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"Tamagotchi" Managers Published: Tuesday, August 12, 1997 By: Dr. Manuel Angel Morales

Organizations need managers to be able to reach their objectives. They need tamagotchi managers to be able to reach these objectives both efficiently and effectively. There is also an economic reason why organizations need tamagotchi managers. Noting the increase dominance of the service sector in the economy and the increased importance of people in generating a return on the use of physical and technological resources, human capital (defined as the skills and knowledge of the population) has become the critical input that determines the rate of growth of the economy, sectors and organizations, and the well-being of the population. It is the presence of tamagotchi managers that determines, in large part, the return organizations realize from their human capital. To acquire and retain tamagotchi managers, to let them know what they are expected to do, and to effectively utilize the organization`s human and other resources, people in all organizations use models of management.

A model of management is an answer to the question: What kind of a person will be effective in the organization in specific management tasks and jobs. It is a scheme which is used for key decisions such as selection, promotion, firing, and design of assignments for management development. It is used to interpret responsibility for success or failure with respect to accomplishment of performance objectives. It is used as the basis for communicating to managers, professional, technicians and operators how they should act and what they should be doing. It is also used as a framework for the design of management jobs and the organization`s systems, policies, processes and programs.

But let us be alert to the warning of great thinkers as McGregor, Boytzis, Shon and others, to the extent that every managerial act rest on assumptions, generalizations, and hypothesis, that is to say, on theory. Without theory there is no knowledge and without new knowledge there is no real change. Our assumptions are frequently implicit, sometimes quite unconscious, often conflicting. Every manager has a model or theory of management, which it is used to make different types of decisions and it is critical to organizational functioning. The search for a tamagotchi model of management is complicated by a person`s confusion between his or her "exposed theory" of management versus his or her "theory in use". Let us give an example: Juan García, an entrepreneur who started his own company, brought it 25 million per year in revenues. He decided that he would move up to Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and promote someone to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. His "espoused theory" was of finding the best qualified person for the job. He promoted someone he felt showed the most promise. One year later he fired the president and took over both jobs. The difficulty was Juan promoted the person who was most like himself.

That was his "theory in use". The use of inappropriate criteria for such decisions is a problem to which many executives, directors and managers are vulnerable.

A brief quiz has been configurated to determine how well you understand your model of management, and how explicit you have made it.

  • Have you ever described your model of management to others? Have you ever describe it is writing?
  • What are the sources of ideas, concepts, and assumptions in your model of managements? What individuals have had the most impact on your model of management?
  • Have you or others tested the elements of your model against performance information? What are your measures of effective managerial performance?
  • How does your model of management differ from models held by various managers or professionals in your organization?
  • How is your model different from or similar to the model of management held by your principal competitor? If you can answer these questions with some detail, the model of management you have may or may not be the model of management that you use. To double - check you may wish to think about the following situations:
  • The last time you hired or promoted someone into a management position. Describe how the person selected differed from candidates whom you did not selected. Describe the person in terms of the attributes which you valued...
  • Last time you conducted a performance review of someone in a management job. Describe the behavior and accomplishments you felt deserved recognition.
  • Last meeting you conducted. Describe your style and why you felt it was appropriate or inappropriate?
  • Last time you resolved a conflict among individuals or departments in which you were involved.
  • Last time you reassigned priorities to objectives in which you were engaged. What were the reasons for these changes?

The model of management should be explicit and performance related. Effective performance or tamagotchi management is about the attainment of specific results required by the job through specific actions, while being consistent with policies and processes, to respond to the organizational environment, the market requirements and customers` needs.

The model of management should increase the organization`s return on managerial asset. After all tamagotchi management is about a good egg and watching it with quality...

Copyright 1997 QBS, Inc.
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