Understanding management

Two new White Papers look at the function of management and the sources of power and authority used by managers and leaders.

WP1094 The Functions of Management describes the five functions of management, the supporting principles and the challenges of managing in a post bureaucratic organisation. Download the White Paper.

WP1095 Understanding Power and Authority looks at the sources of power and authority used by management and leaders.  Different sources of personal power underpin different types of authority.

WP1095 Power Autority

Download the White Paper.

Whilst both White Papers are based on general management theory, project managers are by definition managers and are increasingly expected to be effective leaders, so an appreciation of both subjects is useful.


4 responses to “Understanding management

  1. Hi Linda,
    Enjoyed your thoroughly researched and well-written papers as usual.

    My only “challenges” or questions are for you to consider (perhaps for updates or future topics?) are:
    #1) Both Peter Drucker in his 1973 tome “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” and more recently, Henry Mintzberg in his 2006 book “Management” both tell us that there is no discernible difference in “management”- that “management is management is management” in whatever form it takes and that there is “good” or “effective” management and “bad” or “ineffective” management. So how do you rationalize parsing “project” management from “operational” or “functional” management?

    #2) When we combine asset management plus portfolio management plus program management plus project management, (which is clearly where AACE followed by PMI and Axelos have/are taken us) haven’t we come full circle back to “general” management?

    #3) In your paper on Power vs Authority, while you did a great job covering the traditional “interpersonal” sources of power, it seems you totally missed what are commonly known as the “structural” sources of power?
    Knowledge (Intellectual Capital) Power
    Control of Resources as Power
    Networks as Power

    In today’s world, these last three seem to be the more relevant and important, particularly the last one “Networks as power”, especially for Gen X and Gen Y…… http://www.academia.edu/1760629/Towards_a_new_Understanding_of_Structural_Power

    Keep up the great work and looking forward to your next papers…

    Dr. PDG, post ICEC Symposium, Milan, Italy

    • The intention of the White Papers is to provide the juxtaposition to an important paper defining the ‘Six Functions of Governance’ by Dr. Lynda Bourne that will be published in the November edition of Project Management World Journal: http://pmworldjournal.net/

      Dr. Bourne’s ‘six functions’ are:
      • Determining the objectives of the organisation.
      • Determining the ethics of the organisation.
      • Creating the culture of the organisation.
      • Ensuring compliance by the organisation.
      • Requiring accountability from management.
      • Designing and implementing the organisation’s governance framework.

      We will follow up on your references.

      • Hi Pat and Dr. Linda,
        I was THRILLED to see you referencing Fayol, who I consider to be one of the “fathers” of “modern project management”.

        It always concerned me that neither PMI nor IPMA reference Fayol, despite his important contributions, including the concept of the WBS.

        Also interesting to note is that he was a MINING (operations) guy and I have long argued that there is precious little difference between operations management and project management, other than the operations is on going but the projects have (by definition) a finite end. What we are finding is that in MANY “operational organizations” (i.e. airlines, hospitals, mining, automobile repair shops) they have in fact “projectized” operations. Here is a CCE/CCP paper that one of our clients wrote explaining how this was done. http://pmworldjournal.net/?article=earned-value-management-adapted-for-use-in-underground-mining-operations

        FWIW, the General Superintendent who implemented this was able to show (using Earned Value) that he saved 65 million USD and is now a VP over at Freeport Indonesia.

        PDG, on our way back to Jakarta

  2. PS Linda et al, here is another very good reference to explore on the various sources of power and authority…..


    Dr. PDG, post ICEC Symposium, Milan, Italy

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