Theoretical Approaches in Management


Theoretical Approaches in Management





Theoretical Approaches in Management

Just like all other field, the management field has approaches that explain the concept of management in business. Theoretical approaches in management are classified into many approaches including empirical, social system, human behavior, decision theory, Socio-Technical Systems, contingency, operational, mathematical, and systems approaches. Approaches in management arose because of semantic concerns in the management field. These approaches are essential in understanding the concept of management (Montana and Charnov, 2008). Different theoretical approaches apply to different fields of practices. In this paper, three theoretical approaches to management that apply to the Information Services Management will be compared and discussed in details. Theoretical approaches to management were identified by reviewing various books and articles on management and how they apply in today’s organizations. For a more in-depth and exhaustive search, an advanced strategy might be useful. This could include thorough reviewing of journals on a specific subject of concern.

One of theoretical approaches to management that applies to the Information Services Management field is the mathematical approach. Proponents of this school of thought include Newman, Charles Hitch, and Russell Ackoff. This approach view management as a logical entity. It applies actions such as mathematical relationships, symbols, and measurable data. Information services management is involved with information on how organizations need to manage themselves in an efficient and effective manner. It is concerned with technology, people, and data. Some of the organizational data involves quantitative figures that are only explained mathematically. The mathematical approach is, therefore, essential in this field as it refers to a problem solving mechanism that uses mathematical techniques and tools to solve problems arising in organizations (Kirst-Ashman and Hull, 2009). In this approach, problems related to management are expressed in mathematical signs and symbols. Therefore, variables in information services management are quantified. Tools including simulation and operations research are used in this approach just like in the information services management field. In addition, the scope of the mathematical approach involves system analysis, decision making and some aspects of human behavior.

Another approach applicable to this field is the socio-technical systems approach. Main proponents and contributors of this approach include Emery, Bamforth, and Trist. The field of Information Management systems deals with the interactions between technical and social systems. In this case, people in organizations are the social systems while machines used to perform organizational functions are the technical systems. The socio-technical systems approach holds that the technical and social systems interact. The interaction between these two types of systems is essential for effectiveness and efficiency in organizations. According to Hill and Jones (2010), this approach holds that an organization is governed by psychological forces and social laws. Proponents of this approach argue that the organizational technical aspects are modified by the social aspects. This implies that people in organizations dealing with information services management. Additionally, effectiveness and efficiency in organizations depend on looking at individuals and their interactions, as well as, the technical environment in which individuals operate. The information services management is able to deal with technological changes and changes in interactions among individuals at the workplace. Apart from the technical interactions, social systems also interact with other internal and external factors in performing their functions in organizations. This approach is closely related to the systems approach that view management as an enterprise on its own.

The other essential theoretical approach and, which is applicable to the information services management is the systems approach. This approach is used in almost all organizations of the modern times. This approach may be classified as a classist, Universalist, and traditional approach. Contributors of this approach are people well known to the management field and include Mc Farland, Newman, Taylor, Fayol, Harold Koontz, and Lyndall Urwick (Hill and Jones, 2010). This approach is common and universal across different organizations across the world. This school of thought view management as a process. Just like in all management fields, information services management involves a number of processes that are aimed at achieving organizational goals and objectives. This approach focuses on managerial roles and functions. In addition, it outlines the principles and rules that are to be followed by organizational managers. The approach outlines managerial roles that are classified into organizing, directing, planning, controlling, and coordinating. These managerial roles are universal across all organizations in the world. The approach also outlines the core of what good management is the principles, and the framework of management.

The theoretical approaches discussed above may differ in what they hold on management, but they are all focused on attaining efficiency and effectiveness in management. This implies that theoretical approaches in management have one goal in common that is to ensure that organizational roles are performed efficiently and effectively. Information services management field is an essential business field in understanding theoretical approaches in management. It is, however, essential to note that these theories also apply in other business-related fields.



Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, G. R. (2010). Strategic management theory: An integrated approach. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H. (2009). Generalist practice with organizations & communities. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.

Montana, P. J., & Charnov, B. H. (2008). Management. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series.

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