Management is key to driving economic activity, and essential in today’s economic climate says Professor Birkinshaw. Reinventing Management explains that selecting a good management model can be critical in obtaining a competitive edge. Management methods have changed dramatically over the years, however the function of a manager has changed very little.
From the outset Professor Birkinshaw establishes the equal importance of leadership and management. Reinventing Management theorises that every organisation has a system of management that has grown over time, and a management model can be conceptualised in four key areas:
• how to set objectives
• how to motivate people
• in co-ordinating activities
• decision making.
Professor Birkinshaw explains that companies quite frequently adopt the same management models as their competitors. He also explains that a carefully developed management model that is strategically tailored to reflect the values and objectives of a company can give a company its competitive edge:
“We need to develop a more comprehensive understanding of what management is really about to make better choices”
Reinventing Management is targeted primarily at managers across all organisations – those men and women who are responsible for getting work done through others. The development of the management model should also be facilitated and supported by a range of cross-industry bodies, and additionally through policy and education.
Professor Birkinshaw concludes:
“If I have a single objective with this book, it is to put the discipline of management back on the agenda as an important area for businesspeople, policy people and educators to take it seriously; and for them to consider the consequences of what they are doing to improve the practice management in the years ahead.”
Julian Birkinshaw will be speaking at London Business Schools Business Leaders Series: Managing to Lead on 25 March 2010.