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How should we manage – Fredmund Malik’s view

Fredmund Malik of St.Gallen Management School is one of the world’s renowned experts on the practice of management. He has a very practical framework on the tasks and tools of management. According to his approach in “Managing, Performing, Living”, the manager needs to focus on 5 tasks to be effective in his role:

  • Managingobjectives – the first task of effective management is to ensure that goals are set. These need to be the right goals and they need to be clear. They are the means to focus people and an organization – in effect, leading them.
  • Organizing – managers need to ensure that people are working on what the customer pays for. The organization needs to be set up so people can contribute their skills to the whole.
  • Decision-making – deciding is the core nature of leadership. It makes or breaks the manager.  Even more important is the implementation of the decision and realizing the results of it.
  • Supervising – work has to be measured and controlled so that the desired quality can be delivered. The means are many and where it is not possible to measure, the contributions have to be assessed and judged.
  • Developing people – people are the most important part of an organization. It is a prime responsibility of the manager to develop their people – knowing them and placing them where they can contribute their strength and where their weakness becomes irrelevant.

This is a very task-focused description of management. It breaks down the areas of responsibility and steps to management and has become the standard in many corporations, especially in Europe. Management is more a craft than art for Malik.


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