This essay will compare and contrast the arguments and themes of the following two articles – “Management: The Work that Dares not Speak its name” by Brocklehurst, Grey, & Sturdy (2010) and "We are all managers now’; ‘We always were’: On the development and Demise of Management” by Grey (1999). In each article the author’s provide a view that indicates significant research into the topic of managers and management. I intend to discuss two main points, the demise of management and the avoidance of being labelled a manager.
Based on the evidence presented, each author has concluded the term manager and management has changed significantly over time and the ...view middle of the document...
However the demise of management or at least the perception that management may be on the decline could have many follow-on effects, one of which may be the impact on business and management training.
This may cause a shift in focus from the current ideals of management training to that of leadership training, this idea is supported by research by Brocklehurst, et al, 2010, p17 where they state ‘Is it possible to study a subject such as management when there is an overwhelming desire for executives to be known as anything but a manager?’
There is a view that ‘the term manager has been in decline for at least 30 years’ (Fletcher, 1973; Koch and Godden, 1996) however at ‘the same time the number of employees now designated as managers has increased’(Brocklehurst, et al, 2010). As society progressed through the 20th century everyday people continued their usual daily business and routines. However at some point there appears to have been a shift towards the changing status of management where there has been a level of embellishment in many position titles such that everyone became a pseudo manager.
The common theme in both articles is the changing perception of managers and the role that they now play in the private and public sectors. There is also some conjecture over what actually defines a manager, Is it what they do? Is it how they get people to do things for them? No matter how the information provided is interpreted there will always be a difference of opinion on whether there is demise or just a change in society’s acceptance of the title of the manager.
There was once a perception that ‘managers possess the technical knowledge’ however ‘such knowledge is increasingly being sub-contracted to suppliers or consultants’ (Brocklehurst, et al, p10). Additionally managers are increasingly becoming ‘coordinators rather than the owner of expertise’ (Brocklehurst, et al, 2010). These statements were once the opinion of many experts in the field of management but the continuing evolution of the manager has seen more support for the title of ‘coordinator’ than that of the possession of management skills.
Additionally there is a stigma attached to the idea of bureaucracy and the image of management that goes with it. There is perhaps no more stigmatic label than that of a ‘bureaucrat’. This may be one reason behind the gradual distancing from the term ‘Manager’ in the business titles held by many of today’s senior executives. The idea of being a leader and not a manager has far more appeal as it portrays someone who is centrally involved in promoting organisational change. ‘Leadership is both congruent with, and emblematic of, dominant contemporary understandings of what is valuable in organisations’...