Background to the study
Organizations are established with the objective of attaining a particular purpose. Customer satisfaction is one of the key goals that firms intend to attain through production and delivery of high quality products. In the modern turbulent business environment, attainment of organizational effectiveness is one of the fundamental elements that management teams should take into consideration.
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Major transformations have occurred in the global business environment due to increased dynamism and fluidity. Firms are currently facing enormous opportunities and threats that if effectively exploited can result in improvement in their productivity and profitability (Bateman & Snell, 2010).
Some of the factors that have led to transformations in the business environment compared to the past include the high rate of technological change, globalization, high rate of collaboration, and increased appreciation of ideas and knowledge as a key organizational asset. Increased globalization has provided firms with an opportunity to source talent from different parts of the world, hence creating a diverse workforce.
Secondly, the need to develop products that meet the needs of a global market has been on the increase. Technological innovation has created new opportunities and complicated business operations. Changes in the business environment have stimulated the need for organizations to incorporate knowledge management in order to attain high competitiveness by exploiting and utilizing their workforces’ intellect.
The need to nurture a high level of collaboration with the workforce in order to promote innovation has also been a critical issue. On the other hand, the development of strong cross-border collaboration has also come out as an important aspect in firms’ effort to attain a high level of competitiveness. Taking into account the above issues, the need to attain proper management cannot be overemphasized.
In a bid to survive in such an environment, development of management effectiveness is vital. Uche and Timinepere (2012) define management effectiveness to include the efficiency with which managers get things done and at a minimal cost. Management effectiveness does not only entail getting things done, but it also takes into account the ‘how’ element.
Different businesses are characterized by varying level of complexity of tasks. The intense the degree of complexity, the high the level of planning, coordination, and monitoring is required to achieve managerial success. The size of organization also determines the degree of managerial effectiveness required.
Management effectiveness can be determined by assessing the resultant outcomes coupled with whether they align with organizational objectives. A number of elements are associated with the degree of management effectiveness attained. Some of these factors relate to implementation of the various managerial functions and the management style adopted by firms.
In addition to managing changes in the business environment, organizations also assume the responsibility of ensuring that they develop an optimal organizational culture (Cavone, Chiesa, & Manzini, 2000). One of the aspects that management teams should take into account relates to managing their workforce.
This aspect presents one of the major challenges considering the prevailing diversity in work-environment. Consequently, the need to design and implement effective management through incorporation of effective managerial decisions is necessary.
In the course of the operation, businesses have varying degree of success. One of the factors that best explains this difference is the effectiveness with which the firm is managed. Some firms are optimally managed while others are not. The lack of optimal management is due to a number of factors some of which relate to variation in implementation of the various managerial roles, differences in the skills possessed by managers, and the type of managerial style adopted among other factors.
The management style adopted by a particular organization is a fundamental antecedent to organizational effectiveness. Cavone, Chiesa, and Manzini (2000) define management style to include how organizations are management. Conventionally, management style refers to how managers exercise their authority in order to have a positive influence over subordinates, hence increasing the probability of attaining the desired organizational goals.
The management style adopted by a particular organization determines the extent to which the diverse organizational functions and operations are bound together. Different management styles are available to managers to select; however, the choice of a particular management style determines the effectiveness of management. Some styles are very effective compared to others.
Some of these styles relate to transactional, persuasive, charismatic, transformational, consultative, and delegating styles. Findings of a survey conducted in the UK revealed that most managers are restrictive and bureaucratic in their operation, which limits their organizations’ productivity and profitability by limiting the workforces’ innovativeness and creativity.
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This element means that the resulting outcome is not ideal, which indicates management ineffectiveness (Uche & Timinepere, 2012). Therefore, the management style adopted determines an organization’s management effectiveness. Additionally, the extent to which managers progressively and continually guide their subordinates towards the attainment of a predetermined position can be used to assess the firm’s management effectiveness.
In a bid to nurture a high level of management effectiveness, it is essential for firms’ management teams to formulate strategies that can enhance the effectiveness with which the firm addresses the issues that arise. The effectiveness with which a management team can transform the resources that are available to an organization to output also determines its effectiveness.
In addition to management style, the success of businesses is also subject to the effectiveness with which managers undertake the various managerial roles. The main managerial roles include organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, and planning (Adewale, 2007). These roles influence the outcome of the firm’s performance in a number of ways.
Firstly, the effectiveness with firms’ management teams staff and manage their workforce determines the firms’ probability of attaining a high level of effective in its management. Secondly, business leaders should be very effective in guiding their workforce towards the attainment of the predetermined goals. Organizational leaders can achieve this end by developing strong and motivated group subordinates.
A comprehensive understanding of the workforce should be developed in order to institute effective directing strategies. The proper understanding of the employees’ needs and desires is a critical element in managers’ efforts to assist them to execute their duties hence promoting positive outcome. Managers should undertake the directing role in different levels (Filerman, Taylor & Taylor, 2005).
However, the supervisors undertake much of the directing role to the immediate contact with the employee. Thirdly, it is imperative for managers to incorporate effective organizing methods. Organizing entails the level to which businesses management teams assign tasks and responsibilities to their workforce.
Businesses have adopted different organizational structures, which determine the extent to which employees should be accountable together with the type of communication relationship that should be nurtured in an organization. Some organizations have incorporated a decentralized organizational structure while others have a centralized organizational structure.
Optimal control should also be integrated in businesses’ quest to develop effective management. However, the effectiveness of firms’ management differs with regard to how they have implemented the various managerial functions.
In the process of conducting the study, an effective methodology will be integrated. The methodology entails formulation of the research hypothesis, the research design, method of data collection and instrumentation, the sampling technique, and the data analysis method. The ethical considerations taken into account in undertaking the study will also be incorporated in the research.
This research is guided by one main question as outlined below:
How does effective management differ from business to business?
Based on the above research question, the researcher has formulated two main hypotheses. The researcher argues that the difference in management effectiveness across businesses emanates from the extent to which respective businesses integrate the managerial functions and the nature of the management style. Consequently, the following hypothesis has been suggested:
- Management effectiveness of business is determined by the effectiveness with which a firm has designed and implemented the management style.
- The effectiveness with which the various managerial functions are executed determines the level of managerial effectiveness that is attained.
In a bid to develop a comprehensive understanding of how effective management differs from business to business, a comprehensive research design has been incorporated. The decision to incorporate the research design was necessitated by the need to ensure that the research question is answered conclusively.
The research design will also culminate in the study being more organized by integrating effective data collection and analysis mechanisms hence improving its relevancy. In an attempt to attain in-depth understanding of how effective management differs from business to business, the study appreciated the need to use qualitative research design. Decision to use qualitative research design was also arrived at by considering the descriptive nature of the issue under investigation.
Data collection and instrumentation
In the process of conducting the study, the researcher appreciated the importance of improving the credibility of the study. Therefore, the need to integrate accurate data was recognized. Primary sources of data were considered, which was attained through systematic data collection from managers of small, medium, and large enterprises. The study utilized survey research design in order to collect the data.
In the process of collecting the data, managers of different local organizations were identified as the core respondents. Additionally, a number of renowned managerial consultants practicing in the local market were selected as the main respondents. Identification of the respondents was conducted by conducting a reconnaissance in order to familiarize with the various firms operating locally.
Questionnaires and interviews were the main tools used in collecting data from the field. In a bid to improve the reply from the respondents, the questionnaires designed were both open-ended and close ended. The questionnaires were formulated in a manner that gave the respondents an opportunity to respond in accordance with their knowledge.
Open-ended questionnaires were incorporated to provide the respondents with the discretion to answer in accordance with their views. On the other hand, close-ended questions were included in situations where the researcher required a definite response. A focus group interview with a number of renowned managerial consultants was designed in order to attain expert opinion regarding the prevailing difference in management effectiveness.
The managerial consultants were considered due to their knowledge and experience regarding effective management. A strong relationship with the respondent was established prior to conducting the study in order to improve the effectiveness with which the interview would be conducted. An interview guide was developed in order to guide the researcher in conducting the interview.
Prior to administering the questionnaires, a comprehensive review was undertaken in order to eliminate elements that might result in the respondents giving a vague answer. The review also aided in eliminating errors that might have resulted in the questionnaire being ineffective. Finally, a pilot study to assess the reliability and validity of the questionnaire was conducted.
The researcher appreciated the importance of effective selection of respondents in order to improve reliability of the study. Thus, an optimal sampling design, which entailed random sampling, was incorporated. The sampling design was used in order to eliminate possible bias in selecting the respondents. A sample of 50 respondents from different businesses was selected in order to increase the degree to which the findings of the study were statistically significant.
Data analysis method
In analyzing the data collected effectively, the research integrated both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. In a bid to achieve this objective, the researcher employed Microsoft Excel as the main data analysis tool. This choice enabled the researcher to present the findings of the study effectively using graphs and charts, thus providing an opportunity for a wide of parties to understand.
Findings and data analysis
The business environment has become very dynamic as evidenced by the high rate of globalization, increased technological innovation, increased collaboration, and growth in knowledge levels. In the process of conducting the study, a number of elements were considered in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue. This chapter entails an analysis of the findings from the respondents based on the research question formulated.
The respondents had diverse opinion regarding differences in effective management. Ninety five percent (95 per cent) of the respondents had the opinion that difference in managerial skills explains how effective management differs. The respondents cited different managerial skills explaining variation in effective management.
The chart and graph below illustrates the skills cited.
|Managerial skills||Number of respondents||Percentage|
|Effective problem solving||47||94%|
|Strong communication skills||45||90%|
|Effective negotiation skills||48||96%|
|Conflict management skills||49||98%|
|Level of self awareness||40||80%|
The respondents also cited the different leadership styles adopted by businesses to be major reasons explaining how effective management differs. Ninety percent (90%) of the respondents were of the opinion that democratic management style significantly improves effective management.
The respondents asserted that democratic management style contributes to the development of a high level of employee satisfaction through task delegation and providing employees an opportunity to contribute in the decision making process.
On the other hand, 87 per cent of the respondents cited integration of paternalistic management style to contribute towards effective management. When asked how, the respondents were of the opinion that paternalistic management style contributes towards the creation of a strong relationship between the top management and the lower level employees.
Similar to democratic management style, paternalistic management style provides employees with an opportunity to contribute their opinions in the decision making process. Therefore, an effective feedback, which is an important element in attainment of effective management, is attainable. Only 40 per cent of the respondents cited authoritarian management style to enhance attainment of effective management.
The chart below illustrates the responses provided by the respondents.
|Management style||Percentage response|
In addition to the above variables, the respondents were of the opinion that effective management differs across businesses with regard to execution of various managerial roles. Ninety nine percent (99%) of the respondents asserted that some firms are very effective in implementing managerial roles where others are not. The main managerial functions cited by the respondents include planning, staffing, organizing, directing, and controlling.
From the study, a number of reasons explain the existence of difference in effective management across organizations. The first reason relates to differences is managerial skills possessed by the organizational leaders. In the course of their operation, businesses face divergent challenges that the management team is required to deal with appropriately.
The problems may emanate from the external or internal business environment. Therefore, business leaders are required to possess effective problem solving skills. In a bid to achieve this goal, managers should be in a position to describe and analyze the problem faced and identify its source.
According to Dean (2001), possessing problem solving skills contributes to effective management through effective implementation of the cause and effect standard. Therefore, the manager will be in a position to formulate creative options regarding the best course of action. Possessing creative problem solving skills is also paramount in managers’ mission to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the decision.
Being proactive pays tremendously in dealing with business eventualities and thus business leaders should strive to become proactive. Business managers possess varying problem solving skills, which explains the difference in effective management across businesses.
According to Kane-Urrabazo (2006), the effectiveness with which business leaders communicate is also a vital component in nurturing effective management. This assertion arises from the fact that businesses need to interact and collaborate with different parties in order to achieve their goals (Hartzell, 2006).
Therefore, it is important for managers to possess effective communication skills, which entail presentation, feedback, reporting, and listening skills. Additionally, the difference in effective management is also promoted by the extent to which managers undertake conflict management.
Firms cannot shield themselves from conflict in totality and this truth underscores the need for managers to possess optimal conflict management skills (Field & Dubey, 2001). Conflict management can be implemented through effective identification of the source of the conflict, determination on the most effective conflict resolution strategy to implement, and ensuring that the conflicts that arise in the firm’s course of operation are constructive.
Effective conflict management can culminate in a firm attaining a high rate of success in its continuous improvement by nurturing a strong team (Tjosvold, Chen, & Yu, 2003). Managers possess varying degree of self-awareness, which influences the effectiveness with which they undertake their duties.
Some managers have a high level of self-motivation and are in a position to manage change effectively as compared to others, which explains the variation in their management effectiveness. The type of management style adopted by a particular manager affects his or her effectiveness in management.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance for managers to ensure that they establish a match between the management style adopted and its operating realities. This observation emanates from the fact that the management style adopted by a particular organization has a direct influence on employees and hence the organization’s overall performance (Tjosvold, Chen, & Yu, 2003).
The study has also showed that a manager’s effectiveness is also determined by his or her level of motivation. The prevailing business situation and the extent to which it favors the manager determine the effectiveness of management. The study also reveals that management teams’ dedication towards the implementation of the various managerial roles influences the degree of management effectiveness attained.
The study has also shown that the extent to which managers adhere to their managerial roles determines the effectiveness of management attained. The various managerial roles that firms’ should consider integrating include planning, controlling, staffing, directing, and organizing. All the aforementioned aspects contribute to the differences in management that are experienced in different organization or rather from business to business.
In the 21st century, the need for effective management has grown significantly due to the high rate of dynamism. However, businesses are characterized by varying degree of effectiveness in their management. The study has shown that there are different reasons that can be used to illustrate how effective management varies across businesses.
Firstly, the management style adopted by an organization affects the degree to which effective management is attained. Some management styles are more effective in stimulating businesses towards the attainment of effective management while others are not.
For example, transformational management style provides firms’ workforce with an opportunity to contribute in the decision making process, thus increasing their job satisfaction. Conversely, bureaucratic management limits contribution of the lower level subordinates in decision-making.
Effective management also varies based on the managerial skills possessed by the manager. Effective management is subject to the extent to which managers develop and nurture strong managerial skills. The managerial skills possessed by business leaders’ influences the effectiveness with which a firm is capable of responding to dynamic business environment.
For example, the business is in a position to respond to situations that might hinder the firm’s future performance. Some business leaders are more effective in problem solving compared to others. In addition to problem solving, other skills that business leaders should nurture in order to attain effective management include effective communication, a high level of self-awareness, and conflict management.
Developing these managerial skills will significantly contribute firms’ improvement in their management hence their future performance. The degree to which the various managerial roles are implemented determines the extent to which effective management is attained.
The various managerial roles, which include planning, directing, staffing, organizing, and controlling explain the variation in effective management across businesses. Some organizations have instituted organizational structures that promote decentralization, while others operate in a more centralized manner. The degree of centralization or decentralization influences the span of control.
If an organization is highly centralized, the span of control is increased significantly, thus hindering effective management. Some organizations are very effective in controlling their operations through the incorporation of different control mechanism hence improving their effectiveness. The staffing policies adopted by firms also determine the degree to which the firm attains effective management.
In the course of their operation, some organizations have not appreciated the importance of integrating effective employee policies such as job satisfaction policies. From the findings of the study, it is imperative for business leaders to take into account the issues that have been articulated here coupled with determining how they can be effectively incorporated in order to attain effective management.
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