What is management theory

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5.2.1 Management theories

There is a general change in management theory. It is spoken of an "increasing complexity, discontinuity and dynamics" (Wei01, p. 255) as core characteristics of the new corporate environment, whereby the survivability of the company depends on its permanent ability to further develop in order to adapt to the environment and to actively develop it shape. (see Wei01, p. 255)

This view can be justified with a preference for constructivism over (critical) rationalism. Rationalism assumes in principle that it is possible for humans to recognize the world and to distinguish between truth and untruth. Theories can then be derived from this, which then have to be falsified. (cf. Wei01, p. 3ff), on the other hand, constructivism assumes that any knowledge about the environment is merely a construction of man - man constructs truths. An objective verification of truths is not possible, since we have to compare the environment, perceived through the human senses, with the theory. It could be used in biological experiments21 show that perceptions are always subject to processing by the human brain and are thus subjectively shaped. For this reason, no objective truth can be deduced. (cf. Wei01, p. 31ff) Nevertheless, in the opinion of the constructivists, it makes sense to set up theories. A theory is of high quality if it has generally proven itself in practical application. However, this also means that theories are only valid under certain boundary conditions and therefore different theories must exist for different boundary conditions. This creates a multitude of theories and denies the existence of a general theory that is valid in every situation. Thus, a prediction of behavior based on a theory is only possible under narrow boundary conditions, since even slightly changed boundary conditions may require a new theory (non-linearity).

In practice this means that z. B. the company has to constantly adapt to a changing environment by continuously adapting its processes (its internal theories). To deal with this problem, the theory of learning organization be used. The actual learning process takes place at the micro level. Employees recognize and deal with problems during their day-to-day work. From the company's point of view, it must now be ensured that these new findings are incorporated into the knowledge of the entire organization. Small changes (fluctuations) in the knowledge of the employees should lead to a change at the macro level of the organization. “It is not the organization that learns from supervising projects. Rather, individual employees (...) expand their stock of knowledge ''. (Wei01, p. 255) This corresponds to the idea of ​​emergence. In this context, the management of existing and acquired knowledge comes under the Knowledge management very important. (cf. GF03) Numerous authors place the employee as a knowledge carrier at the center of their considerations. (e.g. GF03, p. 167f) Indirectly, the development towards a more humane work perspective takes place in contrast to Taylorism. (cf. Sta99, p. 23ff) The individual is seen as a decisive success factor for the company.

This is another proposed solution for a dynamic and discontinuously changing corporate environment virtual companies. A virtual company is the loose association of different service providers, whereby this association appears as a unit for the customer. These associations are mostly designed for the short or medium term and are limited in terms of content. There is no legal association in the sense of a legal society between the partners of the virtual company. A company enters into a cooperation with a large number of other companies, creating a virtual company network. This makes it possible for the virtual company to realize a wide variety of customer requests by using the resources in the company network and thus to survive in the dynamic market. Here, too, there is the idea that a cooperation network of individual individuals can produce an overall service that cannot be reduced to individual services. (see e.g. Bul96, p. 52ff)

In addition to networking external specialist providers in the virtual company, this principle can also be applied to a company itself. For this purpose, a large number of special teams are formed in the company with a large scope for action, each focusing on a few areas of responsibility. Several special teams are networked with one another to cope with a complex problem. This approach is called the fractal company designated. (cf. e.g. Bul96, p. 49ff) The term fractal stands for self-similarity, ,, d. H. each fragment (fractal) one Whole again contains the overall structure of the whole ''. (Bul96, p. 49)22 Thereby, a self-organization of the fractals is consciously set (cf. War02, p. 270ff), in that the individual fractals are to be grouped independently to solve the complex problem. (Bul96, p. 50)

Another concept that emerged at the end of the 1980s (see WJR94) is lean production. This concept was later developed into lean management. The origins lie in the investigation of global automobile production and the sometimes serious differences in productivity between the individual manufacturers. The investigation found that the Japanese automobile manufacturers produce far more efficiently by turning away from pure mass production. In fact, a combination of mass production and individual production took place in order to use the advantages of both production methods. In lean production, responsibility is shifted to those who generate the actual added value. In automobile production, these are the technicians on the assembly line or the production stations. So that these employees can live up to their responsibilities, there is an active expansion of employee skills, e. B. through training instead. The work takes place in teams. There is extensive self-organization within the teams with regard to the work to be done. A dense network of quality controls and "proactive quality circles" is used to ensure this23 educated. The teams work as closely as possible so that all teams notice problems in other teams and can actively support them in solving them. Furthermore, the customer is involved in the production process on a partnership basis. Production only takes place on his order. The management ensures the necessary framework conditions, it rarely intervenes directly. The middle management levels can be reduced significantly, as decisions are made directly on the lower levels. In lean production or lean management, attempts are therefore made to initiate and apply self-organization.

All of the new ways of looking at the management and design of a company can be described with the terms agile,anticipatory and adaptive (according to Mil02, p. 9f). Agility is understood to mean, speed, mobility and flexibility - for short reaction times even in the case of unexpected obstacles. '' (Mil02, p. 9)24 Anticipatory is understood to be the recognition of the current situation and its likely further development. This means moving away from extensive planning towards assessing the necessary resources based on the current situation. (see Mil02, p. 10)

The adaptability of the company to a changing environment, referred to by the term adaptive, can in principle take place via two measures. On the one hand, the internal structure of the company can change, an external change is not visible. The opposite is the change in the company's interfaces to the environment while maintaining the company's internal structure. The stability of both areas during an adjustment is not possible. Therefore, an adjustment can only be made by changing the internal structure, since the company should offer stable external interfaces. In order to enable the company to continuously adapt, for example implemented via the learning organization discussed above, the company therefore needs both the ability to learn and the willingness to learn.

In summary, it can be said that a large number of new ideas have emerged in management theory. Most of them are based on a departure from the mechanical Newtonian view of the world towards a view between non-linearity, non-determinism and self-organization. This is the approach implementation of emergence.

Next page:5.2.2 Theory of increasing yieldsUpwards:5.2 Economy sub-areaPrevious page:5.2 Economy sub-area content   indexSebastian Stein 2004-08-30