Principles of Management
Principles of Management
The Flint tap water was contaminated,
and it was quickly noticeable due to the yellowish, filmy, and foamy nature of
the water and it smelled like an open sewer, although the residents were
informed that the water was safe. However, the reality is that the water was
not safe for use, due to the high levels of lead that was present in the water,
and which was quite corrosive. Despite the government knowing that the water
contained such a toxic chemical, the government did not respond in a way to
control the or reduce the impact to the environment as a result of the action
of the state to switch the water systems.
The Flint Water Crisis: What
The exact problem that led to the
contamination of the water was due to interrupted corrosion control and lack of
preparedness for risk management (Pieper, Tang, & Edwards, 2017) (Baum, Bartram, & Hrudey, 2016). The state water
system had been supplying the water but the government decided to switch to a
new system which was supposed to be ready in two years. However, with the
adoption of the new system and the need to save money, the state switched to
Flint River water. Moreover, the regulators appeared to be compromised and
therefore could not account for the mess in the city as well as continuously
fail to protect the interests of the locals. If the management were adequately
conducted, the problem would not have occurred (Masten, Davies, & Mcelmurry, 2016).
Management Theories that Could Help
Solve the Problem
There are quite some management theories
that are applied to the present day business operations which if adequately
executed leads to the best functioning of any business. One such theory is
Henri Fayol’s administrative theory. The focus of the theory is on personal
duties which the management has to undertake. That is the theory directs the
work to the management layer (Wren, Bedeian, & Breeze, 2002).
The second management theory that is
also important and could have changed the case with the Flint water crisis is
the systems theory. The systems theory is an approach which incorporates the
several parts which are unified with the primary intention of achieving the
overall goal of the business. The theory has inputs such as money, people, raw
materials, and technologies. It also has processes like control and
organization as well as outputs and outcomes like improving the quality of
lives of the society. In the systems theory, the operations are enhanced even
more as a result of relying on feedback from each of the parts of the approach (Stemple, Roy, & Klaben, 2014).
The third theory is Max Weber’s
bureaucratic theory. In this theory, the theory provides for official and fixed
jurisdiction, ordered hierarchy as well as subordination and conducting
management of the firms in line with written records and which follows thorough
expert training (Lai, 2015).
The three management theories described
above can change the way the organization operates. Using Henry Fayol’s
administrative theory, the management is supposed to take direct responsibility
for the company and not allow the interference of the state government. In most
cases, the government controls most of the firms, but better management happens
when the corporations are independent and the administration has to make a
decision and stick to them and be responsible for the consequences of the
Secondly, the systems theory can
have an enormous impact on the company. Here, each section of the company is to
take the full responsibility of their products before it is released to other
parts of the system. For instance, the choice and handling of raw materials,
processing and handling of the wastes and checking the quality of the output
before releasing the products to the consumers. Following such a channel could
not have resulted in the contamination of water with lead. And finally,
adopting Max Weber’s bureaucratic theory would have led to first hiring highly
qualified personnel, as well as imposing tight rules by the management to the
subordinates and the regulators imposing rules to the firm.
Baum, R., Bartram, J., & Hrudey, S. (2016). The
Flint water crisis confirms that US drinking water needs improved risk
Lai, J. (2015). “Patrimonial
Bureaucracy” and Chinese Law: Max Weber’s Legacy and Its Limits. Modern
China, 41(1), 40-58.
Masten, S. J., Davies, S. H., &
Mcelmurry, S. P. (2016). Flint Water Crisis: What Happened and Why? Journal-American
Water Works Association, 108(12), 22.
Pieper, K. J., Tang, M., &
Edwards, M. A. (2017). Flint water crisis caused by interrupted corrosion
control: Investigating “ground zero” home. Environmental science &
technology, 51(4), 2007-2014.
Stemple, J. C., Roy, N., &
Klaben, B. K. (2014). Clinical voice pathology: Theory and management.
Wren, D. A., Bedeian, A. G., &
Breeze, J. D. (2002). The foundations of Henri Fayol’s administrative theory.
Management Decision, 40(9), 906-918.