Saturday, July 17, 2010
Disadvatanges of being too Mathematical in Approach
In the present world of management there is too much of reliance on mathematical and analytical thinking. As someone who tries to observe managerial sphere with a very keen perception the author, does not find this trend very appealing. Now before doing a thorough analysis it will be good if the point be made very clear that there is no grudge against mathematics in general and the author also admits the fact that these are of extreme significance for management as an approach but the ongoing trend where it is infiltrating into each and every aspect of managerial thinking, is something that needs a revisit. The reason for this goes as follows:-
1> In Mathematics 2+2=4, in reality it is not the case. In real world business scenario 2+2 might be 4, 3,5 or even 14 or -4. Mathematical tools are too much mechanical in approach, now having a robust mechanical model in practice makes things very easy to understand and can be comprehended easily by the takers but one must understand that might be far away from what might happen in reality. Just because a mathematical model is robust enough does not guarantee that it will be correct also.
2> It kills the qualitative approach of a manager:- For a successful manager it is essential that he should be well versed with qualitative as well quantitative approaches. But relying too much on the quantitative approach and using a quantitative framework for each and every managerial situation might undermine the qualitative approach in some one.
3> Mathematical models cannot go beyond the obvious: - One must understand that any analytical or mathematical model always considers the available and existing frameworks. But is some one really wants achieve a major breakthrough he needs to think beyond the obvious which is not possible by depending on mathematical thinking approach. One must understand that something like a Ford's "T model", Southwest’s low cost aviation service, Toyota’s "Just in Time" were not the outcome of some mathematical thinking. They were purely based on the ability to think beyond the obvious, to understand the latent demand of the customers, to catch the hidden loopholes in the system and these abilities really don’t come with mathematical thinking but with experience, with the knowledge of the qualitative aspects of a problem, with systemic thinking and beyond that the guts to explore something that had been unexplored so far and to execute the findings with confidence.
Having said this will like reiterate that mathematical thinking also has end no. of advantages but will like to describe this in details in some other blog.