The Technical Manager's Handbook

A Survival Guide


Every organization, business, and manager is unique, and each demands an individually tailored management style. Supposedly "universal" management strategies must be tailored to suit the specific situations that each individual faces daily in the work environment. This book ( ISBN 0-412-99121-7, $44.95) provides a theoretical and practical foundation for the adaptation and tailoring of a universal management style into a specific, effective style with the power to produce the desired results. It assists the manager, or would-be manager, in the development of a management style that meets the needs of any kind of business.

Each chapter begins with a case study illustrating a typical problem followed by questions and answers about the presented challenges. The chapters also contain thought provoking "one-sentence" suggestions that can be immediately immplemented, enabling the reader to produce results and succeed in today's rapidly-evolving economic and technological environments. This work combines the best and latest in management theory with tested practical applications, making it a useful tool for managers not only in technically-orientated industries, but in any kind of company.

Based upon the author's more than 25 years of experience in management consulting, writing, lecturing, and teaching, this work is designed to help readers handle the demanding responsibilities of technical management. It features important information in dealing with international firms, contracts, TQ, ISO 9000, and CAD management. It also provides essential details on personal liability and ethics in decision making, motivating employees, leadership, and creating teams. The Technical Manager's Handbook serves as a valuable, cross-method reference for engineers, scientists, researchers, and students who are or soon will be involved in technical management operations. Managers in quality assurance, manufacturing, administration, and computer manufacturing will also benefit from this volume's involved in technical management operations. Managers and would-be managers in quality assurance, manufacturing, administration, and computer manufacturing will also benefit from this volume's accessible and practical exploration.

Full Table of Contents

Technical management: who and what we are: Overview and introduction; The world and organizations are changing; People and irrationality; Using this book: a process model; Defining the terms; Review and practical survival tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; The manager: dealing with yourself-the most important individual: Overview and introduction; Company size and the individual; Thinking about managing, promotion, and logic; The process model; Definitions; Tools for decision making: certainty and risk; Review and practical survival tips; One-sentence suggestions and questions; Beginning: building your own model/theory: Overview and introduction; Building our own art; Choosing definitions : theories and hypotheses; Which management model to build on?; The important individual variable: the manager; Theory classification: descriptive and prescriptive; Review and practical survival tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; The whole organization design: a little history, many models: Overview and introduction; The manager: handling change; After all that-do we even need a theory?; How should we manage?; A modified classical theory: the personalized approach-linking pins; Redefining the organization as a flexible technical entity; Perfect and not so perfect models; The model-system: changes; The changes and time; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; The model components: Overview and introduction; Model components; Review and practical survival tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; People- basic building blocks concerning motivation: Overview and introduction; People: as the most independent component; Classifying motivation; Recruiting and motivation; Motivation: should I contribute?; Productivity: people based; Motivation and behavior; Description: motivation theories; Caveats; Expectancy theory: prescription for motivation; burnout-what it is; Review and practical survival tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Putting theory to work: motivation prescribed: Overview and introduction; Setting mutually acceptable goals; Getting started; Advantages and disadvantages; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Structures: description and prescription semi-permanent teams: functions and survival today: Overview and introduction; The myth of overall corporate planning-creating the future?; A bit more history; The variables affecting structure; Organizational prescriptions; The functional manager's primary job-training; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Prescriptions for structures: temporary teams: Overview and introduction; The project model: prescriptions; Charters; Project closedown: doing it right; Developing the "how to" of projects: the project operations; Top management: theoretical problems; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Technology: how we do things, techniques and systems: Overview and introduction; Technology: inputs into outputs; Trying it in our own situations; Summary of technology as innovation; Tests in organic firms: the results; Technology-computers: changing the organization; Mechanistic into organic structures; Changes in resources; Controlling costs of technology through re-engineering (downsizing?); Controlling technology (and ourselves)-TQM; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Leadership and ethics: holding it all together: Overview and introduction; Promotioon and helpful ideas; The leader's behavior and the changes situation; Ethics and leadership: definitions and suggestions; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Repetitive decision systems: information: tell me what's happening in the organization: Overview and introduction; Definition: why and what are information systems?; background designing the information system; Designing the communication system; The application (prescriptions) of the design; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Costs and measurement: what do I need as a manager?; Overview and introduction; Accounting: support for decision making; Concepts for costing systems: projects and functions; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Getting things changed: Overview and introduction; Major and tactical change; How to get there: equifinality; Beginning implementation: more models; Summary: change methods; Leadership training: what it is supposed to do and what it really does; Getting your ideas across; Review and practical tips; "One-sentence" suggestions; Speculation on future uses and personal thoughts: Overview and introduction; The bilateral models of management; Speculations; Odds and ends: useful ideas from others; Short comments about life in general. Index.


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