Last updated: June 28, 2019
Topic: ArtDesign
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Building effective relationships has received a great deal of coverage in the management press, and rightly so. So much of what we do at work is dependent on our ability to communicate something to, or influence, others. Communication establishes relationships and makes organizing possible. The ability to communicate clearly is the critical core competency for successful managers at all levels and in all industries. In organizational contexts, messages typically have a definite objective: to motivate, to inform, to teach, to persuade, to entertain, or to inspire. This definite purpose is, in fact, one of the principal differences between casual conversation and managerial communication. Effective communication in the organization centers on well-defined objectives that support the organization’s goals and mission. Supervisors strive to achieve understanding among parties to their communications.

Communication and delegation to subordinates is usually directly related to the management style in use. The various  management styles was briefly  described by Tomas Pyzdek in his book The Handbook for Quality Management:

· Participatory Management Style:The premise of the participatory management style is the belief that the worker can make a contribution to the design of their own work.

Managers who practice the participatory style of management tend to engage in certain types of behavior. To engage the workers they establish and communicate the purpose and direction of the organization. This is used to help develop a shared vision of what the organization should be, which is used to develop a set of shared plans for achieving the vision. The manager’s role is that of a leader. By his/her actions and words he/she shows the way to his/her employees. He/she is also a coach, evaluating the results of his/her people’s efforts and helping them use the results to improve their processes. He/she works with the leaders above his/her in the organization to improve the organization’s systems and the organization as a whole.

· Autocratic Management Style: The premise of the autocratic management style is the belief that in most cases the worker cannot make a contribution to their own work, and that even if they could, they would not.

The natural management style that a manager with this belief system would favor is the autocratic management style. Autocratic managers attempt to control work to the maximum extent possible. A major threat to control is complexity; complex jobs are more difficult to learn and workers who master such jobs are scarce and possess a certain amount of control over how the job is done. Thus, autocratic managers attempt to simplify work to gain maximum control. Planning of work, including quality planning, is centralized. A strict top-down, chain-of-command approach to management is practiced. Procedures are maintained in exquisite detail and enforced by frequent audits. Product and process requirements are recorded in equally fine detail and in-process and final inspection are used to control quality.

· Management by Wandering Around (MBWA): Many, perhaps most, managers do not have enough direct contact with their employees, their suppliers, or, especially, their customers. They maintain superficial contact with the world through meetings, presentations, reports, phone calls, email, and a hundred other ways that do not engage all of their senses. This is not enough. Without more intense contact the manager simply cannot fully internalize the other person’s experience. They need to give reality a chance to make them really experience the world. The difference between reality and many managers’ perception of reality is  great.

MBWA is another, more personal way, to collect data. Statistical purists disdain and often dismiss data obtained from opportunistic encounters or unstructured observations. But the information obtained from listening to an employee or a customer pour their heart out is no less “scientifically valid” than a computer printout of customer survey results. And MBWA data is of a different type. Science has yet to develop reliable instruments for capturing the information contained in angry or excited voice pitch, facial expressions, the heavy sigh – but humans have no trouble understanding the meaning these convey in the context of a face-to-face encounter. It may be that nature has hard-wired us to receive and understand these signals through eons of evolution.

The techniques employed by managers who practice MBWA are as varied as the people themselves. The important thing is to get yourself into direct contact with the customer, employee, or supplier, up close and personal.[1]

The characteristics of management often vary according to national culture, which can determine how managers are trained, how they lead people and how they approach their jobs.
Let’s take as an example tree brief portraits of managers in tree different countries: the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. Managers from the United States: – generally attend business schools; – expect everyone to work hard, individual performance is measured and initiative is rewarded;  – communicate easily and informally at work; – admire the qualities of a leader; – have competitive and sometimes aggressive their companies and expect their subordinates to obey them, are often older than in other countries.

Managers from the United Kingdom: – receive a general education; – delegate authority; – take a practical approach to management; – have relatively formal relationship at work; – encourage their employees to work individually; – believe it is important to continue education and training at work.

Managers from Germany: – consider professional and technical skills to be very important; – have a strong sense of authority; – respect the different positions in the hierarchy of their companies; – clearly define how jobs should be done; – are very loyal to stage in building of such model is to assemble a team “composed of a cross-functional mix of first-line leaders, middle leaders, and senior leaders.  [2]

Management styles are closely connected with leadership. In today’s organization, building and sustaining a competitive advantage requires a new type of  leadership at all levels, not just at the top.  Twenty-first century managers must lead as visionaries and entrepreneurs, mentors and change agents, team builders and servant-followers. To succeed, they must increase competitive advantage, improve customer service, nurture a diverse workplace and meet unprecedented global, ethical, and business challenges. Leadership success depends on developing and using the skills that move organizations and people forward toward the common goals and objectives.

Leadership competencies are measurable patterns of behavior essential to leading. Together, these leadership competencies are keys to success. Developing them in  all the people will promote the continuous improvement which is necessary for providing valued service to the public. Leadership competencies are produced in accordance with tree directions, every of which is of great importance:

Self— Fundamental to successful development as a leader is an understanding of self and one’s own abilities, including personality, values, preferences, and potential as a member of a particular organization.

Working with Others— Leadership involves working with and influencing others to achieve common goals.  Different people interact with others in many ways, whether as supervisor, mentor, manager, team member, team leader, peer, or subordinate. Positive professional relationships provide a foundation for the success of  a service.

Performance— People constantly face challenges in mission operations. To meet these challenges, leaders must apply leadership competencies in their daily duties. [3]

Each organization has its own process and culture. That is why it is important to  elaborate  meticulously a so-called “Leadership Competency Model”[4].  The most important attitudes towards work, often accept innovation and change.  Larger organizations might want to build different models for the upper and lower echelons of leadership. These individuals should be specially selected.”[5]

Any organisation that wants to implement a learning organisation philosophy requires an overall strategy with clear, well defined goals. Once these have been established, the tools needed to facilitate the strategy must be identified.

It is clear that everyone has their own interpretation of the “Learning Organisation” idea, so to produce an action plan that will transform groups into Learning Organisations might seem impossible. However, it is possible to identify three generic strategies that highlight possible routes to developing Learning Organisations. The specific tools required to implement any of these depends on the strategy adopted, but the initiatives that they represent are generic throughout. The three strategies are:

Accidental: For many companies, adopting a learning organisation philosophy is the second step to achieving this Holy Grail. They may already be taking steps to achieve their business goals that, in hindsight, fit the framework for implementing a Learning Organisation. This is the accidental approach in that it was not initiated through awareness of the Learning Organisation concept.

Subversive:Once an organisation has discovered the Learning Organisation philosophy, they must make a decision as to how they want to proceed. This is a choice between a subversive and a declared strategy. The subversive strategy differs from an accidental one in the level of awareness; but it is not secretive. Thus, while not openly endorsing the Learning Organisation ideal, they are able to exploit the ideas and techniques.

Declared: The other option is the declared approach. This is self explanatory. The principles of Learning Organisations are adopted as part of the company ethos, become company “speak” and are manifest openly in all company initiatives.[6]

All above – mentioned information is vitally important for successful management. But how does this information can be implemented on practice? Let’s take as an example world’s #1 software company Microsoft. It was established in 1975. Today this company is still remains a real global industry leader.  Jay Greene in his article in Business Week stresses that “the company is Microsoft Corp., one of the most widely held stocks on the planet. And sure, for all its challenges, this icon of American capitalism still has a lot going for it. With a market cap of $279 billion, its valuation is the second highest in the world after General Electric Co.. And it remains the most profitable company in the $1 trillion tech industry, pumping out $1 billion a month in cash.”[7] He also said that “the optimistic forecast is for 11% growth over the next few years, shown here as the best-case scenario (charts). The Wall Street consensus is that the company will boost revenues 8% a year through 2006, according to Thomson First Call. ” [8]

What does Microsoft do for being such a leader?  As David B. Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School, mentioned “Microsoft is doing what large companies do – invest in new segments while maintaining the core.”[9] But everything is not so simple. First of all the company uses global approaches. It thinks and acts globally. Microsoft enables  a  workforce that generates innovative decision-making for a broad spectrum of customers and partners. It  innovates to lower the costs of technology and shows leadership in supporting the communities in which it works. The company tries to show excellence in everything it does.  Microsoft  connects with customers and understands their needs. Company has the following values: – Integrity and honesty. – Passion for customers, partners, and technology. – Open and respectful with others and dedicated to making them better. – Willingness to take on big challenges and see them through. – Self-critical, questioning, and committed to personal excellence and self-improvement. – Accountable for commitments, results, and quality to customers, shareholders, partners, and employees. [10]

Microsoft realizes all the importance of business relations and emphasizes that “our business is built on relationships — with our customers, partners, investors, employees, and with the communities where we live and work. We are committed to keeping those relationships strong by communicating openly about our business practices, being transparent about our performance, and remaining accountable for our conduct. We know that our decisions have significant ramifications for other companies and for people and communities worldwide. We take that responsibility very seriously.”[11]

Microsoft is still innovative company in an extremely dynamic industry. Companies worldwide are being challenged in new ways—not only to offer better products and services, but also to enhance their corporate governance and provide greater transparency in how they conduct their business. Microsoft  has made changes in it’s organization that are designed to provide better customer service, create more opportunities for partners, and enhance it’s contributions as a responsible industry leader.   The company is responsible for it’s customers. “Microsoft is 100 percent committed to delivering new opportunities for our partners and enabling them to realize their potential. Our $500 million investment in partner programs and services underscores our commitment to partner satisfaction, and our focus on delivering the strongest technology platform through Microsoft .NET and XML Web services.”[12] Microsoft has special institution the Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Dashboard which provides connection between company and it’s customers. Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) provides worldwide customer service and technical support for Microsoft customers—from individual consumers to the largest multinational corporations. Support offerings include a vast array of self-help, assisted support, and managed support services to meet our customers’ needs. Microsoft staff said about PSS: “We deploy approximately 9,000 support professionals around the world as part of our ongoing effort to reach more customers and keep our support teams close to them. PSS provides continuous technical support and customer service for more than 170 different products—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—and handles more than 6 million support cases every year via telephone, Web, and on-site contact.”[13]

Microsoft provides favorable opportunities and conditions for its employees.  It  strives to provide its employees with the skills, tools, and experiences that will enable them to unleash their talents and capabilities. Professional development is an ongoing part of every employee’s experience at Microsoft. It includes mentoring, training, online tools and resources, and special programs to develop managers and  next generation of leaders.

The company also recognizes the importance of personal and family support in it’s employees’ lives, and it offers opportunities for employees and their families to socialize and enjoy a wide variety of community events. Microsoft  makes every effort to help it’s employees in moving ahead in their careers. Microsoft (2003, September) is committed to creating a workforce that reflects the global marketplace:

In the past six years, Microsoft has spent more than $125 million to reach this goal. The company’s recruiting efforts, in partnership with 33 historically diverse colleges, encourage underrepresented minorities and women to become the next generation of technology leaders. Since 1997, Microsoft has given cash and software in support of organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, Native American Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, American Association of People with Disabilities, and others that serve diverse populations. We awarded scholarships totaling $540,000 to students traditionally underrepresented in computer science and related disciplines in the 2002-2003 academic year, and supported more than 19 premier recruitment events geared for candidates who were African American, Hispanic, Native American, women, or people with disabilities.[14]

Through an investment of more than $3.5 million, Microsoft has participated in conferences and career fairs, facilitated workshops, and supported the annual events of our partner minority and women’s professional organizations. In addition, Microsoft has contributed $5.5 million to organizations that support people with disabilities. It  supports the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing grants to programs that address the technology needs of the disability community, or uses technology to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

As one can see, it is not simple to be a global company and to implement on practice all elements of  successful leadership. Such company should be ready to invest money in it’s employees and to provide them with all necessary components for professional growth.   Only in this case such employees will do all that lies in their power for this company. Every company should remember that professionals are the keystone of company’s success.

1.      Pyzdek, T.  The Handbook for Quality Management Retrieved June 27, 2004, from  http://www.qualityamerica.com/knowledgecente/articles/CQMStyle2.html

2.      Clark, D. (1999, August 1). Building the Leadership Competency Model   Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from  http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/case/build.html

 

3.       Om Personal Online (2004). Management Styles Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/jobs/managerstyles.htm

4.      Coast Guard (2004, February). Leadership Development Program. Coast Guard Leadership Competencies Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from http://www.uscg.mil/leadership/leadci/encl1.htm

5.      Learning Organization. Implementation Strategy Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/MEAB/learning_organisation/implementation.html

6.      Greene, J. (2004, April 9). Microsoft’s Midlife Crisis.Threats abound: Linux. European trustbusters. Key product delays. Can Gates & Co. restore growth? Business Week Online   Retrieved May 19, 1999, from http://www.businessweek.com/@@C6J3hYUQpm8nvRYA/magazine/content/04_16/b3879001_mz001.htm

7.      Microsoft (2003, September). Citizenship Report—Customers. Partnering with Our Customers, Investing in Their Future  Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/citizenship/report/customers.asp

 

8.      Microsoft (2003, September). Employment at Microsoft Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/citizenship/report/employees.asp

 

[1] Pyzdek, T.  The Handbook for Quality Management Retrieved June 27, 2004, from  http://www.qualityamerica.com/knowledgecente/articles/CQMStyle2.html
[2] Om Personal Online (2004). Management Styles Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/jobs/managerstyles.htm
[3] Coast Guard (2004, February). Leadership Development Program. Coast Guard Leadership Competencies Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from http://www.uscg.mil/leadership/leadci/encl1.htm
[4] Clark, D. (1999, August 1). Building the Leadership Competency Model   Retrieved  June 27, 2004, from

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/case/build.html
[5] See:Clark, D. (1999, August 1).
[6] Learning Organization. Implementation Strategy Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/MEAB/learning_organisation/implementation.html
[7]  Greene, J. (2004, April 9). Microsoft’s Midlife Crisis.Threats abound: Linux. European trustbusters. Key product delays. Can Gates & Co. restore growth? Business Week Online   Retrieved May 19, 1999, from http://www.businessweek.com/@@C6J3hYUQpm8nvRYA/magazine/content/04_16/b3879001_mz001.htm
[8] See: Greene, J. (2004, April 9).
[9] See: Greene, J. (2004, April 9).
[10] Microsoft (2003, June 25). Mission and Values Retrieved June 27, 2004, from

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/mission/
[11] Microsoft (2003, September 25). Microsoft Corporate Citizenship Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/citizenship/
[12] Microsoft (2003, September). Citizenship Report—Customers. Partnering with Our Customers, Investing in Their Future  Retrieved June 27, 2004, from http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/citizenship/report/customers.asp
[13] See: Microsoft (2003, September).
[14] Microsoft (2003, September). Employment at Microsoft Retrieved June 27, 2004, from