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What is the Relationship Between Management Theory and Practice?

Info: 3094 words (12 pages) Essay
Published: 12th Jun 2017 in Business

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Organisations breed increasingly in today’s multipart society, accordingly; managing is essential as a crucial activity in every organisation. Management is not a closed activity it concerns the economic, political, social, legal and ethical aspects through systematically approaches and functions such as planning, organising, directing and controlling (Lorenzana, 1993). Many theories and contributions were presented to clarify the features and characteristics of management with a robust relationship with implementation in the real world.

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Shifting from personal management to scientific management by Taylor was a significant movement towards modern management. Taylor stated some aspects for his theory, to accomplish the best result by scientifically choose and prepare the workers under the perspective of “science of work”. Furthermore, he believed that efficient training should be provided to workers by practicing than discrimination in the giving tasks. Vigorous collaboration between management with science and workers must be subsisted to enhance worker’s practice; therefore both will share the workload. He added a good solution to perform the complex missions efficiently by breaking it into submissions. This theory contributed strongly in the practice of the industrial fields such as scientific engineering in Britain like British Bedaux consultancy and Hans Renold Ltd (Smith &Boyns, 2005) as well as progress in human relation.

The administrative theory by Fayol mainly focuses on the management level; he divided management into five roles which are frequently practiced in today’s management, planning by putting the future steps in terms of achieving the required goals, organising the resources, command, coordinate the processes in the organisation and control by comply with the organisation rules. Besides, Fayol added some principles to support the above roles like Specialization/division of labor, authority with responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interest, remuneration of staff, centralisation, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure, initiative and esprit de corps (Smith &Boyns, 2005); all these principles are integrated to enhance the administrative role in achieving the organisation’s goals. The substantial effect of Fayol’s theory included theories of management in contemporary days also; managers’ perceptions and goals and put into practice this theory in their organisations (Dale, 1978 p.98). Fayol theory gets unequivocal impact on the British management that appears in the developing of the organisational structures pursuing Fayol steps in some of British companies. However, in the contemporary time less numbers of firms are pursuing these lines.

Contingency theories confront the “one best way” approach in Fayol’s theory by stating there is no best way to manage or organise a firm, it differs from environment to another; with other words management styles in a firm could be not suitable for another. “Every organisation is unique in size, products or services, people, leadership and culture” (Lynch, 2006). This approach yielded approval and interest especially after adding the concept of discrimination of sub-unites of the firm. However, ignoring effectiveness in the cooperation between the environmental characteristics and firm characteristics could mislead to bad selection to the style.

Finally, Conducting the high productivity in the organisation it occurs when the practicing and implementing the theories, which are the guidance for the managers to fulfil the organisation’s goals. Through a variety of theories in management science this paper discussed the most influential theories which executed and impacted apparently in the management fields.

Explain the main difficulties in studying personality; how is this of importance to organisations?

Acknowledgement of individuals as good performers in the organisation is an essential issue for increasing the performance and productivity in that organisation. However, individuals are differentiating with each other in many aspects such as personality, the heart of individual differences, so studying personalities is crucial to identify the valuable individuals for the organisations. But, these studies were confronted by some difficulties which illustrated in the below paragraphs.

The major difficulty is personality assessment, organization are using this approach for predicting the performance of the employees with self-reporting, psychometric tests or questionnaire (Mullins, 1999). However, Brooks (2006) argue that it is not appear that personality tests provide an effective approach to assess the personality as they aimed to do. In the same vein, the relationship between the performance and personal tests is often greatly fragile, besides the individuals could present themselves thru these tests in the best way by forged answers, with other words, they will give the respond that they believe will satisfy the employer instead giving the factual answer (Management-issues.com). Furthermore, using the personality testing declined sharply in USA as a result of legal actions which had run by persons who feel that personality tests show favouritism not in favour of them particularly in the racial basis. Similarly, in UK especially in Paddington station the Asian guards who had a poor result in the personality tests and they took legal action against this, consequently the procedures were adjusted and the Council of Racial Equality stated that cultural variation strongly affect on the result of these tests (Brooks, 2006 p22). For organisations personality assessments is a significant tools because employees’ personality in the organisations strongly related to the work performance results (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000), moreover, strong relationship combine personality with work behaviour, learning and maintenance (Barrick & Ryan, 2003 cited in Bamber & Kastka 2006).

Another difficulty is the constancy of the personality, personality constancy raises with age while the personality attributes is not totally fixed. Basically, personality stability affected by the genetic and environmental influences (John, Robins and Pervin, 2008). It is difficult to say that personality is constant or adaptable, some personality studies declared the constancy of the personality such as the theories under the nomothetic approaches which stated the constancy of the personality and the residency to change while minimising the role of the environmental and social factors. One of these theories Eysenck’s theory of main personality types, who asserted that individual personalities one of four personality types (introversion, Extroversion, stability and neuroticism). While some theories under the idiographic approach that confirm that personality is not stable but differs throughout the life like Erikson theory which conveyed that personality influenced and developed through the life time by eight stages of personality (table 1) (Mullins, 1999). Realizing the stability of the personalities within the organisations, influence on the performance outcomes of the individuals. The performance and behaviour of the individuals in the organisations could be affected positively by selecting them on base of the stable dispositions (Westerman & Simmons, 2007).

Finally, the importance of studying personality for organisations is to provide these organisations with a valuable source of individuals, also to interpret the different behaviours inside the organisations and maintain the employees in the way of good performance. Two main difficulties in personality studies, personality assessment and how organisations can predict of individual performance. The second difficulty is the stability and the extent of the personality to be constant determined by some theories that personalities are constant and other theories tend to state the adaptability of the personality.

In what ways can an understanding of motivation theory contribute to successful organizational working? Illustrate your key arguments with organizationally based examples.

Staff motivation one of the efficient ways to improve the work for organisations, motivation from Brooks perspective is “the will to perform”. Employees is valuable resource for the organisations, it is apparent that creating motivation sphere in organisations will produce favourable attitudes by making the employees well-energised to overcome the problems and obstacles that confront the organisation, besides accepting the responsibilities to achieve the success for the firm. Contradictorily, the non-motivated employees seemingly uncooperative and have a weak will to achieve the goals. Therefore, motivation is a significant key driver to conduct the success for the organisation. There are various theories were created in the way to clarify the nature of motivation in organisations, and shed the light on motivators that strongly affect the actions and performance in the organisation. These theories are partitioned into two approaches, content theories and process theories and thru these theories, this paper discusses critically the contributions of these theories to conduct effectiveness and success within the organisations besides, illustration some motivation examples that take action in the contemporary workplace environment.

Process theories

These theories are spotlight on how the individuals’ actions and factors influence their behaviour in the organisations; the generic theory in this kind of theories is the expectancy theory.

Expectancy theory

Vroom one of the pioneers in the work motivation field, according to this theory people act and behave on base of their expectations (Brooks, 2006). Mullins argues that motivation in this theory is the relationship between the employees’ exerted effort and the outcome, and the expectations that motivators are going to be related to the performance (Mullins, 2007). Vroom identified three concepts for the theory which drive the people to perform: expectancy or “subjective probability”, instrumentality (the performance associated with the outcomes), and “valence or anticipated value” therefore, this theory suggests that employees’ behaviour can be predicted when the desirable needs connected to the outcomes (House & Wahba, 1974). However, Fusilier et al. (1984) argue that valence does not assist in predicting of the employee behaviour. Newsom (1990) reviewed the theory in nine concepts: challenge in performing the job, criteria of the satisfied performance, compensation of the individuals, capability of the individuals to perform, consistency of preferred outcomes, cost and the expended effort of the individuals and communication between managers and the employees. However this model was tested by Galbraith and Cumming (1967 cited in Mullins 1999) and the consequence was little considerable sustainment the model with comparing the productivity to the outcomes that related to the job (motivators).

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The theory was evolved by porter and Lawler, they argue with Vroom that the performance does not relate directly with the exerted effort but, performance intervened with abilities, traits and perceptions, moreover performance direct to satisfaction through the incentives or rewards. These rewards is divided to intrinsic (intangible) and extrinsic (tangible) rewards, Lawler (1973) argues that intrinsic rewards more influential on performance than extrinsic, in the same vain Herzberg (1968) added that intrinsic rewards have an obvious impact on the satisfaction. Expectancy theories are difficult to understand and implement while there are a lot of independent variables influence on the behaviour at work. This theory provides a valuable resource for managers to understand the behaviours of their individuals and trying to focus on the outcomes which strongly related to the individual’s motivation and performance (Borkowski, 2005 p 142), organisations can develop the performance by using outputs with high valence, pear in mind the strong relationship between effort and rewards, consider the independent variables that affect performance such as traits, abilities and individual’s perceptions. Also, lessening the disagreeable motivators which may be alleged to effect from upmost performance. (Mullins, 1993)

Content theories (needs theories)

These theories are static, focusing on the elements which motivate persons and interested in person needs and goals. “What drives behaviours?” these theories answer this question, therefore, this theory is very important for the organisations to figure out the motives or stimulus that more influential in the employee’s behaviours (Borkowski, 2005 p114).

Needs Hierarchy for Maslow

Maslow suggested that individuals are motivated by satisfying certain needs, these needs are hierarchically sorted. The lower level in the hierarchy is the physiological needs like food and water so the organisations can use lunch break for example, according to Maslow when these needs have been satisfied the individual turns his attention to the second level in the hierarchy which is the safety and security needs the organisation can provide the individuals safe environment and job security. Then to the social needs (love and belonging) according to this stage Borkowski suggests that managers should construct in the employees the sense of affiliation and belonging. Further esteem needs such as self-respect and respect of others, the individual must appreciated by recognise his fulfilments or providing him with job title. The finale stage is self-actualisation meanly the individual becomes more what he is, however, Maslow indicated that only one in ten persons becomes fully self-actualise. He added that unfulfilled needs only stimulate the individual “satisfied need is no longer a motivator” (Mullins, 2007p417). This hierarchy is not necessary to be fixed in order for example, the creative people try to satisfy the self-actualisation needs rather than the fully satisfaction for the lower levels. Similarly, Lawler and Suttle (1972) on base a conducted research, argue that the value and the significance of the needs differ in individuals for example the need for safety and security decline for the managers who advance in the organisation while the need for esteem and self-actualisation rise (Hall & Nougaim, 1968), similarly, Porter (1963) argue that top executives focus their attention on the esteem and self-actualisation needs that other lower managers in the structure. This theory is strongly affected on the motivation policies as well as the organisations approach to assemble employee’s needs. Interestingly, Maslow’s framework shed the light on the motivators that can organisations utilise according to the different needs for the people in the different levels in the hierarchy. However, Laffaldano and Muchinsky (1985) argue that the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance not robust.

Retailer Boots which has 2800 stores in UK boosted satisfaction levels for its employees by applying a” points-based recognition scheme” which is based on “Boost Advantage Cards”. The employees were given these cards as reward vouchers charged with “store loyalty points”. Retailer Boost commented “We needed something a bit more instant rather than the lengthy reward applications. And the loyalty scheme is pumping money back into the store.” The staff expressed a positive reaction towards these vouchers, besides the satisfaction levels raised to 80% furthermore, the level of recognition for the staff increased from 64% to 67% (Employee Benefits, 2010 p39).

Satisfaction and motivation could be created by achievement that assists the community; this took place in Foster Wheeler Energy Limited and AMEC, when they worked in collaboration with BP to complete a fast track Gasoline Clean Fuels Project for the BP Coryton Refinery in Essex. As the safety is the highest priority in this project, during 14 months there were no lost time accidents and only one hurt. Consequently, three charities were benefited from the project’s donations. Steve Scott, General Manager of Foster Wheeler “It gives the team great satisfaction that our safety achievements on site can also benefit the local community in this way.”(Evening Gazette, 2003)

On base of recognition programme (Value in People) Fujitsu Company launched a new scheme (Fujitsu services) that enlarges employees’ understanding of the company’s values; besides Fujitsu Company sees that this programme is convenient motivator in the economic recession. By implementing this programme, the employees will recommend who is going to achieve good outcomes. The nominated employees are presented with different kind of valuable rewards the former reward consultant comment on the scheme “The programme has helped everyone in the company to better understand and embed our values through their behaviour at work.”(Employee Benefits, 2008)


Motivation is a significant tool for conducting good performance and raising the productivity, through the expectancy theory by Vroom, the individual will put in the effort according to the expecting benefits and he will ask himself is the reward worth my effort? Then he must know the level of attainment he must reach. Managers should use the outputs with high valence, pear in mind the strong relationship between effort and rewards. Needs Hierarchy theory by Maslow focuses on the ranked needs that the individual pursue to satisfy it hierarchically, the hierarchy starts with physiological needs, security and safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation. This model provides managers with different motivators and stimulus to increase the productivity in organisations. Not only Vroom’s and Maslow’s theories impacted on the management approaches but also, there are a variety of motivation theories and their contribution is evident in the workplace.


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