Year 12 Business Management
1. In the autocratic management style managers posses complete power, and are in charge of decision making. This management style is characterised by scare tactics, as well as negative criticism.
The persuasive management style is one whereby the manager attempts to “sell” his/her ideas and decisions to the subordinates. The common features of this style are that managers are respectful when defending their reasoning and that they communicate from top downwards.
In the consultative style of management, managers are aware of the importance of positive relationships with subordinates. In this management style, employees’ input is endorsed by managers, though not always. Usually, the manager listens to his/her subordinates and the environment is focused.
The participative style of management attempts to bring together the entire staff to facilitate joint decision making. In this style of management, information is openly shared between employees and the management. Often, managers delegate power and responsibilities to the subordinates.
The laissez-faire style of management is characterised by the fact that employees have total control of workplace operations, as well as workplace responsibilities.
2. Autocratic and persuasive styles of management differ in several ways.
In the autocratic management style the management reserves complete power and decision making responsibilities. One characteristic of an autocratic manager is that he/she directs employees on what to do and when to do it and does not consider any of their inputs. Although the autocratic manager is highly critical of poor performance or actions, he hardly compliments his/her employees for good performance. On the other hand, the persuasive management style is characterised by a manager’s attempts to “sell” his own decisions to employees. Often, this kind of a manager tries to convince employees to agree or accept certain management decisions. In this case, these management styles differ in the sense that the persuasive management style focuses on “selling” decisions while the autocratic management style is based on “telling” or “instructing”.
3. For the following situations, suggest and justify whether the autocratic or persuasive management style is being used:
a) Maurice is the manager of an experienced customer service team. He convinces the team that the new customer relationship management software should be trialled for six months before being fully implemented.
The Persuasive management style is the one that is being used in this situation. This is because Maurice, the manager, is trying to persuade her employees to believe that the new customer relationship management software should be trialled for a given period.
b) Dianne is the human resources manager of a large mining company. Senior management has decided that there will have to be staff cutbacks due to the global financial crisis. Dianne will let staff know about this decision.
Dianne’s style of management is autocratic. This is because he is only reporting that there will be employee cutbacks in the organization. He does not leave any room for the views of the employees despite the fact that they are the ones who will be affected.
4) Compare the consultative and participative management styles.
In the consultative style of management, the manager is fully aware of the importance of relating positively with employees and consults them constantly to seek their opinions on various issues before making decisions. One of the key features of this management style is that the manager is a very good listener who is trusted by his/her employees. In addition, this style employs a decentralized decision making approach.
The participative management style, on the other hand, is a management style whereby the manager involves the staff in decision making. This management style is characterised by a decentralized decision making process. Again, information is shared openly between the manager and the employees and decisions are made jointly.
Therefore, both styles have a decentralized approach to decision making, embrace two-way communication, and recognize the importance of a positive relationship between the management and employees. However, these two styles differ in the sense that although consultative managers seek employees’ opinions, the latter have no say on the final decision. On the other hand, the participative style speaks openly to their employees who have an influence on the ultimate decision.
5) For the following situations, suggest and justify whether the consultative or participative management style is being used:
a) Lisa is the project manager of a very experienced team of programmers. Her team has made all of the decisions about how to design, develop and implement new software applications.
In this situation, Lisa employs a participative style of management. This is because the decisions on how to design, develop, and implement new software applications were made by a team.
b) Greg is the production manager for a new car manufacturing company. He holds a meeting with new staff to seek their opinions about training schedules for the new operating machinery.
This situation reflects a consultative style of management. Greg, the production manager, reaches out for his employees’ opinions concerning the training schedules for the new machinery. However, Greg would ultimately have the final word after listening to his employees.
6. For each of the five management styles, describe the situation/circumstances in which each would be the most appropriate.
Autocratic: this management style would be most appropriate in a factory setting. In this environment, the senior management would direct his/her employees to produce a given quantity of the product within a specific time and without any discussion.
Persuasive: The manager at IKEA successfully persuaded his staff about the look of their new catalogue magazine.
Consultative: At Ticketek, the manager intends to implement the new online website, but wants his/her employees’ opinion on whether it should be implemented or not.
Participative: The manager consulted his staff about the appearance of their new Iphone among other attributes.
7. Would it be inappropriate to use a participative management style in a situation where the organisation is about to go bankrupt? Discuss, providing reasons to justify your response.
Once a company that practices participative management style becomes bankrupt, employees need to have the necessary skills or information to make the appropriate decisions. Failure to do this can cause the company to fold. In my opinion, I think the participative management style would be inappropriate in this kind of serious situation where people’s livelihoods are at risk. I think a persuasive management style would be more appropriate considering that someone who is more apt will be in charge and could also accommodate the ideas of his employees.
8. Identify, explain and justify which management style would be most suited to the following organisations:
a) A factory with a pyramid/vertical structure. – The most appropriate management style in this situation would be autocratic. This is because it has a chain of command, a centralised decision making process, and a one way communication from top downwards.
b) A large advertising consultancy where employees work in the research and development division work in small teams. – Being a large company, the participative style of management would be inappropriate. The most appropriate style would be consultative considering that the leader of the individual groups would receive instructions from senior management who would then proceed to seek advice from his smaller team.
c) A large IT consultancy where employees have very specific skills/expertise. – The persuasive management style would suit this situation the most. This style is best applied in situations where employees have expertise in certain fields. Therefore, such employees possess the skills needed to make key decisions for their company.
d) A large car-manufacturing factory that is currently undergoing downsizing due to falling sales. –
e) A large accounting firm that is acquiring and merging with its main competitor. – The consultative style of management would be very applicable in this situation. Managers should seek the opinion of their employees if they are intending to merge with another company. If this fails to happen, they might not be happy after the merger. Therefore, they will feel dissatisfied and their effectiveness will be affected.
f) A manager of a football team takes over the club in crisis, facing relegation, with in-fighting, poor culture and low confidence among the players blamed. – The most effective way to come out of this crisis would be to handle employees strictly. As such, both consultative and persuasive style of management would be ineffective in reaching for on and off field goals. In this case, order and professionalism needs to be implemented preferably through a well-structured chain of command, as well as a centralised decision making process.
9) Compare the five management styles by completing the following table in your book/laptop.
Manager is responsible for all decisions
Manager makes decisions
Manager makes decisions after seeking employees opinions
Both Employees and manager makes decisions
Less centralised, but final decision lies with manager
High level of employee
One way, top down
Two way communication
Two way communication
Two way communication
10. Using pg. 106-110 textbook, complete the table on the strengths and weaknesses of each of the five management styles. You should have at least 2-3 advantages and disadvantages of each management style.
Communication is direct
High emphasis on production and efficiency
Decisions are made by an experienced leader
A quick decision does not translate into the best decision
Low motivation and job satisfaction
Decision making is fast
Employees have a clear idea about what they should do
Suits high risk situations
No input from workers in decision making process
Workers still feel alienated at times
Low levels of motivation and job satisfaction
Gain variety of ideas from employees
Reasonable level of employee participation
Increased level of employee satisfaction
Employees may not understand the complexity of the problem
Time-consuming if many stakeholders are being consulted
Employees may not still feel valued
Manager demonstrates faith and trust in employees
Morale is boosted
Conflict between employees
Time consuming because all employees are involved
Some employees might not have the necessary skills for certaindecisions
High employee control
Strong motivation due to empowerment
Conducive to teamwork
Lack of guidance
Unsettled by freedom
Some employees are unskilled to such structure
Management skill questions
1. Distinguish between ‘communication’ and ‘negotiation’. Explain why both of these skills are important for managers to have.
Communication refers to a two-way process where a message is transmitted from the sender to the receiver who decodes and understands it. It involves the transfer of information necessary for running an organisation. Organizations can only run effectively and efficiently if there are effective communication systems,
Negotiation can be understood as the process of reaching an agreement through discussion and compromise. In this process, two parties enter into a discussion that is intended to solve certain disputes or to strike an agreement.
Both communication and negotiation skills are essential for managers since they aid in building relationships between them and their employees. This implies that managers and employees have a more constructive relationship if they possess excellent communication and negotiating skills.
2. Which management styles and negotiating skills most essential to? Justify your choice/s.
3. Activity 5.8 p.118 of your textbook.
Step 1: I would consider the man who takes alcohol during lunch breaks as the problem. After this, I would define the objective, which would be to help this man stop consuming alcohol as it is a hazard to the workplace.
Step 2: Then, I would gather all the available information regarding his activities during breaks and also try to explore the situation he could be undergoing outside the workplace such as divorce or financial problems.
Step 3: I would then come up with a solution to the problem:
– This would be to engage him about his problems and keep him employed
– Another option would be to fire him immediately,
– Or to suspend him from work with pay for a certain period of time to allow him to comprehend his problems
Step 4: I would then analyse these options and rank them according to their merit
Step 5: Before choosing the best outcome, which would be to suspend him from work with pay for 2-3 weeks. This would help him overcome his problem and then come back to work hopefully as a changed person.
4. Define the term ‘delegation’. Explain why it is an important skill for managers to have.
Delegation can be defined as the transfer of authority and responsibilities from a manager to a competent employee to carry out certain roles. Delegation is an extremely critical aspect for managers since it enables them to find time for more important and more urgent tasks. It also helps them to manage absences through skill development and career planning.
5. Which management styles are delegation skills most essential to? Justify your choice/s.
6. Explain what managers must do to ensure that delegation leads to successful outcomes for the organisation.
7. Explain what is meant by ‘effective time management’. Why is time management an important skill for a manager to have?
Time management is a skill that pertains to a manager’s recognition that time is a finite resource, implying that it is a limited resource, and an acknowledgement that there is a need for effective time management as this makes it possible to accomplish more tasks within a given period.
8. Explain what is meant by ‘teamwork and team leadership skill’. Why are teamwork and team leadership skills becoming more important for modern managers to have?
Teamwork/team leadership skills can be understood as the skills that must be applied to enable a team to achieve organizational objectives. These include the creation of a common purpose or vision, coaching instead of ‘telling’, identifying roles and encouraging contributions from all members. Other objectives include setting deadlines and appraising team effort, relationship management, and facilitation of conflict management. These have increasingly become important while the change in structure is causing a shift in the traditional roles of managers
9. Describe each of the steps of decision making.
Decision-making and problem-solving steps:
1. Problem identification and objectives definition.
2. Information gathering to establish the cause of the problem
3. Development of alternative solutions
4. Analysing the alternatives
5. Choosing an alternative and implementing it
6. Evaluating the implementation
10. Explain why it is important for managers to make decisions and solve problems.
Decision making and problem resolution boosts the level of productivity in an organization. The responsibility of making key decisions in a company rests with the manager, but their experience determines the kind of decisions that they make. This implies that managers who have made many decisions are more likely to make better decisions with a better outcome for the company.
11. Explain what is meant by ‘stress management’. Why is it important for managers to be effective at managing stress for themselves and employees?
Stress can be defined as a disturbing physiological or psychological effect, which triggers a state of severe tension/anxiety. Stress management refers to the ability of a manager to handle stress and use this state as a constructive as opposed to a destructive force in their career lives. In addition to controlling their own stress levels, managers must also seek to manage the stress of their employees. To effectively manage stress, managers need to:
Improve management of time.
Be informed and communicate effectively before, during, and after projects.
Keep fit and healthy.
Maintain proper work-life balance.
Seek help and assistance from others
Delegate tasks effectively
12. Outline three ways managers can manage stress levels for themselves and employees.
Managers can relieve stress for themselves and employees in several ways, for example, by praising and rewarding hard work instead of finding faults, getting rid of a long hour culture amongst employees, and identifying and addressing the problems that employees face outside of work and talk to them about it.
13. Which management style puts a manager most at risk of burnout related stress?
Justify your choice.
The management style that puts a manager most at the risk of burnout and related stress is autocratic management style. This is because the manager and not the employees bears all the pressure associated with the decision making process. Having, a different style of management will create a barrier of trust between the manager and his employees.
14. Explain what is meant by ‘emotional intelligence’, with reference to the four ‘emotional intelligence abilities’.
Emotional intelligence refers to one’s awareness of his/her emotions, as well as those of other people. Therefore, intelligence is the ability to:
Be self-aware – recognize emotions of oneself, in addition to values, motivations, and emotional health.
Self manage – control one’s impulses and emotions.
Be socially aware – sense and understand the emotions of others and empathise with them.
Manage relationships – use knowledge of emotions to motivate and influence others, build consensus, and be responsive to their needs.
15. With reference to an example, explain why it is important for managers to have emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence facilitates a professional and optimum relationship with his/her employees. Through emotional intelligence, a manager will be able to recognize his/her employees’ experiences and feelings thus enabling them to sympathize with those employees. Additionally, emotional intelligence will help the manager to prevent and resolve conflicts that may arise in the workplace.
16. Explain how the use of management skills would differ in an organisation with an autocratic manager, compared to an organisation with a participative manager.
An autocratic manager is unlikely to have the same level of emotional intelligence as a participative manager. In normal cases, the autocratic manager does not speak to his/her employees on issues beyond the job obligations. This implies that they are unlikely to talk about employees’ problems and concerns. On the other hand, a participative manager speaks to his employees on a regular basis. Since an autocratic manager is unlikely to have a deep relationship with his/her employees, their communication skills would not develop since they would rarely listen to employees.
17. Imagine that you are a member of the board for a large electronics manufacturer. Your company employs 1000 staff and earns annual revenue of $1billion. Your company has been facing increasing competition, and sales and profits have been decreasing over the last few years. You need to hire a new CEO for the company.
a) List and justify the management skills you would require the CEO to possess.
The new CEO must possess a certain set of skills to be able to fulfil the job criteria.
He/she would be to possess extremely good time management skills given that the new job requires a lot of time. Without this attribute, it would be difficult to handle the task.
He/she needs a certain level of emotional intelligence, for example, being self-aware, self-managed, and socially aware.
In order to give instructions and provide an explanation for why they must do this.
b) What type of management style would you hope the CEO to possess? Justify why this management style would be beneficial for the company.
I would hope that the new CEO would possess a persuasive style of management. This style of management is very applicable in the electronic manufacturing company’s situation. The company is experiencing reduced f sales and profit. The persuasive management style is appropriate in high risk situations.
18. The following scenarios illustrate different management styles and skills.
a) Identify what style is being used and discuss whether it is correct for the situation or
b) Whether a different style would work better. Provide reasons to justify your response
c) Identify and justify one management skill the manager would require in each of the scenarios to manage the situation effectively.
i) a) It is a consultative management style. This management style is suitable in this case because they all work on the one objective as a team, but the final decision rests with the manager. This helps the project’s productivity and still retains order.
c) The manager needs to possess decision making skills. This is because she is the head of the research and holds the ultimate decision in the direction of the research.
ii) a) This is an autocratic style of management. Notably, the manager fails to listen to his employees. Apparently, this management style is not working since the manager does not have time management skills.
c) To manage this situation in an efficient manner, the manager would need high level time management skills noting that he does not even have enough to listen to his employees.
ii) a) This style of management is laissez-faire. I think there is no need to change this style considering that they have been working together for a long time without changing. This means that it has been working out for them.
c) They should all possess teamwork. They cannot work together for a long time unless they exercise proper team working skills. There is no way they could be working together for a long time without working properly
iv) a) This management style is participative. This style is appropriate for this situation.
c) The leader must possess excellent communication skills. He/she must possess listening, questioning, and interpersonal skills so that he can understand the opinions and viewpoints of his employees.
v) a) This is the persuasive management style. This is the correct management style considering the nature of the workplace. A dangerous workplace like this one requires this style to help protect the workers.
c) This manager would require emotional intelligence. He/she must be socially aware of what the employees are experiencing, as well as the dangers that they face on a daily basis.
vi) a) This style of management is autocratic. Autocratic management style can be fruitful in this situation since he wants the most efficient product quickly.
d) A manager in this situation should possess time management skills. This is because his superiors want the job to be done immediately. Therefore, getting it completed while playing the other roles of a manager would be quite taxing.
Management Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
1. Using examples, distinguish between ‘ethical behaviour’ and ‘socially responsible’ behaviour.