1. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical base of organisational analysis and management, at operational and strategic levels
2. Critically assess theoretical models and frameworks as vehicles of organisational analysis and management practice.
There are many different models of management, and many different ways of analysing organisations. With reference to management and organisational theory, critically discuss why this is, and how the modern manager might make use of this diverse set of ideas to improve their own managerial practice.
Ensure that you bring in a range of differing concepts and ideas in order to build up a critical argument. Ensure that the essay is fully referenced and has a complete reference list at the end.
You need to discuss WHY there are so many different ideas and models around BOTH management as a concept, and about how organisations can be analysed. Whilst you should acknowledge the range of different models and ideas, and use some examples, you should NOT simply go through a wide range of these. Instead who need to discuss WHY there are such a range of ideas (as opposed to their being a single ‘theory of management and organisation’ accepted by everyone). Having discussed this you need to then consider the advantages and disadvantages to the modern manager in having such a range of different ideas and concepts, and how they might make use of this range of ideas in how they then practice as managers.
You need to make full use of the literature, bringing in different viewpoints from different writers to support your argument.
Different Models of Management and Implications for Managers
Management is one of the most commonplace processes to man. Human beings have been involved in the practice of managing even before the formation of the organization. This management occurs both at the individual level and at the group level. At a group level, management is useful in coordinating the inputs of different members towards the attainment of the group goals. As the group grows in size, and as the objectives of the group become increasingly complex, the nature and need for management also increases in complexity. Owing to the dynamic nature of groups and the varied reasons for the formation of organizations, management becomes an increasingly complex topic, with different approaches being adopted. Indeed, there are many different management models. Moreover, there are also different ways of analyzing organizations. This paper attempts to rationalize the reason for the existence of varied management models. The central argument is that the ever dynamic nature of the organization is the main reason why there are so many different models of management.
Why There are So Many Models of Management
The literature on management remains largely undecided on a single definition of management. Instead, management is commonly defined along the different functions it comprises. Management is comprised of five functions, which are planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling (Drucker, 1999). Each of these functions is performed in any organization. Management as a process is influenced by many different factors. The different factors lead to different management styles.
Organizations differ along many lines, including the purpose of their existence. Consequently, the outcomes required of employees differ, and so do the management practices. Holland and Ritvo (2008) note that in a non-profit entity, employees have a high stake in providing the needed services and programs. However, this may not necessarily be the case with a private organization. Consequently, the two types of organization would adopt different models of management to suit their objectives. Nonetheless, there would also be areas of overlap such as motivation and leadership. In either case, it is imperative to ensure that employees are satisfied in order to retain them.
Different management models have also emerged with the evolution of the organization. The need for management itself emerged out of a need to coordinate the inputs of individuals towards the attainment of organizational goals. As the organization evolves, so do the management requirements and as a result, the management approach. Organizational evolution could be attributed to internal organizational factors, or external environment factors. Eskildsen, Jonker and Pijkeren (2009) highlight that there is an imminent need for new concepts and designs in organizational management due to changes in market and societal demands. Indeed, it has been noted that management approaches become more complex as the organizational needs also become complex. Today, organizations have to deal with more complex needs such as stock market performance, sustainability issues, innovation, responsibility and expanding scope of stakeholders (Eskildsen, et al., 2009). Different organizations have to cope with a different set of demands whose combination differs from that which another organization faces. Not only does the combination of demands differ, but so does the depth of demands.
The evolution of the organization has been such that there has been a shift in the focus of many organizations. For example, today, there appears to be a greater focus on service provision rather than just the production and supply of goods. This has led to the emergence of concepts such as the service-dominant (S-D) logic. In essence, S-D logic points away from the concern over goods, which are tangible and often tend to be static, to a new, service oriented approach, which tends to be dynamic (Gummesson, et al., 2010). At the core of S-D, is the central role of services. This represents an evolution in the thinking behind the organization, whereby greater emphasis is placed on the consumer. The S-D logic holds that “value is always uniquely and phenomenologically determined by the beneficiary” (Lusch & Vargo, 2011, p. 1304). The implications of such a concept are more significant within specific organizational domains such as marketing. The consequence is that even within an organization, there are different management techniques within different departments.
Another way through which organizations have evolved is in the nature of the relationship between employees and management. For starters, the shift towards a more service-based organization means that the employee’s significance is elevated (Drucker, 1999). This elevated significance is due to the fact that within a service domain, the employee is in greater direct contact with an organization’s customers. Indeed, this is one of the defining characteristics of a service organization, that differentiates it from a manufacturing organization. In addition to this shift, there is also a tendency towards a knowledge based economy. Within such an economy, employees increasingly possess more technical knowledge or expertise than their managers (French, 2011). The role of the manager as a director, for example, becomes diminished within such a setting. The result is a shift in the centers of power and decision-making, whereby democratic management systems become more suitable. A good example of this would be in a law firm or in a hospital. If the manager within such a setting is one who has strictly studied management, then they may find themselves redundant or even obsolete if they are applying traditional and authoritarian methods of management.
There has also been an evolution in management theories and models and the thinking behind them. In fact, this is well reflected in the categorization of models of management as either historical or contemporary (McNamara, n.d). Earlier models of management were more mechanical in nature. They focused on creating systems of authority with highly specialized and properly defined tasks (Guillén, 1994). Jobs were standardized. The use of a system of rewards and punishments was emphasized (McNamara, n.d). With the entry of the human relations movement, new models developed. However, these models were still focused on improving overall productivity. Contemporary models do not attempt to prescribe a particular approach towards the management of employees. They are not embedded in the individuals being managed or in the management outcomes. Such methods appreciate the dynamism of the organization. For example, contingency theory is hinged on the current situation, requiring that managers consider all aspects of the situation at hand in making a decision (McNamara, n.d). It is also referred to as situational theory. The contingency theory particularly justifies the need for multiple models of management.
Differences in approaches to management can further be perceived through aspects of organization such as leadership and culture. When it comes to leadership, there are many different leadership approaches, each of which is normally suited to a different situation and context. For example, transactional leadership is a highly task-oriented approach. It uses a system of rewards and punishments, and is useful where there is a need for a stricter control of resources (Bass, 2008). The style involves high levels of autocracy, with the manager making most of the decisions. Such a style would be very suitable in situations where the stakes are very high, necessitating tighter control. Another leadership approach is transformative leadership. This approach is much different from transactional leadership, involving high levels of employee participation. Instead of rewards and punishments, transformational leadership uses compelling visions to drive employee performance (Bass, 2008). The approach has been touted as being very effective in the management of change (van der Voet, 2014). These examples highlight how different approaches to leadership are suited to different needs and situations, and how this influences the management requirements and approach.
Another important factor that influences the management approach is culture. Culture can broadly be interpreted as the set of norms, values, customs and beliefs of a collection of individuals, such as an organization (Johnson, et al., 2013). The culture within an organization is referred to as corporate culture, and refers to the behavioral tendencies of the members of an organization. Culture has a broad moderating effect on the management approach, and as well influences a number of other factors including leadership, which in turn affect management. Thus, culture influences the management approach both directly and indirectly.
The corporate culture is important tool, which human resource managers use to influence the overall organizational behavior, the reason being that culture is a strong driver of people’s thinking and behavior. Thus, human resource managers deploy culture with the aim of driving and nurturing certain desirable behaviors amongst employees, including innovation and dynamism (Rugman & Collinson, 2012). This illustrates the manner in which organizational culture influences consequent management approaches. A further example is the indication by Cameron & Green (2009) that during the change management process, it is essential for organizations to conduct an organizational analysis to determine which change management strategy best suits their organizational culture.
Different organizations have different cultures. Culture is able to provide a distinction between different organizations because different organizations are comprised of many different variables (Ismat & Bashir, 2011). These variables include not just organizational factors, but also, the different individuals. Consequently, because culture is an outcome of the interaction of the composite of factors, a different mix of composites leads to the emergence of different cultures. The organizational differences in corporate culture lead to different management styles being adopted in different organizations.
Implications for Managers
Evidently, there are many different factors that influence management, leading to different management approaches. For managers, it can be quite overwhelming choosing one management approach to settle on. In this regard, it is however important for them to keep in mind that no one management approach fits all. None is indeed suited to all situations. In fact, the existence of so many different management approaches offers important advantages. Managers have a variety of options to choose from, and can therefore try a different method whenever one fails. In order to be effective in their management, managers need to pay attention to organizational parameters such as context and culture. Moreover, managers need to critically evaluate the situation. They can then choose an overall management approach that is suitable to the organizational objectives and culture. Moreover, a contingency management approach can be applied in certain circumstances and situations where the organization’s general management approach would not suffice. The factors that managers would need to consider when deciding on a management approach include the nature of the organization, organizational objectives, organizational culture and the current situation. Managers also need to consider the changing external organizational environment. When choosing a management approach, managers also need to ensure that they apply a leadership approach that is suited to not just the organization’s culture, but also the management approach.
Management is an important aspect of human living and
organization. Management allows individuals to coordinate resources and efforts
towards the attainment of a particular objective. It comprises of five
functions, namely planning, organizing, directing, leading and controlling. Management
as a process has evolved over the years, leading to the distinction between
traditional (classic) management approaches and modern (contemporary) ones.
This evolution has been in line with changes in factors affecting the
organizational landscape, such as job nature, nature of the product offering, technology,
employee knowledge, labor rights and the global economy. The emergence of
different organizational models has led to the development of different
management approaches. Other factors that influence management models include
the situation at hand, leadership and culture. The presence of a plethora of
management approaches can be confusing for managers, as they may not know which
one to choose. It also has its advantages, however, in that managers have a
variety of approaches at their disposal. For organizations and their managers,
it is important to consider the context and organizational requirements before
settling on a particular management approach.
List of References
Bass, B., 2008. The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. 4th Edition ed. New York: Free Press.
Cameron, E. & Green, M., 2009. Making sense of change management : a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. 2nd ed. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Drucker, P. F., 1999. Management Challenges for the 21st Century. New York: HarperBusiness.
Eskildsen, J., Jonker, J. & Pijkeren, M. v., 2009. Management models for the future. In: J. Jonker & J. Eskildsen, eds. Management models for the future. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 1-12.
French, R., 2011. Organizational behaviour. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Guillén, M. F., 1994. Models of management: Work, authority, and organization in a comparative perspective. Chicago: University of Chicago Press..
Gummesson, E., Lusch, R. F. & Vargo., S. L., 2010. Transitioning from service management to service-dominant logic. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 2(1), pp. 8-22.
Holland, T. P. & Ritvo, R. A., 2008. Nonprofit organizations: Principles and practices. New York: Columbia University Press.
Ismat, S. & Bashir, I., 2011. Determinants of Culture: An Analytical Study of Business Organizations Working in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Asian Social Science, 7(6), pp. 177-183.
Johnson, W., Scholes, A. & Regner, 2013. Exploring Strategy – Text and Cases. Tenth ed. London: Pearson Higher Ed.
Lusch, R. F. & Vargo, S. L., 2011. Service-dominant logic: A necessary step. European Journal of Marketing, 45(7), pp. 1298-1309.
McNamara, C., n.d. Historical and Contemporary
Theories of Management. [Online]
Available at: http://managementhelp.org/management/theories.htm
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Rugman, A. M. & Collinson, S., 2012. International Business. 6th ed. Harlow England: Palgrave.
van der Voet, J., 2014. The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure. European Management Journal, 32(3), pp. 373-382.