What is Integrative Management?

Key Takeaway: Integrative management harmonizes diverse management processes and systems, enhancing efficiency and fostering a cohesive approach to achieving organizational goals across various sectors.

Integrative management is a holistic approach to managing and organizing businesses, organizations, or communities. It aims to integrate different aspects of operations, such as finance, human resources, marketing, and production, into one cohesive system.

This system helps create more efficient processes and enhances productivity by eliminating redundancies and streamlining operations.

The concept of integrative management has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential for creating sustainable and effective solutions. It recognizes the interconnectedness of various components within an organization and seeks to align them toward a common goal.

By implementing this approach, organizations can achieve better outcomes, foster collaboration, and improve communication among different departments.

Integrated Management Definitions

Integrative management can be defined in various ways depending on the context in which it is used. In general terms, it refers to the integration of different management systems into a unified structure. This structure allows for the efficient coordination of processes and resources towards achieving organizational objectives.

In the business world, integrative management is often used interchangeably with “integrated management.” However, some experts argue that there are subtle differences between the two terms.

While integrated management focuses more on aligning strategies and goals across departments, integrative management goes a step further by considering the impact on stakeholders and the environment. In other words, integrative management takes a more holistic approach to decision-making.

Making Integrated Management System Standards More Compatible

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed various standards for different aspects of business operations, such as quality management, environmental management, and information security. These standards are essential for ensuring consistency and improving processes within an organization. However, implementing multiple ISO standards can be challenging, especially when they have different structures and requirements.

To address this issue, Annex SL was introduced in 2012 as an overarching framework to make ISO standards more compatible. It provides a common structure, core text, and definitions for all management system standards. This compatibility allows organizations to integrate their management systems more seamlessly, reducing duplication of efforts and simplifying the certification process.

Annex SL and Integration

Annex SL is based on the High-Level Structure (HLS), which is designed to align different ISO management standards. The HLS framework consists of ten clauses that serve as the foundation for all ISO standards. These clauses cover essential aspects of an organization’s operations, such as context, leadership, planning, support, operation, performance evaluation, and improvement.

By adopting Annex SL and the HLS framework, organizations can achieve a more comprehensive and consistent approach to managing their operations. This integration also promotes better communication and collaboration among different departments, leading to improved decision-making and performance.

Management Integration and Certification

Certification is an essential aspect of integrative management as it provides third-party validation of an organization’s commitment to sustainable practices. By obtaining certification in various ISO standards, organizations can demonstrate their dedication to quality, environmental responsibility, information security, and other crucial areas.

Integrating these certifications into one cohesive system not only saves time and resources but also adds value by showcasing the organization’s overall commitment to excellence. It also gives stakeholders confidence in the organization’s ability to manage its operations effectively and sustainably.

Integrated Management in Education

Integrative management is not limited to businesses and organizations; it can also be applied in the education sector. Many universities and colleges have started incorporating integrative management principles into their curriculum to prepare students for the workforce.

By teaching students to think holistically about different aspects of a business, they can become more well-rounded professionals who can contribute to organizational success.

Educational institutions are also integrating various ISO standards into their programs, providing students with an understanding of quality management, environmental responsibility, and other essential concepts.

This integration allows students to gain a better understanding of how different management systems work together and prepares them for the real world.

FAQs: What is Integrative Management?

What are the key elements of integrative management?

Integrative management revolves around the seamless coordination of various management systems to achieve unified goals. Key elements include an overarching strategic vision, interdepartmental communication, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability.

How does integrative management differ from traditional management approaches?

Traditional management approaches often operate within isolated silos, focusing on individual departmental goals and processes. In contrast, integrative management emphasizes a holistic view, aligning strategies and objectives across the entire organization.

Can organizations implement integrative management without ISO certification?

Yes, organizations can adopt integrative management principles without obtaining ISO certification. While ISO standards provide a structured framework for integration and continuous improvement, the core concepts of integrative management, such as fostering collaboration, streamlining processes, and engaging stakeholders, can be applied independently to drive organizational success.

What are some challenges that organizations may face when integrating their management systems?

Organizations may encounter several challenges when integrating their management systems, including resistance to change, cultural barriers, and technical difficulties. Aligning different departmental goals and practices can be complex, requiring robust change management strategies and continuous communication.


Integrative management is a valuable approach to managing operations in today’s complex and interconnected business landscape. By aligning different aspects of an organization’s operations, it can promote collaboration, improve communication, and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Annex SL and the HLS framework are crucial tools in achieving compatibility between different ISO standards and integrating them into a unified system. With integrative management, organizations can not only achieve sustainability but also gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

So, it is essential for businesses and educational institutions alike to embrace this approach to drive success in the long run.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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