In this final section of my assignment, I shall evaluate the factors which can influence the environment in which my manager performs his role. In order to evaluate this successfully and comprehensively, I shall use the following criteria: Whether one particular management/supervisory style is more likely to generate results and foster good employee-employer relations than using alternative management/supervisory styles
As I have already explained, my chosen manager uses consultative and passive management styles. I believe these two management styles to be a common and effective approach towards management, especially in the sales department of a company.
Firstly, consultative management is particularly important in the sales department of Allen Concrete because by consulting employees, Mr. Crowhurst gets to listen to all the view points but finally goes with his own decision, based upon his own knowledge and experience. Whereas if he was using a democratic style, he would have to base his decision on what the majority of the employees believe to be correct, which may not be the right decision for the company.
A manager is meant to be an independent and respectable member of staff, they should be able to take charge and make the right decisions where needed, especially in sales where competition is fierce. It is for this reason that I believe consultative management to be most effective as whilst Mr. Crowhurst takes into consideration the views of employees, he still makes the final decision using his own judgement, as manager should do. If a manager relies on his employees to help him make decisions, then perhaps that individual is not ready or mature enough to handle a managerial position, as I believe a manger should make his/her own decisions at the end of the day.
However, autocratic managers also do this; they make decisions based upon their own knowledge. But the weakness of autocratic management is that this type of manager does not take into consideration the view points of anyone else. This is a significant disadvantage as this in an ignorant approach to management, gaining the views and opinions of fellow workers can have positive effects such as a boost in motivation. Mr. Crowhurst demonstrates that he values the opinions of his staff through consultative management, this enables employees to feel valued as the company cares what input they have, and in sales where teamwork is common, motivation is highly important. If motivation is boosted, which is will be when employees are made to feel valued, then this has a knock on effect in boosting productivity levels, which is a highly significant aspect that all companies aim to boost, and through good management it is possible.
Basically, Democratic is too far to one side as it enables employees to take over a manager’s position to make important decisions. Whereas Autocratic is too far the other side as the manager does not consult or even listen to other employee’s views and opinions, this leaves consultative management which is a healthy mix of the two. I have explained earlier that Mr. Crowhurst uses passive management as well. This style, like consultative, has significant advantages over other management styles in terms of results in motivational and productivity levels. Passive management boosts motivation as it enables employees to feel trusted as they are free to work on their own accord.
Whereas directive and autocratic styles specially explain how a task or project should be carried out. This can result in an unmotivated workforce as they are constantly been told what to do, instead of being allowed to add their own personal skills and attributes to the task in hand, allowing them to expand and show managers what they are capable of. By allowing employees to make their own decisions, current managers are able to seek out future managers, as a key characteristic of a good manager is independence and decision making skills.
By specifically directing and spoon feeding employees, room for growth is minimised as employees never have the chance to expand their skills as they will never a face a situation whereby they can make their own decisions. In the cut throat world of sales, making quick decisions and facing the consequences is reality, employees need to be given a sense of independence whereby they can learn from their mistakes, passive management enables this whilst no other management styles can deliver the same results.
However, the disadvantage of Mr. Crowhurst using passive management is that he is relying on the staff being able and qualified to be able to make the right decisions by themselves. Also, in the event of emergency or disaster, employees are likely to be unable and oblivious as to what to do, a manger should not expect his staff to be take to take control as that would be his/her responsibility. It is important that Mr. Crowhurst use passive management in the right amounts, if too much independence is given to employees, mistakes are likely to be made.
How a management/supervisory role can be affected by changes to the business’s aims and objectives or a change in the culture/structure of an organisation Mr. Crowhurst explained to me in the questionnaire that the objectives of his company are to make a profit, survive as a company and to increase market share. These objectives are fairly vague and common examples; however they have a direct effect upon Mr. Crowhurst as how he performs his job. This is because profit, survival and market share are point towards the sales department, which Mr. Crowhurst is responsible for.
The sales department is arguably the department which is most concentrated upon therefore the completion of aims and objectives tend to fall on the shoulders of those involved in this department. For example, if there is a slump in sales in the short-term, profits will be directly hit by this in the form of a reduction. If these sales continue to stay at a low level, then in the medium-term market share will begin to shrink as rival competition are gaining more sales. Finally, in the long-term, a slump in sales will threaten the very survival of a company. Numerous aspects can cause and affect sales figures, for example a decline in demand, recession, new products and new competitors, possibly larger companies using tactics such as predatory pricing. This where a company takes advantage of its economies of scale and sells its products at an extremely low price in order to force competitors/rivals out of the market.
As I have explained, all of Allen Concrete’s aims are directly related to the sales department, this therefore puts a significant amount of pressure upon Mr. Crowhurst to perform in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Mr. Crowhurst is required to adapt his style of work to meet the needs and requirements of the aims and objectives set. As the company is determined to make a profit, survive and increase market share, Mr. Crowhurst is therefore required to ensure sales targets are met and exceeded. By ensuring sales maximisation, Mr. Crowhurst is contributing the chances of profit being made, the company surviving and market share increasing.
However, if the company’s aims changed, this would affect the way in which Mr. Crowhurst goes about his work. For example, say the focus of the company changed to producing the highest quality products, sales maximisation would not be met as products of such a high specification would take considerably more time to produce and therefore cost more. High quality products are unlikely to sell in the same volumes as cheaply produced goods. Mr. Crowhurst would have to ensure that the products he sells meets the high quality standard demanded and that they beat the competition on quality. Mr. Crowhurst explained that there is a person culture in his organisation. I believe that this is probably the most common form of culture in small-medium sized businesses, as work and personal relationships are more easily formed as employees work closer together in a smaller environment.
However, the culture in the organisation could change in the future, for example, if the firm merged with a larger and more dominate company, it is likely that this firm would impose its own culture upon Allen Concrete. Or as a result of the merger, the organisation could be forced to adapt to a power culture as a new management team could be emplaced who have a different approach to running the organisation whereby they wish to take full control by making all of the decisions. If this was to occur, Mr. Crowhurst may be robbed of some of the power and authority he currently has in his role, for example currently he is charge of estimating costs; a power culture may take this power away from him and give it to someone more senior. On the other hand, it may release Mr. Crowhurst and enable him to devote and concentrate more time upon his greater strengths (selling.)
Whereas if the firm adapted to a role culture, Mr. Crowhurst would be required to work in a manner which is directly related to his specific role. This is a lot more formal than the current culture (person culture) and would therefore change his role in that there may be tasks and duties he no longer has to undertake as they may not relate to his role directly. Whether a certain management style is more likely to foster better employee-employer relations than another.
I have already explained that consultative and passive management styles are used. These styles are of particular use in Allen Concrete as they match and complement the type of organisation it is and take advantage of its small size. For example, passive and consultative styles can only be utilized fully in small organisations where managers can deal with employees on such a personal level. This therefore boosts and encourages positive employee-employer relations. As the styles used enable such a personal and direct approach to management, motivational levels are likely to be boosted in the organisation, this is because employees are made to feel valued in the workplace, this relates to the informal and friendly culture in the workplace, this being person culture.
However, an organisation should have a mix of several styles in order to achieve maximum levels of motivation and productivity. For example, Allen Concrete would benefit from a collaborative style whereby employees and managers work in teams. This enables input from all employees and managers and can increase motivation and help those employees who struggle. Employees can felt inspired and motivated to see their managers taking such an active role in their work, this would also enable the manager to pick up on employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Use of autocratic and directive management styles would improve the speed and efficiency of decision making in Allen Concrete. However, I would not recommend these styles to be used on a regular basis as they can lead to managers ignoring employee’s views and opinions.
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