Management is a function of organized systems that originated from a natural (evolutionary) or artificial (creative) way. Distinguish management in biological, social, economic, political, technical, cybernetic and other systems. The most common management functions are maintenance and optimization of system characteristics, conscious impact on internal and external (concerning the system) processes, the creation of diversity, goal-setting, regulation, accounting. Interest in the problems of governance arose during the period of Antiquity (Aristotle, Plato), when certain aspects of management began to be studied concerning socio-political systems, primarily to the state. But only with the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 18-19th centuries, when the question of the planned scientific organization of labor and administration arose, the rapid development of scientific management began.
In the philosophical analysis of the problem of management, the focus is on categories of subject and object (management as subject-object interaction), goals and means (management as goal-setting), conscious and unconscious.
Operational analysis of the management problem develops in the mainstream of cybernetics, system theory, and the theory of automatic control. A rigorous mathematical proof is developed that a given control objective is attainable not under any initial conditions. According to the “necessary diversity principle” (U.R. Ashby), the control system must have no less variety of states than the managed one to be able to influence it actively. It is also proved that the fundamental feature of any creation systems is a significantly lower level of diversity in comparison with similar natural, evolutionary ones. In the creation of artificial systems, the principle of “cutting off the sticker” is always involved.
Man simplifies the world around him so that he can master, control him. Therefore, in artificial systems, order and diversity are opposed to each other. Management in cybernetics is built on this opposite. As soon as the machine starts to work, orderliness appears in it, which begins to destroy the prevailing uncertainty. This feature – the emergence of information – and allows us to manage cybernetic systems. Reducing diversity through information is one of the primary methods of regulation because the behavior of the system becomes more predictable. For biological systems, the operation of other management principles is characteristic. Evolutionary development, unlike technological progress, is accompanied by a multiplication of not only order but also diversity. Ordering arises as a kind of superstructure, an addition to the chaotic movement. There are two levels of management of the biological system: the organism and the behavioral, the first of which is reproduced hereditarily and is oriented to the self-preservation of the species or ecosystem, the second – ensures the satisfaction of the system’s needs in interaction with the external environment.
In social systems, an exceptional level of management develops – culture as a system of instrumental and symbolic means, among which norms, values, traditions, and institutions play a particular role. In primitive societies, the socialization of individuals, forming a relatively rigid system of values and social roles, performs the essential functions of management. The guardian of cultural heritage is traditional group consciousness. In feudal societies, such a traditional management mechanism is mostly preserved, but at the same time, new specific management systems-church, legal, and political-arise. Culture management, in this case, is purely elitist nature, since the vertical and horizontal differentiation of roles is transmitted mainly by inheritance.
With the emergence of commodity production and the beginning of the industrial revolution, not only the legal forms of regulating social processes, but also competitive management mechanisms (especially in the environment of economics and politics) gain independent significance. This is followed by more and more detailed regulation of the management activity regime (administrative and technical control). In modern highly developed societies a multi-level management system has developed, which includes:
- traditional personal relations (family);
- professional relations;
- market (competitive) relations;
- state regulation;
- ideological relations and the media.
At the end of the 20th century, science lost its optimistic faith in the possibilities of social management to regulate the world of human relations, laid down in the Age of Enlightenment. Two world wars that took millions of lives, bloody dictatorships of all kinds – from Nazism to Bolshevism, nuclear tests, accidents at nuclear power plants – is far from a complete list of “managerial catastrophes of the 20th century.” In scientific analyzes and expert assessments, the ideas of a total management crisis, management loss, and strategic instability began to prevail. The “catastrophe theory” has replaced the optimistic views on managed social development and historical evolution.
Many scientists concluded that “… the entire developed conceptual arsenal of the classical general theory of systems and cybernetics proved to be sufficient only to describe systems that do not change over time, linear in structure (organization) and rigidly determined.”
In modern science there is an active search for new, alternative approaches to management, designed to bring society out of the crisis, to overcome strategic instability.