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Structure and Culture
Management culture and management structure are difficult to clearly distinguish from one another the two are intertwined. The organisations culture is "cognitive framework consisting of attitudes, values, behavioural norms, and expectations shared by the organisational members" (Greenberg and baron 2003,p.515). Thus it can be defined as organisations personality while structure on the other hand can be defined as the framework or hierarchy. The management structure is an integral part of management culture dealing primarily with the setup of culture. Having a consistent structure and culture will result in a highly motivated stress-free and satisfied workforce which will result in overall success of an organisation.
The change during the last few decades has redefined the slogan 'survival of the fittest' to 'survival of the performer'. There are many factors that have been identified over the period of time which have considerable effect on the performance of the employees these include extrinsic factors like nature of job, work environment, work group and intrinsic factors like motivation, job satisfaction and personal benefits. The productivity, health and well-being of employees are significantly affected by the work environment which not only includes management driven factors like organisational plans, administrative support etc but also physical environment like noise, lighting, temperature and over all office design. It is the responsibility of the senior manager to look into these issues of work environment and keep an eye on factors affecting employee and sort them out. Best and the simplest way is to take regular site walk, indulge in conversation with workers which will give manager ideas of different issues and how to deal with them.
Many times the workers know how to perform correctly, operation is good, and all resources are available but because of one reason or another chooses not to do so. Mostly it is because of some intrinsic factor. It can be lack of motivation, or issues related to job satisfaction or personal benefits. This may lead to break up of psychological contract between the employee and the employer. The best thing a manager can do in this scenario is to find out what the problem is by going beyond symptoms and finding a solution and implementing a plan of action.
Organisational theory is designed to understand the nature of the organisation. These theories help to understand how different organisations work and undergo structural and cultural changes and evolve according to the business needs. One of the most successful organisational theories of the last century has been decentralisation. In the last century business world had undergone the phenomenon of globalisation and decentralisation played a major role in the success of this phenomenon. For globalisation to be successful various barriers and restrictions between national borders have to be removed which was possible only through decentralisation. Decentralisation offers flexibility and situational decision-making. It distributes power to the lower level functionaries of the organisation. Those organisations which are aiming to be major player on the world field have to be structurally decentralised. We can imagine how impossible it will be for organisations like IKEA, H&M, or Fiat to operate on such massive scale and follow strictly centralised structure. Every single decision at any of their branches throughout the world requiring approval from central head quarters will result in massive delays and lost opportunities which can be very detrimental to the overall running of the organisation.
There are various approaches to management we take a brief look at Empirical or case approach and management science approach. In empirical approach management is considered to be study in practice. Empirical approach is the study of success and setbacks in the application of different techniques by managers. It is the easiest way of acquiring management skills i.e. through past experiences. The main problem with this approach is that a management technique which was successful in the past may not necessarily be successful in the future as circumstances are not always identical and management is not based on precedents.
In management science management is approached as a problem solving mechanism. Problems, to some extent, can be expressed as equations and quantified. Various mathematical tools like game theory, linear programming etc have given exactness to managerial problems. The major drawback of this method is that all managerial activities cannot be quantified as they involve humans who are governed by various irrational factors. (Wikipedia, 2010)
Motivation is the inner drive that activates behaviour towards a specific direction. According to Dr. Stephen P. Robbins motivation is the process that accounts for an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal (Robbins, 2003, p155). Motivational theories are considered to be the most important area of study in the field of management behaviour. There are two different types of motivational theories viz content theory and process theory. Content theories also referred to as 'needs theories' deals with the intrinsic factors that influence human behaviour. These theories basically explain why humans needs keep changing with time and why it is important for organisations to take into account these various needs and satisfy them in order to motivate employees. The most well known theories in this category include Maslow's hierarchy of needs, McClelland's learned needs or Three-Needs theory, Herzeberg's motivator-hygiene theory (dual factor theory) and Alderfer's ERG.
According to Abraham Maslow human needs can be classified at five different levels or hierarchy and only when a need at the lower level has been met that worker will be motivated to fulfil need at the next level. Thus a person who is struggling to make ends meet will be first motivated to achieve a level where he can first survive instead of worrying about his promotions and incentives. Organisations should offer a range of incentives in order for employees to fulfil their hierarchical needs and move up next level.
McClellands theory states that individual's needs are acquired over time and shaped according to experiences and can be classified into achievement, affiliation and power. An individual with high need for achievement (nAch) like to excel and avoid low-risk situations as they don't consider them genuine achievements and also avoid high-risk situations as they view them more of a chance than one's own effort. They either work alone or with high achievers. People with high need for affiliation (nAff) need positive relationships and need to feel accepted by their colleagues. They enjoy work that provides significant interaction and are good with customer service. Individual with need for power (nPow), if it is personal then it is often viewed as negative but if it is institutional then they want to direct efforts of others towards the success of organisation hence they are very effective as managers.
Frederick Herzberg proposed that there are certain factors whose absence would demotivate individual however their presence would not in themselves actually motivate individuals to work harder. He called these factors Hygienefactors which unlike motivators 'surround the job' rather than the job itself. He proposed that organisations can motivate employees by taking democratic approach and focusing on improvement of content and nature of actual job through certain processes like job enlargement (variety of tasks), job enrichment, and empowerment (delegating more powers in decision making).( http://tutor2u.net/business/gcse/people_motivation_theories.htm)
Second category of motivational theories is process theory which focus on understanding thought processes that influence behaviour. These theories describe motivation as a rational cognitive process occurring within the individual. Simply put they describe how individuals' needs influence their thought process. Major theories in this category include Adam's equity theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, goal-setting theory and reinforcement theory.
Adams equity theory proposes that workers try to maintain equity between the inputs they put into job and the output they get and hence fair treatment is what motivates them. Vroom's expectancy theory focuses on why individuals select certain course of action in their decision making process. Key elements of this theory are Expectancy (E), instrumentality (I), and valence (V). Goal-setting theory maintains that certain individuals are motivated to reach certain specific set goals. Reinforcement theory is based on 'law of effect' focusing totally on what happens if an individual takes an specific action thus individuals tends to repeat actions with positive outcome but any action with negative consequences will not be repeated. (http://ezinearticles.com/?Motivation-Theory&id=410700)
Teamwork and Group Dynamics
A successful team requires cohesion that is held together by several factors without these factors it is difficult to create positive team environment and hence successful team.
The most important factor for the successful team is common goal. A team is driven by a common goal. It should be spelled out and understood by every single team member. The goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) without a well defined goal the team members will be out of focus getting away from its goals and objectives.
Second most important factor affecting teamwork is fair compensation. A team works well if members are confident that they will be compensated fairly for their inputs without any bias or favour and this will lead to maximum productivity.
The most important factor that holds the entire team together is communication. Communication between team members and communication between management and team both should be effective. Interaction between team members should always be encouraged as this leads to better coordination and minimises the chances of conflicts and misunderstandings. Regular meetings between team and management providing updates and status and focusing on various issues goes long way in the development of a successful team.
Establishment of mutual trust between the team members and management is the most important element of successful team work without this a team is bound to be unsuccessful. There should be openness allowing team members to understand behaviours of fellow members so that action plan can be structured accordingly and full advantage of every member's skill can be taken.(ChronSmallbusiness, 2011)
The technological revolution has significantly affected the management, structure and functioning of every single organisation. It has not only affected individual jobs but has also resulted in new patterns of work organisations, group structure, managerial and supervision roles. Information technology has influenced the hierarchical structure of organisation. It has affected the centralisation/decentralisation decision making resulting in more flat organisational structure with fewer management roles shifting momentum away from bigger, centralised organisation to smaller operational units. With newer and newer technology even operator level staff can carry out a large number of different tasks thus achieving new levels of responsibility resulting in more efficient production. Technology has resulted in rapid communication operations providing immediate access to the national and international offices. Technological improvements in the communication modes means that support staff needs no longer to be located at the main site of operation.