MODULE 1.1 Management in Context Introduction: Organisations, by definition, have been present since the beginning of human civilisation. A collection of people with various skills and assets, working together to achieve an outcome for society. Fast-forward through history and the modern organisation as we know it has its roots in the industrial revolution. With an emphasis on productivity and efficiency, organisations continually strove to produce goods faster, of better quality and with less wastage. This desire for increased productivity gave birth to a variety of schools of thought around production, management and organisational behaviour. In the 21stcentury we are in the midst of a new revolution, variously referred to as the technological revolution, the computer age, the information age or the digital revolution. Whilst the goal may still be productivity and efficiency, with such progress there has been a change in expectations from all organisational stakeholders including customers and employees. Additionally, there is a shift in power and competitiveness. Many of the well-respected principles of management were developed over the last 100 years, so do they still hold true in todays organisation? Thats for you to research and discover! As you progress through this module, it is important that you understand the areas briefly outlined below. The Nature of Organisations and Environment The purpose of an organisation is to garner resources and effectively ustilise these through efficient processes to achieve a specific goal. Managers within an organisation must communicate these goals and ensure people are performing and following processes to achieve the required outcomes. We must keep in mind, however that organisations dont exist in a vacuum. They are impacted by, interact with and connect to a variety of other bodies and stakeholders. It is therefore critical that managers understand both the internal and external environments which impact the organisation. As you progress with your reading and research, be mindful to explore different elements in both the internal and external environments which include but are not limited to: Internal Owners / shareholders Board of directors Management Employees Organisational culture Processes and systems External Customers Suppliers Regulators Strategic partners Competitors Society Economy Technology Political and legal Environment The Role of Management As mentioned previously, there are some management principles and theories which have been around for many years and yet still have relevance today. One of these is Henri Fayols Functions of Management which cover: Planning setting direction, goals, strategies and actions Organising acquiring and arranging needed resources (people, materials, equipment, money, etc) Commanding leading and guiding Coordinating allocating and managing workflow, sharing information and communicating Controlling monitoring and taking corrective action In the early 1990s, Henry Mintzberg (n.d.) felt that Fayols description was inadequate and set out to describe what managers actually do. He categorised these roles into three groups: Interpersonal Roles Figurehead, Leader, Liaison Informational Roles Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson Decisional Roles – Entrepreneur, Disturbance Handler, Resource Allocator, Negotiator Read carefully the resources provided and research further to determine how these principles apply today. The Challenges Managers Face Managers operate in an ever-changing workplace. Expectations from stakeholders, including employees and customers have changed as has societys expectations of organisations. Awareness of these potential challenges, allows managers to better prepare themselves and their organisations for success. Challenges can present themselves in a variety of forms: Managing change Workplace and social diversity National culture Ethical behaviour Corporate Social Responsibility Technological advances Workplace flexibility and mobility Competition Organisational culture Many of these will be discussed further in this and other modules Understanding Organisational Behaviour Organisational behaviour considers the relationships and dynamics of human behaviour at three levels: individual, team and across the organisation. Understanding behaviour at these different levels allows managers to better motivate and engage individuals, create higher performing teams, manage change and design organisations and structures to facilitate value adding activities. Success in any management positions requires an understanding of people and the complexity of behaviour. People dont come with a user manual and every individual is unique, however there are many frameworks and models which will provide some insight as to how managers can increase performance at all levels and create an engaged workplace. Some of these will be discussed in the resources provided and you must supplement these with broader research. Naturally Occurring Data & Qualitative Analysis Managers must continually scan their environment for naturally occurring data. This is data which has not been gained through a specifically design research experiment or activity. Such data may provide insight into workplace issues and inform decision making. Examples may include reports, presentations, feedback from employees and customers including non-verbals and observations of behaviours and activities. Effective managers will synthesise this data and analyse it to draw conclusions and make decision. This introductory module sets the context for the modules that follow, so be sure you read broadly and critically consider the management actions and behaviours that take place in your own organisation (past or present). View them through the lens of management theory and consider if and how things could be done differently. MODULE 1.2 Motivation and Influence Introduction: Successful managers and leaders dont achieve everything on their own. Their role is in fact to organise and coordinate other people to achieve the planned objectives. This requires a manager to understand how to motivate and influence those around them as well appreciating how they can use their power to achieve positive results. Motivation In this writers experience, when managers are asked about the challenges they face in their day to day work, how to motivate people is frequently cited. What they are really saying is how can I get my people to be enthusiastic, energised, contribute, meet their targets and show some initiative. Quite often when motivation is discussed, the novice manager either thinks that they (the manager) need to do something to motivate an employee or they blame the employee for being unmotivated. The reality is that a manager cannot control an individuals motivation and they cant make them get out of bed and come to work. A manager can, however try to influence an individuals motivation by creating an environment which meets the individuals needs. This means giving careful consideration to how jobs are designed, training and development provided, reward and recognition systems used and active inclusion in workplace activities and decisions. One of the mistakes even experienced managers make is to project their own motivational drivers onto their employees. For example, just because a manager may be motivated by the opportunity to be creative in their work, doesnt mean their employees find the same opportunity motivating. To help understand motivation, many researchers have considered it from the perspective of both intrinsic and extrinsic drivers. Various schools of thought have been further categorised into content or needs based theories and process based theories. These are further supported and influenced by such concepts as reinforcement and consequences, social elements and an individuals values and attitudes towards work (Hitt et al 2012). Many of these theories are covered in your resources and will provide you with frameworks for understanding motivation. They wont always explain completely what motivates an individual because people are unique and complex. They will however, provide you with elements to consider when creating a motivating and therefore productive environment. Influence and Power In fulfilling their managerial roles and functions, managers and leaders must influence those around them so as to get things done. Understanding others and how to create a motivating environment is an important step to achieving this, however it is just as important to build influencing skills and understanding the use of power. Influencing others draws on a range of communication skills and tactics and includes such approaches as inspiring others, collaboration, rational persuasion and applying pressure. Which influencing tactic is used will depend in part on the motivational drivers of the other person as well as the power that the managers or leader holds. A well regarded model of power comes from John French and Bertram Raven and was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The model categorizes power as follows: Positional Legitimate Reward Coercion This still has relevance today, although the context may be altered a little. As you explore the resources on motivation, influence and power, be sure to think of your own situation and drivers. What gets you excited and inspired to work hard? How do people influence you and how do you influence others? What bases of power do you possess and how can you use them constructively? MODULE 2.1 Advanced Communication Think back to the roles of management we explored in module one. Each of those roles required an element of communication, whether it is written, verbal, non-verbal or a combination. Some may require one-way or two-way communication and others may include dealing with rational or irrational thinking, feelings and emotions. Some interactions will require managers to address conflict and or negotiate a resolution or agreement. Whatever the situation, managers and leaders must continually develop their communication skills. After a brief consideration of the communication process, this topic will explore communication from a managerial and organisational perspective. The communication Process The communication process shown below may look simple, however it is because of this simplicity that many communicators do not fully consider the importance of the various elements and the role each plays in effective communication. Johnson, M XXXXXXXXXXCommunication in Organisations [Image]. The sender of the message must be conscious of their objective in sending the message, who they are sending it to, the best way to structure the message and the most effective and efficient channel for sending the message. Feedback coming from the receiver will tell the sender if the message has been understood as intended. Noise occurs throughout the communication process. In essence, noise is all those barriers to successful communication. It may include emotional states of the sender and receiver, distractions, language used, cultural biases, actual noise and much more. As you read and research communication look for examples of how managers and leaders make the process more effective Communication in Organisations As a manager of people it is important to understand how communication occurs in organisations so that it can be leveraged for success. We can consider a variety of dimensions to organisational communication: Direction communication can be downward from manager to subordinate, upward from subordinate to manager and laterally (sideways) from peer to peer. The content of these communications will vary with the direction Formality communication can be seen as formal or informal. Formal communication follows the chain of command (organisational structure) in a vertical direction and can often reflect where legitimate power sits in the organisation. This formality makes such communication potentially slower though more easily controlled. Informal communication occurs based on relationships and networks and is typically between peers and across boundaries. Informal communication tends to be faster and less controlled. Channels the channels used for communication contribute to its effectiveness and efficiency. Channels may include email, intranet, phone calls, text, meetings, presentations, formal contracts and documentation etc. Often the channels used are impacted by the organisational culture and may or may not be the most efficient. (adapted from Hitt et al, 2012) Developing You Communication Skills Knowing some of the theory of communication may provide insight but does not make you a better communicator. Through your research and reading the resources provided work on your skills in both sending and receiving information, providing feedback and limiting the noise. Conflict Is conflict good or bad? By definition, conflict simply involves a contradiction or difference of ideas or opinions. Often we tend to view conflict negatively because most of us dont like arguing or confrontation. However, when managed well, conflict can lead to continued improvement and greater performance. Keep in mind that the focus here is on conflicting ideas, goals, processes, task demand etc and not conflicting personalities or personal issues. So if conflict can be useful, is there an optimal level. Consider the following diagram Fig 1: Functional vs Dysfunctional Conflict (Johnson, 2015) The optimal level of workplace conflict is called Functional Conflict. Any more or any less than this is called Dysfunctional conflict. Being able to distinguish between the two and having the skills to facilitate mediate and resolve conflicts is the challenge for managers. Managers have a range of strategies available to resolve conflict ranging from avoidance and accommodating to directing, compromising and collaborating. Each of these is dependent upon the importance of the goals and relationship between the parties and will involve varying levels of assertion. As you research and explore the resources, consider the types of conflict you face in the workplace. How do you resolve them and how could you do this more effectively? Negotiation Negotiation is one approach to resolving conflict where both parties are motivated to work on a solution together. Managers will find themselves negotiating almost daily. This might involve team members, peers or their manager and cover such issues as deadline changes, resource availability, role changes, remuneration, budget allocations and much more. Periodically a manager may also find they are involved in larger negotiations with suppliers, unions, investors or strategic partners. The importance of advanced communication skills cannot be understated when it comes to success in negotiation. Skilled negotiators are well versed in exploring issues, focusing on the real problem and not the personalities and particularly good at reading body language and non-verbals. Negotiation Process Whatever the nature of the negotiation, the typical steps in the process include: Preparation Rapport building Exploring and Information exchange Persuasion and problem solving Agreement Even for experienced negotiators, a solid preparation lays a good foundation for a positive negotiation. The resources and your research will uncover both the skills required and processes to be followed throughout a negotiation. Building your capability will require conscious awareness and practice
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