Managerial work is one of the most important human activities. From the formation of the first social organizations that were made to accomplish various aims and objectives that could not be accomplish as individuals, managers have been essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts. As society continuously relied on group effort, and as many organized groups have become large, the task and requirement of managers has been increasing in importance and complexity. Henceforth, managerial theory has become crucial in the way managers manage complex organizations. The aim of this paper is to differentiate the many types of management types from all over the world. Managers gain their different managing styles by either being born a natural manager, Theoretical knowledge(school), Interpersonal relationships with other leaders and school of hard knocks (making mistakes). Managers with mixed management theory in their day to day practice have a better chance of managing organizations more efficiently and effectively. Therefore, managers of contemporary organizations are to appreciate the important role they play in their respective organizations if they are to achieve the set goals.
Secondly, there is need to promote excellence among all persons in organizations, especially among managers themselves. To address these concerns, this paper will proceed with the following spectrum: management defined for purposes of conceptual clarity; management objectives, functions, goals, and essence. The importance of managerial skills and the organizational hierarchy will be sketched, the importance of women in the organizational hierarchy will be emphasized, reasons for studying management theory will be enumerated, the different management theories.
Definition of Management
Management is the art, or science, of achieving goals through people. Since managers also supervise, management can be interpreted to mean literally “looking over” – i.e., making sure people do what they are supposed to do. Managers are, therefore, expected to ensure greater productivity. Management refers to the development of bureaucracy that derives its importance from the need for strategic planning, co-ordination, directing and controlling of large and complex decision-making process. Essentially, therefore, management entails the acquisition of managerial competence, and effectiveness key areas such as problem solving, administration, human resource management, and organizational leadership.
There are basically three management objectives. One objective is ensuring organizational goals and targets are met with the least cost and minimum waste. The second objective is looking after health and welfare, and safety of staff. The third objective is protecting the machinery and resources of the organization, including the human resources.
To understand management, it is of vital importance that we break it down into five managerial functions, namely; planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
Planning requires the management of an organization to do thorough evaluation of the current state of the company and where the company will be in future. It involves setting goals and objectives to be achieved by an organization within a specified duration . During the planning process, management evaluates both internal and external factor s that affect the company.
This requires management to organize all the available resources in an organization towards the achievement of the set goals and objectives set during the planning stage. This stage helps management to be able to organize resources in the best way, organize human resource and other factors within the organization for it to achieve the set goals. Organizing helps management to determine the internal structure of the company and the best way in which achieve good results.
Directing helps management to monitor staff and direct resources to influence the conduct of staff to work towards achieving the goals of the organization. Directing also assists management to help employees in accomplishing their career objectives and being part of the organization. Directing needs effective communication and building of positive interpersonal relationship s between management and staff.
includes setting and establishing standards to be achieved within the organization. It also involves evaluation of results in comparison with the set standards and incase of any variations, it helps management to come up with the appropriate measures.
The four functions of management are crucial for an organization to succeed. Therefore these functions should be properly developed and implemented for an organization to succeed.
Goals of All Managers:
First and foremost, the logical and publicly desirable aim of all managers in all kinds of organizations, whether business or non-business, should be a surplus. Thus, managers must establish an environment in which people can accomplish group goals with the least amount of time, money, materials, and personal dissatisfaction or in which they can achieve as much as possible of a desired goal with available resources. In a non-business enterprise such as units of a business (such as an accounting department) that are not responsible for total business profits, managers still have goals and should strive to accomplish them with the minimum of resources or to accomplish as much as possible with available resources. A manager who achieves such an aim is said to be a strategic manager.
The second goal or aim of all managers is that they must be productive. Indeed, government, and the private sector recognize the urgent need for productivity improvement. Productivity improvement is about effectively performing the basic managerial and non-managerial activities. Simply defined, productivity is about the output-input ratio within a time period with due consideration for equality.
Lastly, productivity implies effectiveness and efficiency in individual and organizational performance. Effectiveness is the achievement of objectives. Efficiency is the achievement of the ends with the least amount of resources. Managers cannot know whether they are productive unless they first know their goals and those of the organization.
Recent Developments in Management Theory include the Systems Approach and Contingency theory.
The systems theory has had a significant effect on management science and understanding organizations. A system is a collection of part unified to accomplish an overall goal. If one part of the system is removed, the nature of the system is changed as well. A system can be looked at as having inputs (e.g., resources such as raw materials, money, technology, labour), processes (e.g., planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling), outputs (products or services) and outcomes (e.g., enhanced quality of life or productivity for customers/clients, productivity). Systems share feedback among each of these four aspects of the system.
The Systems Theory may seem quite basic. Yet, decades of management training and practices in the workplace have not followed this theory. Only recently, with tremendous changes facing organizations and how they operate, have educators and managers come to face this new way of looking at things. The effect of systems theory in management is that it helps managers to look at the organization more broadly. It has also enabled managers to interpret patterns and events in the workplace – i.e., by enabling managers to recognize the various parts of the organization, and, in particular, the interrelations of the parts.
The basic idea of systems approach is that any object must rely on a method of analysis involving simultaneous variations of mutually dependent variables.
Features of a System
A system is an assemblage of things connected or inter related so as to form a complex unity; a whole composed of parts and sub-parts in orderly arrangement according to some plan. A system is basically a combination of parts, subsystems. Each part may have various sub-parts. When a subsystem is considered as a system without reference to the system of which it is a part, it has the same features of a system. Parts and sub-parts of a system are mutually related to each other, some more, some less; some directly, some indirectly. A system is not merely the totality of parts and subparts but their arrangement is more important. It is an interdependent framework in which various parts are arranged. A system can be identified because it has a boundary. The boundary maintains proper relationship between the systems and its environment. The boundary of the system classifies it into two parts- closed system and ?open system. ?System transforms inputs into outputs. This transformation process is ?essential for the survival of the system. ?
Open and Closed Systems
The boundary of the system classifies it into two parts: closed system and open system. All living organisms are open system while all non-living systems are closed systems. All systems have boundaries, a fact that is immediately apparent in mechanical systems such as the watch, but much less apparent in social systems such as organizations. The boundaries of open systems, because they interact with other systems or environments, are more flexible than those of closed systems, which are rigid and largely impenetrable. A closed-system perspective views organizations as relatively independent of environmental influences. The closed-system approach conceives of the organization as a system of management, technology, personnel, equipment, and materials, but tends to exclude competitors, suppliers, distributors, and governmental regulators. This approach allows managers and organizational theorists to analyze problems by examining the internal structure of a business with little consideration of the external environment. The closed-system perspective basically views an organization much as a thermostat; limited environmental input outside of changes in temperature is required for effective operation. Once set, thermostats require little maintenance in their ongoing, self-reinforcing function. While the closed-system perspective was dominant through the 1960s, organization scholarship and research subsequently emphasized the role of the environment. Up through the 1960s, it was not that managers ignored the outside environment such as other organizations, markets, government regulations and the like, but that their strategies and other decision-making
processes gave relatively little consideration to the impact these external forces might have on the internal operations of the organization.
The distinction between closed and open systems is clear but really no system is a closed one but has some properties of open systems. The classification of various systems into closed and open is not very proper.
Abstract Approach. This approach is too abstract to be of much use to the managers. It merely indicates that various parts of the organization are inter related. ?
Lack of Universality. The precepts of this approach cannot be applied to all organizations. These approach is mainly suitable for large and complex organization and not the small ones. ?
The situational or contingency theory asserts that when managers make a decision, they must take into account all aspects of the current situation and act on those aspects that are keys to the situation at hand. Basically, it is the approach that “it depends”. For example, if one is leading troops in Iraq, an autocratic style is probably best. If one is leading a hospital or University, a more participative and facilitative leadership style is probably best.
When a subsystem in an organization behaves in response to another system or subsystem, we say that response is contingent on environment. Hence a contingency approach is an approach where the behaviours of one subunit is dependent on its environmental relationship to other units or subunits that have control over the consequences desired by that subunit.
Implications of this theory include:
Management is entirely situational and there is nothing like universal principles of Management
The approach suggests suitable alternatives for those managerial actions which are generally contingent upon external and internal environment.
This approach suggests that since organization interacts with its ?environment, neither the organization nor ant of its subsystems is free to take absolute action.?
The contingency approach has Inadequate Literature. It has not adequately spelled out various types of actions which can be taken under different situations. ?
It is Complex. When put into practice, this approach becomes very complex. Determination of situation in which managerial action is to be taken involves analysis of large number of variables. ?
Reactive not Proactive. This approach is basically reactive in nature. It merely suggests what managers can do in a given situation.
Classical organization theories (Taylor, 1947; Weber, 1947; Fayol, 1949) deal with the formal organization and concepts to increase management efficiency. Taylor presented scientific management concepts, Weber gave the bureaucratic approach, and Fayol developed the administrative theory of the organization. They all contributed significantly to the development of classical organization theory.
Taylor’s scientific management approach
The scientific management approach developed by Taylor is based on the concept of planning of work to achieve efficiency, standardization, specialization and simplification. Acknowledging that the approach to increased productivity was through mutual trust between management and workers, Taylor suggested that, to increase this level of trust,
• the advantages of productivity improvement should go to workers,
• physical stress and anxiety should be eliminated as much as possible
• capabilities of workers should be developed through training, and
• the traditional ‘boss’ concept should be eliminated.
Taylor developed the following four principles of scientific management for improving productivity:
• Science, not rule-of-thumb Old rules-of-thumb should be supplanted by a scientific approach to each element of a person’s work.
• Scientific selection of the worker Organizational members should be selected based on some analysis, and then trained, taught and developed.
• Management and labour cooperation rather than conflict Management should collaborate with all organizational members so that all work can be done in conformity with the scientific principles developed.
• Scientific training of the worker Workers should be trained by experts, using scientific methods.
Weber’s bureaucratic approach
Considering the organization as a segment of broader society, Weber (1947) based the concept of the formal organization on the following principles:
• Structure In the organization, positions should be arranged in a hierarchy, each with a particular, established amount of responsibility and authority.
• Specialization Tasks should be distinguished on a functional basis, and then separated according to specialization, each having a separate chain of command.
• Predictability and stability The organization should operate according to a system of procedures consisting of formal rules and regulations.
• Rationality Recruitment and selection of personnel should be impartial.
• Democracy Responsibility and authority should be recognized by designations and not by persons.
Weber’s theory is infirm on account of dysfunctions (Hicks and Gullett, 1975) such as rigidity, impersonality, displacement of objectives, limitation of categorization, self-perpetuation and empire building, cost of controls, and anxiety to improve status.
The elements of administrative theory (Fayol, 1949) relate to accomplishment of tasks, and include principles of management, the concept of line and staff, committees and functions of management.
• Division of work or specialization This increases productivity in both technical and managerial work.
• Authority and responsibility These are imperative for an organizational member to accomplish the organizational objectives.
• Discipline Members of the organization should honour the objectives of the organization. They should also comply with the rules and regulations of the organization.
• Unity of command This means taking orders from and being responsible to only one superior.
• Unity of direction Members of the organization should jointly work toward the same goals.
• Subordination of individual interest to general interest The interest of the organization should not become subservient to individual interests or the interest of a group of employees.
• Remuneration of personnel This can be based on diverse factors such as time, job, piece rates, bonuses, profit-sharing or non-financial rewards.
• Centralization Management should use an appropriate blend of both centralization and de-centralization of authority and decision making.
• Scalar chain If two members who are on the same level of hierarchy have to work together to accomplish a project, they need not follow the hierarchy level, but can interact with each other on a ‘gang plank’ if acceptable to the higher officials.
• Order The organization has a place for everything and everyone who ought to be so engaged.
• Equity Fairness, justice and equity should prevail in the organization.
• Stability of tenure of personnel Job security improves performance. An employee requires some time to get used to new work and do it well.
• Initiative This should be encouraged and stimulated.
• Esprit de corps Pride, allegiance and a sense of belonging are essential for good performance. Union is strength.
• The concept of line and staff The concept of line and staff is relevant in organizations which are large and require specialization of skill to achieve organizational goals. Line personnel are those who work directly to achieve organizational goals. Staff personnel include those whose basic function is to support and help line personnel.
• Committees Committees are part of the organization. Members from the same or different hierarchical levels from different departments can form committees around a common goal. They can be given different functions, such as managerial, decision making, recommending or policy formulation. Committees can take diverse forms, such as boards, commissions, task groups or ad hoc committees. Committees can be further divided according to their functions. In agricultural research organizations, committees are formed for research, staff evaluation or even allocation of land for experiments.
• Functions of management Fayol (1949) considered management as a set of planning, organizing, training, commanding and coordinating functions. Gulick and Urwick (1937) also considered organization in terms of management functions such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting.
Neoclassical theorists recognized the importance of individual or group behaviour and emphasized human relations. Based on the Hawthorne experiments, the neoclassical approach emphasized social or human relationships among the operators, researchers and supervisors (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1943). It was argued that these considerations were more consequential in determining productivity than mere changes in working conditions. Productivity increases were achieved as a result of high morale, which was influenced by the amount of individual, personal and intimate attention workers received.
Principles of the neoclassical approach
The classical approach stressed the formal organization. It was mechanistic and ignored major aspects of human nature. In contrast, the neoclassical approach introduced an informal organization structure and emphasized the following principles:
• The individual An individual is not a mechanical tool but a distinct social being
• The work group The neoclassical approach highlighted the social facets of work groups or informal organizations that operate within a formal organization. The concept of ‘group’ and its synergistic benefits were considered important.
• Participative management Participative management or decision making permits workers to participate in the decision making process.
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