To understand comparative management better we should know about its nature of comparative management. (First, see the definition of comparative management) So, let’s discuss the nature of comparative management.
The concern for economic growth the world over has made it an important agenda for social scientists to look for the underlying causes of that growth.
They are also eager to know why productivity increases differ in various countries. Or why does one country have a higher per capita national income than another?
Economic development through productivity increase is naturally the primary concern of world leaders and development economists: Even up to the ’70s of the last century, the necessities of economic development were thought to be the transfer of technology, education, and capital.
But now it is being recognized that advanced managerial know-how is much more important than these are, for economic growth and improved productivity.
Nature of comparative management
Even if it is recognized that pure technical knowledge is necessary for productivity improvement, such knowledge is fairly easy to transfer between countries. Most advances in technology are neither as complex nor as well guarded, and so their transfer is not likely to be difficult, particularly when one realizes that in any country only a few people need to have this knowledge to make it available for use.
Also, other factors like the level of education, knowledge of skills, availability of capital, fiscal policy, etc. may have an important impact on productivity and economic development but improved management can do much to remove hindrances by designing a managerial approach or technique of management, lessons from other countries are often useful.
Most scholars, these days, regard the issue of comparative management as one of transferring American, and perhaps German and Japanese management knowledge and practice to less developed and developing countries.
What is needed for economic progress and improved productivity is a way of coordinating human resources for the achievement of the mission of the enterprise. This demands sound management theory and practice, irrespective of their national origin. Thus while there is still the search for an economic solution to development, the need for managerial know-how becomes evident.
The fundamental functions of management such as planning, organizing, actuating, and controlling are basically the same throughout the world. But however, what is to be achieved and the means followed can and do differ among countries. They differ because of the manager’s beliefs, attitudes, experiences, customs, and values. These, in turn, are shaped by the general environment within which the manager operates.
Comparative management, therefore, includes analyzing and comparing each fundamental managerial function with each environmental determinant of the foreign country. The interaction between the environment and the management process conditions the behavior and the relationship of the manager to work and subordinates.
Both management knowledge and skill have similarities and differences. Having the knowledge to manage is always important, and this can vary In both scope and depth among various countries. The same is true for management skills, or the application of knowledge.
The figure shows specific environmental factors classified by economic, social, technological, and legal related to several managerial activities. For example, the objective setting is conditioned economically by basic needs and fiscal requirements, and legally by government regulations. The relative influences of each environmental factor vary in significance in each country.
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