Contributions of ManagementAs a Practice of the Liberal Arts From Drucker’s Lost Art of Management Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter
Contributions to the Liberal Arts In 2001 70% being very well off financially as their top priority. In the 1960s 80% of entering freshman claimed developing a meaningful philosophy of life was their top college priority The liberal arts have historically been modified many times to fit the times. Management as a liberal art can reinvigorate the humanities without losing the spirit of liberal arts inquiry.
Contributions to the Practice of Management The bureaucratic structure of yesterday’s organizations limits individual judgment, personality, and moral discernment – the very types of human qualities necessary in today’s new organizations. Managers thus need to know not just about technology and data, but also about human nature, judgment, and the role and source of values and morals. The historic aims of the liberal arts could provide current and prospective executives with useful training in: character formation, critical skills development, the art of effective speaking and writing, and an understanding of the ultimate values behind their decisions.
Major issues Raised by viewing management through a liberal art perspective Values, Ethics, and the Question of Character Judgment and Values in Management Context in Management The Process of Learning
Values, Ethics, and the Question of Character Management through a liberal art perspective focuses on developing the person as a whole. Decisions are made not merely to conform to a legal or ethical code, but because the executive has a desire and disposition to make the right decision consistently. Example: General Motors Confronts Human Meaning and Motivation In the 1980s, General Motors was forced to learn basic truths about the workplace through a GM-Toyota joint venture. Each employee of the enterprise has complementary gifts and talents. Wealth creation depends on an organization using these gifts and talents. Levels of authority and responsibility differ throughout an organization, but we must recognize that all are human beings possess inherent dignity. This transcends the narrow commercial purpose of a corporation. While there may be tension between human values and business purposes, there is no inherent conflict. The two are mostly mutually reinforcing.
Judgment and Values in Management Most efforts aimed at increasing ethical behavior in the private sector appear to emphasize consequences rather that virtues. Management as a liberal art does not emphasize training in a set of rules, it emphasizes the larger development of a virtuous individual.
Context in Management If management is a liberal art, then it involves considering the question of context: How much of a given situation is the results of organizational history, tradition, and culture? How much is driven by individual personalities?
The Function of Learning Management as a liberal art is not a set of tools to be employed in a given situation, nor a laundry list of what to do. Liberal arts inquiry involves a lifelong process of challenging assumptions, developing judgments and values over time, and bringing this knowledge to bear upon problems confronted in the workplace.
Theological Influences on Drucker’s Values Lessons from Theology:
Freedom and responsibility are intertwined. A person is responsible for his actions, in spite of his imperfections.
One must accept an imperfect world. Stop complaining about what you cannot do; instead ask what can you do?
Saint Augustine Catholic Bishop and Saint 354-430 Saint Paul Apostle c. 10-c. 65 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German mathematician and philosopher 1646-1716 Saint Bonaventure Catholic Bishop and Saint 1217-1274 Reinhold Niebuhr American theologian 1892-1971
Philosophical Influences on Drucker’sValues Henri Bergson French philosopher 1859-1941 Alfred Whitehead English mathematician and philosopher 1861-1947 Jan Smuts South African statesman and philosopher 1879-1950 Lessons from process philosophy:
Human experience is a series of constantly changing events, and human beings are thus a product of their experiences.
Lessons from Holism:
Individuals working together are able to produce outcomes that are greater than the sum of their efforts.
Creative evolution seems to move forward by small steps or installments or increments of creativeness.
What Management as a Liberal is not? As a liberal art, management is not an attempt to recapture a lost, better time from the past. This study recognizes there is no utopia. This book is not an effort to dictate some set of values or character attributes that constitute good or bad executives. Management does not seek to eliminate interpersonal conflict; instead it recognizes that conflict is inherent in the human condition.
Chapter 3 Take Aways Management as a liberal art has the potential to reinvigorate the humanities; the study also provides executives with a mindset and a systematic process for acquiring and applying knowledge from the humanities and social sciences to resolve problems faced by executives. Viewing management as a liberal art has the potential to refocus people in positions of authority onto values, ethics, question of character, and context. The study of Management is a not merely vocational.