Management Functions and Organisational Processes
MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment jan 2022
Q1- Describe the characteristics of Management and it’s importance. Briefly discuss the challenges faced by Manager in the present day context.
Ans –MEANING AND DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT
The essence of management revolves around managing people and other resources in an organization both internal and external, leading to the achievement of the objectives of the organization.
The meaning could be better understood by examining the nature of management management could be understood as an activity with a goal accomplishment and results orientation.
Since an organization is imbedded with groups of people working together towards an objective, management is characterized by the interaction with others in the accomplishment of the task.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MANAGEMENT :
It is safe to say that an effective manager is a key ingredient for business success. A manager’s job is to ensure good management in an organisation. This is achieved by learning the ins and outs of management.
Thus gain deeper insights into management we need to learn about the basic characteristics of management. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Management is characterized by a few elements. They are:
Management is a group activity :
Since the organization reflects the social dimension, where individuals interact with each other in getting things done, individual efforts alone doesn’t guarantee results.
Moreover, management cannot be done in isolation and hence, includes group activity. Management is thus seen as integrating individual efforts through organized group activity.
Management is Universal in its application :
Management applies to government, business enterprises, education institutions, military, medical and non-governmental organizations in equal measure.
The principles of management suggested by the German industrial Psychologist Henry Fayol, are considered as guiding principles which could be adapted to specific organizational context. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Management is a continuous activity :
Management is dynamic in nature and hence is continuous. The ever changing organizational activity provides continuity to management functions.
Management as an Integrated Effort :
The process of management integrates the human and other resources in the achievement of the objectives of the organization.
In the process, the individual goals and the organizational goals get aligned for effective functioning of the organization.
Management as a well-defined process :
Management is considered unique because of the well-defined and clear cut process of getting things done through the various functions of management.
Management is objective-driven and result-oriented :
Organizations have clearly marked objectives and goals, the accomplishment of which is systematically driven by the management function.
Management as a set of roles and skills :
It refers to an individual or a group of individuals who are actively involved in managerial functions.The individuals are designated as managers and the group as management.
The managers are expected to learn the managerial skills to perform their managerial roles effectively. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Management as a function :
The management process is characterized by the functions that the manager performs. They are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, controlling and budgeting.
Management as a discipline :
Management as a discipline refers to a body of knowledge with unique pedagogical tools as taught in various educational institutions to impart the basic concepts and principles relating to the practice of management.
Its importance is demonstrated by the glut on the growth of B-School across the globe and in India and the way it enjoys a prominent place in popular perception.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGEMENT :
Management plays an important role in an organization irrespective of the size, scale, scope and sector. It facilitates the growth of an organization and stimulates its activities so that the desired results could be achieved. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
It is important because of the following reasons:
1-Effective management leads to optimum utilization of resources. Factors like men, materials, money and machines can be effectively utilized only through management.
2-Organizations function through teams and groups. Managers provide the leadership and direct the members of the team towards the achievement of group and organizational goals.
Thus, management facilitates the achievement of the individual, team and organizational goals by leading them towards the achievement of the desired objectives
3-Management helps in the smooth functioning of the organization through a proper allocation of tasks to the members and monitoring the implementation effectively.
This helps the organization to have cordial inter-personal employee relations and sound industrial relations in the organizations.
4-Organizations are influenced by a numbers of internal and external challenges in the organizational environment. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The planned activities might get displaced in the event of uncertainty and suddenness of change. Management monitors such changes in the environment and takes care of planned activity by helping the employee to adapt to the changed situation.
The recent adaptation to the changes at the workplace due the pandemic is an excellent example of such a situation.
5-Management contributes significantly to an improvement in the standard of the organization.
Successful managers innovate practices which leads to an improvement of individuals and organizational standards, thus facilitating the creation of best practices in the organization.
For example every year the list of most admired companies globally and most admired CEO serve as an example for the improvement in the standards of the both the industry leaders and organization.
Challenges faced by Manager in the present day context.
Organizations require effective management but there are several challenges which management has to encounter for effectiveness. Some of the challenges are:
Globalization : MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
A number of economies have embraced Liberalization globalization, privatization ( LPG) , which pre supposes that the economies be a signatory and follow the guidelines in terms of trade laid down by the global agencies like the World Trade Organization,
International Labor Organization and also similar agencies which the economies form at the regional level like European Union, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation etc.
It describes the interdependence of economies, cultures and people because of the cross border trade of goods and services, technology, flows of investment, information and communication.
This interconnectedness across people and businesses leads to cultural, political and economic integration across the economies in the world.
Since business could be conducted internationally, management has to take care of the communication challenges, people related challenges and business related challenges.
The impact of globalization has been quite significant on technology and the technological changes. Technology has revolutionized every sector, it both complicates things and creates new opportunities. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The speed with which technological changes take place affect the communication patterns, information content and knowledge that gets generated, stored and can be retrieved for organizational use.
The world is a witness to the significant changes that has taken place in the technology front, with the hardware and software in relation to a computer or other consumables like keyboards, monitors, mouse, the CPU and other parts.
Even in terms of music, we have come a long way from a tape recorder to an audio cassette to a CD to a stage where currently music is embedded in the mobile phone itself.
We also hear that Google search can be done in more than hundred languages.
Technology is important to business because it serves as a market place, a means for manufacturing goods and services, a communication medium, a distribution channel, information service etc.
Technology provides access to a wide range of information, thus making the decision making function of the manager efficient and effective.
In addition, we are all a witness to the design of new products in many sectors including banking and financial services. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Today, technology helps in banking from anywhere for any banking services and products, be it be for account summary, investment summary, credit/ debit card services including ATM, to housing loan information, vehicle and personal loan services.
The list is endless and today the citizens across the world are accustomed to digital payments, digital banking and all this is possible only through the technological advancement.
Thus if globalization has stretched the work days of some people, technological advancement has made it possible to connect people anytime, anywhere.
Cell phones, handy tablets, sleek laptops with wireless connection have connected people across the world.
In situations like the current pandemic, it is technology alone which has come to the rescue of businesses and people to deliver the services across the world.
Workforce diversity :
“Diversity” in English means variety. Diversity exists in organizations when there is a variety of demographic, cultural and personal differences among the people who work there.
Diversity makes good business sense by helping companies attract and retain talented workforce. Diverse friendly companies attract better and more diverse job applicants.
In short, diversity is no longer about counting heads, it is about making heads count, said the Vice President of diversity and inclusion at Pepsico.
While there are advantages of diversity – experience, insight and creativity of a diverse workforce, managers also have challenges in dealing with diverse workforce.
In terms of demographics companies hire young executives in good numbers, which makes it difficult for the manager to team them up with seniors and experienced people.
Similarly companies also hire from different cultures, social and ethnic groups and backgrounds which make it difficult to manage in a multi-cultural environment.
During the last decade, diversity and inclusion policies of the companies, mandated hiring women and from different classes/ regions of the nation/globe
Innovation : MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Innovation is the introduction of new goods and services. Companies are forced to innovate to bring changes in their goods and services and stay in competition. Thus innovation becomes the key to sell the goods or to satisfy the customer’s preferences.
Innovation is all pervasive and has become an important ingredient in business success when Ecommerce has been introduced in a big way.
Considering the situation like the pandemic where, all the traditional distribution channels have been transformed to attract the buyers directly, marketing and sales had to be innovated to remain competitive
Ethics and Governance :
Globalization has introduced the concept of businesses with no borders, thus allowing businesses to operate anywhere across the world.
Managing businesses requires strict adherence to business ethics on a professional level.
Governance presupposes the understanding of the rules and regulations, policies and procedures in the different corners of the world, along with the cultural, societal and personal expectations of ethical actions.
Thus compliance to the ethical code of conduct in business becomes a critical concern for all managers.
Quality reflects the excellence of the product or service. The acceptable standards of quality have dramatically increased over the years. Providing world class quality requires adherence to what quality entails.
It can be measured in terms of product performance, reliability, customer service, durability, appearance, quality standards etc. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
It is a management challenge to ensure the quality of the product or service. Companies continually innovate so as to add new features as per customer preference and provide services as per the client satisfaction.
For example, a quality product like fruits and vegetables, which are organically grown would be preferred by the customers than those grown with chemicals or frozen foods for health, wellness and well-being
Consumers compare cost before making a purchase decision. One reason why the companies worry about cost is because cost leadership always ensures a company’s competitiveness.
Globalization has provided a wide choice in all the product line for the consumers. Managing the cost requires efficient management of available resources and minimizing waste, all the same ensuring a quality product or service.
For example, Reliance Jio, the internet service provider in India, which was launched recently, has challenged established players like Airtel, BSNL, and Vodafone in terms of providing internet connectivity with its popular low cost packages
Change Management :
Three facts about change- that it is everywhere, it is constantly present and the pace of change is experienced by everyone in the current context.
Consciously or unconsciously people dislike change and resist change. In reality however, change is inevitable and the speed with which the pace of change is taking place is increasing day by day. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Contemporary organizations have to welcome change and evolves strategies to survive in the competitive scenario.
Factors like technology, cost, and competition have provoked change management in business.
Managers have to don the role of a change agent to manage the resistance to change and make change more as the nature of a habit in the process of change management.
For example, the changes in Learning and development area are so fast that the individuals have no choice than to learn them through internet, e-learning and other online modes willingly in the organizational
Q2-What is the concept of organising? Briefly discuss and describe different approaches to organizing and analysing work.
ANS – THE CONCEPT OF ORGANIZING AND ANALYZING WORK
Organizing is the second key management function, after planning, which coordinates human efforts, arranges resources and incorporates the two in such a way which helps in the achievement of objectives.
It involves deciding the ways and means with which the plans can be implemented.
The goal accomplishment of an organization requires work to be done in many different areas, and highly specialized knowledge and experience.
Hence the work is divided among people, work units such as divisions, departments and groups. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Organizing work refers how to arrange matters so that people can work in concert to get the work done, division of work between people and groups, the work done by managers at different levels, and co-coordinating the work of people and groups to make possible to realize the goal of the organization.
It includes issues like:
1)-Organization Charts : Organization chart is a form of line diagram . It indicates the arrangement of work units, the delegation of work (that is the delegation of responsibility) and work units in relation to each other.
2)-Division of Work : The work is divided among people and work units such as divisions, departments or groups. The Head of each work unit is in charge for the work done by the unit as well as for the work by him/her.
3)-Organising the work done (responsibility carried) at different levels
4)-Maintaining relationships between people at different levels .
5)-Coordinating work between people etc.
DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ORGANIZING AND ANALYZING WORK
1)-The Ancient Approach :- The concept of organizing work was there even in ancient times. For instance, the ancient Egyptians built their pyramids, the ancient Chinese built the Great Wall of Chine, the Mesopotamians used to irrigate their land and wall their cities, and the Romans built their roads, aqueducts and Hadrian’s Wall.
All these man-made construction required large amounts of human effort and therefore organizing i.e. planning, control and coordination.
The Chinese philosopher Mencius (372-289BC) wrote about the concept and the advantages of the division of labor. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Records reveal that the ancient Greeks understood the advantages of, and practiced uniform work methods. They also employed work songs to develop a rhythm in order to achieve a smooth, less fatiguing tempo and to improve productivity.
The division of labor was also recognized by Plato (427-347BC). He wrote in The Republic, ‘A man whose work is confined to such limited task must necessarily excel at it’.
However, work itself was viewed by the ancient Greeks and the Romans, as demeaning / humiliating. Those who could afford to do so were treated as employed slaves.
2)-The Approach during the Industrial Revolution Period
The momentum for industrial revolution was initiated in the seventeenth century. Agricultural methods had improved in Europe.
Technical advances were also being made, most notably in textile manufacturing, in the eighteenth century with the invention of Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, Arkwright’s water frame and Compton’s mule. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The steam engine first developed in 1698 by Thomas savory, was harnessed by James Watt. These factors, technological developments, expanding trade/markets, growing populations created opportunities for merchants and entrepreneurs to invest in new factories.
This was the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. All these necessitated the improvement in work methods, quality, and productivity of workers.
With the emergence of the factory system, Adam Smith, the Father of Economics advocated making work efficient by means of specialization in the eighteenth century. He advocated dividing the work down into simple tasks.
He provided three advantages of the division of labour:
• the development of skills;
• the saving of time; and
• the possibility of using specialized tools
3)-The Scientific Management Approach
Frederick W. Taylor known as the father of scientific management and modern industrial engineering. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
By experimenting with different designs of shovel for use with different material (from ‘rice’ coal to ore) he was able to design shovels that would permit the worker to shovel for the whole day.
In so doing, he reduced the number of people shoveling at the Bethlehem Steel Works from 500 to 140. This work, and his studies on the handling of pig iron, greatly contributed to the analysis of work design and gave rise to method study.
Objectives of Scientific Management
The four objectives of management under scientific management are as follows:
• The development of a science for each element of a man’s work to replace the older rule-of-thumb methods.
• The scientific selection, training and development of workers instead of allowing them to choose their own tasks and train themselves as best they could.
• The development of a spirit of hearty cooperation between workers and management to ensure that work would be carried out in accordance with scientifically devised procedures.
• The division of work between workers and the management in almost equal shares, each group taking over the work for which it is best fitted instead of the former condition in which responsibility largely placed with the workers.
Assumptions of Scientific Management
Two basic assumptions dominated Taylor’s approach to the design of jobs. First Assumption (Management): Management is assumed to be more effective than labor at devising methods for executing the work and then at planning and organizing.
By breaking the work down into simple elements:
• the training of workers is clearly simplified MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
• workers are more easily substituted, one for another
• supervision is made easier as it is apparent when workers are doing something that is not part of the specified task.
Second Assumption (Workers): Human beings are rational economic beings. The prime goal is assumed to be monetary and consequently reward systems which relate pay levels to output are seen as likely to result in maximum output.
As such, humans will examine a situation and identify a course of action likely to maximize their self interest and act accordingly.
Principles of Scientific Management
Three primary principles of scientific management directly or indirectly relating to work design are:
1)-Taylor assumed that it is possible to “gather all of the traditional knowledge which in the past the been possessed by the workman and then classifying, tabulating, and reducing this knowledge to rules, laws, and formulae which are immensely helpful to theworkmen in doing their daily work”.
In this way the industrial engineer (and the manager) learns the best way for a job to be performed. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
2)-The work of every individual employee “is fully planned out by the management at least one day in advance… describing in detail the task which he is to accomplish as well as the means to be used in doing the work”
3)-“The science which underlies each workman’s act is so great and amounts to so much that the workman who is best suited to actually do the work is incapable (either through lack of education or through insufficient mental capacity) of understanding this science”
Constraints of Scientific Management :
Although scientific management was unquestionably effective for more than 50 years, gradually it is losing ground because of the following reasons.
First, production and/or service jobs are no longer simple. Creating uncomplicated jobs was easy at the beginning of the 20th century because the products and the manufacturing processes were elementary.
However this is not the case today. Even unskilled factory jobs today require reading computer screens, working with numerical tools, or using and/or making custom products and services.MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
4) Fordism :
In the early 20th Century , Henry Ford dramatically established the concept of relative surplus value by doing what at the time was considered impossible.
He paid workers 4 or 5 times the ‘going rate’ (actually the bare minimum that could be screwed from the bosses), yet still made a huge profit.
By vastly increasing the production of relative surplus value through the use of the assembly line, coupled with FW Taylor’s ‘Scientific Management’ of the work process, he was able to vastly improve the productivity of his plants.
5) The Human Relations Approach :
The human relations approach arose almost as a direct result of the harshness imposed by supervisors who excessively used scientific management principles.
An outgrowth of the famous Hawthorne Studies conducted during 1924-33, the human relations approach de-emphasized the technical components of a job and concerned itself with the impact of employee social and psychological needs on productivity.
6 The Socio Technical Systems Approach :
The socio technical systems approach to work redesigns tasks in a manner that jointly optimizes the social and technical efficiency of work.
Beginning with studies on the introduction of new coalmining technologies in 1949, the socio technical systems approach to work design focused on small, self-regulating work groups. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Later it was found that such work arrangements could operate effectively only in an environment in which bureaucracy was limited.
Today’s trends towards lean and flat organizations, work teams, and an empowered workforce are logical extensions of the sociotechnical philosophy of work design.
7 Modern Approaches :
Modern concepts, are not entirely disparate to scientific management and classical organization theory, but are evolved from earlier views and represent modifications based on research and experience.
In order to counter the weaknesses of the earlier approaches discussed above that the behavioral science approach was adopted.
Industrial psychologists , although at first arrived at similar conclusions to the human relations movement, based on their research concentrated on motivation of individuals .And industrial sociologists looked at the behavior of formal and informal groups at work.
In the period between 1951 and 1971, managers moderated their ‘logical’ approach to such things as job design and considered such alternatives as participation, job-redesign, job enlargement and job enrichment. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
By the mid- 1960s and 70s in Britain there was much puzzlement as to which theory to follow and much conflicting evidence from researchers.
Q3- Discuss and describe different leadership styles and their relevance in the present scenario of organizations.
Ans LEADERSHIP STYLES
A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal while leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
Different leadership styles will result in different impact to organization The word style is the way in which the leader influences followers. Let us have a look at the various studies that help us to understand the leadership styles.
Hawthorne Studies :
Mayo and Roethlisberger did a series of studies from 1924 to 1932 in an electricity company, at Illinois, in USA. These studies are known as Hawthorne Studies.
One phase of these studies aimed at finding out if changes in illumination, rest period and lunch breaks can affect the productivity of the workers.
It was found to the surprise of the researchers that less light, shorter and fewer rest periods and shorter lunch breaks resulted in increased productivity.
And once all these changes; were eliminated and the normal working conditions were resumed, it was also seen that the workers’ productivity and the feeling of being together went up. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The increase in productivity was attributed to the attitude of workers towards each other and their feeling of togetherness.
In addition, attention paid to the workers by the researches made them feel important which resulted in improvement in their work performance. This is known as Hawthorne effect.
These findings made Mayo and Roethlisberger conclude that a leader has not only to plan, decide, organise, lead and control but also consider the human element.
Theory X and Y :
McGregor (1960) categorised leadership styles into two broad categories having two different beliefs and assumptions about subordinates. He called these Theory X and Theory Y.
The Theory X style of leaders believe that most people dislike work and will avoid it wherever possible.
Such leaders feel they themselves are a small but important group, who want to lead and take responsibility, but a large majority of people want to be directed and avoid responsibility. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Therefore, this style of leadership exercises strong controls and direction and wherever necessary punish people if they do not do the work.
If people do the work as desired, they may even get monetary or other rewards. Theory Y leaders assume that people will work hard and assume responsibility if they can satisfy their personal needs and the objectives or goals of their organisation.
Such leaders do not sharply distinguish between the leaders and the followers in contrast to Theory X style.
Iowa Leadership Studies :
In 1939 Lippitt and White under the direction of Lewin, did a study on three different styles of leadership in the task performance of ten-year old boys in three groups. The authoritarian leader of the group was very directive.
He did not allow any participation. He was concerned about the task and told the followers what to do and how to do it.
He was friendly while praising the performance of the individual member and was impersonal while criticising the individual member.
In the other group, the democratic leader encouraged discussion with the group and allowed participation in making decisions. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
He shared his leadership responsibilities with his followers and involved them in the planning and execution of the task.
The laissez-faire leader of the third group gave complete freedom to the group and did not provide any leadership.
Michigan Studies on Leadership Styles :
Likert (1961) at University of Michigan Survey Research Centre identified two major styles of leadership orientations-employee orientation and production orientation.
The employee oriented style of the leader emphasises the relationship aspect of the jobs of the individual.
Such a leader takes interest in every one and accepts the individuality and personal needs of the individual. He/She has complete confidence and trust in all matters in subordinates.
The subordinates feel free to discuss things about their jobs with their superior. Subordinates were asked for ideas and opinions and always tries to make constructive use of them.
Ohio State Studies on Leadership Styles :
Stogdill (1957) at the Bureau of Business Research at Ohio State University initiated ‘a series of researches on leadership in 1945. He, along with his colleagues, studied leader behaviour in numerous types of groups and situations by using a Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire (LBDQ). MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The studies were conducted on Air Force Commanders and members of bomber crews, officers, non-commissioned personnel, civilian administrators in the Navy Department, manufacturing supervisors, executives, teachers, principals and school superintendents and leaders of various civilian groups.
They did not have any satisfactory definition of leadership. They also did not think leadership is synonymous with
The LBDQ was administered in a wide variety of situations and surprisingly two dimensions of, leadership continually emerged from the study: one is consideration’ and the other is ‘initiating structure’.
Scientific Manager’s Style :
Taylor (1911) stressed the best way of doing a job. He emphasised the importance of having management and labour work in harmony to maximise profits. The basis of scientific management was technological in nature.
It was felt that the best way to increase output was to improve the techniques or methods used by workers. Therefore, profit can be maximised by using a systematic and scientifically based approach to the study of jobs.
Taylor was not trained as a manager He relied on scientific study of time and movement spent and used for a job to improve the performance of the worker.
According to the scientific managerial style, management of a work organisation must be divorced from human affairs and emotions and people have to adjust to the management and not management to the people.MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Various studies reflecting different styles of functioning of a leader have been stated above, which highlights how the leader simultaneously pays attention to the:
a) task to be accomplished by the group, and
b) needs and expectations of the group and its individual members.
Exactly how the leader goes about attending to these two functions is a matter of one’s leadership style. Many theories have been suggested by the researchers regarding which leadership style is most effective.
Leadership style relevance in the present scenario of organizations :
The divergent nature of organizations and the change of working profile require the concept of leadership to be a multidimensional process, which requires individuals to have different qualities at the same time.
It is especially important for charity organizations that job-oriented and human-oriented leadership skills are essential for successful leadership practices and that this balance should be established in a healthy manner during the decision-making process.
This study examined the role of leadership styles in decision making according to the views of managers and employees in international charity organizations in Iraq.
In this survey conducted by the screening model, 430 employees currently working in 14 charities organization in Iraq are included in the research.
The ‘Leadership Styles Scale’ (Transactional, Transformational and lassies faire Leadership) and the onedimensional ‘Decision Making Scale’ were used to collect data in the study.
According to the findings of the research, the workers of Iraq’s charity organizations found that the managers of their organizations had a moderately liberal leadership style, while they had strong-high transformational and transactional leadership styles.
Employees in charity organizations also stated that managers have a strong and high level of decision-making. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
According to the correlation analysis performed in the research, a meaningful relationship was found between decision making and all leadership styles.
Decision-making behavior, however, is only reasonably driven by the transformational and transactional leadership style.
Q4- Describe and discuss various channels of communication and their role in organizations. Discuss how to overcome barriers to effective communication with relevant examples.
Ans – CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
It’s easy to recognize that effective communication is at the heart of any successful business. What’s not so easy to grasp these days is deciding which communication channels to focus on.
For example, you may prefer to use email as a medium to communicate strategic decisions. But what if this kind of information is easier to digest during face-to-face meetings?
An organisation structure provides channels for the flow of information on which the decisions of the organisation will be based. As such an organisation can be described as the network of communication channels.
These channels can be either intentionally designed, or they may develop of their own accord. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
When a channel is intentionally prescribed for the flow of communication in the organisation, we call it a formal channel, and the communication passing through that channel as formal communication.
Formal Communication :
An organisation chart shows the direction of formal communication flow in an organisation. It identifies the various transmitters and receivers, and the channels through which they must communicate.
The authority relationships indicate the direction of communication flow in an organisation. A formal communication takes place between a superior and subordinate in the form of instructions and directions
Such a flow takes place in the downward direction. Another formal communication takes place between subordinate and superior when reporting on performance is made by the subordinate.
Since the subordinate initiates communication to the superior, the flow is upward. We call this upward communication. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The upward communication can take the form of progress reports, budget reports, profit and loss statements, requests for grants, etc.
Networks in Formal Communication :
You have seen earlier how the formal organisational structure prescribes the channels through which communication flows take place. These channels are designed to keep the flow of information in an orderly manner and to protect the higher level managers from an overload of unnecessary information.
However, the way in which these channels are designed and work can affect the speed and accuracy of information as well as the task performance and satisfaction of members of the group.
As such, managers have to think of how best to design the organisational structure and the communication network which meets the requirements of the situation.
These experiments have certain implications for the design of organisational structure and thecommunication network:MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Firstly, an organisation with mostly routine, simple tasks is likely to work more efficiently with a formally centralised network of communication, while more complicated tasks would require decentralised networks.
Secondly, the problem-solving objectives of speed and flexibility cannot be achieved by the same pattern of communication. Rather, speed in problemsolving can be achieved at the expense of flexibility, and vice-versa.
As such the communication pattern should be designed with reference to the objective that is regarded as most important.
Thirdly, the pattern that leads to highest average morale and greatest flexibility in adapting to changed conditions is the one in which there are a large number of active participants in decision-making process.
Lastly, access to information is an important source of power in organisations.
Informal Communication :
Communication that takes place without following the formal lines of communication is said to be informal communication. This channel is not created by management and is usually not under the control of management. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
An informal system of communication is generally referred to as the
grapevine' because it spreads throughout the organisation with its branches going out in all
directions in utter disregard of the levels of authority and linking members of the organisation in any direction.
In contrast to the formal communication which moves on slowly from one person at one hierarchical level to another at the next hierarchical level; the grapevine transmits information from one person to a group of persons much more rapidly in a cluster chain arrangement.
The cluster chain is made up of individuals who act as information sources. Each individual passes the information to several others, some of whom repeat the message to others.
Some of those who receive the message may not pass on the information to others but the information may lead to a change in their thinking on the subject and may sometimes affect their behaviour as well.
The following diagram illustrates the cluster chain network of informal communication. Though it has been found that informal communication carries accurate information about threefourths of time, yet there are strong possibilities of its communications being distorted.
This happens because of the process
offiltering’ whereby each member of the cluster chain acting as a kind of filter passes on only that part of communication which he regards as important.
The receiver is left to fill in the gaps and complete the story according to his own imagination. This naturally leads to a very great distortion of the real situation and may at times cause serious problems in the organisation.MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION :
By now you are familiar with what communication is. You will recollect that in the earlier part of this unit, communication has been defined as the transmission of meaning or understanding.
Yet by far, most of the communication in organisations or between persons fails to satisfy this criterion.
Communication quite often fails to convey the meaning or develop an understanding of the communication sufficient enough to bring about a change in the behaviour of the recipient.
According to Peter Drucker, “We have more attempts at communications today, that is, more attempts to talk to others, and a surfeit of communication media yet communication has proved as elusive as the Unicorn. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The noise level has gone up so fast that no one can really listen any more to all that babble about communications. But clearly there is less and less of communicating.
The communication gap within institutions and between groups in society has been widening steadily-to the point where it threatens to become an unbridgeable gulf of total misunderstanding.
Semantic Barriers :
Most of the difficulties in communication arise because the same word or symbol means different things to different individuals.
Perhaps you remember what happened to Shiny Abraham at the recent (1986) Asian Games at Seoul. Despite coming first by a very wide margin in the 800 m. race, she was disqualified and lost her gold medal for having crossed the track at the place where she should not have done.
According to her she mistook the symbol, i.e. the colour of the flag. Whereas in our country the red flag indicates danger, in South Korea white flag is used for the same purpose.
Misinterpreting the white flag which had been put up at that point, she crossed the track at the wrong place and suffered a setback. Words, which are in reality symbols representing a thing, an action or a feeling, can have several meanings.
As explained earlier, words which represent concrete things, e.g. car or house, tend to be understood in the same way, while abstract words like merit, effectiveness or responsibility, tend to be interpreted by different persons in different ways.
Difficulty in understanding may arise even in the case of ordinary words which have different contextual meanings. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Semantic barrier may further be created by body language being inconsistent with the verbal communication.
A manager who praises the honesty and sincerity of his subordinate in a sarcastic tone creates doubts in the minds of the subordinate as to the course of action he should adopt in a given situation in future.
The same kind of barrier is created by a divergence between the verbal language and the action language of the superiors. When action and language are used jointly,
Psychological Barriers :
Psychological barriers are the prime barriers in inter-personal communication. The meaning that is ascribed to a message depends upon the emotional or psychological status of both the parties concerned.
As such the psychological barriers may be set up either by the receiver or the sender of the message.
You have already seen that the effectiveness of any communication depends upon the perception of the right meaning of the message on the part of the receiver.
However the perception of meaning is very much affected by the mental frame of the receiver al the time the message is received. Emotions which dominate our mood at the time, e.g., anger, anxiety, fear, happiness, etc., will affect our interpretation of the message.
viewing with coloured glasses' orseeing with jaundiced eyes’ explain vividly how our inner feelings may vitiate our perception of the message or the situation.
Past experience of the receiver in such situations would also lead to the same effect. The same thing may happen when different individuals interpret the same event or situation.
For example, take the case of a supervisor watching a group of employees resting and gossiping on the lawns. How will this situation be perceived?
Organisations are particularly prone to the effect of filtering. In large organisations where there are several levels through which a communication must pass, filtering takes place at each level. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
In order to save the time of the busy executive and to save information overload, it is common in organisations for subordinates to prepare notes or abstracts of the communication before passing it on to the superior.
The higher information has to travel the higher is the degree of abstraction, with the possibility that significant pieces of information may be entirely missed or their significance diluted or distorted.
The larger the number of filtering points in an organisation the greater is the chances of distortion. This may happen even outside an organisation when communication is passed on verbally from one to another, as in a grapevine
Organisational Barriers :
Organisations provide a formal framework through which communication is designed to flow.
The structuring of the flow itself tends to act as a barrier against freer flow of communication between persons and levels in the organisation.
Rules may prescribe how communications are to move from one level to another in upward or downward directions. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Not only is there a possibility of delay in the communication reaching its destination, but also there is every possibility of communication getting distorted through the process of filtering described in the previous paragraphs.
It has been found that when information is channelled through different levels of organisation, it became altered as people interpreted facts differently.
In an organisational setting this can be a very big problem since senior level executives who work through others have to depend more and more on the information and interpretations of their subordinates.
Critical information that has lost its criticality because of the actions of the intervening levels may jeopardise the position of the manager as well as the organisation itself.
Another barrier in organisational setting is created by the superiorsubordinate relationship itself which develops a distance between the two.
People are more comfortable in communicating with persons of similar status as their own. Communication with persons of higher or lower status is likely to be formal and reticent rather than informal and free. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The distance between the superior and subordinate and the difficulty in freer communication between them tends to be heightened through status symbols which might be used to show the hierarchical status of the person concerned.
Status symbols within an organisation may be in the form of separate parking space, separate bathrooms, separate refreshment rooms, cabins with stylised furniture, carpets, etc.
Such symbols accentuate the distance between the different hierarchical levels and tend to widen the communication gap.
Perhaps you may have read that among the several characteristics of Japanese style of management is the removal of status symbols.
For example, under the Japanese system there are no separate cabins for managers, uniforms for workers and managers are the same, they eat the same menu in the same cafeteria.
All these are intended to reduce the distance between the workers and the managers, and bring about a better understanding of the problems of the organisation which is the chief objective of organisational communication MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Q5- Discuss the concept of change in organizations and the reasons for resistance to change. Briefly discuss the strategies to overcome resistance to change.
Ans- concept of change
The concept of organizational change refers to the changes that occur across the organization.
It implies that the change brings in a fundamental orientation in the way that the organizations use a certain process or issues, thereby bringing in a change in the way it is carried out in business.
It does not include minor changes like adding a new person in the group, modifying a program etc.
Examples of organizational wide change includes change in the mission, implementing new technologies, restructuring the operations, mergers and acquisition, rightsizing and downsizing, introducing new programs like TQM, re-engineering etc.
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE :
Change is inevitable and the pace of change is increasing day by day. Consciously or unconsciously, people dislike change and hence, they resist change.
Organizational issues and individual / group resistance to change are normally cited as reasons for resisting change MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Organizational issues :
Organizations do not always undertake individual change initiative as part of the wider change plan. For example linkages between strategy, structure and systems issues have to be established as part of a changed plan.
Therefore, a change that considers a new structure but fails to establish the need to introduce new systems to support such a structure is less likely to succeed.
Similarly lack of effective project management and program management discipline can also lead to a shortfall in timings, in achievement of desired outcome and project delivery.
Insufficient training in the relevant areas, for example, in project management, leadership skills can also negatively impact on the effectiveness of the change initiative.
Poor communication has also been linked to issues surrounding the effectiveness in achieving change in various ways. A change that is imposed and not communicated properly and on time, can lead to a greater employee resistance. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
Finally the lack of effective leadership has been identified as an inhibitor of effective change.
Individual/ group resistance to change :
Resistance is understood as an expression of reservation, which normally arises as a response or as a reaction to change. Management often interprets these actions as employees attempting to stop or alter the change.
Resistance can take different forms from subtle undermining of change initiatives, withholding of information to active resistance like strikes.
Resistance can be individual vs collective, passive vs active, direct vs indirect, behavioral vs verbal and minor vsmajor. Normally an organization experiences two broad types of resistance – resistance to the content of change and resistance to the process of change.
In addition, the other reasons for resistance are listed below According to Ferguson and Green, (2001), a number of factors cause resistance to change in an organization. They are:
i. The fear of unknown – People resist because of the fear of what is in store for them. Due to the uncertainty about the nature of change, one does not know what is in store for him in future and what exactly would happen in the current situation
ii. Loss of control– Change is directed towards an individual, group or organization. When it is directed towards the individuals, the individuals have very less or no say in the process and the interventions directed to them. MMPC 01 Free Solved Assignment
The fear of no control on the events that are unfolding makes people resist change.
iii. Loss of face- Employees feel embarrassed as a result of change to realize that what they have done in the past was wrong and that organizations intervene to change those wrong actions / decisions.
iv. Loss of competency – When changes are attempted, the existing skills and competencies will no longer be used, thus making the people think that they have to put in a lot of effort and hard work to learn new skills and competencies in the changed situations.
v. Need for security – Security is one of the important concerns for every employee. The very fact that change is taking place in the organization causes a concern in the minds of the people about their position, status, role etc.
vi. Poor timing – Since change is a continuous process, organizations initiate and implement changes continually.
The very fact that one has to get into a change mode again after a recent change causes employees to think about the timing of changes that takes place in the organization.
vii. Loss of the comfort zone- People are comfortable in doing their work following their existing routines/habits. The very thought of change in the existing ways of doing their work makes them feel that they are out of their comfort zone
viii. Lack of support- It is not enough if changes are initiated but they should be executed properly. Poor execution leads to scarce resources, which make the employees feel that they will not have enough support in the changed scenario.
ix. Lack of confidence- Any change presupposes extra effort on the part of the employees to get used to the change situation. It takes a while for them to settle down in their routine to build their confidence levels in their work.
x. Lingering resentment- Not all changes are organization-wide. In some instances.it is possible for an organization to design and initiate a change in one unit/ department.
In such cases, the other people in the other departments/units might feel that they are avoided or overlooked.
Even when organization wide changes take place covering all the employees/ units, there is every chance for the same sentiment to recur among those who have been brought into the change management process.
In addition, studies have also cited political factors like favoritism , management factors like poor management style, individual factors like personality factors, group factors like group cohesiveness, herd mentality, and organizational factors like increased work load, unknown challenges etc. as some other reasons for resisting change in organizations.
STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME RESISTANCE :
Organizations use different strategies to overcome the resistance to change. They are:
1- Normative Re-educative Strategy- This approach believes that changing the norms, attitudes and values of the individual would lead to changes in their behavior. It is based upon targeting their core beliefs, values and attitudes.
It is expected that change will occur as individuals change their beliefs, values and attitudes, which makes them behave differently and accept change.
2- Rational Empirical Strategy – This strategy is based on persuasion. It assumes that individuals are rational and as such if the benefits of change are made clear to them, they would change in their own self-interest.
The benefits of change need to be highlighted and sold to them as being of personal benefit to them.
3- Power Coercive Strategy – This strategy is based on the application of power, in the belief that people comply and change to those who have greater power.
4- Action Centered Strategy- This strategy focusses on problem solving, looking at problems and focusing on remedial action.
Innovative firms take an integrated approach to problem solving by showing a willingness to view problems as a whole and in their solutions to challenge established practice and view change as an opportunity rather than a threat
Thus, organizations use different strategies which are used as appropriate in the different stages of the change process.
In addition, organizations also use certain techniques to improve the acceptability of change facilitating easy transformation.
Continuous learning through change, effective communication, the power of informal structures, understanding the rationale for change.are all a few techniques that organizations use to seek the support of the employees in the process of change management
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