The accelerating pace at which emerging technologies have affected every facet of the work place environment in the last 50 years has been significantly overwhelming. Shifting demographics, the shift to knowledge based systems and economies, and increased pressure for innovation, cost containment and enhanced productivity has put management in a position that calls for significant re-definition of itself as the years have gone by.
Management in this modern era of technological boom isn’t the same as it used to be some 3 to 4 decades ago. A vast majority of organizational ideologies, processes, practices, and values have been completely altered to fit the modern day business approaches that facilitate business and management functionalities (Xavier, 2004). For example, the large population of the baby boomers generation has forced management to review organizational approaches in different domains. In the past, paper memos were the ideal medium for circulating information. In recent times such a tool has been replaced by emails or smart device broadcast that this young generation of workers find feasible and viable to use. The infusion of this younger generation has created a multi-generational work environment thus creating internal organizational challenges which management must effectively address (Chan, 2004).
A recent study argued that in light of the technological advances, management approach have been refocused to support and manage a highly skilled workforce, to meet the demands of a more informed consumer group, to support increased productivity growth, alter consistently business models so they adapt to the ever volatile and dynamic market environment, and to monitor employment relationships. The management of today is to a large degree essentially different from that of the 70s and the 80s because the new era management has been compelled to embrace paradigm shifts so as leverage on technology and the many benefits it affords. Managers in the new era have been compelled to adapt to changing technology while still maintain the necessary skill set to address older systems and approaches. Managers have moved from the traditional task oriented approach of doing business to a more robust approach of providing services and solutions, from a slow centralized decision making framework to a more powerful, dynamic and empowered knowledge based framework that enhances decision making processes. Management at present has moved from traditional intuitive decision making to fact based analysis (Xavier, 2004).
As financial pressures and the notion of globalization continue to grow, management has had to adopt several change oriented measures to boost productivity and performance. The innovative approach and concept of employee/people empowerment has replaced the 70s ideology of managing people and 90s notion of motivating individuals (Chan, 2004). Management control methodologies such as authorization and approval have been completely phased of by trust, accountability and empowerment. Employee liberation via the provision of business shares and appropriate autonomy is the new dynamics of modern day management.
Contemporary issues and challenges such as total quality requirements, outsourcing, borderless competition, emerging alliances, diversity and technological evolution are now being addressed by present day management innovative and structured technological initiatives. Management in the past had the approach of incremental and linear changes approach to stay ahead of respective competition. Such management approaches are no longer feasible in today’s world of innovative dominance. Adaptations of core competencies such as vision, team spirit, strategic thinking, and communication now play a significant role in management processes.
Management of the modern day era has gained significant strides and momentum than what was obtainable some forty years back. McGregor J’s book on leadership and management is a complete façade of present day comprehension and perception of management (Wheatly, 1997). The development of management theory has gained equal status with that of the notion of organizational theory. Management has become more transactional, dynamic and transformational, a far cry from its once rigid structure of the past. There is an increasing and emerging awareness that management is now considered as the most effective model for facilitating, propagating and encouraging high impact involvement within organizations. For individuals who aim for a position in management, it is no longer sufficient to simply possess managerial acumen. The functions of modern day management have become more dispersed throughout the organization
Modern day management has become bordered around strategic and structured intelligence, clear and strong values, the ability and desire to constantly evolve, high levels of personal energy, the ability to make employees feel good about themselves and a dynamic flow of infectious curiosity. This is a clear cut difference on the old philosophy of management which was centered on the core value of profit making. Technology has ushered in an era where management is collaborative and highly approachable. Facts and critical analysis drive management decisions in this modern era as opposed to biased so-called intuitive thinking. Management is now perceived an interactive entity with a positive vision for their workforce and the general organization. Technology has indeed brought about a paradigm shift in the management of today, making today’s management a far contrast from the management of 50 years ago.
Chan Heng Chee (2004), “Paradigm shift – paradigm found?” Far Eastern Economic Review, Vol. 157 Issue. 47, Nov, pp. 36.
Wheatly, M. (1997), “Goodbye command and control”, Leader to Leader, Summer, No. 5, pp. 25.
Xavier, M. J. (2004), “Paradigm Shift from management to leadership”, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore pp. 20.