MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Based in part on findings from surveyfeedback and sociotechnical systems projects, several research programs in the 1960s prompted researchers and practitioners to adopt different ways of thinking about management practices. The aim of these research programs was to offer alternative ways of managing in contrast to the dominant methods of the time. Four notable research programs include (1) MacGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, (2) Likert’s four systems of management, (3) Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid, and (4) Herzberg’s studies of worker motivation. Douglas MacGregor, a scholar at MIT and a colleague of Lewin’s during his time there, significantly affected thinking about management practices in 1960 with the publication of his book The Human Side of Enterprise. In it, he suggested that “the theoretical assumptions management holds about controlling its human resources determine the whole character of the enterprise” (p. vii). He believed that managers held implicit and explicit assumptions (or “espoused theories”) about people, their behavior, and the character of work, and he noted that it was quite easy to hear how those theories influenced managers. In fact, he gave each of his readers an assignment: Next time you attend a management staff meeting at which a policy problem is under discussion or some action is being considered, try a variant on the pastime of doodling. Jot down the assumptions (beliefs, opinions, convictions, generalizations) about human behavior made during the discussion by the participants. Some of these will be explicitly stated (“A manager must himself be technically competent in a given field in order to manage professionals within it”). Most will be implicit, but fairly easily inferred (“We should require the office force to punch time clocks as they do in the factory”). It will not make too much difference whether the problem under discussion is a human problem, a financial or a technical one. Tune your ear to listen for assumptions about human behavior, whether they relate to an individual, a particular group, or people in general. The length and variety of your list will surprise you. (MacGregor, 1960, pp. 6-7) MacGregor argued that managers often were not conscious of the theories that influenced them (remarking that they would likely disavow their theories if confronted with them), and he noted that in many cases these theories were contradictory. Not only do all actions and behaviors of managers reflect these theories, MacGregor believed, but the then-current literature in management and organizational studies also echoed these assumptions. He categorized the elements of the most commonly espoused assumptions about people and work and labeled them Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X can be summarized as follows: 1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if [possible]. 2. Because of this human characteristic of dislike of work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives. 3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, wants security above all. (MacGregor, 1960, pp. 33-34) In contrast to the assumptions about personal motivation inherent in Theory X, Theory Y articulates what many see as a more optimistic view of people and work: 1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest. 2. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward organizational objectives. [People] will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which [they are] committed. 3. Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement. 4. The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility. 5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population. 6. Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilized. (MacGregor, 1960, pp. 47-48) MacGregor wrote that adopting the beliefs of Theory Y was necessary to bring about innovative advances in products, technologies, and solutions to existing problems, and that managers would need to shed some of their existing assumptions about controlling people in favor of a more expansive and humanistic orientation to human behavior in organizations. His work went on to recommend several ways to put Theory Y assumptions into practice, including documenting job descriptions, restructuring the performance appraisal process, and more effectively managing salary increases and promotions. At about the same time as MacGregor was arguing for a new set of assumptions about management, Likert (1961, 1967) studied four alternative ways of managing, the foundations of which correlate strongly with MacGregor’s work. He agreed with MacGregor’s assessment of the current state of management, writing that “most organizations today base their standard operating procedures and practices on classical organizational theories. These theories rely on key assumptions made by well-known practitioners of management and reflect the general principles they expound” (Likert, 1967, p. 1). Likert conducted a study in which he asked managers to think of the most productive and least productive divisions in their organizations and to place them on a continuum reflecting their management practices, which he labeled as Systems 1 through 4: System 1: Exploitative authoritative. Managers use fear, threats, and intimidation to coerce employees to act. Information flow is downward and comprises orders being issued to subordinates. Upward communication is distorted due to fear of punishment. Decisions are made at the top of the organization. No teamwork is present. System 2: Benevolent authoritative. Managers occasionally use rewards but also punishment. Information flow is mostly downward. Most decisions are made at highest levels, but some decision making within a narrow set of guidelines is made at lower levels. Some teamwork is present. System 3: Consultative. Managers use rewards and occasional punishment. Information flow is both downward and upward. Many decisions are made at the top but are left open for decision making at lower levels. Teamwork is frequently present. Goals are set after discussion of problems and potential solutions. System 4: Participative group. Managers involve groups in setting and measuring goals. Information flow is downward, upward, and horizontal. Decision making is done throughout the organization and is characterized by involvement and participation. Teamwork is substantial. Members take on significant ownership to set rigorous goals and objectives. Likert (1961, 1967) found that managers reported that the most productive departments were run using a participative group management style, and that the least productive departments were led by managers who modeled an exploitative authoritative style. Despite this finding, Likert reported that most managers adopted the latter, not the former, style. To stress the point more forcefully, Likert (1967) followed up this perception data with quantitative data that showed a rise in productivity after a manager began to increasingly adopt the System 4 behaviors of participative management. A third research program attempting to demonstrate a new set of management values and practices was that of Blake and Mouton. In The Managerial Grid, Blake and Mouton (1964) noticed that management practices could be plotted on a chart where the manager demonstrated a degree of “concern for production” and a “concern for people.” Each of these could be mapped on a grid, with a score from 1 (low) to 9 (high). A high concern for production but a low concern for people was referred to as a “9,1 style.” A manager adopting this style would demonstrate behaviors such as watching and monitoring employees, correcting mistakes, articulating policies and procedures, specifying deadlines, and devoting little time to motivation or employee development. Blake and Mouton advocate a 9,9 approach to management in which managers demonstrate both a high concern for production and a high concern for people, noting that one value of this style is that there is no inherent conflict between allowing the organization to reach its goals and demonstrating a concern for people at the same time. The 9,9 style, they argue, creates a healthier environment, because “people can work together better in the solutions of problems and reach production goals as a team or as individuals when there is trust and mutual support than when distrust, disrespect, and tensions surround their interactions” (Blake & Mouton, 1964, pp. 158- 159). Blake and Mouton’s grid OD program, detailed in subsequent volumes (Blake & Mouton, 1968, 1978), defined a five-phase intervention program in which managers are trained on the grid concept and complete teambuilding activities, work on intergroup coordination, and build and implement the ideal organization. As a fourth example of research in management practices, in a research program beginning in the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg began to explore the attitudes that people had about their jobs in order to better understand what motivates people at work. A number of studies had sought to answer the question “What do workers want from their jobs?” throughout the previous decades, with contradictory results. In interpreting the studies, Herzberg suspected that job satisfaction was not the opposite of job dissatisfaction. In other words, he believed that different factors might be at play when workers were satisfied with their jobs than when they reported being dissatisfied with their jobs. Through a series of in-depth interviews, Herzberg and a team of researchers set out to investigate. They asked people to reflect on important incidents that had occurred to them in their jobs?oth positive and negative?nd asked participants to explain what it was about that event that made them feel especially good or bad about the job. The results showed that people are made dissatisfied by bad environment, the extrinsics of the job. But they are seldom made satisfied by good environment, what I called the hygienes. They are made satisfied by the intrinsics of what they do, what I call the motivators. (Herzberg, 1993, pp. xiii?iv) In the initial 1959 publication and through subsequent studies, Herzberg explained the key motivators that contributed to job enrichment, in what has been called his motivation-hygiene theory: ?Achievement and quality performance ?Recognition for achievement and feedback on performance ?Work itself and the client relationship ?Responsibility ?Advancement, growth, and learning At the same time, Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman (1959) point out that hygiene factors will not necessarily contribute to job satisfaction, but can cause job dissatisfaction. “When feelings of unhappiness were reported, they were not associated with the job itself but with conditions that surround the doing of the job” (p. 113), such as ?Supervision ?Interpersonal relationships ?Physical working conditions ?Salary ?Company policies and administrative practices ?Benefits ?Job security Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman explain that their research on motivation illustrates why contemporary managers had such a difficult time motivating employees. Then-popular management programs for supervisors and wage incentive programs addressed hygiene factors of supervision and monetary compensation, but did little to address the factors such as achievement and work itself that truly motivated employees. The work of MacGregor, Likert, Blake and Mouton, and Herzberg is illustrative of an era of research in which scholars and practitioners began to rethink commonly held assumptions about management and human behavior. In many ways it is remarkable how MacGregor’s optimistic views of human nature and motivation in Theory Y, in contrast to what he saw as the dominant view of managerial control articulated in Theory X, continue to be as relevant to conversations today as they were more than 40 years ago. At the time, OD had not yet made significant inroads into organizations. Managers strongly held negative assumptions about human behavior characteristic of MacGregor’s Theory X or Likert’s exploitative authoritative style, and while there was already evidence that alternative styles worked more effectively, executives continued to seek proof of OD’s effectiveness (Mirvis, 1988). Consequently, these writers sought to persuade the practitioner community that there was a more optimistic and humanistic alternative to management. Some of the assumptions inherent in these three research programs have become dominant values in OD. The foundational values inherent in the humanistic orientation articulated in Likert’s participative management style and Blake and Mouton’s 9,9 style strongly influenced the field of OD. These values remain as hallmarks of OD practice today, and they are discussed in greater detail in the next chapter. Week 1: DQ Management practices?hink about any past work experiences you have had and compare your experiences to the motivators and hygiene factors discussed in Herzberg’s theory. Do the factors that motivate you reflect what Herzberg found? Has motivation changed since Herzberg’s research? If so, how? Has what motivated you changed over time?BusinessManagementHuman Resource ManagementHRDV 5630Get a plagiarism-free order today we guarantee confidentiality and a professional paper and we will meet the deadline.
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