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The principle of management is a process that involves an ability to plan, organize, motivate, control, evaluate, and investigate. Another definition of management stems from the word manage which means to direct, guide, execute, administer, or carry out. Today, the rapidly changing modern world and the continuous technological changes have challenged the limits of management principles. In this scenario, in order to keep pace with these changes, the process of management also attempts to go beyond the constricting functional levels. Human acceptance is increasingly becoming a major deciding factor in the successful implementation of management plans. As a result, management looks for skills that support acceptance of creativity and innovation. Today, management primarily focuses on the leadership that guides and directs. It also looks for influential communicating and counseling talents. Organizations relentlessly search for enhanced ways to improve their performance. As competition throws challenges every day, management has to be creative and achievement-oriented to fulfill organizational goals.
Concepts are cornerstones of planning. Planning involves the perception of information and sound judgment, as planning is the final step that leads to action. During the planning process, various available information and sequence of events are analyzed and compared to choose the best alternative. Education enables us to think creatively. Experience guides us in what to do and what not to do. Organizational planning is bound to be influenced by personal decisions when it goes beyond a certain degree of acceptance. Planning also gets affected by individual differences like any other activity. Creative planners have a number of qualities in common. They show their traits early in their careers and they also display unusual qualities, irrespective of their field of planning. Research has shown the extent of influence individuals have in planning in terms of personality variables and systems.
The vague understanding of the objectives of planning will lead to failure in accomplishing the desired result. Therefore, the sound reasoning and clear conception of the job on hand are prerequisites in planning for the desired outcome. Awareness of facts and previous experience related to the subject enables good thinking, while planning. Cramming with undigested facts will have adverse effects. A good planner underlines the importance of clarity of concepts and various other useful considerations in the subject of his planning. Hypotheses are part of planning. While an inadequate planner stumbles on alternatives, a good planner shows an independence of judgment (Haller, 1970).
Organizing is managing a set up around the work to be done. To do the work effectively, it has to be divided into simple tasks. These tasks are grouped according to their characteristics and arranged in a structured manner. Organizing unstructured situations is an important role in management. This process calls for streamlining isolated events and facts and giving meaning to them. This function also underscores predicting future outcomes of the present action. The purpose of organizing, generally, is to bring about a change in the functioning of isolated events and facts to the known techniques that the manager believes will work better. Unfamiliar or ineffective ways of functioning warrants management to organize operations, at times forcibly, to fit in the commonly accepted and familiar ways of working. In organizations, the manager’s job is to integrate both human and physical resources and to bring them into a sound and dynamic organizational structure. This organizational structure provides predefined correlation between people, who carry out the overall coordination. Organizational theory consists of many variations in business structures. Line and staff is one such variation where the staff has absolute authority in his limited sphere of activity.
Research in human relations has proved that positive motivation of workers has led to increased productivity. During earlier days, although forced motivation increased productivity in the short run, it turned out to be counterproductive in the long run. Powerful or forceful motivation turned the workers against the management. This led to the development of a better scientific management theory, which influenced the workers’ behavior in a positive manner. This theory focused on attempts to gain favorable reactions from the subordinates. Every supportive step, rather than threat, from superiors infused a sense of importance in subordinates. This further led to the feeling of personal worth contributing to motivation. The modified theory of motivation brought about improvements in the supervisor-subordinate relations, paving the way to effective performance. Favorable attitudes towards subordinates help create integrated teams with a high team spirit in work places. This approach further leads to achieving the high-performance goals.
Conflict of interests is a human nature. Individual motives are more often than not in contrast to organizational demands. For example, individuals are prone to look for ways to fulfill their personal requirements at the expense of organizations. Organizations try to counter this trend by enforcing controls on budgets, quotas, internal audits, and other standards. Broad controls are imposed as punishments to ensure realization of organizational goals. Also, stimulations are given in the form of rewards for excellent performance. Management controls invariably deprive workers of their involvement in decision-making process that normally affect them. It is also observed that controls affect their work planning. As these lead to conflict, the employee-centered management is practiced as a partial way out of this imbroglio. Research suggests that there is no perfect or near-perfect organizational state. Conflicts and discontent are essential to progress. Growth and self-fulfillment are two sides of the same coin. Hence, using conflict constructively, instead of suppressing it, is suggested as the best solution. If the management were to fully utilize the potential of the employees, it has to create a feeling in the employees that they are part of the organization and are members of the larger organizational family. Increased participation and a sense of belonging contribute to the employee’s sense of responsibility and enhanced productivity. Research shows that loyalty is a linking factor between superiors and subordinates.
Decentralization and delegation of powers are sound management practices. These lead to the evaluation of performance and rewards to managers. But this process of evaluation is more often fraught with flaws, as measurements of evaluation do not take human assets into account. Motivation, trust, confidence, and loyalty of the human assets in the organization are very seldomly evaluated. Quality and capacity of human assets need to be adequately measured during the process of evaluation. Earlier days, there were no set standards to accurately measure the human behavior variables. Development of social science has provided enough means to measure these aspects now. It is important that companies use these measurements to guide their operations. These measurements can be used as a basis for decision making not only by the immediate managers, but also by the top managers to evaluate the performance of the departmental and division managers. In the absence of evaluation, there is every likelihood that companies will primarily be interested in costs, production, and earnings without giving due importance to human assets. Common measurements, i.e., measuring both short-term and long-term effectiveness in a decentralized organization, provide means of evaluation, selection, and compensation to employees, based on the objective performance.
Management is a continuous process which is subject to change in line with alterations in technological and other factors. Evidence from the industry reveals that listening leads to good management. While downward communication is normal in management process, upward communication is a grey area in majority of organizations. Research shows that there can be significant improvements in downward communication if the top managements listens to the opinions, attitudes, suggestions, and ideas of employees at the bottom level. Good listeners always look for the worthwhile things that they can adopt later on. Good listeners always compliment a speaker who says he knows something the others do not know. Investigation has proved beyond doubt that division of work contributes to efficiency and productivity. Failure to recognize and utilize multiple capacities of people has been one of the greatest weaknesses of both traditional and modern management (S.G. HUNERYAGER, 1972).
The word communication denotes exchange of ideas from one person to another, or from one entity to another. Communication process in an organization has broad connotations. It is a tool to coordinate, evaluate, and manage. Communication plays a crucial role in integrating the total management system (Donclark, 2012).
Today, communication has more relevance in management than ever. Effective communication plays a major role in every sphere of modern management, whether it is administration, manufacturing, marketing, or finance. Can we do marketing without proper communication? Can we motivate employees without proper communication? We cannot. Similarly, information has to readily flow from the manager to the worker to get the jobs done. Information also has to pass from the worker to the manager by way of communication that the required works have been done (Owen Hargie, Communication in management, 1999).
Communication is the key to every management task. In a larger context, it deals with the analytical tools to carry out assessments, viz. reviews and options, merits and demerits of management decisions; case studies and process controls, audits and reports, and so on. Think of a situation where no communication takes place in an organization. The result will be chaos and resultant demise. As communication has streamlined and integrated every function of management, modern information technology has streamlined and integrated itself to make communication easy and available to everyone (Owen, 2000)
We have come across a number of influential leaders during the preceding decades, who had been great strategists and visionaries. Their influence and vision saw the companies they headed multiply their growth. Many of them focused on customer preferences and delivered more value to them. They influenced the society by giving pride of place to social responsibility and philanthropy in their professed agenda. These were leaders who had courage to try new things. They strongly believed there was almost nothing a leader could not accomplish.
Effective human relations management is a prerequisite for the success of any organization. Studies on this show that the welfare of workers is important for a healthy corporate environment. Unlike in the past, today’s workforce is under tremendous pressure to meet stringent targets. When pressure leads to passivity, it affects production. Organizations, therefore, undertake counseling as a way out to sustain the mental and emotional health of the workforce. Counseling enhances employees’ state of mind. Various personal reasons and continuous physical and mental pressure on the job may lead to employees’ emotional breakdown, fatigue, and disorientation affecting their health. Counseling has been found as a remedy to enhance the sinking morale and emotional health of employees. Modern managements realize that employee’s health is their social responsibility. To cope with this changing reality, organizational changes are taking place. On the employees’ side, they consider these organizational changes oriented to employees’ welfare as an acceptance of their value by the organization. This feeling brings about a total change in the employee-organizational relationship. It establishes the rare feeling of togetherness. Furthermore, counseling prepares and enables the distressed employees to shoulder increased social and professional responsibilities. Studies show that such rejuvenated employees perform better in their duties, take important decisions, and also execute them.
Statistics show that 76% of modern employers consider counseling as a gesture of compassion. 70% consider it as equipping the employees to deal with workplace change. 57% believe counseling as a way to manage stress. As employees spend a substantial part of their lives in their work place, they develop a strange bond with their work settings. Their personal and professional lives are integrated. Their personal identity gets tied to their profession. Counseling plays an important role in instilling these outlooks in employees. These refined attitudes in the workers have positive effects. Their managers find them easier to coordinate. In other words, the employee-management problems at work place are solved more easily (Ray, 2011).
Like in every other field of knowledge, principles of management also are evolving. There are remarkable advances taking place as regards the skills and understandings of management. Organizations may be of different types and sizes, but the principles and concepts of managing remain the same. Management is a mixture of many disciplines. Practice of any function may be correlated with one’s own knowledge of that function. As we live in an age when anything and everything is subject to scientific enquiry, the acceptable way to verify any principle or process is to test it. Management is full of variables and a clinical analysis of its various functions depends on the subjective approach.