Sunday 17th November 23:06

People Management: Management Gurus

Use the links below to discover some of the top management thinkers, writers and practioners who have changed the way we manage.

Warren Bennis and the Qualities of Leadership

warrenbennis_175 It is not easy to remember that there was a time when few people talked about the need for leadership at work. Up until a couple of decades ago, managers managed resources; they weren't identified as just responsibe for people management. Today, things are quite different. The best managers are also the best leaders. The person who is widely recognised as bringing about this change in thinking is Warren Bennis, who at 86, is regarded as "the dean of leadership gurus". Meet him here... more

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Lao Tzu and the Tao of Managing People

laotzu_142Lao Tzu was master of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism and the author of its oldest existing book, the Tao Te-Ching. In this book, which you can download for free on this link, Lao Tzu strives to understand the inner nature of things and work with them rather than against them. The Taoist philosophy is one of yielding, flowing, and enabling. Today, as the developed world moves from an industrial mode of work into an information and people-based mode of work, many management thinkers have come to see the relevance of Lao Tzu's thinking to modern people management... more

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Thomas Watson and the Art of Storytelling

storytelling_142Thomas Watson is regarded as one of the greatest business leaders of the 20th century. He turned a small company producing weighing machines, International Business Machines, into the giant of the computer industry, IBM. Watson achieved this extraordinary success by an evangelical belief in what the company stood for. He also believed in creating a mythology about the organisation through story-telling. Discover Watson's unique approach to people management and how he used stories to spread the corporate word... more

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William Ouichi and Theory Z

z_142William Ouchi is an American professor of business management who first came to prominence in 1981 for his work on bridging the gap between American and Japanese management. His belief that American business could learn from the management beliefs of Japanese industry led to his book on Theory Z. The book became a New York Times best-seller and today ranks as the 7th most widely-read business book in all US libraries. Discover how Ouichi updated the people management theories of Theory X and Y here... more

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Erik Erikson and the Conditions for Personal Growth

erikerikson_142Erik Erikson (1902-1994) was a German-born psychologist who developed the idea of Lifespan Psychology as a way of showing how each of the major changes in our lives is accompanied by a quality that can promote personal growth and also one that can leave us stagnating. These conditions are not only valuable for helping us through our lives; they are the formulae for helping us handle any change during our lives... more

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Charles Handy and New Models of Managing

charleshandy02Charles Handy is  regarded as one of the most influential management thinkers of the last 50 years. Through a range of books, such as "The Future of Work", "The Age of Unreason", and "The Elephant and the Flea", he has brought a range of models and ideas to the attention of many practising executives including his idea of the "portfolio worker" and the "shamrock organisation". Many of his ideas are incorporated in ManageTrainLearn courses and in our own approaches to people management. Here are 3 of them... more

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W Edwards Deming and the Quality Movement

wedwardsdeming02_142W Edwards Deming is one of the most influential management figures of the 20th century. He is widely regarded as the founder of the quality movement in post-war Japan and credited with the astonishing rise to industrial pre-eminence of that country from the 1950's onwards. Deming died in 1993 in America where his importance was becoming increasingly acknowledged. In Japan, he had long been revered as a hero... more

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Elton Mayo and Employee Motivation

eltonmayo_175George Elton Mayo was an Australian who became one of the best-known management theorists after his experimental work on employee motivation and people management in the 1920's and 30's. Mayo was a lecturer at the University of Queensland when he decided to move to the University of Pennsylvania in America in 1923 and then to the Harvard Business School in 1926 where he became professor of industrial research. It was from here that he took on the research that was to make him one of the most famous names in management history... more

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Henri Fayol and Scientific Management

05._henrifayol_142Henri Fayol is one of the founding fathers of management thinking. His contribution to the development of management is immense, having influenced and been influenced by, the scientific management movement of people like F W Taylor and Henry Ford. Discover how Fayol earned his place in management history in our review of his life and work... more

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Abraham Maslow and Motivational Psychology

maslow02_142Abraham Maslow is regarded as one of the giants of modern management theory through his work in the 1940's and 50's on motivational psychology. His theory of the Hierarchy of Needs is still used in business schools and universities as the classic study on what motivates people at work. It underlies much of today's approach to people management. Read our review for a history of Maslow's life, the unusual way he developed his theory of needs, and an overview of the Hierarchy of Needs itself... more

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John Adair and Action-Centred Leadership

adairsthreecircles_142 John Adair is one of the world's leading authorities on leadership. His Action-Centred Leadership programme is one of the top management training products in the world. He became the first ever Professor of Leadership Studies in 1979 at the University of Surrey near London and in 2009, he was appointed Chair of Leadership Studies at the UN Staff College in Turin. Adair is best known for his model of the three connecting circles which represent the three concerns of managers for Task, Team, and Individuals. Find out why the model was one of the most influential and groundbreaking management training materials of our times... more

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Mary Parker Follett: the First Management Consultant

maryparkerfollett_175 The great majority of management gurus are men but there is a special place for one woman who has been largely forgotten in the history of management: Mary Parker Follett. Mary was born in Massachusetts in 1868 to a Quaker family. She went to Radcliffe College, a co-ordinate college of Harvard University, though, being a woman, she was denied a degree. From there, she became a voluntary social worker and founded social community centres in and around Boston. She became perhaps the first-ever "management consultant" in 1928 when she worked with the League of Nations in Geneva. She moved to England to lecture at the London School of Economics and died in 1933 at the age of 65 on a return trip to Boston... more

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How Steve Jobs inspired a generation

stevejobssecrettoliving_175 Steve Jobs died a year ago this week at the age of 56. His obituaries and eulogies record his most notable achievements such as his founding of the Apple Computer, the development of computer peripherals that we now take for granted such as the mouse, his development of computer movie graphics at Pixar Animation Studios, and, of course, his launch of the phenomenally successful iPhone and iPad series. Though these are remarkable achievements on their own, they would probably not be enough to accord Jobs the distinction of being one of the most inspirational business leaders of our times. For that, we have to look at one simple but generation-changing speech... more

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Henry Mintzberg and the Nature of Management

mintzberg_142 Henry Mintzerg was born in Canada in 1939 and has spent nearly all his life working in that country. He studied at McGill University in Montreal as a mechanical engineer and, after some time with Canadian National Railways returned to the university to become profesor of management studies. His impact as a management guru began with his book, "The Nature of Managerial Work" in 1973, when after years of detailed research and observation into the daily habits and time management of chief executive officers... more

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Frederick Winslow Taylor: A Colossus in the Development of Management

taylor_142 As you will know if you are regular readers of these weekly management training materials, we regularly feature some of the greats of management theory. But this week, we look at a colossus: Frederick Winslow Taylor. F W Taylor is widely regarded as the man who turned management from a rule-of-thumb practice into a scientific discipline. He did this at some personal cost but, through his practical demonstrations of how his theories worked, made a lasting change in the development of work. Learn about this extraordinary man here.... more

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Frederick Herzberg and the Motivation-Hygiene Theory

03herzberg_142 Frederick Herzberg has been described as "one of the most influential management gurus of the post-war era". This reputation relies on two concepts that he introduced into the world of management. The first was "job enrichment" and the second was his "motivation-hygiene" theory, more of which later. Although Herzberg was born and brought up in Massachussets in America, it was his experiences at the liberation of Dachau concentration camp towards the end of World War II that set him on the road to a lifelong interest in what motivates and de-motivates human beings.... more

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Douglas McGregor and Theory X and Y

03douglasmcgregor02_142 In previous features of these online management training materials, we've looked at Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg. This week, we complete the three big names of the mid-20th century motivation movement with a look at the life and work of Douglas McGregor. Just as Maslow is known for his Hierarchy of Needs, and Herzberg for his hygiene-motivational theory, so McGregor is universally known for his Theory X and Theory Y assumptions about people. McGregor's theory was published in 1960 in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise" but his ideas started a long time before as he was growing up in Detroit... more

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Ken Blanchard

02kenblanchard_175 Ken Blanchard is the author of "The One Minute Manager", one of the few management books to have earned its place on the bookshelves of working managers. With this book, Blanchard popularised the allegorical story-telling approach to management writing. Find out 10 things you didn't know about Ken Blanchard and then browse our collection of online management training materials and books... more