Management Theory: A Systems Perspective on Understanding Management Practice and Management Behavior

Management Theory: A Systems Perspective on Understanding Management Practice and Management Behavior

John Davies (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-587-2.ch713
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Abstract

This paper develops a systems perspective on the interdependent relationships between management academics, management theory and management practice. The author re-examines issues raised by Ghoshal, not only about how the uncritical acceptance of an ideologically based gloomy vision of human nature has led to “bad management theories ... destroying good management practices”, but also how practice can impact the development of theory. The approach provides an opportunity to reinterpret and reveal the systemic nature of related feedback and learning processes labelled as the double hermeneutic by Giddens (1987) and as reciprocal determinism by Bandura (1978), to draw a parallel with the role of theory in the decision sciences. This paper provides a constructive illustration of the use of the systems representational tools of system dynamics to develop a systems perspective on these matters to identify the underpinning systemic structure that gives rise to Ghoshal’s views. Finally, the author identifies a means of addressing issues of concern to management theorists, analysts, and practitioners.
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Abstract

This paper develops a systems perspective on the interdependent relationships between management academics, management theory and management practice. The author re-examines issues raised by Ghoshal, not only about how the uncritical acceptance of an ideologically based gloomy vision of human nature has led to “bad management theories ... destroying good management practices”, but also how practice can impact the development of theory. The approach provides an opportunity to reinterpret and reveal the systemic nature of related feedback and learning processes labelled as the double hermeneutic by Giddens (1987) and as reciprocal determinism by Bandura (1978), to draw a parallel with the role of theory in the decision sciences. This paper provides a constructive illustration of the use of the systems representational tools of system dynamics to develop a systems perspective on these matters to identify the underpinning systemic structure that gives rise to Ghoshal’s views. Finally, the author identifies a means of addressing issues of concern to management theorists, analysts, and practitioners.

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