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A system is defined as a set of interrelated and interdependent parts that function together as a single unit, or unified whole. This view, which sees the goal of a system to function as a unit, is valuable because it puts managers' focus on (a) making sure that individual parts are the best they can be; (b) making sure that the coordination of the parts is optimal; and (c) making sure that the entire organization as a functioning unit is operating at optimal level.

The second aspect of the systems approach that helps inform managers is the idea that an organization is an open system–that is, an organization doesn't exist in isolation from the rest of the world. The organization has its boundaries, and within those boundaries, managers need to work to make sure that things are performing at an optimal level.

That said, managers also need to keep the outer environment in mind from which organizations obtain inputs and to which they provide outputs. Though managers have much less control of the outer environment than they do of the inner organization itself, paying attention to the outer world and how it relates to the organization can help the organization become successful.
In a short essay, explain how the systems approach contributes to the understanding of management.
The Hawthorne studies were a series of studies conducted by engineers at the Western Electric Company Works in Cicero, Illinois. The engineers initially designed the studies as a scientific management experiment to test the effect of various illumination levels on worker productivity. The engineers expected a simple relationship to emerge–the greater the illumination was, the higher the productivity would be.

The results did not support the expectations of the engineers. Instead of a clear-cut relationship between light intensity and productivity, they saw varied results–some groups performed better than others in low light levels, for example. To explain these results, they began exploring the nature of groups and group interactions. These additional studies resulted in two primary conclusions. First, the authors of the studies concluded that group pressures could significantly affect individual performance. And second, they concluded that people behave differently when they know they are being observed in a test situation.

These results functioned to further the importance of human behavior as it pertains to management. After the Hawthorne studies, managers realized that people in a workplace could be affected by more things than just their jobs and the work conditions themselves.
In a short essay, describe the Hawthorne studies and how they were interpreted.
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[Answers will vary.]
Division of work–job specialization that increases individual output by having employees perform simple, easy-to-perform job tasks.

Unity of direction–the organization should have a single plan of action to guide managers and workers.

Order–people and materials should be in the right place at the right time.

Stability of tenure of personnel–management should provide orderly personnel planning and ensure that replacements are available to fill vacancies.
In a short essay, identify the principles of management identified by Henri Fayol that are most important for efficiency and productivity of the entire organization.
[Answers will vary.]
Remuneration–workers must be paid a fair wage for their services.

Centralization–the degree to which employees are allowed to make decisions.

Equity–the idea that managers should treat subordinates fairly and with kindness.

Initiative–the opportunity for employees to originate and carry out their own plans to solve problems.

Esprit de corps–a feeling of team spirit that gives employees a sense of belonging.
In a short essay, identify the principles of management identified by Henri Fayol that are most important for the satisfaction and welfare of employees.
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