Professor A. Van Cauwenbergh of Antwerp University, in a paper presented at the Tenth Anniversary Conference of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, presented four revisions to traditional Management Theory. In summary, the revisions are:
(1) The initiative for the renewal and adjustment of the activities of a firm should come from the different levels in the management hierarchy. “Strategy is not a privilege of top management”. (2) Firms, especially big firms, are incoherent systems (goals of the different component systems are not simply subdivisions of an overall goal; there are individual, conflicting goals as well). Some of these differences are manifestations of organizational initiative and vitality. Using information systems and central planning and rule making to suppress all differences is destructive to organizations.
(3) The most vital “fluid” of an enterprise is the aggregate of its entrepreneurial values. The most fundamental and motivation and control come through these shared values relative to work, quality, efficiency, etc. Management often neglects these values and assumes that the collection and dissemination of information will provide sufficient motivation and control. (4) Enterprises are open systems; their structure and operating processes are determined by their environment. This means organizations must be designed to continually adjust to the environment.
Questions: 1. If these revisions are correct, how is planning to be organized? How should the information system support the planning organization? 2. Can the information system aid in achieving shared values? 3. How might a comprehensive system be used to stifle initiative
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