This book provides the readers with a comprehensive assessment of the concepts and practices expounding on all the functions and the theme of management. It covers management in times of change which occurs internally and externally coupled with changes in the management world e.g. technological changes.
Managers and leaders
A Manager is a person responsible for planning, coordinating, controlling, directing, monitoring the work of the employees in an organization and also takes corrective action when necessary while a Leader is one who influences a group of individuals towards the achieving certain goals in the organization or society (Hannagan, 5).
A manager and a leader differ in many ways as evident in the case below, some of the differences not discussed in the case study include:
- Managers take a demanding role in the organization as an enabling measure to implement their decisions for the overall benefit of the organization while leaders take a commanding role in organizations.
- Managers usually maintain the existing financial position of organizations and trying to improve efficiency and profitability by implementing policies and strategies aimed at increasing the return to sales and investments while leaders usually develop their ideas for the better of the organization at a commanding level.
- Managers main focus is on the organizations’ operation systems and ways in which they can be adopted in times of change while leaders focus on people and ways in which their needs can be satisfied or achieved
- Managers strive for organizational control of operations and finances while leaders inspire trust from their followers in an organizational setting.
- Managers have short-term view of the organization while Leaders have a long-term goal. Management deals with the past and how people performed to date and Leadership on the other hand sees people’s capabilities and potential and performing tasks they never thought were possible. It deals with the future and how people could perform if their potential were realized.
- Managers take an administrative role in organizations while leaders are seen as innovators.
- Managers are viewed as imitators in that they imitate changes in the external environment to try and increase the operational efficiency of the organization while leaders originate ideas and develop them from their perspective and enhance efficient operation and management due to the inborn information.
Managers in relation to change
Managers in times of change are expected to be proactive and not reactive, Various factors outline their ability to manage effectively and define their individual style of management, their functions can be outlines as; coaching and supervision of personnel, controlling financial and human resources, delegation, and organizing of functions and activities, leading others i.e. act as a role model, managing work, planning and scheduling, and motivating and employee appraisal. Motivation is clearly a way to enhance the performance of employees and boost the morale and satisfaction of the company. The manager’s role must be coupled with the thought that all these functions are influenced by both internal and external changes (Hannagan, 5-9).
Management, an Art or a Science?
A lot of debate in the 19th and 20th centuries was centered on the question; Is management, an Art or a Science? The development of a science needs a framework of theories and principles. Principles of management have existed for a long time but an acceptable framework to encompass them as needed. It is in the formulation of these principles that the science of management can be developed.
A management principle usually isolates and organizes knowledge that has been build up through experience and analysis. Management is far from being an exact science in the present state but by understanding and applying acceptable principles the quality of management can be greatly improved. Management may never become a science since personal judgment will always be used to supplement the available knowledge thus it will always be an art (Hannagan, 12-15).
Management skills are required at different levels of management
Management as an art applies at all levels in an organization only that the scope is different. At all levels of management the main functions of the managers are still present and thus the employees have to be controlled, organized, coordinated etc notwithstanding the level of the management (Hannagan, 17-19). It can be noted that the management levels are all faced with similar problems and the personnel in these levels achieve their optimal potential if they are promoted from the operational level to the senior management having gained enough experience. Although the management skills can be applied in all levels of management their responsibility and their functions may bring a difference on the management skills applied at all the levels e.g. the senior managers are responsible for the whole organization while the junior managers are responsible for the supervision of a unit or a team (Hannagan, 17).
Force field theory and its main influences in the organization
Force field theory states that any behavior in an organization is based on the equilibrium or balance between driving or pushing forces and restraining or pulling forces. This theory helps to explain the influence of change in an organization in that these forces which are both internal and external help the organization adapt to these changes in that it reacts by imposing counter-reaction measures in cases where changes in the business environment occur (Hannagan, 27). In the force field diagram it is evident that the forces either internal or external push the organization’s present situation and force it to adapt to these changes to enable its existence and in doing all this it increases the performance level.
This theory introduced the necessity of organizations to become dynamic in nature to enable them not only to respond the these forces to change but also identify them and exploit them in good time. This will only be possible if the organization has a change strategy and its ability to change, thus the main obligation of management is to position the organization in a state that it will become flexible and can adapt to any changes in the future (Hannagan, 29). It enables the management to evaluate their position by analyzing their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and adopting and investing in their strengths and opportunities and try to reduce their weaknesses and put their threats at bay.
Leadership in Organizations
Connection between leadership and management
Those in management positions do not always possess the qualities and skills of a leader. On the other hand, leadership is just one of the many skills that a manager must possess. Traditional management texts and teachings have taught that being a manager automatically made person a leader; that being a leader came with a position of authority. The changing business environment and further research into leadership show us that a person needs to change the view of what makes a leader and that today’s managers need to implement leadership skills into their company in order to survive.
The role of a manager is organizing, controlling, planning, staffing and directing thus these functions can prove unachievable if the manager lack leadership skills thus as much as these roles look different neither of them can be efficient without the other and in most texts these words are used interchangeably (Hannagan, 41-43). Management is measured by the leadership qualities one possesses however a mix of both management and leadership qualities enable managers cope extremely well with the environmental changes.
The relevance of the theory of X and Y to modern management
This has been one of the greatest contributors to the understanding of leadership in which the extreme ends of the continuum are represented by X and Y. The X end represents the perception of managers that personnel dislike work even in extreme conditions of their survival and thus have to be directed, supervised, controlled, etc for the organization to achieve its objectives while in the spectrum of Y shows a more optimistic view of the workers in that they are responsible, like working, can achieve satisfaction from their work and also work hard.
This theory is relevant in modern management since a mix between the two spectrums i.e. theory X and theory Y is the most efficient since organizations consist of both skilled and unskilled workforce, this requires different approaches in managing them in an organizational setting (Hannagan, 61-63).
Leader’s considerations when making decisions
Leaders consider three factors when making decisions in their organizations these factors include:
- He considers his own experience, inclination, confidence, and his background.
- The willingness and the unwillingness of the subordinates to accept responsibility is considered in decision making.
- The situation of the organization in terms of corporate culture, time available, style of work and the tasks to be performed are also important.
Should the situation and the circumstance in which the leadership is being exercised make a difference to style of leadership?
The situation in the organization will force the organization adapt to change. These situations may be in form of corporate culture, their colleagues’ style of work, the nature of tasks to be performed and time pressures in conducting a specific task. The situation comes with other factors i.e. pulling and pushing factors and the organization should position itself to a flexible state where it can accommodate those factors.
Powers of leadership over their followers
Powers of the leaders over their followers are provided by the fact that the leaders’ traits and skills and its identified as a series of actions directed toward a specific objective. The leader and their followers must have a common objective or goal and they give support to the leader’s opinion, he must also convince the followers to follow their ideology. The leaders impose authority and responsibility in deciding the way forward for the organization (Hannagan, 40).
Need for leadership
Leadership is necessary because of the self-control systems and values that they bring to organizations. Leadership especially in changing environments is very essential since it encourages efficiency, employee development and behavior change in both the short run and long run. Leadership is not good on it without being coupled with managerial skills in organizations and also develops trust in the organization by articulation of values and visions.
Leaders have a tendency of accepting responsibility for what happens in the organizations in that it’s viewed as an area where hard work and consistency are required in the organization.
Since leadership is a function that sets direction and in a changing environment it becomes very essential. Leadership skills enable the management implement their goals, visions, missions and objectives efficiently thus the organization cannot survive without leaders.
Creating a Consumer Focus
Concept of consumer focus and the difference that may arise in the application of the concept
Consumer focus is the emerging trend in many organizations and the organization is structured in a way that it meets consumer needs for its survival. In any organization which deals with consumers this approach can be applicable and is the best approach for modern organizations. If consumer focus is applied in different sectors of the economy it would bring a positive impact notwithstanding the size of the organizations, it would bring the following differences:
- Customers’ needs and expectations will be put first, this means that the tastes and preferences of the consumers will change the marketing landscape to benefit the consumers.
- The competitiveness of the companies in the industry will increase and in the long run reducing prices and increasing the variety for the consumers to choose from (Hannagan, 82).
- Companies will develop strategies focused on quality improvement for their products.
Importance of customer surveys and ways of identifying customer needs
They enable the organization to Know what the customer wants or needs which is a necessity of business survival in the modern world. Getting that information is required in order to fully anticipate where a business should focus its energy by enabling the company to come up with its SWOT analysis. With so many options available at the organizations’ disposal, it makes sense to know which methods will give you the best results about the customers’ needs.
The consumer needs can also be identified by observation of their shopping tendencies for certain commodities and their cultural background. Sometimes seasons, changes in living standards, age changes, economic development etc can be used as indirect sources of information to identify economic needs (Hannagan, 82).
Case study: “Management by walking about’’ how that approach can be used
The case study of Tesco illustrate the concept of ‘Management by Walking About’ in the following ways; management is not only about control it’s also about satisfaction and the better understanding of the job done in similar market by interacting with the competitors, customers and suppliers o a frequent basis, in doing this the manager is able to identify the status of the market. In doing this the manager is able to formulate and implement the opportunities he identified and gains a competitive edge against his competitors (Hannagan, 102-103). This approach can be applied to other organizations in different setups or markets since it’s a way of identifying the market mood and the forces that influence its success.
Importance of knowing what the competitors are doing ways of checking on it
The company needs to deliver the commodities to the consumers in an effective and efficient manner, thus a consumer strategy needs to be developed. Also the extent to which the company meets these needs concerning the competitors offering since this determines who sells the commodity. If the company is positioned in a position to meet these needs better then it will have an upper hand and is likely to grow and be successful. This can be referred to as competitive advantage, it’s crucial since it shows that the company can meet the needs of its consumers and at a lower cost.
Managing In Public Sector
Differences between the management in public and private sectors
There exist many differences between the management of public and private sector organizations as outlined by Hannagan, he explains that the managers shifting from one of these two systems to the other must appreciate these differences (108). They include:
- The private sector is usually profit-centered and its management is focused on profit maximization and costs minimization to ensure a higher profit margin is achieved while in public sector the motive is different in that they focus on how much they give to their consumers i.e. they are service-centered (Hannagan, 129).
- Accountability in the private sector is based on the shareholders to the public unlike in public sector where its bases on the stakeholders. The management will certainly be different since the focus is different and the scope is different (Hannagan, 129).
- The management in the two sectors must determine the amounts of goods they offer to their consumers and the satisfaction derived from offering such goods, the scope in terms of geographical and sensitivity of the good also needs management attention. During this process there exist different ways of determining these levels in the two sectors due to the parameters they use, in public sector they use the public value of the good while in private sector they use the forces of supply and demand to determine these forces.
- Public sector aims at attaining the highest levels of equity possible in an economy while the private sector aims at attaining the highest level of efficiency possible.
- The types of goods offered by these two sectors are different in that the private sector offers private goods and services which are profit-centered while the public sector offers public good which is utility and equity centered thus the goals of these two organizations are different in scope and necessity.
Importance of stakeholders’ accountability in public sector
Accountability can be defined as the obligation to bear all the consequences for failure to perform as expected or to perform as expected acceptably. In the public sector accountability of public services must be emphasized because it holds the following importance:
- It ensures that the resources allocation in the public sector is efficient to benefit the intended populations i.e. citizens.
- It ensures an equitable distribution of resources in the economy thus lowering the gap in the wealth of the population to alleviate the extreme poverty and increase the public good supply.
Privatization of public sector organizations and its importance
Privatization is the process of changing the ownership of the corporations from the government to the citizens to increase efficiency and accountability. The main importance is that the public sector is mulled with corruption and inflexibility thus going against their initial objectives and transforming these organizations which are not only service-oriented but also profit-oriented thus increasing their efficiency and effectiveness. Public sector has a major problem in creating priorities lists, business perspectives are absent and their unwillingness to close down commercial activities, these problems can only be resolved by privatization of these organizations which will enable them get a clear and a stated mission, vision and objective statement for implementation.
Concept of “Public Value” and its Application in the Public Sector Organization
Public value is defined as the utility achieved in the production of a public good. The concept of public value can be expounded as the rationale that the marginal utility of providing a public good is determined by its need and the value and not determined by its costs or the returns. The public goods are designed to enhance equity among the consumers of the products. This concept is applicable in that the public goods are characterized by the high cost of investment, sensitivity of the goods etc. thus their provision can be formulated using this concept.
Importance of Organization culture in both public and private sector and the difference between Organization cultures in both sectors
Organizational culture can be defined as the manner in which organizations conduct their activities. They are important in both the private and public organizations in the following ways:
- It has values and beliefs which when followed will bring a smooth co-operation among the stakeholders in both sectors.
- During the process of strategy formulation the usefulness of culture is evident in that it enhances or creates an enabling environment for policy formulation and implementation.
- Accountability, efficiency and effective distribution and allocation of resources in both sectors are necessitated by the fact that organizational culture exists therefore it’s very essential.
Organizational culture is also different in these two sectors. These differences can be summarized as:
- Public sectors have a conflicting obligation this makes it difficult in developing homogenous cultures unlike in private sector where there are little or no conflicting obligations ( Hannagan, 122).
- The main difference is that the public sector has the duty of providing public services and they also have a responsibility of social satisfaction while the private sectors are profit-centered (Hannagan, 123).
- Private sector cultures are profit-driven and the competition is met by market forces while in public sector the cultures are service driven and the needs of the people have to be evident to necessitate supply( Hannagan, 123).
Hannagan, Tim. Management: Concepts and Practices. 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2009.