Managers in all organizations are responsible and accountable of major functions. They are involved in planning, control, organization, leadership and motivating employees. However, different managers have different approaches of their management style. A manager’s style depends on various circumstances, the needs and characteristics of the workers, and the culture of the company. Restructuring and ever changing culture of organization has made management styles to come in and go out of fashion.
Good management styles are attributed by team building, networking, and developing and motivating others. Emphasizes have been made for managers be participative and also have interpersonal skills. Management theorists often have demonstrated benefits of management styles such as participative management. They have backed their argument with the following Theories; theory Y versus Theory X; Management by Walking Around; Total Quality Management; Management by objectives; and employees empowerment.
Excellent leadership in an organization encourages associates, thus improving their performance standards. This plays key role in achieving organization goals. Generally, we can view leadership as an essential part of effective management. Bateman and Snell (2007) define leadership as “the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals” (p. 6). Leadership employs four independent, yet entangled vital functions, which include planning, organizing, staffing, and directing.
Planning as a function of management focuses ahead and defines the future courses of action that company needs to take. It is initial step, which help in establishing future of the company. The planning process is conducted in a systematic manner in order to find out when, how and who is going to carry out a specific job. Plan analysis in details future courses of action and predicts outcome of each optional course of action to be taken. It is believed that, “well plan is half done”. Proper planning depends with the available and potential human and physical resources of the organization. Therefore, competent personnel are needed, in order to attain effective harmonization, contribution and perfect amendment.
Planning is important in management function because it includes formulation of plans to realize optimum balance of needs or demands with available resources. Planning is viewed as a mental predilection to do things in organized way, to evaluate probable outcome before acting and to act in the right way rather than guesses. It is choosing the best option among many to carry out different managerial functions in order to attain predetermined goals.
After planning, the next phase is organizing; this is also another function of management. Organizing involves synchronization and combination of human, physical and financial resources. All the three resources are significant and needs to be synchronized and integrated to attain the required results. As a result, organizational function helps in realization of results which in fact is important for the functioning of a concern. Generally, we can say organizing is a function via which the concern is able to set the role positions among related jobs and the harmonization between authority and responsibility. Therefore, managers always have to organize in order to achieve the expected results. Managers perform organizing function by the aid of the following steps:-
- Identification of activities – The first step in organizing is classifying all the activities which have to be performed. For example, in accounting activities such as; record keeping, making orders, stock control, preparation of accounts, etc all have to be grouped and classified into units.
- Departmentally classifying the activities – After activity identification, the next step is to group related activities into departments. This grouping of activities into independent units and departments is known as departmentation.
- Classifying the authority – Upon establishment of the departments, the manager is supposed to sort the powers and its extent to the managers. This system of assigning ranks in order of the managerial positions is known as hierarchy. The top management of the company is involved in formulation of policies; the middle level management is in charge of departmental supervision while the lower level management should oversee the foremen. Authority clarifications help in bringing efficiency in the running of an organization. Through this, efficiency is achieved in the organization operation. Authority clarification also it helps in minimizing wastage of time, effort, money, by not duplicating efforts.
- Co-ordination between authority and responsibility – At this stage, management determines relationships, which exist among various groups to enhance smooth interaction in spirit of achieving organizational objectives. All the individuals, who are affected by this organization process are informed their authority and told whom they have to take orders from and to whom they are accountable and to whom they are supposed report. A clear organizational structure is designed and given to all the employees.
Staffing is another function of management, which involves manning the organization structure through a well and effective recruitment, appraisal and development of the human resources (personnel) to be assigned positions in workforce. Success of staffing function is determined by the planning and organizing functions. It is at the initial step of planning, where both the company’s and employees’ goals are set. Company will succeed only when its goals and those of employees are well-matched. Analysis is conducted to determine Job specifications and descriptions. Through job specification; the needed knowledge, skills and abilities for each position are specified. On the other hand a job description specifies duties for each position. In order to succeed in staffing, analysis of the jobs in the organization is conducted to find out what is required for success in each job and describe each job precisely. We can generally say that staffing is all about recruitment, selection, development and compensation of employees.
Last but not the least function of management is directing. Directing is all about managers instructing, guiding and overseeing the performance of the employees, and evaluating it against predetermined objectives. This function of management is viewed as the heart of whole management process. Planning, organizing, staffing are of no importance if direction function does not take place. This is because it is through directing when actions are started and then actual work commence. Direction involves human factors, that is, providing guidance to workers to carry out duties. All the efforts, which are geared towards motivating employees to perform effectively and efficiently, can be termed as directions. Directing consists of process or technique through which instructions are issued and operations executed in accordance to initial plans. Therefore, directing is the function of guiding, inspiring, overseeing and instructing people to work hard towards attaining organizational goals.
Leaders and managers in an organization should use some attributes to build a healthy organizational culture, such factors includes; Physical setting, social factors, technology application, coordinating and individual behavior. As the core pillars of the organization, leaders and managers should have sufficient resources, skills, knowledge, outstanding talent and superior capabilities to keep on helping in achieving the ultimate goals, discovering and commercializing safety of the organization. These activities need managers and leaders who are determined and have implementation strategies and core competencies and organizational capabilities that build values to transformation of the company
Having competent of employees in the company depends on the kind of the staff it recruits. In order to recruit qualified personnel, a proper method of recruiting should be used. Some managers continue to use unstructured employment interviews despite the abundant evidence that they are not useful for predicting future job performance. Unstructured interview refers to an interview which doesn’t have a set procedure or format. In this kind of interview questions may be based on the response of interviewee, although interviewer may have some written questions.
According to Levitt and Harwood (2009) unstructured interview are normally open-ended to encourage interviewee to express their personalities, background, and goals (p. 224). This technique of gathering information is best in sociology, because in other cases it is limited. Levitt and Harwood continue to criticize this method saying it is unprofessional way of conducting an interview and is mostly used by persons who are not trained in interviewing (p. 224). Despite the many critics to this approach as a way of interviewing, manager continues to use it. This is because it also has some benefits, which includes but not limited to the following;
- Suitability in addressing sensitive subjects like “domestic violence” because preset question may not get details of the matter.
- Managers believe that data collected in unstructured interview is valid because it is first hand information that is, the information account exactly what the interviewee has said.
- Managers believe that an unstructured interview gives them an opportunity to test understanding of the interviewee.
- It is also possible via unstructured interview for managers (interviewer) to find important information which appears to be irrelevant before the start of interview.
Whiston (2008) say, that unstructured interview is less reliable and more prone to errors compared to structure interviews. However, unstructured interview can easily be adapted to respond to the unique needs of the client (p. 125).
Decision making being a process of choosing from several options or ideas and taking an action, it is very crucial and management are accountable for the outcome. There are several models, which can be used when making decision. Linear decision – making model remains to be reliable and used by many organizations. Linear decision- making model undergoes five steps, which includes; problem identification, alternative identification, evaluation of alternatives, making decision, and implementation of made decision. As Martin (2006) argues decision making models are based on cost-benefit analysis, which implies that values associated with benefits of a decision are added up and then subtract the cost (p. 76). This helps in determining which decision is viable in terms of the profitability.
According to Martin (2006) linear decision-making model uses an analytic method for making decisions and is the most effective in addressing simple decisions (p. 76). Linear decision making models involves the following steps; Problem definition, Information gathering, Considering priorities, Considering options, Listing solutions, Evaluating solutions and consequences, Decision implementation, and Reevaluation.
i. Define the Problem – This is the core need of making decision, the need of making some decision is established. This is done through problem analysis.
ii. Gathering relevant information – The next step after identifying a problem is getting the details of that problem and how it can be solved, finding the possible options.
iii. Consider priorities – This is where priority is given to the most important issues which must be addressed. It is important to sort items in order of their priorities so that; the crucial issues are addressed first.
iv. Consider Option – With the list of items which need to be handled, the next step is to establish the find the best options to be taken while solving the problem.
v. List Solution – The possible solution in solving the problem are listed for consideration.
vi. Evaluate Solutions and Consequences – Each possible solution is analyzed (evaluated) and the consequences of implementing each solution are predicted and find the most appropriate one.
vii. Implementation – This putting the real solution into application. After evaluation and assessment of the various possible solutions, the one which is perceived to be most appropriate is adopted.
viii. Reevaluation – following the implementation, the next step is reevaluating to see how well the implemented solution solves the problem and find out any adjustment which might be needed.
It is important to understand the biases of others. This concept is important for everyone to understand other people’s biases. It is vital to know the bias of others when making decision. This helps in avoiding conflict during the process of making decision. There are many force towards being bias to our own ideas when it comes to decision – making. However as Cremer (2009) explains this bias perspective can be very dangerous to the extent of hindering considerations of interest obligating to serve outside our own (p. 39).
Through accommodating views of other in decision making, the quality of the decision made is also improved. It is also true that different situation needs requires different decision making strategies and thus incorporation others view throughout the process can really be of great help. It is therefore true that proper mechanisms of decision making are needed tom tackle different situations according to their characteristics.
In a group setting it is always important to consider the views of others when making a decision. This is because different persons make different observation and is advisable not ignore suggestions before they are proved to be void. Therefore, we can argue that contribution of every person is significant in decision making and every individual should be given an opportunity to share their views.
In conclusion, we can generally argue that management team should put in place systems and procedures which enhance effective and smooth running of the company. They have responsibility to ensure controlling systems and procedures are used to monitor and discipline organization. Therefore, leadership and management needs people who are skilled, experienced, and understanding in order to set goals and vision of the company and work towards achieving them.
Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. A. (2009). Management: Leading and Collaborating in the Competitive World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Cremer, D. D. (2009). Psychological Perspectives on Ethical Behavior and Decision Making. IAP.
Levitt, J. G. & Harwood, L. (2009). Your Career: How to make it Happen (7th ed.). Great New York City, NY: Cengage Learning.
Martin, B. (2006). Outdoor leadership: theory and practice. Urbana-Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.
Whiston, S. C. (2008). Principles and Applications of Assessment in Counselling (3rd ed.). Great New York City, NY: Cengage Learning.