A manager’s frame of reference is his/her most enabling asset

Whenever we talk about managers, suddenly an image emerged in our minds as a person who is unruffled, well-organized, clean desks, power suits and with sophisticated information systems. According to common definition a manager is a person who plan organize, coordinate and control activities of subordinates. They develop and implement farsighted strategies, producing predictable and effective results. But in real life story is different. A different picture emerges if you take some time to watch managers at work.

According to Carson, Mintzbeerg& Kotter, it's a hectic life, shifting rapidly to one situation to another, each with a different blend of challenges (Bolman&Deal,1997,p265). According to Kotter, in months of observing senior managers, he rarely saw them making a decision. Decisions emerged from a fluid, swirling vortex of conversations, meetings, and memos. Sophisticated information systems only ensure an overload of details about past happening, but they fail to answer a far more important question: what will happen tomorrow.

In deciding what to do next, managers operates mostly on the basis of intuition-hunches and judgment derived from past experience. They use their own capability and frame of mind to solve any problem (Bolman &Deal ,1997, pp265-266). The proliferation of complex organizations has made almost every human activity a collective one. We are born, raised and educated in organizations. We work in them and rely on them for goods and services. We play sports in teams . We join clubs and associations. We build organizations because of what they can do for us.

But organizational life is always full of simultaneous events that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. So, to make progress in any situation, one needs to define a focus of interest that is, to develop a "frame". Frames are both windows on the world and lenses that bring the world into focus. Frames filter out some things while allowing others to pass through easily. With a frame, attention automatically focuses on the content within while tending to ignore the content outside the frame. Frames help us order experience and decide what to do.

Every manager, consultant or policy maker relies on a personal frame or image to gather information, make judgment, and determine how best to get things done. According to Goran Cerstedt, the talented executive who championed the turnaround of Volvo's French division in 1980's, "The world simply can't be made sense of, facts can't be organized, unless you have a mental model to begin with. That theory does not have to be the right one, because you can alter it along the way as information comes in.

But you can't begin to learn without some concept that gives you expectations or hypothesis". (Quoted in Hampden-Turner, 1992,p. 167). Frames also become tools, each with its strengths and limitations. The wrong tool gets in the way. The right one makes a job easier . One or two tools may suffice for simple jobs but not for more complex ones. Managers who master the hammer and expect all problems to behave like mails find organizational life confusing and frustrating.

The wise manager, like a skilled carpenter or an experienced cook, will want a diverse collection of high quality implements. Experienced managers also understand the difference between possessing a tool and knowing how to use it. Only experience and practice bring the skill and wisdom to use tools well. Bolman and Deal (1984,1997) have sorted the insights drawn from both research and practice into four major perspectives, or frames i. e. a) Structural b) Human resources c) Political d) Symbolic.

Each of frames generates different possibilities, and those differences can be translated into alternative scenarios. They can also be misapplied or misused. Success depends on the skill and artistry of the person seeking a suitable scenario. Choosing a frame, or understanding others perspective, strongly involves a combination of analysis intuition and artistry. Bolman and Deal made the following table having questions to facilitate analysis and stimulate intuition (1997,p. 271). It suggests conditions under which each frame is likely to be most effective.