Management by Exception

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Description of Management by Exception. Explanation.

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Management by ExceptionDefinition Management by Exception. Description.


Management by Exception (MBE) is a management style, policy or philosophy wherein managers intervene only when their employees fail to meet their performance standards or when things go wrong. If the personnel are performing as expected, the manager will take no action. Time and effort should not be wasted focusing on employees or parts of the organization where things are going smoothly.
 

The term is also used to describe provision of information to management in which only significant deviations from budgets or plans are reviewed as the basis for corrective action. The object is to reduce the quantity of detail contained in management reports and statistics to date on which action can be taken.

 

In many cases, management by exception requires that the manager delegates specific functions to others who are part of the team or group impacted by the abnormal results. Within the scope of that employee’s duties, he or she will likely use processes designed to specifically address that deviation, while the remainder of the team continues to use standard operating procedures and practices to manage other company functions.
 

Besides a control technique, MBE can be also a motivational approach. It fits well into an organizational philosophy of employee empowerment, in which managers delegate as much responsibility and activity as possible to those below them, stepping in only when it's really necessary. In MBE, only decisions that cannot be made at a lower level is passed on to the next higher level.

 

The idea behind management by exception is that managers should only spend their limited and valuable time to important, more tactical or even strategic activities.


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Compare also: Leadership Continuum  |  Covert Leadership  |  Transactional Leadership

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