"It is impossible for ideas to
compete in the marketplace if no forum for
their presentation is provided or available."
Thomas Mann, 1896
The Business Forum
on Management Education
By Henry H. Goldman, Ph.D
Management Education vs. Management Training: A matter of focus.
Management has often been defined and/or described
as, “getting work done through others.” Nearly all of the writers and
business philosophers from Henri Fayol to Peter Drucker and beyond have focused on that definition, to a greater
or lesser degree. Contrary to popular thesis, management educators and scholars do, in
fact, consider themselves “worthy of critical scrutiny.” A prime reason for teaching management,
particularly on the graduate level and for working adults, who are quite likely to already be
experienced managers, is to determine why some things tend to work well in some companies and
do poorly in others. “Why does it work here, but not there?” is a necessary and meaningful
interpretation of management education, or should be.
We may also wish to clearly separate, for the purpose
of this paper, management education from management training.
While related, these
two concepts are quite different and are unique unto themselves. Both education
and training, in general, stress Fayol’s “Fourteen Principles of Management,” but the focus can be very
different in nature. It has been suggested that management education
reserved for the formal offerings in colleges and universities, and that
management training is
that which is done in on-site programs conducted by either in-house personnel, or by outside
consultants. If this differentiation holds true, then both aspects of the original thesis are likely to be
One colleague has suggested that, “management
educators have an easier time when teaching Managers or those who wish to become
Managers because the motivation is for their [goals] to be achieved.” He goes on to suggest that
management can be taught and that the emerging managers can be molded to take the reins and
move forward toward a new vision: a new way of doing things. It thus becomes essential
that “managers-in-training” relate that which is offered from the podium to their own developing
management styles. Management, as a discipline, can be taught, management
We, as professors, scholars, writers and teachers of
management, must continually inquire into the purposes of management education. One such
purpose is to create a pool of new management talent, ready to step into place when
needed. Another, and closely related purpose, might be to permit people NOT to become
managers. Some people may want to understand management, particularly as it may relate
to their own organizations, but have absolutely no interest in becoming managers,
themselves. We all know individuals who are quite content with taking orders but may feel very
uncomfortable in giving them.
Still another purpose of management education may be
to innovate – but little is done about this topic, with the exception of Professor Peter
Drucker, who continues to refine and redirect the ideas and the ideals of management theory, both
from the podium and through his extensive writing and speaking. He would agree, that
there is very little new in management, but many new ways of discharging management
responsibilities. I recently responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for conducting a series of
“hands-on” management courses for a governmental entity. The overall goal of the training
was to determine, “if management [was] right for me.”
Malcolm W. Warren, former president of Performance
Technologies, Inc., suggests that “we can differentiate between [management] training and
management development [or education] in three ways.” Warren lists them as:
• Training deals with current needs; management
development with predicated needs.
• Training is job-oriented; management development is
• Training usually deals with specific task
requirements; [education] with organizational requirements or “task complexes.”
The effect of both of these ideas is to change human
behavior. Both share a common objective: the development of human resources.
Still another differentiation between management
education (development) and management training
is the degree to
which the information being proffered from the podium is immediate “take-away” value. Management training tends to be
very task oriented. The emphasis might be on “problem-solving” or on “decision-making.” I
have had the privilege of facilitating “hands on” learning for a number of world-wide corporations.
Sometimes the purpose of the training is “skill enhancement.” Sometimes the purpose of the
training is to allow the “student” to learn how to do his/her job more efficiently. Often, we
have led programs that are geared to introduce new and different ways of completing tasks.
These training programs may be financially oriented, i.e., “Enhancing Shareholder
Value,” or “How to Read and Use Your Company’s Financial Statements.” These programs,
generally short and very content specific, are brought about by current company concerns,
“Ethics after Enron,” is a good example.
Some training coursework covers soft skills. “Writing
Better Memos,” “Effective Delegation,” and “Negotiation Skills,” are all examples. By contrast, management education at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels tends to stress the more classical treatment of management.
“Management as an Art,” rather than an attempt at solving current problems at the office.
Management 101, “Principle of Management,” may actually become a course in the history of
management rather than an applied course.
Professors are notorious for teaching what each of
them deems to be important, as long as all of the subject matter in the University’s course
outline is covered, or at least mentioned. Often, lower division “Principles” courses may actually call
for the spending of several lecture hours comparing and contrasting the works of Fayol with
those of Frederick Taylor. Such rigid approaches ought not to be permitted when we can
agree that there ought to be a separation between management in the abstract and practical or
applied management. Even Henri Fayol stressed the point that his “Fourteen Principles”
were flexible and that their application would vary based on several criteria, including the type of
industry served and the quality of the company’s management cadre. He cautioned that
allowances had to be made to their applicability for different and changing
Several of Fayol’s “Principles” can be both
theoretical and practical. Those are worthy of specific mention and include at least the following:
Division of Work (#1)
Here was the first statement dealing with the
conceptual idea of work specialization. This practical principle forms the basis of any superior –
subordinate relationship. As such, deserves treatment from both the university podium and the
in-house trainer. The concept can be immediately understood in both venues.
Fayol describes formal or positional authority as
opposed to personal authority. Again, students can easily understand the relationship of
authority as it comes from the position held. This also proclaims that there is “hierarchical”
authority: the higher one moves within an organization, the greater the amount of real as well
as perceived authority. Here again is a “Principle” that is both classic and applied and, as
such, easily comprehended by both the university student and the workplace participant.
This topic may be less understood by those receiving
their management education at the university level versus those already employed.
University students are generally very jealous of their individual interests and tend to be
reluctant to subordinate these interests for the “greater good.” Teaching a course on “Team Building”
may be more difficult at the university level because of this unwillingness to set personal
interests aside. MBA students tend not to want to work in teams in order to promote their own
abilities, particularly in the classroom. The workplace is dominated by work teams. The better
employees are always “team players.” Those who are not soon realize their inabilities in
moving upward through the organization. On the other hand, working adults who are just beginning
their management education and working toward the MBA or similar degree, find that
working in teams multiplies their successes because of the increased brain power and skills
Fayol developed his “Principles” from the practices
he had used most often in his own work. He understood them as broad and general guidelines for
effective management. They were never intended to be “classic.” Fayol’s true contribution
to management thinking was not the “Fourteen Points” themselves but rather his formal
recognition and synthesis of the “Principles.” He was probably the first to codify the elements of
management. Today, these “management functions” are taught from every university podium
and are reiterated in books by university scholars; none have really improved upon Fayol’s
groundbreaking work, now nearly eighty-five years old.
Management education or development courses tend to
emphasize Fayol’s so-called elements of management, today more likely to be called,
“functions of management.” These include the kinds of information normally taught in an on-site
program of management training:
He most often emphasized planning and organizing
because he viewed these “elements” as primary and essential to all of the other functions
of management. Our worldwide program, “Essential Skills for Middle Managers,” an on-site
management training course, is based on Fayol’s functions of management. On the other hand,
one is unlikely to find a university management course built solely on the functions
unless when compared with another’s work, usually Taylor.
To further differentiate “training” from “education,”
the following might be the beginnings of a one-day management training course for a major
corporation. This one-day overview of the “Management Process” would be conducted in a
lecture-discussion mode and would be highly interactive. There would probably be two or three
hands-on “applications workshops” spread throughout the day, as the need arises. The course
might look like this:
Defining the Role of the Manager
• Understanding the Management Function
• Establishing Yourself
Classic Management Functions
Delegating: the Life Blood of Management
• Barriers to Delegating
• Benefits of Delegating
Ethics in Management: A Primer for the 21st Century
Handling Stress, Conflict, Burnout
Management Decision Making and Problem Solving
Budgeting and Financial Skills
By contrast with the above, a typical university
course, heavy on theory and light on practice, may cover the following topics:
Ethics and Social Responsibility
Organizational Structure and Design
Five Functions of Management
• Highly Directive, Autocratic
Corporate and Social Responsibilities
Another, more structured model might look something
like this and can be either for undergraduates or for a graduate program, depending
on the emphases:
Management and Organization
• Management Theory
Building Basic Management Skills
• Building Decision Skills
• Building Interpersonal Skills
• Goal Setting
• Managing Conflict
• The Organization and its Outside Environment
• Strategic Planning and Control
• Organizational Design
• Strategic Change
• Tactical Planning
• Organizing Work
• Managing Groups
• Controlling Behavior
• Controlling Operations
• Organizational Performance
Additionally, in the graduate program, several of the
topics ticked off above may be the subject matter for more intensive courses, like, for example,
“The External Environment of Business,” or “Introduction to Executive Management,” or “Executive
Decision-Making,” where the student will learn more and more about less and less until he or
she becomes an expert on nothing. These largely theoretical courses dwell on
what ought to
be rather than on what is. It is axiomatic that much of what is learned in graduate school is quickly
forgotten or ignored in the corporate world. The true function and purpose of graduate
education is for the student to learn to think in a logical and critical way. Often, these goals are
ignored or simply misunderstood by faculty members, worldwide.
There is still another aspect of management
education versus management training. A large percentage of university professors have limited
“real world” experience. Many of them have never worked as managers in large, multi-national
corporations. Their knowledge, while profound, tends not to include hands-on expertise.
The problem-solving component management is often missing or lightly treated by
these professors. Their case studies are derived >from textbook examples, rather than from
their experience as corporate executives or as management consultants.
We argue that management education, of all kinds,
must include front-line experience. The instructor should have been “in front of the cannon.”
The instructors’ experiences can be woven into the lectures and into the interactive
small group discussions that ought to take place during the learning sessions. These can prove to be
invaluable to the participants.
The solving of real world problems, by students led by their
instructors can go a long way toward the creation of a managerial workforce that is ready and
prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
 Training for Results.
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979
 Henri Fayol. Administration Industrielle et Generale.
Henry H. Goldman
is the Managing Director of the Goldman Nelson Group. Henry got
his Masters Degree at the University of Iowa and did his Doctoral
Studies at the University of Southern California. He is a
Certified Professional Consultant to Management (CPCM); and has
published numerous articles in trade journals and was Associate
Editor of Taking Stock: A Survey on the Practice and Future of
Change Management (Berlin, Germany). He is a member of the
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD); Association of
Professional Consultants (APC) and the Institute of Management
Consultants (IMC). Henry has consulted and/or offered training in
South Africa, Tanzania, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau,
Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Barbados, Georgia, Kosovo,
Tajikistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and of
course North America. He has also taught at Baker University:
Lee’s Summit, MO, 2008, Adjunct Professor of International Business;
National Graduate School: Falmouth, MA, 2004-2008, Adjunct Professor
of Quality Management; California State University: Fullerton,
2005-2006, Lecturer on Taxation; University of California: Berkeley,
2002, Adjunct Professor of Management; University of Macau (China),
Adjunct Professor of Management, 2001-2003.
Visit the Authors Web Site
Editorial Policy: Nothing you read in
The Business Forum Journal
should ever be construed to
be the opinion of, statements condoned by, or advice
from, The Business Forum, its staff, workers, officers, members, directors, sponsors or shareholders. We pass no opinion whatsoever on the content
of what we publish, nor do we accept any responsibility for the claims, or
any of the statements made, within anything published herein. We merely
aim to provide an academic forum and an information sourcing vehicle for
the benefit of the business and the academic communities of the Pacific States of America
and the World.
Therefore, readers must always determine for themselves where the statistics, comments, statements and
advice that are published herein are gained from and act, or not act, upon such entirely and always at their own risk. We
accept absolutely no liability whatsoever, nor take any responsibility for
what anyone does, or does not do, based upon what is published herein, or
information gained through the use of links to other web.
Please refer to our:
Beverly Hills, California, United States of America
Copyright The Business Forum Institute - 1982 - 2015 **
All rights reserved.
The Business Forum Institute is not responsible
the content of external sites.