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One Minute Manager Review

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Book Review due 10/24

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchord and Spencer Johnson expressed in roughly 100 pages how to be the best effective manager by getting people "to produce valuable results, feel good about themselves, and other people they work with." (pg 7) A young man went on a search for the secrets to being an effective manager because he wanted to work for one, he wanted to become one, but all of the effective managers he knew would not take him in nor tell him of their effective manager secrets. The young man finally received an opportunity to meet with a very successful and effective manager. The young man goes on his quest to find the three secrets of effective management through three middle managers, while establishing a positive and friendly relationship with the managers. By the end, the young man is looked at as an "insider" as he is offered a job ultimately leading him to become an effective manager himself. Throughout the voyage to unveil the three secrets to effective management, the novel relates highly to the theories and definitions of management discussed in the textbook Exploring Management (2nd Edition) by Schermerhorn. The first secret is compared to the textbook information of effective communication, the Expectancy Theory, and problem solving. The second and third secrets are closely related are most closely related to the people, theories and definitions of E.L Thorndike and his law of effect and Abraham Maslow's theory of human needs. In the following paragraphs I will introduce, compare contrast and evaluate with comments of how the textbook relates to the merit of the novel.

The first secret revealed and the foundation for One Minute Management is the importance to have One Minute Goals. The young man's first conversation with middle management is with Mr Trenell. Mr. Trenell makes it clear that One Minute Goals are "what our responsibilities are and what we are being accountable for." Trenell goes on to explain how efficiency is established through the ability to agree on goals, see what behavior is supposed to look like, and ultimately create personal evaluations to match your behavior with your goal. The first step, agreeing on goals, is essential to the remaining steps and requires what the textbook calls effective communication. Effective communication" occurs when the receiver fully understands the sender's intended message; the intended meaning matches the received meaning. As you well know, this outcome can't be taken for granted; it just doesn't always happen.' (Chapter 12.1) It is important for one minute managers and employees to agree on the goals discussed, sent and received. Through effective communication, managers express what the employees responsibilities are and what good performance is by having clear performance standards and expectations. This is closely related to Victor Vroom's Expectancy theory which defines expectancy as a "person's belief that working hard will result in achieving a desired level of task performance." (Chapter 14.2) Expectancy has to exist and needs to be high for an employee to be productive as well as complete the performance level necessary to get rewarded. One of the goals that Mr. Trenell was expected to accomplish was to "identify performance problems and come up with solutions."(pg 30) Mr Trenell needed some help and the manager expressed his thoughts that "a problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening." (pg 31) Here, the One Minute Manager is expressing thoughts of how effective managers use information to make decisions and solve problems. Problem solving "is the process of identifying a discrepancy between an actual and a desired state of affairs, and then taking action to resolve it." (Chapter 4.1) A reoccurring theme in the novel is how a manager can get an employee to essentially accomplish tasks on their own. The One Minute Manager is showing an employee how to approach a performance opportunity by forming the skill of information competency for problem solving.

One Minute Managers second and third secrets revealed are One Minute Praisings and One Minute Reprimands. These remind me much of the reinforcement theory that E.L. Thorndike called the law of effect: "People generally repeat behavior that results in a pleasant outcome, and avoid behavior that results in an unpleasant outcome." (Chapter 14.3) One Minute Praisings, praises the employee after the employee has done something right which by Thorndike's definition of positive reinforcement "increases the frequency of this behavior and its occurrence." A One Minute Manager uses a continuous reinforcement schedule that rewards an employee after a each good behavior, rather than a intermittent reinforcement schedule that rewards an employee for example every month, or every year. The textbook states that the differences in the timing of positive reinforcement can result in different benefits as it states: " In general, continuous

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