\1. A manager’s job can be described from various perspectives. (Functions, roles, essential skills, systems, contingencies). describe what managers do using Henri Fayol’s functions approach and the contingency/situational approach. Bring out in you presentation, the advantages and disadvantages of the approach. Successful organizations are led by experienced and knowledgeable managers. Good managers are there to make work load look less difficult and their responsibility is mounting and endless. Managers oversee the use of all resources; that is to say financial, physical, information and human resources in their respective firm.
All the aspects of a manager’s job are interrelated. Managers also develop, maintain and implement the organization’s goals and objectives. They also lead their employees as well as motivating them to meet set targets. What managers do is represented by the term POLC.
This means; planning, organizing, leading (commanding), and controlling. According to Henri Fayol, there are fourteen management principles. However not all of them apply to manager’s roles, essentials, system, functions or contingencies.
Planning is a predetermined course of action in order to set up clear business objectives and making of decisions on the best use of resources. Mangers here decide on the tasks and resources that are needed to achieve business objectives. It is the most difficult among the four and therefore requires active participation of the whole organization. This then comes out as a manager’s role that is he/ she is responsible for coordinating this setup. According to Fayol, planning must be coordinated on different levels and with different horizons. Since this process involves defining goals and establishing strategies for achieving those goals and developing plans to integrate and coordinate activities, the manager is responsible for such. (www.provenmodels.com/3/five-functions-of-management/).
Planning as presented by Fayol facilitates management objectives that are it highlights the purpose for which various activities are to be undertaken. It also helps in focusing the attention of employees on the objectives or goals of the business. However on the other hand, planning is rigid that is it has a tendency to make administration inflexible. There also is high doubt in the development of employees because of which management might have faced lot of difficulties in future. Planning therefore introduces inelasticity and discourages individual initiative as well as experimentation. Planning minimizes uncertainties that are it reduces uncertainty of the future as it involves anticipation of future events. Planning also facilitates coordination. Planning improves employee’s moral Employees know in advance what is expected of them and therefore conformity can be achieved easily. This encourages employees to show their best and also earn reward for the same.
Planning encourages innovations. In the process of planning, managers have the opportunities of suggesting ways and means of improving performance. However planning is time consuming and expensive. Planning is a time consuming process because it involves collection of information, its analysis and interpretation thereof. The entire process of planning takes a lot of time specially where there are a number of alternatives available. Collection, analysis and evaluation of different information, facts and alternatives involve a lot of expense in terms of time, effort and money. Organizing according to Fayol’s perspective, is when managers provide capital, personnel and raw materials for the day to day running of the business and building structure to match the work. However, Luther Gulick and Brit Lydnall Urwick expanded organizing as establishing a structure of authority for all work. This is an essential role played by a manager.
Managers arrange work to accomplish the organization’s goals. Managers also are concerned with assigning and allocation of resources and duties to employees. This is quite essential since the process brings people together that is as employees are grouped they get time to actually discuss therefore covering the social need as indicated by Abraham Maslow. It is also a manager’s job in organizing that is it is entirely up to him to know how tasks are to be grouped, who is to do the tasks, what tasks are to be done and who is to report to whom. Organizing helps in the division of work that then aids in the bringing up of specialization in various activities of concern. Specialization helps reduce wastages and in turn increases the quality of products produced.
This is because everyone will be obliged to a duty and the employees in a bid to get some recognition at work, they tend to work hard. Organizing also helps enhance effective administration, coordination, scope for new changes, and classifies authority. This is to say that organizing helps to define job positions, creates clear cut relationships among positions and ensure mutual cooperation among individuals, classifies power to every manager and the way he/ she has to exercise those powers can be clarified so that misuse of power will not take place respectively. However, specialization leads to boredom that is if the person continues to work in the same department for a long time.
Leading is optimizing return from all employees in the interest of the entire enterprise. Successful managers have personal integrity, communicate clearly and base their judgments on regular audits. Leading is the imparting of a vision to the organization in order to achieve a goal. It does this by formulating a well-thought out vision and then clearly communicating it. It involves managers giving orders to employees. Managers here analyze workers’ reports and in turn get to know more about an employee. This thorough knowledge of personnel creates unity, energy, innovation, loyalty and eliminates incompetence. Managers here also motivate subordinates, influence individuals or teams as they work. This comes to the point in which a manager is said to work with and through people to accomplish organizational goals.
It is within a manager’s job as well to choose the most effective communication channels or to deal with any employee behavior. Leading maintains order in the sense that everyone will be under one superior hence there are chances of having an organized structure. Members know to whom they report and who reports to them. This means that communication gets channeled along defined and predictable paths, which allows those higher in the organization to direct questions to the appropriate parties. It also means that individuals tend to know who does and does not possess the authority to assign or change tasks. A clear chain of command also generates clearly defined sets of responsibilities. However, Organizational structures that have leading as a management’s role are highly at an advantage because it offers very clear, if not always easy, advancement paths. In business organizations, for example, advancement frequently means replacing a departing or advancing superior.
Also a leading management role divides these areas of concern into various department configurations that specialize. Specialization allows organizations to concentrate particular skill sets and resources to achieve maximum efficiency. However In theory, organizations pursue a goal or goals as a unified team. The departmentalizing of specializations leads, in some cases, to decisions made to benefit a department rather than the organization goals. Amongst the POLC, controlling is the last element. Mangers here identify weaknesses and errors by controlling feedback and conforming activities to plans, policies and instructions. The manager under controlling; monitors actual performance, compares actual to standard performance and takes action basing on the outcome. It is entirely a manager’s job to come up with plans, policies and instructions that can govern the business and in turn benefit the business as a whole.
By allowing controlling functions to operate effectively and efficiently through coordination and control methods for Fayol, the manager is the one who overlooks an employee as a living organism that requires liaison officers and joint committees. Controlling is precisely a way of monitoring, keeping, comparing, correcting, giving explanation and evaluating how well the purposed organization is achieving and accomplishing its goals and how they are taking action to improve or increase their performance. Controlling is the process used to establish and provide structure in order to deal with uncertainties. Control helps to reduce the wastage of human, material and financial resources. This increases the profits of the organization. All the work has to be done according to these standards. So control, acts as a guideline. It guides all the operations of the organization in the right direction.
A contingency approach is a situation in management where there is no one approach to management. In short, it is a situation where there is no one size fitting all. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as the situational approach that is to say that there is not a set of management principles or tools that can be used to manage an organization. This is because organizations are different hence they face different circumstances and this may require different ways of managing. The contingency theory states that managers must understand the situation contingences facing them before deciding the best way to work with and through others as they coordinate activities. In this case it’s not that managers just sit back and relax, rather they work the hardest because they have to first observe before acting.
Managers in the contingency approach, first have to evaluate and understand what type of situation they will be in. this is mainly because situations vary and change over time. The right approach to use depends on the complex variety of critical environmental and internal contingences. The manager’s job under the contingency approach is to observe and be quick to adapt to the changes inconsiderate of how extreme the situation is, the manager therefore instills flexibility in oneself so as to find relevant solutions to different contingencies within a little amount of time. The key advantages of situational leadership are that the model is easy to understand and
RICKY W GRIFFIN (BUSINESS 6TH EDITION)
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