Sample Paper on Management and Organizations
The terms “management” and “organization” are interdependent meaning that the success of one leads to the success of the other. Of course, effective and fruitful management by top organizational leaders and staff often results in the success of organizations and vice versa. Management is considered the cornerstone of organizational success and effectiveness, and it is concerned with how stakeholders arrange for the execution of work as well as the carrying out of organizational processes. One of the key ingredients of effective and successful management is the ability to deal with or handle people in the right manner, which often entails being conversant with human and social skills and exhibiting the ability to work closely with and through other people in an organization (Mullins and Christy 35). Across tasks one, two, and three, this paper focuses on various organizational and management perspectives including different types of organizational structures and their advantages and disadvantages, organizational leadership theories, and the strategic objectives of start-up organizations, and defines key terms such as contemporary management and strategic management
Organizational structure refers to how organizations divide, group, and coordinate responsibilities among their staff in a formal manner. How an organization structure dependent on numerous factors including departmentalization, work specialization among the organizational staff, a span of control, the chain of command, formalization, as well as centralization and decentralization (Robbins and Tim 231). The most common types of organizational structure in organizations are the simple structure, matrix structure, and bureaucratic structure. The simple structure is characterized by the lack of elaboration, a low degree of departmentalization, centralization of authority in a single person spearheading the organization, wide spans of control, and little formalization. The simple organizational structure is advantageous in that it is simple, fast, and flexible. Besides, with this structure, organizational operations are often inexpensive, and accountability is clear. However, several disadvantages accompany the application of this structure in organizations, and these include the fact that it can become increasingly inadequate with the growth of the organization. Another disadvantage of the simple organizational structure is that an increase in organizational size leads to slower decision making, which can eventually come to a halt as only one executive is tasked with making all decisions in the organization. Moreover, the simple structure’s disadvantage is highlighted by the fact that it is risky due to the overdependence of an entire organization on one person. In situations where the single executive falls ill, the organization’s decision-making and information center are ultimately jeopardized (Robbins and Tim 237).
Another common organizational structure, the bureaucracy revolves around the concept of standardization. The bureaucracy is a type of organizational structure characterized by routine operating tasks that are often achieved through decision-making that follows a given chain of command, centralized authority, strictly formal rules and regulations, specialization, and narrow spans of control. Like other organizational structures, the bureaucracy has its advantages including its ability to provide a platform for the performance of standardized organizational activities in an efficient manner. Another advantage of the bureaucracy is that it puts specialties together in departments that are functional thereby leading to economies of scale as well as less or minimal duplication of equipment and people. It is also advantageous in that it can get by with less talented and less costly managers and other staff as there are rules that are considered substitutes for managerial discretion. However, one of the design’s disadvantages is that it creates incessant conflicts because the goals of functional units override those of the organization from an overall perspective. Another major weakness of the bureaucracy is that people or organizational members often have an obsessive concern with rules and regulations (Robbins and Tim 237).
Other than the two discussed above, the matrix structure is also a common structure in organizations such as advertising agencies, research laboratories, hospitals, construction companies, and others. The key thing about this design is that it combines two forms of departmentalization, which are functional and product. The advantages of the matrix structure are that it puts like specialists together thereby minimizing the number of needed setting the stage for the pooling and sharing of specialized resources across products. Another advantage of this design is that it facilitates coordination in situations where an organization has multiple complex and interdependent activities. The major disadvantages of this structure are that it creates confusion, fosters endless power struggles in an organization, and places stress on individuals or organizational staff (Robbins and Tim 238).
A common term when it comes to organizational management is contemporary management that also has a significant influence on organizational outcomes or achievement of organizational objectives. Contemporary management refers to the planning, leading, organizing, as well as controlling of organizational operations with the aim of realizing set organizational goals (Mullins and Christy 23). It should be noted that contemporary management puts emphasis on the need to work effectively in a global marketplace and the need to feature strong community ties to ensure the sustainability not only of the workplace but also of the environment.
Contemporary management and leadership are related in that leadership, as well, plays a significant role in the achievement of organizational objectives. Leadership is defined as the capability or an ability of an individual to influence another individual or a group of people towards achieving a vision or set of objectives. Several theories try to explain or define what makes a leader effective or ineffective, and some of these theories are the behavioral and trait theories of leadership. To start with, the trait theory of leadership focuses primarily on the personal characteristics and qualities that make an individual be regarded as a leader (Robbins and Tim 179). Based on this theory, several prominent leaders such as Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Steve Jobs of Apple Inc., and Nelson Mandela of South Africa have their exemplary leadership attributed to their personal attributes of enthusiasm, courage, and charisma. Further, this theory argues that leaders are differentiated from non-leaders by focusing on personality, physical, social, and intellectual attributes. In this, people often concentrate on the way leaders emerge rather than how effective they are, hence the argument that sociable and dominant people are less likely to be considered leaders. Essentially, in the execution of their duties, leaders ought not to be assertive lest their effectiveness is thrown into doubt. Other key human traits or attributes that underlie effective leadership include emotional stability, openness to experience, and conscientiousness. From an overall perspective, people who exhibit extraversion implying that they prefer being around people and asserting themselves are less likely to have an advantage when it comes to leadership. Effective leadership is also highlighted by the trait of emotional intelligence (EI), which is defined as a person’s capacity to control, express, or be aware of their emotions as well as have the capability to handle interpersonal relationships in an empathetic and judicious way. Pro-emotional intelligence persons argue that one can have an endless supply of terrific and perfect ideas, a highly analytical mind, and an outstanding training and experience but still be far from making a great leader. One of the key components of emotional intelligence is empathy, which plays a crucial role in effective leadership. Empathetic leaders have the capability to sense the needs of others, listen to what is said and not said by their followers, and can read other people’s reactions. Effective display and management of emotions set the stage for an easier and smooth influence on the feelings of followers, which in turn, results in exemplary organizational performance.
On the other hand, the behavioral theory of leadership insists that effective leaders are determined by their behavior towards others in an organization and that people must not have the right attributes as suggested by the trait theory but can be trained to be leaders. According to the behavioral theory of leadership, effectiveness in leadership should be determined by behavioral perspectives such as being able to initiate structure, being considerate, being employee-oriented, and being production-oriented. Initiating structure refers to the extent to which a leader defines and structures his or her role as well as those of employees with the realization of organizational objectives in mind. This must be accompanied by consideration, which is the extent to which the job relationships of a leader are characterized by respect for the ideas of employees, mutual trust, and regard for the feelings of employees. A leader who exhibits an employee-oriented behavior takes a personal interest in the needs and demands of employees and accepts individual differences among employees. With this behavior, a leader is likely to have a perfect and stable relationship with employees paving the way for improved organizational performance. On the other hand, by being production-oriented, a leader’s focus is on the technical or task aspects of a job as well as the accomplishment of the tasks of a group, all of which play a role in determining how effective the leader is (Robbins and Tim 180).
Another key perspective when it comes to the management of organizations is strategic management. The latter refers to the continuous planning, analysis, monitoring, as well as the assessment of everything needed for an organization to realize its set goals and objectives (Mullins and Christy 38). Some of the strategies for strategic management in organizations include analysis of internal and external strengths and weaknesses, execution of action plans, formulation of action plans, and evaluation of the degree to which actions plans have been successful.
Strategic management plays an integral role in the growth and expansion of organizations, especially the start-up organizations. It should be noted that strategic management facilitates the realization of set objectives in start-up organizations (Mullins and Christy 42). A perfect example of start-up organization can be a small firm dealing with the sale of cloth products to customers. Of course, this organization must have a manager to oversee operations and make crucial decisions. Like other established and prominent organizations, a start-up organization dealing with the sale of cloth products should have set strategic objectives. One strategic objective of such an organization is increasing market share. Every start-up organization focuses on growth and expansion, both of which often set the stage for increased market share. To achieve the strategic objective of increasing market share, the mentioned start-up organization dealing in cloth products can define the specific products offered, analyze the existing competition, and ensure that its products are priced and promoted appropriately. Another strategic objective for the mentioned start-up organization dealing in the sale of cloth products is enhancing innovation. In the competitive business world, innovations is crucial for organizations that aim at staying ahead of the rest when it comes to competition, and start-up organizations stand to be the greatest beneficiaries of this perspective. Some of the strategies that can be used by the mentioned start-up organization to enhance innovation include offering better products or services to customers and placing resources and development with the aim of creating new and unique products. Moreover, a strategic objective of the mentioned start-up organization can be strengthening financial resources. With sufficient financial resources in place, start-up organizations such as that dealing in cloth products can keep pace with already established organizations in the industry by investing in future expansion projects.
In a nutshell, as discussed above, effective management is one of the key determiners of success in organizations. Effective management involves having the right organizational structure, the common ones being the simple, matrix, and bureaucratic structures. Key management terms such as contemporary management and strategic management also play a crucial role in how successful organizations can be. Contemporary management refers to the planning, leading, organizing, as well as controlling of organizational operations with the aim of realizing set organizational goals whereas strategic management refers to the continuous planning, analysis, monitoring, as well as the assessment of everything needed for an organization to realize its set goals and objectives. It is further discussed that effective leadership can be dependent on a leader’s attributes as outlined by the traits theory and on a leader’s behavior as outlined by the behavioral leadership theory.
Mullins, Laurie J., and Christy, Gill. Management & Organisational Behaviour 10th ed., Prentice Hall, 2013.
Robbins, Stephen P, and Tim Judge. Essentials of Organizational Behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2014. Print.