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Is management a technology?

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missmaha88 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 1, 2010 at 3:40 AM via web

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Is management a technology?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 1, 2010 at 3:52 AM (Answer #1)

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I would argue that management is a technology to some extent, but that there are aspects of management that are not a technology.

The Oxford Dictionary of Economics (see link below) defines technology as

The body of know-how about materials, techniques of production, and operation of equipment, based on the application of scientific knowledge.

Taking this definition, we can see that some aspects of management fit.  Part of management is know-how.  It is know-how relating to the techniques of production.  One thing that managers must know is how best to produce the good or service that their firm sells.

However, part of management is more of an art, in my opinion.  This is the aspect of management that has to do with interpersonal dynamics.  Managers have to learn how deal with various individuals who work for them or with them.  They must figure out how to motivate very different people.  I do not think that this is something that is learnable through science and therefore I do not think it is technology.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM (Answer #2)

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Management is an important function in society, just as practice of medicine is an important function of society. Neither of these two functions can be called technology in their entirety. But certainly there is lot of technology which is available and used by professionals in both these fields.

Managers need to learn and use many methods and techniques to be effective. There is no justification for excluding the body of knowledge about such methods and techniques from scope of technology. For example, take a highly people based management technique like management by objective (MBO). Not all managers use this technique, but the ones that wish to use it effectively must learn the tools and techniques of MBO. Thus managers have to use a lot of management technology to manage effectively.

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