Thirty years ago the English scientist and novelist C.P. Snow talked of the “two cultures” of contemporary society. Management, however, fits neither Snow’s “humanist” nor his “scientist.” It deals with action and application; and its test is its results. This makes it a technology. But management also deals with people, their values, their growth and development—and this makes it a humanity. So does its concern with, and impact on, social structure and the community. Indeed, as has been learnt by everyone who, like this author, has been working with managers of all kinds of institutions for long years, management is deeply involved in spiritual concerns—the nature of man, good and evil.
Management is thus what tradition used to call a liberal art—“liberal because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership; “art” because it is practice and application. Managers draw on all the knowledge and insights of the humanities and the social sciences—on psychology and philosophy, on economics and on history, on the physical sciences and on ethics. But they have to focus this knowledge on effectiveness and results—on healing a sick patient, teaching a student, building a bridge, designing and selling a “user-friendly” software program.
Monthly archives of “January 2015”
Friction Is Opportunity
One person’s friction is another person’s revenue.
Why Technology Matters For Sustainable Development
In his book Zero to One, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel addresses the distinction between globalization and technology. Globalization constitutes “horizontal progress”, he writes, or “taking things that work somewhere and making them work everywhere”; and China is the “paradigmatic…