Understanding Management: The Social Science Foundations (Paperback)
  • Understanding Management: The Social Science Foundations (Paperback)

Understanding Management: The Social Science Foundations (Paperback)

Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 21/08/2014
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Management is a fragmented and interdisciplinary area of study, with a lot of academic branches. Willman argues this tree is narrower at its roots, and these roots lie primarily in social science. Key to the purpose of the book is to present management theory as applied social science. Developed out of a core management course at Master's level, this book introduces the field to students who may have little prior knowledge of management. Willman interprets 'management' broadly to embrace the sub-disciplines of strategy, finance, accounting, marketing, organisational behaviour and operations management. The text aims to show how they arose and how they relate, thus engaging the reader in a little history. The book is integrative, in that it seeks to find common concerns in disparate literatures. It is also critical in that it seeks to comparatively evaluate contributions to the management field both in terms of theoretical contribution and practical impact. It is intended to be accessible to a range of readers, presenting technical materials in an informal way. Finally, it is introductory in that it assumes no previous knowledge of the academic management field.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198716921
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 512 g
Dimensions: 234 x 174 x 20 mm

What do they teach in business schools, and where did these ideas come from? Paul Willman lays out the central concepts that animate the six core disciplines (accounting, operations, management, marketing, strategy, and finance) in a compact and enjoyable way. He also traces the often surprising origins of contemporary business ideas, from mass-production shipbuilding in 16th century Venice to heat diffusion equations from engineering. [A thinking persons guide to the theory behind management.] * Gerald F. Davis, Wilbur K. Pierpont Professor of Management, The University of Michigan *
Paul Willman has created a new genre of management text. Being neither a manual of how to do it nor an abstract critique from the outside, Understanding Management explores the complex exchanges between management theories and management practice. It brilliantly squares the circle of being both a semi-popular easy read, yet also rich in scholarship. It is also a very personal account emerging from years of teaching which provides a roadmap through the tangled and fragmented archipelago of management sub-fields.
[continued from above]In essence, Willman manages to combine a persistent curiosity about what does and does not work in management, with a strong sense of the history and dynamics of the field. Understanding Management is not only an essential text for management students and their teachers, but also for the many thousands of managers who may, in a quiet moment, be puzzled about why they continue to do things which dont seem to work. * Michael Power, London School of Economics and Political Science *
Paul Willman shows how the best management theory finds its origins in academic research in established disciplines. It is a provocativeand in Willmans hands persuasivethesis. * John Kay, author of Foundations of Corporate Success and The Truth about Markets *
A significant examination of our understanding of management, the interrelationship between its various disciplines, and its institutional underpinnings. Willman is equally, and uniquely, at ease discussing finance as well as culture. Incisive, broad-ranging, engaging and enjoyable to read. * Barbara Townley, Professor of Management, University of St Andrews. *

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