Every employee plays a critical role in meeting the aims and objectives of a particular organization. It is a difficult job for managers to coordinate these roles because the workplace is getting complex and demanding. This complexity makes it difficult to define the word management. Most thinkers define it as a process involving social and technical components in planning, staffing, organizing, controlling, and coordinating activities to achieve organizational activities.
On the other hand, concepts and theories that define management make the workplace difficult for the managers, and they’re subordinate. The most practical examples of these theories include the bureaucratic theory by Max Weber and theory X and Y by McGregor.
For organizations to achieve their aims and strategic objectives, they must tap every individual’s effort in a coordinated manner. In the recent past, organizations have not only experienced steady growth in their workforce but also their operations. As such, the roles and responsibilities of managers are increasingly becoming more complex and important. However, management as a term is difficult to define and understand not only to employees of various institutions but also to their employers.
It is largely because there is no precise definition of management. A plethora of thinkers has tried to solve this puzzle by suggesting different views on what they consider management to be but with minimum success. As a result, it is extremely relevant that managers of today comprehend fully various theories and concepts that are involved in management if they want to meet their goals (Bedeian, 2009).
Accordingly, it is imperative to review some conventionally agreed definitions of management. To begin with, Harold Koontz writes that management is not a science but an art of doing things through other people to achieve organizational objectives. On the other hand, George Terry considers management as a process that concerns planning, activating, controlling, and organizing human resources for the performance of activities that are of interest to an organization.
Other theorists such as Mary Cushing argue that management is a process that concerns the effective utilization of human and material energy to satisfy the public and all employees of an organization. The list of sources defining management is not limited, but from these definitions, it is apparent that management is a composition of technical and social processes. Also, it is learned that management involves planning, staffing, organizing, controlling, and coordinating activities to secure optimal benefits for the community, the employer, and employees of a particular organization.
Moreover, the difficulty surrounding management is not only restricted to its definition but also its concepts and theories. It is undisputed that when management theories and concepts are well implemented, most objectives within an organization are met with less difficulty. However, the implementation process of most theories and concepts present great difficulty to managers and other general staff. The most practical example is Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y.
In the X component of this theory, McGregor depicts employees under management as people who do not like work. He proceeds to assert that employees are irresponsible, and they need security and supervision. McGregor concludes that employees must be threatened or punished to obtain any laid down objective within a particular organization. In the context of McGregor’s X theory, employees are presented with a lot of difficulties. Therefore, any positive attribute that may be possessed by some employees is completely blurred as this theory predisposes junior employees to business from their managers (Koontz, 2011).
On the other hand, McGregor argues that workers naturally enjoy working in the Y component of his theory. This theory portrays workers as people who are highly committed and responsible for whatever they do. For those managers who may hold this theory as true, they may find themselves in extremely complicated situations. It always remains very compromising for managers who assume that their workers carry out their responsibilities and duties without supervision, a situation that is worsened when these workers behave otherwise. Therefore, this theory presents significant difficulties to managers in such situations (Sugarman, 2009).
In line with the ongoing discussion, an assessment of Max Weber’s bureaucratic theory of management is necessary. This theory involves concepts of management that pose a lot of difficulties to workers in their workplaces. Max Weber strongly believes in organizational hierarchies that establish a line of authority. In his theory, Max Weber supports the concept of specialization and the division of labor. He also believes that the flow of orders in any organization should be from the topmost to the lowest position.
Again, Max Weber suggests that authoritativeness in places of work leads to easy coordination of activities. In the context of bureaucracy, both the managers and their juniors face difficulties in different ways. To begin with, employees who do not hold any managerial position experience most difficulties since they are not given any opportunity to contribute their ideas that may affect the running of their organization. This situation predisposes them too difficult situations such as job dissatisfaction (Johnson, 2008). In conclusion, management is a difficult term because of the challenges involved when defining it. Again, the application of concepts and theories involved in management presents great difficulties to organizational employees.
Bedeian, K. (2009). Management. South Prairie Avenue, Chicago: Dryden Press.
Johnson, R. (2008). The Theory and Management of Systems. Plainview, New York: McGraw Hill.
Koontz, H. (2011). The Management Theory Jungle. Journal of the Academy of Management, 12, 21-29.
Sugarman, B. (2009). A learning-based approach to organizational change: some results and guidelines. Organizational Dynamics, 30, 62-75.