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Belief in managerial expertise is then, on the view I have taken,very like what belief in God was thought to be by Carnap and Ayer. It is one more illusion and a peculiarly modern one, the illusion of a power not ourselves that claims to make for righteousness. ~ Alasdair MacIntyre
In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first. ~ Frederick Winslow Taylor
I compared some passages of articles of [Robert McNamara] in the late 1960s, speeches, on management and the necessity of management, how a well-managed society controlled from above was the ultimate in freedom. The reason is if you have really good management and everything's under control and people are told what to do, under those conditions, he said, man can maximize his potential. I just compared that with standard Leninist views on vanguard parties, which are about the same. About the only difference is that McNamara brought God in, and I suppose Lenin didn't bring God in. He brought Marx in. ~ Noam Chomsky

Management in all business and human organization activity is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.

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  • In the home of the religious man, ... those who command serve those whom they appear to rule—because, of course, they do not command out of lust to domineer, but out of a sense of duty—not out of pride like princes but out of solicitude like parents.


  • In 1972, Americans watched in disbelief as the Nixon Presidency was virtually brought to collapse, not because of the Watergate "break-in," but by the cover-up and its entanglements. What if the Watergate Scandal had been handled differently? The illegal activities of a few bungling second-story men pale in comparison to the colossal management blunders by the White House inner circle.
  • Poorly managed corporations, disorganized businesses, and badly led service agencies experience crisis daily and most will eventually fail. In contrast, the danger is to well organized, smooth running institutions that may not recognize a building crisis. Too often, sound organizations rely on their normal modus operandi to pull them through a crisis. It might. But at what cost? And what if it does not pull them through?
  • You can say this for Senior Management: it knows how to articulate a goal. The strategy may be fuzzy, the execution nonexistent, but Senior Management knows what it wants.
  • The departments don’t report the problem because a good manager knows the only reason to call Senior Management, ever, is to deliver good news. People who ring Senior Management with problems do not have much of a future at Zephyr Holdings. Senior Management is not there to hold departmental hands. It is there to dispense stock options.
  • There are two ways of looking at Senior Management. One is that it’s a tightly integrated team tirelessly pulling together in the service of whatever’s best for the company. The other is that it’s a dog pack of power-hungry egomaniacs who occasionally assist Zephyr as a side effect of their individual campaigns for wealth and status. Nobody believes the tightly knit team theory anymore. Once, a long time ago, it may have been true, but the instant a dog-pack person made it into Senior Management, it was all over. It’s like a fox getting into the chicken house; pretty soon there are only foxes and feathers. If Senior Management ever was ever made up of selfless individuals who put teamwork ahead of self-interest—and this is a big if—they were long ago torn to pieces.
  • Poor management can increase software costs more rapidly than any other factor. Particularly on large projects, each of the following mismanagement actions has often been responsible for doubling software development costs.
    • Barry Boehm (1981) Software Engineering Economics; as cited in: Tyson Gill (2002) Planning Smarter: Creating Blueprint-Quality Software Specifications. p. 14
  • Understanding the concept of competency is a prerequisite to understanding his integrated model of management.
    • Richard Boyatzis (1982) Competent Manager: A Model for Effective Performance. p. 10
  • An intelligent man neither allows himself to be controlled nor attempts to control others; he wishes reason alone to rule, and that always.


  • Management’s never been interested in really doing the job, not at any point in human history. Management’s true agenda has always been making things more pleasant for Management.
  • Middle management has always favored underlings friendly to middle management. It’s corruption, all right, but of a minor and probably unavoidable sort.
  • ... Rockefeller was capable of extraordinary ferocity in compelling submission from competitors. He might starve out obdurate firms by buying all available barrels on the market or monopolize local tank cars to paralyze their operations. Yet Rockefeller didn't apply this pressure lightly and preferred patience and reason—if possible—to terror. He was not only purchasing refineries but assembling a managerial team. The creation of Standard Oil was often less a matter of stamping out competitors than of seducing them into cooperation. In general, Rockefeller was so eager to retain original management that he accumulated expensive deadwood on the payroll and, for the sake of intraempire harmony, preferred to be conciliatory.
  • OECONOMY, a certain Order in the Management of a Family and domestick Affairs: Hence the Word Oeconomist, for a good Manager. But Oeconomy may be taken in a more extensive Sense, for a just, prudent, and regular Conduct in all the Parts of Life, and relative Capacities. But as for the Word Oeconomicus (Oeconomist) it was formerly used for the Executor of a Last Will and Testament, and the Person that had the Oeconomy and fiduciary Disposal of the Deceased's Goods.
    • Noel Chomel, Richard Bradley (1725) Dictionaire oeconomique: or, The Family Dictionary, Cited in Karen Harvey (2012) The Little Republic p. 38
  • I compared some passages of articles of [Robert McNamara] in the late 1960s, speeches, on management and the necessity of management, how a well-managed society controlled from above was the ultimate in freedom. The reason is if you have really good management and everything's under control and people are told what to do, under those conditions, he said, man can maximize his potential. I just compared that with standard Leninist views on vanguard parties, which are about the same. About the only difference is that McNamara brought God in, and I suppose Lenin didn't bring God in. He brought Marx in.
  • The most effective leaders of companies in transition are the quiet, unassuming people whose inner wiring is such that the worst circumstances bring out their best. They're unflappable, they're ready to die if they have to. But you can trust that, when bad things are happening, they will become clearheaded and focused.
    • Jim C. Collins (2001) attributed in: Strategy & business. No 22-25. p. 46
  • You can't manage knowledge – nobody can. What you can do is to manage the environment in which knowledge can be created, discovered, captured, shared, distilled, validated, transferred, adopted, adapted and applied.
    • Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell, Learning to Fly - Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations (2005), Chapter 2, pages 24-25.
  • Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.
    • Clayton M. Christensen (2011) in: Harvard Business Review (2011) HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself. p. 4


  • The scientific study of leadership in complex organizations, as an area of enquiry in its own right, is relatively new; hardly more than a decade old. As in any new "science" there is yet no comprehensive framework within which to operate. Unlike medical men after Harvey's great discovery on the circular system of the human body, we have no unifying concepts around which to make further refinements and discoveries.
Ernest Dale modestly recognizes this fact. In The Great Organizers he takes the position that before we proceed too far in theory it is first necessary to known the history and the terrain of the subject. His vehicle is the case history in depth; his method is the comparative historical approach, not deduction based on a comprehensive model.
  • Robert H. Guest. "Reviewed Work: The Great Organizers by Ernest Dale," Technology and Culture, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Summer, 1962), pp. 349-351
  • The causes usually cited for failure of a company are costs of start-up, overruns on costs, depreciation of excess inventory, competition—anything but the actual cause, pure and simple bad management.
  • The worker is not the problem. The problem is at the top! Management!
    • W. Edwards Deming (1993, p. 54) cited in: Melanie M. Minarik (2008) Building Knowledge Through Sensemaking. p. 13
  • Much is said about scientific management of work. It is a narrow view which restricts the science which secures efficiency of operation to movements of the muscles. The chief opportunity for science is the discovery of the relations of a man to his work — including his relations to others who take part — which will enlist his intelligent interest in what he is doing. Efficiency in production often demands division of labor. But it is reduced to mechanical routine unless workers see the technical, intellectual, and social relationships involved in what they do, and engage in their work because of the motivation furnished by such perceptions. The tendency to reduce such things as efficiency of activity and scientific management to purely technical externals is evidence of the one-sided stimulation of thought given to those in control of industry — those who supply its aims. Because of their lack of all-round and well-balanced social interest, there is not sufficient stimulus for attention to the human factors and relationships in industry. Intelligence is narrowed to the factors concerned with technical production and marketing of goods. No doubt, a very acute and intense intelligence in these narrow lines can be developed, but the failure to take into account the significant social factors means none the less an absence of mind, and a corresponding distortion of emotional life.
    • John Dewey (1916) Democracy and Education, section seven: Implications of Human Association
  • Mission is at the heart of what you do as a team. Goals are merely steps to its achievement. Mission has an eternal quality. Goals are time bound and once achieved, are replaced by others.
    • Patrick Dixon (2005) Building a Better Business - the key to management, marketing and motivation. p. 66
  • Without institution there is no management. But without management there is no institution.
    • Peter Drucker (1973) MANAGEMENT: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices p. 6


  • The administrative function has many duties. It has to foresee and make preparations to meet the financial, commercial, and technical conditions under which the concern must be started and run. It deals with the organization, selection, and management of the staff. It is the means by which the various parts of the undertaking communicate with the outside world, etc. Although this list is incomplete, it gives us an idea of the importance of the administrative function. The sole fact that it is in charge of the staff makes it in most cases the predominant function, for we all know that, even if a firm has perfect machinery and manufacturing processes, it is doomed to failure if it is run by an inefficient staff.
    • Henri Fayol, (1900) Henri Fayol addressed his colleagues in the mineral industry 23 June 1900
  • To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, co-ordinate and to control.
    • Henri Fayol (1916) cited in: Gerald A. Cole (2003) Management theory and practice. p. 6


  • If management can identify the negatives of its preferred option, the other policies around the star model can be designed to counter the negatives while achieving the positives.
    • Jay R. Galbraith (2002), Designing organizations: an executive guide to strategy, structure, and process. p. 15
  • Administration has to do with getting things done; with the accomplishment of defined objectives. The science of administration is thus the system of knowledge whereby men may understand relationships, predict results, and influence outcomes in any situation where men are organized at work together for a common purpose.
  • At the present time administration is more an art than a science; in fact there are those who assert dogmatically that it can never be anything else. They draw no hope from the fact that metallurgy, for example, was completely an art several centuries before it became primarily a science and commenced its great forward strides after generations of intermittent advance and decline.


  • Management is a far more homely business than its would be scientists suggest, more closely allied to cookery than any other human activity. Like cooking, it rests on a degree of organisation and on adequate resources. But just as no two chefs run their kitchens the same way, so no two managements are the same.


  • The Lord enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
“It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people
and grinding the faces of the poor?”


  • Management is defined here as the accomplishment of desired objectives by establishing an environment favorable to performance by people operating in organized groups. Each of the managerial functions (planning, organizing, staffing, , directing, and controlling) is analyzed and described in a systematic way. As this is done, both the distilled experience of practicing managers and the findings of scholars are presented. This is approached in such a way that the reader may grasp the relationships between each of the functions, obtain a clear view of the major principles underlying them.


  • Belief in managerial expertise is then, on the view I have taken,very like what belief in God was thought to be by Carnap and Ayer. It is one more illusion and a peculiarly modern one, the illusion of a power not ourselves that claims to make for righteousness.
  • In the social world of corporations and governments private preferences are advanced under the cover of identifying the presence or absence of the findings of experts. ... The effects of eighteenth-century prophecy have been to produce not scientifically managed social control, but a skillful dramatic imitation of such control. It is histrionic success which gives power and authority in our culture. The most effective bureaucrat is the best actor.
  • Mass production and mass distribution claim the entire individual, and industrial psychology has long since ceased to be confined to the factory. The manifold processes of introjection seem to be ossified in almost mechanical reactions. The result is, not adjustment but mimesis: an immediate identification of the individual with his society and, through it, with the society as a whole.

    This immediate, automatic identification (which may have been characteristic of primitive forms of association) reappears in high industrial civilization; its new “immediacy,” however, is the product of a sophisticated, scientific management and organization. In this process, the “inner” dimension of the mind in which opposition to the status quo can take root is whittled down. The loss of this dimension, in which the power of negative thinking—the critical power of Reason—is at home, is the ideological counterpart to the very material process in which advanced industrial society silences and reconciles the opposition. The impact of progress turns Reason into submission to the facts of life, and to the dynamic capability of producing more and bigger facts of the same sort of life. The efficiency of the system blunts the individuals' recognition that it contains no facts which do not communicate the repressive power of the whole. If the individuals find themselves in the things which shape their life, they do so, not by giving, but by accepting the law of things—not the law of physics but the law of their society.

  • The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.
  • A superintendent of a road fifty miles in length can give its business his professional attention and may be constantly on the line engaged in the direction of its details; each person is personally known to him, and all questions in relation to its business are at once presented and acted upon; and any system however imperfect may under such circumstances prove comparatively successful.
    In the government of a five hundred miles in length a very different state exists. Any system which might be applicable to the business and extent of a short road would be found entirely inadequate to the wants of a long one. and I am fully convinced that in the want of system perfect in its details, properly adapted and vigilantly enforced, lies the true secret of their [the large roads’] failure; and that this disparity of cost per mile in operating long and short roads, is not produced by a difference in length, but is in proportion to the perfection of the system adopted.
  • Strategy making needs to function beyond the boxes to encourage the informal learning that produces new perspectives and new combinations... Once managers understand this, they can avoid other costly misadventures caused by applying formal techniques, without judgement and intuition, to problem solving.
    • Henry Mintzberg, Mintzberg (1994), (partly) cited in Douglas C. Eadie (1997) Changing by design: a practical approach to leading innovation in nonprofit organizations . p. 128
  • The remarkable thing about management is that a manager can go on for years making mistakes that nobody is aware of, which means that management can be a kind of a con job.
  • Management of an industrial company must be giving targets to the engineers constantly; that may be the most important job management has in dealing with its engineers.


  • While the agricultural estate might foreshadow some of the methods used later in the factories, the industrial 'domestic system ' was often a more immediate ancestor.
    • Sidney Pollard (1968) The genesis of modern management: : a study of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain. p. 42; Partly cited in: Le Texier, Thibault. "The first systematized uses of the term “management” in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." Journal of Management History 19.2 (2013): 189-224.


  • The brutality of a man purely motivated by monetary considerations … often does not appear to him at all as a moral delinquency, since he is aware only of a rigorously logical behavior, which draws the objective consequences of the situation.
    • Georg Simmel, “Domination,” On Individuality and Social Forms (1971), p. 110
  • In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.
  • We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of the workman. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject.
  • Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.
    • Sun Tzu (c. 6th century BC) The Art of War


  • In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first. This in no sense, however, implies that great men are not needed. On the contrary, the first object of any good system must be that of developing first-class men.
  • Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources.
    • George R. Terry, Principles of Management, R.D. Irwin, 1960; 6th ed. 1977, p. 4




  • Administration is the most obvious part of government; it is government in action; it is the executive, the operative, the most visible side of government, and is of course as old as government itself.
    • Woodrow Wilson, "The Study of Administration," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (June, 1887), pp. 197-222.
  • Management as an activity has always existed to make people’s desires through organized effort. Management facilitates the efforts of people in organized groups and arises when people seek to cooperate to achieve goals.

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