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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 237: XI Workshop on Labour and Labour Management

TOWARDS AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT

Author:   J.T.W. Alleblas
Abstract:
Management is a concept which is not easily defined. It lends itself to a flexible interpretation, partly because it involves behavioural patterns, which are often opaque and complicated.

A broad definition of the concept covers, among other things, the formulation of objectives, policies and organization. Furthermore, it often involves elaborating strategic and tactical plans, developing alternatives, making choices and taking corrective action. You may well wonder if there is a person who has all these good qualities combined. Even more so, as a manager should also have interpersonal skills, vision and perseverance.

How can this motley mixture of functions, activities and qualities help us to understand the problems of management and entrepreneurial behaviour? The history of management shows that in general two interests prevail: the interest of the individual, and the interest of the enterprise. Turn-of-the-century scientific management required a rational approach to productivity in the enterprise's interest. This type of management was mainly concerned with various aspects of specialization and mechanization. Time and motion studies were to find the most rational method of achieving a high productivity level.

This approach elicited many reactions, and finally resulted in a completely different view focusing on the care for people and their performance. This type of management was called human relations management. Gradually both schools secured a position, to the benefit of both people and organizations.

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