Discuss the Key Factors That in Your Opinion Need to Be Taken Into Account to Ensure Effective Management of an Organisation Today Essay
Developing effective management skills to deal with specific challenges and problems of an organisation is vital to any business and organisation in a global competitive environment where technology changes rapidly. Ivancevich and Matteson (2002) stated that in today’s competitive world, the effective company is typically the one that provides customers with quality products and services. Developing effective skills in dealing with specific challenges in order to compete effectively and to achieve a set goal is the aim of every successful organisation all over the world today.
An online dictionary (businessdictionary. com) describes an “organisation as a social unit of people, systematically structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals on a continuing basis. All organisations have a management structure that determines relationships between functions and positions, and subdivides and delegates roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out defined tasks. Organisations are open systems in that they affect and are affected by the environment beyond their boundaries”.
All organisations have some function to perform and there are different types of organisations including multinational, financial institutions, national companies, government and non-governmental organisations, profit and not-for-profit organisations etc. Ivancevich and Matteson (2002) stressed that an effective organisation is one that is able to translate quality improvement into results: more-satisfied customers, a more-involved workforce, better-designed products, and more creative approaches to solving problems.
Having said this, implementing a strategy effectively is a key driver of financial performance, and organisations that fail to fully engage their workforce in the business strategy will fail to produce reliable, sustainable business results. Financial performance, retention and an organisation’s ability to attract talent are also very vital. According to Mullins (2010), all organisations have their own individual character, culture and sense of identity and differ in attributes, processes and methods of working.
He posits that despite the differences, there are at least four common factors in any organisation: people, objectives, structure and management. Based on this assumption, one can rightly say an organisation’s culture can be determined by the quality and effectiveness of their manager, his leadership skills, organisation structure, resources, staff productivity, and, ultimately success or failure of the organisation. A manager should have the ability to direct, supervise, encourage, inspire, and co-ordinate, and in doing so facilitate action and guide change.
Organisational and communications skills and qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, determination, compassion and sensitivity are all important in leadership. (Field 2002) stated that evaluating the organisation’s members trust and motivation is very essential because these are the major forces that drive any individuals to achieve desired results. We can see that while leadership skills are important, organisations need to motivate employees because employees are likely to be more productive and creative if motivated.
There are several factors that organisations need to take into account to ensure effective management. In this essay attempt will be made to discuss some of the key factors effecting organisational management. Some of the key factors that will be discussed are Organisational Culture, Leadership Styles, Organisational Ethics, Knowledge and Change Management, and Information and Communication Technology. Organisational Culture Culture may be defined as the sum total of the beliefs, knowledge, attitudes of mind and customs to which people are exposed in their social conditioning.
Through contact with a particular culture, individuals learn a language, acquire values and learn habits of behaviour and thought. Organisational culture is basically the personality of the organisation and comprises of the assumptions, values, norms and visions of organisation members, their beliefs and behaviours. Culture is of utmost importance to every organisation in achieving their goals and objectives. People thrive in an open culture where they feel included in the mission and vision of the organisation.
The organisation’s ability to achieve these objectives affects its ability to attract and retain effective people and to sustain a high-performance culture. A good organisation recognises that culture directly impacts what happens or does not happen in organisations. According to Robbins (2003) culture performs a number of functions within an organisation. First, it has a boundary defining role; that is, it creates distinctions between one organisation and others. Second, it conveys a sense of identity for organisations members.
Third, culture is the social glue that helps hold the organisation together by providing appropriate standards for what employees should say or do. Finally, culture serves as a sense-making and control mechanism that guides and shapes the attitude and behaviour of employees. This suggests that the role of culture in influencing employee behaviour is increasingly important in today’s workplace and it is particularly important for managers/organisations to pay attention to culture when reacting to or planning major organisational change. People don’t just work for money, we work for fulfilment; we work to make a difference; and we work to help others. Most people want to be happily employed. ’ Thompson (2008) Schein (2004) highlights that ‘the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture; that the unique talent of leaders is their ability to understand and work with culture; and that it is an ultimate act of leadership to destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional’.
Culture is particularly important when an organisation is undergoing significant transformation or when introducing major reforms which require different or new cultural or value traits from those exhibited in the past. Culture affects the performance of organisations and employees are likely to perform better and more effectively if they know the culture of their workplace. An organisation can only go as far as its culture takes it. Cameron and Quinn (1999) identify four types of organisational cultures based on two dimensions: stability versus flexibility and internal versus external focus.
Most companies are faced with significant internal and external forces that indicate the need for substantial, but carefully planned organisational change. Increasing Scale of Operation means there is a need for more effective co-ordination of interdependent functions, departments and individual roles. While size creates problems, the economics of well managed scale and growth are vital to survival in markets where competition is intense and where inflation, now on an international scale, is creating critical cash-flow problems. Where decisions are made at one level but mplemented at several others, it becomes increasingly difficult for managers to identify just where they should concentrate their main effort for maximum effect. Moreover, where an organisation has slowly evolved as a complex entity, the need for conscious restructuring is evident once it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate between the causes and effects of serious organisational problems. In a nutshell, an organisation’s manager must consciously create a culture of excellence and openness (where appropriate) to achieve cohesion within the organisation.
Leadership Styles Coordinating the activities of people and guiding their efforts towards the goals and objectives of the organisation is a process of leadership. According to Mullins (2008), there are many ways of looking at leadership and many interpretations of its meaning, “getting others to follow”, getting people to do things willingly” or “the use of authority in decision making. Every individual is different, some individuals take on tasks naturally and with unbelievable ease to exceed expectations and ultimately, succeed exceedingly.
Others on the other hand struggle to deliver on the easiest task ever. As much as it is important for every organisation to have strategic business rules and plans, personal characteristics of the leader who manages the day to day running of the business is also vital to the success of the organisation. The tasks and skills required of a leader whether in managerial or team leader roles varies but their success or failure is determined by who they are.
Leadership is an on-going process that is difficult to link with static qualities of individuals especially where different situations tend to produce different styles of leadership. A leader’s role is to influence the activities of others towards achieving a particular goal. Kolb et. al. (1979) asserts that “as a result of our hereditary equipment, our particular life experience, and the demands of our present environment, most people develop learning styles that emphasize some learning abilities over others. Consideration of some peoples learning style will provide a useful tool for personal development and growth. The work of Kolb et. al. has been refined by Honey and Mumford (2000) to develop four categories of learning styles – the activist who prefers the challenges of new experience; the reflector who prefers to watch, think and review; the theorist who prefer to think problems through; and the pragmatist who prefers to apply new learning. Honey and Mumford also produced a model called Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) designed to help individuals identify their preferred natural learning style.
Positive work environment, credible leadership, people systems and processes are fundamental factors in an organisation that wants to deliver great customer service, high performance and profitability. Theory X and Theory Y The theory X approach sees employees as lazy grasping individuals who must be bribed and coerced into working. This assumes that human beings dislike work and will avoid works whenever possible. Theory Y on the other hand posits that in many cases employee will contribute to the organisation if they are treated as responsible, valued and industrious people.
It claims management should reduce control but retain accountability A good leader of an organisation will strive to motivate the employees to bring out the best in them. Many theories have been postulated as to what motivates human beings. There are also postulations about different level of needs, which Maslow (1954) famously termed hierarchy of needs. If this is balanced with Maslow’s theory on human needs the result may be phenomenal for the organisation. Maslow posits that human beings are in a continuous state of motivation and the motivation has level but basically divided into two, primary and secondary needs.
People start out on the primary needs and gradually proceed to secondary needs. Primary needs include physiological needs, safety needs and social needs. Secondary needs include ego needs, and self-actualisation. If an organisation’s manager can effectively identify each level of employee and help them along the continuum, it will yield good result for the organisation and their retention level will be high. Organisational Ethics Ethics operate at two basic levels- the ethics of the individual manager and the wider ethics of the whole organisation.
Managers bring a set of values into their work situations which are then incorporated into the ethical culture of the organisation. Various organisations have an ethical stance which is evident in their mission statements. Insider trading of shares, leaking information to competitors and harassment of employees are all unethical behaviour that can take place at the individual level. Unethical conduct at organisational level includes pollution of the environment, exploitation of staff and customers, or a ruthless pursuit of profit at any cost.
The pressures of competition and rapid change, cost- cutting, a lack of public awareness are just some of the many problems management pursuing higher ethical standards face. Ethical considerations focus on individual managers behaving in an honourable way. The essence of ethical behaviour is to follow a moral code which reflects values on how life should be lived. This code would include qualities such as honesty, a concern for others, fairness, not taking advantage of one’s status in the firm etc.
To behave ethically is to behave in a manner that is consistent with what is generally considered to be right or moral. Perhaps the first place to look in determining what is right or wrong is society. This ethical code is essential to organisations’ survival. Unethical behaviour could lead to substantial sanction that could limit their performance. Knowledge and Change Management Rapid changes in business and technology and increasing competitions means organisations have to adapt the best training and education to enable them continue to stay on top of their games.
The complexity and competitiveness of today’s business environment requires that companies continuously raise the bar on their effectiveness. Top performance increasingly demands excellence in all areas, including leadership, strategy, productivity, and adaptation to change, process improvement, and capability enhancement on knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies, trust and motivation. An organisation should ensure that all levels of employees are given the opportunity to continue to improve by acquiring new skills through training.
Much of the improvements needed in business to meet the demands of changing markets and economic conditions can only result from well implemented organisational change measured against increased technological excellence and operational efficiency as well as productivity. Kotter (2011) defines change management as the utilization of basic structures and tools to control any organizational change effort. Change management’s goal is to minimize the distractions and impacts of the change.
Organisational change is incredibly complex and one of the key skills for managers is to understand the nature of change and to prepare themselves to lead and manage change in their unique organisational contexts. Managerial wisdom begins with the recognition that there is no one ‘right’ way of performing. Similarly, there is no universally best way to implement change effectively. A strategy which fits the demands of one situation and one working group may be totally inappropriate in another set of conditions.
It is, however, sensible to identify the basic common stages and necessary administration involved in situations of organisation change in order to keep all the major issues in perspective when seeking to overcome human resistance and thus achieve unity of purpose. A vision of the organisation’s expectations and intended outcomes needs to be created to accommodate the needs and aspirations of others. A key factor both in responding effectively to change from without and initiating consequential internal action is professional management.
Managerial competence is determined as much by implementing change as it is by any other task or responsibility. Good preparation rests on careful research and a desire to understand the change situation that confronts managers. It is only with that understanding that they can make plans that are effective when implemented. Ultimately, organisational change is aimed at making one’s company more effective and more profitable and a better place for people to work and develop themselves to their full potential. Impact of Globalisation
Globalisation is the process of enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and improved communication. Some companies already regard the world as their target market e. g. Coca Cola. The move towards a global market place has been made even more popular by the growing acceptance that barriers to trade are unproductive, reduces the demand for goods and customer choice. Different organisations know the considerable advantages of trading across as well as the many drawbacks.
Paul Hirst (1992) stated that “national economies and cultures are dissolving before the great flows of trade, finance and information… unconstrained global markets for capital and goods allow companies to allocate resources to maximise benefits for consumers”. This supports the view that the world is becoming a single market. The global market for labour has developed slowly given immigration controls and different international emphases on skills and other technical requirements.
Managers in such companies have to be aware of the different dimensions brought to their organisations by the home and host countries’ set of values, customs and attitudes. Information and Communication Technology The use of information system and technology has tremendously changed the way organisations operate. For any organisation to compete effectively, it must be able to effectively process, store and retrieve the avalanche of information available to them because this is what key decisions will be based on.
They must come up with techniques of analyzing data and turning them into information, which may in turn lead to improved understanding of the market, and their competitors. This will also ultimately bring about increase in productivity at reduced cost. Changes in today’s business environment are very dynamic as a result of technological innovation, increased awareness and customer demands. Business organisations in the 21st century operates in a complex and very competitive environment characterized by these ever changing global network and highly unpredictable internet age.
Because of this, organisation will need to find a way of knowing who their customers are. According to Scarbrough and Corbett (1992), “The impact of technology in organisations is of central concern to managers. It plays a crucial role in job design, motivation of the individual at work, successful management of change and the structure of organisations”. Based on this assumption, one can conclude that how an organisation manages the introduction of a new technology to the business will have direct impact on the success they will achieve.
Organisations should also realise that change is the only thing that is certain that will happen to their business. They have the option of approaching these changes proactively or reactively. Proactive approach to change is expecting and planning change in a way that will benefit their organisation. This will mean carrying everybody along by educating them on the necessity of the change and how the change will affect their jobs and existing relationships. Conclusion
Changing social forces arising out of greater educational opportunities and increasing power of organised staff and labour mean a greater preparedness to challenge management and the sanctities of traditional organisation. More than ever, the concept of “management’s right to manage” is coming to be seen as an anachronism unless it is backed by the authority of managerial competence and a manifest display of management accountability and integrity. The title ‘manager’, alone, is no longer enough.
In the last resort, an organisation, like society itself, justifies its existence by the extent to which it satisfies the needs and reconciles the differing values of its members. Thus, changing social influences highlight the need for an organisation, management structure and management style where the initiative for effective working relationships is seen to be principally with management. An effective management structure must fit both its task and members not merely satisfy some “universal” or currently fashionable organisation theory.
Equally, the organisation that has simply grown over the years without regular reviews of its continued relevance to changing demands may no longer be appropriate to current operating conditions especially to the need for effective inter-departmental activity. If a company is to operate as effectively as possible, the structure must actively encourage the bringing together of people, from different functions, with the necessary skills, specialist knowledge and access to authority as soon as the situation demands it.
It is no doubt, that improved organisational effectiveness is the only way to lead business success. To continue to improve, organisations need to continually embrace change, unfortunately, the delay in time between making a change and seeing the results of such a change reflected in the end result variables can be as long as two or even more years. It is extremely difficult to predict the final outcome of changes made to an organisation.
This, with the delay in time between the change being affected and the final result being observed, tends to cause managements to play safe and to continue with the existing system, the system they know. Sound preparation for change is vital. It is often overlooked by managers eager to make things happen; however, time spent preparing pays dividends in the long term. Good preparation rests on careful research and a desire to understand the change situation that confronts managers. It is only with that understanding that they can make plans that are effective when implemented.
No change, even one for the better, is ever accomplished without considerable difficulty” Dr Johnson (2012) in text. Inevitably, people at all levels are concerned about change particularly change which they see affecting their jobs, relationships, place of work, level of responsibility, status and authority. A major problem in implementing significant organisational change is that unless there is effective communication both prior to, and during, that change, people at all levels are likely to be confused about the purpose and intended outcomes of the change.
But as well as planning it is vital that change leaders create the right cultural environment and that managers review their personal style of management. Implementing change is largely a matter of common sense but good team working, shared information and follow-up evaluation to promote learning are key requirements.
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