Management Training Insights Emerging From Spiritual Concerns

Management Training Insights Emerging From Spiritual Concerns

Matt Fairholm (The University of South Dakota, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5673-2.ch002

Abstract

Traditional management training stresses what could be called the impersonal aspects of organizational life. Managers come to see people as one part of a greater overall organizational system that they can create, control, and change as needed. People become assets to allocate and control. The more personal aspects of peoples' lives are ignored at best and dismissed at worst. By reshaping or rethinking management training to include the more personal, even spiritual, side of workers, today's managers will see both productivity improvements as well as more engaged employees. Insights emerging from spiritual concerns can help organizations understand the content and intent of their current training programs in new ways. Such insights even suggest new categories of issues that can drive management training efforts. With this new understanding, managers can prepare themselves to help workers be productive and useful while also helping them find meaning and personal fulfillment in the work.
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The Evolution Of Modern Management Thought

In general conversation, we use the term management in two ways stemming from past management definitions. First, management refers to what we do in terms of ensuring controlled, predictable, measurable behavior to achieve a level of productivity. Good managers get things done through the resources provided by the organization, including the people who, traditionally, have been considered only a bundle of skills useful to the organization’s success. Second, management refers to the placement of individuals within the hierarchy of an organization – those with management titles and ranks. This allows them a better view of the systems and resources at play and allows them access to others who have that enhanced perspective – in essence supervision. We often refer to them as “the management” and it is offered in comparison to those who are not “the management,” meaning in a generic sense “labor.” Therefore, much of the training for managers focuses on the nuts and bolts of getting things done through resources use (including human resources) with emphasis on direction, control, and measurement from a hierarchical position.

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