The Relationships Between Management Theory And Practice Commerce Essay


A lot of attempts have been made as to give a definite explanation of management. Parker Follett (1941) defined management as 'getting things done through people' Theories have evolved since the early ages and many scholars have come out with their own unique theories and proffer reasonable examples to back up their findings.

Management theories are a major determining factor organizations have come in term with to achieving their set goals and objectives. Hence, this is to analyze the relationship of this two important factors that organizations are faced with. However we are faced with different schools of thought / theories that brought about their own distinctive approach to management.

Earlier before now, The Scientific Management Theory was propounded. Cole, (2004), identified two early scholars that had worked earlier based on this theory. The first set was Taylor and Henri Fayol; and they believe that the principles of management in achieving set goals lies in the organizational structure, and they empower managers with solutions in fulfilling their duties.

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Mayo and McGregor were the later pioneers to his theories and their major concern was mainly on employees output and factors affecting them.

General Admin Management Theory interest lies on the totality in the management of the organization. Max Webber (1864 - 1920) is a leading scholar in this theory. He brought about the bureaucratic theory that laid much emphasis on organization hierarchy, authority and controlling the work efficiency by set of rules. Cole, (2004).

Behavioral Management Theory:-Hugo Munsterberg is known as the father of industrial psychology. He saw a connection between scientific management and human behavior. (Pindur, Roger, Kim, 1995.). His aim was how to get the best out of employees, by studying social conditions and getting the best hands for the job.

The Modern Management Theory deals with the integration of theories in dealing with different situations and conditions. Theories like the contingency approach, strategic management approach, and systems approach were combined with the classical and behavioral management to structure the framework of modern management movement.

Inculcating the different management practices in line with these theories entails a lot to managers. However managers must possess some certain skills for the effectual implementations of these theories. Such skills needed include planning organizing, leadership, communication, coordination e.t.c. these skills are the basis for the implementation of the theories. In relation to the behavioral management theory, motivational skill is needed by managers to perform their tasks since it has to do with employee motivation. Also the behavioral school lays more emphasis on training of individuals, organizational development and changing structures.

Management theories also bring about managerial changing roles this in turn make organizations to change their scopes of operations and practices. In the real sense, a shift in management theories also causes a shift in its practices.



Personality can be defined as the combination of qualities that depicts the actual nature of someone, and gives a likely prediction about his/her future conduct. Its combination shows how a person thinks, looks, acts, and feels. Different theories have been carried out about the human personality but all of them seem to provide different views as to how humans behave. Schneider (1987) in his ASA theory postulated a replica of organization behavior. It relies on the notion that the uniqueness of an employee in an organization lies on what attract them to the organization. This also helps in the retention of such staffs with the organization. The ASA model also emphasized that the individual personality and the organizational personality contribute to the factors that makes the employee stick to the organization.

However, organizations are always faced with matching up human personality with the appropriate job that fits them. This becomes a major challenge because personalities do influence job performance. They have been a number of ways that organizations have used to solve such problems. These include assessment tests to actually get information of an individual personality type. Such assessment comes in different ways. However, the challenge faced by organizations here is that such an employee might offer false answers about themselves in order to get recruited and hence the actual aim has not yet been achieved (Furnham, 1990). However, they are no definite solution to curbing these pitfalls in assessment tests, but for relevance sake it must contain some elements. These includes

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Reliability: reliability here refers to the ability of the test questions to be able to provide different profile from a single person if peradventure the person takes the test twice. Test questions are seen to possess reliable answers because of the extensive research carried out.

Validity: tests must also be valid in nature. It should be predictive. Predictive involves the ability of the test to predict how an employee will perform in a specific job function based on the result the test taken. When it comes to employee selection, the use of personality test is mainly to measure traits possessed by the individuals (Deary and Matthews 1993). In other to be relevant in their job functions, they should be certain traces of traits that will match them up with the job specification.

Bartram, (2005) added that for a test to be valid and reliable, it must have a large amount of questions. However, the users of test prefer them to be low and this has led to the reduction in test questions. Although they is an increase in the adoption of tests by management, the major setback for personality tests include the in accuracy to predict future behavior on the job. (Epstein 1980; Gray 2003; Monson et al. 1982; Robertson 2001)

In broader term, the study of personality in organization gives the employer a first - hand knowledge of who they are employing. Also it makes it easy for employers to classify employees accordingly to different jobs that match up their personality. This helps in improvement in job performance and the realization of organizational goals and objectives.



Before now, the employees in the organization were seen as just another resources needed in actualizing organizational objectives. Little emphasis was laid in motivating the employees. However, the work of Elton Mayo 'the Hawthorne studies' brought about a revolution to that thought. Motivation according to Higgins (1994), defined it as the urge to satisfy an unsatisfied need; and the urge to achieve (Bedeian, 1993). In clearer term, motivation can be defined as the morale one gets as a boost to achieve personal objectives.

The understanding of motivation in managerial term has been made easier by different works of different scholars. Prominent among them are:

Maslow's need-hierarchy theory

Herzberg's two-factor theory

Vroom's expectancy theory

Adam's equity theory

Skinner's reinforcement theory

Alderfer ERG theory

Maslow, (1943) accentuated that employees performance in an organization is triggered by five level of needs namely; social needs, self-actualizing, ego, safety, and physiological needs. The needs of man are seen as a major determinant of his behavior, and the needs of man is never ending. Hence, he developed the Hierarchy of needs, which arrange the needs of man from the least important to the most important. The person goes on to the next level of his needs after he is satisfied by the lower one.

Vrooms work on motivation was an in depth into the works of Kurt Lewin and Edward Tolman in the 1930's. The outcome of his theory stated that employees are attracted only to work behaviors that they believe add a positive value to them. Which means, the more the positive value they get in form of rewards, the more motivated they become, the less the value they receive, the less likely they get motivated.

The equity theory of motivation was championed by Stacy Adams. He said that employees expect to get an equity measure on the level of their input to the job and the value of reward they receive from it as against the input and output of others. Employees are rather motivated to reduce any form of inequity in the work place. They achieve this by different ways such as reducing their input on the job, asking for a raise, influencing the effort of the reference person whom he uses as a measuring yard stick.

Skinner postulated the reinforcement theory where he stated that a reinforced behavior in a person is likely to occur as long as the elements that act as a reinforcer are still present. This means, behaviors that promote positive outputs will definitely occur again and behaviors that promote negative outputs will not be repeated. Hence managers should posses' positive attitude enough to motivate a positive output from his employees.

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The Herzberg Two factor Theory identifies two sets of factors that have a considerable impact on motivation and its effect in the working environment. The first of them is;

Hygiene factors: according to Herzberg, the presence of these factors does not motivate employees but if it is absent in the work context, it leads to work dissatisfaction and this affects the organizational turnover. Also an increase in these factors does not increase employee satisfaction.

Satisfiers or Motivators: the presence of this factor promotes positivity in employees' satisfaction. However this is the main driving force to an increase in employee turnover. Examples include; achievement recognition, growth opportunities, increased in wages e.t.c.

Herzberg stated that for an increase in employees' performance, managers must make provisions for hygiene factors to be present in the workplace. And also build satisfiers into jobs.

The ERG theory is an extension of the Maslow's theory of needs. Clayton Alderfer brought about the ERG theory. He further re grouped the five levels of needs by Maslow into three groups; Existence needs; Relatedness needs; growth needs. The existence needs are borne out of the desire for physiological needs, safety needs, and material needs such as hunger, sex e.t.c.; The Relatedness needs are borne out of the desire to satisfy interpersonal relationships or social and external esteem; Growth needs refer to the desire of humans to have a self actualization and the internal esteem. Also, it is the need for continual psychological growth and development.

A thorough look at the different theories of motivation carried out by scholar's shows that employees are the back bone of an organizations production process. Their determination to the job matters a lot and hence managers need to have the motivational skills so as to compliment employee's effort. The major need for employee motivation is for organizational survival (smith, 1994). Because of their roles in organizational survival, managers must understand the things that motivate workers to perform their job exceedingly well. Bowen and Radhakrishna (1991) added that the things that motivate an employee changes constantly. Example is an increase in an employee's salary makes money become less of a motivating factor.


Tesco began operation in 1919, and in the present day, it has improved its operations tremendously. This however owes to the fact that they have been able to motivate their employees in other to survive organizational challenges. They have been able to inculcate different theories of motivation into their organizational practice. They also have been able to motivate their employers by some practices such as;

Hard work compensation

Career advancement

Empowerment and responsibility

Supporting work/life balance

Trust and respect of employees is a major motivating factor and this has also been displayed in the practices of Tesco and they have been able to provide an enabling working environment for employees. This increases their productivity. In Tesco, the work of Herzberg, Mayo and Taylor are been put into practice for organizational survival;

Herzberg and Maslow theories practice in Tesco: the works of Herzberg in 1959 talked about the hygiene factors and the motivators and how its adequacy or inadequacy in the organization affects organizational performance. In Tesco, much emphasis is paid to the hygiene factors and then also enabling the satisfiers. This is done by delegating responsibility, staffs involvement in decision making e.t.c. also employees take decisions about what kind of menus to be served in their restaurants. This increases their use of the restaurant.

Abraham Maslow emphasized on five basic needs that motivate man to work, he formed a pyramid called the hierarchy of needs, from the least to the most important of them. In relation to these needs of man, Tesco has been able to promote job retention with a regular monthly pay. Also they have provided security for their employees in case of uncertainty, making arrangements for pension plans and give them the option of joining a union. Tesco also support team work and group work at all levels. They also value self respect and compliment hard work among staffs.

Mayo theories practices in Tesco: according to Mayo, internal or external factors are responsible for employees' actions in an organization. Internal factors include the desire to learn new skills while the external factors maybe the achievements of targets. In relation to the practices in Tesco, they place a huge amount of relevance to communication. They go as far as a 1-on-1 discussion with managers, or through intranet and newsletters. Daily meetings is organized with managers to keep staffs abreast with the latest trends in practices. Also they give employees opportunities to attend trainings that will be beneficial to both their private and official life. Tesco also introduced the 360 degrees feedback which tends to develop the individuals. It gives the employee the opportunity to understand their behavior, strength and weakness within the work place. It improves individuality and promotes efficiency in the work place.

Taylors' theory practice in Tesco: Taylor in his work said that employees work hard because of the financial benefits. His research was carried out in a motor plant where employees were paid based on their output. This spells good for the company as employees worked hard to earn more money. But the major setback was that it didn't promote creativity among employees. In relation to Tesco practices, other than an increase in pay, they motivate their staffs by supporting their varied lifestyles.

In conclusion, it has been seen that motivation plays a vital role in employees output. This also have a positive effect on the organizations goals and objectives. This should be an important role for manager to perform in order to succeed. The understanding of motivation has changed as time passes by. From Taylor's theory of motivation, he emphasized the power of money in motivation but later on the works of Herzberg and Maslow brought about a different scope to employees' motivation other than money as highlighted by Taylor. Tesco however gives employee the opportunity in taking part in decision about the company's operation. It also gives employees the opportunity to recognise their abilities and how they could use it in increasing their job performance.