Management Styles

Number of distinct concepts relating to management styles including:

  1. F.W.Taylor – School of Scientific Management
  2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  3. Herzberg’s Hygiene Factors
  4. McGregor’s Theory Y and X
  5. Argyris’s Theory of Adult Personality
  6. Blake and Mouton Leadership Styles
  7. Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development
  8. Quality Management Systems

Consider those of the eight management styles most appropriate for an I.T. department.
1. F.W.Taylor – School of Scientific Management

  • Time and motion study – improvements in productivity
  • destroying soul of work, dehumanising factories, making men into automatons
  • Factories managed with scientific methods, not “rule of thumb”
  • Mechanisms of management
  • Four principles of management
  • Gradual change in work methods to become more efficient
  • Creation of planning departments with skilled personal
  • Task allocation – micromanagement – what needs to be done, how and in what timescale – dehumanising
  • Motivation starts and ends with money

2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

  • Five level pyramid of needs; bottom four deprivation and the top one is growth
  • Lower level needs must be satisfied before higher levels can be attained
  • Human actions directed toward goal attainment

3. Herzberg’s Hygiene Factors

  • Identified environmental factors that affect worker’s performance, such as:
    • Physical surroundings
    • Supervisors
    • Company itself
  • Removal of environmental issues causing discomfort may make worker more productive but not necessarily motivated.
  • Motivation comes from feeling responsible for and connected to their work
  • Managers can help with this by granting worker more authority and providing direct & individual feedback

4. McGregor’s Theory Y and X

  • Theory X (Authoritarian management style)
    • Many managers fall under this theory – poor results
    • Average person dislikes work
    • Must be forced to work with threat of punishment
    • Avg. person prefers direction, avoid responsibility, is unambitious & wants security
  • Theory Y (Participative management style)
    • Enlightened managers – better performance & results, allows people to grow & develop
    • People put effort in and apply self-control & self-direction
    • Commitment to organisation objectives
    • Accept and seek responsibility
    • Problem solving by imagination, ingenuity and creativity

5. Argyris’s Theory of Adult Personality
6. Blake and Mouton Leadership Styles

  • Some people task-orientated, others people-orientated, others still a combination of both
  • Styles
    • Impoverished Management – Low Results/Low People
    • Country Club Management – High People/Low Results
    • Authority-Compliance Management (Authoritarian/Theory X) – High Results/Low People
    • Middle-of-the-Road Management – Medium Results/Medium People
    • Team Management (Theory Y) – High People/High Results

7. Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

  • Team development model
    • Forming
    • Storming
    • Norming
    • Performing
  • Authority and freedom extended to team increases
  • Leader’s control reduces

8. Quality Management Systems

  • A QMS can be defined as: “A set of co-ordinated activities to direct and control an organisation in order to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance.”
  • QMS enables organisation to achieve goals and objectives set out in policy and strategy

Appropriateness for an I.T. department

  • F.W.Taylor – School of Scientific Management
    • The standardisation of tools, work methods along with task allocation and performance bonuses – some of the “mechanisms of management” – are used within I.T.
    • The four principles of management also apply from the business definition to the recruitment process, training and skilling of employee through to manager-employee relation.
    • Risks in culture change – I.T. is always changing so how people adapt to those changes is important.
    • “one best method” of work is not strictly true in that there can be multiple approaches to getting the job done such as with agile, waterfall and top-down methodologies. Certain organisations work better in certain ways.
    • Continual improvement is an approach that all I.T. departments should take e.g. continuous cycle of process review and refinement.
    • Planning departments are comparable to system/solution architects, project managers and trainers.
    • Task allocation, in agile, is done by team themselves so not dehumanising
    • Some may be motivated by money but not all
    • Seems to be aimed more at lower skilled workers than higher, therefore not particularly applicable to I.T.
    • “The belief that increased output would lead to less workers.” In I.T, the opposite of this could be seen as more automation of the mundane, repetitive tasks leading to opportunities to carry out more interesting, valuable work.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • People would typical have the physiological needs met before becoming employed
    • The desire for safety (job security, property, resources) will be the primary driver for most employees. Being happy at work (esteem) and feeling part of a team (belongingness) are also needs that can be met through work.
    • Employees who feel their needs in the lower four levels are satisfied are far more likely to be in a position to fulfil their self-actualisation needs. In I.T. these would certainly include creativity and problem solving.
  • Herzberg’s Hygiene Factors
  • McGregor’s Theory Y and X
    • Theory Y is applicable to I.T. departments
    • Self-motivated staff
  • Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development
    • All stages would apply to formation of new I.T. team/department.
    • There may also be some of the forming/storming stages applicable if there are changes to the management/leadership structure.
  • Quality Management Systems
    • QMS should be a valid way to run an I.T. department as its focus is to “continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance.”



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