More current ideas

1980s: Populist approaches, Empirical approaches

1990s: Empowerment

Populist approaches

"The One Minute Manager", Kenneth Blanchard etc, 1980s

Three secrets of management The ABCs


Authorising employees to do their work without the need to seek approval from supervisors

Used widely in Business Process Reengineering projects Flow of work diagram

Empirical approaches

Theory Z: WS Ouchi, 1980s

Well managed companies in US and Japan had lifetime employment, collective decision making, promotion from within, non-specialised career paths

Characterised as a "democratic" management style Diagram

An American rowing team challenged a Japanese team to a 10-mile race

The Japanese wins by more than a mile.

A management consultant is called in to help the Americans. He finds that the Japanese boat had two people overseeing six rowers, while the Americans had seven managers and one rower. The consultant suggests a radical reengineering program, then calls for a rematch.

This time the Japanese team defeats the Americans by two miles. More consultants are called in. They find that the Japanese team were now using one manager and seven rowers, while the U.S. team employed six management consultants, one senior manager and one rower.

The U.S. team immediately fires the rower and calls for another restructuring.

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