Management has evolved immensely over recent decades in response to the changing business environment. New approaches to management and new management theories have emerged. Managers are also better educated and trained with more colleges offering business education and there has also been greater use of computer based training. Learning for management and staff is now viewed as ongoing. Management has made the structure of modern industry possible. It is management’s task to manage systems and make the best use of resources. Ultimately, management’s main responsibility is to undertake to achieve the organisation’s goals.
What is a manager?
Management and Leadership
Management is often confused with leadership. In simple terms leadership is ‘getting others to follow’ or ‘getting others to do things willingly’. Leadership is related to motivation and to the process of communication. Management and leadership are sometimes seen as synonymous, but it does not follow that every leader is a manager or that every manager is a leader. Management is often viewed as getting things done through other people in order to achieve stated organisational goals. However, management is regarded as relating to people working through a structured organisation and with prescribed formal roles. The emphasis of leadership is on interpersonal behaviour. Leadership can be seen primarily as an inspirational process. In their relationships with other people, managers tend to maintain a low level of emotional involvement. Leaders create excitement in work and develop images that excite people. Managers are concerned with stability and order. Leaders are concerned with seeking opportunities for change. A leader is also a role model who leads by example. He/She must have a clear vision and be able to communicate this to one’s own subordinates. For ongoing success the leader must ensure that subordinates are equipped with the necessary resources to pursue the stated objectives.
With this style, the leader is always the decision maker with power residing with him/her. Communications is in one direction with little if any opportunity allowed for feedback. An autocrat is often perceived as a hard task master but may also have a caring or paternalistic approach. Under this style the leader knows best. There is little or no consultation with subordinates as managers use fear and threats as management tools. The leader/manager makes all major decisions with orders being issued and it is expected that they will be followed without question. This method can work well in the short run, but may give rise to resentment and a lack of goodwill. No other person gets any experience in decision making. Difficulties could emerge should the need occur to replace the autocratic manager.
Under this style, subordinates are consulted by the leader in setting objectives, devising strategies and in the allocation of tasks. Power is shared with subordinates with the leader being the ultimate arbiter. The delegater encourages subordinates to contribute to decision making. Peoples’ feelings and emotions are respected with shared solutions being sought. The job satisfaction of subordinates usually improves. It may not always suit when trying to implement change or where immediate decisions are required. This method of decision making is more time consuming than autocratic, and decisions may be no better. Opportunities could be lost due to delays.
The subordinates are given free rein under this style of leadership. Very little direction or discipline is exercised by the leader.
Responsibility is very much in the employee’s hands. With this style the leader allows subordinates to make decisions with little or no intervention by him/her. Subordinates are given no boundaries to work within. It could be feasible where employees are self motivated and work a lot on their own initiative i.e. researchers.
This involves laying down the direction in which the firm is heading in the long term. It sets down the objectives the firm is pursuing so that the firm is clear about where it is heading and why it is heading that way. It is important that this mission is communicated properly to workers. In some organisations mission statements are placed in visible positions for all to see.
This is concerned with deciding the direction in which the organisation is going. Direction requires good motivation and communication.
Good direction results when:
Motivation is defined as the processes or factors that cause people to act or behave in a certain way. It refers to those factors that create a need or drive in us to carry out particular tasks or to behave in a certain fashion. It may also be viewed as what pushes us to work hard to achieve certain goals. It is always easy to pursue something we are interested in such as sport, but more difficult to do something we do not like such as study. Motivation is a psychological concept related to the direction and strengths of an individual’s behaviour.
Maslow said that within every human being there was a hierarchy of five needs. His theory of motivation is regarded as a major contribution to the human relations approach to management. The theory is concerned with worker motivation and seeks to explain how workers can be motivated to achieve higher levels of performance.
The theory is structured around a hierarchy of needs that can be presented in a pyramid format. These needs are comprised of:
Under the theory he outlined two alternative sets of assumptions concerning human nature that a manager might pursue, one negative and one positive.
1. Employees are lazy and will do as little as possible.
2. Most employees dislike responsibility and prefer direction.
3. Employees want only security and material reward.
1. Employees like work and want to be challenged.
2. People are motivated by needs for respect, esteem, recognition and self-fulfilment.
3. People at work want responsibility with the majority of workers being creative and imaginative.
In summary, theory X is associated with autocratic management approaches while theory Y is associated with democratic management approaches.