Internal and External Management Relations

Internal and External Management Relations

Internal and external management relations

The management system has internal and external relations. Its internal relations are concerned with the technical system. Decisions made in the management system control the operations in the technical system, but managerial decisions on highly technical questions are made in consultation with technical personnel. The technical system also influences the management system by specifying the resources needed to carry out the organization's technical function. Thus one aspect of the external relations of management is the mediation between the technical system and groups in the organization's environment, some of whom provide the organization with its resources and others who take its output.

Differences in the status and role of the socially responsible manager and the operating manager show up clearly in the structural and functional analysis of the corporate organization. There is a division of labour in decision making. The socially responsible manager makes policy decisions concerning the goals of the enterprise and the major steps necessary to achieve them. The operating manager makes the allocative and integrative decisions which implement policy within the organization. The socially responsible manager services and controls the operating manager by seeing to it that he has the necessary resource inputs for corporate goal attainment and that these goals are attained properly, just as the operating manager services and controls first-line supervisors at the technical level of organization. The operating manager's focus of interest is the internal operation of the company whereas the socially responsible manager's orientation is outward.

The socially responsible manager's position is unique in that he is the only member of the management hierarchy who operates simultaneously in two systems of action: the company and society. The socially responsible manager is most clearly distinguished from operating managers by the totality of his authority and responsibility. He is the only member of management who does not report to a superior manager concerning the performance of a particular part of the corporation's operations. He occupies a position of leadership within the company and one of responsibility in society. He is given the key task in democratic industrial society of administering the capital, human, and natural resources of the corporation. to do this effectively, the socially responsible manager must act as a middleman between the company and society, interpreting one to the other and smoothing out differences in values and needs before they lead to serious conflict. In short, the basic function of the socially responsible manager is integrative. He must integrate the separate elements of the company into an efficient organizational entity and integrate the corporate organization into the social scheme of things.

In the outward orientation of the socially responsible manager's role, he determines which goals society wants the company to pursue and the balance between them. The most important decisions he makes establish the long-range policies of the corporation. These decisions are based on premises about long-term goals and the relatively permanent means to be used in attaining them. "The premises for these decisions are largely derived from predictions of the set of social and economic conditions in which the company will be living during the next few years. These environmental conditions, in the main, will be determined by the goals, means and premises of certain groups of people outside the company -by what they will be thinking and doing."2 Therefore, the socially responsible manager must be able to anticipate the responses to long-range goals and the means to attain them of the individuals and groups who are beyond the corporation's immediate sphere of influence. Unless he can do so with a fair degree of accuracy, decisions he makes today will seem mistaken, unrealistic, and even antisocial in the years ahead.


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