Core Management Principles

Core Management Principles

by Dimitri Pojidaeff

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Overview

Core Management Principles by Dimitri Pojidaeff

Managers trying to do a better job have plenty flavors of the month to choose from: total quality management, continuous improvement, empowerment, teamwork-the list is endless.

Everyone is searching for a magic bullet to improve productivity; however, they would have greater success in relying on the core principles of effective management, identified more than fifty years ago.

Scholars over the years have presented the principles from different viewpoints and with different terminology, but it boils down to this: Employees want to be masters of their own fate and to have a real sense of ownership. When provided with an organizational climate that allows this, employees are able to use their own intrinsic motivation to improve productivity and maintain high quality and good service.

Good managers know that people are the only sustainable competitive advantage. They require practical guidance and tools, not flavors of the month, to support employees in realizing their full potential. Create and sustain a productive workplace from the moment you hire an employee with Core Management Principles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475912654
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/26/2012
Pages: 116
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.24(d)

Read an Excerpt

CORE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

No Flavors of the Month
By DIMITRI POJIDAEFF

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Dimitri Pojidaeff
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-1265-4


Chapter One

CORE PRINCIPLES

New developments or flavors of the month?

If the number of buzzwords is any indication, there have been many supposedly new developments over the past decade or so in the field of Human Resources Management and Organizational Development: Empowerment, Teamwork, Quality Management, Continuous Improvement, Participative Management, Reengineering, Restructuring, and, of course, let's not forget, Excellence. It is no wonder, therefore, that Peter Senge (1992, pp.30-38), author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, had this to say:

... the quality movement ... risks being fragmented into isolated initiatives and slogans. The voice of the customer, fix the process not the people, competitive benchmarking, continuous improvement, policy deployment, leadership—the more we hear, the less we understand.

It is not surprising that, for many, it doesn't add up to much more than management's latest flavor of the month that must be endured until the next fad comes along.

So how do we, or can we, make any sense out of all this theory and literature that we're being inundated with? Does any of it actually work? Is it all just a fad? Where does it all originate? The answer to all these questions is the old French expression, Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Intrinsic motivation

They remain the same, because all of these supposedly new theories primarily involve the core principle of transforming management practices and reforming workplaces so that employees can utilize their own intrinsic motivation to learn, to achieve, to gain esteem, to improve, to look for better ways of doing things and in the process, of course, to improve productivity and maintain consistently high quality and service.

Three classic motivation theories

Three classic, traditional theories of human motivation have provided most of the basis of human resource management theory for the past four to five decades:

1. Abraham Maslow (1987) first described his theory of a hierarchy of needs in his book, Motivation and Personality, which was first published in 1954. That's 58 years ago! The top of his hierarchy of motivational factors was what he called self-actualization or the desire to become everything that one is capable of becoming; to make the very most of one's potential. Esteem needs were ranked second. Both self-actualization and esteem, of course, can only be realized in a participative workplace, which fosters intrinsic motivation through empowerment, responsibility, and a real sense of ownership. This is the same principle that underlies all current theories of quality management.

2. Frederick Herzberg (1966) wrote Work and the Nature of Man in 1966, 46 years ago. In that book he put forth his theory of Maintenance versus Motivation factors and the concept of Job Enrichment. Maintenance factors are extrinsic to the job and include such things as working conditions, salary, and company policies. Motivation factors, on the other hand, are intrinsic to the job, and include such things as achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth, and the work itself.

Twenty-six years later, Peter Senge (1992, pp.30-38) writes:

"The prevailing system of management has destroyed our people," says Dr. Deming. "People are born with intrinsic motivation, self-esteem, dignity, curiosity to learn, joy in learning."

Intrinsic motivation lies at the heart of Deming's management philosophy. By contrast, extrinsic motivation is the bread and butter of Western management.

... A corporate commitment to quality that is not based on intrinsic motivation is a house built on sand.

3. Douglas Mcgregor (1960) presented his ideas of Theory X and Theory Y in The Human Side of Enterprise, which was published 52 years ago in 1960. Management's beliefs about human behavior, according to McGregor, lead to those management concepts, practices, and procedures that foster and support that same behavior. They are to a great extent, in effect, self-fulfilling beliefs. A Theory X view of human behavior holds that employees dislike work and responsibility, prefer to be led, and must be forced to do a good job. Theory Y, on the other hand, states that employees seek responsibility, want to be productive, want to achieve, and are capable of problem solving. Theory X, of course, leads to the use of extrinsic motivators, which maintain Theory X behavior and do nothing to promote Theory Y behavior. Theory Y, however, promotes the use of intrinsic motivators, which in turn foster the continuation of Theory Y behavior. In the preface, McGregor (1960, p.vi) writes:

Without in the least minimizing the importance of the work that has been done to improve the selection of people with managerial potential, I have come to the conviction that some of our most important problems lie elsewhere.

Even if we possessed methods enabling us to do a perfect job of selecting young men with the capacity to become top executives, the practical gain for industry would be negligible under today's conditions. The reason is that we have not learned enough about the utilization of talent, about the creation of an organizational climate conducive to human growth. The blunt fact is that we are a long way from realizing the potential represented by the human resources we now recruit into industry.

The core principles, no matter what past or current buzzword we use to describe them, remain the same. Employees wish to be masters of their own fate and to have a real sense of ownership. When provided with such an organizational climate, employees are able to use their own intrinsic motivation to improve productivity and maintain high quality and good service.

The birth of participative management

Dr. Alfred J. Marrow (1969) is known as the father of participative management. In 1947, 65 years ago, he was C.E.O. of an apparel manufacturing company called Harwood. The workforce was comprised of poorly educated young women from the rural mountain areas around the plant. Productivity was low in general and dropped by as much as 25% every time a change was introduced. As a psychologist, Dr. Marrow was interested in the causes of this behavior and how to change it. He and his colleagues found that productivity consistently increased by as much as 14% when employees were allowed to make meaningful decisions concerning their own work; in other words, participative management dramatically and quickly increased productivity. Dr. Marrow wrote, "The problem is the 25-year time lag between discovery of new evidence and its general application. This gap has occurred because the present generation of executives has been unwilling to replace dying managerial traditions and to start learning a new system."

Why the interest in such old concepts?

It's now 65 years later. Aside from Dr. Marrow's underestimated 25-year time lag, what has changed to explain the immense interest in such old concepts? The economic climate has. The global economy and ever increasing freer trade means that our businesses must be competitive or perish. There are no longer any alternatives; our businesses must become more productive. Both the private and increasingly the public sector have tried many possible means of reducing costs and increasing productivity: just–in–time inventory, improved cost controls, more consistent quality control, robotics, and changes in product design and service delivery to name only a few. Once these systemic means have been exhausted, however, we have only one means left—our human resources. Many organizations have first tried to reduce their human resource costs by downsizing and cutbacks in pay. Past a certain point, however, this approach cannot continue if a certain level of service and production is to be maintained. The only competitive advantage then left is in human productivity and creating an organizational climate that supports and enhances it.

Why the continued resistance to proven principles?

It is gratifying to finally see such interest in our human resources, even if it is forced purely by the need to improve the bottom line. On the other hand, it is so very frustrating that we are still discussing the same core principles over half a century later. If they have lasted for this long, they must obviously be well rooted and accepted as valid. Why haven't we fully embraced them and absorbed them into our organizational cultures? Why are we still so resistant to changes that we admit will be of benefit to us? Why has, according to Peter Senge (1992, pp.30-38), extrinsic motivation been the bread and butter of Western management?

The machine model organization

The reasons are simple, but firmly entrenched. In order to manage the diversity and complexity of both big business and big government, we abandoned the core principles in favor of those practices that minimize the idiosyncrasies of human behavior. This was achieved by focusing on the organizational elements of strategy, structure, and systems. These elements, believed to be essential to providing focus and control, have evolved into highly complex processes exerting a great impact on our human resources by increasing the degree of fragmentation and systematization of work processes. In most organizations this has lead to the implicit view by management that people are merely replaceable spokes in the business cycle and has created jobs that are narrowly defined, mundane, and devoid of meaning to the people who perform them.

This has been the fundamental basis of the bureaucratic, hierarchical organization; a structure that breeds rigidity, poor communication, and slow response, and stifles any intrinsic motivation. According to Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad (1989, p.75):

(Continues...)



Excerpted from CORE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES by DIMITRI POJIDAEFF Copyright © 2012 by Dimitri Pojidaeff. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Contents

PREFACE....................vii
CHAPTER I—CORE PRINCIPLES....................1
New developments or flavors of the month?....................1
Intrinsic motivation....................2
Three classic motivation theories....................2
The birth of participative management....................4
Why the interest in such old concepts?....................5
Why the continued resistance to proven principles?....................5
The machine model organization....................6
Misunderstanding power and control....................7
New labels, old system....................7
Today's organizational paradox....................8
CHAPTER II—PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACES....................9
Core competencies....................9
Productive Workplace Behaviors....................11
The great paradox....................12
Organizational Inhibitors....................12
Accountability and democracy....................13
Bureaucracy and productivity....................14
Productive organizational practices....................14
CHAPTER III—MANAGEMENT STYLE—LETTING GO....................19
Theory of Job Enrichment....................20
Participative management....................21
Accountability for results....................22
Information and responsibility....................22
Solving problems that belong to others....................23
Fair rewards....................23
Letting go....................23
Middle management will disappear....................24
Management training....................25
CHAPTER IV—START RIGHT; HIRE RIGHT!....................27
Avoid significant grief! Get it right in the first place!....................27
Manage your primary risk....................28
Competencies and behaviors....................29
Always check references....................31
The best references are usually the informal ones....................32
A time consuming process....................34
CHAPTER V—STAFF DEVELOPMENT....................35
Keep training at all times....................36
Jobs vs Work....................36
Types of staff development....................37
CHAPTER VI—MANAGING PERFORMANCE....................41
What is performance management?....................41
Traditional performance evaluation....................42
Performance must be managed as and when required....................42
Productive review of performance....................43
Performance management is supportive, but firm....................44
Avoiding performance issues....................45
Why performance issues must be addressed....................47
CHAPTER VII—PRODUCTIVE TERMINATION....................49
Termination can and should be productive for all concerned....................49
Excuses for avoiding the issue....................50
The employees concerned are harmed....................50
Ignoring the problem severely affects other staff....................51
The organization as a whole suffers....................51
The earlier the better....................51
CHAPTER VIII—ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE FLATTER IS BETTER....................53
Increase in organizational democracy....................53
The Redundancy Hierarchy Test....................54
Why keep the traditional hierarchical organizational structure?....................55
Traditional organizational structure and management style....................56
Flatter is better....................58
Change the structure and change the culture....................58
CHAPTER IX—CONTROL—WHO'S IN CHARGE?....................59
Everyone shares in the overall control of the organization....................59
Bureaucracy....................60
Policies....................60
Mutual trust and respect and the use of discretion....................62
Rules and Regulations....................62
Job Descriptions....................63
Performance evaluation....................64
Customer service....................65
"Just Do It!"....................65
CHAPTER X—REWARDS....................67
Lack of alignment....................67
Traditional views....................68
The giant mismatch....................69
"The things that get rewarded get done."....................69
Pay raises based on performance evaluation....................70
Ownership....................71
Open-book management....................72
Pay for competencies, not the job....................72
CHAPTER XI—CHECK YOUR ALIGNMENT....................73
The Paradox....................73
Organizational Inhibitors....................73
A system's perspective....................74
What is alignment?....................75
The equal treatment of unequals....................77
CHAPTER XII—QUANTITATIVE VERSUS QUALITATIVE....................79
What gets measured, gets managed....................79
Metrics a useful aid....................79
Reliance on metrics....................80
Metrics not a substitute for judgement and discretion....................80
CHAPTER XIII—UNDERCOVER BOSS....................84
Personal knowledge, not just performance data....................84
It is not a question of trust, but rather common sense....................86
The manager is ultimately responsible....................86
CHAPTER XIV—WHY MANAGERS GET FIRED....................87
Technical competence....................87
Today's competencies....................88
Required competencies least taught....................89
The main reasons why managers get fired....................90
Failure to deal with performance issues....................90
Management's primary responsibility....................92
CHAPTER XV—GOOD MANAGEMENT IS LEADERSHIP....................93
Leadership the latest flavor of the month....................93
Leadership distinct from management?....................93
One cannot be a good manager without being a leader....................95
Leaders, on the other hand, must be good managers....................95
Core Principles, not silver bullets....................96
REFERENCES....................97
ABOUT THE AUTHOR....................99

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