This is the 30th of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying these newsletter articles, you’re taking the first step in achieving your goals.

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Not all managers are well-rounded. Your education and training, along with many other influencing factors, impact you as a manager and your views of those you manage. Over time, the field of business management has evolved into various schools of management thought. The following is a listing of some of them:

The Old School of Hard Knocks
The Decision Theory School
The Empirical School
The Industrial Dynamics School
The Management Process School
The Mathematical School
The Behavior Science School
The Social System School

The above listing of management theory schools gives you some indication of the options available to you in executing management tasks.

When it becomes necessary for humans to do something, they tend to do what they know how to do. You bring to the task of business management what you’ve learned in the past, not only what you learned in school, but also from your real-world experiences and observed successes and costly failures.

What you know has an influence on how you approach a task or attempt to solve a specific problem. It also is a determining factor on the types of tasks and problems you avoid. The more tools you have, and know how to use and have experience using, the more likely you are to select a uniquely specific tool that works best for you in the tasks you face now and in the future.

Management has many theoretical schools of thought, and each of these schools has valuable insights to offer the business manager. Management is not theoretical knowledge - its practical knowledge! A well-rounded business manager is a thinker (not a doer), yet he or she must continually be thinking about human activity that they must guide so that human goals may be achieved.

Do you know enough about management theory schools? Do you have enough tools in your toolbox for the jobs you must do? Does one size wrench fit all tasks? The ultimate test of viability and validity comes about when theory becomes practice - when the rubber meets the road!

Mike Holt’s Comment: I would like to extend a special thank you to L.W. Brittian, a Mechanical & Electrical Instructor in Lott, Texas, for reviewing and editing the various articles in these newsletters. His comments and suggestions have been invaluable in the preparation of my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. This newsletter article was extracted from that workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to And… be sure to visit Mike Holt’s Website at

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