Measuring the Situational Nature of Management

by Howard Carlisle



Generalized theories of management have been of little use to managers in their individual, dynamic settings. Many writers in recent years have noted the lack of a general theory of management and have been alarmed at the numerous conflicting concepts which exist in the management theory jungle. The article proposes four dimensions, repetition, scale, technology, and authority, as measures of administrative complexity and guides to applied management techniques. The proposed dimensions are an attempt to identify, classify, and quantify some of the important internal physical attributes of a situation. These scales are measures of administrative complexity and should serve as guides to the application of management techniques and concepts. They are attempts to get away from the generalizations and semantic vagueness which typify much of management analysis today. Even though obvious limitations exist to the current status of this approach, it proposes the direction in which lies the potential unfolding of a general theory of management.

California Management Review

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