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Published by Abhishek Agarwal
Common Sense
Common Sense

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Abhishek Agarwal on Jan 24, 2013
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Is Management Only Common Sense?

The argument: ‘Management is all common sense' In other words, “all the tasks related to managing anything can be accomplished by any individual by using common sense alone. Training and specializing are a waste for a manager as he can do the same tasks that he has to only through common sense.” To understand if common sense can be a sufficient tool to tackle any issue in management we must first understand two things: the terms common sense and management. - What is management? Management is a complex job. It involves the functions of; planning, controlling, organizing, staffing and leading, the complexities of which the human brain cannot handle alone. Management can be of almost anything. From managing a baby to a large firm the basic of managing are almost the same. A mother requires just as much knowledge of growing her child well as a manager requires of growing his business. They will both try to learn as much as they can about the job at hand and they must both take critical decisions that will shape the future of the baby/firm. - What is Common Sense? A term thrown around so loosely that it is difficult to understand what it actually means. From my personal experience I can say that a lot of management is backed by common sense, but it’s not inborn knowledge that is this common sense. Common sense is a trained way of looking at things that comes mainly from experience, education and other sources of information. It’s not a science so is it just theories my head churns out based on what I feed it? It increases with wisdom it’s relative and varying which makes it all the more unreliable for decision making. Common sense is to be used for raw decision making or making decisions in haste. If a manager lacks the time to take a calculated decision then his/her best bet should be going

Calculating this would require training in mathematics and the knowledge of obtaining the correct figures for calculating. If it’s new then it’s happening for the first time.1120 against Rs. Overtime common sense evolves from experience.1000 is a gain for me. stretching your boundaries further. A good action from the point of view of a business that comes out of common sense has come so because the manager is aware of the consequences it will have.on past experiences and whatever little information he has. How can one conclude anything based on common of an endeavor that one is not informed enough about? When a manager decides to expand a business he is basing on one of three things. As we do new things we learn from them and our past experience helps us take new decisions. estimated calculations or both. For example consider managing an investment of Rs1000 in a fixed deposit account of a bank. intuition. If the bank return rate is 12% over a period of one year then I would probably invest my sum if I had excess since its common sense that getting Rs. But what about the things we can't generally foresee. both of which are beyond common sense. But had I been a bit more knowledgeable and knew more about handling my finances I would see that at the current inflation rate which is 20% I would not gain Rs 120 for my investment but instead loose Rs. so common sense will indefinitely fail to guide you as there is no observed outcome to base your decisions on. A business cannot expand without risks. In a way common sense is the least resourceful ‘solution’ or the lazy and quick way out. Of course in the future I might not make the same mistake again as now for me its common sense to check my interest again the inflation before investing however I would still my training in mathematics to figure these outcomes out. beforehand. But it’s almost unlikely that a company will venture on a new project based on common sense. Can common sense alone drive a business? If so then why is failure just as easy as success is difficult? Risk taking is a manager job. Does common sense factor risks? The word expansion means entering new grounds. So a decision that was once not .80 as the value for my money would drop. Only if we are sure of the outcome without the use of and complex means we say that it is common sense.

Today common sense says we can sail indefinitely without leaving the planet. NewYork. I would like to make the difference clear by saying that intuition is a feeling. Like the belief that one would fall out of the Earth if one sailed too far was a fact. George1 It has already been established the proposed argument does not hold in all situation and is hence false. Vol-1.” -Santayana. 1980 th Yadav Sid. But later as we realized new things through research. it was common sense to know it. Often we mistake common sense with intuition. Common sense on the other hand is an assumption or a fact that we have at some point already observed or are convinced about as we are well informed that it has occurred. It can’t be just that unless we live in a stagnant world.just common sense could at another point in time become common sense. However for the sake of argument I will go on further and develop my case. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. 1 2 Santayana George. but his assumption that people would join Facebook as they would appreciate the relationship status feature was only a hunch or intuition. Dover Publication. But before our common sense expands we must use specialized knowledge to figure things out. For example when Mark Zukerberg launched “TheFacebook”2 he added the relationship feature as it was only common sense that everyone in college was quite keen on knowing the relationship status and interests of the people that interested them. 25 August. Facebook-the Complete Biography. it’s an assumption that we have no rational backing for but we are still confident of its occurrence at some point in time. 2006. we proposed a new theory. Mashable Social Media. about the shape of our planet. So in some sense we can't invent and innovate based on common sense. . And thus I can claim again that management is not only common sense. So it depends on the point in time we are at. The life of Reason.

As laymen we only understand the part of management that lays in the realm of common sense and so we only highlight and discuss this aspect thus creating a kind of an sense can be misleading at times. whether or not its point will break after the fall and other such things that will occur once the pencil has been left to fall down. One can argue that as long as we know the pencil will fall to the ground the intermediate steps barely matter as our goal is ultimately achieved. Instead of making the taste more acceptable Seagram only doubled the price per bottle. 2012. 45 And the same effect is used as reason for justifying the issue of rising medicine prices or college education. who made a rather disliked whiskey one of the most popular brands of the day. .It’s true that there are people who seemed to have taken their business the distance by just common sense. Checking the Facts: The Chivas Regal Story. ‘Seagram’. say a pencil manufacturer and the end result of reaching the floor with the 3 The law of demand states that the quantity demanded of a product will move in an inverse relationship with price provided other things remained constant. it’s a fact. Wally Bock’s Zero Draft. how fast it will fall. 4 the chivas regal effect describes the behaviour of customers to believe that good priced high are generally of better quality than their cheaper counterparts though this may not necessarily be the case 5 th Wally. By a certain law of economics it is clear why that if you double the price of a good like whiskey its demand should rise as it is exception to the law of demand that we take as common sense3. Fair enough in this case as this is only a pencil but if we substitute the pencil with any business. So this exceptional behavior of the market can only be understood if one has a fair idea of the customers mindsets and preferences which can only come through research. 13 July. where exactly it will land. However common sense alone can't tell us why the pencil falls. For example in 1949 a brand of whiskey named Chiavs Regal was bought by a company called. But it’s not common sense alone.6 To know that a pencil will fall down when left in space is common sense because it’s something we observe in life. how much noise it will produce. Or so we/they claim. This exceptional strategy adopted by Seagram became an important lesson in marketing and was called the "Chivas Regal effect".

Instead I do nothing but the obvious and hope it falls into place like always. a sports team or even his/her own life has been managing the same purely through common sense and arrives at . then is this knowledge alone enough for them to go ahead with the business? Or do they need to calculate how long this process will take. Also I knew the pencil will fall down because I assumed that there would be no obstruction midway. Then even a few months of additional time can add a lot on the cost. But what if it does change? Common sense in a way rules out unlikely possibilities and gives us one outcome for an action. Albert So if a person managing anything be it a business. That is to say the external environment that can disrupt the consequence will remain unchanged. is essential in decision making. Had I been more attentive and probably trained in Human behavioral sciences I could have figured this out and given the job to someone else. a household. of all the opportunity costs. and other major fixed costs that will have to be calculated as accurately as possible so that an accurate product price can be set. We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used while creating them . Common sense is only partially informing and mostly highlighting the obvious. competition etc. For example if I need a job to be done well. land. are there any other alternatives that are likely to be better and so on? I think knowledge of the gestation period. The same goes for rented machinery. It ignores complexities or we can say it fails to account for them. There are countless factors that determine the outcomes of an action provided one does not believe in destiny. Especially if it is a large business for which one has taken loans in large amounts. its common sense that I should ask the most qualified man at my disposal to do it for me as he has the best shot at doing it the best based on his past records.business reaching the breakeven point and then even if we assume that for some reason the person/people managing the business are aware that the business will reach breakeven as it is common sense. However what I don’t know is that this man is currently dealing with family troubles and a consequent depression which is likely to reflect badly on the job he does. will there be great profits later as well.Einstein.

Bad managers are those who are blind to things in front of them (the common sense) and needless to say the things that are more complicated.a problem then how will he solve it? He must change his thinking somewhere and that would mean digressing from the path of common sense. . But I guess we can say for sure that however informing a man’s common sense is. Also sooner or later his employees will show him his place as they will more indispensible that the non productive manager. you have to rely on training and specialized research to make better decisions and predictions for effective management. each of which is teaching me something new. And as long as you can’t know everything or even most things to speak realistically. In fact it cannot even get in range of achieving something so ‘God’ like. however good he may be at choosing people for the job if he cannot himself do it because unless the managers knows how to do the job he will not know what to expect from the people working for him. If management was common sense then why would different businesses have different results? Why do people look for the most educated man for the job and not often the man with the most common sense? A manager cannot expect himself to sit at his post. Good managers are good at both. shows that management is larger than my common sense. Here we must of course assume that the manager will arrive at a problem and the assumption seems only fair. as to have a flawless management is to create a Utopia. Common sense is so relative that it is difficult to answer what it can do and what it can’t. It’s possible that what one man can do using common sense would be an impossible task for another. Great managers are blessed. Also the fact that I am currently enrolled in more than a few classes that revolve around management. I also must mention that there are good and bad managers and some special managers who are better than good. Common sense is essential but it can never substitute aptitude. it can never answer it all. which so far is only a concept and not an observed reality. training and specialized knowledge.

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