Coined many years ago at Hewlett-Packard, management by walking around (MBWA) means that executives should get out of their offices and learn from others in the organization through face-to-face dialogue. MBWA minimises filtering because executives listen directly to employees. It also helps executives to acquire a deeper meaning and quicker understanding of internal organizational problems.
MBWA can take many forms. Jonathan Hakim, managing director of Hong Kong start-up incubator up labs, likes to break the ice with employees by breaking out the cue sticks for a game of pool in the company’s expensive lounge. Datuk Mohammad Shahir, executive chairman of Hijrah Unit Trust Management in Malaysia, also tries to improve communication through management by walking around. He believes that just having an open door isn’t sufficient. He says that he tries to meet all employees individually by walking up to their desks.
Source: Organizaion behavior by Steven McShane, Tony Travaglione