Managing oganisational relationships Essay
Managing oganisational relationships
“No Organisation can hope to keep up with the fast pace of change of the world today without enthusiastically embracing change within itself.”
The above statement is very powerful, but one I strongly agree with, because changes are taking place everyday and if managers don’t respond to these changes then the business is most likely to suffer.
Managers may have little ability to prevent change, but awareness that change is coming – can make it easier to deal with. If an organisation is prepared to handle an event, then many problems can be prevented or solved without difficulty.
Management versus Leadership
There is a continuing controversy about the differences between management and leadership. I think it’s obvious that a person can be a leader without being a manager and vice-versa.
According to the management theorist Mary Follett:
“Management is the art of getting things done through people”
However, the idea that a Manager only manages people – I think is over-simplified. This is because managers hold many responsibilities. I have outlined below the role of a manger:
– Decision Maker
– Are held responsible for results
– Have conflicting goals to achieve
– Need to Plan and Budget
– Work with and through people – organise staff.
Whereas, leadership is;
“the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organisation.”
[House et al., 1999]
From the above statement I can gather that the role of a leader is to mainly to:
– Motivate and,
– Encourage employees
Leadership is a managerial activity where employees work together towards achieving company goals.
The difference between managers and leadership is that – managers are elected to supervise the work of other people in the organisation and carry out formal duties. While, leaders influence the behaviour or actions of others. Managers value stability, order and efficiency. Meanwhile, leaders value flexibility, innovation and adaptation.
Managers are concerned more about how things get done and try to get people to perform better. Whereas, leaders are concerned with what things mean to people and try to get people to agree about the most important things to be done.
As you can see there are many differences between management and leadership. I believe leaders are more effective than managers, as they influence workers to achieve company targets and their leadership approach is usually very effective.
At Morrisons – the leadership style is very effective as the leader has many good characteristics. I have outlined these below;
* Good communication skills
* Is decisive
* Good at delegation
These characteristics help employees feel more valued as they know what is going on in the company and so try harder for the company to achieve targets.
There are many approaches leaders can emphasise on:
– Trait approach
– Behaviour approach
– Power-Influence approach
– Situational approach
– Integrative approach
There are strengths and weaknesses to each of these approaches – and the approach used highly depends on the nature of the organisation and the situation they are in.
I would say that at Laurens – cake factory, the managers implements a behavioural approach. They are very authoritarian – where they focus on power, decision making and hold authority with the leader.
The management style they hold is ‘Task Management’. This is when they:
* Focus on production
* Expect schedules to be met
* Problems arise from other peoples mistakes
I don’t believe, that this approach is very effective because employers don’t involve employees in decision-making and don’t provide opportunity for training and development. I think this would make staff feel less valued and not part of a team – so, will not motivate them to perform better to achieve targets.
“performance management includes activities to ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner.”
Performance management can focus on performance of an organisation, a department, processes to build a product or service, employees etc.
Performance management reminds us that training, strong commitment and working hard alone are not results. The major contribution of performance management is its focus on achieving results.
Performance management redirects our efforts away from business and gets managers to think towards effectiveness.
Recently, organisations have been faced with challenges – of increasing competition from businesses across the world. This means that all businesses must choose effective strategies to remain competitive. Employees must commit to these – to ensure strategies are implemented effectively.
This situation has put more focus on effectiveness, to achieve results. All of the results across the organisation must continue to be aligned to achieve the overall result for the organisation to survive and thrive. It is only then that organisations can really tell if they are performing.
Culture of an Organisation
Every organisation has its own unique culture, based on values of the top management who direct the organisation. However, over time individuals attempt to change the culture of their organisations to fit their own preferences or changing marketplace conditions. This culture then influences the decision-making processes and effects styles of management.
Mullins defines the culture of an organisation as:
“a collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do and think in an organisation.”
A key role for culture is to differentiate the organisation from others and provide sense of identity for its members.
At Accordia the culture is very democratic – as the manager delegates responsibilities on others. It is also creative and innovative because they are always open to new ideas. They build their culture around quality based upon commitment to the company as a whole.
“As a business becomes more global the need to understand cultural differences is critical to success.”
[M. BERGER 1996]
Berger highlights the importance of cultures. I think it is essential to understand the basics of good cross-cultural relationships, because when people do things differently, they are not necessarily wrong – they just don’t follow this in their culture.
I have drawn out a table below – giving an example of ‘how UK and France have different styles of conducting meetings’:
Purpose of meetings is to agree actions and make decisions
Acceptable to astray from agenda in discussions
Stick to agenda, deviate only if new priorities emerge
Purpose of meetings is to give input to decisions, not necessarily to make decisions
Don’t challenge the ‘Big Boss’
Defined follow-up actions are generally agreed
The key decision-maker may not be at meeting
People are expected to attend on time and stay through out the entire meeting
Not time-conscious – people come and go during meetings, there can be side discussions.
[M. Berger 1996]
As you can see there are many cultural differences. The UK and France have completely opposite managing styles. From respect and understanding people can find ways to work together – based on mutual strengths.
I think cultural values affect attitudes and behaviours around the world and we need to examine how one can adapt their skills to the cultural approach in which they find themselves in.
“Flexible working is the term used to describe the ability to employ people – when and where required in the interests of everybody.”
[R. Pettinger 2002]
There has been a huge movement towards flexible working over the years and Neatly & Hurstfield found that:
“Employers were making increasing demands on all employees to become more flexible, both in working hours and in functional flexibility.”
Flexible working involves the creation of work patterns and arrangements which are based on the need to maximise organisational output, customer and client satisfaction and staff expertise and effectiveness.
I found out that there are many approaches to flexible workforce – Atkinson was one of them, where he produced the ‘flexible firm’ model in 1984.
Diagram – flexible firm
I believe that this model has more relevance today – because when we look at the retail sectors – every employee is flexible.
For example; At Woolworths they have their core managers – who work contracted hours. And then all the other employees are part time workers with high flexibility hours. I think they take advantage of the functional flexibility, where they recruit more staff and create short-term contracts – when sales are likely to be high, eg) Christmas. This maximises flexibility – as they are getting workers in only when needed.
I think the flexible firm model – shows that the environment is more competitive and the need for cost effectiveness is important. I think Atkinson was well ahead of his time – and predicted accurately. I consider the greatest emphasis was based on the flexibility in part time working – as many retailers implement this model.
The term Psychological contract is;
“the perceptions of the two parties, employee and employer, of what their mutual obligations are towards each other.”
It is the psychological contract that effectively tells employees what they are required to do in order to meet their side of the agreement, and what they can expect from their job. There has been conflict in employees not commiting to their contract, but due to the changes occuring recently, employees have been persuaded to taking the contract more seriously.
I have listed the changes below:
– The nature of jobs – more employees are on part time and temporary contracts, so, functional flexibility is more popular
– Organisations have downsized and delayered – so individual employees are carrying out more tasks.
– Markets, technology and products are constantly changing – customers are becoming more demanding. So, quality and service standards need to be of high standards
– Traditional organisational structures are becoming more inflexible – so, new methods of managing are required.
The effect of these changes is that – the ability of the business to add value, rests on employees, where they are seen as the key business drivers. Organisations that wish to succeed have to get the most out of their resources. In order to do this, employers have to know what employees expect from their work. This is where the psychological contract is used – as a framework for monitoring employee attitudes.
Since 1990’s employees have low job security – due to the impact of globalisation. This has completely changed the traditional contracts where there is ‘no job for life’. The new contract mainly focusses on fair pay and treatment and also opportunities for training and development – notion of ‘continuous learning’. On this analysis, employers can no longer offer job security and this has underminded the basis of employee commitment.
To conclude, I have found out that change within an organisation is inevitable and managers need to respond to these changes for their business to remain successful.
The trend towards globalisation – is accelerating as foreign competition intensifies. This leads to a change in managerial responsibilities – where managers must be able to understand and communicate with people from different cultures.
Cultural diversity is increasing within the workforce – where managers require the understanding of values, beliefs and attitudes of people from different cultures. I believe it is necessary for managers to have the understanding of building mutual relationships and have respect for diversity – so they can work together without difficulties.
Flexible working has also become very popular, where employers are constantly seeking flexible staff. This is so they can fully utilise their resources effectively. Organisations are familiar with the notion of ‘high-quality staff willing to work – when required’. This is due to the fact that – the staff, expertise and resources have to be engaged when customers and clients demand.
The psychological contract enables employers to look at the welfare of employees. eg) what employees want: fair pay, continuous learning, opportunity for training and development etc.
Overall, I have found out that – the nature of organisations are changing with the times – and both employees and employers are benefiting from these particular changes. Also, these changes have a huge impact on Managerial theories today.
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University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 October 2017
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