22 Approaches to Management
John Spacey, December 30, 2019 updated on January 08, 2020
Management approaches are techniques that are used to direct and control an organization. These may be adopted by an organization or an individual manager as an element of their style. The following are common examples of management approaches.
DirectionThe process of developing and communicating a strategy, mission, vision and set of objectives and goals to your team.
ControlThe implementation of internal controls such as processes, systems and procedures.
Managing ExpectationsManaging expectations is a fundamental management approach that involves carefully communicating to stakeholders what your team will deliver and what is out of scope.
Setting ExpectationsSetting expectations is the process of communicating to employees what is expected of them at a level of detail that is appropriate to the task and their abilities.
Command and ControlThe use of authority and a hierarchical chain of command as a means of controlling an organization.
SupervisionSupervision is the idea that employees have to be literally watched by a manager. Associated with low skill positions where employee turnover may be high and trust between employer and employee is low.
Scientific ManagementScientific management is the use of measurement and internal controls. For example, measuring the outcomes of work to determine if a team is fulfilling its function according to a performance management process.
Management AccountingManagement accounting is the measurement of anything that management needs to know. This may be used in conjunction with scientific management or any other style of management.
Classical ApproachAn academic term for the historical dominance of command and control and scientific management.
Contingency ApproachContingency approach is an academic term that describes the common tendency for managers to use a large number of management approaches and to vary these approaches based on factors such as objectives, office politics, performance and personality.
Organizing PrincipleThe adoption of organizing principles that serve to provide consistent and efficient decision making that optimize for goals. For example, a luxury hotel that adopts a principle of customer is always right to set the clear expectation that staff afford customers respect.
Management by Walking AroundManagement by walking around is the principle that high level managers understand the jobs of everyone under them and that they be fully engaged with operational realities at every level of their team.
Change ManagementChange management is based around the idea that organizations commonly resist change and defend the status quo. It is a leadership practice that involves communicating to sell change, sidelining resistance and transferring authority and rewards to agents of change.
Catfish ManagementCatfish management is the practice of positioning your team so that they are in competition with each other. For example, a CEO who appoints a CTO and CIO who have overlapping responsibilities and must compete for budget and authority.
Petty AuthorityPetty authority is the use of authority to enjoy a sense of personal power as opposed to using it to achieve objectives on behalf of your organization. For example, using authority to penalize those who you don't like and reward friends.design thinking to achieve management objectives. For example, a manager who designs a checklist that can be used to reduce maintenance errors.setting goals with each member of a team and then evaluating performance against those goals on a regular basis.
LeadershipManaging by influencing people as opposed to attempting to control them with your authority, processes and measurements. Leadership is commonly expected in modern organizations, particularly in teams that produce knowledge work.
Participative LeadershipAn attempt to involve everyone in decision making. Often results in suboptimal strategy such as the abilene paradox but is often the only way to get people to buy-in to a strategy.
Laissez-faire LeadershipThe practice of giving your team a loosely defined mission and allowing them to have freedom to deliver as they see fit.
Management by ExceptionManagement by exception is the practice of giving your team freedom but quickly stepping in to manage issues that arise.
Behavioral ApproachLeadership approaches that seek motivation, engagement and employee satisfaction over simply attempting to control behavior with processes, rules and measurements.
ManagementThis is the complete list of articles we have written about management.
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