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Management as defined by Mary Parker Follet is "The art of getting things had done through people" (Torrington & Weightman, 1994, P: 17). Management is an on-going activity to achieve important goals and to know how to perform major functions. A good management system is a challenge, it is the process of maintaining control over an organisation at the same time inspiring, leading, and making important decisions. In a management system it is the role of the manager to deal with the operation, structure and process of an organisation. The concept of management has been in existence from the time of human origin. The approach to management has changed and a scientific approach to management evolved in the beginning of the 19th century which was the time of the industrial revolution. After the emergence of the industrial revolution the management theory split into 2 groups, i.e. the practising managers consisting of Taylor and the social scientists consisting of Mayo. Since then a lot of new management theories have evolved. The people and organisational management is the latest focus since each work tends to be different and the organisations need different strategies to achieve each objective.
Psychology is the science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behaviour of humans and other animals. (Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. judge (2010), p: 29)
Social psychology blends concepts from both psychology and sociology, though it is generally considered a branch of psychology. It focuses on people's influences on one another. (Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. judge (2010), p: 29)
Sociology is the study of people in relation to their social environment or culture. (Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. judge (2010), p: 29)
Anthropology is the study of societies for the purpose of learning abouthuman beings and their activities. (Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. judge (2010), p: 29)
Organisation is a complex world. In the construction industry, different organisations work together to meet a single objective. Here it is important to understand how the organisation works and how they influence the productivity of the people working in it. An effective management of people is important for the success of any organisation. The classical theorist F. W. Taylor, who is known as the father of scientific management said about the 'one way of doing work' (Management, Bartol & Martin, 1998). But in a construction industry every project tends to be different and to reach the goal organisations have to adjust to changes. As Kerzner said "There is no such thing as a good or a bad organisational structure, there are only appropriate and inappropriate ones" (Kerzner, 2006, P: 89). So it is the organisation that has to adapt to the changes for the success of the work they do. In this rapidly changing environment, competition exists in all levels such as communication, work ethics, technology etc. therefore to get along with these changes it is important to understand about the most important principle of people and organisational management. In an organisation if a manager wants to get the task completed, he must execute timely planning and organise how things have to be done. He must also find ways of working through controlling and coordination and ensure that the work is done in an effective way. Henry Fayol said about managing" is to plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate, and to control" (Cole, 2004, P: 14).
Planning is done in order to decide what to achieve and the achievement should have a certain criteria, considering all the aspects (Cole, 2004). The head of the organisation should be able to know what should be the output and plan accordingly. Therefore it plays a very important role in management. In a construction project a variety of work has to be done at one time. The completion of each work has to be planned and the workers should be divided equally. For a particular work on site, for example steel fixing, the number of skilled and unskilled workers need to be planned and divided properly. In Henry Fayol's principle of management he said "Division of work reduces span of attention or effort for any one person or group" (Cole, 2004, P: 15). He emphasises on correct balance of workers for each work. The site condition, availability of workers, materials etc. is also a very important criterion while planning a work on site. As said by F. W. Taylor, carefully studying the process of the job and eliminating all the unnecessary activities helps in making a good plan (Cole, 2004).
Mere planning does not help in doing the work more efficiently. For that the work has to be organised properly. The output of planning comes through proper organising. The correct distribution of work and responsibilities of an organisation by the manager is also very important. Proper communication and co-ordination plays a very significant role in organising a work. Mintzberg talked about communication that "by virtue of his interpersonal contacts, both with his subordinates and with his network of contacts the manager emerges as a nerve centre of his organisational unit" (Morden, 2004, P: 90). Famous scientists like Eagen and Latham have defined good organisation as the result of good communication and coordination. In bigger organisations the manager has to do different jobs at a time and need to organise each job to its merit. Therefore co-ordination of each work is very important. In a construction site there are different works going on at the same time. Organising simultaneous jobs in a proper method helps the work to be done effectively. This helps in avoiding any confusion in the work completion procedure or the budget spent.
In an organisation, apart from properly organising and planning the achievement of the goal, an important aspect is controlling it. Henry Fayol defined control in terms of ensuring that events happen in accordance with plans and policies, for instance on time within budget.(Morden, 2004, P: 141). Whatever be the objectives of an organisation, it needs a good controlling system to ensure that the objectives are met and completed. An organisation should have certain standards in controlling the quality, time, budget, output etc. of a product. For all these factors to run successfully there should be a good top position person to act as a manager. He should have the ability to convey his needs to the people working with him. It's said that "The manager or any person who has responsibility to his juniors is accountable for their performance" (Calvert, Bailey & Coles, 1995, P: 42). There comes the importance of bureaucracy or the hierarchical system, where the people in the higher position have the power to order or insist on the output. In the care of a construction industry it is the duty of the project manager to control the whole site and see that the work is done on time.
"Motivation is the term used to describe those processes, both instinctive and rational, by which people seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived needs and personal goal, which trigger human behaviour"(Cole, 2004, P:119). Motivating workers is essential as it leads to job satisfaction, which is what many people try to achieve along with monetary gain and promotions. The human resources management process also motivates the workers to work for their organisation. Self-motivation also arises from the workers striving to achieve their goals so as to get good recognition among fellow colleagues. As said by Maslow in the hierarchy of needs such as," Esteem needs-need for self-respect, self-esteem, and esteem of the others" helps in motivating themselves (Dale, 1978, P: 330). Elton Mayo derived a theory from his Human Relations School on how to motivate the workers and improve the output. This is known as the famous Hawthorne studies derived from the Hawthorne experiments (Mayo, 1920). But Taylor opposed Mayo's theory. He said "man at work was largely an economic man; there for, he would work harder only if he could improve his position by doing to". If productivity of an organisation is increasing year by year it is not just because of the amount of motivation they get but also due to the new methods and machines involved in the production. Therefore it can be said that productivity lies somewhere in between the two extremes.Maslow has been a very inspirational figure in personality theories. In the 1960's in particular, people were tired of the reductionistic, mechanistic messages of the behaviorists and physiological psychologists. They were looking for meaning and purpose in their lives, even a higher, more mystical meaning. Maslow was one of the pioneers in that movement to bring the human being back into psychology, and the person back into personality!
In Expectancy theories motivation is seen as a joint function of expectancy a belief regarding the probality that a particular course of action will lead to a particular outcome and valence the value an individual attaches to each probable outcome. If the most probable outcome is highly valued, motivation will be high: if the likelihood of achieving the most valued goal is low or if the most probable outcome is not highly valued, motivation will be low. Expectancy theories assume that people always make rational choices, but the evidence trows doubt on this (wason,1978 and others).( Fryer B,(1990) p: 97)
Leadership plays a very important role in people and organisational management. A leader is an inevitable part in the success of an organisation. A good leader is a good planner, a good organiser, a good controller and a good motivator. According to the Situational theory, Jerkin stated that" Leadership is specific to the particular situation under investigation" (Dale, 1978, P: 316). A leader is one who can change according to the situation and make decisions according to that in an organisation. Northouse (2001) defines leadership as "a process where by an individual influences a group to achieve a common goal" (Morden, 2004, P: 200). The organisation culture is not constant and the approach changes day by day. To cope up with these changes, good leadership requires excellent understanding. He should be able to influence and encourage subordinates to work. Basically every organisation is connected to the people through a leader. Therefore the leaders use power to influence the people (Morden, 2004). Power is given by the people as a compliment for his leadership skills and can be taken away at any point in time. For example, in a construction site it is the project manager who is leading the whole construction work. It is the power of the project manager in the site that helps him to become a good leader.
To achieve a good understanding of the people and the organisational management and to develop and manage the work efficiently the manager has to have a good knowledge of all these principles and should be able to adapt it according to the situation. He should decide on the policies, procedures, team, distribution of work, way of communication, distribution of power based on the objective of the project.
The 21st century organisations have to adapt to the changes in accordance with the type of work. People have to be more empowered and they should also be given a bigger role in decision making. There was a big influence of bureaucracy in organisations in the earlier days. All the works were distributed in a fixed way and jobs were done with a hierarchical approach. But in the post-modern era the contingency theory has a huge role in organisations. "Contingency theory supported the contingency principle that action to take depending on the characteristics of the situation" (Bartol & Martin, 1998, P: 58). Cole states that the development of organisations with a structure that permits flexibility has been one of the key issues for the last 35 years (Cole, 2004, P: 91). Most of the organisations are confronting serious challenges due to the innovations and changes in the technology. They have to alter the strategies and the economic conditions in a regular basis. Companies that will survive and prosper are those whose managers can guide the process of change so that the organisation makes necessary adaptations in the face of altering conditions (Bartol & Martin, 1998, P: 27). In the modern period organisations have to think at a more global perspective in order to satisfy their businesses, this is because globalisation occurs in all organisations, i.e. operating as a single company. Decentralization is another important factor by which modern organisations adapt in the 21st century. It is the process of making optimum power among the employees in the lower levels. It can also lead to more employers having different responsibilities at different levels. Decentralization also influences autonomy among the people working in organisations. This broke the idea of keeping supervisors for people working to avoid their idleness and improve productivity. It also supported workers to organise themselves and analyse their responsibilities without the pressure of higher officials. All these theories are used in the modern organisations to achieve the required output.
It's not just the theories that help in the success of an organisation in this post-modern era it is also the HRM and the interaction with the people working in the organisation that helps in building a better working place. It gives the positive energy and thinking among the workers to work for the success of the organisation. Therefore the understanding of the ideas of the contingency theory, decentralization and the relationship with the people in the organisation helps in its success in this 21st century.
The construction industry is fast growing and changing day by day. The industry has to change and adapt to the situation. Project managers have to make valuable decisions and should be able to implement it to make the organisation function efficiently. Therefore an understanding of all the above said theories and principles will help in the successful run of all the organisations.
Construction industry is presently moving at a rapid pace. This means that more decision making and prioritising skills is as important as proper time management. Time management plays a very important role in this industry. For example, if on the site a project was to go above the scheduled completion date due to any kind of planning problems or lack of proper work co-ordination, it would make a huge impact on the allocated budget and reputation of the company. By understanding the principles of people and organisational management I think that it can help me to be more professional in the construction industry.