Dear fellow academics.
In today’s society, we see management all around us with a qualitative approach. Not only universities, but society as a whole is run by politicians and managers who focus mainly on figures and statistics instead of quality, or values. We can transform that approach of those in the higher echelons in society, starting with a new discourse, in the words of Michel Foucault.
In this appeal, I want to argue another way of management, based on the character of managers, or politicians for that matter. For this, I want to use the remarks of the psychologists Pinker and Tichelaar. Not long ago, an organizational psychologist in the Netherlands, Tichelaar, stated on Dutch television that there are two categories of managers; the first one takes care of the core-business (which also means the wellbeing of the employees), the second is focused on expanding his network. The latter category usually has a more successful career and ends in higher management or the board, while this type of person cares less about fixing problems. In fact, he can react violent on everything that could threaten his career, like skilled colleagues.
Susan Pinker stated that humans have two psychological models in their character: the male and female model. These are gradual traits; each is present in a human, to a certain degree. Some people have more of the male model, with a ‘laser-vision’ and a businesslike approach, while others have more of the female model, with a broad, social and long term approach. Pinker also explained that in today’s society the male model dominated. This explains the quantitative approach in management at universities.
A right way of management begins with personnel management. At the level of policy: not the ‘goals’ but the ‘character types’ really matter, whether this is in government, politics, education or businesses. Pinker argues that the people that run this world should have a balanced character, with at least as much of the female as the male model. I want to combine her plea with the category Tichelaar put forward, managers that take care of the core-business, not their own career.