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“The model of management with which we are working today the classic model of management management that most people would recognize is rooted in a set of assumptions you know those assumptions are clearly understood. Sometimes they are the solutions. As it s sometimes said of long dead economists. Let me just unpack those a little bit.
There are certain assumptions about human nature. There are certain assumptions about the role of business in society. There are certain assumptions about the best way of coordinating economic activity now all of those assumptions have some validity but at the same time. I would argue that they are kind of they have their limitations as well maybe just identify a few of them and then and then tries to say how we might i might challenge them we start around a substance.
Our human nature about the reasons people come to work. And there s a famous now dad economist. A psychologist called douglas mcgregor he he identified two theories of human nature theory x and theory..
Y theory. X. Said basically people. Come to work because they have to because they ve got to put bread on the table.
This is an assumption. Which basically then assumes that people will do the bare minimum and they have to be coerced into working harder. They are terms of assumption. And there s a whole school of psychology.
Now called positive psychology. Which builds on this which says actually most of us are intrinsically motivated to do interesting. And important things the job of the manager and of the organization that surrounds people is to get the most out of people and if we believe that people actually care about the work that they re doing all we have to do is release that energy in the first place and there s a sort of self fulfilling prophecy element in that in that if you as a manager..
Believe that your people are trying to do a good job. Then the things that you do in terms of coaching them in terms of supporting them will likely bring up the best out of them rather than squeezing them down into a little book. So that s one set of assumptions and then on the other side. There s a set of assumptions that come from the world of economics.
If you like which are service options about the role of business in its society and as we know different countries have views on this but the anglo american model that i m most familiar with essentially says that companies are best run as limited liability entities. That is to say they are as a joint stock system of control whereby independent stockholders essentially own the company. They own certainly. The you know the free cash flows.
That come from the company and the manager s job essentially is to manage that company for the benefit of those shareholders for the benefit of you know their any sort of returns that they want to accrue that model by its nature creates short termism. It creates a management sort of a set of management. Expectations..
Which are all about maximizing return in the relatively short term and the accountability that we have to our shareholders through quarterly meetings and and all sorts of additional power for any paraphernalia. Make it very difficult for we as managers to take the very long term perspective. That is sometimes needed to create value in our organisations. Now.
That s not the only model of the dis as what is widely known the german model of capitalism is much more widely interested in a number of different stakeholders in society in their various different entities. The banks and other companies that are related to the company in japan. We have again a third model. Which is much more rooted.
If you like him in lifelong employment and and and creating opportunities for people opportunities in the longest term so it s not that there are no other models. But the dominancy of the anglo american joint stock shareholder model is very very visible and what is happening is that that model is now getting fed out of course to other countries around the world. Many of whom actually have very different points of view on this there are alternatives you know the whole private equity movement..
The whole family ownership movement cooperatives. I mean these other models exist and they are challenging to some degree the economic model that is based around a shareholder approach to capitalism. But they re still only on the fringes. So what we essentially we have is a dominant management model.
Which is supported by a set of assumptions around human nature on the one hand and around the economic logic of the firm on the other which makes it very very difficult to change our management model now we can make changes on the margin. We can make changes within that frame. But arguably the long term sustainable changes have to come from essentially acknowledging and amazing that there are problems or limitations to the wireless set of institutions within. Which management is working ” .
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