What Is a Management Philosophy?

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Management philosophy is the philosophy adopted by a company’s executives outlining how they believe a business should be directed, particularly with regard to the treatment of fellow workers and employees. As such, management philosophy is less concerned with the day-to-day mechanics of running a business. Instead, a quality management philosophy helps develop relationships based on ideal interpersonal practices.

Because it is a philosophy like any other, management philosophy is frequently abstract and based on rational principles rather than carefully outlined business models or daily best practices. As put by Accounting Library, management philosophy is a “belief system that guides how people will interact with other people… there are no process steps that can be defined and improved over time.” Instead, the manifestation of management philosophy appears in statements of corporate culture, or in an organization’s mission statement. Such statements frequently assert the primacy of employees as the most valued element in the business, and that the philosophy of that business is to guide them towards fulfilling their potential.

While management philosophy tends to celebrate the employee, this does not mean it subordinates the customer or the company’s profitability to this concern. Rather, the goal is to strike the proper balance between these elements. The company seeks to maximize its profitability and customer experience, yet it uses its management philosophy to act as a check upon those instances in which the desire for profits tempts managers towards worker abuse. Put slightly differently, employers seek the highest profits possible without transgressing their own management philosophy. Ultimately, management philosophy is an acknowledgment of any company’s imperfection and its consistent need to re-evaluate the manner in which it values all of its contributors.