Management is a very important aspect of an organisation; this is because management is actually what makes the organisation function as a whole. Armstrong (2001) describes management as the act of coordinating all of the resources of an organisation in such a manner as to ensure that the organisation as a whole is able to function effectively towards the attainment of its goals and objectives. This therefore implies that without management, the organisation might actually run into a halt because there will be nobody to coordinate the various activities of the organization that are meant to facilitate its smooth running. In addition to generally coordinating the various functions of the organisation, there are various specific functions that are normally associated with management and are they are what actually constitute management’s coordination function. These specific functions are: planning, organizing, staffing and supervising. Various techniques have come up that are meant to refine the discipline of management and these techniques are collectively referred to as management techniques. The three management techniques that have over the years found great application by many managers are Management by Wondering about (MBWA), Management by Objectives (MBO) and Management by Extension (MBE) these three management techniques are all unique in their approach to the discipline of management and because of this uniqueness, they usually find application in different business formations.
The three management techniques that is Management be Wondering About (MBWA), Management by Exception (MBE) and Management by Objectives (MBO) can have various application in the different business structures. The structures in this context refer to either Sole proprietorships, partnerships or public limited companies (PLCs). Starting with the first technique of management that is management by wondering about, According to Armstrong (2001) this is type of management that will require the manager to constantly keep in touch with his/her employees and all other aspects of the organisation. This therefore implies that the business setting should be in such a way as to facilitate easy movement of managers from one part of the business to another. A business organisation such as a multinational corporation for instance might not be well suited for this technique of management. This is because the business might have operations in several countries making and this will probably imply that the manager might not be in a position to closely monitor all aspects of the business. For this reason, a business organisation that has a compact structure is deemed to be the most suitable for this type of management, and therefore, sole proprietorships and probably most partnerships might fall in this category.
Due to their very nature, partnerships and sole proprietorship do not involve a lot of people in running of the business organisation and this is because a typical partnership or sole proprietor will normally employ a few employees because of the fact that most of these businesses are usually small to medium sized enterprises. It follows that the number of departments, the number of business processes involved and the number of employees who do the actual running of the business is normally low. Such a scenario implies that the manager will be in a position to maintain close contact with all the employees, to monitor activities taking place in all of the departments and to learn the various business processes involved in the day to day running of the business. This is unlike a Public Limited Companies which are most likely to be large organizations with hundreds or even thousands of employees working in many departments and the business processes involved are also likely to be many. In such a scenario, the manager cannot maintain close contact with his/her employees, monitor the goings in all departments or learn all the processes involved in the day to day running of the business organisation.
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In addition to Management by Wondering About, the second management technique that this paper is going to look at is Management by Objectives (MBE). Management by Exception due to its very nature might be applicable in the management of large corporations such as multinationals and other such enterprises which are normally in the form of Public Limited Companies. This is because this type of management involves the managers only dealing with core functions of the organisation and delegating other non-core functions to the junior staff and only step in when there is an exceptional deviation in the organizational performance (Armstrong, 2001). This therefore implies that the managers have very little time to monitor the day to day operational aspects of the organizations and therefore, a business model such as a Public Limited Company whose operations normally involves a lot of employees and involved in running many operations is the one suited for such technique of management.
On the other hand, an organisation such as sole proprietor or a partnership cannot be suited for this type of management. This is because in such an organisation, the manager is required to maintain close contact with the business as the success of the business is normally dependent upon how effective the management performs its function on a day to day basis. Moreover, in the case of a sole proprietor, the manager is the sole decision maker and this implies that the manager should maintain constant touch with his/her employees and also closely monitor and understand all the aspects of the business in order to facilitate speedy and effective decision making.
The third and final technique of management that will be analysed in terms of its applicability to the different business types is the Management by Objectives (MBO). Management by objectives is a technique of management that that can be effective in the management of any type of business organisation notwithstanding its structure or formation. This implies that management by objectives can be used in the management of Sole proprietorships, partnerships and even Public Limited Companies. This is because this type of management usually relies on the objectives that have been set out by the various parties involved in the day to day running of the business organisation and it is these objectives that form the basis of the managerial practice.
The operations of each of the three aforementioned business formations are usually guided by the objectives that they have set out to achieve and this therefore implies that a management technique that applies the use of objectives as the basis of its operation can be applied in all of the three business formations. Management by Objectives can also be very effective in ensuring that the business organisation is able to meet its objectives in that. This can be achieved at two levels, the first levels will involve the management ensuring that all the employees are able to meet their individual objectives and in doing so, working towards achieving the overall objective of the organisation. The second level will involve the managers themselves being able to attain the objectives that they have set out for both themselves and the organisation.
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