Whether we think of management training as a defensive strategy or as a missionary strategy, we need some way of relating our methods of teaching individual skills to what we deem to be the needs of the organization. The idea put forward here is that the successful manager and the successful organization deal effectively with information by varying their behaviour in accordance with certain attributes of the information itself. Those who teach problem solving techniques have tended to emphasize the value of a systematic intellectual approach, and those who teach interpersonal skills have tended to emphasize authentic social relations. These criteria are not the only ones, however, and may even be dysfunctional at times. There are occasions when, for example, imaginative thinking or diplomatic behaviour are needed. The volume of information, its complexity, and the degree to which it is restricted, may provide some indication as to which criteria should be applied. These same information characteristics may also point beyond the exercise of individual skills to the climates of opinion and organization structures which individuals create by their collective activity. The relationships suggested have not been fully established by research, but are consonant with much that has been written on the subject.
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