Management is a very important part of today’s society, both the commercial and noncommercial world usually requires that individuals exhibit some degree of management skills while dealing with day to day issues. Many business units are organizations and since organizations are put in place for specific purposes, run by specific people who are either employees or stakeholders, and contain deliberate structures, the discipline of management thus becomes a key aspect within organizations. Without a management organization most likely a company will become chaotic and disorganized and consequently will not achieve its strategic goals (Adair, 2003). Management usually takes a holistic approach and thus managers can plan, control, organize staff, and lead various activities within the various functional areas of the organization. These tasks of management enable activities within the organization take place in a particular order which enables organizations to run efficiently and smoothly to achieve its purpose (Watson, 2006)
Management is not as easy as people think because good managers understand that it is important to have the necessary skills that will enable them to make highly rational and reasonable decisions that are backed up by facts. This requires managers to take a look at the bigger picture and have a futuristic mindset and use their interpersonal, informational, and decision making role to achieve objectives (Koontz& Weihrich 2009). Stakeholders usually expect managers to achieve a lot due to the agency rule but managers usually face a lot of challenges which usually act as constraints and barricades that oppose their moves but by using their skills, they are expected to rise above them and achieve their targets.
Managers are expected to be innovative, take risks, pay attention to detail, focus on outcomes, and set targets, and pursue them aggressively in the premise of organizational culture and ethical boundaries (Raelin 2000). Managers are also expected to set the cultural tone of their organization and make their stakeholders such as employees responsible models within the society through the creation of value systems. The global environment in itself usually poses challenges and requires managers who run transnational, Multinational, and borderless organizations to use the right techniques to achieve organizational targets (Koontz& Weihrich 2009). In conclusion, a lot is expected of managers in whichever environment or organizational setting they exist but it is up to them to ensure their organizational activities succeed.
The role of managers in the development of organizations
Managers and organizational members are very important individuals in society and their actions often decide the fate of organizations and billions of dollars that belongs to investor and stakeholders. Thus managers and organizational members are expected to behave ethically and morally. It is hence not enough to rely on the law to behave and make ethical decisions within the organization simply because the law has grey spots which may allow organizational members to carry out legal actions which are in some instances considered unethical. (Bass, et al. 2003)
The magnitude of corporate debacles witnessed in early 2000 that was a result of ethical delay especially on the part of top managers and board members led to the fall of multi-billion dollar organizations such as Adelphia, WorldCom, and Enron. Managers and organizational leaders should thus cultivate a culture of ethics by instilling legal, organization, group, and individual dimensions of ethical behavior this way, ethical behavior in the corporate world is more likely to occur.
Managers are also expected to be the ultimate decision-makers within the organization. Decision making is a day to day role within commercial organizations and managers are required to factor in risks, contexts, use their intuition, and also make decisions that are rational (Drath 2001). Decision making is very important because it cannot be separated from organizational planning and strategy. Strategy acts as radar that guides managerial decisions and hence strategy must be visionary and futuristic, managers are required to understand their organizations, their environment set goals, and define work by setting out various roles amongst organizational members for the strategy to be fruitful. Managers are thus required to be in the center of developing, implementing, and controlling strategy for the organization to gain some degree of competitive advantage Just like Jack Welch did during his tenure at General Electric (Koontz& Weihrich 2009). It is with the same zeal that organizational leaders are required to make the right leadership decisions by choosing the right leadership styles to guide subordinates and see to their goals are achieved (Adair, 2003). For the strategy to be successful the entire organization must be involved and managers are required to initiate the right programs to cultivate the right organizational culture.
Organizations exist in different environments consequently, managers are faced with different contexts nevertheless managers are required to organize their organizations in the best way possible to realize high degrees of efficiency and effectiveness. Managers are expected to use the best organizational; design techniques just as Jack Welch was able to introduce good organization structures and design while in General Electric. The concept of borderless Organization is becoming famous and managers are opting for it because unlike traditional organizational design structures, it did not allow managers to use the advantages of technological advancement to enjoy higher spans of control because unlike traditional structures it did not allow for de-layering of functional areas and departments within organizations (Adair 2003). Additionally, new models of organizational structures and designs have enabled managers to connect better with subordinates because they are less authoritarian and decentralized.
The ability of communication channels to be up-down has led to more organizations and brought about healthy communication-barrier-free organizations. Good communication channels encourage organizations to have better leadership and subordinate relationships, better decision making, conflict, and change management, especially when communication is tailor-made and relevant to the organizational members (Koontz& Weihrich 2009). Additionally, good structures and communication play a big role in ensuring that the organizational culture of the organization is streamlined with overall organizational strategy by allowing the organizational members to be very innovative, flexible, and quick to adapt to change.
When organizations put in place the necessary mechanisms and involve organizational members in the change process, it reduces the level of conflict and change is more likely to be accepted especially when managers use concepts of organizational re-engineering and total quality management. The Human resource function is also a very important part of the organization and their strategies are vital in selecting and allocating talent to places where they are likely to be optimally used for maximum output. Additionally, it is the role of this department to make sure that necessary hiring, firing, and compensation mechanisms are put in place for the organization to run smoothly (Koontz& Weihrich 2009).
Organizational behavior is a very important aspect of organizations because it defines how well organizations can function. Jack Welch is one such leader and manager who was able to take over General Electric and use various components of organizational behavior to grow the organization and keep employees motivated thus increasing output (Deal & Kennedy 2000). Hence, managers must be able to understand why people are the way they are and also use effective strategies to achieve what they intend to achieve out of them for the benefit of the organization. Good managers are expected also to be leaders and get to the bottom of organizational human behavior. Skilled managers can predict human behavior as a function of their decision making thus enabling them becomes excellent decision-makers within their organization.
The advantage of having such skills is that managers can be able to understand the attitude, perceptions, personalities, and learning trends of particular employees and know how they will assist in making better organizations. Although individual behavior is heterogeneous and unpredictable managers are supposed to understand their employees to influence productivity through transactional leadership and reinforcement of desirable behavior as suggested by learning principles (Bass et al. 2003). Being a good leader demands one to use the right mix of power to influence and inspire behavior while at the same time creating trust relationships with subordinates (Watson 2006). Employees are driven by different needs and motives some of which are intrinsic while others which are extrinsic and thus using behavior models such as the path-goal theory or, Maslow’s motivation hierarchy Mc Gregors X&Y theory managers may more accurately set the right goals for their employees and also cater to the right needs of employees and to influence organizational behavior as they wish (Bass 2003).
Control of management progress
Monitoring progress evaluation and control is a very important part of today’s organizations this is because the strategic focus of most organizations is futuristic. Hence, managers understand that regular evaluation must be carried out to measure the actual results to the expected outcome to identify deviations and also make necessary plans to correct these deviations before they get out of hand. The process of control thus allows managers to use a feed-forward approach that is proactive to prevent errors from occurring, a concurrent approach that is progressive and continuous, or a reactive feedback approach. Good controls systems usually ensure that they are accurate, timely, economic, flexible, understandable, and reasonable, of strategic significance, exceptional, based on multiple criteria, while on the other hand bad control systems can be dangerous because they lead to dysfunctional behavior within organizations (Watson 2006).
Whatever control mechanisms are used it is important that they are used within ethical borders and that the privacy of individuals is not disrespected. The control tools together with information that is used at this instance must also be highly accurate, timely, complete, and relevant for the control process to be successful. When things go wrong, it is managers who are required to make them right by transforming the organization, re-engineering systems within various functional areas such as finance, cutting down on costs, and ensuring quality control within the organization is taken seriously. Moreover, a 360-degree feedback system ensures that all organizational members’ top-down and down- top is in tandem with each other by ensuring that the control process is streamlined with the organization’s strategic intentions (Deal & Kennedy 2000).
Adair, J. (2003), Action-Centered Leadership, London: Chartered Management Institute.
Bass, B.M., et al. (2003) “Predicting Unit Performance by Assessing Transformational and Transactional Leadership.” Journal of Applied Psychology 88: 207–218.
Deal T.E. & Kennedy, A. A. (2000). Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Cambridge: Perseus Publishing.
Drath. W. H. (2001). The deep blue sea: Rethinking the source of leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Koontz, H. & Weihrich, H., (2009). The essence of Management an International Perspective. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill.
Raelin, J. A. (2000). Work-based learning: The new frontier of management development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Watson, T., (2006). Organizing and managing work. 2nd edn. London: Penguin.