MLA Research Institute (MLARI)

Management as a Liberal Art (MLA)

WHAT IS MANAGEMENT AS A LIBERAL ART?

Management as a liberal art is a philosophy which argues that successful and durable organizations support self-development and moral growth in their people. An organization is the means through which an individual, as a member of the community, finds both contribution and achievement.

The philosophy of ‘management as a liberal art’ (MLA) suggests that managers must seek knowledge and nurture an organizational environment where its members find meaning and opportunities to learn and contribute. Through the collective contribution of its members, the organization is able to achieve its mission and objectives. The organization’s growth and development allow it to make a positive contribution to the community and society.

HISTORY OF MLA

Peter F. Drucker has been described as ‘the founder of modern management’ and ‘the man who invented management’. Drucker’s writings have contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the study of management. Organizations without good management eventually fall prey to disorganization and entropy. For society to thrive, therefore, its organizations must be well managed, and this is the task of management.

Management, Drucker argued, is a liberal art, and as such is a human activity. All the disciplines appropriate to the study of the human being are thus appropriate to a greater or lesser degree to the study of management.

In his The New Realities, Drucker wrote:

“Management deals with people, their values, their growth and development, and this makes it a humanity. Management is thus what the tradition used to call a liberal art: liberal because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership; 'art’ because it is practice and application. Managers draw on all the knowledges and insights of the humanities and the social sciences—on psychology and philosophy, on economics and history, on ethics—as well as on the physical sciences. But they have to focus this knowledge on effectiveness and results—on healing a sick patient, teaching a student, building a bridge, designing and selling a “user-friendly” software program.”

Drucker believed that successful and durable institutions support self-development and moral growth in their members. Moreover, he affirmed that an organization is the means through which an individual, as a member of the community, finds both contribution and achievement. As a result, the philosophy of ‘management as a liberal art’ (MLA) suggests that managers must seek knowledge and nurture an organizational environment where its members find meaning and opportunities to learn and contribute.

PURPOSE OF MLA

Drucker believed the practice of management must aim to create and maintain healthy organizations in which individuals find meaningful existence and purpose while engaging in responsible citizenship, and contributing to the common good and the betterment of society.

Drucker believed that it is possible to serve the customer, earn profits, create wealth for shareholders, and also be a moral community for the development of human character and social concern.

He explained that profit should not be the objective of business but the end result. The profit motive should not be a guide to behavior; rather it is the result of good behavior. As such, Drucker argued that what ought to drive performance and results is the development of personal strengths which leads to social benefit.

Drucker explained that leadership is ultimately moral and includes developing people. If people develop and grow, they will also make greater contributions to the organization and society.

It follows that “leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” - Drucker

Executives can effectively lead organizations to be profitable, while also nurturing a moral community for the development of meaning, character, and social concern. 

IMPORTANCE OF MLA

Management is inherently an activity involving human beings – therefore, values and character development which are the province of the liberal arts, are of value to executives, managers, and practitioners in general.

As a result, CiAM MBA courses, training workshops, and research emphasize the importance of developing oneself, acquiring knowledge, and managing people, their values, their growth and development.

At CiAM we have developed MLA curricula which emphasizes the importance of practicing management as a liberal art. We seek to integrate ethics, leadership, and an appreciation for human development and empowerment into our courses. We believe that it is important to teach our students and community partners that doing the right thing is crucial for long-term organizational success. And in turn, responsible-accountable-empowering organizations are able to contribute to the advancement of society as a whole.

About MLARI

ABOUT THE MLA RESEARCH INSTITUTE

MLA-Logo.png

Peter F. Drucker understood the study of management to be a liberal art – “liberal” because management deals fundamentally with human nature, knowledge, and wisdom; and – “art” because it is concerned with practice and application.

Building upon the wisdom of Drucker, at CiAM we believe that knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership are essential to developing the individual as well as society. At CiAM we firmly believe that ‘management as a liberal art' (MLA) helps support personal development, organizational effectiveness, community development, and the realization of human dignity.

As a result, CiAM has formed the MLA Research Institute (MLARI), an institute that is dedicated to the study and application of management as a liberal art within organizations. With the purpose of advancing our understanding and application of MLA in organizations, the MLA Research Institute develops educational content, publishes its research, and offers training workshops.

The MLARI develops MLA-specific course assignments, class exercises, and case studies through which CiAM's students gain a solid understanding of MLA as well as learn how to apply MLA in real-life organizational settings. The MLA Research Institute also works with organizations to develop their knowledge of MLA and help improve their overall effectiveness.

VISION, MISSION, & OBJECTIVES

VISION

To promote human dignity in life, work, and community to build a functioning society.

MISSION

To expand knowledge and practice of Management as a Liberal Art (MLA) globally by conducting and disseminating collaborative research, and developing educational content.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To advocate Management as a Liberal Art (MLA)
  2. To develop educational content relating to MLA
  3. To showcase community leaders and organizations who practice MLA
  4. To offer training workshops
  5. To promote freedom and liberty and resist those who oppose these values

CiAM’s ‘management as a liberal art’ approach helps students and clients to think critically about management responsibilities, and to see the interrelationships that exist between knowledge, moral leadership, personal development, organizational development, and a functioning society.

EXPERTS

KAREN E. LINKLETTER, PH.D. - ACTING RESEARCH DIRECTOR

karen-linkletter(600x800).jpgDr. Karen Linkletter is a researcher with the Joseph A. Maciariello Management as a Liberal Art Institute (MLARI), where she develops curriculum for CiAM and conducts research to advance the work of Peter F. Drucker. She and Dr. Maciariello co-authored the book Drucker’s Lost Art of Management: Peter Drucker’s Timeless Vision for Building Effective Organizations

Dr. Linkletter has published over 20 articles and essays on a variety of historical topics. She has an M.B.A. and a PhD in History from Claremont Graduate University and received her A.B. from U.C. Berkeley.  Dr. Linkletter taught in the American Studies Department at Cal State University, Fullerton for fifteen years. She is also a professional cellist, performing throughout southern California and teaching private students. She is an avid horseback rider and enjoys time with her horses, Spencer and Chance.

PHILLIP PAN - PROGRAM COORDINATOR

phillip-pan.jpgPhillip Pan has over 35 years of executive management experience where he built, grew, and improved a diverse pool of organizations across various industries. With extensive experience in many business disciplines and especially in strategy, he has aligned disparate groups to work collectively toward a common goal.

He has held a variety of senior positions such as Executive VP and COO for a large investment corporation; COO of an international sports entertainment provider; COO of a high-tech digital printing provider; VP of Sales & Business Development for a multi-media firm and VP of Business Development for a large frozen yogurt company. In Taiwan, he educated grades K-12 in Taipei. Through his positions with Ming Lo Shao and CiAM, he is able to devote himself to learning and disseminating Peter F. Drucker’s teaching and values, especially in Management as a Liberal Art.

BYRON RAMIREZ, PH.D. - RESEARCHER

byron-ramirez-jan_2020-(600x800).jpg

Dr. Byron Ramirez is an applied economist with experience in quantitative research, industry analysis, and policy analysis. A former strategy and management consultant, he developed expertise in economic analysis, statistical analysis, forecasting, and analytics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ramirez worked in senior analyst roles for Caltech, Bank of America, Lennar Corporation, and Envirogen. After completing his M.S. in management and strategy from the Drucker School, he went on to complete a PhD degree in economics at Claremont Graduate University. Through a series of econometric models, Dr. Ramirez’ dissertation explored the nexus between entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development.

Dr. Ramirez has worked as a macroeconomic and international trade analyst at Wikistrat, and as a consultant for CENTRA Tech. He has worked on international development projects and performed trade analysis for US government agencies. He has published papers on entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, international trade, macroeconomics, economic development, management best practices, and sustainable development. Dr. Ramirez has completed advanced certificate programs at the World Bank, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and USC Marshall School of Business.

MICHAEL CORTRITE, PH.D - RESEARCHER

Michael-Cortrite.jpgDr. Cortrite has 30+ years of experience, education, and training related to subjects being taught. He is currently teaching at the MBA level at California State University in Northridge and is also an Educator at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. He was a professor of Administration at Santa Monica College where he developed a new Ethics in Law Enforcement class. He has held many positions at the Santa Monica Police Department rising to the rank of Sergeant. His publications include “What Is the Best Method of Evaluating a Police Training Program?” (Vol.4) as well as co-authoring “Ethics Training: A Passing Fad or Sustaining Component.” He has also volunteered at various organizations including his current Board of Directors position at the Santa Monica Police Activities League. Specialization: Management and Organization Behavior.

Articles

Articles

Events

Events

MLARI holds regular events advocating 'Management as a Liberal Art' (MLA). At CiAM we firmly believe that MLA helps support personal development, organizational effectiveness, community development, and the realization of human dignity.

Past Events:

post-images2.jpgLeadership In Times of Crisis
How Tomorrow's Leader Navigates the Current Crisis While Taking Care of Their People

Date And Time:
Fri, April 24, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

Learn More:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leadership-in-times-of-crisis-tickets-103174505724

MLARI FAQs

FAQS

Here you will find answers to the most common questions received on MLA and MLARI.

What is Management as a Liberal Art (MLA)?

Management as a liberal art is a philosophy which argues that successful and durable organizations support self-development and moral growth in their people. An organization is the means through which an individual, as a member of the community, finds both contribution and achievement. 
The philosophy of ‘management as a liberal art’ (MLA) suggests that managers must seek knowledge and nurture an organizational environment where its members find meaning and opportunities to learn and contribute. Through the collective contribution of its members, the organization is able to achieve its mission and objectives. The organization’s growth and development allow it to make a positive contribution to the community and society. Click here to learn more about the History of MLA.

Back to Top

Who developed this philosophy?

In his book, The New Realities, Peter F. Drucker discursively introduced the philosophy of management as a liberal art. Drucker argued that management deals with people, their values, their growth and development, and that management comprises the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership. Drucker also posited that management involves practice and application. 
The philosophy of management as a liberal art was further advanced by Dr. Joseph A. Maciariello, Emeritus Professor at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. After working with Peter Drucker for several years, Dr. Maciariello along with his co-author Dr. Karen Linkletter, published a book, Drucker’s Lost Art of Management, where management as a liberal art is further explored.

Back to Top

What does MLA explore?

Management as a liberal art examines the connections between ethics, leadership, character development, human dignity, human empowerment, human performance, the role and responsibilities of managers in society, and the social role of organizations.

Back to Top

Who practices MLA?

Organizations across different industries and sectors practice management as a liberal art. Since management as a liberal art embodies values such as ethics, human development, dignity, empowerment, and social responsibility, we can surmise that there are organizations in society which currently employ this philosophy.
Management as a liberal art can be used by any organization, in any industry, in any sector of society. This philosophy is not solely used by for-profit organizations, but rather any organization is able to practice MLA.

Back to Top

Why practice MLA?

Drucker believed that successful and durable institutions support self-development and moral growth in their members. Moreover, he affirmed that an organization is the means through which an individual, as a member of the community, finds both contribution and achievement.

The philosophy of ‘management as a liberal art’ (MLA) suggests that managers must seek knowledge and nurture an organizational environment where its members find meaning and opportunities to learn and contribute.

MLA argues that it is possible for organizations to be ethical, socially responsible, and profitable. Moreover, organizations which genuinely care about the well-being of their people and the community, are likely to be recognized and appreciated by their customers, employees, and society in general. 

It is possible to serve the customer, earn profits, and also be an ethical, socially-conscious organization that contributes to the betterment of society.

Back to Top

Contact MLARI

Contact MLARI

If you have any questions about the MLARI or MLA in practice, we would love to hear from you! For general inquiries, please contact:

Byron Ramirez, Ph.D.
Email: byron.ramirez@ciam.edu
1000 South Fremont Avenue - Unit#45
Building A-10, 4th Floor, Suite 10402
Alhambra, CA 91803