Are “management” and “manager” now just dirty words?

There’s often a difference between what words actually mean according to dictionaries and online web sites and how they are interpreted in common parlance.  “Management” and “manager” are two words that seem to have acquired very negative connotations in recent years and this, no doubt, is the consequence of so many people having had very bad experiences at the hands of the “management” and “managers”.  Furthermore, too many managers just do not really understand what it means to be effective and efficient.  Does this matter?  Well, yes, it does because all human organisations are run by managers and therefore managers have a very significant impact on people’s sense of well being and society as a whole.  Every excellent product and service is a consequence of “good” management.  “Bad” management wastes untold resources and produces inferior products and services – ouch!

My most popular blogs are ones that have focused on aspects of “bad” management and this suggests to me that management and the quality of it is of active concern to many people in both private and public organisations.

Managers need to up their game by getting back to the four basic functions of management: planning, organising, leading and controlling.  Almost all “bad” management comes back to a failure in one or more of these four functions.  Overall, too many managers are only doing just part of the management job and there is a fixation on specific techniques and not the coherent whole of management.

Life for managers would be much easier and more straightforward if “management” and “manager” didn’t have negative connotations in the minds of many.  What we need is more “good” managers to counter the current negative trend in how management is seen.  That is going to come from increased education, development and training.  Our organisations just can’t operate without managers so it’s important that good attitudes to management are encouraged.

What’s your view – are “management” and “manager” dirty words and if so, what do you think needs to be done to address this issue?

I raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK – a very small donation at would be most appreciated.

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