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There is a creeping disenchantment with management as a profession: surveys show that managers generate less respect than lawyers and bankers in the eyes of the general public, and there are few, if any,positive role models for management. In this session of We Read For You, Steyn Heckroodt presents Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done, a book by Julian Birkinshaw.
This book is a path-breaking book that begins by explaining why management failed. He argues that the problems of management are not the result of any single decision, or industry. Rather the problems are systemic and go way back in time. The result of the failure is that managers are not respected; employees are unhappy; and there are no positive role models.
Julian Birkinshaw proposes a kind of contingency theory of management: different situations demand different kinds of management. To be effective, a manager needs to adapt to the demands of the situation. Managerial behaviour is mapped on four dimensions: bureaucracy-to-emergence,
hierarchy-to-collective wisdom, alignment-to-obliquity, and extrinsic-to-intrinsic motivation.