Managing Human Resources Essay, Research Paper
Management is a broad subject and time has been spent to analyse it.
The study of organisations and their management, therefore, has to proceed on a broad front.
No single approach provides all answers. It is the comparative study of the different approaches, which will yield benefits to the manager.
A central part of the study of the organisation and management is the development of management thinking and what may be termed management theory.
The application of theory brings about change in actual behaviour.
Managers reading the work of leading writers on the subject might see in their ideas a message about how they should behave.
In order to spot the problems caused by the management at Aussieco, I will analyse the Classical Theory and Fayol?s Functions of Management.
The classical writers place emphasis on structure and formal organisation, set on principles to guide managerial actions, standardised procedures and the assumption of rational and logical behaviour.
Writers that place emphasis on the technical requirements of the organisation tend to support a high level of control as necessary for efficiency.
Fayol, for example, describes control as follows:
? In an undertaking, control consists in verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued and principles established.
It has for object to and point out weaknesses and errors in order to rectify them prevent recurrence. It operates on everything, things, people, actions. ?
Comparing the Classical writers thought with the actual management structure at Aussieco will prove the unstable and badly structured company?s situation.
None of the Classical principles have never been met while analysing the case study.
The company does not even have a skeleton of an organised and formal structure; every single thing is improvised and not rules are set.
High level of control is totally missing, mainly because the management itself is incompetent and not qualified for the position they cover.
In many occasions managers who made the wrong decisions have seriously damaged the company?s turnover. (?The company has received an order for over $AUS 1 million from a customer in Perth, West Australia, who did not pay for its first shipment about a year ago and machine were brought back to Melbourne. Total loss $AUS 100.000. A second order was billed six months ago but not dispatched. Total loss $AUS 60.000?) .
The quality of the senior Management is poor and irrational.
The owner?s dictatorial attitude, ignorance of modern trends and age-related dispositions (memory loss, child-like behaviour) are cause of contrast within the company.
The owner-chairman refuses to hear any complains or problems about the company. To point out weaknesses and errors in order to rectify them and prevent recurrence becomes almost impossible.
Another mean of describing and evaluating the style of management at Aussieco is the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid .
The Grid provides a basis for comparison of managerial styles in terms of two principal dimensions:
· concern for production
· concern for people
Concern for production is the amount of emphasis that the manager places on accomplishing the tasks, achieving a high level of production and getting results of profits.
Concern for people is the amount of emphasis that the manager gives to subordinates and colleagues as individuals and to their needs and expectations.
Analysing Aussieco?s situation we will notice that managers are not remotely
concerned about people and production.
Communication, work groups, motivation and job design, the key elements of a successful and productive company, do not exist.
There is no relationship between management and workers, no direct contact; problems are never discussed as no meetings are held.
The general feeling that comes out of this company is recklessness.
Nobody in the company works for the pleasure of it as no satisfaction is received.
Frustration, fear, disorganisation are the most recurring words.
The verb ?run? is very often used in the case study to emphasise the employees? desire to run away from the company as soon as they can.
According to Blake and Mouton Grid, the managers? s attitude and style of management at Aussieco can be defined as ?the impoverished manager?.
It means that low concern for production and low concern for people is taken.
Managers with a 1.1 rating tend to be remote from their subordinates and believe in the minimum movement from their present position. They do as little as they can with people and production.
People management problems and management style
Most of the critical problems at Aussieco are not in the ?world of the things?, but in the ?world of people?.
The company?s greatest failure as human beings has been the inability to secure co-operation and understanding with others.
People management at Aussieco was poor and incompetent. The lack of guidance, motivation, communication and group activities have brought the company being declared bankrupt.
Beyond the money, people expect more out of their job. They wish to contribute, to see that their contribution is making the difference.
The fact that many people voluntary work unpaid overtime at Intech when a job needs completion or a new project is at a crucial stage is determined by the fact that beyond the money people wish to contribute. Therefore encouragement and help must be involved in the new organisation.
The previous management was also irresponsible for the workers? health and safety measures.
Workshops are open, with no doors and filthy. Windows are never washed and a large number are boarded up.
No consideration was given to the staff?s morale. Nothing has ever been done to improve the working environment.
The organisation appears reluctant to promote its own staff.
The system of finding jobs for family or friends, nepotism, seems prevalent.
This attitude seriously damages the company as not qualified and incompetent people are hired damaging Aussieco productivity.
As a consequence of the poor management style workers are unmotivated, they are unaware of the tasks they have to accomplish as resources and money to train them has never been employed.
The new managers? duties will be hard.
Changes in the old employee?s behaviour will be significantly difficult and time consuming.
In order to lead and influence the old staff, Intech management will have to analyse and understand the situation they are trying to influence. It is important to diagnose what the situation is now in order to know what can reasonably expect it to be in the future. The discrepancy between the two is the problem to be solved.
The new management should adapt their behaviour and the other resources they have available, in order to meet the contingencies of the situation. This process involves adapting behaviours and other resources in a way that helps to close the gap between the current situation and the one that wants to be achieved.
Communicating in a way that people can easily understand is very important too.
If the new management is not able to communicate in a way that people can accept, the whole process will not have the impact expected.
The managerial functions of planning, organising, motivating and controlling are considered central to a discussion of management by many authors.
A model is suggested by Hersey and Blanchard, who present a form of situational leadership based on the ?readiness? level of people the leader is attempting to influence.
Readiness is the extent to which followers have the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task. It is not a personal characteristic of the individual, but how ready the individual is to perform a particular task .
Readiness is divided in a continuum of four levels: R1 (low), R2 and R3 (moderate) and R4 (high).
R1 is the one that best fits Aussieco workers at the moment and gradually must be moved upward.
It refers to followers who are both unable and unwilling and who lack of commitment and motivation.
It has to be stressed that at the lower level of readiness, the leader has to provide directions: what, where, when and how things have to be done. Therefore, the decisions are leader directed.
For each of the four level of maturity, the appropriate style of leadership is a combination of task behaviour (the extent to which the leader provides directions for the actions of followers) and relationship behaviour (the extent to which the leader engages in two-way communication with followers).
From the combination of task behaviour and relationship behaviour derive four leadership styles: S1- telling, S2- selling, S3-participating and S4- delegating.
The situation of the two companies is poles apart, the task of the new management is to bring Aussieco up to Intech?s level.
In order to obtain it, managers should follow step by step all the four styles of leadership.
Emphasise high amount of guidance but limited supportive relationship behaviour in a first place (S1).
Subsequently they should give high amounts of both directive and relationship behaviours (S2).
Consequently managers should emphasise communication and support, but give low amount of guidance as followers are now expected to be able even if still unwilling (S3).
Finally, managers will expect to work with high follower readiness.
It means they should emphasise little direction (S4). At this stage the two workforces will be integrate and homogeneous.
This development should take place by adjusting leadership behaviour through the four styles of telling, selling, participating and delegating.
Resistance to change and management behaviour
Despite the potential positive outcomes, changes are often resisted at organisational level.
Resistance to change appears to be a common phenomenon, it can take many forms and it may be difficult to identify the exact reason for the opposition.
Some common reasons for individual resistance to change within the organisations can be categorised under the following headings.
· Fear of the Unknown
Employees at Aussieco are not qualified, unskilled and with limited English.
They may be uncertain of their abilities to learn new skills, their aptitude with new systems, or their ability to take on new roles.
They could see the new management as a treat for their position.
Key personnel (such as programmers, engineers and technicians) although possessing talent at their particular job are mainly of migrant origin, or people lacking formal qualification. They could resist the new management as worried either of loosing the job or earning less money as not properly qualified.
· Economic implications. People tend to resist changes that are perceived as reducing their pay or their rewards or seen as an increase in work for the same level of pay. Aussieco?s staff is not willing to voluntary work unpaid overtime, their attitude are very different from Intech. They have been working so far only because of the money not for the company?s improvement.
Those problems may be solved using the following techniques.
· Maintaining stability. Managers should maintain stability and predictability. It is very important in order to keep a formal organisation structure, rules establishment and definition of assigned responsibilities and duties.
All the changes should happen gradually and the staff should constantly be informed.
· Consultation and participation.
Managers should attempt to solicit the co-operation of staff and help them to feel that decisions that are taken are in their own interest.
General and one to one meetings should be held to know people?s opinions, expectations and complains.
Aussieco?s staff lacks of motivation that led to frustrated behaviour resulting in lack of commitment and poor job performance.
Motivation is an important aspect and could be improved by giving people interesting tasks, make them feel like their job is essential for the company and reward them with bonuses and salary revision.
Within the organisation, leadership influence will be dependent upon the type of power that the leader can exercise over the followers.
Managers? behaviour and working methods will have to change dramatically.
French and Raven have identified five main sources of power upon which the influence of the leader is based .
Power used at Intech is based on the subordinate?s perception that the leader has the ability and resources to obtain rewards for those who comply with directives; for example pay, promotion, increased in responsibility.
At Aussieco the power used was coercive, therefore based on fear and the subordinate?s perception that the leader has the ability to punish those who do not comply with directives.
The three new managers will have to move from a ?reward power?, unsuitable for Aussieco, to a different one.
Between the five proposed by French and Raven the legitimate power is the one the new management should adopt in a first place.
It is based on the subordinate?s perception that the leader has the right to exercise influence because of the leader?s role or position in the organisation.
Furthermore, the same leader may exercise different types of power, in particular circumstances and at different times.
The power used with a member of staff may not be effective with another one, therefore flexibility and adaptability is very important.
There are other ways of looking at roles of managers.
Mintzberg believes that managers have a decisional role, they should spend time building ?outside? relationships in order to gather information informally so that he can do his job properly (interpersonal role). They have an informational role; they have to pass information out to subordinates to allow them to do their work.
Henry Mintzberg demonstrates that effective management depends not only on a manager?s embodiment of these necessary qualities but also on his or her insight into their own work. Performance depends on how well he understands and responds to the pressures and dilemmas of the job. It is often the case that job pressures can drive a manager to be superficial in his actions – to overload himself with work, encourage interruption, respond quickly to every stimulus, avoid the abstract, make decisions in small increments and do everything abruptly. The effective manager surmounts the pressures of superficiality by stepping back in order to see a broad picture and making use of analytical input.
Change in culture at Aussieco and consequent problems
One of the most important factors in the successful implementation of organisational change is the style of managerial behaviour.
With Aussieco staff, the introduction of changes is more likely to be effective with an involving style of managerial behaviour.
If staff is kept fully informed of proposals, is encouraged to adopt a positive attitude and have personal involvement in the implementation of the change, there is a greater likelihood of their acceptance to change.
By using an ?involving style?, a significant advantage is that once the change is accepted it tends to be long lasting. Since everyone has been drawn in the development of the change, each person tends to be more highly committed to its implementation.
The disadvantage of participative change is that it tends to be slow as Aussieco?s staff has never been motivated and involved in any project before.
Changes may also bring problems, ideas and innovations could be perceived as threats.
Although managers will try to maintain a balance within the organisation, people?s attitudes and behaviour may change damaging the level of the organisational performance and effectiveness.
Contrast and rivalry could rise between Aussieco and Intech employees due to the unequal nature of the two parts.
Therefore, define a clear management strategy for behaviour change in this organisation is essential.
Managers have to develop a clear vision of what they want to achieve by identifying significant steps in the change process.
Firs of all they have to communicate their plan to all concerned and inspire confidence in order to prevent problems and encourage communication.
Help people to accept change is the second step.
It can be achieved by planning changes carefully, consult and inform frequently, be firm but flexible and monitor the change.
Once the above steps have been accomplished managers should test them by answering to the following questions.
? Have the desire results been achieved??
? Has the process been successful??
? Are the two parts of the organisation homogeneously melt together??
If the answers are positive the management strategy adopted has been successful, otherwise they should try to find out what might have been done differently and how can those not responding well to the change can be helped.
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