Looking Up and Looking Around’

1397 Words Apr 17th, 2011 6 Pages
Hey there, here is an essay I wrote for one of my business subjects. Seeing as I do not actually work in the field it will be interesting to see how true or false some of the points I make are. NOTE: The second half of the essay is on another one of my threads. Thanks

Management is typically thought to be the place where calm, considered and well thought through decisions are taken. Drawing upon writings about the realities of managerial work and the nature of the management advice industry, why might we question this conventional view?

Jackall’s (1988) text ‘Looking up and looking around’ looks beyond the façade and exposes the realities that make up the inner-workings of the managerial position. The notion of ‘looking up and looking
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78). Apart of the standardizing of administration is to rid of their being any chance a manager might require to “fly by the seat of the pants” (Jackall 1988, p. 76). For example in the company Alchemy Incorporated, high-end managers were given the handbook entitled ‘Procedures for Creativity in Management’ (Jackall 1988, p. 76). The definition and nature of creativity opposes the parameters that are inextricably linked to procedure and yet attempts are still made to “control the uncontrollable”. The nature of rigid procedure leaves policy easily subject to exploitation. Policy which requires managers to work with other personnel to find a solution will be viewed in some manager’s minds as an opportunity to ‘spread the blame’ if the solution reached is unsatisfactory. An upper-middle level manager explains on page 78 of ‘Looking up and looking around’ how managers exploit select policy by saying, “…if a decision has to be made, involve as many people as you can so that, if things go south, you’re able to point in as many directions as possible.” The quote prompts us to understand why the conventional view of managerial work is so hard to debunk as it is so easy for managers to mask the real intentions of their actions as team-work – an admirable and sought-after quality. Jackall (1988) points out how this style of management ultimately leads to poor business decisions and scapegoating; “…many managers become extremely
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