Organisational management

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Organizational and people management is crucial in any organization if goals have to be achieved.  Organizations have embraced various management and leadership skills in a bid to remain competitive and ensure that their goals are achieved. Besides achieving these goals, there are other aspects that are supposed to be looked at, in order to ensure the personnel is working in accordance to the organizations objectives. Due to the complexity of organizations, these issues have to be carefully put into consideration. Managing the complex levels of any organization must therefore, be a key competency of top management in any organization. (Martha, Aulrich and Amman, 2007, p.4). These range from employees emotional intelligence, motivation, conflict management, managing change and even empowering the employees. It is also important to be keen on the effectiveness and efficiency of the available systems, in order to ensure the organization uses maximum resources and reaps maximum benefits. This paper seeks to understand the above concepts in relation to a given case study.

Leadership styles

            Leadership styles vary from organization to another. These include; the autocratic leadership Style whereby the manager retains a lot of power and authority to make decisions. There is no consultation involved when major decisions are not being made nor are the opinions and inputs of others sought.  This is type of leadership is considered the most traditional. Employees are given orders without explanations and are in return allowed to obey them. Bureaucratic leadership style is characterized by the management follows laid out policies and procedures. This is style is more of an enforcement and if any thing is not in the set out rules then consultation has to be done. Management in this system is usually referred to a leadership ‘by the book’. Democratic leadership style also known as the participative style, allows for employees to participate in the decision making process. The management in this kind of leadership keeps the employees informed about the on goings in the organization, and are also involved in the problem solving processes. The manager consults the employees to get their opinion on various issues.Laissez-faire leadership style is more of a ‘hands off’ type of leadership, where there is little or no leadership or direction given to the employees. Employees enjoy as much freedom as possible and also determine their goals, resolve problems and even make important decisions. This type of leadership is practical where the employees are highly skilled educated and experienced. In the above case study leadership is more of Laissez-Faire whereby there is no direction. The management meets but instead of discussing issues the president presents his suggestions which are not questioned. This explains why no one is ready to listen to Jason. In this organization the bureaucratic and democratic styles could be considered in order to ensure the managers have a say but at the same time laid out procedures are followed.

Managerial skills

           Managerial skills are skills that every manager needs to posses in order to perform their duties and activities that are associated with the managerial position. The key managerial skills are technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills. Technical skills include specialised skills which are professionally in nature such as engineering, accounting among others. These are skills that are specifically learnt in a school setting. These are skills essential at lower levels of management. A human skill entails the ability for the manager to be able to work and deal with other people in the organisation both in an individual and group setting. This is a very crucial skill considering most of the time the manager deals with people directly. These are skills essential at the at all levels management. Conceptual skills are skills that enable a manager to conceptualize complex situations, and be able to come up with viable ideas and solutions.  Conceptual skills are essential if the manager will be able identify opportunities, identify problem areas and understand how to run the organisation. These are skills essential at the top levels of management. Other management skills include communication skills which helps one to effectively communicate with others .These  include listening and presentation skills, effectiveness skills  are key in  maintaining  high standards through setting standards, priorities and  reviewing operations. Interpersonal skills these are essential when working with people who are diverse and from different cultures, interpersonal skills entail networking with other organisations, coaching and even mentoring. Negotiation skills also fall under this category. In the above case study, most of these skills are lacking .For instance, the president’s conceptual skills are poor and that why his ideas are being called ‘idiotic’ and stupid’. The management’s negotiation skills are also very poor in that they are not willing to challenge the authority. Michael’s effectiveness skills are also very poor in that instead of facing the predicament before him, he is ready to sweep it under the carpet rather than confront or even discuss it.

Conflict management

 Can be defined as the process of identifying and solving conflicts in a fair and efficient way. There are various styles of managing conflict ranging from use of force, whereby the manager or owner uses their position to make decisions regarding the impending conflict regardless of how the employees feel about it. Such a decision if final and not up for discussion. Accommodation is whereby the employees are allowed to make decisions without taking into consideration if it’s the best decision, or how it makes the managers feel. In compromising, a solution is come up with and this solution is meant to make both parties happy, but without giving in to any of the sides. Avoiding as a conflict management style is whereby one completely ignores the conflict or the issue at hand. Any steps to eliminate the conflict are also avoided.  When embracing collaboration the manager or owner sits down with those involved, listen to both sides and try to come up with solutions. If this is not possible they try to come up with the best solution possible. Salami notes that, in a case where force and avoiding methods are used employees react by withholding their behaviour. When collaboration compromising and accommodation methods are used to resolve conflicts, the employees tend to reciprocate to this kind of leadership and perform more. (Salami, 2010, p.78)

In the above case study, collaboration is the best conflict management style that could have worked. For instance, Patrick would have sat down with part of the management, maybe two or three individuals discussed the issues and then presented them to the larger group of managers and directors. This way he would present a more professional face.

Empowerment

         In this context empowerment refers to the practice of sharing information, power and also rewarding employees. This is with the aim of encouraging them to make important decisions and also solve problems and even initiate new programmes in order to improve performance and service delivery. When an employee is empowered they are offered the right skills, resources, authority and rewards and they are also motivated. In return they are expected to be responsible and accountable. In this case study its clear that the employees are empowered considering that Michael is so concerned about his department and has taken responsibility to the extent of protecting this department from any negativity. However this empowerment is also limited in that they have to depend on the president’s suggestions rather than make their own decisions and present them to the president which makes them more accountable.

Motivation

     Refers to the  factors both  intrinsic or extrinsic  that stimulates the  desire  and  energy that enables the employees to  be  interested in their job and the roles they are given  continually  and also  persist  with the aim of achieving their  goals. Motivation could be as a result of ones personal needs, rewards and incentives, and even individual expectations. In the above case study its evident that  there is no motivation  the fact that only Jason was willing to fight, to ensure that  his department  doesn’t go down presents a case of a don’t care attitude ,whereby the managers were not motivated enough to be ready to stand  for what they believed is right.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

 Efficiency refers to the comparison between an out put be it a product or an activity and what can be achieved with the same resources. Efficiency refers to doing something right, in the right manner with the aim of getting the maximum output while using minimum resources. Effectiveness on the other hand refers to the extent to which an activity manages to achieve the function which it was supposed to. While efficiency focuses on the processes involved in getting the final output, effectiveness focused more on the final output rather than the process. In the above case study it is evident that the top management is not keen on efficiency and the available information can not ascertain if effectiveness has been achieved. This is because despite the fact that Jason has raised his concerns, no one is willing to listen to him. At the same time, he is supposed to deliver in his department.

Change management

          Refers to a set of processes employed by an organization, to ensure that there are significant changes implemented in an organization in a systematic and controlled manner, in order to effect organizational change. The goal of the organizational change is to ensure that the members receive it with minimum resistance. According to Kim (Kim, 2004, p.82), change in itself is always associated with anxiety, fear and tension and even resistance. If organizations do not take some time to lay the ground work, there must be a degree of resistance to change.

If there is minimal resistance, the transformation brought about by the change will be effective and orderly.The ADKAR Model identifies five stages which have to be realized for change to be fully implemented. These include; creating awareness of the impending change and why it is necessary, having the desire and motivation to change, having the knowledge on how to implement the change, having the means and the ability to change through skills and behaviour in addition to reinforcement or support that will enhance the change, to ensure that they don’t revert back to the older systems.

In the above case, it is evident that the management was aware of the importance of change but lacked the desire to change. Considering Jason lasted for only three months, this means that his new ideas were not welcome and that is why he didn’t manage to convince his boss and also his peers and therefore had to quit.

Emotional intelligence

         This refers to an individual’s ability, capacity or skill to identify, evaluate and control emotions of oneself and even others. According to Salami, individuals with high emotional intelligence are able to process the situation and seek for adaptive strategies of coping with unfair treatment in the organization, by assertively seeking coping strategies, and assertively seeking fair treatment from their employers rather than seeking maladaptive coping strategies. (Salami, 2010, p. 79).It is evident that Jason has this trait, in that he had to practice how to answer the president. Michael is also emotionally intelligent in that he knows the repercussions of emotional outbursts and that’s why he strategies on how to behave in the meeting. However this emotional intelligence is used in a negative way. Michael should use his emotional intelligence not only to avoid hurting the president but also putting into consideration the well being of the organization.

From the above case study there are various things that Jason did right, first practicing respectful ways of responding to the questions; this way respect and professionalism is maintained among the top leadership. Giving an honest answer to the president without being offensive; this  is because  Jason was  keen enough as outlined in the case study , and  his main  reason was that  that the  presidents suggestions would have a negative  impact on the division. Trying to convince his boss and his peers that the presidents ideas were based on faulty assumptions; this is a clear indication that he made effort to salvage the situation and therefore he cannot be blamed in future.

        There are several things that he should do or should have done differently; Jason should have used the answers he had practiced as a way of showing respect to the president and also create and avenue for more suggestions. He would have gone ahead to present the correct position to the managers.

In future Jason should not postpone important decisions like deciding to talk and try to influence the boss later. This discussion would have had a better impact if it was done before the meeting and not afterwards. Leaving the company after three months; usually this is not usually the best step to take as it is like running from a problem rather than solving it. Even though we are not informed if he met with the president, Jason would have had such a meeting first and tried to give his suggestions before quitting.

          Some of the things Patrick include; asking the managers opinions; this indicates that Patrick was ready to hear others opinions about his suggestions. Agreeing to the managers meeting which was to give a later feedback; this presents him as a person who is willing to listen to others and not dictator.

Things that Patrick should do or would have done differently include: Consulting; Patrick should change his management style to that of consulting before making his suggestions to the managers and directors.  This way he will maintain authority and respect as every one would take him seriously and his suggestions would not carry such connotations as ‘idiotic’ ‘stupid among others. He should also carry out do a thorough research to ascertain why his authority is not questioned. The fact that there was silence when Jason answered him should raise a red flag that all is not well. Under normal circumstances a managers’ meeting should be live with discussions and arguments and not silence whereby only the president speaks.

Michael was right by intervening, after Jason told the president that his suggestions were not practical. This was a very quick way of intervening and probably it salvaged a bad situation.

Michael should do or would have done several things differently; Michael appears as a selfish boss who only wants the best for ‘his department and himself’ at the expense of other employees. In this case we could say he blackmailed Jason. He would have left Jason to be himself and present his case the way he feels appropriate as long as he didn’t not paint the president as ignorant or act in a disrespectful way. Being the director of the Organizational Development and Training Department ,Michael should have consulted with the president  first  with suggestions on how the organization  can  be developed instead of waiting  for the president  to present what is referred in the case study as ‘ idiotic’ or ‘ultimately stupid’ suggestions.

Two additional major issues in this case are ;employee intimidation and  fear; The fact that Jason could not be able to convince his boss or peers that the assumptions that the president had made were not right just shows  how reluctant the employees are to challenge the management. Such issues could be addressed by creating a new environment, whereby employees are able to discuss their ideas   about the organizations. Other avenues such as having suggestion boxes where by they express their views anonymously should also be encouraged.

The other major problem is that of consultation.  For Jason’s immediate boss Michael to request him   not to reject the presidents suggestions, this shows that there is no consultation in this company. The president  should have sat down  with the senior management  first, presented his  ideas and suggestions, request  for the suggestions of others and at long last make the general presentations to the company management. The president Mr. Patrick also made the presentation without consultation and in the end not every one was happy.

The additional information needed regards the organizational management, leadership and the communication strategies adopted by the organization. This is in regard to how the organization is run, who the managers are, their authority and the style of leadership that they have adopted. There are also signs of the employees being disgruntled and also having a don’t care attitude. It is important to understand of Organizational Development and Training Department is the same as the human resource department and if it is responsible for personnel needs. This is because in  situations where employees are well taken care of, there is a sense of ownership  and therefore they can not  sit back and watch the company  they feel affiliated to go down the drain. This department also takes care of communication and if they have effective strategies then such humiliating acts should not be occurring.

Other additional questions that should be asked include:

  1. Was the senior management report presented to the president?
  2. What was his reaction?
  3. Was Jason’s position factual?
  4. If it was factual, why were Jason’s peers not convinced by his position?
  5.  During other meetings, are the opinions of the management incorporated in the final report.
  6. If no what has the top management done about it.
  7. Did Jason share his plans for leaving the company with the management?
  8. What was their reaction?

The above case study is a case of many aspects of organizational management that are not going right. The management should review their system to ensure that employee needs are reviewed in order to encourage more openness.  The organization should also review the management styles in order to come up with an effective system.

WE ACCEPT