Management practices can be defined as techniques to improve and enhance productivity of a company. Design job employment, training procedures, economic incentives, provide meaningful feedback and more, are such cornerstone of management practices. These would help in developing tendency of company to gain more profitability and attain high achievements (Pines and et.al., 2012). The present project is going to make a discussion on different management style, which are used to resolve a number of situations in a business. For this purpose, Unilever is taken, which is British transitional company and headquartered in London, UK. It sells many branded products of consumer goods in more than 190 countries, including own 400 brands.
To achieve higher competitive advantages, its managers implement various policies to run business in international market (Brierley and Fryirs, 2013). Here, for enhancing productivity of business, different role of middle managers and skills require to perform the same are escribed in this essay. Furthermore, discussion of different leadership style and its link with organisational culture also made. As the main role of management practices is to achieve higher outcomes in complex situation. Therefore, range of skills require to accomplish business objectives and handle situations, a range of managerial skills are also highlighted.
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Role of a middle manager
Middle managers in a company play an important role in managing and performing every function of business, in best manner. They deal with developing effective goal setting and concerning on level of decision making of each department, to ensure success of business. The five typical functions in middle managers are mostly enrolled with are- Human resource management, Accounting, R&D, Marketing and Manufacturing. Here, to perform each function in desired way, they provide proper guidance to lower managers how to carry out activities (Shearer, 2012). They also provide information to each department about what the strategy is and track progress accordingly. As today in both international and domestic market, competition has raised continuously therefore, it creates various challenges and risk for organisation to run activities efficiently. It includes changing demand of customers to get more innovative services, emergence of new technologies, rise of competition and more. Therefore, to cope up from such challenges, it is foremost duty of middle managers to line up business as per dynamic environment. Here, to gain competitive advantages in both market, mostly 75% companies fails, due to less support of workers (Hickson and Pugh, 2014). In this regard, it is foremost duty of managers to develop strategies to gain high commitment of employees to perform at their level of best. For this purpose, they implement various management practices to increase productivity of workers and develop job satisfaction in them as well. It includes stress and time management, design training and incentive schemes, create positive environment to adopt changes in business etc.
Here, to reduce stress and workload pressure, middle managers line up with top management to introduce more workers in business. Further, they allot different roles and responsibilities by determining capabilities and abilities of each worker also. This would help in ensuring that each activity will complete in desired manner (Anjum, Karim and Bibi, 2014). Along with this, to resolve complex situations like conflicts, resistivity of workers to work with new techniques, reduce labour turnover and more, middle managers in an organisation adopt different style of management. For example, conflict resolution can be approached in various manners like middle manager can make certain decisions either by including participation of workers or staying them away for the same. Similarly, they can also act as mediator to bring employees together and develop collaboration among them. Here, each approach used to handle an adequate number of complex situation, is totally dependent on managerial tactics and management style of middle managers as well as the employees, whom they are working with. As there is no one approach fits for dealing with different-different problems. Therefore, managers need to adopt various management styles by determining how workers will respond to them (Khakimova, Zhang and Hall, 2012). This would make such managers more effective leaders and influence employees to follow their strategies as well. In this regard, management styles can be defined as a method of leadership to resolve an issue and get contribution of workers in achievement of business goals and objectives successfully (Cerni, Curtis and Colmar, 2014). It includes democratic, autocratic, laiseez-faire management styles where each style has certain advantage to resolve an issue.
Democratic style leads to include participation of each worker in decision making process, where they get chance to share views for increasing productivity of business. While autocratic style is characterised in terms of individuals’ control on decision making process. It typically takes actions as per business requirements and forced workers to accept changes for higher achievements. Although this style sounds negative but it helps in making quick decisions for enhancing profitability of business (Reio and Trudel, 2013). Other than this, Laissez-faire style is considered as the most delegative style, where every employee is allowed to make decisions to complete their assign roles in own manner. Thus, to perform different roles and responsibilities, middle managers adopt a number of management styles. For example, for being a proficient communicator and influencing each workers towards achievement of common goal, they adopt democratic style of leadership. While to develop core competencies, it is better to adopt the concept of autocratic management style (Dupuis, 2014). All these styles help middle manager in becoming a perfect and effective leader, who can influence employees to give higher contribution in achievement of business objectives.
Interrelation of leadership style and organisational culture in Unilever
Due to higher presence of competitors both in domestic and global market, business environment of organisations has become more dynamic (Choi, 2013). It assists companies to make changes in business, organisational culture, leadership and management styles etc. as per demand of business. Therefore, to ascertain such changes, middle managers play effective role. They take responsibilities like development of core competencies, improvement of productivity, maximise performance potential, facilitating knowledge sharing and more. This would help in operating and managing functions more appropriately. In context with Unilever, it is considered as one of the largest consumer products companies in international market, which sales every brands range from shampoo to washing powder (Dung and Florea, 2012). This company deals in retail sectors in UK and operates business in more than 60 countries worldwide. In terms of leadership and management, it is a very well organized company also which give advantage to gain support of every associated people in running business successfully. Currently, approximate 179,000 workers are working in its organisation and all are much talented to give best services to customers. Therefore, considering the scope and size of business, it is essential for top and middle management to operate business in a well-defined and organised framework. For this purpose, they have implement corporate business structure in order to develop a balance between organisational flexibility and governance (Boykins and et.al., 2013). Therefore, to inform workers how they have to work on and give best performances, middle managers collaborate with top management to develop effective organisational culture.
Organisational Culture can be defined as collection of certain values and norms which are shared by large number of people and groups, who are associated with an organization. It controls the ways in which employees within business premises interact with each other as well as make conversation with company’s stakeholders outside the organisation (Mao and Hale, 2015). In big companies, organisational culture is mostly complex in nature and affected by various of factors. It includes multi-culture or cross culture environment in business, which mostly arise when a company operate its business across territorial boundaries. With this regard, organisational culture of Unilever is derived from cross culture environment due to enrolment of various workers of other countries within business (Ji, 2012). This culture is mainly emphasized on enhancing performance both on individual and organisational basis, develop quality of outputs, efficient work through implementation of latest techniques. As employees belong to different-different background and have linguistic issues therefore, to influence them to work in collaboration for achievement of growth and success of business, is really a tough task for middle managers. For this purpose, they adopt different leadership styles to resolve complexities of business and influence workers to work as per organisational culture.
Success of business of any company is normally based on the ability of leaders who influence workers to give to support for developing a culture of high performance and better quality. Here, middle managers of Unilever use market-based as well as results-based approaches for managing the business and driving performance of business. In this regard, market-based management approach takes market based information like new trends, to make changes in management tactics accordingly. While other than this, results-based management approach concerns on achievement of higher outcomes in efficient manner. Therefore, these tactics used by middle managers of Unilever facilitate them in developing workers’ productivity and enhancing organizational performance in terms of consumer goods business more appropriately. Henceforth, it has evaluated that leadership and managements styles both links to maintains the organizational culture of Unilever in best manner.
Leadership approaches mainly reinforces the improvement and development of effective organizational culture of Unilever. This would affect management practices and organisational structure as well as develop the corporate culture of performance also. For this purpose, middle managers develop high leadership quality for monitoring and evaluations the performance in regular manner. Along with this, it also leads to achieve high commitment and support of workers for accomplishment of business goals.
In the present time, every single business organisation goes through Complex situations where a middle manager and his/her skills plays a crucial role. Person stays responsible for removing or reducing the complexity of work and the load from individuals that are working for the company. With the help of this, a middle manager can easily help business organisation in achieving different goals and objectives even when company is facing complexity. This can be understood with an example where Unilever, is focusing on gaining competitive advantages when its competitors are already and good stage.Here, it is the responsibility of middle manager to work on different things like giving training to staff, offering them with a range of compensatory or incentive policies through which staff could stay motivated towards their work. Along with this, a middle manager in company good directly use his/her own skills related to leadership to improve the working environment through giving suggestions to workers through which they can easily attend their targets in a smart and efficient way. As mentioned by professor Robert Katz, there are three managerial skills, which are mandatory for a middle manager or a manager while working in an organisation and these are conceptualSkills, human Relations Skills, and technical Skills. he also mentioned that it is not at all easy for a middle manager to have all of these skills with a degree and they also require proper variations or changes at different management level based on the complexity of a situation which has been faced by middle manager. If a middle manager consist with these managerial skills, within a company then it can easily be said that organisation is going to achieve all the goals and objectives in justified time. This is being said because, middle manager that has all of these managerial skills can directly reduce overall complexity of a situation. Let’s take an example where middle manager of Unilever, faced the situation where employee turnover rate was getting high,here it was required for middle manager to use concept, technical, and human relations skills. In the same way middle manager used Technology in order to train employees that for highly skilled andeso that they could manage the work. On the other hand, if it is talked about concepts then middle manager used different theories of motivation and human relations skills could help individual in recruiting more talented people through developing a good relation with them.
On the other side, financial results also plays a crucial role for a middle manager where it is important for pear to take decisions related to training sessions, targets of employees and many other situations that could affect overall profitability of a business organisation. For instance, Unilever is going through a very difficult phase where liquidity ratios of the company are decreasing regularly. Here, it is not possible for Unilever to give incentives and to entertain any change which employees are asking within the environment. Decision over here of middle manager needs to be critical on both the sides because he / she cannot lead company to reduce its profitability and productivity on the other side it cannot neglect employees demand is well because due to this market share of Unilever could be reduced. It will be required over here to pull out a policy where employees could hit the targets with motivation and also high turnover of employees can also get minimised and this can be done through motivational speech that an effective hidden manager can give. On the other hand if it is talked about formal authority, than they are the individuals who mainly takes decision related to bringing a change in operations, marketing, final score sales or any other department of a company. Here it is the responsibility of middle manager to directly manage the work based on the changes which has been brought by senior authorities of a company. This mainly impacts negative upon behaviour of employees because they do not like change as they have to start from the zero and bring fear of losing job. Under this Complex situation a middle manager can directly used leadership skills where he / she may take suggestions from individuals at both the sides(employer and employee) do not get into problem.Vision the situation a leadership skill can be changed from autocratic to democratic or transactional to transformational. Suggestions will directly help wedding manager in taking right decisions are correct time and this will also reduce the complexity among employer and employee of a business organisation.
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It has also been analysed that, a business company which is performing at both domestic and international level consist with different range of situations and this can be anything from high level of complex situation to a lower level. But due toan unethical or disturbed organisation structure directly effect proper working of both employee an organisation. For example, Unilever has a range of employees which came from different countries that follows various cultures and these cultures directly affects organisational structure of Unilever.Skill needed by middle manager is to manage the overall work through developing good relationships and removal of policies that are benefiting a single community within Unilever. This complex situation directly impacted upon organisation structure and this was specifically reduced through developing a policy where every single staff member could be treated equally without any sort of discrimination. Teaching Employees with collaboration is not at all an easy task but this could directly affectoverall working of employees and of organisation as well. For an example, Unilever in today’s competitive market has a range of competitors which directly affects performance level of Unilever. In order to complete every single objective it will be required for middle manager to focus on employees and need a proper analysis of their capabilities and designation on which they are performing well at Workstation. Collaboration, in present time good requires not only requires listening but it also need proper analysis as well. Then only two employees can effectively work with each other within a business environmentif it is filled with collaborative approach. This could be developed through middle manager who is also required to manage the environment on the basis of the critical situations that comes in front on a regular basis.
Alongside this, it has also been analysed that everything good business organisation basicallyconsists with a range of conflicts which made them strong enough through which they can come out of any sort of situation in specific time frame. Conflict resolution is a daily occurrence at work that can either propel or disrupt the momentum for a leader, a team or the entire organization. The workplace can become a toxic environment when leaders allow conflict to fester rather than confront it head-on. Managing conflict can be a tricky thing – especially when a middle manager is not familiar with the larger ecosystem in which the particular individual or department creating the conflict operates, and how efforts to resolve conflict. The workplace is fueled with so many concurrent agendas that a middle manager never know which ones may be affected when peer resolve conflict solely to benefit Organisation in specific time frame. Middle manager must act responsibly to be respected.
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Because leadership skill is not a popularity contest; it is a serious responsibility that primarily involves developing and guiding the full potential in people, teams and the organization at-large. An important part in the process of developing potential is knowing how to see conflict and when to seize the opportunity within the conflict before healthy tension turns into overly disruptive situation. With the help of this it can easily be said that business organisation like Unilever good directly improve its image in front of competitors and develop again a good reputation in front of the society at international level. Most of the time middle managers days responsible for developing the behaviour among individuals to work in an ethical manner through which no conflicts could take place. Here,building policies, offering training to individuals providing them motivation speech or filling them with motivation with considering monetary are some of the major factors that could be used as a tool to reduce conflict and to improve overall working environment of a business organisation. On the other hand if it is called what organisational culture then this is one of a crucial element which may impact positively or negatively on a business organisations reputation. It is being found that, positive organisational culture directly help employees in sustaining or it also add in improving loyalty of them towards the organisation.Here, the main role of middle manager stays to improve organisational culture considering a range of situations. for an example, Unilever is performing its operations in all over the world where people came from different cultures and backgrounds and this could directly impact negatively uponperformance of other employees as conflicts will directly rise just because of differences among cultures of staff that are performing task. Most of the time perceptions of staff members that belongs to two different nations and their issues can never be resolved because of changes among technology and Trends.This has affected negatively upon performance level of business organisations like Unilever.A middle manager can develop reports against the needs of employees and issues that they are facing while performingtasks at workplace.This will directly Diamond reaching to new Heights where both company and employees could easily perform well without even going through any sort of conflicts. Along with this, all the different systems Italy to middle Manager needs to be effective and efficient in nature. All the systems it could be easily approachable for both business organisation and for staff members as well at the same time.
It has been concluded from this assignment that to enhance productivity of business and handle each and every situation, a company needs to implement different management practices. In includes developing effective communication, employment, designing incentive plans, empowering employees to provide effective customer services, introducing schemes for improving quality of products and more. These practices help in anticipating every requirement of business and completing operational procedures more appropriately. For this process, it is essential to distinguish one corporate’s culture from other. This would help in designing policies as per organisational culture and retaining workers for longer period. Along with this, to handle and deal with complex situations like reducing resistivity of employees to accept changes, developing competitive strategies, attracting customers towards business and more, middle managers need to enhance managerial skills for performing such roles.
Since middle managers are the central part of organisation who take entire responsibility to run business effectively. Therefore, they are accountable to provide every information to top managers for taking timely decisions to manage business, in adequate manner. They also provide proper guidance to lower management staff to perform their roles as per business requirement. Thus, to perform such roles and responsibilities, middle managers concern more on development of effective managerial skills. It includes motivation, problem solving, communication, professionalism, technical skills, innovation and more. These skills help in developing abilities to manage entire functions appropriately. Conflict can become something much more complicated and unmanageable if a middle manager don’t know the limitations and boundaries of his employees. Everyone deals with conflict differently, so the middle manager must know the risks and rewards of conflict resolution within the boundaries of each of staff member. Help others know when they tend to cross the line through careful observation; identify behavioral tendencies that seem to trigger certain attitudes, provoke mindset shifts, or demonstrate a lack of self-awareness. This can be accomplished with consistent coaching sessions where middle manager can begin to set precedence and reinforce performance expectations for each Staff member. This not only allows middle managerto identity their conflict boundaries but more importantly to establish standards that will help prevent conflict from arising.
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Books and journals
- Anjum, M.A., Karim, J. and Bibi, Z., 2014. Relationship of Values and Conflict Management Styles.IBA Business Review.9(1).
- Boykins, C. and et.al., 2013. An Empirical Study of Leadership Styles.Journal of Economic Development, Management, IT, Finance & Marketing.5(2).
- Brierley, G.J. and Fryirs, K.A., 2013.Geomorphology and river management: applications of the river styles framework. John Wiley & Sons.
- Cerni, T., Curtis, G.J. and Colmar, S.H., 2014. Cognitive‐experiential leadership model: How leaders’ information‐processing systems can influence leadership styles, influencing tactics, conflict management, and organizational outcomes.Journal of Leadership Studies.8(3). pp.26-39.
- Choi, Y., 2013. The influence of conflict management culture on job satisfaction.Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal.41(4). pp.687-692.
- Dung, P.Q. and Florea, A.M., 2012, June. A literature-based method to automatically detect learning styles in learning management systems. InProceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics(p. 46). ACM.
- Dupuis, J.P., 2014. New approaches in cross-cultural management research: The importance of context and meaning in the perception of management styles.International Journal of Cross Cultural Management.14(1). pp.67-84.
- Gonçalves, G. and et.al., 2016. Cultural intelligence and conflict management styles.International Journal of Organizational Analysis.24(4). pp.725-742.
- Hickson, D.J. and Pugh, D.S., 2014.Management Worldwide: Distinctive Styles Among Globalization. Penguin UK.
- Ji, J., 2012. Chinese people's self-construal and its relationship with conflict management styles.Public Personnel Management.41(5). pp.69-78.
- Khakimova, L., Zhang, Y.B. and Hall, J.A., 2012. Conflict management styles: The role of ethnic identity and self-construal among young male Arabs and Americans.Journal of intercultural communication research.41(1). pp.37-57.
- Lee, Y. and Lee, H., 2015. Role conflict and conflict management styles of hospital nurses.Korean Journal of Stress Research.23(3). pp.147-158.