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Management of Organisations Essay

This essay attempts to explain the ideas of Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg about management on getting things done through people. It also attempts to discuss the roles and functions of management to make apart the rational-functional perspective and social-reality perspective of management.  Frenchman Henri Fayol’s attention was directed at the work activities of all managers. He prescribed five elements of management process as planning, organizing, controlling, commanding and coordinating (Robbins et al., 2002, p. 9).

Fayol’s focus was on managing the total organisation for functioning effectively and efficiently. Henry Mintzberg did a research based on behaviour observations of five chief executives and studied their mails. Mintzberg concluded that the manager’s job consisted of many brief episodes with people inside and outside the organisation (Carroll, S. , and Gillen, D. , 1987, p. 39). Managers engaged in a large number of varied, unpatterned, and short-duration activities.

The amount of time spent on each manager’s role depends on the nature of the job and situation at a point of time. He formulated three interpersonal roles of figurehead, leader, and liaison, three informational roles of monitor, disseminator and spokesman, and four decision-making roles of entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator (Carroll, S. ,

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and Gillen, D. , 1987, p. 39). Mintzberg critiques against Fayol is that he offers a set of prescriptions of what managers ought to do, which bears no relationship to reality of what managers really do (Lamond, D., 1998 p. 9).

The manager has an interpersonal role, which includes representing the organisation, motivating employees and maintaining contacts in addition to those within the chain of command. The manager has an informational role and Mintzberg disagrees with the mechanical duties suggested by the classical school. He showed that there is a difference between what they say they do and what they actually do, and observes that the task is fragmented.

This section will try to examine the ideas of Fayol’s functions and Mintzberg’s roles of management in details with Sam’s morning at work. Sam’s first task of the day was deciding what she intends to do by prioritising the importance, such as reading and reply mails of the previous day. Her intention to attend the IT meeting was for a plan to develop a new program to improve the operations of the organisation. In using the Mintzberg model, interpersonal and decisional roles were involved.

Liaison involves maintaining contacts and informers who provides information and entrepreneur means to search the organisation and its environment for opportunities and initiates improvements. In the event where she received a report on a price increase in meat, this is classified as interpersonal and informational roles. Monitoring and liaison are when she seeks and receives external information that is useful for the organisation. The other email that suggested a food poisoning and complains on the chicken meal involves interpersonal, informational and decisional roles.

Other than receiving the information, she acts as a disturbance handler in taking corrective actions. These corrective measures includes liaising with ward managers to monitor if there had been any reports, a figurehead, spokesperson in assuring the patients and staff that everyone is alright. Sam’s meeting with the cook found that the oven was not functioning as usual. She played a leader role to disciple the cook with regards to his responsibility to rectify the problem.

The role of a resource allocator arise when the cook request to repair the oven immediately. When the CEO called, she feedback on the corrective actions taken as a part of the role of a disturbance handler. The position of a resource allocator and a disseminator was when she intended to have a meeting regarding to the meat price rise and the budget impact. Lastly, she had to make a balance between manpower and cost while considering the wellbeing of her staffs.

In this situation, the role of a resource allocator leads to a role of disseminator when she decided to put the matter on the agenda for next team meeting where the staffs suggest solutions. Management functions are any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger action for an organisation. Managers often perform a process of planning, organising leading and controlling (Robbins et al. , 2002, p. 11). It was found that the effort to categorise the activities performed by Sam through the definitions of Fayol’s management functions could be unaccommodating.

However, the following elements aim to poetry Sam’s purpose of performing these activities. Planning is a process of defining goals, establishing strategy for achieving goals and developing plans to integrate and coordinate activities (Robbins et al. , 2002, p. 9). This is to assess the future and make provisions for it. Planning process ‘requires personal and interpersonal competencies’ (Lamond, D. , 1998, p. 5). Organising is to arrange with all useful resources it’s functioning (Fayol, 1949, p. 53).

In (Robbins et al. , 2002, p.10) organise is ‘determining what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the task are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decision are to be made’. Leading is ‘when a manager motivate subordinates, influence individuals or team work, select the most effective communication channel or deal in any way with employee behaviour issues’ (Robbins et al. , 2002, p. 10). Controlling ‘involves monitoring actual performance, comparing actual to standard, and taking action if necessary’ (Robbins et al. , 2002, p. 10). This is to monitor and evaluate the performance to planned actions, as benchmarking.

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