The Human Dimension and Management as a Liberal ArtPresentation Transcript
The Human DimensionAnd the Management as a Liberal Art From Drucker’s Lost Art of Management Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter
The Human Dimension in Management Management as a liberal art deals with questions of the human condition. The liberal arts ideal involves the study of human behavior, creativity, emotions, decision making, and moral values. Drucker based his model of a functioning society on the Judeo-Christian concept of humans as created in the image of God. Drucker’s idea of human dignity follows in the trajectory of discussions of US human rights.
Drucker’s Worldview: Judeo-Christian Foundations Questions of worldview are particularly relevant to our work and to the management of organizations where we work. Answers to the question of one’s worldview are critical to understanding oneself and how to manage people. Status and function are related to each other but not achieved in exactly the same way: Status is inherent in the individual. Function is achievable only in society. Both status and function may be enhanced or degraded by the actions of management.
Human Dignity and Human Rights Drucker’s view of human dignity is clearly a derivative of natural-rights theory. If rights were natural, then there would be no reason to write those rights down. Anti-Federalists believed that if the US Constitution were not specific regarding which rights were protected, at some point the government itself would define those rights to its advantage. We have the Anti-Federalists to thank for our Bill of Rights. Defining liberty or happiness for a given culture at any given time will not necessarily result in the same answer.
Human Nature and Work While expressions of individual spirituality differ, recognition of people’s spiritual nature is a necessary feature of Drucker’s management philosophy. Although he regularly argued that a person’s spiritual side was extremely private, Drucker noted that this private sphere had an impact on the workplace. Managers must establish conditions so workers can experience a sense of achievement, fulfillment, and growth.
Status and Function at Work &Obstacles to Realizing Status and Function Individuals are not naturally designed to work in organizations. Organizations are human-made structures for achieving desired outcomes. Unemployment (or underemployment) is the most obvious example of the loss of status and function. Less obvious, is the employed worker who also may encounter loss of status and function. The employed worker often lacks status and function if he or she is treated as a “human machine” and perceived as the object of work.
Responsibilities of Management In Drucker’s worldview, management is about being the employer, organizer, and developer of the whole person within human and social organizations. People are the building blocks of organizations—performance in organizations therefore depends upon the performance of people. The task of management is to make people productive while developing their skills, character, and intellectual capacity.
The Human Being at Work There are four interrelated categories of practices in managing and developing the human being at work: Integrity and values People and their development Strengths and opportunities Performance and results
Integrity and Values Drucker calls integrity the touchstone of management. The power of integrity in a leader is the example it provides for the rest of the organization. In order to practice integrity, organizations must decide upon a set of moral values that are upheld and agreed upon. For Drucker, what is immoral for the person should be immoral for the company—there can be no business ethics separate from moral personal behavior.
People and Their Development A worldview that accepts the inherent dignity and worth of the human being will lead executives to treat individuals as assets and develop whatever strengths they possess.
Strengths and Opportunities The executive sets standards for excellence—in ambition, aspiration, and impact.
When an executive raises the demands on himself or herself, those around that individual will do the same.
Drucker thought that “to make strengths productive” is the unique purpose of the organization.
An executive should exploit the strengths of people by providing them with training and opportunities that permit them to achieve higher levels of performance.
Staffing from Strength: Focus on Opportunities and the Future:
Be on the guard against the impossible job.
It is important to make each job demanding and large.
Begin appraisals with strengths, with what a person can do well and has done well.
Leaders should be appointed to positions that capitalize upon their strengths.
An organization that is focused on opportunities is one that is primarily on the offensive.
Demand opportunities be converted into results.
Must ask, “If I were not doing this right now, would I decide to do it today?”
An organization must focus on the one most important task at a time that, if done with excellence, would make a big difference in the performance of the organization.
Performance and Results There are three result areas: Direct results. Development of values. Developing people. Performance and results are produced when people focus on contribution.
Service MasterDrucker’s Vision Example 1 ServiceMaster’s four objectives paralleled Drucker’s: To Honor God in All We Do To Help People Develop To Pursue Excellence To Grow Profitably Integrity and values People and their development Strengths and opportunities Performance and results
ServiceMaster had to combat one of Drucker’s main struggles of how to provide status and function to the workers engaged in menial tasks.
The four Drucker practices and the four ServiceMaster objectives create overlapping and dynamic practices and objectives that have the potential for developing human capacity and character for the common good.
A value system that raises the question of God in its objectives cannot easily be implemented within the US in public companies.
DacorDrucker’s Vision Example 2
ServiceMaster’s value system is much more likely to be found in private companies, which are often extensions of the beliefs of their founders.
Dacor’s Fundamental Corporate Value is “to honor God in all we do” By respecting others. By doing good work. By helping others. By forgiving others. By giving thanks. By celebrating our lives.
Dacor believes there is only one boss, the company values.
The company attempts to make its people feel good about themselves and their abilities. Self esteem is the issue.
Dacor demonstrates that the objectives and philosophy of management developed at ServiceMaster can be transferred to benefit another company.
10 Principles of Leadership without reliance on the use of God We respect the dignity and worth of the whole person. We are values driven. If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it. We are owners, and we lead accordingly. We believe in what we sell and strive to deliver extraordinary service. Our future and our profits depend upon creating and keeping customers. We reward and promote based on performance and potential. We plan for succession and develop our future leaders. We have a spirit of independence, yet we realize we need each other. Truth cannot be compromised.
Chapter 5 Take Aways Management involves dealing with the messy business of human emotions, ethics, morality, and other subjective matters. Drucker approached this reality by focusing on the subject of human dignity. To understand Drucker’s concept of management as a liberal art, we need to comprehend what qualities he ascribed to human beings as natural rights. All workers must be valued regardless of status, education level, or intelligence.