Management Theory and Management Practice
Category : Management Theory
Each organisation is entitled to use the most appropriate strategic management system approach. Management system is guiding an organisation relative to challenges and opportunities appearing in the contingent environment. The management system and strategy of each and every organisation is accountable for the maintenance of the organisation’s strength and survival in the stiff competition in the world. The role of the management and the strategy imposed by the organisation as a whole should always be open minded for the occurrences of changes in order to adjust and cope with the tremendous development that are happening in the internal and external environment of the organisation.
According to Drucker (1993), “Management is defined as delivering knowledge to determine how such existing knowledge or intelligence can be best utilised in order to produce effective and competent results. However, nowadays, knowledge is also being used decisively and systematically in order to know what modern knowledge and intelligence is needed, whether this is probable, and what should be done to establish such knowledge effectively.” Hence, management means the innovative, creative, productive and logical pursuit that creates efficient and positive results. With this definition, there are three management techniques that arise to improve an organisation’s performance. These includes the lean manufacturing management, which minimises waste, talent management, which attracts and retains high-quality employees and staff and the performance management, which rewards employees who meet set goals.
Organizational management entails practices used to guarantee that internal functions achieve their respective goals. The main goal of this paper is to provide greater understanding management theories and practice than an organisation may implement to ensure organisational success. The discussion will provide details about managing cultural diversity, leadership, emotional intelligence and management of change. These management practices are considered as essential aspects of managing the people and the business operations.
Managing Cultural Diversity
One important management practice is the management of cultural diversity. Culture is an important factor in understanding organisation, because for any organisation to operate effectively it must for some extent have a general set of believe and assumptions. Because understanding the term of the culture metaphor helps organisations to be aware of how employees are thinking about the organisation phenomena, and to recognize how different attitudes, value and beliefs affect the workplace. In an organisation, one of the most essential issues to be given attention is about cultural diversity.
The concept of diversity has been described roughly as groups of two or more individuals which characteristically denote demographic dissimilarities among group members (McGrath, Berdahl, & Arrow, 1995). Concurrently, recent studies have been created to describe the abundant dimensions for categorising these demographic dissimilarities. Nonetheless, it is recurrent that hypothesising diverse results for individuals and work clusters, particularly those relating to the level and disposition of those diversity.
The level to which one individually distinguishes with one's cultural distinctiveness and the worth one consigns on them modifies transversely through cultural factions and across members within cultural groups (Thomas, 1993; Ely, 1995; Ragins, 1997). Additionally, a human being may vary in the degree to which he or she associate with, principles, or articulate a specific cultural personality at any prearranged instance, dependent on the salience and denotation of that characteristics in the perspective within which he or she is in commission (Ely, 1995; Larkey, 1996) For this reason, cultural identity, as understood in this selection, is communally constructed, multifaceted, and self-motivated.
Roosevelt Thomas (1990) argues that organizations can build their multicultural capacities in three ways. Affirmative action creates a diverse staff by recruiting previously excluded individuals into homogeneous organizations. Valuing cultural diversity builds understanding and helps people learn to appreciate this new diversity. Managing diversity attacks institutional racism, reallocates power, and promotes justice in the work place while enhancing the work environment. Diversity is otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups, to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups.
Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience. It's important to understand how these dimensions affect performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. Institutional structures and practices that have presented barriers to some dimensions of diversity should be examined, challenged, and removed.
Several authors have research organisations which are successful in managing diversity (McNerny, 1994). In general, these authors find several similarities held by successful, multicultural organisations: First, top management plays a crucial and leading role in making diversity a success and become beneficial for the company.
The CEO must exhibit a strong commitment. Leaders must receive diversity training to address myths, stereotypes and real cultural differences as well as organisational barriers that interfere with the full contribution of all employees. Top executives need experience of what it is like to be a minority. Top management cannot delegate its leading role to Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity administrators. Second, diversity must be part of an organisation’s strategic business objective. A diversity program cannot fully succeed if it is a separate strategy similar to traditional Affirmative Action/EEO programs. Diversity goals must be linked to business goals, not merely meeting Affirmative Action legal requirements (McEnrue, 1993).
Cultural Diversity must be stressed not only internally but should be a significant part of external outreach programs that identify the organisation as a multicultural leader and active in community and societal issues. Diversity should be a super ordinate goal rather than a goal ascribed to individual groups. Third, managers must be held accountable for meeting diversity goals. Performance evaluations and rewards should be tied to a manager’s ability to develop and manage a diverse workforce. Top management must scrutinise compensation to insure fairness. Fourth, a multicultural successful organisation must improve its supply of diverse workers through aggressive recruiting. It must break the "glass ceiling" and increase the number of women and minorities in the higher salary groups through career development, mentoring, and executive appointment. It must empower all of its employees to use their full capacity.
Leadership comprises the aptitude and ability to inspire and influence the thinking, attitudes, and behavior of other people (Adler, 1991). Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of other individuals in the achievement of a common task (Chemers, 1997).
The major points of this definition are that leadership is a group activity, is based on social influence, and revolves around a common task. Although this specification seems relatively simple, the reality of leadership is very complex. Intrapersonal factors such as ideas and emotions, interact with interpersonal processes (i.e., attraction, communication, influence) to have effects on a dynamic external environment. Each of these aspects brings complexity to the leadership process.
In an organisation, the leader is also known as the manager. A leader is regarded as any individual who is accountable for managerial responsibilities. These may include supervisors, middle managers, executives and sometimes line personnel. Mostly, the leaders are responsible for synchronising the activities and systems implemented by their own bound section. Managing people in an organisation or a working place is commonly the responsibilities of the managers of an organisation. It includes a variety of activities, decides on staffing needs such as how to fill needed positions within the budget, employing, orienting and training the working force and ensuring that the employees and other members of the organisation will perform well in order to contribute for the growth of the organisation (Mullins, 2004). These leaders are also responsible for managing employees’ benefits and compensation, keeping employee records, legal issues, and relations with the stakeholders including shareholders and the customer or client of the organisation (Lipiec, 2001).
Consequently, it is significant to note that leaders play a vital and essential task in the organisation in order to make the overall operational system and resource system a valuable asset for the whole organisation. In addition, the managers are the one who sets boundaries, expectations and ensure that the workgroup or the organisation per se is on track with its objective and mission and that it meets the organisational needs. In addition, these leaders need to “manage’ a certain relationship, structure and systems which are not in a controlling or manipulating sense but in the sense of nurturing with proper consideration and understanding, intervening, growing, supporting and directing. It is very important to know that the effective management system must be imposed by the manager which is increasingly being recognized as a major determinant of success or failure in an organisation (Holloway, 1998).
Generally, the leaders cover two large performance areas: (1) leadership and (2) diverse management practices. Managers are responsible for recruiting high-quality employees, the continual training and development of those employees, and the creation and maintenance of reward systems. In addition, managers are also accountable for the control processes that are central to achieving the dramatic cultural changes often required when the organisation opted to change their management systems. Further, the manager has a core responsibility to manage people in organisation effectively and efficiently to make sure that the organisation is doing well in order to maintain its competitiveness within its field. The role of the managers of the organisation is the most important yet the most difficult task to handle. Thus, the manager should always be in a competitive and strong state of mind to be able to implement a better and quality management within the organisation (Delaney & Huselid, 1996).
Somewhere between the broad personality trait and the specific behavior sits the leadership style. Styles reflect relatively stable patterns of response to social situations. Leadership style refers to the degree of direction that the leader provides to subordinates in attempting to influence their behavior toward the accomplishment of organizational objectives (Gibson & Marcoulides, 1995). The three styles of leadership are the authoritarian (autocratic) style (Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1939), permissive (delegative) style, authoritative (democratic) style (Newstrom, 1993).
Authoritarian style (Huffman and Piggrem, 2003) of leadership states that the leader has the authority over his subordinates. In this manner the authority have the right to do the decision making without asking the opinion of the followers. The leader is this type of leadership tends to tell the followers what must be done in order to achieve the goals or objectives of the organization. On the other hand, the permissive (delegative) or the so-called laissez-faire style refers to the kind of leadership wherein the followers are permitted to be involved in the decision making process. The leader implements minimal control or manipulation on their followers. However, the leader is still accountable for the final decision to be made. Herein, the opinion and ideas of the followers are being valued by the leader and each follower encompasses different tasks set by the leader. The last style is the authoritative or democratic style of leadership. In this type of leadership, the leader and the selected subordinates are involved in the process of the decision making. Herein, the subordinates have the right to voice out their ideas and thought which they think would be helpful for the leader in making the final decision. On the other hand, in this style of leadership the leader is in control or has the authority for the final decision.
All employees need interpersonal relationship skills in order to have a smooth relationship within the organisation. Interpersonal relations skill is the ability to effectively interact with other people. It is the ability to work with and through others. With high a good interaction skills, employees will be able to properly coordinate their efforts with the hard work of others in the organisation With this, another important management practice that must be given consideration is about the emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is defined as the personal, social and emotional skills that influence your ability to succeed with increased demands and pressure at work & home. Increasingly, Emotional Intelligence is being recognized as the critical success factor in career and life effectiveness.
EI is important especially in having successful business. Accordingly, EI skills provide a set of core abilities which affects many business issues essential to individual and organizational success. For example, through EI, employees and staffs will get along better and won’t let frustrations and anxieties get in the way of having effective solutions for problems. In this manner, the organization is being benefited of people who can work under pressure. EI is of significant importance in business as it helps managers in the decision-process of hiring potential employees, promoting present employees or transferring them.
Therefore, in today’s environment, corporations and non-profit organizations are finding that to recruit and retain successful managers, IQ is not sufficient; a successful manager needs to develop EI to work effectively with others (Goleman, 2000). According to Goleman (2000), superior managers that tend to manage relationships well are those that are self-aware, self-regulators, and are empathetic to others (pp. 25-26). EI is very important especially at the senior management level because as one goes up the corporate ladder, technical skills diminish in importance, and EI becomes vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of a good manager. Hence, with good leaders, business is being directed to having competitive performance within and outside the business environment.
Through an effective management of emotional intelligence within an organisation, the company will be able to make their employees achieve the essential elements of having good relations. Such elements include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Awareness of self is closely linked to the ability to read the behaviour of others, construct courses of action and deliver an effective performance. People who have a high level of self-awareness understand how their own values, beliefs and subjective theories influence what they see and do. This awareness offers them the possibility of taking account of known biases to reappraise first impressions and rehearse alternative ways of behaving. Self-awareness enables an employee to recognise his or her internal states and personal abilities.
Being able to determine these, the employee may gain self-confidence especially in providing quality service among their customers. In line with self-regulation, it is believed that through outdoor development activities, an employee may be able to manage effectively his or her emotional states. In return, the employees will be able to control their emotions, become flexible or adaptable in the environment, trustworthy creative and innovative. The employees who have undergone outdoor training and development can also develop their self-motivation. In this manner, the employees are able to enhance factors which help them reach their goals.
The employees will be able to strive harder to achieve the goal for the benefit of the organisation and as well as individual or employee goal. In addition, the employees become more committed to his or her works which may affect the performance. The employees also become more optimistic towards handling problems and conflict especially when it concerns their clients or customers. Another emotional competence that can be learned is empathy. As noted earlier, empathy means being aware and conscious about the feelings and needs of other people. When an employee has the ability to empathise he or she can easily understand everything around them, specifically their needs and demands. In addition, the employee may also learn to effectively manage diversity among their clients and also with his co-workers.
In the management of employee’s emotional intelligence, the employees are being taught about having efficient social skills. These skills are diverse skills which are used to induce desirable responses with other people especially when dealing with teams and group tasks. Herein, the employees learned to communicate effectively among team-mates. In addition, the employees are also developed to become a potential leader with the ability to influence others. Furthermore, human resources may also have the potential to work and interact harmoniously with their co-workers as well as their clients.
The management programs, and the competencies that can be learned from it especially the two social competencies of empathy and social skills, provide both implicit and explicit support for why such potentials are so critical in working and communicating well with thin the working environment. The social skill competency consists of communication skills, leadership, conflict management, cooperation and collaboration and team capabilities. Such qualities are very useful in handling group works and handling customers as well.
Employees who have a skill in conflict management are better prepared to handle and manage ongoing conflicts between their clients or manage this among their workgroups. Employees who possess such potentialities are able to work cooperatively and efficiently with other employees while working as a team to manage customers are highly valued.
Perhaps, every organisation wants to initiate a management system and strategy that could maintain the organization’s capability, strength and competitiveness. It is important that the management team and the organization per se should always open their mind for changes that they might encounter in order to cope and adapt to the latest development that are happening within and outside their environment. With the constant changes in this world and with the tremendous growth of technologies, many people especially those in the organization find themselves normally adapting. This is because change can bring many improvement and development in certain aspects. In many ways, change can make work easier, pave the way for future innovations or generally improve people’s lives. Similarly, change has been adapted by various work organizations for varied reasons.
Known as change management, companies, businesses and organizations are integrating change into their work system so as to be competitive and be more efficient in satisfying clients or customer needs. It is considered as one of the most important management concepts and practice that every organisation tries to implement. According to Carlopio (1998, 2) change may be referred as the implementation of an innovation, in which the vital role is to improve output through an adaptation of practices. Nevertheless, the process of change is multifaceted, with its different approaches possible. Moreover, there are many strategies for its implementation and that the success of the chosen strategy is considered as the most valuable.
In an organisation, changes in management system, operations and other important activities is necessary particularly when the management has encountered problems with their current systems or they wanted to implement such change everything for enhancing and improving the overall performance of the organisation. In many ways, change can make work easier, pave the way for future innovations or generally improve people’s lives. Similarly, change has been adopted by various work organisations for varied reasons. Known as change management, companies and businesses are integrating change into their work systems so as to be competitive and more efficient.
Internal or external drivers are the factors that force changes (Yee, 1998), innovations may be done at different level in the structure of any organization (Swenson, 1997) and that reforms may be universal or limited (Reigeluth, 1994) in nature. Internal drivers for change could include evolving business requirements, organizational restructuring or revision to corporate strategy/business objectives. External drivers could include developments in technology, economic trends that affect the profitability/value for money of the relationship and the need for electronic or technical service.
Management of change can be considered as a primary activity in realizing the goals and objectives of any organization, even as implementation is the sensible or physical steps of employing an innovation. Individuals and their relationships are regarded as the major components to its successful execution, and sustainable mechanisms are needed to achieve the development and improvement in its procedures. The recognition of sections for improvement is the first level of the process of change, followed by the integration of plausible solutions to address conflicts and issues that are being identified. Actions in these sections are being held independent of position within the organization.
In order for an organisation or industry to be more competitive in the marketplace, the management must always see to it that they use a management system and strategy that would sustain the capability, strength and competitive position. It is essential that the management team and the organization should be open minded in considering changes so as to cope and adapt to the latest development that are happening within and outside their environment.
Industries which consider changes with their management system or any other critical aspects of their business operation are those industries which are aware of the positive benefits that these changes may bring (Yee 1998). In many ways, change can make work easier, pave the way for future innovations or generally improve people’s lives. Similarly, change has been adapted by various work organizations for varied reasons.
In the process of change management, different companies, industries and working organizations are incorporating the process of change within their work system in order to have sustainable competitive advantage within the marketing arena and provide quality products or service that will suit and satisfy the needs of their target market (Yee 1998). Accordingly, change may be defined as the implementation of an innovation or improvement, in which the essential function is to enhance output through an adaptation of practices made within the changes (Carlopio 1998).
The change process is very complex. However, with the consideration of different approaches that can be used, and the proper and strategic planning and proper implementation, the industry can overcome such complexities (Reigeluth 1994). There are three general change management strategies (also referred as “meta-strategies”) to choose from, these are empirical-rational strategy, normative-reeducative strategy and power coercive strategy (Chin & Benne, 1985). In the first strategy, individuals are being considered as a rational being and follow their self-interest once it has been revealed. The key element of the rational-empirical strategy to transform is information. Herein, changes are basically based on the communication and the tendering of rewards.
According to Beverage (2003) the management leaders must be willing to keep their fingers on the pulse of the organization, by monitoring what is working and not working in the process of the organization change. In order to implement the strategy of change effectively and successfully, the management must create s safe environment for changes, reassure, support, and commitment on the organization.
The importance of having a good management system is a must for all organisations. Organisations should be able to define their own management approach which adheres to different management theories and practice. In this regard, this paper has been able to discuss some of the most important management practice which should be given emphasis when running an organisation. This management practice must be executed and implemented effectively to ensure that the organisational goals and objective are being met.
In managing people, the management should be able to learn to think more systematically and strategically in using the organisation’s most valuable asset and the company’s great resource and that is the people. The human resource management should be able to develop a thriving organisational culture and a stronger organisation by good management of the people, providing their needs and the things that they deserve in order for them to be motivated and for them to seek more improvement and career development for their sake and for the organisation’s sake as well.
Further, it can also be concluded that in order to have a high-performing and competitive organisation, it is critical that the management and the organisation as well should effectively align their people, work, structure and organisational behaviours to the purpose of the organisation and effectively reward the right performance that supports the objective of the organisation. Elements such as work processes, organisation design, career path, performance management and a compensation program are part of human resource management strategy and a plan to ensure continuing success.
All in all it is very important that an organisation should make a way in adjusting their management and styles to complement the differences and similarities of the employees and the organisation as a whole that may catalyst the motivation among the employees. Hence, the role of management is crucial in making the organisation achieved its goal of having a working force that contributes to the competitive advantage of the organisation.
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