The AKT theory of management : a theory based on an analysis of managers' activities, knowledge and tasks
This thesis reports the development of a theory of management which describes what competent managers do or will do and prescribes what other managers could do or should do. The AKT theory of management and six organizational concepts are constructed, tested, and applied to explain and subsume many findings of other related studies The word AKT is made up of the initials of the theory's building blocks or the elements of managers' actions: activities, knowledges, and tasks (Managers' tasks are also the factors for organizational operation (FOOs) from the system viewpoint). The six organizational concepts, namely networked-cones structure, end-means chain, compatibility among FOOs, reflexivity in management, distributed managing, and momentum of organization, form a basic organization theory describing or prescribing the context of management. The analysis of questionnaire and diary data of 1,659 actions collected from 40 Taiwanese managers supports the AKT theory. Firstly, the nearly constant, significant coefficients of contingency from the overall and partial cross-tabulations between the 11 manager's activities and 14 manager's tasks suggest that the strength of association between them is independent of the manager's function, level, company, and industry. Secondly, data indicate that all the three building blocks are necessary for the AKT theory to be complete and parsimonious and that Mintzberg's (1973) ten roles theory and the process theories are incomplete and ill-structured Finally, regression analysis showing that managers with more management learning have higher rates of valid diary records justifies the prescriptive dimension in the AKT theory for those with less management learning. Besides, examinations of the characteristics of management practice from the perspectives of the AKT theory's elements modify several previous views. The wide-ranging implications and applications of the AKT theory and six organizational concepts are discussed.