A study of management structure Essay

 

A study of management structure
 

Introduction

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A management structure is designed to support our business objectives. I will look deeply into issues concerning management and management structure. Throughout the dissertation i will identify issues such as good and poor management and how good managers are able to identify and overcome difficult times. I will also attempt to take a historical look at management and how it has eveolved as well as gaining the views of theorists to support my argument.

Every business need a management structure to move ahead. They normally consist of an executive, chairman, etc.

 

·         Who are the managers? According to Robbins, we need to clarify a number of terms before tackling this question: Organisation: A systematic arrangement of people to accomplish a particular purpose – organisations are purpose driven and people powered.

·         Operatives: Those who do rather than oversee.

·         Managers: Those who direct the work of others although they may have some operative responsibilities.

·         Front or first line managers: Usually supervisors or forepersons.

·         Middle managers: Much more difficult to identify – usually worst affected in downsizing and restructuring.

·         Top managers: May be called CEO, Managing Director, Vice Chancellor or, strangely enough, Secretary and are much more likely to have both remuneration and tenure linked to organisational performance.

What do managers actually do? According to Henry Mintzberg they:

·         “Work at an unrelenting speed

·         Are involved in aspects which are characterised by brevity, fragmentation and variety

·         Are strongly linked to action and dislike reflective activities

·         Are strong in regards to verbal communication and rely heavily on networks of tried and trusted employees and external influences to provide necessary information

·         Have their brief moments of spare time eagerly ‘gobbled up’ by subordinates.”

Mintzberg summarised the work of managers into three key roles:

Interpersonal: Figurehead, leaders and liaison

Informational: Monitor, disseminator and spokesperson

Decisional: Entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator.

Luthans differentiates between successful (those who got promotion) and effective managers (those who did the job well) and found only a 30% overlap. He argued that managerial work involves four main activities:

Traditional management: Decision making, planning and controlling

Communication

Human resource management: Motivating, disciplining, managing conflict, staffing and training and

Networking: Socialising, politicking and interaction with outsiders.

Kotter focused on the strategies and tactics used by managers to get things done and found that effective managers:

Set agendas and

Build networks

Does management change? Robbins offer four key areas in response to which management may differ:

The manager’s level within the organisation

The type of organisation

The size of the organisation and

The culture within which it operates.

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An in depth look at management

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The internal environment is the general condition that exists within an organisation. Factors such as an organisation’s culture and its employees encompass this internal environment. The term organisational culture refers to a system of shared values, assumptions and beliefs held by the employees of an organisation, which can also determine largely on how employees will act. Bartol et. al (2001, p.81) suggests that organisational culture can be interpreted as “the way things are done around here”, therefore, when an organisation is confronted with a problem, employees are influenced by this in the way they resolve, analyse and define the issue. Similarly, Robbins et. al (2003) shares the same perspective, as the importance of an organisational culture is discussed in depth. Robbins et. al (2003) asserts that the strength of a culture is crucial in determining the employees’ actions and behaviours, as an organisation with a strong culture is one that employees have a greater acceptance of the organisation’s values. Likewise, Devine et. al (2000) claims that the understanding of a culture can impact an organisations “success or failure”, thus highlighting the importance of this factor. An organisations culture can constrain what managers can and cannot do, as it substantiates what is appropriate behaviour to managers. The effects of organisational culture include: consistency in values and attitudes, focus on employee loyalty and reduction in uncertainty. Employees are one of the many factors of an organisation’s culture. An organisation must ensure that employees are trained satisfactorily in order for them to maximise performance as a part of the team. Employees who demonstrate their skills through their knowledge and capabilities are more likely to face challenges of the global environment in a well thought-out sequence, as they are able to implement plans such as company strategies. Therefore, factors such as an organisation’s culture and employees influence how business organisations and managers respond to the ever changing global environment.

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The external environment of an organisation is the outside institutions or forces that can potentially affect a product or service’s likely performance and success. There are two components of the external environment- the specific and general environment. Within the specific environment, there includes specific groups that have a direct and immediate impact on managers’ decisions and are relevant to the achievement of an organisation’s goals. The main constituencies that create the specific environment are customers, competitors and pressure groups. The existence of organisations is to achieve and meet the needs of customers. Customers exist to provide services; however, they are a potential uncertainty to an organisation. Changes in what they consider is good or bad is an example of how a customer can be potentially ambiguous, therefore increasing the chances of dissatisfaction in a product. There is no organisation that does not have at least one or more competitors. For managers to oversee the influence of competition is a huge risk, as they are an important force that managers must control and be prepared to respond to. Competitors represent an important environmental force that managers must watch closely. An example of this is, due to the continuous technological advancements such as DVDs and cable television; people are now less inclined to watch commercial networks such as Channel 7 or the Ten Network, whereas prior to this, they were the dominators of our televisions! Managers and organisations should also be aware of the power of pressure groups as they can sway the actions of an organisation significantly. An example of this is may be the musicians of today’s music industry, as they struggled against companies such as Napster to save their careers from declining as a result of internet downloading.

The general environment includes factors such as the sociocultural, technological and global conditions, all in which influence the organisation. It is obligatory that managers consider these areas carefully whilst they plan, organise, lead and control, as these factors can easily impact the managers actions and behaviours. Sociocultural conditions refer to the way in which mangers must adapt their work to the transforming expectations of the society they operate in. This in essence means that, when societal values, tastes and customs change, so too must the managers’. Sociocultural changes include factors such as globalisation, and the acceptance of technology in our lives. Each of these factors can be established as a constraint on a manager’s decisions and actions; however they can be dealt by a manager’s flexibility. An example of this may be, if an organisation situates its business in a different country from its originality, managers must familiarize themselves to the countries values and cultures as well as handling matters according to that particular context (Robbins et. al, 2003). Technological conditions have undeniably changed the ways in which organisations are structured and the way in which managers manage. Companies that centralize technology in their business succeed, however this can differ as technology on the other hand can be seen as a challenge in the global environment. Globalisation is one of the prime factors that influence managers and organisations. Both managers of a small or large organisation are faced with challenges such as global competitors and consumer markets. The external environment impacts managers through a degree of change and complexity which exists between the organisation and its external constituencies. Factors such as the sociocultural, technological and global conditions affect organisations and managers, as it demands them to constantly adjust to the global environment, and as a result, these factors can also be seen as challenges.

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In the modern global environment of today’s society, managers of organisations all over the world are being faced with the opportunities and challenges of operating in a global market. Globalisation is based on the idea of products being utilised around the globe with minimal change in requirement. Benjamin (2002, p.69) stresses that “globalisation has made product differentiation more difficult” and that products are merely the same except for their price. Although the concept of globalisation is often seen positively, as it demonstrates to society of the expansion of businesses; it can also be recognized as a key challenge to organisations and managers. This is because of problems such as the lack of product uniqueness as discussed above by Benjamin. Talkington (2001, p.34) on the other hand, discusses the approach that can be taken in order to eliminate this problem, as he confirms that the most significant success factor for an organisation’s globalisation strategy is leadership. Therefore, globalisation is a concept that can be understood as a challenge to organisations and managers, yet it can be approached to fixate the problem.

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The interactions of the internal and external environment factors have an effect on a manager’s endevours, as they impel the organisation or manager to change their objectives according to these factors. The factor of an organisations culture acts together with sociocultural conditions, as they both require the acceptance of values and beliefs by either the employee or manager. For example, an organisations culture may influence an employee to act in a specific way in accordance what is acceptable and what isn’t, however sociocultural conditions suggests that once a belief or value changes, so too must a managers beliefs and values. This interaction between the internal and external environment factors impacts on both the organisation and managers in a global environment as it sets out how people should act. It impacts organisations in the way that, by maintaining a strong culture on the organisation, employees are inclined to work better, and the impact it has on managers is that they are compelled to constantly change as values change in the organisation.

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Changes in any of the factors in an internal or external environment are potential challenges to business organisations and managers in today’s new global environment. The issue relating to the forces of the internal and external environment’s factors is undoubtedly a concern for the future as globalisation spreads further around the globe. Business organisations and managers face the challenges of the new global environment by emphasizing flexibility and implementing company strategies such as plans.

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Good and Bad management

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All managers must have intense and well-informed views on the very subject of management itself. It is a common perception that almost everyone has been through an experience where he or she encountered a bad manager and likewise hopefully have been fortunate to encounter a good one too.

how can a person define ‘good’ and ‘bad’ management?

The CEO cult perception points out that the destiny of the whole of conpany depends entirely on the single man or woman at the top who makes the decisions and controlls all aspects of strategic management. But on the contrary an organisation’s success or failure comes down to on the strength of management at every level throughout a company.

Turnrounds provide a test of a manager’s character and calibre, but the standard of comparison is byenlarge quite low. The strategies employed in turnrounds are mostly one-off: This entails making redundancies and business cut-backs and bring in a brand new chief financial officer to look after the cashflow. The intense management exams come about at a later point when the turnround boss is compared with the best in the business.

A good manager needs to identify the flaws in a business and act immediately to improve issues. .

One of the most stringent tests of a manager is the performance of their successor. However, most qualities of good management tend to be subjective. Greatness is only proven by great results. But the question begs what results do you use?

Goodness is rated by a handsome sales figures, the profit and loss accounts and returns on investments. From one viewpoint this does appear to be fair as the investor generally only is concerned about financial results and above all other issues the share price.

However, the price has its drawbacks as a way of financial well-being as it is not in the direct control of any management structure. It is a short term issue whereas the success of the organisation is measures over the long run.

Good management in an organisation insist on having financial data calculated as precisely as possible, and they consider the financial results to be a reward of their hard work and not as achievements themselves.

They also hold the view that management is fluid as oppose to fixed. Many businesses are cyclical in the way they operate and all managers have to change and rectify mistakes. The main goal is to maximise the upturns and minimise any impending damage.

Above all, all great managers seem to have objectivity as a quality. They put corporate performance ahead of all other matters and their own personal issues come secondary to this. They do not care about their egos.

Bad management can severely contribute to work-related stress. This is said to be the second most common work-related illness.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is issuing phamplets to organisations to tell them how to minimise any distress amongst their workers.

“Poor management doesn’t just drag down employee morale; it has consequences on the bottom line. Through the use of employee surveys, senior management can diagnose the problem, identify the poor supervisors, and make sure profits and productivity stay on course”  John Anderson of a Chicago Consulting firm

Bad management creates a negative ripple effect on the company,” said John Anderson of a Chicago Consulting firm.

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Good management resolves conflicts

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This section aims to examine the sources, nature and effects of conflicting business objectives of the owners and managers of an organization. To emphaise good management i will use relevant theories and examples of business such as Selfridges and New Look.

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A business objective is a precise statement of the long-term direction of an organization. It sets out both, the desired result and the strategic measures to be used to achieve that result. To be effective, an objective should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). Business objectives are set at both operational and functional level

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In order to survive in the long term, any organization needs to make a profit. Usually substantial investment is needed at first, yet this will only be made, where a worthwhile return can be expected. It can therefore be argued that an organizations prime objective should be to maximize profits. This simplistic approach, however, ignores the fact that in order to sustain those profits in the long-run, a company needs to further invest. This may, for instance, be in terms of new product development, expansion or customer relationship management to increase repeat custom. An organization may seek to maximize revenue or market share instead.

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The objective an organization chooses to pursue and the strategy employed for that end are influenced by the structure and nature of the market it operates in, as well as its position in that market. The Boston Group Matrix is often used to assess the current position of a product or business.

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Stars require heavy investment to sustain their growth, however, when the growth eventually slows, they will be likely to become cash cows. A cash cow needs to be managed for continued profit. They usually provide strong cash flow. Question marks have potential, but require strong investment, while dogs may only generate enough revenue to break-even or not meet that point. Once the current position is established, four suggested strategies may be applied. A build objective implies strong investment to facilitate growth, while a hold objective requires sufficient investment to keep the business in the present position. To harvest means to reduce the level of investment to maximize short-term cash-flow and profits and to divest involves the sale or closing down of that business.

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Under the concept of corporate social responsibility, an organization should also take the expectations of its various stakeholders into account. It is suggested that the organizations success will depend on satisfying all of these. The stakeholders in an organization include its shareholders, customers, suppliers, lenders and employees, as well as the government. The interests and expectations of these stakeholders are widespread. A shareholder for instance will be concerned about the return on his investment and will thus be looking for a high level of dividend payments and a growth in share price. A customer will be interested in competitive prices, quality of the company’s products and customer service, while an employee will seek fair remuneration and good working conditions. The organization must therefore decide, which stakeholders’ interests it will honor, when setting its objectives. The degree to which stakeholders’ expectations are taken into account will usually depend on the level of which the organization is effected by their approval or disapproval of its action.

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Bad management

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Delegating authority in any large organization is required to keep a steady workflow within the organization. Delegation is the process of distributing the workload in a top-down flow within an organization. Managers have a responsibility to delegate for the benefit of themselves and their subordinates but should not abuse the power of delegation by using it to make others take responsibility for their mistakes. Delegation allows managers to relieve some of their workload and allows subordinates a chance to learn the management field through on the job training. There are various ways to delegate within an organization and proper and improper ways to do it. Delegation was accomplished at my previous employer through weekly assignment meetings or direct tasking. Because I stay at home now with the children, who are one and four years old, delegation consists of minor tasking such as making a bed or cleaning toys up. Rules for delegation stay the same at any home or organization, someone is passing work along to a subordinate so they can accomplish their own tasking or teach the subordinate what they need to learn. In a company, delegation generally follows a hierarchy and moves from top-level management to middle level management to lower level management to the workforce. The person delegated should be the appropriate level for the goal that will be accomplished. There is no sense in delegating a task to someone without the skill or knowledge to complete it unless the delegator is willing to teach the procedures to do so.

Unfortunately some managers use delegation as a way to pawn responsibility off on subordinates and avoid circumstances involved with not achieving a goal. These are bad management practices and should not be tolerated by upper level management. Not taking responsibility for their actions can lead managers to have a dissatisfied workforce that is not willing to accept delegation of important assignments.

There are multiple advantages and uses for management delegating tasks. As managers move from lower to mid to upper level management they take on more responsibility and larger workloads so saving time is a critical factor in delegating, most managers are required to focus on higher-level activities and it frees the manager to devote more time to the companies mission and less time to completing tasks that can be done by subordinates. The manager who effectively delegates frees their time so they can attend to planning activities, setting objectives and monitoring performance within their area of responsibility. Delegation is also an excellent opportunity for lower level managers and subordinates to receive some training toward advancing themselves within their organization. It allows on the job training of what higher-level managers must accomplish in order to do their job effectively.

Some managers are reluctant to distribute their workload or have less than adequate delegation skills. Delegation is a skill that subordinates should learn by having tasks delegated to them prior to becoming managers or upper level management. If a manager is reluctant to delegate work they may feel that they should not need to depend on someone else to get the job done or that they do not need to pass off responsibility. They have to realize that they are not passing off responsibility or depending on someone else to get the job done, they are freeing themselves to do managerial tasks. Managers who delegate should always follow the proper steps to delegate. Not delegating enough authority or resources can make it impossible for a subordinate to accomplish their task or lead to an inadequate end product.

Following the steps of proper delegation are essential to being successful at it. Figuring out what needs to be accomplished (defining the goal) should be the first step in the delegation process. During this step the person who will be delegating responsibility figures out exactly what they will be requesting so they know what they are talking about when they approach the subordinate who will be delegated. As discussed earlier, there is no point in delegating to someone lacking the knowledge or skill to accomplish the task, this is where the second step of delegation comes in, selecting the person to delegate to. Selecting the proper person to delegate to can make all the difference in accomplishing the task and possibly gaining the subordinate more advancement potential. The tasking should match the skill level of the person that is chosen. Soliciting suggested approaches from the person to be tasked with the project is the next step. Whether to make the subordinate feel like part of the team or gain insightful knowledge, which the subordinate may very well have, this step can help everyone involved to understand the tasking that is to be done. Allotting the resources needed to complete the project can make or break the project. If proper resources are not allowed then the project can either not be done or will only be done to the limit of the resources that were allowed, which in most cases is unsatisfactory. Scheduling checkpoints for review to make sure that goals are being met and following through on those checkpoints to make sure that satisfactory progress is being made are the final steps in the delegation process. Not following the steps of proper delegation can lead to poor or inadequate goals being achieved and dissatisfaction among management and workers alike.

Delegation should be used in some stages of management more than others. The planning and organizing stages of management require the most delegation for research into how to accomplish them and put plans into action. The leading stage of management requires some delegation to thin a managers workload. The controlling stage of delegation should require little to no delegation by a manager

Management Functions:

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There are several ways of conceiving the function, role or purpose of managers in the organisations. Managers are defined as the people who are responsible for ensuring that other people do what is necessary for the organisation to achieve its purpose. There are five basic tasks of management:

Planning

Organizing

Commanding

Controlling

Co-ordinating

Planning
Managers are responsible for deciding what the organisation should be doing. This is captured in the idea of planning. It includes sub-topics such as goal-setting and budgeting. The modern take on planning incorporates some form of information gathering phase, prior to the formulation of the plan. Planning is an ongoing, iterative process — not an annual activity.

Organizing
To organise means to ensure that the appropriate resources are available where and when necessary to achieve the organisation’s purpose. Fayol (1916) included both human and material resources in his conception of organising. Human resources included the areas of hiring and training. Both human and material resources require scheduling of work to ensure their availability.

Commanding
More than any other, command hints at Fayol’s military influences. Command means making sure that others know what they are supposed to be doing. Telling your subordinates what to do is a command. Regardless of the terminology, this is still relevant today. You may ask, rather than tell, your staff to do something, but you still expect them to do it. Providing leadership and direction are more contemporary acceptable ways of describing what Fayol meant by commanding.

Co-ordination
Co-ordination is about timing. Making sure that the activities of the various people in your organisation are integrated to produce the desired results. People are variable; the outcomes of their activities are variable. Co-ordination is the massaging required to ensure that these variable outcomes work together smoothly and produce the desired results.

Control
Control is another of the basic tasks that can be easily misunderstood. The manager controls the organisation, in terms of ensuring they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. This is achieved through monitoring of the activities of people in the organisation. It involves gather information, understanding that information and taking the necessary action to ensure that the right things are being done at the right time (keeping everything organised, co-ordinated and running to plan).

Discussion
There are three important caveats on Fayol’s conception of management that make it relevant today. Firstly, while Fayol described relatively tidy, discrete tasks, management is messy and continuous. Where planning stops and organising starts is hard to identify (and, in reality, not very important). Planning, in particular, is conceived as an ongoing process, rather than a discrete (or bounded) activity. Secondly, it focuses too much on how things should work, rather than how to deal with things when they don’t work. This is an important problem — and one that will be dealt with more later. Thirdly, it is focused almost exclusively on what is going on inside the organisation. Management, particularly senior management, is far more externally focused than Fayol suggests.
Despite these problems with Fayol’s ideas, they are still taught today and still hold as much relevance for managers today as they did at the start of the 20th Century. The main problem with Fayol is that it’s difficult to reconcile how managers actually spend their day with the image of management he presented. For example, managers do plan. But it’s often hard to work out when in their day they actually do this planning. Managers are responsible for deciding what the organisation should be doing. This is captured in the idea of planning. It includes sub-topics such as goal-setting and budgeting. The modern take on planning incorporates some form of information gathering phase, prior to the formulation of the plan. Planning is an ongoing, iterative process — not an annual activity. Where planning stops and organising starts is hard to identify (and, in reality, not very important). This is all fairly easy to resolve as long as you have a management plan defining the roles of the different tiers of management, and something in place to make sure the people occupying these levels stick to their job. Almost without exception, micromanagement becomes the monkey wrench thrown into the machine and is where most management problems start.

Top Officers (top brass – Prez, CEO, CFO, Sr VPs etc.) Executives (VPs and department heads), and Managers (ironically, these people are often referred to as “middle management” – those who actually interface with the sales and workforces) then the differences between planning, organization, and coordination become a lot more clear.
For instance, while all levels of management must plan, organize, and coordinate things, then issue and enforce commands, Officers primarily plan, Executives primarily organize, and Managers primarily coordinate. And the better each level becomes at their primary duty, the easier it is on everyone. If Officers become too overly concerned with organizing and Executives become too bent on coordinating, middle management is then basically relegated to enforcing everything because they essentially have nothing else to do.
Agenda Building:
An agenda is a loosely connected set of long- medium- and short-term goals, plans and objectives set by the manager for their role and their organisation. They incorporate a wide range of different possibilities. Kotter contrasted them with formal budgets, noting that an agenda was more flexible, less quantitative and more clearly focused on the short (1-2 month) and long (5+ years) terms than formal budgeting and planning systems. The formal systems were complementary to agenda building, but are quite different things. The agenda acts as a template for gathering and interpreting information.

Effective managers had more complex agendas than less effective managers. They had greater emphasis on both the short term and the long term (what we’re doing right now, and where we’re aiming to be). They incorporated more and more complex issues and accounted for a wider range of values and desires.
Networking:
Networking means to build a collection of relationships with other people in and outside your organisation and direct chain of command. These relationships went well beyond formal lines and authority. Networks are used as a primary source of information. The people the manager knows talk to them and give them information.

Effective managers had larger networks, including a more diverse range of people. They had no respect for formal definitions of role and place — they always supplemented formal communications with informal modes. They used a wider range of tactics to build their network; spent more time working on it and generally did a better job. One important finding was that the more effective managers were very good at building relationships between two other members of their network, to the point that the manager themselves was not directly involved.

Execution:
Execution is the use of the network to action items on the agenda. By using the relationships — formal and informal — the managers got people to do things that allowed them to move their agenda forward.

The more effective managers used a wider range of skills to motivate, inspire and cajole people into doing things for them. They employed these skills more elegantly and more successfully. They were better at linking elements together and getting a lot of things done in a short space of time.

Efficiency:
Given the interpersonal, fragmented and interrupted nature of managerial work, how can managers be efficient? The answer is simply that management is performed in these interruptions. Rather than disturbing the flow of productive work, they are the most productive work for a manager. The agenda guides conversations — by pointing the manager to things they are interested in and concerned about, they know the information they need from a person. The network allows terse, short conversations to either get information or action an item. Huge amounts of things can be achieved in very short conversations.

This is a brief (slightly superficial) over-view of how managers operate and how they can be both efficient and effective, despite the fragmented and seemingly inefficient nature of managerial work.

People live and work together. Important is that the way in which they feel about their place of work, and the way in which they co-operate, depends on controllable factors, depends on the style of management.

Those who live with you work with you, or work for you will think about living and working with you in either one way or the other.

Delegation is another essential element and skill of management. It involves behavioural, organisational and economic considerations. Delegation is a matter of judgement and if it involves confidence and trust to the subordinates by the manager. As Laurie J Mullins states, it is the allowance of freedom of action to subordinates within agreed terms of reference, thus giving them the necessary authority and responsibility, and the monitoring of their performance without undue interference or the continual checking of their work. If delegation is done effectively, it offers a number of potential benefits to the organisation and its members.

It is known that the human element plays a major role in the overall success of the organization. Effective resource management and the successful implementation of personnel activities are therefore two essential ingredients for improved organizational performance that can be added to the skills of a manager.

It is generally known that the last decades the world has seen an enormous scientific and technological evolution. The continuous economic and political changes affect the operation of organisations and businesses forcing the managers to continuous alteration of their plans and objectives. Various technological innovations resulted in new machinery, which correspond better to the constantly changing people’s needs. Also new products have been developed and more complex consumer goods are produced. So a manager needs to be able to follow the progress and have good technical knowledge. Moreover, constant development in the means of communication lead to the co-operation with many foreign countries which forces managers to specialise and to be more organised and more effective.

Today’s manager has to bear in mind that we live in an increasingly materialistic society. The way of life is continuously changing especially in the big cities. Nowadays people not only try to cover their needs but also want to satisfy their desires by spending a great amount of money on things that are not really necessary to them. So manager’s objective is to ameliorate its business products or services so as to fulfil the customers’ wish or demand. In order to achieve that he needs to be original, creative and witty.

Further more another factor that the manager needs to take into consideration is the various political changes not only in his country but in the other countries as well. Those changes affect their economy thus they affect consumer’s income. However if the manager tries to keep himself informed, has a good budget and has perspicacity then the organisation is not severely affected by those changes.

Another quality of today’s manager should be continuing sensitivity to events. The manager should communicate with his employees, provide their vision, motivate them and bear in mind that he is the person who keeps the organisation united. He has to have the ability to create but also maintain successful teams.

He is also required to maintain a balance between conflicting goals. All the stakeholders of the organisation have set different goals in order to satisfy their individual interests. It is the job of the manager to ensure that individual interests are subordinated to the general interest.

It can be said that for managers to improve their managerial skills continuous training should take place. It is true that managerial skills are mostly obtained through experience however continuous training can improve them. Through training a manager can improve his productivity, increase his effectiveness and discover new and maybe more effective ways of running the organisation.

Overall it can be concluded that management and consequently managers play an essential role to an organisation. They ensure that the organisation achieves its goals by planning and organising the operations of the organisation; they keep the organisation united by co-ordination and control and they form the informational link between the organisation and the environment. However since organisations are a necessary part of our society, the role of management today extends beyond the organisation. The decisions and actions of management have an impact on individuals, other organisations and the community. Therefore the responsibility of management is decisive not only for the organisation itself but also for the very future of our economic and social system.

 

Management in Both Large and Small Organisations

 

Three major features of an organisation are purpose, people, and structure.  Purpose is concerned with and is often expressed as the organisational goals that have been destined to be reached within the company.  People refer to the staff employed by that organisation, who work together to achieve the goals that are set whereas, structure refers to the arrangement of the organisational rules and regulations, either being open and flexible or traditional. The term organisation refers to an entity that has a distinct purpose, which includes people or members and has some type of deliberate structure. (Robbins et al. 2006, p.6)

Many organisations, whether large, medium, or small continually delve for good managers who are able to strike success effectively or efficiently.  Many gather this can be achieved by using Henri Fayol’s (1949) POC3  method which includes planning, organising, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.  These methods have been widely used, especially planning, organising, commanding, and controlling, and referred to, over the years through many books, until questioning began by other writers.  Mintzberg, a particular writer who had questioned Fayol’s work believed that these elements are ‘Folklore’ and are no longer needed these days (Carroll & Gillen, 1987, p.38).

According to Fayol (1849-1925) managers need to plan in advance, which will help them define goals, institute a strategy, and develop plans to coordinate activities.  Second, it is very important to be organised by deciding what needs to be achieved, who needs to achieve it, how to group these tasks, and which staff need to refer to which department or manager who will handle decisions to be made in that area.  Managers should also command (lead) their staff in the right direction.  This also includes employing or deploying, training,.  Another important role of manager is directing, supervising, and motivating the employees with an intention of bringing out their best possible qualities.  This in return will help achieve the goals that have been planned with a high performance from the staff members.

Henry Mintzberg, a prominent management researcher, studied actual managers at work.  He says that what managers do can best be described by looking at the roles they play at work.  His studies allowed him to conclude that managers perform ten different but highly interrelated roles.  Mintzbergs’s ten managerial roles can be categorised into three subheadings which are interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.  Interpersonal roles are duties that are required to be performed by managers which involve people, are formal, and symbolic in nature.  Informational roles are what managers perform to a certain degree, such as receiving, collecting, and disseminating information.  Decisional roles were divided into four parts which helped in making decisions.  First, as entrepreneurs managers can initiate and oversee new projects that can help the organisation’s performance.  As disturbance handlers, managers can take the correct action in response to unforseen problems and by being resource allocators, mangers are responsible for allocating human, physical, and monetary resources (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.11-13).

Systematized efforts have existed for thousands of years, for example the Egyptian pyramids which took more than a hundred thousand workers to build in twenty years.  At that time no one could have organised such incredible structures to be completed, other than managers.  Regardless if they were called managers or not, back then someone had to plan, organise, lead, and control what work was being done.  A numerous number of management theories have been introduced into the world since that time and are being utilised in the present modern organisation.  Currently there are six major management theories that are being practiced in both small and large businesses.  They are scientific management, general administrative theory, quantitative approach, organisational behaviour, systems approach, and the contingency approach (Robbins et al. 2006, p.43).

Scientific management was introduced by Frederick W. Taylor in 1911 and further enrichments were added by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth in 1912.  They found that by separating jobs into sections and having someone who knew the job to motivate the employees, by offering an attractive monetary incentive, inspired the workers to increase their production efficiency to meet goals that have been set faster.  A majority of businesses, large or small, use the scientific management approach as it encourages workers to push for a higher production rate, achieving targets quicker, and in return increasing their incentive (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.45-46).

General administrative theorists, such as Henri Fayol (1849-1925) and Max Weber (1864-1920) set out guidelines to be used throughout companies which would enhance management in the organisations overall operations.  Fayol introduced fourteen principles while Weber introduced an ideal organisation called a bureaucracy (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.48-49).  The guidelines which have been set would most probably be used in depth throughout a larger organisation rather than a smaller one who would not require such detailed directions.

The quantitative approach was originally introduced to solve any problems in the military during World War II, and was later applied to the business sector.  It developed from mathematical and statistical research which enables management to use these methods to reduce situations to a series of variables which are analysed rationally.  This approach has contributed directly to management decision making in the areas of planning and controlling.  However, many managers find this approach intimidating as they are not so familiar with this tool and would prefer to handle real day-to-day situations by relating to them rather than a tool calculating the problem (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.50-51).

Earlier days recognised the importance of the human factor in an organisation. However Robert Owen, Hugo Munsterberg, Mary P. Follett, and Chester Barnard stand out in the contributions to organisational behaviour.  Appreciating human factor in an organisation will lead to success in most cases.  The foremost idea of this theory is to understand that all individuals have their own special needs (Robbins et al. 2006, p.51).  By taking the time to understand people such as understanding their background, present and future behaviour can be predicted.  Many individuals’ backgrounds have provided them with a certain culture.  Whether a manager is managing one person or a thousand people it is eminently important that the manager adjusts and comprehends individual needs such as nationality, religion, gender, age, and general differences (Hofstede 1995, p.150).

The systems approach is a set of interrelated and interdependent parts arranged in a manner that produces a unified whole.  Two basic forms of systems are closed and open.  A closed system does not get influenced by or interact with the environment whereas the open system dynamically correlates with the environment.  The systems approach acknowledges that businesses are not self-sustaining and rely on necessary environmental inputs and as sources to absorb outputs.  For instance organisations will not be able to outlast by ignoring government regulations, supplier relations, or varied external clientele on which it depends.

Using the system approach in any size company is pertinent in managing an organisation on a daily basis to enable goals to be reached (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.54-56).

A contingency approach refers to the diverse changes that happen within an organisation.  There are many variables that happen from business to business or even within the business structure itself.  Some common contingency variables are individual differences, environmental uncertainty, routine task technologies, and organisation size.  For example if a building structure is comfortable for ten employees it would not accommodate five hundred employees if the company rapidly grew in size.  This rule puts pressure on the fact that there is no simplistic or universal rules for managers to follow, either it be small, medium, or a large company (Robbins et al. 2006, p.56).

The Management structure at any level make judgments in either a company that employs five people or five thousand people.  They will still be required to outline tactics, lead, control, organise, motivate, and correspond with their staff as a responsibility that they have committed to in producing efficient and effective work from their employees.  There has been evidence that planning is important at the lowest management level as well as the top (Carroll & Gillen, 1987, p.42).  There are many formularisations that a manager can choose from in any size organisation, yet the only variance between a manager of a small company and one of a large company is in the quantity of the workload not the managerial function itself (Robbins et al. 2006, pp.20-21).  Fayol’s methods may seem ‘Folklore’ to some organisations or writers these days, however they are the substructure for conceptualizing the manager’s dexterity and occupation.  Unifying these approaches with new means such as Mintzberg’s methods could help management in any size organisation to succeed, if they are executed in a corrective manner.

It is the human factor, not technology, that makes the difference between commercial success and failure, and between acceptance and rejection of a system.  Hence the true asset of a company is its educated employees; the real strategic resource essential for commercial growth and the real stuff of competitive advantage.  Finding out whom the ‘best’ people are, how to attract them, how to train them, how to employ them, how to motivate them and, just as importantly, how to keep them, requires major investment by forward-looking organisations (Angell & Smithson, cited in El-Imad 2001, pp.106-107).

Management will always serve the same purpose in any size business which is fundamentally to manage, however the time they spend on each method, if any, will vary from manager to manager not organisation to organisation.

 

A manager’s responsibility during times of change.

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Mintzberg’s ten roles for a manager will help a manager to achieve the objectives of an organisation within the times of change. The ten roles consist of three main roles; inter-personal, informational and decisional roles.

Inter-personal roles are essentially leading roles. A manager needs to become a figurehead to his subordinates. Informational roles are administrating roles, such as monitoring your subordinates and becoming a spokesman. Decisional roles are fixing roles. A manager must be able to negotiate, handle disturbances and be resourceful.

The most important objectives for a manager to complete during times of change, is that their subordinates understand fully what they have to do, how they are going to do it, and when they are going to do it.

Moral is also very important, a manager must make sure that their subordinates have good moral, because if they don’t they will feel unmotivated and therefore their productivity and quality levels will decrease, causing the organisational objectives to take longer and be harder to achieve, also time is money!

Managers must be able to communicate well, otherwise the above will be very hard to do. Simply sending your subordinates emails about what they have to do is not good enough. Face to face communication is the best as you will be able to explain any doubts your subordinates have, and it will improve the quality of their work, as they will know exactly what to do, and this will also help teamwork and their motivation/moral.

Managers need to get out and network with their subordinates in order to understand and address concerns and ideas. Ensuring everyone in the organization has a personal role in the change effort will help achieving the change goals.

 

The Focuses of Management and the management structure

 

Management is the many different tasks performed by high level executives or managers to effectively plan, organize, lead and control the business of the organization.  It is creative problem solving.  Generally, it is achieved through the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers today have a wide range of responsibilities including developing quality leadership styles, strategic planning, problem-solving, and motivating employees.  The modern management system is most effective by constantly gaining knowledge to add value to the organization and to reach the objective goal of winning.  Nevertheless, the functions of management must be properly understood in order to achieve the mission and goal successfully.

A management system describes the organization and should consist of managers that are skilled in knowing how to analyze as well as have the ability to improve the overall system.  Business success depends upon effective management, planning, and making right decisions.  Strategic planning can be one of the more important aspects of managing an organization because it is the process in which the organization is diagnosed from every aspect.  Also, in strategic planning one should have a vision and mission, develop overall goals, create and select strategies to be pursued as well as allocating resources to achieve desired goals.

The functions of management are the first on the agenda to achieving success.  Again the functions of management includes planning which is the ongoing process of developing the business’ mission and objectives and determining how they will be achieved.  Planning includes the largest and smallest view of the organization.  This is a necessary tactic for accomplishing certain goals.  Organizing involves establishing the internal organizational structure of the business.  The focus is on division, coordination, and control of tasks and the flow of information within the organization.  It is within this function that managers distribute authority.  Staffing is filling and keeping filled with qualified people on all positions in the business.  The task of directing is influencing people’s behavior through motivation, communication, group dynamics, leadership and discipline.  The purpose of directing is to channel the behavior of all personnel to accomplish the organization’s mission and objectives while together helping them accomplish their own objective.  Controlling is a four-step process of establishing performance standing on the firm’s objectives, measuring and reporting actual performance comparing the two, and taking corrective or preventive actions necessary.  Each of these functions involves creative problem solving, which is deeper than just finding a problem; it is implementing the best solution to the problem (Hellriegel, Jackson, and Slocum, 2002).

Each management structure is within an organization structure.

At the top of all organizations the general purpose and outlook is organization.  Strategic decision making involves planning and strategies, the fundamentals of decision making and planning and decision aids.  The planning function is to derive new strategies for the business or organization.  Strategic planning even involves feedback, which is the concept involving the sharing of information.  Giving job feedback is important due to today’s increasing diversity technology in the workplace.  Individual feedback is important also because it greatly benefits those with whom we work.  By receiving feedback we can positively change our behavior and attitude, if we so desire.  It adds to our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses.  It also aids in developing a self-improvement plan in learning and evaluating new skills.  Feedback is very beneficial because it demonstrates a commitment to improve and our dedication to do the right thing.  It also builds and enhances our esteem as well as strengthens our work performance and end results (Jacob, 1990).

In order to capture the best of results from an organizational chart and strategic planning to structure the organization, an effective manager will need to know the employees and what motivate them.  Perhaps the best way to truly know the employees is to use the feedback from them to encourage work motivation.  By motivating the employees they will voluntarily work towards the goal management is stressing.  In other words, give the employees what they want and they will give management the performance they desire. There are many different theories of motivation that are generally grouped into only three different approaches: Managerial Approach, Job and Organization Approach, and Individual Differences Approach (Hellriegel, Jackson and Slocum, 2002).

The managerial approach simply involves managers that are working directly with employees motivating them directly by personally communicating with them. In doing so, they are helping to set goals and then rewarding then in ways such as praise, recognition or some type of monetary reward for achieving the goal.  With managers being in direct contact with employees, they can be the most important influence of motivation.  The job and organizational approach motivate employees by the way the overall and general organization is designed.  Usually flexible work schedules, satisfactory benefits, rewards and opportunities motivate employees to work more effective.  The individual differences approach is used because some employees like to be motivated based on their own personal characteristics.  Some employees are motivated by unique values such as positions and security, but this is what an effective manager should understand and reward accordingly.  However, the three general approaches are most effective when they are used in combination with each other (Barge, 1994).

The role of a successful manager is to master how to distinguish with what motivates each employee and to simultaneously accomplish the goals of the organization and each worker. The dynamics of an organization or business is developing communication strategies that help produce motivation in the workplace that is fun to work in and that generate useful and sometimes outstanding results.  Communication is important method in management motivational system simply because behavior is a strong controlling factor of the outward results.  Managers are expected to have exceptional verbal and nonverbal communicating skills.  Communicating effectively has been easily achieved from individuals with symbolic behavior and shared meanings.  Simply implying the individual simultaneously has similar ways of acting or behaving and share common goals and the same interest for future outcome.  If not the individuals would probably adapt to each other’s behavior and other patterns (Osland, Kolb and Rubin, 2001).

Management should adopt the best behavior style to get the best results from employees.  Four of the most familiar management behavior styles are aggressive, persuasive, supportive, and analytical.  The aggressive style is more of a telling style whereas management is demanding or initiating immediate compliance to achieve the goal.  This style has a negative overall impact on employees nevertheless, could possibly be used with a problem employee.  The persuasive style has more of a selling style effect, which direct the employees towards a vision.  This style is more persuasive and likes lots of people to follow.  This style has a very positive impact on employees and brings to mind a new leader of a church helping to build the confidence of his followers.  The supportive style tends to be patient with the employees and is indeed reliable.  The leader is proven to be a good listener and very encouraging and helpful to subordinates.  In this style the management put people first and has a positive overall effect in doing so.  The analytical style delegates more to followers tend to want to get quick results from a team that is competent and highly motivated.  This style can have a negative impact on employees because management is giving off the attitude of  “I want you to do what I say do, now.”  The business environment is continually changing and must use the right style to attain quality results (Hellriegel, Jackson and Slocum, 2002).

Developing motivational patterns in group’s dynamics has contributed to successful group interactions.  Abraham Maslow, The father of Humanistic Psychology, desribes motivation using Maslow’s Theory.  Maslow rejected the idea that human behavior is controlled by only internal or external forces.  Instead, Maslow’s motivational theory states that man’s behavior is controlled by both internal and external factors.  In addition, he emphasizes that humans have the unique ability to make choices and exercise freewill.  The same is still true, need represent hierarchy in nature just as in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  One must satisfy basic needs before progressing on to meet high level growth.  Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied one may be motivated to reach the highest level call self -actualization or self -fulfillment.  Maslow carried out his investigation in human behavior and suggested five sets of goals, stating in the past management reward systems have attempted to satisfy an individual’s lower level needs for safety and physiological security.  A person’s motivation begins when basic needs begin to be fulfilled.  Therefore, it has been proven that individual must have something that motivates or drive them to this basic needs begin to be fulfilled (Hodson and Sullivan, 2002).

Another theorist, Douglas McGregor developed Theory X and Theory Y that many organizations refer to.  Theory X proclaims, the average human have an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can and because of his dislike for work people must be controlled and threatened. They also prefer to be directed.  These assumptions lie behind most organizational principles today and give rise both to tough management with punishments and tight controls and soft management, which aims at harmony at work. McGregor thinks both assumptions are wrong by considering man need more than financial reward, he also need higher order of motivation or an opportunity to fulfill self.

A psychologist named Frederick Herzberg proposed a theory about job factors that motivates employees.  His theory conclude that factors such as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relation, working conditions, and salaries are hygiene factors rather than motivators. He attests that hygiene factors create job dissatisfaction, but their presence does not motivate or create satisfaction, instead they are short-term change in job attitude and performances.  There are in actuality five motivators that enrich a person’s job.  They are achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement.  I’ve also noticed on my job as the owner and operator of a beauty salon, that when I recognize other stylists for small accomplishments they perform better.  Once a year, I also motivate them by giving them tickets to one of the greatest hair shows in Atlanta, GA.  This exposes them to new beauty trends and upon returning home, they’re eager to perform what they’ve learned.  Therefore, I can agree with this theory that if employees are motivated they tend to produce miraculous results (Hellriegel, Jackson and Slocum, 2002).

Management success is gained through accomplishment of mission and decision-making.  Managers are considered to have failed when they do not accomplish mission and objectives.  Managers that accomplish their desired goals are considered effective.  This is why managers today must be both effective and efficient in mastering strategic planning and problem solving, developing a quality leadership style and be the best at motivating their employees

 

THE EVOLUTION OF MANAGEMENT THEORY

 

Scientific Management (1898-Present)

 

The birth of scientific management is generally credited to Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915).  He argued that management should be based on “well recognised, clearly defined and fixed principles, instead of depending on more or less hazy ideas”.  His four principles were:

 

1.      The development of true science at work: all knowledge, which had been kept in the heads of workmen, should be gathered and recorded by management.

 

2.      The scientific selection and progressive development of workmen: workmen should be carefully trained and given jobs to which they are best suited.  Although ‘training’ is an important element in his principles of management, ‘nurturing’ might be a more apt description of his ideas of worker development.

 

3.      The bringing together of the science and the scientifically selected and trained men.  The application of techniques to decide what should be done and how, using workmen who are both properly trained and willing to maximise output, should result in maximum productivity.

 

4.      The constant and intimate co-operation between management and workers.  “The relations between employers and men form without question the most important part of this art”

 

The practical application of this approach was the use of work study techniques to break each job down into its smallest and simplest component parts:  these single elements became the newly designed job.  Workers were selected and trained to perform their single task in the most efficient way possible, as determined by techniques such as time and motion study to eliminate wasted motions or unnecessary physical movement.  Work study also enabled the determination of a ‘fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’.  Workers were paid incentives on the basis of acceptance of the new methods and output norms.  For Taylor the most effective motivator was money.

 

Administrative Management (1916-Present)

 

Henri Fayol (1841-1925) is recognised as the greatest European pioneer of modern management.

 

Although his training was in engineering, Fayol soon realised that managing an enterprise required skills other than those he had studied.  A manager needed to be able to formulate plans, organise plant and equipment, deal with people, and much more.  Engineering school had never taught such skills.  In thinking about the problems of a general manager, he concluded that all activities that occur in business undertakings could be divided into six essential groups:

 

Fayol was the first to identify and describe the functions of management (planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating, and controlling) as a process- the management process.  Fayol contended that the six groups of activities are interdependent, and it is management’s role to assure the smooth working of all six in order to achieve enterprise goals.

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To guide the management process, Fayol formulated 14 principles of management. Recognising that different situations may require, different managerial techniques, he stressed that “there is nothing rigid or absolute in management affairs, it is all a question of proportion.  Seldom do we have to apply the same principle twice in identical conditions; allowance must be made for different changing circumstances, for men just as different and changing and for many other variable elements.

 

Fayol’s Principles of Management

 

1.      “Division of Labour.   Work should be divided to permit specialisation.

2.      Authority and responsibility.  Authority and responsibility should be equal.

3.      Discipline.  Discipline is necessary to develop obedience, diligence, energy, and respect.  A fair disciplinary system, with penalties judiciously applied by worthy superiors can be a chief strength of an organisation.

4.      Unity of Command.  No subordinate should report to more than one superior.

5.      Unity of Direction.  All operations with the same objective should have one manager and one plan.

6.      Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest The interest of one individual or group should not take precedence over the interest of an enterprise as a whole.

7.      Remuneration.  Rewards for work should be fair, satisfying both employer and employee alike

8.      Scalar Chain.  A line of authority should extend from the highest to the lowest level of an organisation.

9.      Stability of Tenure of Personnel Turnover should be minimised to assure successful goal accomplishment.

10.  Initiative.  Subordinates should be allowed the freedom to conceive and execute plans in order to develop their capacity to the fullest.

11.  Esprit de Corps.  Personnel should not be isolated.  Cohesion should be encouraged” (robbins)

 

The familiar ring of Fayol’s ideas suggests how thoroughly they have penetrated current managerial thinking.  While many of them may seem relatively self-evident today, they were revolutionary when first advanced.  They remain important not only because of his enormous influence on succeeding generations of managers, but also because of continuing validity of his work.  His concepts continue to have significant impact on managerial thinking.  For this reason, Fayol is known as the “Father of Modern Management”.

 

Max Weber – Bureaucracy.

 

Whereas Taylor’s and Fayol’s primary attention had been directed toward practical problems of managing for effective goal accomplishment, the concern of Max Weber (1864-1920) was with the more fundamental issue of how enterprises are structured.

 

Characteristics Of Weber’s Ideal Bureaucracy

 

1.      Charismatic leadership.  In such an organisation, a leader is regarded as having some special power or attribure; decision making is centralised in the leader and delegation is strictly limited.  The leader expects personal, flattering devotion from his/her staff and followers.  Decisions are frequently irrational or emotional, the charismatic leader being driven my intuitive preferences producing results which ar either spectacularly successful or disastrous.

2.      Traditional, or patriarchial leadership.  In such organisations, authority is bestowed by virtue of hereditary entitlement, as in the family firm, the lord of the manor.  Tradition is glorified.  Decisions and actions are bound by precedent.

3.      Bureaucracy.  In such organisations activities are grouped into specialist areas (production, marketing etc) each with specified duties.  Authority to carry out these duties is given to the officials who are appointed on the basis of qualifications and expertise, and rules and regulations are established in order to ensure their achievement.  Managers get things done because their orders are accepted as legitimate and justified.

 

Weber specified several general characteristics of bureaucracy:

 

a)      Hierarchy.  Each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one

b)      Specialisation and training.  There is a high degree of specialisation of labour.  Employment is based on ability, not personal loyalty.

c)      Impersonal Nature.  Employees work full time within the impersonal rules and regulations and act according to formal, impersonal procedures.

d)      Professional nature of employment.  An organisation exists before it is filled with people.  Officials are employees, promotion is according to seniority and achievement; pay scales are prescribed according to the position or office held in the organisation.

e)      Rationality.  The hierarchy of authority and office structure is clearly defined.  Duties are established and measures of performance set.

f)        Uniformity. in the performance of tasks is expected, regardless of whoever is engaged in carrying them out.

g)      Technical competence in officials, which is rarely questioned within the area of their expertise

 

Human Relations in Management (1927-Present)

 

In the 1920s and on into the Great Depression, a group of social scientists led by Australian-born Elton Mayo began to study how employees reacted to performance incentive schemes, job satisfaction, and working conditions.  This group of theorists emphasised the human side of management and tended to counterbalance the largely technical engineering emphasis of the scientific management movement.  They believed management should focus primarily on people.

 

Porably the most imperative breakthrough in the evolution of the management structure came about from a series of studies which began way back in 1924 at the former Hawthorne (Cicero, Illinois).

The findings were amazing as they highlighted the significance of informal group relations as an extreme force in the motivation of employees.

 

Critics note that by current standards the Hawthorne Studies were unscientific; that is, many of the conclusions reached do not necessarily follow from the available evidence.  Nevertheless, in their day, they were an intellectual gold mine.  For this reason alone, the contributions of the Hawthorne Studies to the growth and development of the human relations approach can hardly be overstated.  As though responding to Taylor’s plea for a “study of the motives which influence men,” The Hawthorne researchers systematically demonstrated the nature and content of the human element.

 
Modern Management Theory

 

Each of the movements we have discussed has shed light on some aspect of the management process.  As one author has observed, a “management theory jungle” arose when each of these movements went its own way and ignored the others.  Followers of scientific management emphasised scientific decision making, computer applications, and mathematical models.  Human relations enthusiasts (now called behavioural scientists) developed new theories of human behaviour.  Administrative-management advocates studied managerial work patterns in order to learn the secrets of executive success.  However, in the past 25 years or so, some management theorists have begun to try to integrate findings of the scientific-management, administrative-management, and human relations movements.  Two modern approaches have attempted to integrate these different perspectives.  One is the systems approach and the other is the contingency approach.

 

Systems Approach

 

We will now look more closeley at the approaches. The systems approach has its roots in many disciplines, including biology, Psychology, sociology, and information theory. A system may be defined as a set of connecting parts that relate in the accomplishment of some purpose.  The systems approach views activities as systems that procure and transform inputs into outputs, which are subsequently discharged into their external environment in the form of goods and services.  Inputs may take the form of people, materials, money, or information.  For example, a steel mill transforms iron ore and other raw materials into industrial and consumer goods.  Colleges and universities transform uneducated students into educated graduates.  Hospitals transform sick patients into healthy individuals

 

Contingency Approach

 

A second modern approach that has attempted to integrate findings of other perspectives is called the contingency approach.  Advocates of this approach believe that it is impossible to specify a single way of managing that works best in all situations.  Contingency theorists stress the varying effectiveness of different managerial techniques under varying conditions.  Their approach is to spell out conditions of a task (scientific management), managerial job (administrative management), and people (human relations) as parts of a whole management situation (systems emphasis) and integrate them all into an effective solution most appropriate for specific circumstances.  Theorists who have researched this modern approach are:

 

§    Blain, Burns and Stalker

§    Joan Woodward

§    Lawrence and Lorsch

 
The New Organisation

 

a)      Everything global: we now live in what is described as a global village, with a global economy, a global marketplace

b)      Everything new:  organisations have come to appreciate that they are unlikely to survive unless they responsive to the expectations of their customers; for some, this is a very new perspective if they previously operated in a monopolistic environment and did not regard their clients as customers at all.

c)      Everything faster: with techniques of mass customisation, it is now possible to order a tailor- made Toyota for a Toyko car showroom and have the car delivered 24 hours later.

d)      Everything different: it is no longer sufficient to keep doing the same things but progressively to do them better.  The world of work has entered a major idea shift towards entirely different expectations about performance, challenging the conventional assumptions of old.

e)      Everything turbulent: there is no going back to the peace and quet of organisational stability in a world of slow, social and technological change.  Instead, organisations nowadays must continue to cope with messy, inconsistent, unclear scenarios.

 

The essential features for the new world of work have been suggested by Hammer and Champy

 

(a)    Work Units: from functional departments to process teams

 

(b)   Jobs: from simple tasks to multi-dimensional work.  The old model, represented by Taylorism offered simple tasks for simple people, whereas the new approach reflects complex jobs for smart people.

 

(c)    Roles: from controlled to empowered.   In a process team environment, people have the chance to learn more about the work process as a complete entity; performing the role becomes more satisfying, with a greater sense of completion, closure and accomplishment, and more learning and growth built in. The result is that jobs are more challenging and more difficult as the older style routine work is eliminated or automated.

 

(d)   Values: from protective to productive.  People in organisations have to believe that they work for their customers, not for their bosses.

 

(e)    Managers: from supervisors to coaches

 

(f)     Structures: from hierarchial to flat

 

The difficulty for most organisations is the need to manage the tension between two opposing sets of forces:

 

(a)    The centralising impact of professional management, designed to produce a cohesive corporate strategy and the rational, efficient allocation of resources that will support this strategy.

 

(b)   The centrifugal effect of the forces important for fostering free enterprise, empowerment, risk-taking and innovation.

 

Class Activity
In small groups, discuss and provide a written explanation of the following

 

1.      Scientific Management

 

­       The definition of Scientific Management

­       The main principles of Taylor’s theory of Scientific Management

­       The advantages and disadvantages of Scientific Management within the work organisations of group members

 

2.      The Human Relations Approach

 

­       The main features of the human relations approach and its origins

­       The Hawthorne Effect

­       The advantages and disadvantages of the human relations approach

­       The extent to which it is applied in the organisations of the group members

 

Management is a process, which exists to get results by making the best use of the human, financial and material resources available to the organization and to individual managers. (Armstrong, 1990)  On the other hand, in economics point of view, it said that economics is the subject, which try to maximize utility of every scarce resource. As you can see, these two subjects also emphasize on the important of adding value to the resources, and this added value depends on the skill and commitment of the people who are responsible for managing the business.

Management functions are the activities that take place in organizations and the things that the people who manage these activities do, which involves using processes, responding to instructions, allocating work, getting teams into action and seeing that the required results are obtained. (Armstrong, 1990)  Managers should have the competence to recognize the standards and quality in their organisation in order to meet the customer requirements and also understand how to get the work done with other people.

Especially, at this moment, the globalisation trend has spread all over the world. There are many companies that try to raise or expand itself to become a multinational company. The expansion of these business organisations forces every manger to develop themselves and upgrade their skill in order to deal with the new situation. Due to the change in business environment, the manager of every company must have more skill than before whether they are ready or not.

From the weekend training, I realise that there are a lot of managerial skill, which is important for every manager in order to bring the effective management to the organisation such as communicating skills and stress management.

Communicating with other people is the main activity of managerial life. (Mintzberg, 1973) It has two important aspects: first, the maintenance of personal relationships, and second, the efficient transmission of messages. (Young, 1986) In my opinion, I think communicating skill is the most necessary skill for the effective manager because manager is in the middle position between executive and worker. Manager may be called on to make presentations to their board, at a meeting or at a conference. They must therefore develop effective speaking skills. In addition, managers have to spend much of their time in meetings engaged in intercommunications with their colleagues. So, every manager has their duty to receive the policy from their boss, executive officer, and pass that policy to the organisation’s worker. Listening and speaking skills are the most important communicating skills because managers have to use them in order to make the communicating process, input or output.

Firstly, time stress, it is a worry reaction to the feeling that something must be done before a deadline or feeling that time is running out. Secondly, situational stress, it is concern as a result of finding oneself excessively under pressure by events or people. It can happen when there is conflict or distrust between people. Lastly, Encounter stress, this is anxiety about dealing with individuals or groups of people who are perceived as potentially unpleasant or unpredictable. Actually, stress and pressure are not the same. Some pressure is normal and wanted as a motivating force. It is only when the pressure becomes excessive that it can turn into stress. (Armstrong, 1990) There are many causes of stress such as working condition, work overload, job security, personal relationships and so on. Some people can resist the stress more than others because every people have their own characteristic pattern. Stress can cause many undesirable effects to physical or mental health and even the organization.

However, stress can be managed by adaptive behaviour. For example, an overworked or workaholic may adapt successfully by passing on more work to the assistant but if the manager still accept the overload, as a result, pressure and stress could be increased and lead to declining in the performance. Then, the effective managers should be able to manage stress in order to gain the best of their potential. There are many ways to manage stress such as building the supportive relationships with the superior, colleagues and subordinates, discussing the problem issues in a frank and friendly way, spending some time for privacy and freedom from pressure, and always face up realistically to the situation. (Armstrong, 1990)

In conclusion, everyone wants to be an effective manager but the problem is how can they achieve this goal. There are many factors that have not been mentioned in this report, however the outdoor training has shown us, students to try to be the effective manager, about the complicating of the real business world. Of course, in the business world, it always has some troubles but the point is how can we solve the situation by using the right managerial skills in order to bring the success to our organisation.

 

Conclusions:

Many progressive organizations want to employ and develop only people who possess a special predefined set of competencies (creativity, innovation, adaptability, teamwork, personal integrity, etc.). These competencies guarantee that business strategies and relevant goals will be fulfilled while staying in tune with corporate culture and values. And managers create a unique category, as they actively participate in formulating business strategy and are also directly responsible for ensuring that planned objectives will be met.

Signs abound that managers are doing things quite differently than predicted by traditional theories reflected in the processes of planning, organizing, coordinating and control. First, managers’ working days are fragmented into many different activities not fully correspondent with their planning. They tend to tackle mainly practical and concrete matters, rather than strategic. They spend most of their time talking to people, not so much thinking and writing but acting with little preparation.

Moreover, they have to operate in a complex social net of relationships, carefully using their power to influence. Such conditions really call not so much for a special type of knowledge and technical skills, but for a certain type of personality, attitude and behaviour.

If we move onto interpersonal characteristics. This category contains all answers that refer to personal qualities that can be displayed solely in the social context (for example, when dealing with other people). These characteristics comprise two levels: interpersonal traits and interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills like communication, including listening, argumentation, etc., which reflect more variable personal qualities, fall into the category of trainable elements that are accessible for further development and change. On the other hand, interpersonal traits represented by dominance, affiliation, strictness, etc., are quite stable personal qualities that are less responsive to attempts to change. However, as they do play an important role in the managerial profile, they should be submitted for directed self-awareness through an active dialogue during coaching or psychological consultations.

The importance of interpersonal qualities of managers complemented by the impact of interpersonal aspects of management gives a clear message. Being a successful and effective manager has a lot to do with “knowing who I am as a person in contact with others, what attitudes I hold toward other people and how I behave facing others.” Then it is worthwhile to analyze the type of interpersonal situations that are encountered in the given position and rate them in terms of difficulty. After serious thought, one can connect situations with his/her own interpersonal style and look for opportunities promising further development. Many times there is no need for any radical change. Looking for the personal obstacles and building your own self-awareness can be the beginning of a new path to more successful managing.

It is fair to say that management structures in an organisation must be well organised. Good management lead to good reasults and bad management lead to bad results.

 

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