The Management Science Approach

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Management science is defined the application of scientific methods to resolve problems arising in an operating system or using mathematical equations in solving problems experienced in the operating systems, this is according to Churchman, Ackoff and Arnoff. In this kind of management, mangers are recommended to use scientific and mathematical techniques to help solve operational problems because by doing so they help in improving their organizations. The history of the approach dates back during the World War 2 where leading scientists had to solve complex operational problems for the military during which it adopted the name management science (Certo and Certo 2009).

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Today, firm managers are trying to use the management science techniques to solve the operational problems as these problems are always being faced by almost all organizations. By 1955 this approach proved very effective in industrial sectors that managers and universities were seen pursuing the refinements of the techniques. In 1965, many companies had resulted to adopting the management scientific approach to solve management problems in areas that included production, plant location, and product packaging. But for small organization its proving to be a challenge to apply the management science technique in helping to solve operational problems.

There are four main characteristics present in the management science approach.

  • Because of the complexity of the management problems, there is need to analyze large numbers of variables. In the process using scientific techniques would be advantageous in such a situation.
  • Management science application uses economic implication as their guidelines while making particular decision mostly because of its effective performance in analyzing quantifiable information.
  • Mathematical models that are used to investigate the decision situation in management science approach.
  • The uses of computers help management scientist analyst perform mathematical analysis and solve the complex managerial problems effectively.

The Contingency Approach

Contingency approach emphasizes that whatever managers are involved in all depends on contingent of circumstances or simply on a given situation. It uses the if-then clause, for example, is “if” (a situation that exists) “then” a manager is likely to take a certain action. In other words, if a manager has a group of inexperienced staff then according to the contingency approach its recommended that he or she in a different situation than when the staff is experienced. It entails identifying common recurring settings and conducting observations of how different structures, strategies and behavioral setting are analyzed separately depending on the situation.

The basic idea in this approach is that an organization cannot specifically define that this is the best way to plan organize or control all situations. Managers should be aware that, one effective situation does not ecessarily have to work in another situation. This is to mean the approach cannot be best used effectively to seek matches in different situation with possible management methods. Its effective implementation by managers around the world is due to a number of factors which are:

  • Increase in completion among the growing numbers of enterprises and government businesses internationally.
  • There is demand for a leadership scheme that upholds ethical and social responsibilities.
  • Constant changes in demographics and skills required for different workforce.
  • The surfacing of new organizational structures that stress on speed in relation to environmental change
  • Employees desire to have some job security and personal fulfillment including other preferences.

Managers in the 21st century have to learn new ways that would help them compete innovate, generate, inspire and be in the front lead when compared to their competitors. The knowledge would be useful to managers especially when making decisions in different situations. Other challenges faced while using the approach are, organizations are likely to perceive situations in their actual context; it’s difficult to choose the best management tactics to suite different situations and lastly it a challenge for organizations to competently implement the tactics. The System Approach System approach management is based on general system theory that views organizations as unified focused systems composed of interdependent components.

The adjective of this approach is to give managers the ability to look at the different organization sectional parts as part of the larger external environment. According to systems theory, the activity of any segment of an organization affects the organization solely in varying degrees of individual segments. General systems theory integrates the knowledge of various specialized fields of an organization so that the system is understood better as a whole (Certo and Certo 2009).

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There are two different types of systems: first, there is the closed system that which is not influenced by the environments neither do they interact with their environment. These systems are predetermined in terms of motions or activities involved. A good example is a clock which always functions in a predetermined way for it to serve its purpose. Secondly is the open system which constantly is in contact with its environment. The meaning of wholeness in an organization is that managers should access the organization before making modifications in favor of all the organizations systems. Hence it helps in promoting interrelationships among the parts present. Analyzing the systems management concept involves analyzing management situations in systems. The management system for example is an open system that interacts with its environment. The environmental factors are the government, suppliers, customers and other competitors each of these factors represent a potential influence in an organizations system. Managers are therefore encouraged to put emphasis in knowing and understanding how different components of their organizations work with each other.


Certo, S. C. and Certo T., (2009). Modern Management: Concepts and Skills. Denver, CO: Prentice Hall.

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