Management Theories

This guide is about management theories, it aims to help managers, undergraduates and post graduates. In the guide a researcher is guided to different types of information, which include journal, articles and reviews. The guide tries to cover almost all the management theories.
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Electronic Databases

Emerald Group Publishing Limited Restricted Resource Some full text available
Management, library and information science and other social science journals.
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Behavioral Management Theory Some full text available
 This work (Hopwood, 1983; Hopper and Powell, 1985) called for detailed explanatory case studies of accounting in action. This call was answered, and the 1980s onwards has constituted what could well be termed an “empirical revolution” (Mattessich, 1995, p. 261). This empirical work challenged the prevalence of the normative theory which had dominated academic accounting up to the 1970s (Scapens, 1990). Where these empirics were informed by interpretive or critical theories, this work also portrayed the partial nature of accounting – indicating its “embeddedness” (Granovetter, 1985, pp. 481 ff.) in managerialist thinking and practice. The “alliance” between accounting and managerialism was also held responsible for privileging certain interests over others – as those of capital over labour or of realizing certain programmatic discourses to the exclusion of others – notions of economic efficiency driving out concepts of the public interest. But this focus on empirics as “what is happening” has excluded work on “what might happen” or “what should happen”.
note: Journal
Decision-making: Theory and practice. Some full text available
This paper compares a number of theoretical models of decision-making with the way in which senior managers make decisions in practice. Six prominent decision-makers were interviewed about their own decision-making style, as well as their use of decision support technology. Significant variation was found in personal decision-making styles. However, some central themes emerged, such as the importance of sensitivity to the decision-making context, attention to the presentation of information, and the use of intuition. In terms of the use of decision support technology, the use of self-help tools, such as office software, was clearly favoured.
note: Journal
EBSCO Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full-text, abstracted and indexed journals from all branches of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and humanities.
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Future Management Theory: A "Comparative" Evolution to a General Theory Some full text available
Eleven existing management theory streams can be reduced to four concurrently and sequentially developing ones. Past and present evolutionary developments in management theory indicate that a future "general theory" probably can result from a "comparative" analysis and synthesis in the present decade, utilizing the management process theory as a comparative base
note: Journal
Grounded Theories of Management: A Methodological Review. Some full text available
This article sets forth the argument that management research should take into account the complex processes of enterprise activity and the inherent contextual issues that effect managerial behaviour. Research accounts from other areas of social inquiry have conveyed the worthiness of the grounded theory approach to qualitatively focused studies. This article reviews the central literature, along with author’s experiential reflections, thus highlighting an on-going debate as to the faithfulness of grounded theory to generate explanations to socially constructed phenomena. It is concluded that grounded theory can be a significant approach to developing management understanding.
note: Article
History in Organization and Management Theory: More Than Meets the Eye Some full text available
There has been a growing debate about the role of history in management research with several authors making suggestions on how to bring the two (back) together and others even highlighting the need for a “historic turn”. What we argue in this paper is that, while history was indeed sidelined by the scientization of management since the late 1950s, it started to make a comeback from the 1980s onwards and is increasingly employed in a number of research programs. We stress that the crucial question for management scholars engaging with history (or wanting to do so) is how it relates to theory. First of all, we present a systematic overview of the way history has been used—both at the micro (organizational) and macro-levels of analysis—distinguishing between what we refer to as “history to theory” and “history in theory”. In the former, we consider those research programs, such as (neo-)institutionalism, where history serves as evidence to develop, modify or test theories. In the case of “history in theory” we identify research programs where history or the past are part of the theoretical model itself as a driver or moderator, with “imprinting” as a prime example. Second, we also
identify a growing number of studies that go further by displaying what we call “historical cognizance” in the sense of incorporating period effects or historical contingencies into their theorizing efforts. Finally, drawing on our broad overview, we make more specific suggestions for increasing the visibility and influence of history in organization and management theory.
note: Article
Influence of Managerial Accounting Skills on SME’s on the Success and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya Some full text available
Several studies show that most small and medium businesses fail within their first three years. Although the role of factors such as access to funds and culture has been widely studied, the influence of owner/manager practices and capabilities have generally been ignored. To bridge this gap, this paper investigates the managerial business practices and capabilities used by SMEs such as strategic management, financial, marketing, human resource and ICT and their influence on decision making for enterprise success and growth. Data was collected from Kenya Industrial, Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) incubated SMEs in Nairobi. A census research design was used, with a self administered questionnaire given to all participants. The results show that owner/manager capabilities in financial, marketing, human resource and managerial accounting influence decision-making, and consequently SMEs success and development. The paper concludes that training level and managerial accounting capabilities of owner/manager have a strong, positive and significant influence on the decision making and consequently are critical for the success, growth and survival of SMEs.
note: Journal
Intergrative Schemes in Management Theory Some full text available

This article reviews a number of suggested theoretical frameworks, with a view towards distinguishing between integrative and accommodative processes As it has been stated in various journals and books, a number of management approaches or schools of thought have been developed. In addition to the widely followed functional school, there have been proposed such approaches as decision making, human relations, quantitative, systems, and social process.
note: Article
Japanese and American Management: Theory Z and Beyond. Some full text available
This article analyzes studies comparing Japanese and American managers,
workers, and societies in order to consider questions raised by William Ouchi's book, Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge. The analysis results in 2 general observations: 1) Theory Z management is not likely to become the accepted norm in American companies to the extent that it has in Japan, and 2) the major conceptual or theoretical lesson we can learn from the Japanese is the potential value of developing a management system that is internally consistent, that fits societal norms and expectations and that obtains support from the major institutional actors in the world of work.
note: Article
Leading students through the management theory jungle by following the path of the seminal theorists A paradigmatic approach. Some full text available
The “management theory jungle” described by Koontz appears to be overrun with even more theoretical undergrowth than when he wrote his seminal critiques of the state of this body of knowledge more than 40 years ago. This article endeavors to provide a clear and fairly narrow path through that jungle, using the seminal thinkers in management as our guides. It recommends adopting a paradigm-based approach to the management discipline rather than struggling through the jungle of multiple theories and “schools of thought”. This approach satisfies the criteria set forth by Koontz to bring much needed clarification to the discipline of management. Specifically this approach: restricts the discipline to a manageable size; uses its simple and straightforward terminology; and gives direction to teaching and research. The article concludes with a discussion of some ideas on how to teach management using this paradigmatic approach.
note: Article
Management theory and Training. Some full text available
There are many reasons why trainees resist training, but a common complaint heard is that management theory is too theoretical. To some trainees, theory is viewed as a fact- a true or false statement about reality. When theory does not account for unanticipated contingencies, theory is rejected rather than modified to fit the circumstances. Because management theories are viewed as mutually exclusive (rather than as complementary but alternative views of reality), when theories appear to contradict each other, there is a tendency to believe that the competing views have canceled each other out. This article  is limited: to identify a plausible cause for management training failure besides blaming theory and to demonstrate how a trainer might synthesize two divergent theoretical assumptions about management into a coherent approach that is truly reflective of the work experience.
note: Article
Management Theory for Small Business: Attempts and Requirements Some full text available
This paper examines the attempts that have been made to develop theories of small business management. The discussion of various contributions is structured according to task environment, organizational configuration, managerial characteristics, success-failure issues, and growth issues. Conclusions are drawn about how well these attempts meet the requirements of good theory.
note: Journal article
Mary Parker Follett: Pioneer in Management Theory Some full text available
Management theories are revealed traits, the first trait reveals itself in  repeated assertions about "the problems of establishing and maintaining human cooperation in the conduct of an enterprise." 1 And, the second element is clear in he author's emphasis on the "experimental nature of business"2 and the significance of industry in the field of human activity." But, being a great believer in the all-embracing virtue of coordination and integration, she avoided rigidity in her management thinking. To her, business represented a great institution and the sociological system of individual-cooperation a great structure of managerial importance. Collaborating on this framework, the author developed a theory of human action which expounded "the basic human emotions and forces that underlie the process of organization."
note: Journal
Methodological Orientations and Management Theory: An Analysis of Academic Opinion. Some full text available
In view of the contemporary emphasis on specific research techniques, it is interesting to note how little attention has been directed toward the more general problem of methodology in management theory. The findings of this study indicate an almost universal agreement among management professors concerning the virtues of empirical methods. Opinions regarding the ultimate objectives or goals of administrative theory,
note: Journal
Nankai Business Review International Restricted Resource Some full text available
Nankai Business Review International (NBRI) provides insights in to the adaptation of American and European management theory in China, the differences and exchanges between Chinese and western management styles, the relationship between Chinese enterprises’ management practice and social evolution and showcases the development and evolution of management theories based on Chinese cultural characteristics.
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Government Financial Management Theory by Gerald J. Miller Some full text available
In Government Financial Management Theory, Gerald J. Miller argues that such ambiguity permeates all aspects of public financial management. In what is one of the most important books in the field, Miller shows that the perspectives of economics and political science-disciplines that have dominated budget theory for decades-have been insufficient to the task of providing an encompassing theoretical perspective. Miller's approach is truly multidisciplinary. With formal training in economics, political science, and public administration with a heavy emphasis on organization theory, Miller also has extensive experience in the financial marketplace. The book reflects a similarly balanced perspective. Budget theory is given its due, but so are other aspects of public administration, such as debt and investment management, information systems, and revenue forecasting.
note: Book
Taylorism Transformed: Scientific Management Theory since 1945 by Stephen P. Waring Some full text available

Stephen Waring begins his study by contending that Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.'s explanation of the rise of the managerial class in The Visible Hand (1977) validated its undemocratic structure with historical inevitability. He  uses Taylorism Transformed to deny the legitimacy of bureaucratic authority by comparing the business enterprise to a state and applying tools of political analysis to the theoretical distribution and justification of power within the firm.
As the first sentence of the book argues, "The modern business corporation is a polity, managers are its princes, academicians working in business schools are its philosophers, and managerial techniques are its constitution" (p. 1). Waring's idiosyncratic vocabulary: business administration is "government," and managerial theorists are, annoyingly mandarins.
note: Review

Almanacs & Yearbooks

Measuring and intervening: how do we theorise intellectual capital management? Some full text available
Measurement of intellectual capital is important, but not only for descriptive purposes. It is important because it enables intervention. If intervention and measurement are coupled, then measurement is an input rather than an output, and then measurement is not to be evaluated on its reflection of reality but rather on its ability to help actors transform their reality. This is particularly true for intellectual capital, which is widely accepted as part of an agenda for transformation and growth – it is a strategic/political agenda. To arrive at this conclusion, the paper discusses relationships between measurement and intervention comparing conventional financial statements with intellectual capital statements.
note: Article

Primary Sources

Want Better Business Theories? Maybe Karl Popper Has the Answer Some full text available
This  essay  outlines how a cognitive philosophy of science shift in the business school culture from Thomas Kuhn's normal science paradigm framework to Karl Popper's revolutionary science methodology would mitigate many of the dysfunctions Ghoshal catalogues. This position is based on published literature, contemporary trends in management theory, and teaching graduate courses in the administrative sciences. It also suggests that, if such a transition is not made, MBA programs will continue to lose both societal and organizationalegitimacy.
note: Primary source


Fairness and the Main Management Theories of the Twentieth Century: A Historical Review, 1900-1965 Some full text available
Although not always termed organisational justice the fairness of organisations has been a consistent concern of management thinkers.  A review of 1900-1965 time period indicates that management theorists primarily conceptualised organisational justice in utilitarian terms, although each theory emphasised distributive and procedural justice to different degrees. There is clearly a need of contemporary scholars to consider non-economic rationales for organisational justice, but the willingness of earlier scholars to make utilitarian arguments about  organisational justice and productive efficiency helped legimitise the idea of fairness in organisations as an orbiter of value. Further each theory tempered absolute managerial autonomy  with some inherent check there on. Researchers interested in organisational  justice should therefore take a historical perspective in considering how management theory includes consideration of justice related-concerns. 
note: Review
Management Theory and Total Quality: Improving Research and Practice through Theory Development Some full text available

Total quality and management theory are compared at both global
and topic-specific levels.The analysis suggests that management research could be enhanced by incorporating some insights of total quality into management theory. This also conclude, however, that management practice could be improved by incorporating insights from management theory into total quality efforts, and that, in fact, total quality has already incorporated many such insights.
note: Review
Practicing Management Theory Some full text available
Many public administrators are management conscious, but few public agencies have developed a well-rounded management program, tending rather to sub- merge management concerns with program concern. theories of its own. At the risk of repeating some of the well- established goals of good administration, the work will sketch through fact, tone, and emphasis, some sense of the Port Authority's management program which is felt has won a justly deserved reputation for effective public service.
note: Reviews
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