How to understand and apply the world’s most powerful business tools
In the past, aspiring managers usually learned their profession by trial and error over many years of experience. If there was little opportunity for job rotation or changes in departments, these experiences might be very limited. Today’s students and managers can benefit from a wide range of research studies, from which various management theories have been assembled. These help explain and capture the essential components of many different aspects of business management. Reading, understanding, exploring and learning about such theories can accelerate the process of becoming an effective business and management professional. However, when these research outcomes are published, they usually appear in formal academic journals and, while scientifically sound, they don’t immediately lend themselves to professional practice.
The author team for this book has sought to mine this wealth of ideas and to assemble a collection of powerful, key models and theories into one volume. Together, they cover the main areas of management common to many organizations, and thus provide a foundation for a future career across diverse business sectors in a variety job function areas. Each model is described and discussed in the context of the relevant thematic area it supports.
It should be remembered that a ‘model’ is a representation of certain elements of a system, selected for experimenters to explore and/or describe specific aspects of the system for a particular purpose. They are not built to represent the complete system. Thus we might build a scale model of a motor car specifically to explore how air flows over different body-shape designs in a wind tunnel; another model to see how it deforms when crashed; and another to test how it drives around corners. Physical models like these are called ‘iconic models’, but models can take other forms. Thus ‘symbolic models’ are constructed from mathematical (symbols) equations, such as a macro-economic model that links unemployment, government spending and growth, or a micro-economic model that links selling price and advertising to sales volume. Models can also be diagrammatic, like office layout plans. Multidimensional matrix models can represent the competing demands of customers, shareholders, employees and society at large. Today, many models are developed and made operational in computer software. Such models are created by researchers to try to represent the results of their research, or to predict new systems behaviours to work out what research should be done to test them and to explain how the system works.
The goals of this book
Evolution of management theories
Conceptual models: handle with care
Applying models in practice
Part 1. Sustainability
Part 2. Innovation and entrepreneurship
Part 3. Strategy and positioning
Part 4. Diversity of cultures
Part 5. Customers
Part 6. Human resource management
Part 7. Benchmarking and results
Part 8. Leadership and communication
Part 9. Models for implementation
About the authors
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