Educating the Modern Manager.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)
Joanna Heathcote

MGHC02H3S – Leadership Skills Educating the Modern Manager • Social theorists argue that human nature is: (a)Infinitely flexible (b)Reflecting the changing cultural, economic, and historical conditions that surround it • View of human malleability is related to structural sociology, cultural anthropology, and situationist social psychology  Belief that organizations can and should be structured in any way that makes financial sense, regardless of the wishes of the employees, who can adopt to virtually any structure  The need to adopt creates more demand for continuous learning • However, this view of human malleability is wrong because people are not infinitely adaptable. • Defining learning and education: -What is learning?  2 ways to define learning: (1)Gestalt psychology – people construct mental models of the world & use the models to interpret reality and guide their behavior; concerns shaping mental models – challenging unexamined assumptions and unconscious worldviews (2)Behaviorism – a change in behavior after an experience; education involves acquiring or changing behaviors; skill is a particular kind of well-honed behavior capacity  Behaviorist model of learning – management education is a process of acquiring skills, with no emphasis on the process of deeper understanding  Gestalt model of learning – management education is a process of constructing mental models appropriate for interpreting organizational phenomena, with no emphasis on the importance of concrete skills  The most important lessons that executive can learn are twofold: (1)Evaluating the mental models that they hold regarding their capabilities and others’ expectations of their performance (2)How these mental models are expressed in overt or behavioral terms (which is social skill) -What drives learning?  Behaviorist – learning is driven by efforts to meet physiological needs (hunger, thirst, avoidance of pain) and shaped by the hedonic and instrumental consequences of these efforts  Gestalt tradition – learning is driven by “epistemic hunger”, by a desire to understand or master the world – even at the expense of physiological needs; it is primarily shaped by errors or mistakes -Learning and development  Behaviorist:  Development is essentially random and depends on the sequence and kinds of demands that come up during an individual life history  It consists of adding behaviors or skills to one’s repertoire as the skills become necessary  Order in which the skills are acquired depends on the order in which the problems appear in a person’s life  Timing is not necessarily important  Path of development is bidirectional and incremental  It consists of steady layering of skills  Classic development tradition:  Development has a direction and an end point (from immaturity to maturity)  It is internally programmed and spontaneously unfolds based on input from the environment  It is stagelike and consists of qualitative transformations over time.  Early experiences are more important than later experiences  Behaviorist – learning new skills depends primarily on whether the necessary prior skills are available  Classic – the lessons (mental models) of adulthood can only be learned by adults -Learning and motivation  Motive – intensions; biological needs  3 great metamotives: (1)Acceptance and approval (and are stressed by rejection & criticism) (2)Status, power, and the control of resources (and are stressed by their loss) (3)Predictability and order (and are stressed by their loss) 1  These needs are biological; there are individual differences in their urgency  The most consequent learning in life is organized around gaining acceptance and approval (or avoiding rejection), gaining status, power, and resource control (or minimizing their loss), and making sense of the world • A domain model of managerial education: - Competency: a performance capability that distinguishes effective from ineffective managers in a particular organization (1)Intrapersonal skills (2)Interpersonal skills (3)Leadership skills (4)Business skills - The 4 domains:  Define the content of management education  Provide a basis for designing curricula, assigning people to training, and evaluating management education  Form a natural, over-lapping developmental sequence, with the later skills depending on the appropriate development of the earlier skills  Form a hierarchy of trainability, in which the earlier skills are harder to train and the later skills are easier to train - Intrapersonal skills: (1)Core self-esteem, emotional security, or resiliency  With core self-esteem: self-confident, have stable, positive moods, not easily frustrated or upset, bounce back quickly from reversals and disappointments  Lack of core self-esteem: self-critical, moody, unhappy, easily frustrated, hard to soothe, and need frequent reassurance and positive feedback  Easy to measure = give managers reliable feedback on the subject  Career outcomes, including job satisfaction and performance evaluations (2)Attitudes toward authority  Positive: follow rules and respect procedures; compliant, conforming, socially appropriate, and easy to supervise  Negative: ignore rules and violate procedures; rebellious, refractory, and hard to supervise  Easy to measure  Career outcomes, including supervisors’ ratings of satisfactoriness (3)Self-control, the ability to restrain one’s impulses, curb one’s appetites, stay focused, maintain schedules, and follow routines  Good: self-disciplined, buttoned down, and abstemious  Poor: impulsive, self-indulgent, and undisciplined  Easy to measure  Career outcomes - Interpersonal skills: (1)Disposition to put oneself in the place of another person, to try to anticipate how that person sees the world and what he/she expects during an interaction, “taking the role of the other” (2)Getting it right when one tries to anticipate another person’s expectations – it is a skills; related to cognitive ability and social experience (bright extraverts are more accurate than dull introverts) (3)Incorporating the information about the other person’s expectations into one’s subsequent behavior (4)Having the self-control to stay focused on the other person’s expectations  Concerns initiating, building, and maintaining relationships with a variety of people who might differ from oneself in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, social class, or political agendas  Easily measured  Occupational outcomes, including managerial performance - Leadership skills: (1)Being able to recruit or attract talented people to a team – identifying the talent the team actually needs and then persuading people with the requisite talent to join (2)Retaining talented personnel after they have been recruited (3)Motivating a team (4)Developing, projecting, and promoting a vision for the team (5)Being persistent and hard to discourage 2 -Business skills:  Planning, monitoring budgets, forecasting costs and revenues, cutting costs, mapping strategies, evaluating performance, running meetings, and organizing necessary
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