The Role Of A Modern Industrial Manager Business Essay

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The beginning of modern management started alongside with the Industrial Revolution. The foundations of modern management are the theory of Scientific Management (substantial improvements in productivity are generated) which analyzed by Frederick Taylor in 1880s and the General Administrative Management (contains the theory of systematic management by Henri Fayol). The ''modern management movement'' is a continuous developing product and includes the ''classical, quantitative and behavioural management movements''. The ''quantitative management movement'' combines three different fields, namely management science, operations management and management information systems. The ''behavioural management movement'' deals with human psychology and involves human relations and organizational behaviour(.....).

Managing people and technology in the modern industrial workplace


Throughout this century, the role of a modern industrial manager has increased rapidly and has become very crucial for the function of an organization. There are many considerations and factors about the duties and responsibilities of a modern industrial manager, and is quite difficult to give a definition due to the complexity of the role that a modern manager has. A simple definition is that a modern industrial manager is responsible for supervising and conducting the operations of human and technological resources that provided, in order for the organizational objectives to be achieved (Billsberry, Jon - 1996). The role of a modern manager includes the control of a wide range of responsibilities that are extremely important for the successful functioning of an organisation. More specifically, a manager deals with the establishment and the execution of a project plan in order to achieve the targets of an industrial operation. Among an organization, the key members have fewer responsibilities and less work compared to managers, however they have a crucial role in the development of the project or the organization. Alternatively, the manager's duty is to motivate them in order to improve their performance and the organization's efficiency( ).

Nowadays, the rapid development of technology has a direct impact in management and as C.P. Snow stated ''Technology…is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other…'' (C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971). As a result, a modern manager, in order to be able to perform efficiently in this period of technological innovations, needs to have a wider specialist knowledge than ever before in a broad range of areas like organizations, technology and markets. Consequently, there is a continuous demand to update their skills and knowledge, and to maintain their status in organizational systems and the labour market (Billsberry, Jon - 1996).


A famous social psychologist named Douglas McGregor presented and analyzed in his book, ''The Human Side of Enterprise'', two theories about the motivation of human being in the work. The two theories were the ''theory X'' and ''theory Y''. The ''theory X'' presents a negative point of view for human behavior and is based on three assumptions:

Firstly, people have an inherent dislike for work and they will attempt to avoid it.

For the above reason, the majority of the people have to be coerced, controlled, guided and be threatened with punishment in order to give all their efforts in work.

Finally, people as irresponsible and unambitious creatures need always direction. They only care about finding security.

Alternatively, ''theory Y'', which opposes ''theory X'', is more complicated and developed states that:

The work is in human nature.

People are able to direct and control their selves in order to achieve their work objectives.

Commitment of people to their work objectives gives them the opportunity to become self-controlled and self-directed.

There is a satisfaction of ego in achievement of goals.

There is a great number of people who have high levels of creativity, ingenuity and imagination which force them to seek responsibility and overcome it.

Under the conditions of the modern life in industries, intellectual potentials of human being are being only to a certain extent utilized(Wolfgang Pindur, Sandra E. Rogers, Pan Suk Kim - 1995).

It could be said that these two management approaches are still applied in business and in fact an abundance of different implications can be carried by these two theories. Theory X and theory Y are very critical in the work of a manager; not only for motivation and management but also because they contribute an important guidance for managers helping them in the development and cultural improvement of their company.

In the beginning of 1980's, a more developed approach to management was presented by Professor William Ouchi. ''Theory Z'' is based on a combination between the Japanese and American management philosophies and identified by consensual decision making; long-term work engagement; slow evaluation and advancement in higher position in an organization; explicit, formalized measures, informal control; holistic concern for the employee and his/her family; emphasis on training and constantly progression of product and performance and individual responsibility.

''Theory Z'' gives the opportunity to the organizations not only to achieve great benefits in terms of financial performance but also, in terms of commitment, satisfaction and motivation of their employee.

Nowadays, the business environment is developed constantly; as a consequence, organizations must rely on human work force. This is the method that makes organizations to distinguish from their competitors. A company, which employs ambitious and well-educated/trained personnel, fulfils all the requirements for achieving its future objectives. In addition, even if a firm has the most advanced technology and their staffs is not trained sufficiently, it should not expect great benefits due to the fact that technology itself cannot assist the firm in obtaining its objectives. It goes without saying that the contribution of human resources management is noteworthy. Through a number of stages, which involve; activities such as determining the number of personnel that a company needs or if any needs in staff can be replaced by independent contractors, searching for well-educated human resources and engaging for the higher level of their performance which will be acquired by training them and finally, overseeing that personnel follows firm's regulations, the organization can achieve the objectives that have been set.

The substantial active role that the employees have nowadays develops an impression of authorization and responsibility forcing them for giving all their powers. That makes an organization more flexible and the manager's role in this situation is to establish the best possible conditions for human resources to perform effectively.


As mentioned before, the significant advancement in technology results in the improvement of the systems that used by firms in the provision of services and products (Hill, Terry - 2000). Using the technology as implement could give the opportunity to the company to be improved in product and service quality. It is a manager's responsibility to understand what advantages can be created for the organization by the continuous development of technology and what risks and constraints can be imposed on the operation of the organization (Trott, Paul - 2008).

A notable distinction between the modern managers and the managers few decades ago is the technological development and the ability of modern managers to use the technology in order to create good opportunities for the organizations. Furthermore, the managers must realize that technology has an extremely important role in businesses and they must be aware for technological advances, introducing them in order to strengthen their organization. On the other hand, it is necessary for the staff of the company to understand quickly the importance of technological developments and familiarize their selves to the increasing technological innovations. An important factor is that a manager needs to have a better understanding of the correlation between the power of new technologies and the method in which they applied to the operation (Slack Nigel, Chambers Stuart, Johnston Robert - 2007).

Another important role for the modern industrial manager is the examination of constant change in advanced technology and the implementation of it in the organization. The manager should consider all the proposed ideas from the organization's staff, the costumers or antagonists, and from the department of research and development in order to assess the after an extensive discussion with his/her personnel and decide if he/she introduces them for the benefit of the firm(Slack Nigel, Chambers Stuart, Johnston Robert - 2007).

Apart from this, another important detail for a modern manager in the field of advanced technology is planning and control. An organization could suffer disastrous results, if the planning is inadequately. Undertaking projects with a high degree of complexity make the stage of planning quite difficult, however they could give a remarkable benefit in the company and the control of them could be a great challenge. As the activities of the project progress from one stage to another and, the involvement of many different staff members, resources (supplies) and activities is required, the effect on each other rises rapidly. Finally, the probability of disregarding any stage of the project increased and could lead in the delaying of the initial plan (Slack Nigel, Chambers Stuart, Johnston Robert - 2007).

Billsberry, Jon (1996) The Effective Manager, Perspectives and Illustrations. London: SAGE Publications in association with The Open University

Hill, Terry (2000) Operations Management. 2nd ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Slack Nigel, Chambers Stuart, Johnston Robert (2007) Operations Management [Electronic book]. 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall/Financial Times

Trott, Paul (2008) Innovation management and new product development. 4th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Wolfgang Pindur, Sandra E. Rogers, Pan Suk Kim, (1995) The history of management: a global perspective. Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 1 Iss: 1, pp.59 - 77 - How-to Guides for Your Business [online].Available at (Accessed at 19/11/2010)