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Theorists with Similar Management Styles


This paper illustrates theorist that have the same management styles and that is Kurt Lewin and Peter Ferdinand Drucker, it also analysis their background and reflect how this backgrounds influenced on the management styles. Management refers to control, governing or supervising either individuals or properties and there are various forms of management. This paper reflects styles of management and the kind of changes that was brought out by Kurt Lewin and Ferdinard Drucker through their management styles and how each related to each other in the fire service.

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Kurt Lewin

Kurt Lewin was born in 1980. His father and mother were of Jewish background living in Poland, County of Mogilno, and province of Posen. When the First World War began, he served in the Germany army during which he suffered a wound. This incident forced him to go back to the University of Berlin and pursue a Doctorate of Philosophies (PhD) together with Carl Stump was the supervisor of his thesis (Marrow, 1969).

The main area of interest, in which Lewin had been originally involved is the study of behavioral psychology. Initially, he had been working alone, nevertheless other psychologists from Gestalt school joined him. These were Max Wertheimer and his fellow researcher Wolfgang Kohler. Lewin was often associated with early Frankfurt School. The fact is that, in accordance with Marrow (1969), the interest of this research took its origin from an influential group of Marxists, whom Lewin met in the Institute of Social Research in Germany. Nevertheless, the circumstances changed essentially when Hitler came to power in Germany. As it is stated by Dworkin (2000, p. 185):

In the year 1933 all Institute members were disbanded, then moved to England and later to America. In the same year, he had the opportunity to meet Eric Trist. Eric Trist was from the London Tavistock Clinic. Trist was very impressed with the theories of Lewin. Eric Trist went ahead and used those theories to study the behavior soldiers involved second World II.

In 1933 Lewin Kurt moved to the USA, and was naturalized in 1940. There in the USA he found a job at Cornell University, and also worked in University of Iowa for the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station.Later, he was appointed as the director of the Center for Group Dynamics at MIT. Working for MIT, Lewin was under strict control by the Director of the Connecticut State Inter Racial Commission. This control was featured by the strong requirement to effectively resist the issues of racial and religious prejudices. Later, as it is emphasized by Marrow (1969), Lewin had to change the sphere of his research interest, and change the direction of the experiments. These were the first steps of the further concept, which is currently known as the sensitivity training. Thus, in 1947 the National Training Laboratories Maine at Bethel were founded. Nevertheless, in spite of the involvement into numerous research programs, Lewin was involved into the psychological rehabilitation program, which were the common thing after the termination of the war.

Lewin’s Work

The main value of his work is covered in the concept of genuine identity which later gained some significance in various theories of space-time and other correlated fields. Moreover, he offered the interactionist perception, which was further improved by Herbert Blumer, thus representing the entire concept as the nature vs. nurture argument. As it is stated by Frank and Jackson (2004, p. 56):

Lewin suggested that neither nature (inborn tendencies) nor nurture (experiences and environment) can give explanation for individuals’ behavior, but somewhat that both nature and nurture work together to form the character of each person. This consideration was offered in the form of the Lewin’s Behavior Equation ‑ B=ƒ (P, E).

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In the light of this consideration, it should be emphasized that the theory was offered as a result of deep analysis of several related theories, offered by Leon Festinger, who developed the cognitive dissonance theory (1956), and also Roger Barker, Morton Deutsch and Bluma Zeigarnik, who are regarded as the developers of modern conflict resolution theory and practice. The fact is that, Kurt Lewin had been constantly monitoring the researches by these scientists for some time, and aimed to apply the gained results to his own theory.

Force Field Analysis

The main sphere of this analysis is closely associated with the social sphere, and the matters of exploring the influential factors, which change and influence various social structures. The main aim of the analysis is the investigation of the forces which tend to motivate the social movement towards the stated goals. Thus, the principles, outlined by Lewin essentially influenced the social science in general, modifying the entire approaches of social science, and its particular directions, such as, social psychology, process management, and business spheres, associated with the strategies of organizational development, and change management.

Leadership Climates

The main concept of this study direction is the grouping of various managerial styles ad cultures in accordance with the leadership climates. The three main climates are the following:

  • Authoritarian
  • Democratic
  • Laissez-faire

The authoritarian climate is generally defined by the fact that the policy, the performance steps and strategy in general is defined by a single person, and all the tasks are controlled by this person. This does not mean that the leader is authoritarian in everything and is not friendly with the employees. Nevertheless, the leader is detached from contribution in work and frequently offers personal tribute to and criticism for the work completed.

Democratic climates are characterized where strategy is determined through combined processes with decisions assisted by the leader. Before accomplishing responsibilities, perspectives are gained from collection discussion and technical guidance from a director. The team members are free to make their own offers and make the necessary choices independently on the boss’ decision. Such factors of managerial practices as praise and criticism are objective, based on the existing facts, and offered to members dependently on their performance in proportionate values.

The laissez faire environment is intended to provide the absolute freedom to the employees in the sphere of policy determination, thus, the leader is not involved into this process unless it is strongly required.

Change Process

The change process had been defined as the process, divided into three stages. The first stage of the process is regarded as “Unfreezing” of the entire process. This stage is closely associated with the matters of overcoming the existing inertia of the process, and overcoming of the possible prejudices, defined by the “mind set”. Thus, it presupposes that particular defense mechanisms should be overcome.

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The following stage is closely associated with confusion and transition. The aims of the changes are known, and all the elements, which should be replaced are defined, nevertheless, we do not know exactly what to replace them with. The final stage is called “Freezing”, as it presupposes crystallizing of the existing comfort level, which is achieved by changes.

Lewin’s Equation

The equation of social behavior is the following B=ƒ (P, E). As it is emphasized by Marrow (1969, p. 87):

It states that behavior is a function of the person and their environment. It is a psychological equation of behavior developed by Kurt Lewin. This equation is the psychologist’s most appreciated formula in social psychology, a field where Lewin was a pioneer. When he initially presented it in Lewin’s book Principles of Topological Psychology, published in 1936, it contradicted most accepted theories in that it gave significance to a person’s momentary state of affairs.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker

Peter Ferdinand Drucker was born on November 19, 1909 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. His father, Adolf Drucker was a lawyer while his mother, Caroline Bondi had studied medicine. Drucker grew in a place where people would meet to discuss new ideas. He graduated from Dobling Gymnasium and moved to Germany where he worked as an apprentice at a cotton trading company. He also worked as a journalist writing for Der Österreichische Volkswirt (The Austrian Economist). Drucker then moved to Frankfurt where he took a job at the Daily Frankfurter is in Frankfurt, that he attained a doctorate in international law and public law from the University of Frankfurt in 1931.One of his early influences was the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, who revealed the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for Drucker. Originally, Drucker was essentially influenced by John Maynard Keynes. Especially this influence empowered after the lecture in Cambridge (1934) (Drucker , 2003).

Originally, the works by Drucker are closely associated with human behavior through the prism of human organizations, such as government, business and non-profit organizations. In accordance with Dworkin (2000, p. 71), it should be stated that:

His works have predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and delegation; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its inevitability of lifelong knowledge. In 1959, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker” and later in his life considered knowledge work productivity to be the next border line of management.

Originally, the works by Drucker became noticeable for the clear reflection of the problem of inter individual relations in various organizations and alliances of various types. The main value is covered in the definition of the problem of the community design and organization of the society (Drucker, 2003).

In 1943 Drucker became the citizen of the USA. His teaching career lasted until 1971, and then he moved to California, where he was involved into the development of the MBA programs for working professionals. As it is stated by Frank and Jackson (2004, p. 67): “He taught his last class at the school in 2002 at age 92.He was worked at general motors, where his career as a business thinker took of in 1942.” Through out his career there were his basic ideas which included “Decentralization and simplification”. In accordance with this idea, Drucker stated that companies work best when they are decentralized. Moreover, centralized companies often perform actions, which harm the entire business performance. Thus, they produce more then their customers are able to consume, and hire too much unnecessary workers. Sometimes, these companies enter the market sectors which should be avoided, thus, making harm to the entire business performance. Thus, some measure of skepticism should be involved into the managerial sector (Drucker , 2003).

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Respect of the Worker

The fact is that, the main concept of Drucker’s researches was closely associated with the matters of employee assets and liabilities. Thus, he stated that the knowledge of the workers is the defining factor for the economy development and the business performance in general. Consequently, in accordance with his statements people (i.e. employees of the organizations) should be regarded as the most valued resource, and the manager’s job is to prepare people for the effective business performance.

“The Sickness of Government” Belief

As for the matters of governmental structure, it should be stated that Drucker generated the set of nonpartisan claims, emphasizing that the original government structure is incapable to provide and implement the requirements of the people. Nevertheless, he suggested that this condition is not inherent to the form of government. As it is stated in Drucker (1990, p. 194): “The chapter “The Sickness of Government” in his book The Age of Discontinuity formed the basis of the New Public Management, a theory of public administration that dominated the discipline in the 1980s and 1990s”

The Need for Community

Originally, Drucker predicted the concept of the “end of economic man”, and claimed for the creation of the “plant community”. It presupposed that people’s social requirements could be met. Nevertheless, he agreed, that the concept of “Plant community” will be never materialized. The first priority of any company should be to satisfy its customers and not to make profits. Profits are a condition that is put to keep the company going. In the light of this statement, it should be claimed that any organization should implement its own strategy of business performance and strategy of achieving the stated goals.


In conclusion Kurt Lewin’s field theory enables the types of conflict situations normally experienced in health care to be analyzed. Small-group theory is another tool that is highly applicable to health informatics because of the way that health care environments and activities are structured. Caring for patients and educating students normally involves numerous small groups of people. Small-group theory can assist us to understand why there are such wide varieties of effectiveness among these groups.

The social science theories can significantly help the management leader understand a number of the fundamental behavioral issues that require to be faced as health informatics technology is introduced into today’s multifaceted health systems. According to Peter Drucker in “The New Society of Organizations, the world economy is in the midst of transformation to the “knowledge society,” Increasingly, knowledge is not just one resource among many; it is “the primary resource for individuals and for the economy overall.” The essential purpose of management in the knowledge society is to encourage systematic organizational innovation. Drucker makes the important point that in a knowledge economy, the true source of competitive advantage is not so much technology, research and development, or even knowledge itself. It is the people, the knowledge workers whose skills and expertise are the foundation for all innovation (Dworkin, 2000).

Reference List

Drucker P. F (2003). Profession of Management: Harvard Business Review Book Series. Harvard Business Press.

Drucker P. F (1990). Managing the Non-profit Organization: Practices and Principles. Gulf Professional Publishing.

Dworkin R (2000). Management Principles.Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Frank, L. and Jackson, R. (2004). Pragmatism in Management. Washington Island Press.

Marrow.A. J (1969). The Practical Theorist: the Life and Work of Kurt Lewin, Basic Books.

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