Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Topics in CMP - Part I

The CMP Course as I mentioned before is a thinking course. However, I like to take it down further. This exercise is more for myself than the blog. As I mentioned before the blog helps me in reflecting on the work I am doing rather than just going from one event to another. It helps me to find patterns, to mark priorities and to plan better.

Topic 1 : The Evolution of Management upto World War II

Covers the classical management theories.

  • Scientific Management from Frederic Taylor
  • Administrative Management from Henry Fayol
  • Bereaucratic Management from Max Weber
It then covers the "Human Relations Movement" and Systems and Contingency theories.

This topic provides an overview of history of management thought.

Topic 2 : The Evolution of Management after World War II till 1990

Again here there is a sense of history and trends in various areas.

  • Organizational Development
  • Startegy - Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Drucker and MBO, Porter & Mintzberg
  • Quality - Deming, Juran, Crosby, Feigenbaum, Quality movements
  • Learning Organization

Topic 3 : The Influences of the Sciences : Part I - Systems Thinking

  • Reductionism
  • History of Systems Thinking
  • Systems Thinking
  • Cybernetics
  • Human and Social Systems

Topic 4 : The Influences of the Sciences : Part II - The New Sciences

A large part of this topic is influenced by Margaret Wheatley and her book "Leadership and the New Sciences".

  • Complexity Science
  • Quantum Physics
  • Chaos Theory
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • New Organizational Systems and Structures of the Future
  • Tops Model

Topic 5 : New Perspectives on Management Practices - Part I

  • Globalization
  • Technology
  • Knowledge Management
  • Learning Organizations

Topic 6 : New Perspectives on Management Practices - Part II

  • E-Business
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Organizational Design - The Boundaryless Organization
  • Quality
  • Governance
  • Sustainability (Triple Bottom Line and Balanced Score card)

Topics 7 - 10 are on Strategy. This will covered in a later post.

The course looks great if you look at the topics. But considering the number of concepts packed into each topic and the diversity of each it does take lot of time to cover them.

That is one of the problems. The other problem is the relative newness of the topics and the scope of the topice. For example : Understanding the history of management till 1990 is relatively easy and may be a lot of MBA students do know about it. Atleast I did.

But, understanding and ingraining "Systems thinking" is no mean task. I am not sure how you can do it in a short time period. This course also makes a start in Systems Thinking, more like providing us direction, a new path to venture. However, it is upto the student to do his own work and learn and utilize this knowledge in other parts of the MBA and in the future.

For instance, MIT (where System Dynamics was invented by Jay Forrestor) has a half and full semester course on System Dynamics. System Dynamics is a branch which provides the tools to create models. These system models will help in understanding our decisions and will speed-up our understanding of systems thinking.

The next ideas of Complexity, Chaos Theory and Evolutionary Biology are major 'mental models' which if can be ingrained in us it can change our worldview. I can understand the limitation of the course here. You cannot teach these new ideas vis-a-vis management and organization. It is upto us.

An excerpt from the Editorial Review on for the book:

The result is a much clearer work that first explores the implications of quantum physics on organizational practice, then investigates ways that biology and chemistry affect living systems, and finally focuses on chaos theory, the creation of a new order, and the manner that scientific principles affect leadership. "Our old ways of relating to each other don't support us any longer," she writes. "It is up to us to journey forth in search of new practices and new ideas that will enable us to create lives and organizations worthy of human habitation."

Globalization and technology are important concepts which will take time to understand. However, Systems Thinking and other thinking tools will help in making sense of this.

The main aspect of learning for me in this course is to identify the various broad themes and select what to glance at, what to read, what to go deep into.


Blogger James Piecowye said...

Interesting read!

Ever read Seth Godin?

08 May, 2005 21:25  
Anonymous Shopping said...

Excellent work. It was thoroughly enjoyable and informative.

09 May, 2005 03:14  
Blogger sumandatta said...

hi sumit
good 2 see u r already @ it (givin us snippets of the course :-) )
lookin forward to more stuff from u...

09 May, 2005 19:28  
Blogger Albert L Berriz said...

Cool stuff.

free cognition

10 May, 2005 01:01  
Anonymous Raj said...

One of the best books on systems thinking that I read is "Seeing the forests for the trees" by Dennis R?

10 May, 2005 01:24  
Blogger Suhit Anantula said...


Thanks for that. In fact I have borrowed Seeing.... and will read it this week..hopefully if I can manage.


10 May, 2005 15:58  
Blogger Suhit Anantula said...


Yes I am big fan of Seth Godin...and love his books. I follow his blog too!


10 May, 2005 17:13  
Blogger Andrea said...

Suhit, you have inspired me to be more proactive with my own studies! Thanks!

15 May, 2005 15:54  

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