Management has greatly evolved over time. Formerly, in the 19th century, it solely focused on productivity and efficiency through strict “top-down” control over people. Currently, the practice revolves around leadership and innovation. These are the evolutionary changes Walter Kiechel explores in his article “The Management Century.” In the course of evaluating these changes, Kiechel mentions some management ideas such as spreading awareness on management, humanity production, and shifting towards innovation which I believe will be helpful in the future.
The idea of raising consciousness about the advancement of management is among the critical notions expressed in the article.
Kiechel asserts that management became perceived as a practice that could be studied under economics and improved over time (63). Before the period of scientific management, there were no efforts to study management. Many managers viewed management as the exercise of control over employees. It is the idea of raising consciousness that has helped management evolve to what it is today. If it was not linked to science by Fredrick Taylor and the likes, there would not have been any efforts to understand and advance the practice. The realization of the possibility of advancing management is evidently the basis for all the developments that have been implemented in the field. It is probably why Kiechel expresses this idea right from the beginning of the article. Furthermore, consciousness has not just helped shape the trajectory of where management has reached, but it continues to influence where the practice is headed in the next generation.
Another important idea expressed in the article regards humanity of production. Generally, management entails controlling processes that largely involve people. As Kiechel indicates in the article, a positive effect in the workplace is reached when people find meaning in their work (66). Therefore, it is paramount for managers to ensure their workers are motivated towards executing their responsibilities.
Evaluating the nature of many work settings leads to the conclusion that humanistic psychology entailing worker’s motivation is and will remain significant in management. Managers are in many instances short-handed in the sense that they oversight the work of many individuals. As such, it is difficult for a manager to directly be in contact with every employee in a company. In the contemporary world, some organizations are multinational and are governed through centralized management. The vastness of such businesses makes it impossible for managers to directly get involved with what every employee is doing. The idea of humanity of production entails self-motivated workers capable of solving issues by themselves.
Shifting towards innovation is another idea expressed in the article that I believe will significantly shape management in the next century. As Kiechel affirms, innovation is essential in surviving an era characterized by stiff competition (72). One of the managers’ functions is helping businesses go through turbulent times and continue dominating the market. In the current era where different companies compete for limited resources, innovation plays a crucial role in providing firms with a competitive edge. Also, technology is rapidly evolving on a daily basis. As such, there is increased turbulence in the market due to different technologies becoming inferior after a short period. Technology is predicted to advance even further in the next century. Therefore, it is paramount that organizations shift towards innovation.
As evidenced in the discourse, raising consciousness about the management, humanity production, and shifting towards innovation will significantly impact management in the next century. It will help maintain the spirit of continued study and improvement of management. Humanity production is required to keep workers motivated. Finally, shifting towards innovation will ensure organizations remain competitive as technology advances.