in behavior in high school?"

Caren Goldberg, Ph.D. said...

"My .02 here would be to take out the Maslow stuff - For some reason, almost every intro text seems to feel compelled to nod to Maslow, yet there is no evidence to support the hierarchy and there is a lot of disagreement about what self-actualization really means. On the motivation front, there is a lot more support for what we call "process theories" such as Equity Theory (Adams) and Expectancy Theory (Vroom) than there are for "content theories" such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and to a lesser extent, Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory."

Keith Porter MSBA (USMC Ret.) said...

"Can I disagree with a Ph.D. (hey that rhymes)? I believe Maslow has its place. I can remember my psych instructor introducing Maslow to the class."

Andrew Webster said...

"I appreciate the caution of "leaning" on past thinking, but also like the idea learning from the past. I'll throw a pioneer on the list that satisfies the criteria that John's figures were weighed against, and also offers us some biomimetic possibilities. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Wright_(game_designer|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3en%2Ewikipedia%2Eorg*3wiki*3Will_Wright_%28game_designer/my6V?_t=tracking_disc]) Will Wright is the creator of "The Sims", "Spore", and innumerable other games that appeal to Gen Y and others. Game theory and the evolutionary concepts in Spore are breathing life into biomimicry for emerging generations."

Caren Goldberg, Ph.D. said...

"Of course you can disagree (plenty of people do) - presumably, we're all here to share _different_ views. My point was that most people learn about Maslow in their psych classes (and in their management classes, and in their marketing classes, and in their leadership classes.... you get the idea), but there are no studies to support the notion that people seek to have their needs met in a hierarchical manner and plenty of studies that support the notion that they do not seek to meet their needs hierarchically. So, I feel as though people are so over-exposed to Maslow that they don't question the research findings or even their personal experience/observation (haven't you ever sought higher level needs when you were hungry?) - they've learned about him in so many places that they take it as a given that his assumptions are tenable, despite an abundance of research that points otherwise."

Donald Fish said...

"I would think that many studies are inconclusive with respect to a predominant behavior or mode. The studies show tendencies but most would agree that the conditions/circumstances, status and characteristics of the individual under which a behavior is observed is variable. Malsow is not alone in making observations that are subjective based on insufficient objective information."

Keith Porter MSBA (USMC Ret.) said...

"I never thought that Maslow applied to instantaneous points in time. I thought Maslow's idea was just a framework and not an end all be all. For example, after creating an outline, you then complete the paper, although in the end the original outline structure may have been changed to get to the final product. Also didn't Maslow say that his heirarchy was not based on research but that of observation??"

Barry Zweibel said...

"Glad to see Hertzberg on your list."

Donald Fish said...

"I bet there could be intersting studies done on the motivations and behaviors of the work practices that got us into the economic situation we see today. I need some hygiene. So serious"

Andrew said...

Management 101 might need to start with Roger Martin's "The Opposable Mind" now. Dan Pink's "Whole New Mind" is a better book in my opinion, but the management application isn't as obviously spelled out.

Angeline Lim said...

"Besides theories, shouldn't there be something like a practical leadership class? I'm assuming that the world will become more and more diverse, interculturally mixed...etc. There's probably a need for a new kind of theories regarding leadership. Like if you are a leader, what should you do? or if you are being put in that position, what can you do? How do you balance the needs of the company/department and your staff? ...etc. Maybe in the future, there'll probably be an internship for leadeship roles, who knows? (if that's a possibility)"

Carol Mase said...

"Andrew I am curious why you include him as someone thinking from within the old paradigm?"

Carol Mase said...

"Andrew I am curious why you include him as someone thinking from within the old paradigm?"

Andrew Webster said...

"Good question Carol. Not that his ideas match theirs, but the fact that he is an innovator and educator (although not as obvious an educator) sees Will's name belonging amongst the classic greats."

cynthia guy said...

"One thing people forget is that Maslow's work was one of the forerunners in "healthy" people. As far as validity, I always think of the old bromide: "It's difficult to remember that your primary objective was to drain the swamp when you're up to your a** in alligators." IMO, thank heavens few people reach level five. Our world would be in chaos."

John Bishop said...

Great debate on who should be included and why. It was interesting that a general opinion from Gen Y was "this is too old to have an impact on us." I was not as clear as I should have been.

If a Gen Y is trying to effectively communicate with a boomer and the boomer was educated to these theories, then it could enhance the communication to understand them. No different than the boomer understanding web 2.0 or ska. Taking an interest in other people pays off.

John

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