Management is the art of getting things done through people. The five major parts of management entail planning, organizing, leading, coordinating and finally controlling, thus management theory is a set of rules designed to help managers to plan work required to achieve the goals of an organization in the most effective and efficient way possible. In addition, the understanding of individual employee motivators with respect to achieving the goals of an organization is important. This article has highlighted three types of management theories namely contingency theory, systems theory and bureaucratic theory.
Contingency theory asserts that when managers are making decisions, they must take into consideration all aspects of the current situation and act on those aspects. The best way to organize depends on the nature of the environment which the organization relates. There is no single best way of leading an organization and instead the leadership style is contingent upon various constraints of the organization either internal or external. It is therefore upon the leader to study the organizations environment and find the best way to successfully manage the workforce for best results (Bacher, 2007).
From the article it has been highlighted that whenever a new executive joins Ebay Company, the colleagues choose a cartoon character that best fits the individual and it becomes the executive’s avatar. Mr. John Donahoe found this tradition, embraced it and even liked his nickname Dennis the menace because it best described him and the way he managed his people. Another theory employed by Mr. Donahoe and was most effective was systems theory. This theory describes everyone in the organization as part of a system giving them crucial task, hence taking out a part renders the organization unworkable. Mr. Donhoe made listening of both his employees and customers, part of his management style because he believes that each has role to play in the success of the company (Gelles, 2010).
On the other hand, his predecessor Mrs. Meg Whitman used the bureaucratic theory which involves establishing strong lines of management and control and deciding what needs to be done and how without anyone questioning the managers authority. The manager does not engage anyone in the decision making process. As depicted in the article, Mrs. Whitman has been described as a strict disciplinarian and at times a humorless boss with a hot temper. The bureaucratic theory suggests a comprehensive and a detailed standard operating procedure for all routine tasks (Gelles, 2010).
A particular management style has both advantages and limitations. In addition, managerial decisions depend on many factors including the ability to set priorities and time decisions correctly. It is therefore upon the manager to choose a strategic approach that will ensure fair decision making. The management approach that Mr. Donhoe used, gave him the opportunity to interact with both the customers and employees at different levels of the organization hence easily identifying the core of the problem (Gelles, 2010). On the same note, the management approach helps a manager to improve the quality of his decision making. Similarly, in this approach, leaders learn to think in terms of ‘control with’ rather than ‘control over’ employees so that they can both accomplish an organizations vision. (Johnson & Coscarelli, 2007)
However, such an approach may have its limitations. Since the manager is used to consulting with employees before making a decision, it may be difficult to control them when the decision has to entirely depend on the manager especially if it does not favor the employees. Sometimes managers have to make rush and important decisions even if it means a change that the employees may find hard to accept or embrace. During such a time, it may be very difficult to convince the employees to accept the decision. This therefore necessitates managers to maintain an impersonal relationship with the employees so that favoritism and personal prejudice do not influence the decisions.
Management using bureaucratic style gives the manager a sense of control over the employees in the sense that no one can question the manager’s authority no matter what the decision is. Instructions are given and it is upon the employee to ensure that the job is well done. Such strict management ensures that work is done without any complains or questions asked (Taylor & Van Every, 1993). However this style of leadership may demotivate the employees given that they are not listened to. In addition, it may lead to poor performance hence low output. Furthermore, the relationship and communication between the managers and the employees will be very poor and therefore problems may easily go undetected.
There are different ways of managing an organization. It is therefore up to the manager to study the environment of the organization and decide the most appropriate way. It is also important for the manager to appropriately interact with the employees and know their cultural background in order to avoid misunderstandings. For effective communication, a manager should maintain a strong, decisive as well as fair managerial style and observe an open as well as honest communication. Moreover, it is imperative that employers consult employees before making a decision where the employees are affected.
Bacher, C. (2007). Contingency Theory: What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Systems Approach as Used by Contingency Writers in Analysing Organisations? Munich, Germany: GRIN Verlag.
Gelles, D. (2010, June 28). Easygoing leader with a devilish twist to his smile. Financial Times .
Johnson, D., & Coscarelli, W. C. (2007). Decison-Making Style Inventory, Participant’s Workbook. Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley and Sons.
Taylor, J. R., ; Van Every, E. J. (1993). The vulnerable fortress: bureaucratic organization and management in the information age. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.
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