Management is a highly self-conscious group with its own mores, aims and professional standards. Its interest in an enterprise tends to be more long-range than that of ownership, for the simple reason that stocks are apt to be more liquid than good jobs. Being one of the less tangible assets of a company, good human relations has a greater appeal to the more permanent interest of management than to the often shorter-term interest of the owners.
The practice of polling management to discover where it is headed and what it wants has hardly been begun. E. Wight Bakke has described four main goals of management. These are:
1. The Economic Welfare of the Company
2. Relations With Its Own Employees
3. Freedom to Manage
4. Businesslike, Responsible Relations
THE ECONOMIC WELFARE OF THE COMPANY.
Management is rewarded or punished on the basis of whether or not it does a profitable and efficient job.
It must measure its industrial relations in the same way it measures everything else--production, financing, purchasing, selling--by the yardstick of net return. There is no difference between the attitudes of progressive and conservative management on this goal; their only differences lie in their judgments of what factors make for efficiency and profit.
One of the major concerns of management is to obtain an efficient work force. To achieve this, management offers incentive systems, which have been known to increased worker productivity. By themselves, however, they have frequently failed adequately to arouse men's latent willingness to work. It was thought at first that the difficulty lay with individual incentive systems, and that the answer was a group incentive. Individual incentives, it was argued, tended to pit worker against worker. In addition, group pressure on the individual would slow nine out of ten employees down to a set...