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Title: Henry Mintzberg

By: Ronak Goswami

Roshankumar Balasubramanian
Date: 05/06/2006

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Henry Mintzberg : The Management Guru

• Henry Mintzberg have been an

academic most of his working life
(after a stint in Operational Research
at the Canadian National Railways).
Currently He is Cleghorn Professor
of Management Studies at McGill
University in Montreal, where He
has been since graduating with a
doctorate from MIT in 1968.

• He devoted himself largely to his

writing and research, over the years
especially about managerial work,
strategy formation, and forms of
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Mintzberg on Management (Mintzberg 1989)

The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact

What do managers do? A study of five CEOs and studies of

managers conclude that managerial work involves
interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.
These roles require developing peer relationships, carrying out
negotiations, motivating subordinates, resolving conflicts,
establishing information networks, making decisions with
little or ambiguous information, and allocating resources.

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Mintzberg on Management (Mintzberg 1989)

Crafting Strategy

Formal planning alone is not the best way for managers to

develop strategy. Facts, figures, and forecasts are necessary;
but managers also need an intuitive understanding of the
organization, a feel for the business not unlike a potter's feel
for the clay. Strategy is not just a plan for the future but also a
pattern out of the past. Strategies are not always deliberate--
they also emerge over time as organizations innovate and
respond to their markets. By seeing patterns take shape in
their environments, the best strategists find strategies as well
as create them.

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Mintzberg on Management (Mintzberg 1989)

Planning on the left side, Managing on the right

The left hemisphere of the brain controls logical thinking

processes and the right hemisphere controls simultaneous
processing. Human tasks often activate one side of the brain
while leaving the other largely at rest. There may be a
fundamental difference between formal planning and informal
managing corresponding to differences in these two
hemispheres of the brain. Educators will have to revise their
notions regarding management education in order to bring
about a balance between developing analytic and intuitive
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Mintzberg on Organizations (Mintzberg 1989)

Characteristics of organizations:

The characteristics of organizations fall into one of five

natural configurations, each a combination of certain
elements of structure and situation. The five
configurations are the simple structure, machine
bureaucracy, professional bureaucracy, divisionalized
form, and adhocracy. These five configurations serve as
an effective tool in diagnosing the problems of
organizational design.

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Mintzberg on Structuring of Organizations
(Mintzberg 1979)

According to Mintzberg "parameters of

organizational design should logically
configure into internally consistent

• Operating core: Here production happens

• Strategic apex: Tom management

• Middle line: Middle management

techno structure: e.g. analysts that design
systems, processes, etc...

• Support staff: Support outside of operating


• Ideology: Halo of beliefs and traditions.

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Mintzberg on Structuring of Organizations
(Mintzberg 1979)

There are 6 basic co-ordination mechanisms:

• Mutual adjustment (among the core, people coordinate among
themselves, only means under extremely difficult circumstances)

• Direct supervision (from the top to the core)

• Standardization of work processes (by techno structure to core)

• Standardization of outputs (not what is done but what the result

will be)

• Standardization of skills (the worker is standardized)

• Standardization of norms (common set of beliefs)

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Mintzberg on Structuring of Organizations
(Mintzberg 1979)

• There are some design parameters that can be changed. These fall
into different categories:

• Individual positions:
- Job specialization
- Behavior formalization
- Training
- Indoctrination

• Superstructure to knit it together

- Unit grouping
- Unit size

• Lateral linkages
- Planning (ahead of time) and control (afterwards) systems
- Liaison devices

• Decision-making systems
- Vertical decentralization
- Horizontal decentralization

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Mintzberg on Structuring of Organizations
(Mintzberg 1979)

Situational Factors influencing the choice of the design parameters and vice versa
Age and size: 1. The older, the more formalized the behavior
2. The larger, the more formalized the behavior
3. The larger, the more elaborate the structure
4. The larger, the larger the average unit
5. The structure reflects the age of founding of the industry

Technical 1. The more regulating, the more formalized and bureaucratic the work
systems: 2. The more complex the more elaborate the administrative structure
3. The automation of the operating core moved a bureaucratic administrative structure into an
organic one

Environment 1. The more complex, the more decentralized the structure

2. The more diversified the markets, the more propensity to split into market-based units
3. Extreme hostility drives centralized structure temporarily
4. Disparity in environment call for differentiated work constellations

Power 1. The greater external control the more centralized and formalized the structure
2. Power needs of individuals foster centralized structures
3. Fashion favors the structure of the day

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Mintzberg on Structuring of Organizations
(Mintzberg 1979)

This leads us to six basic configurations

• The simple structure: Just some operating core and top management

• The machine bureaucracy: More elaborate administration with

techno structure and support.

• Professional bureaucracy: Standardization of skill rather than

processes and hence a bigger support than techno structure

• Divisionalized form: Several sup-structures

• Adhocracy: This is for companies that need project structures,

creative teams dominated by a pull to collaborate.

• The missionary: Pull to evangelize, loose divisions of labor, little

specialization, often very young company

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Mintzberg: Power in and around Organizations
(Mintzberg 1983)


• Mintzberg provides a complete framework to support the reflection

and comprehension on how networks of external and internal
influence take place in organization general decision systems. The
main players in and around the organizational scenario are analyzed
and grouped according to their general interests. There results a
comprehensive cartography of the games these players and
respective interests play in the construction of organization
objectives, structures and strategies. Organizations are then
classified, according to the way power is distributed among different
players, into categories or "power configurations". The discussion
on the environment and on the nature of the decision system for
each of the configurations is rich and produce valuable insights for
those who leave inside and among organizations of various kinds.

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Mintzberg :Theory of Strategic Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

Mintzberg suggested that strategic planning is the

systematic programming of pre-identified strategies from
which an action plan is developed. Strategic thinking, on
the other hand, is a synthesizing process utilizing
intuition and creativity whose outcome is "an integrated
perspective of the enterprise."

This lead to development of his own theory in context of

the planning and strategy.

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Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

 What is Planning?

Mintzberg presented to us with examples, in his theory

that most organizations and organizational planners enter
into planning with little understanding of the definitions and
various purposes of planning.

 Planning as Formal process to integrate decisions.

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Planning ( Mintzberg,1994)

 Definitions for planning:

(1) Planning is future thinking;

(2) Planning is controlling the future;

(3) Planning is decision making;

(4) Planning is integrated decision making;

(5) Planning is a formalized procedure to produce an

articulated result, in the form of an integrated system of
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Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

 Success depends upon knowing future, assessing current

abilities and managing change.
 This can be easily be achieved by understand Planning.
 Its suggested that planning implies an ability to
(1) know attributes of the future;
(2) accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of the
(3) manage a change process that better aligns the organization
with the anticipated future.

Organizations seldom accomplish all three simultaneously.

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Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

Why Plan?
There is a wide range of reasons for planning, the one's below
are the reasons planners suggest for planning:
(1) organizations must plan to coordinate their activities;
(2) organizations must plan to ensure that the future is taken
into account (including preparing for the inevitable,
preempting the undesirable, and controlling the controllable);
(3) organizations must plan to be "rational;"
(4) organizations must plan to control.

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Strategic Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

What is Strategy?

 Strategy is a word that we define

differently than we practice.

 Strategy is "a plan”?

 Strategy appears as a pattern that

blends intended responses with
responses that emerge out of the
changing environment.

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Strategic Planning (Mintzberg,1994)

 Mintzberg suggests that strategy is used as a mean, ploy, or

a "specific maneuver intended to outwit an opponent or
competitor” .
 It may also be know for working towards a desired future.
 Mintzberg’s 5 Ps of strategy as …
Plan: a guide for intended future action
Pattern: consistent behavior over time, may
be deliberate, unrealized, emergent
Position: particular products & markets
Perspective: how we do things
Ploy: scheming to outwit an opponent

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Pitfall in Planning and Factors affecting it (Mintzberg,1994)

 Pitfalls in Planning
Some of the pitfalls in planning are :
 Planning and Commitment

Commitment at the Top.

Commitment Lower Down.
"Decentralized" Planning.
Planning and Freedom.
Commitment Versus Calculation.

 "In both cases workers are seen as means rather than ends, doers
rather than planners or initiators; to be manipulated--by persuasion
if possible, by coercion if necessary--in other interests and for other
needs than their own” (James 1959)

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Pitfall in Planning and Factors affecting it (Mintzberg,1994)

 Planning and Change.

The Inflexibility of Plans

The Inflexibility of Planning
Planned Change as Incremental
Planned Change as Generic
Planned Change as Short Term
Flexible Planning: Wanting Things Both Ways

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Pitfall in Planning and Factors affecting it (Mintzberg,1994)

 Planning and Politics

The Biases of Objectivity
The Goals Implicit in Planning
The Politics of Planning
Politics over Planning

 Planning and Control

Obsession with Control
"Our age is turbulent, Chicken Little"
Strategic Vision and Strategic Learning
Illusion of Control?
Planning as Public Relations

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Fundamental Fallacies (Mintzberg,1994)

 Fundamental Fallacies

Mintzberg (1994) presents us the fallacies of strategic planning. He ties the concept of
fallacies to his work-in management by this definition: "An expert has been defined as
someone who knows enough about a subject to avoid all the many pitfalls on his or her
way to the grand fallacy“. In Mintzberg's "grand fallacy," the failures of planning are not
coincidental but integral to the very nature of planning.

 Three assumptions underlying strategic planning.

(1) assumptions of formalization in which the strategy making process can be programmed
by the use of systems;
(2) assumptions of detachment in which "thought must be detached from action, strategy
from operations, ostensible thinkers from real does, and, therefore, 'strategists' from the
objects of their strategies;“
(3) assumptions of quantification in which "the strategy making process is driven by 'hard
data,' comprising quantitative aggregates of the detailed 'facts' about the organization and
its environment.

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 Mintzberg argued that the cause of the failures of the

strategic planning are implicit in the "fallacies" of the
planning model, which he describes as the fallacies of:
1. Predetermination: This is the concern with forecasting
the future and/or attempting to adapt or control that
predicted future;
2. Detachment: The abstraction of planning from
operations; a reliance on hard data to the exclusion of
soft data;
3. Formalization: The notion that strategy making can be
institutionalized; that systems can be designed that can
detect discontinuities, consider all the stakeholders and
provide creativity.
Which ultimately contribute to grand fallacy

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 Mintzberg suggests an alternate way of viewing planning, plans, and

planners. In suggesting these revised roles, Mintzberg focused on
the difference between planning and decision-making. Strategy
formation, says Mintzberg, should be the province of the decision-
makers: "In effect, the strategy-making process... must be seen as
an impenetrable 'black box' for planning as well as for planners,
around which, rather than inside of which, they work”.
 Thus, says Mintzberg, what is now called strategic planning should
be called strategic programming -- that is, a process through which
strategies are codified, elaborated, and converted. The resulting
plans can serve as communications media and as control devices.
The key to effectively implementing all the foregoing is to combine
analysis and intuition and to recognize planning as the handmaiden
of decision making.

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 Leaders or managers of planning activities can shape

the final outcome of the process by the design and
implementation of the planning process. Their bias may
be expressed as "planning as an end unto itself,"
"consideration of a narrow form of rationality," "toward
steady incremental change rather than periodic quantum
change," "toward centralized power...and away from the
needs of influences whose stake in the organization is
not formally economic," "toward short-run economic
goals," and "toward simpler, impoverished forms of
strategies themselves"

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There are numerous research's and modifications

done by Henry Mintzberg in the Management field we
have tried to present some of his most appreciated and
ground breaking work which changed the industrial
approach to management.

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• (Mintzberg 1989) : Mintzberg on management : inside our strange world of organizations
Mintzberg, Henry. New York : Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1989.

• (Mintzberg 1979) : The structuring of organizations : the synthesis of the research

Mintzberg, Henry. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1979.

• (Mintzberg 1983) : Power in and around organizations

Mintzberg, Henry. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, c1983.

• (Mintzberg 1994) : The rise and fall of strategic planning : reconceiving roles for
planning, plans, planners Mintzberg, Henry. New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell
Macmillan Canada, c1994.

• (James 1959) : Scientific Management and Communism. Big Business and Free Men;
New York: Harper and Row, 1959, James Worthy.

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