Management styles and its implications in terms of the overall productivity of an organization their Implication in Business Organization
In an organization, the managers have to ensure that there is a constant flow of work. They have to ensure that the staff members are efficient in doing their work. The managers as such have to perform several roles and have to handle various circumstances or problems that may arise in the organization. Management style can be defined as the manner in which the managers exercise their authority, permit some amount of decision-making from the staff members, encourage or motivate the staff members to do their work, exercise control in the organization, maintain some amount of communication with the staff members and handle problems in the organization. This style may vary from one individual to another depending on their nature and attitudes, and also from one organization to another depending on the environment existing in that organization (Clark, 1997).
The Managerial Grid Theory
The manager would have to use a particular management style to ensure that some amount of effectiveness is maintained in the organization. The manager may be target-oriented, personnel oriented, or holding characteristics of both. This theory is known as the ‘managerial grid theory’, and was proposed by Blake and Mouton. This theory says that the manager has to be effective by balancing the concerns he/she has towards the human resources and the targets or tasks to be met by the organization. Only if there is a balanced proportion between these two components, would the manager considered to be effective and the objectives of the organization would be met. This effectively can be drawn and plotted on a graph sheet. According to the orientation the manager would be having, the management style can be defined into 5 types, namely, the (9, 1) Leader, the (1, 9) Leader, the (1, 1) Leader and the (5, 5) Leader. A (9, 1) Leader would be considering only performing a particular task in the organization. He/she would be giving huge importance in ensuring that the targets are maintained in the organization and the staff members complete their tasks. Such a manager is also known as a ‘Task-Management Leader’. The second type of a leadership style is the (1, 9) Leader. Such a leader is only concerned with ensuring the well-being and the happiness of his/her staff members. Such a leader does not give much of importance to maintaining the tasks and meeting the targets in the organization. He/she wants to be in a very harmonious and a friendly relationship with the staff members. He/she ensures that the staff members feel secure and that a pleasant environment exists for the staff members. He/she is also known as a ‘Country Club Management Leader’. The next leadership Style in the Managerial grid Task is the (1, 1) Leader. Such a leader does not give any importance to production or meeting the tasks to be completed in the organization, nor is he/she concerned with the well being of the staff members. Such a leader tries to protect himself/herself from the conflicts that prevail at the workplace and also ensuring that the pressures of meeting the targets. He does not try to meet the challenges of ensuring a good working relationship with the staff members nor is he concerned with meeting the targets in the organization. Such a leader is frequently known as an ‘Impoverished Management leader’. The next leadership style is known as the ‘(5,5) Leader or the ‘Middle of the Road’ Management leader’. This type of a leader tries to maintain a very strong balance with meeting the targets of the organization and ensuring that the staff members are satisfied with the job. He would ensure that the staff members do not experience unnecessary problems nor doe s the organization suffers in terms of meeting the targets. This kind of a leadership style is considered to be ideal in an organization. The (9, 9) Leader is one who is extremely concerned about both, meeting the targets in the organization, as well as ensuring that the human resources are happy with the work flow. He would ensure that the staff members feel very satisfied with the job. He also ensures that the organization meets its targets on time and with the highest regards to quality. Such a leader is known as the ‘Team management leader’ (NIHFW, 2003).
Management Styles in an Organization
Some of the leadership styles that may be utilized in an organization by the managers include the authoritarian or the autocratic style, the participative or the democratic style and the delegative or the free-reign style (NIHFW, 2003 & Clark, 1997).
Autocratic Management Style
In the autocratic management style, the leader or the manager adopts a style in which the advise of the staff members are not taken into account. The manager would not be taking the feedback of the staff members regarding the workflow. The manager would only be telling the staff the tasks to be completed and the manner in which it should be done. No consideration is given to either any problem experienced by the staff or solving the low motivational levels of the staff. However, it is essential that this kind of a management style is not abused, and the manager knows his limits. The main disadvantage of this kind of a management style is that the manger may abuse and insult the staff members and make them work as per his/her orders. The term ‘Bossing around’ has been adopted from this style of management. Studies have shown that autocratic kind of a management style has certain advantages in the organization. Some managers may be very positive and assertive such that the staff members like the quality and do find it a congenial environment to function in. To fulfill the targets, the autocratic style seems to be very useful. Studies have shown that the autocratic management style may be useful only under certain conditions (Clark, 1997).
Usually in an organization, the leaders would not like an authoritative kind of management style, as it is perceived to be negative. The staff members may be forced to work against their will in such an environment. The leader would often be taking the credit if any positive outcome were enabled in the organization. Hence, the staff members who would deserve all the credit would be completely ignored. Such a management style would lead to several problems in the organization such as suspicion, disharmony, difficulties and de-motivation. The staff members would be unable to function properly, and the organization would be unable to meet its goals. As the staff members are completely de-motivated, their needs may not be fulfilled and they are unable to use creativity in their work applications (NIHFW, 2003).
Paternalism Management Style
A variation of the autocratic management style is the ‘paternalism style’. This is a style in which the manager influences the staff members and according gets the work done. He knows what are the capabilities and problems of the staff members and accordingly supplies them resources and ensures that the workflow is maintained. The manager would be ensuring a proper relationship with the staff members and the authorities. Paternalism ensures that the staff members are protected and also satisfied, and also ensures that they work to their full efficiency. Paternalism is frequently associated with leadership. Paternalism acts as a control mechanism, working to the benefit of the staff members; whereas leadership ensures that the objectives of the organization are met (Clark, 1997). Paternalism is a positive leadership style, as the leader would have the intention of motivating and gratifying his staff members. It also helps to efficiently deal with any issues the organization has with staff members who do not intent to meet the objectives of the organization. The staff members who are not able to complete the tasks assigned to them due to reasonable difficulties can depend on the leader for support (NIHFW, 2003 & Clark, 1997).
Democratic Management Style
The participative or a democratic leadership style is one in which the employees and the staff members take an active role in the decision-making process of the organization. The power is completely decentralized such that there is a free flow of ideas and the staff members can come up with creative outcomes to solve the working problems that exist in the organization. The staff members are free to discuss their problems with the leader and also offer solutions to these problems. Any difficulty that would be occurring in the organization would be escalated to the leader, who would also be picking up ideas from the staff members. The leader would be selecting the options offered by the staff members and would be providing a consensus. The leader would select the option provided by the staff members, which he seems most appropriate for the organization. He would also be providing the reasons for selecting a particular option so that the staff members do not get disheartened. The leader should also be able to control any deviation from the normal workflow and provision of irrelevant ideas and discussions from the staff members. As the staff members have full freedom to provide their ideas and feeling, there are high chances that they would be providing irrelevant ideas to the leader. The leader would also be acting as a person who would be reducing any conflict that may be present in the organization. The leader would be respecting the decisions provided by the staff members. As the organization would be welcoming thoughts, the staff members would be providing their ideas freely, and in such circumstances there are chances the staff members would be in an intellectual conflict with one another. Hence, in such a situation, the leader would be providing his consensus. As the leader would be resolving conflicts that exist in the organization, he would be given a lot of respect. In a democratic type of leadership style, the staff members are permitted to function and develop with the organization, as their goals would be met along with that of the organization. The staff members would be suggesting the de-motivating factors that may be present in the organization and also suggesting measures by which this could be curbed. Hence, greater productive is ensured in the organization, and hence, the organization would thrive (NIHFW, 2003 & Clark, 1997).
However, there also exist several problems with the democratic style. The staff members may start misusing the freedom offered to them by the organization, and in such a circumstance, the organization is bound to fail. The staff members would be particularly suggesting measures that would permit their objectives to be fulfilled and not that of the organization. Hence, an efficient manager is required who could select only those options that would benefit both the organization and the staff members. The manager would have to ensure that both the objectives of the organization and that of the staff members are met, simultaneously. The organization is also at a high risk of postponing the decisions that have to be urgently made, as the staff member would be taking time. It is found that matters in which urgent decisions are required are not handled efficiently in the organization, and hence the organization is at a high risk of failing to meet the targets. Hence, it is again important that the leader is available to handle those matters in which immediate attention is required. Some leaders may be such that they would be offering decisions in the place of the staff members. The leader would have to think in terms of the staff members (keeping their characteristics in mind), and accordingly offer his decision. Hence, it can be found that although certain loopholes exist in the democratic type of a leadership style, all these can be met by having an efficient leader (NIHFW, 2003 & Clark, 1997).
Delegative Management Style
The delegative or the ‘free-rein style’ ensures that leader would be handing over the decision-making to the staff members and would depend on the staff members to meet the aims and the objectives of the organization. This comes from the French word ‘lais…sez faire’ which means non-interference in the tasks to be met. The leader is not active in the decision-making process of the organization. Hence, the staff members would not be having a manager or leader in whom they could depend upon. Hence, any person who could motivate and encourage the staff members to work would be absent. The staff members are free to bring out their own motivational factors. The leader would ensure that the staff members are given the resources to complete the tasks. The staff members have their own duty of getting themselves trained and helping themselves out. Hence, the leader cannot sort out any difficulty that could arise effectively. The leader would not contribute his expertise, skills and knowledge in solving the problems that affect the workflow. The staff members are unable to achieve any kind of inspiration from the leader. There may be a lot of chaos and confusion that prevails in the organization in case the staff members find it difficult to meet the tasks. This may be an even serious problem, if the organization is a new one and no definite pattern has been developed to sort out the workflow. Hence, there may be only certain situations under which the delegative kind of leadership style would work. The delegative style should be useful only in certain circumstances such as those in which the staff members are quite familiar and competent in the tasks to be performed. Another disadvantage that exists with the delegative kind of leadership style is that the leader is bound to blame the staff members if the objectives of the organization are not met. Such kind of an issue would happen if the leader is not in a position to understand the problems the staff members are facing with the workflow. Hence, if there is any sign that the organization would fail to meet its objectives, a delegative kind of leadership style should be removed.
Factors that affect the leadership style adopted
Many factors affect the leadership style that a manger would be using in an organization. These include: –
· Values and motives
· Experience had in the past
· Jobs and activities that are performed in the organization
· The corporate culture and the environment that is existent in the organization
· Various situations that exist in the workflow such as crisis situations and work cycles or pipelines
· The presence and nature of the supervisors had in the past in the organization (T-pub, 2007).
· Amount of time available in the organization to perform the particular tasks
· The internal conflicts that is present in the organization.
· The amount of stress experienced by the staff members in doing the work
· The standard procedures that exist in the organization (Clark, 1997).
Values and the motives of the manger are seen in the leadership style. A motive is an internal force, which enables the individual to complete or perform a particular task. Mangers who believe in power would ensure that an autocratic leadership styles picked up, whereas those who adopt a democratic leadership style are the ones that give a lot of importance to maintaining friendly relationships with the staff members (T-pub, 2007).
When any individual does an action, which gets rewards or positive reinforcements in return, such actions would be repeated in the future. If there were any kind of negative feedback, the actions would not be performed in the future. The same is the case with past experiences in using a particular management style. A manager who has had successes with using a particular management style would repeat that management style again. Whereas a manger that does not get positive results, would not repeat using that particular management style again (T-pub, 2007).
Supervisors are some kind of subordinates that help the managers to maintain the workflow. The supervisors should mirror the management style and should ensure that the characteristics of the managers are reflected. As the superiors play a very important role in interacting with the staff members, it is essential that the managers adopt the style that the supervisors would be using (T-pub, 2007).
Frequently, the activities that an organization performs palsy a very important role in the style that the leaders would be adopting. For example, if new tasks are performed and if the tasks seem to be tough, an autocratic management style should be adopted. On the other hand, if the tasks performed seem to be relatively easier and if the manager has several responsibilities in the organization, then a delegative kind of a management style can be adopted (T-pub, 2007).
The corporate culture existing in the organization also plays an important role in determining which leadership style would be prevailing. At the various worker levels, the needs and the motivational factors would be similar, and hence the manager would be using a particular management style. These working environments that exists are known as ‘corporate cultures’ and the relationships that exists between various individuals are known as ‘norms’. The managers should ensue that their leadership style suits the corporate culture and the norms that exist in the organization (T-pub, 2007).
In different situations, the managers should adopt a particular management style such that the workflow would be maintained and the organization can achieve some amount of effectiveness. For example, if the tasks become tougher, the manager would have to adopt a democratic kind of a management style, and if they become easy and the staff members are fully competent with them, then the manager would adopt a delegative kind of a management style (T-pub, 2007).
Management style to be utilized
Fiedler has setup a model to define the importance of managerial skill for the leader. According to him, there is no leadership style that is most appropriate. In a particular situation, a leader would be performing well, whereas under others he/she may not be performing well. Hence, it can be seen that a manager would be doing well at a particular position, but when he/she reaches another position he/she would not be doing so well as another management style would be effective at that level. A leader would be performing well in one situation, but in another, he/she would not be performing so well as a different management style would be applicable. The leader would be successful in applying the predominating management style. If a manager is motivated, he could be changing and appropriately using a particular management style (NIHW, 2002).
Although there may several arguments and counterarguments regarding the use of a particular management style in an organization, I do feel that a leader should be able to use all the three management styles, namely, autocratic, democratic and Delegative style in an organization depending on the circumstances that seem to exist. An authoritarian style would be suiting a circumstance in which new employees are recruited in the organization. These leaders would be acting as trainers and ensuring that the staff members are motivated to learn and experience the new tasks. On the other hand, once the staff members find the tasks to be performed easy in the organization, they would not need that extra support and training from the leader. In such a situation, the leader should adopt a participative management style. If the staff members are able to perform the tasks more easily than the leader, than a delegative kind of a management style can be adopted. Such a style would ensure that the manager could take up new responsibilities in the organization. Many people consider that all the three management styles should be incorporated as active processes in the organization (Clark, 1997).
No matter what the nature of the functions or the tasks performed in the organization, a management style would prevail. Although a manager would be using a mixture of all the three management styles during the workflow and in particular situations, he/she would prefer a predominant management style. This predominant leadership style may be autocratic, delegative or democratic. A leader should be able to define the strengths and the weaknesses his/her style has and accordingly bring out modifications in his/her leadership style. The leader would also have to determine the type of leadership style that is valid for that particular organization. A good leader would identify and exploit his/her strengths and would also be able to modify his/her own style to the staff members and the organization. He would also understand the demand of each situation and accordingly frame his/her leadership style. He/she would be looking into the past experience to determine which leadership style has given the most success and benefits (Briggs, 1995). Hence, the key to success of a manager is to which management style he/she would be using and in which situation. It is also necessary to know that each of the three management styles have overlapping characteristics and components; and hence, there is no definite pattern under which each could be utilized. Both training and practical experience would help the manager in perfecting a management style and following this applying it in given situations in the organization (McGuire, 2005).
As the manager would have to shift from one management style to another, it is required that the entire decision-making process in the organization be completely flexible. The manager would not only have to think himself/herself of that particular situation but also question others may have. To ensure this, several decision-making tools could be utilized to help the mangers in bringing out appropriate decisions in the organization. The manager should also be having an idea of the natural or the basic management style that he/she is possessing. He should be able to determine the deficiencies in his/her style and accordingly develop an appropriate style.
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