Social Ecology and the Practice of Management

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Social Ecology and the Practice of Management

  1. 1. Social EcologyAnd the Practice of Management<br />From Drucker’s Lost Art of Management<br />Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter<br />
  2. 2. Social Ecology<br />Social ecology is the exploration of relationships between people and their social, economic, and political institutions.<br />Emerging societal trends may be identified.<br />Helps to provide leaders with policies, practices, and competencies to shape their future.<br />Ultimately, the social ecologist aims at impact.<br />
  3. 3. Born to See, Meant to Look<br />The practice of social ecology requires knowledge of the humanities, social sciences, and technology.<br />Drucker transformed this knowledge into pragmatic lessons, as opposed to academic theory.<br />[Drucker] is thoroughly at home in economics, political science, industrial psychology, and industrial sociology, and has succeeded admirably in harmonizing the findings of all found disciplines and applying them meaningfully to the practical problems of enterprise.<br />Monsignor George G. Higgins, <br />Catholic University of America, Commonwealth<br />
  4. 4. Influences on Drucker’s Development of Social Ecology<br />Social Ecology Practitioners<br />Alexis de Tocqueville <br />French social ecologist 1805 – 1859<br />Walter Bagehot <br />Editor and Director of The Economist 1826 – 1877<br />Thorstein Veblen <br />American economist and sociologist 1858 – 1929<br />Bertrand de Jouvenel<br />French philosopher 1903 – 1987<br />Henry Adams <br />American academic 1838-1913<br />Georg Simmel<br />German sociologist and philosopher 1858 – 1918<br />Ferdinand Toennies<br />German sociologist 1855-1936<br />John Commons <br />Economist 1862-1945<br />Karl Polanyi <br />Hungarian economist 1886-1964<br />Management Practitioners <br />Frederick Winslow Taylor <br />Founder of scientific management theory 1856 – 1915<br />Henry Laurence Gantt <br />American Management Consultant 1861 – 1919<br />Frank Bunker Gilbreth<br />Management scientist 1868 – 1924<br />Lillian Gilbreth<br />Industrial and organizational psychologist 1878 – 1972<br />LyndallUrwick<br />British management consultant 1891 – 1983<br />Mary Parker Follett <br />American management consultant 1868 – 1933<br />Robert Owen <br />Welsh socialist 1771 – 1858<br />
  5. 5. Drucker’s Social Ecology Method: Ask questions<br />What changes have already happened that do not fit “what everybody knows”?<br />What are the paradigm changes?<br />Is there any evidence that this is a change and not a fad?<br />Are there results of this change? Does it make a difference?<br />If a change is relevant and meaningful, what opportunities does it offer?<br />
  6. 6. The Knowledge WorkerSocial Ecology Example 1<br />The emergence of the knowledge worker was a trend which Drucker identified and studied throughout his career.<br />He determined that raising the productivity of the knowledge worker would become the major source of competitive advantage for individuals, organizations and nations.<br />After identifying this trend, Drucker also offered pragmatic advice to help managers utilize knowledge workers to create maximum impact.<br />
  7. 7. Advice for the Knowledge WorkerSocial Ecology Example 1<br />As the nature of work shifts toward knowledge, workers must assume the task of personal development through self management. Drucker offers this advice:<br />Know yourself and your strengths<br />Understand under what type of environment and conditions you perform best<br />Define your values<br />Find a role that fits your strengths and values<br />Take responsibility for relationships<br />
  8. 8. Personal RevitalizationSocial Ecology Example 1<br />Knowledge is perishable<br />Only through constant challenges does one remain productive and engaged throughout one’s life.<br /><ul><li>Chart Goes Here</li></li></ul><li>The Megachurch Social Ecology Example 2<br />Drucker identified the growth of the megachurch as an emerging societal trend.<br />Megachurchs organize ministry around their spiritual needs of knowledge workers.<br />Pastors at these churches must tackle managerial issues in addition to theological issues. Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church mirrors many of Drucker’s ideas.<br />
  9. 9. General Motors Social Ecology Example 3<br />Drucker’s 1946 study of GM, led him to believe the corporation was at risk of ignoring the potential for growth of its workers.<br />He advised GM to question its existing policies; allow frontline workers to develop managerial attitudes and competencies; and spin off Chevrolet to spur on innovation.<br />GM disregarded this advice; Japanese automakers did not. <br />
  10. 10. Chapter 7 Take Aways<br />Social ecology – the study of people and their interactions with societal institutions – allows a manager to identify trends and act on them.<br />Drucker’s study of social ecology allowed him to identify changes in the nature of work. This allowed him to see opportunity for individual workers, for institutions like the megachurch, and for businesses like GM.<br />Modern managers can use Drucker’s approach of social ecology to identify emerging trends in their own environment, and find opportunities to create a positive impact.<br />

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