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Role of a manager

Managers usually perform various roles in their organization and their style of management will determine how they handle various situations. Management style can be described as the overall method of leadership used by managers. It can also be described as the general manner, altitude, outlook and behaviour of a manager in his/her dealing with subordinate. The management style adopted by managers influences the way they make decisions affecting the subordinate and the organization as a whole. Though most managers have one dominant management style, no single style can be effective in all situations and change in situation necessitates the adoption of new style...

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.... As change agent in organization managers must ready to change their style of leadership as situation change otherwise their style may be an obstacle to organization performance. Choosing a style that fit both the managers need and the need of the organization is important in ensuring that the business runs smoothly. Each style has it own merit and drawbacks depending on specific situation or tasks. The type of style that a manager chooses depends on his personality, personal preference, maturity and organizational culture (Rees & porter, 2008).

            There are many management styles but the four dominant style include

1.      autocratic(dictatorial)

2.      paternalistic

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3.      democratic

4.      Laissez-faire.

Autocratic

An autocratic manager makes decision on his own without involving the employee. Decision making in organization is left to top management and employees are expected to execute the orders from the seniors to the letter i.e. without any question or changes. The senior managers set tasks and objectives and employee are expected to perform exactly as required. Communication in this type of leadership is downward from managers to subordinate and usually such communication involves orders and commands. The advantage with this style of management is that decision making in organization is quick. In addition this method ensures that business direction remain constant as all decision are similar which give an image of a confident and well managed firm. However this method is criticised as it lead to decrease in employee motivation which result to high employee turn over. Decrease in employee motivation also affects productivity in organization. Furthermore subordinates are highly dependent on leaders which increase supervision within the organization. This style is closely related to scientific theory of management which advocate that employee motivation can be derived from reward system (Joyce & woods, 2001).

Paternalistic

It share some common characteristics with autocratic style however with paternalistic style decision made are in the best interest of employees rather than the organization. Managers usually explain their decision to employee while also ensuring

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that their leisure and social needs are met. Therefore this style increases employee motivation which lacks in autocratic leadership and this lead to low employee’s turnover. The emphasis on employee social needs create loyalty among the staff and increase in productivity. Communication is usually downward, however such communication will occur in such a way that the employees are kept happy. Just like in autocratic style employee are highly dependent on leaders and this increases supervision in organization. The other disadvantage with this method is that a wrong decision may result to all employees becoming dissatisfied with the manager (Tony, 2004).

Democratic

A democratic leader delegate authority to employees and such authority is accompanied by responsibility to complete the assigned tasks. In this style employee are more involved in decision making process which makes them feel part and parcel of the organization thereby increasing their motivation. Decision reached reflects the will of majority as everything is agreed by majority. This ensures that employee embrace the action taken by the business and this is essential particularly where complex decisions need to be made and the effect of the change will be felt by every staff member such as introduction of a new ICT system. The manager need to state on what need to be done and leave employee to decide how to do it.            Communication in this method is in both direction from staff to managers and vice-versa. The manager hold frequent meeting with the employees on how to accomplish the various tasks and allows them to choose which task they want to complete, how to complete them and the time it will take to finish the tasks. Excellent communication is required in this style and confidence in staff to

                                                                                                                            4 accomplish what they promise. When this style is employed quality of work and job satisfaction improves. The main disadvantages with this style is that the process of decision making is slowed down and also the need of a consensus means that decision made may not be in the best interest of the business.

Laissez-faire

A manager who practices this style usually set the task and give his employee complete freedom regarding the accomplishment of those tasks i.e. employees are allowed to complete task in the way they deem fit. Decision regarding problem which arise while undertaking a task are left to employee. In this method communication is mostly horizontal i.e. equal in both direction, however compared to other styles little communication takes place between managers and staff as employee have complete freedom in making decision pertaining to their area of work. Although this style bring out the best in creative and high professional employee it may lead to lack of focus and direction which can lead to dissatisfaction and poor company image. In most cases this style is not deliberate but as a result of poor management (Henry, 2007).

A report that describe the finding of interview conducted on managers A and B

            According to the  response received from manager A (appendix A), he hardly involves employee in decision making process since he solely decide on the task to be performed by subordinate, make decision on how such tasks are to be performed and the period it will take to complete the assigned task. He also clarify that meetings are rarely held in the organization since employee  receive full communication on specific task to perform and how to undertake the task and what is left of them is completion of assigned

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task within the given duration therefore he does not see the need of regular meetings. Information in this organization is usually top-down and involves orders pertaining to performance of various tasks and the only feedback required from employee is whether they have completed their task. Manager A also made it clear that if employees encounter certain problem while performing their task they must first consult their superiors for direction and clarification. Manager A is of the opinion that his style fall under autocratic leadership and he prefers to always use this style since he usually deals with low level employee and sometimes new employee in completing projects with strict deadline. New employees may not be able to do the job due to lack of experience therefore they require high support and guidance. The effectiveness with this style of management is that decision making process is quick and also the method ensures that business direction remain constant as all decision are similar which give an image of a confident and well managed firm.

            According to the response received from manager B (appendix B) he frequently involves his employee in all decision affecting their work. Manager B also gives his employee a wider scope in accomplishing the various tasks. Manager B also hold frequent meeting with staff in order to discuss with his employee on how tasks are to be performed and to give them a chance to choose which task to undertake and the time they expect to take in completing the chosen tasks. If a problem arises in performance of duty it is discussed between manager and employee until a solution is reached. The manager also delegates much of his authority to employee which is accompanied by responsibility to complete the assigned task within the given time.

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Communication within the organization is in two ways as both the manger and employee have much to inquire from each other. The manager thinks that he has adopted the democratic style of leadership and thinks that it is appropriate since most of tasks are performed by a group therefore require teamwork. In addition he thinks that the style is appropriate since employee are willing to do the job and know how to do it therefore they need little support and guidance. The style is effective since it improve the quality of work and job satisfaction.

            There are various situations that have taken place in the organization which illustrate that manager A use autocratic style.

Situation 1

The employees in the department appear to be having trouble in getting the job done. In addition their performance has been deteriorating rapidly. They have not been responding to the manager’s effort of being friendly and his expression of concern for their welfare. The manager reacted by re-establishing the need to follow program and meeting expectation in task accomplishment.

Situation 2

In the previous weeks the quality of work done by employee have been improving. In addition records kept are accurate and up to date. The manager has been careful in ensuring that employees are aware of his performance expectation and continue to emphasize the need to complete tasks and meet deadlines.

            On the other hand the following situation illustrates managers B use of democratic style of leadership.

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Situation 1

The performance and interpersonal relationship among the employees has been good. The employee are usually left alone to decide on how to perform their task, however it now appears that some employee have been unable solve certain problems themselves and the manager has intervened by bringing the group together and working as a team to solve the problem.

Situation 2

Recently the manger has been considering changes in some program. Beside his staff having a good record of accomplishment and commitment to excellence they also support the need to change and have been incorporated in the planning process. On his part the manager continue to involve employee in planning but direct the change.

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Reference:

Henry, HA 2007, Principles of management: a modern approach, 4th Ed, Wiley.

Joyce, P., & Woods, A. 2001, Strategic management: a fresh approach to

            developing skills, knowledge and creativity, Kogan Page, London.

Rees, D & Porter, C 2008, Skills of Management, 6th Ed, Cengage Learning EMEA.

Tony, M 2004, Principles of management, 2nd Ed, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

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Appendix A

Questionnaire

Do you involve employees while making organization decision?
If the answer is yes to the above question, do you regard such involvement as minimal, moderate or extensive?
how often do you hold meeting with staff
How does information flow in the organization is it top-down, bottom up or in both direction.
If employee encounters a problem while performing their task do they have the right to make decision or they must first consult senior management.
how often do you delegate your duties
to which classification do  you think your management style fall under
do you use one dominant style or make changes as situation change
Do you think that your management style fit the situation in the organization?
give reasons on why you consider your style to be appropriate
Can you briefly describe two situations that have occurred in your department and which illustrate your managerial style?

 

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