Bad management or too-much-management?

Great response to my rhetoric about management from new edublogger, Cleve Miller (who, BTW, looks like a very valuable contributor to this area only three posts in, here’s his atom feed), in particular Cleve objects to my saying:

“We’re obsessed with management, I reckon. Managing our finances, managing our workplaces, managing our kids schooling, managing our expectations, managing our knowledge, managing things to such a degree that we have squashed personality, differences, argument and life.”


And goes on to argue, quite rightly, that in fact making sure our kids go to the school that best suits them and so on actually makes for a happier & better life, not a squashing of it. What we should be talking about is ‘bad’ management rather than just canning management in favour of the open, decentralised, power-to-the-people, independent, empowered (cue that delirious applause again) approaches.

So, ahem, let me rephrase a little… it’s not actually management per se that is the problem, I figure that it’s too much management… to go back to my original cluetrain-influenced rant we can (and certainly often do) over-manage our kids, feel that we have some sort of capacity to manage and structure our lives exactly as we want and often see knowledge as something we can grasp hold of, classify and store (I’m certainly guilty of this but now, the more I read about folksonomies, tagging and alike feel like the ‘exploration of chaos’ approach favoured by Google et al is a preferable and more feasible route… more on that soon).

I guess that was what my subconscious was trying to say to me when it put in the phrase “to such an extent”… see I can’t even manage my own posts :D

But I do think that, along the lines of my comments about LMSs, that if we look closely, philosophically perhaps, at our practice (if not our theory) of online learning then too-much-management is what stands out as an underlying belief framing and crippling the directions in which we’ve gone. There are lots of other things which have contributed such as the transference of traditional pedagogies, choice and use of communications technologies, administration driven strategies and policy and so on and so on but the more I examine it, the more I feel like the driving force is more to do with the simple fact of who we are as people and what we want out of our too-much-managed lives.

[Thanks to Aaron for picking this out and rolling over it first]

3 replies on “Bad management or too-much-management?”

  1. Thanks for the thumbs up, James – we’re talking about the same thing but coming at it from different perspectives (you say over-manage, I say micro-manage…), and have the same goals in mind.

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