Saturday, January 16, 2010

Henry Mintzberg's Biography

From Wikipedia…Professor Henry Mintzberg, OC, OQ, FRSC (born in Montreal, September 2, 1939) is an internationally renowned academic and author on business and management. He is currently the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he has been teaching since 1968, after earning his Master's degree in Management and Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1965 and 1968 respectively. His undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering was from McGill University. From 1991 to 1999, he was a visiting professor at INSEAD.
Henry Mintzberg writes prolifically on the topics of management and business strategy, with more than 150 articles and fifteen books to his name. His seminal book, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (Mintzberg 1994), criticizes some of the practices of strategic planning today.
He recently published a book entitled Managers Not MBAs (Mintzberg 2004) which outlines what he believes to be wrong with management education today. Rather controversially, Mintzberg claims that prestigious graduate management schools like Harvard Business School and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania are obsessed with numbers and that their overzealous attempts to make management a science are damaging the discipline of management. Mintzberg advocates more emphasis on post graduate programs that educate practicing managers (rather than students with little real world experience) by relying upon action learning and insights from their own problems and experiences.
Ironically, although Professor Mintzberg is quite critical about the strategy consulting business, he has twice won the McKinsey Award for publishing the best article in the Harvard Business Review. Also, he is credited with co-creating the organigraph, which is taught in business schools.
In 1997 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1998 he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. He is now a member of the Strategic Management Society.
MIntzberg runs two programs which have been designed to teach his alternative approach to management and strategic planning at McGill University: the International Masters in Practicing Management (I.M.P.M.) in association with the McGill Executive Institute and the International Masters for Health Leadership (I.M.H.L.). With Phil LeNir, he owns CoachingOurselves International, a private company using his alternative approach for management development directly in the workplace.
He is married to Sasha Sadilova and has two children from a previous marriage, Susie and Lisa.
Theory on Organizational Forms
The organizational configurations framework of Mintzberg is a model that describes six valid organizational configurations
Mutual adjustment, which achieves coordination by the simple process of informal communication (as between two operating employees)
Direct supervision, is achieved by having one person issue orders or instructions to several others whose work interrelates (as when a boss tells others what is to be done, one step at a time)
Standardization of work processes, which achieves coordination by specifying the work processes of people carrying out interrelated tasks (those standards usually being developed in the technostructure to be carried out in the operating core, as in the case of the work instructions that come out of time-and-motion studies)
Standardization of outputs, which achieves coordination by specifying the results of different work (again usually developed in the technostructure, as in a financial plan that specifies subunit performance targets or specifications that outline the dimensions of a product to be produced)
Standardization of skills (as well as knowledge), in which different work is coordinated by virtue of the related training the workers have received (as in medical specialists - say a surgeon and an anesthetist in an operating room –responding almost automatically to each other’s standardized procedures)
Standardization of norms, in which it is the norms infusing the work that are controlled, usually for the entire organization, so that everyone functions according to the same set of beliefs (as in a religious order)
According to the organizational configurations model of Mintzberg each organization can consist of a maximum of six basic parts:
Strategic Apex (top management)
Middle Line (middle management)
Operating Core (operations, operational processes)
Technostructure (analysts that design systems, processes, etc)
Support Staff (support outside of operating workflow)
Ideology (halo of beliefs and traditions; norms, values, culture)


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