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HC1031 Managing People and Organisations Assignment Help

Part A: Individual Reflective Learning (15%)

Choose a specific incident from your life where you have used the four primary management functions of Planning, Organising, Leadership and Controlling. Analyse the incident and describe the main areas where you used each of these 4 management functions. Reflect on how effective your management of this task/incident was and which areas you would change if you had the opportunity to manage the same thing again and why.

Part B: Group element (20%)

This should be no more than 1000 words (±10%)

Choose 2 of the management theories covered in lecture 2 "Evolution of Management Thinking". Briefly describe the theory and identify its strengths and limitations.

1. For each of the theories you have selected, either a) choose a well-known organisation for whom the theory is still relevant and utilised to some extent today, providing evidence to support your selection.

OR

b) choose a well-known organisation which contradicts the theory and provide evidence to explain why you believe this to be the case.

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Part A

Description of selected incident

A specific incident in my life where I have had to exercise my skills in terms of primary management was when I had to pursue a group project in my last semester. We had to divide the responsibilities among ourselves so that the project could be completed successfully without any delay.

Analysis of the incident

Using the POLC functions, the incident can be broken down as follows:

Planning: I had to plan out the schedule that needed to be followed to ensure the timely completion of the project. I was also in charge of laying out the goals, objectives and the relevant strategies for pursuing the project.

Organising: I had to break down the work processes and allocate them to my respective team members, keeping in mind their specific skills, so that I could give them work that they were best-suited to.

Leadership: I had to make all the decisions related to the team, and also find a way to motivate them to work harder and more efficiently.
Control: I also had to make sure that the members were not deviating from the pre-set workplan, and took regular feedback from them to keep track of the progress.

Critical evaluation of the incident

In my opinion, one area where my approach could have been changed or improved was that of communicating with the team members. I had been solely reliant on communication over phone calls and texts. I could have included the use of emails as well, as it would have helped me keep a better track record of all the discussions we had had, and thus, eliminated the confusions that had arisen due to a lack of factual records.

Part B

Introduction

In order to understand the concept of management, the first aspect that needs to be considered is that there is no fixed perspective or practice that can be pursued throughout the course of the organisation's functioning, as the environmental factors (both internal and external) are subject to massive changes over time (Rothaermel, 2013). It is also important for managers to recognise their mistakes and learn from them. There are also a set of rules or theories that managers can follow for the supervision of an organisation, and these theories help manage the employees and assist them in their quest for achieving the organisational goals.

Overview of Taylor's Scientific Management Theory

The philosophy behind this theory was focused on how the work was carried out by the employees, and how their productivity was affected by the external factors present within and without the organisation (Waring, 2016).

Frederick Winslow Taylor had this belief, that all workers were motivated by money, and thus established the concept of monetary incentives based on the amount of work a worker had done. He also applied scientific methods to increase the productivity and ease of work done by the employees, which was a much-needed change for any given workplace (Taneja, Pryor and Toombs, 2011).

They key principles of Taylor's scientific management theory are:

1. Development of standardised methods for performing the various tasks

2. Selection and training of workers in an adequate manner

3. Supporting the workers through careful planning

4. Provision for incentives in addition to their wages, based on the work done.

Strengths and limitations

They key strengths of Frederic Taylor's Scientific Management Theory are:

1. The data provided is reliable in addition to being constructive, as the improvisations are pursued through proper scientific experiments and management.

2. The production processes also become largely efficient, and helps in the betterment of the managerial skills, thereby fostering a positive leadership role.

3. It enhances the working environment, as the concept of incentives and fair wages keep the employees happier and more willing to work harder.

The limitations of this theory are:

1. Organisations generally try to maximise their profits, and thus, the workforce might be exploited to a massive extent.

2. The immense competition that is observed these days in industries such as retail imparts a certain degree of inefficiency to this process as the pressure on the workers has increased manifold.

Overview of Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor was responsible for the postulation of Theory X and Theory Y.

Theory X is when managers believe that the employees have a general dislike towards their work, and are not very motivated when it comes to pursuing their jobs. This makes the managers more likely to indulge in a management style that is more authoritarian in nature (Sahin, 2012), and involves the micromanagement of all the tasks done by the employees.

Theory Y is when managers believe that the employees take pride in the work they pursue and treat it as a challenge. This makes them more likely to indulge in a management style that is participative in nature (Kopelman, Prottas and Falk, 2010). In this case, managers trust the workers to take care of the work processes, as they believe that they are creative and willing to take on responsibility.

Strengths and limitations

The strengths of this theory can be listed as below:

1. These theories are a good guide for management for not just the development of motivational techniques but also for the entire managerial systems, as it is based on assumptions related to human behaviour.

2. The assumptions that McGregor pursued are rather realistic, as people working in organisations do actually correspond to the respective ideologies.

In case of Theory X and Theory Y, the following limitations are likely to be experienced:

1. Theory X can contribute to the formation of an atmosphere that is largely punitive in nature, and the culture will be such that the workers would tend to blame others for any faults.

2. Diseconomies of scale is another challenge that might arise, especially when the size of the organisation grows with every passing day, thereby making it difficult for the managers to micromanage each one of them.

3. Since Theory Y is based on the assumption that a right environment helps people work in a more productive manner, it is not exactly feasible as not all employees might have the same needs within an organisation.

Relevant example of an organisation: Microsoft Inc.

Microsoft Inc., one of the most successful software and technology companies based in the US, is an organisation that utilises the theory of scientific management. In this company, innovation is that practice that is pursued with great enthusiasm. The scientific management concept comes in when the need for a high level of standardisation arises, in terms of the products or services that are being created. The workers need to work together in the same manner for providing the same output, and this is highly relevant to this particular management concept (Tzortzaki and Mihiotis, 2014). Furthermore, there are different teams for handling the various operations, based on their level of skill and expertise, which is yet another application of this management style.

Summary and conclusion

The Scientific Theory of Management and McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y are the two management principles or theories that are relevant even today for many organisations. Both these theories have their own benefits and limitations, which implies that there is virtually no management style or principle that can be said to be flawlessly theorised. Managers must be flexible enough to adapt their management approach as per the needs of the organisation they are associated with, as it is the only way to encourage the workers to be more productive.

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