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Are you managing ok?

Sharon Barker (LMS Training Coordinator, Northamptonshire Education Management Information Systems)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 1 October 1991



If one were to select a concept that could be used as representative of the end of the decade of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, then that concept could well be management. Although as a discipline, theories of management first emerged at the end of the 1890s, it has undergone periodic phases of rediscovery as each new generation of managers isolated some hitherto unknown factor which could contribute to their overall efficiency as managers. Each decade has produced influential thinkers with, for instance, the 1920s seeing output from Henri Fayol, Mary Parker Follett, H.L. Gantt, F. & L. Gilbreth and F.W. Taylor; the 1930s that of E. Mayo, L.F. Urwick, and C.I. Barnard; the 1950s Drucker, Herzberg, Leavitt, and Chris Argyris; the 1960s Maslow, Likert, Blake and Mouton, Bennis, Kotler, McGregor and Revans. Its current phase in the United Kingdom could be said to have gained impetus with the publication of the two reports into aspects of management education, Charles Handy's The making of managers and John Constable's The making of British managers. The research reported by both documents indicated an urgent need for change if managers in the United Kingdom were to be produced in the quantity and quality required to ensure continued and successful participation in international competition. Yet the problems identified were not really new ones: similar concerns after the Second World War had led to the setting up of a body to improve the quality of management thinking and practice, the British Institute of Management (BIM), established in 1947. It is a sad truism that the lessons of history are very rarely learned, and in this, management is no exception. Nonetheless, the findings of these major surveys of the 1980s have once again brought management to the forefront of attention.


Barker, S. (1991), "Are you managing ok?", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 43 No. 10, pp. 295-298.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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