Uncluttered Management Thinking
Fredmund Malik points out the psychological, management, and economic errors managers tend to make, and explains how these errors can be avoided; for clear language is a key to right and good management.
'Fredmund Malik is the leading expert in the field of management in Europe. He is the most important voice - in theory and practice of management.'
'Malik demonstrates how, in extreme cases, the wrong use of fashionable terms can even lead to entrepreneurial disaster.'
Wirtschaft & Markt
'Malik is listened to because management knowledge has never been more important. (...) Malik incessantly cautions against the money-mindedness at those corporations where ?stock speculators, boasters, bluffers, and sometimes even criminals? call the shots.'
Prof. Fredmund Malik numbers among Europe's leading mangement thinkers. He is head of Management Zentrum St. Gallen, management training and consulting firm that maintains offices in St. Gallen, Zurich, London, Vienna, Toronto, and Shanghai, and has roughly 220 employees.
Uncluttered Management Thinking
Management Style (S. 67-68)
There is hardly a workshop or training where no one asks questions about manage ment style. It has been one of the mostdiscussed issues of the past decades. In hardly another field has there been so much empirical research, and there is hardly a manager who has not dealt with the subject. It is a central topic in every management training because everyone involved believes it to be so important. I take a contrary position. I consider the subject to be largely insignificant, or at least much less significant than it is generally believed to be. My view contradicts conventional wisdom, and I have two reasons for it.
Firstly, there is no correlation between management style and results. It is possible to create such correlations in a laboratory or training environment – every trainer knows exercises to achieve this; they are standard in the business training scene and useful to facilitate insights and learning effects. They are, however, not applicable to everyday business reality.
Everyone knows managers who practice a cooperative management style, and who also achieve outstanding results. It goes without saying and does not need to be commented that this is an ideal situation. On the other hand, there are managers practicing authoritarian leadership and producing poor results. In that case, it is equally clear that the situation is unacceptable and their organization will have to let them go. Both of these variants do not warrant any further discussion.
But how about the less obvious cases? I know several managers who practice a truly cooperative management style, who strike others as pleasant and wellmannered, but who unfortunately fail to produce satisfactory results. And I know managers whose controlling and rigid style has earned them a reputation for being rather authoritarian – but who present good results on a regular basis. If I was to choose between the two, I would prefer the latter. It is the results that count, not the style.
Management is the profession of effectiveness, or, in other words, of producing results. If it can be done in a cooperative manner, all the better. If not, results must be given priority over style. People lacking management practice often find that hard to accept. Those looking back at a few years of practical experience will usually agree. But even they will often find it difficult to put that knowledge to practice. What they lack is not insight, but the courage to challenge a dogma of management theory, and perhaps even throw it overboard.