User:Jtneill/Articles/Open management

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Open management

Open management applies the philosophies and practices of openism and free culture to management. Much of this also revolves around communication and transparency. Openness is not a panacea or magic bullet, but its like pumping oxygen into an organic system - it makes other tasks fundamentally easier, it is more ethical, and it has significant potential for enhancing the quality of organisational and educational processes and outcomes.

Below I'm developing some ideas and principles about what open management might look like and how it might manifest, particularly in universities:

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Transparency: The key I think to open management practices is transparent and communicative decision-making. An open management mantra could be communicate early, often, and continuously. All decision-making (and relevant related information) should by default be made immediately and readily available to all staff and students/clients unless there is a compelling ethical reason otherwise. Transparency should be multi-way (e.g., top-down, bottom-up, and side-to-side) and multi-dimensional.

Open academia: An open management organisation is a also a learning organisation. It should also adopt other practices of open academia since these will tend to strengthen the pursuit of open management.

Facilitation: Open management can be thought of as facilitation and involving facilitation skills. Facilitation is at least as important as leadership. Management should facilitate, i.e., make the core tasks easier, not harder. If workers know what is in the mind of management and vice-versa, then the task of working together cooperatively is more likely. The same applies to the teacher-student relationship - teachers should be as open as possible in their work and interactions with students. Open management, then, has much in common with open education and open teaching.

Quality improvement cycles: Multi-directional quality improvement cycles. Goal-Action-Evaluation/Feedback cycles are the lifeblood of a learning organisation and learning staff and students. Open management encourages and facilitates the flow of information amongst the interstitial tissues of an organisation. Each area can then improve based on evaluation of not only on analysis of itself, but can also based on transparent data about the operations of other parts of the organisation.

Radical transparency: These open management ideas are very close to radical transparency, open government, and open source governance.


Please feel free to edit or discuss/comment.

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