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An industrial manager can be regarded as the symbolic head that is entitled to carry out a number of routine social or legal duties. He/she acts as the leader to motivate and activate subordinates and is the one who maintains a contact with outside people to get resources and information. He/she is responsible for searching in and out for opportunities, supervising projects and initiating changes for the positive outcome. He/she is bestowed with the responsibility to represent the organisation at major events of business and take corrective action under unexpected disturbances. In brief to mention, the general as well as the overall performance of the company could be affected by the leadership and management skills of the manager. Relating to this context some of the management theories can be highlighted including that of McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y, Taylor and Fayol series of management.
ROLE OF AN INDUSTRIAL MANAGER
In the last three decades the managerial roles have evolved a great deal but still it changes considerably from industry to industry. But one thing that remains the same across all industries is that the managers have to report to their superiors and they are held accountable by them to ensure they deliver the best performance possible. Again, managers have to ascertain that the people working under him are giving the best input and in return get the best possible output. In today's world the big change for managers is that how they can carry out their responsibilities in managing people. As a result of this requirement the managers are placed in a position which requires them to control and decide.
Managers can be regarded as blocks that build up an organisation. The primary function or duties performed by managers are - Organising, planning, controlling, directing and staffing. Managers' work at all levels of management and they perform any or all of these managerial functions. One of the main managerial functions is to effectively utilise the resources within an industry through coordinated effort of the people working under him. Managers have a very important role to play in achieving the objectives of an organisation. More than that he is responsible to direct the objectives of the individual's with the objectives of the organisation as it the most essential to achieve long term success by the organisation.
All mangers play a crucial role in making decisions as well as defining goals in any organisation. The responsibility to decide, initiate changes and communicate these changes to the team has to be done by the manager. Maintaining a close contact with people under his supervision is a necessity and it is also essential to encourage them to uplift their conscience to work effectively and honestly. A compliment on their performance is required if they perform brilliantly and again on the other hand if they fail to perform on the positive scale constructive feedback by the manager is helpful. Online help/support and training to employees by the manager is proven to be usefully.
Along with good communicational skills, another very important skill of a manager is the ability to listen. Only through sound listening can a manager understand its workers needs as an organisation is made up of people who have different personalities, backgrounds, experiences and objectives. This can avoid any possible conflicts of interest which may arise in future. Ensuring that there is a smooth and effective communication between him and his subordinates and no misunderstanding occurs at any level is a very essential responsibility. Moreover, his responsibility to convey information from senior management to his subordinates is also an important part of his role.
In case any misunderstandings or conflicts occur among his subordinates the manager is the first point of contact. The manager tries to resolve the conflict or eliminate the misunderstanding between the employees and tries to achieve an acceptable solution. Any such misunderstandings or conflicts are to be avoided or resolved as far as possible to improve the quality of work and performance of the employees. Therefore a manager plays an important role to improve the productivity of the employees which in turn will surely increase the overall productivity of the organisation. It very essential that the employees are satisfied and happy with the work they are doing and the environment in which they are working as the organisation depends upon the work of the employees to achieve success or make profit. It is very much necessary that a manager is devoted and honest towards his work also that he can be a role model for the subordinates.
In an organisation different managers have different managerial work to implement. Generally any organisation has three different levels of management and different managers work at every level with their respective powers and authority.
Innovation can be regarded as the second most focus for managers, but still the primary function for the managers is to make the most out of the resources at their disposal. Taking into account this fact managers are like investors and its going to be the same forever. The ability of the managers to utilise and develop new man power is mainly to be considered. It is necessary that they get the balance between being organisers and directors. It is necessary that they are supportive and encouraging so as to effectively motivate the employees and still retain a certain degree of control over what is done and the way it is achieved so as to maximize efficiency which is definitely to make the best possible use of all resources.
Now focusing specifically on the role performed by an industrial manager, i.e. the tasks that he is supposed to perform and in relation to this what he does. McGregor a former management professional at MIT Sloan School of Management has composed his theory X-Y through observation, examination of theories of the behaviour of the individuals at work. The assumptions which he proposed for theory X and theory Y are completely contrasting to each other. The assumptions for theory X are that an average person is most likely to dislike work and they will avoid it if possible. Hence the management has to impose punishments for any irregular performance by the employees and it is also necessary for the managers to guide them for the work they are supposed to perform. Managers usually have the opinion that workers mainly do their jobs only for the sake of money. But even the promise to give rewards would not sometime manage to make them work. If they work to perfection then they would surely demand for greater rewards. The type of management imposed by theory X is imperfect with flaws such as stern control over the employees that could easily go against their self esteem and freedom and thus make them unproductive and hostile. On the other hand according to theory Y the approach of the management towards employees is open-minded. Considering that work is considered to be like play or rest for employees depending on the type of work they are persuading. The management prefers that they need not be directed or supervised as they consider them to be capable of self direction and self control if they are committed to their objectives. Following the assumptions for theory Y managers have the opinion that the people under their command have the kind of commitment to the work and are as capable of solving problems related to the work as the mangers themselves (McGregor 1960). Theory Y managers also consider that workers opt to work rather than not to because of that the mangers are more likely to transfer responsibilities down command chain. They also grant liberty to the employees within their respective areas and also the work is structured in such a way that he employees have full opportunities to identify problems and rectify them using their creativity. It is also found that the mangers reconsider the work structure in such a way that the company goals and the workers goal coincide and therefore resulting in more productivity (McGregor's 1967). Also that job satisfaction is of great importance, if employees are satisfied with their jobs they are almost sure to be committed to their respective organisations and it is also good from the perspective of the HR department. In management literature theory Y model has been widely accepted as the desirable model but in actual industry McGregor's theory X model is practice mostly. The theory Y model is based on incomplete human factors of motivation which assumes all people to be creative. A vital research by Michael Kirton brings forward an unlike model of theory Y which explains the reasons for its failure and supports why theory X is an important management theory and strategy. The reason for the existence of theory X has nothing to do with the circumstances neither the type of job, but mainly because the mentality or approach of people to jobs match more to McGregor's theory X rather than theory Y. At this point McGregor emphasised that managers must choose either theory X management approach or theory Y management approach. As the manager makes his choice his management approach will change accordingly. It has been known that in many circumstances industrial managers have reported that workers tend to reflect themselves more towards theory X than to theory Y. Also that some investigation has been carried out about industrial managers in big industries and the approach that most of the managers tend to follow is theory X. Therefore, the managers completely authorize control over the work environment and no control is given to employees. The approach towards the employees is quite influential but they are straight forward and harsh.
Apart from theory X and theory Y the other management theory that could be taken into account is the Taylor's scientific management theory. Taylor assumptions are based on his observations which states that man is a rational economic animal concerned with maximising his economic gain. They tend to respond individually and not as groups and that they can be treated in a standardised fashion, like machines. Taylor's theory therefore ignores the differences between people and considers all of them to be same. This is not disadvantageous for any organisation. Based on these assumptions the implications of his theory are that workers are mainly motivated by high pay and it therefore affects output. From the point of view of an industrial manager he is responsible for informing or telling the workers what they are supposed to do and the workers in turn should do their work as per the guidelines given by the manager. Taylor's principles which states that managers should cooperate with workers to introduce methods coherent with both the parties in order for the successful completion of work and increase in efficiency and productivity.
In this context Fayol's management theory can also be mentioned. Fayol's proposed his theory on six primary functions of management which are forecasting, planning, organisation, commanding, coordination and controlling. The function controlling is taken in the sense that managers should receive constructive feedback about any process under his control so that he is able to make the required adjustments. Fayol 's theory emphasized on team dynamics and employee efforts in an organization (Fayol , 1988). The main principles of Fayol's management can be summarized under the following; work division, authority, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests to general interests, fair remuneration to employees, centralization and decentralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of use of personnel and spirit of co-operation. Fayol's principles describe a successful way of management in an organisation. Fayol's management principle Authority mainly brings to consideration that managers must possess the authority to give orders; they should make the best use of the authority that is given to them by senior management. With authority comes responsibility and they should take their responsibilities with the utmost priority.
An industrial manager is responsible for the work progress and completion of allocated projects by integrating the work force under his supervision and also creating a balance between the organisational goals and the goals of the employees by having a through and clear communication of authority between him and his subordinates. A manager can choose to implement his roles and type of supervision required by selecting any one of theories mentioned. The theory that is to be selected needs to be well suited for the workforce he is managing and it is also his option to go for the management theory which he thinks is suitable.