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  • Category:
    Management
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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1The Best Way to Manage

THE BEST WAY TO MANAGE

The Best way To Manage

When it comes to organisations, small or large, the ultimate goal is to get maximum productivity, and managers have a big role to play here. It is, therefore, essential for managers to find approaches that are efficient to run their organisations. There are many theories that have been developed in the past with a view to formulating the best way to manage a business, all of which have their pros and cons depending on the environment of their application. I, therefore,, believe that there is only one best way to manage an organisation, and that is using the Contingency Theory, which emphasises on the uniqueness of every organisation hence different management practices will apply. These practices can be drawn from one of the theories discussed in this paper or a combination of more than one of the theories.

Administrative Theory

The most basic of all existing theories would be the Administrative Theory, which stems from Henri Fayol’s 14 principles and 6 functions of management. It provides guidelines which though were revolutionary at the time of the development of the theory; they are today largely considered common sense. However, this does not mean the guidelines are any less important. In the contrary, they serve as a foundation for anyone seeking to efficiently manage any business. They are essentials without which business will inevitably fail. Principles such as unity of command and direction are essential to ensure stability. Presence of order in terms of cleanliness of workplace is often overlooked in many organisations especially factories. Take for example a factory where the different stations for the different tasks (branding, packing, shipping, etc.) are not arranged in a systematic order. A lot of time and energy is wasted as the employees criss-cross the factory trying to get the job done decreasing productivity. This theory would apply in possibly all types of the organisation because it is very basic.

Bureaucratic Theory

The Bureaucratic Theory is probably the most widely used method of administration. It compares to the administrative theory in that it provides for a hierarchal system which ensures everyone knows their place and no boundaries are crossed and general order is maintained (West 1997). Similarly, in both, there is division of labour which means employees specialize at a given task and are provided with an opportunity to better their skills. However, bureaucratic organisations are largely rule oriented and employees have to follow certain set rules and failure leads to strict consequences, including termination of employment (West 1997). Also, presence of official documents or records of the organisations dealings especially financial is an equally important aspect in the theory. This type of managerial practice is largely rigid therefore suitable for government institutions and other formal organisations since employees often have no proprietary interests in the organisation. In more creative environments, this theory would be limiting to the employees’ creativity hence not as efficient.

Human Relations Theory

The above-mentioned theories are wonderful except they fail to acknowledge the fact that human beings are the employees rather than machines or robots. This is where the Mayo’s Human Relations theory comes in. It was a reaction to the dehumanizing effect of prior theories and called for more attention on individuals and their unique abilities. For employees to produce maximally, they have to be properly motivated to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities (Markert, 2008). Simply put, prospering employees equals a prosperous organisation. Human resource departments are therefore essential in all organisations to ensure the needs of employees and those of the organisation are aligned (Markert, 2008). This managerial practice is crucial to all organisations regardless of the sector especially since we live in an age of democracy, liberalism, and human rights activism.

Theory X and Theory Y

From the above theory, the Theory X and the Theory Y have developed the former applying in settings where employees naturally seem to dislike their jobs but stick around anyway for survival. Their lack of motivations means they are in constant need of supervision thus calling for an authoritarian style of management. This practice is common in factories, and other organisations were work is specialized and highly repetitive (Mindtools 2014). The latter applies in settings were employees are creative and self-motivated hence management is decentralized and participatory. This practice applies effectively in environments where work is organized in wider fields of skills and knowledge allowing employees to develop their expertise.

There also exists a Theory Z which basically blends the best of Eastern and Western management practices (Schultz, 2006). The theory borrows heavily from Japanese organisations which during the 70’s and 80’s were the most productive. For example, the creation of a strong company philosophy and culture is considered extremely important. The goal is to make the employee embody the company’s philosophy and culture and believe in the work they do. In this way, employees become highly motivated and as a result productivity increases. To ensure the loyalty of employees, employment is made long term and promotions steady (Schultz, 2006). The organisation also demonstrates concern for its employees’ (and their families) well-being in term of their health and general happiness. This is done for example through the provision of health insurances and allowances. Though the theory’s popularity was greatly undermined by the flattening of the Japanese economy at the turn of the century, one cannot ignore its working principles and their application in nearly of types of organisations.

Systems Theory.

The System Theory points to the fact that organisations are systems comprising of inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes, all of which are interrelated. Therefore, while managing a company, it has to be looked at as a whole rather than dealing with different sections at a time. The existence of organisations as systems implies that the failure of one part of the system could result in overall failure of the entire system. The theory may seem basic but surprising it has been overlooked for years. To successful manage any organisation, it is crucial that managers view the company from a broader perspective looking at the different parts and more importantly, how they relate and can be coordinated (Blackburn, et al. 2013). This practice applies to all organisations and managers world over who have given it a test run will attest to its efficiency.

Chaos Theory

Lastly, there is the Chaos Theory, which unlike the other theories does not provide a map or guidelines to successfully manage a business. Instead, it warns of the natural order of things which many managers ignore (Sengupta, 2001). This is because managers act on the basis that events that have to do with the organisation can be controlled (Management Help 2015). However, almost always and more often than not, the events are chaotic, and managers have little to no control over them. The best solution would be to try and predict chaotic events likely to happen and put in measures to either prevent them or minimize their effects. This includes natural occurrences such as fires, floods or earthquakes. This is an indispensable practice for any organisation that seeks to be in existence for a long time.

Conclusively, there are numerous ways in which one can go about managing an organisation. The key point while choosing a method that will be most efficient and most productive is to consider the environment (). This includes the type of company, employees working for the organisation and the unique goals of the organisation. The theories mentioned above will only prove useful if used in the right environment. Moreover, two or more theories can be fused together into a perfect balance that works for a certain environment. That said, the practices belonging to the Contingency theory is the best way to manage.

References

Blackburn, R. A., Hart, M., & Wainwright, T., Small Business Performance Strategy and Owner-Manager Characteristics. Journal of Small Businesses and Enterprise Development. 20(1) (2013): 8-27.

Schultz, R 2006, Organizational Impact Of Management Theories,

Markert, J 2008, Weberian and Human Relations Management Theories, An applied Micro-Macro Reconciliation, Michigan Sociological Review, 22

West, W 1997, ‘Searching for a Theory of Bureaucratic Structure’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 591-613

Sengupta, 2001, ‘Towards A Theory OF Chaos’, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, Vol. 13, No. 11 (2003) 3147{3233