Managing in the 21st century -
Variations in the competence of different managers are due to 2 main reasons..
- Different traits and abilities that are more inherent than required
- Reflecting through personal experiences
However, it could be said that these explanations are limited.
Connecting the past to the present -
Today's managers must ensure that the individuals and teams creating these goods and services work in environments that..
- Are rewarding
- Provide opportunities for personal growth and development
- Generate commitment to the organisation
- Encourage employees to use maximise their capabilities and potential
Today's challenges -
Contemporary changes in work and employment have helped to shape the internal and external environments within which managers have to operate. The changes include..
· The rise of self employment and the independent worker
· Changes in the external regulation of employment (i.e. - UK legislation etc)
· A diversified labour force
· The emergence of new ideas and ways of managing associated with inward investment and the spread of 'new knowledge'
· The challenge to, and replacement of, physical power and manual skills by the power of knowledge, creativity and intellectual capital
Fundemental management objectives:
- Ensuring that the supply of labor is in line with demand
- Maintainance and development
- Order and control
- Generating commitment
Employee objectives of being managed:
The more managers can gain an understand of their employees, the better they will be at understanding what drivers their behaviour. This enables managers to be sensitive towards employee motivations, interests and concerns etc.
Employees may be seeking the following from their organisations and managers..
- To be treated as a human being and valued
- To be allowed to grow and develop as an employee
- To be paid and rewarded fairly
Employees as human beings -
Douglas McGregor presented a dichotomy of the assumptions made about people, which he labelled 'Theory X' and 'Theory Y'..
- Theory X assumptions are based on the belief that
- The average human has a dislike of work and will avoid it if they can
- Most people cannot be trusted to do a good job
- People generally prefer to be directed, and dislike taking responsibility
As a result, under 'Theory X', managers need to develop working conditions and controls that reflect the unreliable and problematic nature of their employees.
- Theory Y assumptions reflect a view that..
- People enjoy work as a natural and necessary part of the human experience.
- Tight control and punishments are not the only, or most effective way to make people work
- Employees are capable of self-motivation and self-direction
- The average person is capable of learning and changing
McGregor concluded that because of the existence of Theory X based management practices, there is a significant gap between what people are doing and giving at work, and what they are capable of.
The theory has been criticized for being too simplistic, as employees have the capacity to be both Theory X and Theory Y.
People as a resource:
From an economic and business perspective, rather than employees being seen as people, people are seen as employees or workers.
People as assets -
Employees have to be seen as intangible assets, rather than tangible assets, because..
- They cannot be transacted
- Their contribution is individual and variable
The inability of organisations to value their 'human assets' can have consequences..
- They will be unable to develop HR practices that reflect these differences in employee performance and contribution.
- Returns on investment in training and development will be difficult to calculate because of managerial inability to measure any changes in employee value, through increased competency, that might follow from such an investment.