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Shvoong Home>Science>Managing Managers Summary

Managing Managers

Book Summary   by:gangyo     Original Author: vipul kumar gupta
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Managing ManagersMiddle level managers, such as department heads and workshop directors, can still earn bonuses at about 80% of the factories surveyed. It is the middle managers who are usually the experts because of their formal education and training. For middle managers to earn bonuses the fulfillment of certain enterprises targets is a required condition at only about 20% of the factories; they are more commonly evaluated for their “contributions” rather than on the basis of overall enterprise performance. Where enterprise targets have to be fulfilled for bonuses to be paid, in most cases profit is not the only success indicator. Quantity and value of production, sales, production costs, labour productivity, and/or quality are other key success indicators at various enterprises.During the past few years, directors, vice directors, and secretaries have not been eligible to receive bonuses at any enterprises. Can top-level enterprises managers (or middle managers, too, for that matter) be adequately motivated over time to perform efficiency without bonuses? I doubt it. At present there seems to be considerable dedication, zeal, patriotism, and other non material stimuli motivating many of them to do the best job they can. But these stimuli cannot do the job alone for long. Compounding the difficulty is the fact that salaries, powers, and living conditions of top managers are relatively low in relation to those of their subordinates.Just as the non manager is dependent on his boss for motivational opportunities, so is the manager dependent on his boss for condition of motivation which have meaning at his level. Since the motivation of an employee at any level is strongly related to the supervisory style of his immediate boss, sound motivation patterns must begin at the top. Being closer to the policy-making level, the manager has more opportunity to understand and relate his work to company goals. However, high position alone does not guarantee motivational or self-actualization. Motivational for the manager, as well as the non-manager, is usually both a consequence and a symptom of effective job performance. Job success is dependent on cyclical conditions created by interpersonal competence, meaningful goals, and helpful systems. After sustained conditioning in the developmental cycle, an individual has amazing capacity and incentive to remain in it. Moreover, if forced into the reductive cycle, unless he has pathological needs to remain there, organizational conditions must be remarkably and consistently bad to suppress his return to the development cycle. Sustained confinement of a large percentage of the work force in the reductive cycle is symptomatic of organizational illness.
It is usually a culmination of a chain of events beginning with top management, and is reversibly only by changes at the top. Consequences of reductive conditions such as militant unionism and other forms of reactive behavior usually provoke management into defensive and manipulative behavior which only reinforces the reductive cycle. The vicarious pleasure sought by the rank and file through seeing the management giant felled by their union is a poor substitute for the self-actualization of being a whole person doing a meaningful job, but, in the absence of motivational opportunities, it is an understandable compromise. The seeds of concerted reactive behavior are often brought to the job from broadly shared frustrations arising from social injustice, economic deprivation, and moral decadence either to sprout in a reductive climate or become infertile in a development climate. Hence, the unionization of a workgroup is usually precipitated by management failure to provide opportunities for employees to achieve personal goals though the achievement of organization goals. Organizations survive these failures only because most other companies are equally handicapped by the same failure. Management failures in supervision do not, of course, stem from intentional malice. They may result, in part, from a lingering tradition of “scientific management” which fractionated tasks and “protected” employees from the need to think, and perpetrated management systems based on automation conformity. But more often such failures stem from the manager’s insensitivity to the needs and perceptions of others, particularly from his inability to see himself as others see him.Insensitivity or the inability to emphasize is manifested not only as interpersonal in competence, but also as the failure to provide meaningful goals, the misuse of management systems, or a combination of both. Style of supervision, then, is largely as expression of the personality characteristics and mental health of the manager, and his potential for inducing development or reductive cyclical reactions.
Published: October 12, 2006   
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