Next read: Examples of Management Principles
Division of LaborWork is divided into tasks and assigned to different people to improve productivity.
Specialization of LaborWorkers with specialized skills complete specialized tasks in order to improve productivity and quality.
Interchangeable PartsStandardize things so that they can be easily replaced.
Pareto PrincipleThe first 20% of effort may produce 80% of results.
Unity of CommandEmployees are to be given consistent directions from management.
Authority Equals AccountabilityAuthority and accountability can’t be detached. Workers with little authority or influence in an organization can’t be blamed for major problems.
Esprit de CorpsA sense of teamwork, belonging, camaraderie and purpose improve productivity and creativity.
Contingency TheoryThere is no ideal management style. Style is adapted to the demands of each situation.
Systems TheoryViewing organizations as complex systems whereby changes can have unintended consequences.
Theory of ConstraintsViews an organization as being limited by bottlenecks known as constraints. Where these are removed, an organization improves. Based on the idea that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Keep it SimpleThe theory that organizations have an irrational preference for complexity whereby doing things the simplest way would massively improve efficiency.
Appreciative InquiryLooking at what is working and scaling that as opposed to focusing on problems.
Theory XThe common assumption that employees are inherently untrustworthy and need to be monitored and controlled.
Theory YThe common assumption that employees are motivated, responsible and talented and need only be provided with opportunity to thrive.
Dilbert PrincipleThe theory that incompetent employees are quickly promoted to management to limit the damage they can do in a hands-on role.
Magical UnicornThe theory that management is often seeking a magical solution to all problems such as a trendy new technology or management approach.
Scientific ManagementA late 19th century theory that has been so widely adopted that its mostly considered self-evident and obvious now. Calls for analysis, standardization, logic, work-ethic and the use of data.
Bureaucratic Management TheoryStructuring organizations into a controlled hierarchy and meritocracy with a clear change of command. Also calls for systematic processes, rules and procedures.
Motivation-Hygiene TheorySome benefits motivate workers while others are simply expected as an entitlement.
Parkinson's Law of TrivialityThe theory that management will avoid complex problems that are difficult to solve in favor of trivial problems that are more easily understood. Also known as bike shedding.
Parkinson's LawThe theory that work expands to consume the budget and schedule available.
Creativity of ConstraintsThe theory that constraints such as low budget and short timelines lead to more creative work outputs.
Hawthorne EffectEmployees alter their behavior when they feel they are being observed. Can have both negative and positive impacts.
Parkinson's Law of BureaucracyBureaucratic organizations tend to grow even where workloads are constant or in decline.
Mythical Man-MonthThe rule of thumb that adding more people to a late project only makes it later.
Treadmill of ProductivityThe faster you work, the faster you will be given more work. Many employees will adapt to this to slow their delivery.
Underpants GnomesThe theory that strategies are often missing a critical step.
Parkinson's Law of CommitteesA tendency for group decisions to be risk-adverse out of a desire to avoid controversy.
Abilene ParadoxThe tendency for group decisions to be fully irrational. Suggests that decisions are better made by a named person with authority and accountability.
Triple Bottom LineFirms that target revenue, social and environmental goals as opposed to just revenue.
Stakeholder TheoryThe theory that everyone that is impacted by a firm is a stakeholder in that firm.
KaizenThe philosophy of slow but continuous improvement as opposed to dramatic shifts and changes.
GenbaJapanese meaning “the actual place.” Advocates for managers being immersed in things where they actually occur such as a restaurant CEO who spends much time at the chain’s restaurants.
NemawashiThe process of building support for a change long before it is announced. A Japanese approach that can be translated “turning the roots.”
Muda, Mura, MuriThe three sources of waste in an organization that can be translated: low value activities, inconsistency and overburden.
5-whysThe process of asking why five times in succession to dig deeper into issues.
YokotenSharing what works across departments.
Law of HolesIf you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Relates to escalating commitment and failure is not an option.
Corporate NarcissismThe theory that groups can take on narcissistic qualities whereby they are overconfident, unrealistic and disconnected from customer and competitive reality.
Radical TransparencyThe theory that secrecy doesn’t create competitive advantage but rather impedes it.
Last Responsible MomentDelaying decisions, planning and work until they really need to be done.
Ship OftenAn approach to value creation that gets real things out in the real world quickly so that they can be improved with feedback.
Creative TensionThe theory that group harmony sacrifices creative progress such that turbulent organizations are more likely to succeed.
Heliotropic EffectThe theory that people move towards the most beautiful vision they have of themselves. If you see a big future for everyone on your team they may actually move towards this vision.