The blog article titled Encouraging Managers to Delegate by the Harvard Management Update has been written to counter the common logic used by most modern day managers in desiring to do everything themselves. The article starts by describing the most effective measure that can be taken by enterprises to give managers the desire to delegate some of the management tasks to junior associates.
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The authors of the article point out that managers should serve as role models and should therefore conduct themselves in such a way that would encourage their juniors to work without constant supervision.
The authors also establish that in order to persuasively outline the importance of delegating to subordinate members of staff the managers should use practical methods of showing them how tough things would be without delegation (Harvard Management, 2008). In this way the people learn the importance of having power in all their specific roles in the institution.
One of the factors that the authors of this article believe plays a crucial role as fare as delegation is concerned is organizational structure. The authors point out that it (organizational structure) makes managers aware of the kind of behavior that the organization regards as acceptable.
They identify the flat organizational structure as one that requires more delegation of duties as compared to other frameworks. The article suggests that one way of compelling managers to delegate is by giving them authority over very many members of staff.
The authors ask whether leadership has been given inequitable focus (Harvard Management, 2008). The answer given is that it is true that most companies tend to allow their heroes more benefits and this is the reason why managers are afraid to delegate as it would be a method of taking the sport light from them.
Companies that encourage heroism have been described as those where managers are given fancy offices and other trappings of power. On the other hand, the enterprises that encourage delegation, according to the article, tend to have open floor office plans and they don’t have categorical status symbols.
Finally the authors examine the importance of recruiting in encouraging delegation. They conclude that when recruiting managers, they should analyze their management styles by conducting analyses on past behavior. They see this as a way of establishing the mindset of the individual particularly when it comes to working well within a team-driven set up.
The article in discussion has been founded on the work of renowned business author Jeffrey Pfeffer in his publication How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People (Harvard Management, 2008). It can therefore be hailed as a credible source of management guidance.
The article’s practicality is unquestionable as it points out a number of critical issues challenging companies that are trying to encourage the delegation culture to their senior employees.
All the ideas presented in the discussion can easily be pointed out to successful companies. A good example is Natalie Massenet’s Net-a-porter which has a flat organizational structure that allows all members of staff a direct communication to the head and to fellow associates.
In this company there are no definite structures giving certain individuals supreme authority over others. By encouraging open channels of communication, Massenet has been able to take into consideration the brilliant opinions of her associates; an aspect that has made the company achieve some unprecedented growth.
The article augers well with material covered in class on the topic of organizational design. Top on the list is establishment of the fact that within any organizational structure, it is desirable that all departments and their leaders embrace the principles of accountability.
This is achieved by ensuring that individuals support the notion of ownership and clearly map out their areas of contribution to the accomplishment of the strategic initiatives set out by the institution. Team management comes in play in this regard by allowing managers to work alongside their subordinates in an effort to attain common goals.
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As pointed out in the lectures on designing motivating jobs, effective team management encourages individuals to work towards the mission and vision of the company without necessary having some commanding authority looking over them.
This is because employees would generally like to be given some distinguished level of accountability and most of them will easily embrace responsibility as long as the institution supports the principle of empowerment. This creates a sense of responsibility and individuals are generally more innovative and creative in conducting their roles; a factor which has been discussed in the Harvard Management update article
All in all, no one organizational structure can be said to have uniform positive results. This is because all institutions are different and with each difference in structure come a lot of variables that would require the communication pathways be tweaked to suit the particular needs of the company.
However, various professional standards and strategies have been tried, tested and proven to work. Therefore, whenever a company that has had a hierarchical structure of management is considering instituting transformational changes, delegation should be regarded as the best option.
Harvard Management Update, 2008. Encouraging managers to delegate, Harvard Business Review, [online] Available at: https://hbr.org/2008/02/encouraging-managers-to-delega.html .