Effective or efficient management? Which would you prefer?

29 01 2009

An emeritus professor contacted me and has given a useful insight into the difference between effective and efficient management.

Apparently, a few years ago the New York City Garbage Collection Department ran out of funds three months before the end of their financial year. Rather than over spend, they stopped collecting. Whilst this was effective in budgetary terms it certainly was not efficient for the citizens of the City.

A comment on an earlier post by gnomechompski alludes to a valueable point in the context of management (in football):

“Creating an atmosphere in which individuals can work with each other and see themselves as part of something larger is really all a manager can do; the rest just happens.”

All of which leaves me still with this lingering concern that management strategies may be effective and not necessarily efficient, that ultimate results may be accepted but not neccessarily achievedĀ  through acceptable means and that the “science” that management puports to be, may be taught and studied at learned establishments but may not necessarily be practiced in the field.

Effective or efficient management? Which would you prefer? (and is it based on science?)

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