Introduction to Management and Decision Making

Management is the art and science of coordinating the efforts of others toward the accomplishment of an organizational goal or mission. As such, management encompasses systems of reporting relationships, authority structures, communication systems, and decision-making practices. There are many roles that managers play. The background reading discusses the different levels of management and the types of contribution each level makes. The point is made that organizations are hierarchies and that hierarchies lend themselves to better organization and control.
However, sometimes hierarchies can become too inflexible and overly bureaucratic. The assigned video clip from the movie, “Catch 22” demonstrates how upper-level managers can embed policies into organizations with little considerations of their effects “downstream.” As you watch this video, take some notes of examples you see of the following:
• Bureaucratic Behavior
• Rules, policies, and procedures
• Conflict between individual goals and management goals
• Means-ends inversion

View the following video:

• Are there examples of “bureaupathology” (excessively bureaucratic behavior) in this scene?
• What examples can you give?
• Are there conflicts between Yosarian’s personal goals and those of the hierarchy?
• Has the “means” displaced the desired ends (means-ends inversion)?
• What do you predict would be the effect of this situation on the ability of all parties involved to be flexible and respond to challenges in an innovative manner?

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