Effective Management Styles Essay

Effective Management Styles

Introduction

Management in essence is the ability to direct, guide and motivates people to perform their duties effectively, in unison and harmony, and to excel in the performance of those duties. This requires cooperation with the organizational team and others associated with the job to accomplish defined goals and objectives. However, it is style, character and conduct that distinguish a capable administrator and define organizational success. Success is more likely to be achieved through team building, unity of goal and vision, communication, hard work, and mutual respect. It is management that plays the primary role in promoting and fostering those ideals.

Therefore, it is imperative to recognize what constitutes winning traits in an effective management style. A basic fact that every administrator must recognize and acknowledge is that the employees constitute the most valuable resource of the organization and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The administrator must also recognize that only by earning the trust and confidence of colleagues and subordinates can he or she gain and expect unfeigned cooperation and quality performance. (Arnold, & McClure 1996) The outstanding administrator avoids the ineffective management styles commonly referred to as management by fire, management by crises, management by intimidation, management by command and control, management by caucus, micromanagement, my way or no way management, and management by neglect, that is, no management at all.

These obtrusive ‘‘styles’’ may work for a while, but none are propitious for obtaining quality performance. Getting the job done is important, but alienating everyone in the process by creating an atmosphere of confusion, showing disrespect or killing all initiative and creativity is hardly the formula for success or for cultivating leadership. Likewise, ‘‘instilling the fear of God’’ in subordinates or constantly belittling or disparaging others may be appealing to the egoistic mind, but it will not create a healthy work environment. Organizational structures work best when the professional interests of all parties are recognized. While everyone deserves the right to aspire to better opportunities and advancement, such aspirations must not be pursued at the expense of others. Competition through capability and competence is healthy in an organization, whereas suspicion, cynicism or negativism can lead to disruptions and disasters. Team-based leadership requires developing and nurturing the capabilities of each individual to strengthen the team and promote quality performance on the part of all. Effective administrators can facilitate all this. (Grunenwald & Ackerman 1996)

Model of Effective Management

In recent experiments researchers have compared student academic gain in the classes of teachers who received training on research-based teaching practices with that in classes of teachers who received no training. In all of these experiments, some teachers adopted most of the practices, others adopted only a few of them, and some hardly changed. What accounts for these differences in implementation?

In 1979, Cruickshank, Lorish, and Thompson reviewed the literature on in-service education and proposed a model similar to Dunkin and Biddle’s (1974) framework for studying the relations between teaching behavior (process) and student learning (product). In Figure 1 I present Cruickshank et al.’s (1979) framework, which specifies teacher change as the desired outcome (product) of in-service education. Trainer characteristics, training processes, and context variables are other elements of the model.

Figure 1 Model for research on inservice education. (Adapted from Cruickshank, Lorish, & Thompson, 1979, with permission)

Most researchers studying in-service education have investigated relations among training types (processes), organizational factors (context), and teacher change (product). One area that has received little attention is the teacher’s attitudes toward the practices recommended in the training. (Teachers’ characteristics are included in Figure 1 as context factors.) (Sauter 1997)  Even when training processes and context factors are optimal, there still is variation in the degree of teacher change resulting from training. In this study, I examined the relation between teachers’ perceptions of recommended practices and their subsequent use of those practices.  Most researchers studying context factors have concentrated on how the organizational characteristics relate to implementation and teacher change. Yet there is another aspect of context that has received less attention: teachers’ characteristics. Teachers’ age and experience have been found to relate negatively to change. (Faranda ; Clark 2004)

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Designing High-Variety Learning Transformations

Teaching and learning are transformations (i.e., changes). When designing a transformation system–a system that converts raw materials into finished goods–there are generally two options. In one option, design begins with consideration of what needs to be transformed and how the conversion can be accomplished. Thus, design begins with inputs or resources and with an understanding of the technology required for change to take place. Resource-based systems capitalize on resources that are valuable, rare, difficult to imitate, and non-substitutable and that an organization knows how to use effectively. Technology-oriented designs typically focus on issues like task sequencing, control, and efficiency. Resource and technology-oriented designs promote both efficiency and effectiveness in using a system’s core capabilities.

Alternatively, design can begin with consideration of the people who are responsible for doing the work. With this second approach, primary concern rests with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and motivations of workers. Proponents have argued that an employee-focused design encourages innovation, change, and problem-solving activities to take place throughout the organization. They contend that links between customers and the work to be done are more direct, and therefore, information is more readily available for making crucial decisions. In addition, worker-centered designs encourage learning and growth. A concern with fit is common to both designs. Regardless of whether the primary concern is with resources and conversion technology or with those who must implement work activities, effectiveness depends on how well various parts of a system fit together. In the educational setting, an additional communality is evident: students are the primary resource, the carriers of core technologies such as learning know-how, and the workers most responsible for ensuring the conversion takes place. Therefore, students are the key for designing variety into a learning system. Concentrating on students allows educational design to focus on the most critical resource and the primary worker, as well as on individual differences in conversion (learning) processes. (Oakland 2001)

Elements of Co-production

Drawing from Lawler’s (1992) work with high-involvement firms, I identified three aspects of co-production that I believed had a strong influence on students’ abilities to access and effectively capitalize on the variety offered in the design of a course. These three elements were (1) a desire to engage in co-production, (2) a learning focus in co-production, and an expediency focus in co-production. (Kim 2006)

Desire to Engage In Co-Production

As discussed previously, motivation is a key factor influencing the effectiveness of co-production activities. Students who enjoy taking responsibility for customizing their educations, who like deciding whether to work alone or in groups, and who want to select how they will learn and what vehicles they will use to demonstrate their performance are expected to be more effective co-producers than students who do not want such responsibility. A number of factors shape motivation toward co-production. Some students, like some employees, welcome the challenge offered by self-management, and others see structuring the educational experience as someone else’s (i.e., the teacher’s) responsibility. Not all students are equally confident of their ability to make wise choices regarding co-production. Less confident students may prefer to have such decisions made for them. Students enter a class with different levels of experience in alternate course designs.

Their early socialization experiences in a classroom setting may have shaped their receptivity toward co-production in learning environments. It seems quite plausible that the seeds of an interest in co-production in the classroom can be planted or uprooted during a student’s formative years. In addition, students at the upper-division or graduate level may have experienced greater variety in course design and learning opportunities than freshmen. This experience enables advanced students to know which learning processes work well for them and which learning processes are less effective for them. Advanced students may also feel more competent in the co-production role and therefore, more willing to become co-producers. (Forsyth et al 21005)

Learning Focus in Co-Production

Students enroll in a course for different reasons. Some students, for example, are very interested in learning the subject matter covered by the class; others may enroll only to meet a degree requirement. Students who are interested in the subject matter and oriented toward learning are expected to have goals that are more congruent with those embedded in the learning transformation than students who are less focused on learning, personal challenge, or creative expression. Goal congruence is important for nurturing effective co-production. (Bargerstock 2000)

Expediency Focus in Co-Production

One of the inducements for co-production suggested by Lovelock and Young (1979), Schneider and Bowen (1995), and Lengnick-Hall (1996) is reduced waste and enhanced efficiency and productivity. In the educational setting, efficiency often means students only spend time on activities they consider relevant or related to career or personal goals. Efficiency can also mean convenient scheduling, smooth interfaces with other demands on their time, and large payoffs for investment of time and effort. Co-production offers the opportunity for students to select assignments and course activities that fit well with other life and school demands on their time and attention. It also offers the opportunity for students to select those assignments that allow them to more readily apply course material in a specific work setting. One of the key factors constraining students’ time is their employment status. Many of the students enrolled in the courses included in this study were employed part- or full-time. A positive relationship may exist between employment and a tendency to focus on expediency in co-production choices. Although efficiency is beneficial in a manufacturing setting, it is not always desirable in a learning environment. If expediency becomes a primary concern for students and dominates their choices as co-producers, their satisfaction with a course may be high, but their quality as products of the educational process may be lower. Moreover, in order to be successful administrator must be adept in the following areas. (Greengard 2007)

Fundamentals of Management to Achieve Greater Effectiveness

It is a necessity that the manager have a working knowledge of what he or she is managing, be able to communicate the technical and esoteric jargon and be aware of the nuances associated with the profession. Only through defining and understanding the work scope, complexity of the job and clients’ expectations can a manager determine the level of expertise needed to perform the tasks and be able to assign work accordingly. The manager must also recognize that establishing interpersonal rapport with internal as well as external clients is conducive to a healthy and harmonious work environment. Informal coffee get-togethers and group luncheons are ways for accomplishing such objectives. Clients and client representatives can also be invited to attend these gatherings. Their participation in these functions helps cultivate rapport and facilitate job coordination.  (Conant et al 2003) for making your style more effective you need to change the following Ares of your personality.

1. Accessibility and planning

Invariably, many issues arise on a daily basis that require management’s input and direction. Management accessibility is therefore of vital importance to the speedy resolution of these concerns. Otherwise, progress will be stalled and time wasted. Delegating authority can facilitate decision making but cannot result in effective decision making on a regular basis. One common mistake made by managers is defining task duration based on the capabilities of strong performers. However, those individuals may not be the ones actually performing the work. Another common mistake is not taking into account the unexpected, such as maternity leave or illness that may prevent some members of the team from being on the job. Employees are dedicated not only to their work but also to their families. They must not be compelled to choose between the two.  (Smart 1999)

2. Staffing and job criteria

The right staff must be assigned to the job, keeping in mind their capabilities and interests, and making sure they have all the necessary means at their disposal. There must be criteria, guidelines, standards and procedures that are precise and relevant to performing the job. This will add uniformity and consistency to work and work products.

3. Schedule and milestones

The work schedule should be developed with direct involvement of the leads and must not be dictated. As work proceeds and experience is gained, this schedule should be refined and resource needs reevaluated. Instituting meaningful milestones is a way in which progress can be measured. Achieving these milestones will provide a sense of accomplishment and enhance morale, In the event milestones are not attained, remedial measures can be taken to rectify the situation. Good planning, however, requires recognizing problems before them surface and mushroom into nightmares. (Sethi ; King, 2001)

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4. Clerical support

Providing administrative and clerical support and maintaining a meticulous filing system will free everyone from spending precious time on maintaining their own files and will facilitate accurate and timely document retrieval. (Hill ; Herche 2001)

5. Communication and continuous improvement

Communicating openly, directly and sincerely and avoiding false promises and hollow threats are indispensable to performing quality work. Establishing clearly what is expected of the employees, both collectively and individually, and helping them accomplish these expectations will lead to performance par excellence. Using threats is definitely counterproductive and unsuited to a professional work environment. A good manager is personally committed to the success and well-being of the organization and will not tolerate or acquiesce in any form of communication that would be insulting, disparaging or demoralizing. Often during the work process more efficient approaches to performing the tasks are discovered. Managers should encourage innovation in the workplace and be receptive to new ways of doing things. Professional growth cannot be achieved solely by ‘‘osmosis.’’ In order to develop state-of-the-art expertise and refined work skills, training is an absolute necessity in the modern work environment. It is very gratifying to receive acknowledgment of one’s good efforts and to be guided on how to perform to one’s full potential. (Simon 2004) However, when counseling is necessary, it is much more effective when it is done in a constructive manner—not by saying things behind the employee’s back that cannot be said in his or her presence. Managers should apprise the team of the reasons their tasks or assignments are important to the success of the project. Each person’s role is fundamental to successful completion of the job, and understanding this fact increases job satisfaction and enhances morale. Management by cliques and conclaves can lead to misunderstandings, rumors and the alienation of those excluded. Confidentiality must not be misunderstood as secrecy. When private counsel is necessary, it should be held in a discreet manner. (West 2005)

6. Courtesy and professionalism

Extending basic courtesy to others, for example, saying thanks for a job well done, and not insisting on one’s own opinions show maturity and civility. Often, it is better to accept sound ideas on a consensual basis and have wide support than to insist on ‘‘best’’ ideas that lack support. Managers must have appreciation for employee loyalty, professionalism, service and dedication since job stability is vital and a requisite to quality performance. Reward the true performers, especially the deserving that do not magnify their own accomplishments and are often denied the fruits of their toil by more visible and aggressive colleagues who have played only marginal roles. (Leary ; Schlenker 2000)

Principal working styles

The basis of the present work is the conceptual and practical separation between functional job competences and personal working styles which was introduced above. The former are identified as key elements in effective performance of the job in question, trainees can in principle be assessed in terms of criterion behaviors linked to each competence. And those assessments can provide evidence towards the award of a National Vocational Qualification. Working styles are considered to embrace competences over and above those specific job skills. They are less open to criterion-referenced assessment, since they tend to be identifiable only after observation of a person’s behavior in different (often non-routine) situations, and explicit behavioral criteria are difficult to define. Within that framework, a particular aspect of behavior may in some jobs emerge as a functional competence, open to criterion-referenced assessment, whereas in other jobs it is better viewed as a working style. An aspect of behavior may be treated as a specific job competence when it is necessary for competent performance in a particular job; or is better seen as a working style when, although not central to basic-level performance of the job, it leads to enhanced effectiveness over and above a functional competence. For example, in a job dealing primarily with customers, maintaining effective social relationships would be considered to fall within essential functional competences, and be assessed through interpersonal criterion behaviors. However, for employees primarily working with machinery, functional competences would concern machine operation; and effective social relationships would be a specific job competence in the first case, but an aspect of working style in the second situation. In attempting to characterize working styles that are widely effective in different types of employment, a large number of documents by trainers and other practitioners have been reviewed. Suggested features can almost always be fitted into the simple framework as either intellectual or non-intellectual behavior. That categorization is adopted in the studies to be described here. It is not single `correct’ account of working styles; other frameworks may be more appropriate in certain situations. (Challis 2001)

Consider first the intellectual working style that is likely to be effective in most jobs, especially those at entry level for both young workers and older people. Practitioners’ suggestions in this area are consistent with recent research developments, which have pointed to the value of separating two levels of cognitive functioning. This distinction is sometimes described as being between `Meta cognitive’ processes, which are executive skills used to control the ways in which information is handled, and other cognitive processes, which are non-executive and are used to implement task strategies.

The non-cognitive processes include particular features of learning, retention, retrieval, and the transfer of knowledge. Examples include inferring specified relations between two stimuli, encoding the salient aspects of a stimulus, and applying a previously observed relationship in a new situation. Those processes are more likely to be tapped by conventional rests of, for example, intelligence than are Meta cognitions. On the other hand, the intellectual working styles measure developed here is aimed particularly at executive cognitive processes. Brown and Campione have identified Meta cognitive processes thought to be of particular importance. These include the planning of future steps within a strategy, and revision of the strategy as needed. Sternberg’s componential theory’ of intelligence embraces eight higher-order control strategies governing intelligent behavior, under the label of `Meta components’ These are used for executive planning and monitoring and evaluation of one’s performance. Illustrative Meta components are the selection of a performance strategy, into which to combine the lower level components and deciding how to allocate attention resources. Meta components are viewed as particularly relevant to a wide range of activities, whereas lower-level cognitive features tend to be restricted to more localized tasks. (Sengupta ; Hamid 2003)

It seems clear that some Meta cognitive processes are required in the successful performance of most job functions, but that they will be especially implicated in an effective intellectual working style of the broad kind examined here. A second relevant aspect of recent theorizing about cognition is the expansion of concepts of intelligence to include more practical rather than merely abstract thinking. For example, Scribner has analyzed practical intelligence in terms of identification of problems (rather than merely the solution of those predefined by someone else), flexibility in behaviors, exploitation of environmental features for problem solution, and use of effort-saving procedures to free personal resources for additional actions. An associated development is in terms of the examination of `tacit knowledge’ that which is usually not openly expressed or taught. Wagner and Sternberg have investigated differences between novices and experts in particular professions, by exploring the tacit knowledge each can bring to bear on a task and the structure of that knowledge. (Seeley 1999) The use of this type of knowledge is seen as a key feature of practical intelligence quite different from those aspects of intelligence which are measured by conventional psychometric tests. The latter is focused upon information processing in a constrained task environment, whereas practical intelligence is observed more in wider cognitive processes within less structured settings. This gradual broadening of factors studied under the heading of `cognition’ has brought about an increases interest in relationships with motivational, effective and interpersonal processes. For example, Sternberg’s model of creativity includes within the concept aspects of motivation, willingness to surmount obstacles, and desire for recognition. In the same way, tacit knowledge (a component of practical intelligence, as described above) includes knowledge about social processes and structures. Intellectual and non-intellectual processes are thus likely to covert in day-to-day activities. (Sainfort 2004)

From these several developments, an intellectually effective working style may be suggested to incorporate processed such as effective planning, prioritizing, decision making in multi-task and varying situations, monitoring behavior, adapting to novelty, thinking ahead and anticipating problems, discovering new procedures, and acquiring useful information on one’s own. In studying performance during training, those features need to be examined, as well as the more easily assessed functional competences which are central to the job in question. Aspects of non-intellectual working style that have been proposed as important by practitioners seeking to enhance `personal effectiveness’ include proactively, social competence and self-confidence. As such they pick up particularly on themes common in psychological literature, of social competence and motivation. Particularly close links exist with `self efficacy,’ the belief that one can perform the activity in question. There are also overlaps with social effectiveness in the working situation and more generally, and with the idea of social intelligence. The development of the measure of non-intellectual working style was in part based upon those themes, but more importantly upon the ideas of practitioners and what they considered a competent trainee should be able to achieve. Practitioners tend to emphasize proactively, self-confidence and social competence. (Weaver 2005) Proactively includes working hard even when not being supervised, using initiative, meeting deadlines, being determined and enthusiastic, and making useful suggestions. Self-confidence includes working well by oneself, taking responsibility, being confident and cheerful, coping with difficulties and trying out new things. Social competence includes getting on with other people, communicating with others, being helpful, and being confident with other people. (Clarke et al 2001)

My Management Style

Education management is a space where you need a strong and multi talented person for handling daily issues, communicating the problems in a proper manner, and of course shares each others mourning and happiness of professional life. Management involves getting things done by other people. Leadership, at its best, means inspiring staff to accomplish expecting goals. Management style is all about to investigate and satisfy your employees’ motivational needs. My primary management style would be democratic. This means I would heed to others opinion and take them into account; nevertheless, I would still have the last decision. Troubles and their solution can be found from quality circles, which I would use in my establishment. Being generally democratic I would use delegation. This is where my subordinates are entrusted in tasks. This is a motivator as there is a promise to complete a task effectively. I should share a concern in the lives of my employees and what is significant to them. I would praise people and give incentives according to the work and policies. This would increase motivation and job enrichment, in some areas of education management being democratic is necessary, especially for health and safety reasons and if a task needs to be undertaken over a strict time period. Some people often look for a strong leader to tell them what to do. Overall, I believe the management style is important as the employees have a significant impact of the growth of an education organization (Greengard 2007)

Conclusion

Modern-day management requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise, including interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate and challenge people. It also requires leadership by example, with objectivity and candor. Perpetual reliance on the use of epithets does little in establishing a manager’s moral authority and undermines his ability to command respect. Nothing is more important than maintaining the dignity of the pen and the nobility of the word.  According to an Afghan poet, ‘‘the honor and dignity of man are evident from his words.’’ General George Washington is reported to have issued a general order in 1776 in New York that is quite fitting: The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice heretofore little known in an American army, is growing into fashion”. (Sage 2001) “He hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessings of Heaven on our arms if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it”. These are in essence the winning traits in cultivating human relations, organizational success, productivity and profitability, that is, in achieving an effective management style. It must be remembered that the client’s role is also very important, as successful completion of the project cannot be fully achieved without the client’s full cooperation. Success is measured in job performance and is based on the outcome of the project. The surest way of winning client satisfaction and ensuring continued business from that client is by delivering a product that is on schedule, within budget and of the highest quality. With commitment, effort, professionalism and accessibility and by encouraging feedback, managers can coach and stimulate both employees and clients into creative, high-performance teams that definitely will be successful.  (Kelley et al 2001)
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