Worker, Work, and Working...

Worker, Work, and Working Work is related to the worker’s consciousness since ages. Systematic, purposeful, and organized approach to work is specific and unique human activity. In fact, work is a matter of a deep concern for both the management and the workers. It is important since it is central to the organizational performance. All the economic and social theories made earlier have focus on the work, since it is the means of production needed by the society. Though the work has been central to the human activity all along, organized study of work has not begun till the later period of the 19th century. Frederick W. Taylor was the first person in the recorded history who considered that the work deserves systematic observation and study. Taylor’s ‘scientific management’ which is the science of work, laid only the first foundations. In the scientific management of work, the worker is given less attention, and the knowledge worker receives even lesser attention. There has been plenty of loud thinking, but serious, systematic study has been confined only to a few aspects of working. There has been ‘industrial physiology, dealing with the relationship of such things as lighting, tool and machine speeds, design of the work place, and so on, to the human being who is the worker. To this effect, the fundamental work was done in the early years of 20th century, such as the fatigue and vision studies. Then, there has been ‘ industrial psychology’ which focuses on the aptitudes, that is, the relationship between the demands of specific manual work and the physical skill, mechanical coordination, and reactions of individual workers. Finally, there has been development with respect to human relations, which is, the study of the relationship between people working together, though in...

Employees and organizational responsibility...

Employees and organizational responsibility Employees, whether unskilled or skilled, manual, clerical, or knowledge worker, are required to take the burden of responsibility. For this, they need tools, incentives, and security. Organizational management normally expects every employee to be responsible and has focus on his job. The job has to make achievement possible. Though the job is not everything, yet it comes first. If other aspects of working are not satisfactory, they can spoil even the most achieving job. But if the job itself is not achieving, nothing else can provide achievement. This may appear to be silly, but the major approaches to managing the employee, throughout history, have focused on elements external to the job. For instance, several trade union leaders, while focusing on ownership, have, by and large, left unchanged the structure of jobs and the traditional practices of managing employees. Protectiveness focuses on welfare, i.e., on things like housing and health care etc.. These are very important, but not substitutes for job achievement. More recent solutions such as the ‘co-determination’, which certain trade unions are pushing to put union representatives on the board of directors and into top management but do not concern themselves with the employees’ job itself. The fundamental reality for every employee is the eight hours or so he spends on the job. It is this job, through which the great majority of the employees have access to achievement, to fulfillment, and to the organizational success. To enable the employee to achieve, he must therefore first be able to take responsibility for his job. This basically needs (i) productive work, (ii) feedback information, and (iii) continuous learning (Fig 1). Fig 1 Basic needs of employees for taking responsibilities It is foolish to ask employees to take responsibility for their...

Management and Managers...

Management and Managers Management is an important part of an organization. In fact the discipline of management is developed over a period of time to its present level. On the other hand managers of tomorrow are developed from the young, educated people who are knowledge workers of today. Both the management and the managers are vital component of the organization for its smooth functioning. Present day society has become a ‘knowledge society’, a ‘society of organizations’, and a ‘networked society’. Today, the major social tasks are being performed in and through structured organizations, large and small, of all kinds and sizes. And every organization is entrusted to ‘managers’ who practice the ‘management’. History of management The word ‘management’ was first popularized by Frederick Winslow Taylor to describe what he had formerly (and more accurately) called ‘work study’ or ‘task study’ which is today being called ‘industrial engineering’. But when Taylor talked about what is being called today ‘management’ and ‘managers’, he said ‘the owners’ and ‘their representatives’. The roots of the discipline of management go back to more than 200 years. But management as a function, management as a distinct work, management as a discipline and area of study, all are the products of the twentieth century. And most people became aware of management only in 1950s. Some recent studies on management give the impression that the management is an invention of late 1940s. True, before this period interest in and study of management was confined to small groups. The popular interest in management as a discipline and a field of study is fairly recent. But management, both as a practice and as a field of study, has a respectable history, in many different countries, going back almost two centuries. When the early economists,...

Innovation and Organizational Management...

Innovation and Organizational Management Innovation is normally considered as new idea, creative thought, and new imagination in form of device or method. It is often viewed as the application of better solutions which meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing needs of the market. It is also considered as the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service which creates value or for which customers are going to pay. It often results when ideas are applied by the organization in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers. It is crucial to the continuing success of any organization. Hence the need of innovation is essential for the organization to be successful. The organizational management is required to stimulate, direct, and make effective innovation. It is one of the administrative functions of the management. It is the management task of keeping going and of improving what is already known and what is already largely being done. It is normally devoted to the entrepreneurial function of creating effectively and purposefully the new and the different. The neglect of the innovation by the management can have dire consequences. Hence, the management is to stress the need to innovate. It has to organize innovation as a distinct and major task. Innovation is often being seen as a separate job, a job done by the individual by himself, by the inventor. It is also being seen as a predominantly technical job, that of research. In the past, there was not too much scope for innovation, when most of the basic work on management was being done. For contrary to common belief, this was the time of rapid change, either in technology or in society. This was the time when, by and large, technology built...

Management Development...

Management Development The development of executives in an organization is necessary for its present smooth functioning as well as for its proper functioning in future. The development of the executives takes place along two lines (Fig 1). The first consists of enhancing his knowledge towards technologies and technological skills which are changing very fast in today’s environment. The second consists of developing his managerial abilities so that he can function in higher managerial positions ably and in a responsible manner. Fig 1 Two lines for development of executives In the present day environment it is necessary for every organization to give serious thought to the development of its executives in various management techniques. The performance and the efficiency of the executives are greatly enhanced if they are well versed with the techniques of management. Hence the organizational management is required to give importance to the management development activities. Basic organizational decisions need an increasingly long lead time. Since no one can foresee the future, management cannot make rational and responsible decisions unless it selects, develops, and tests the executives who are to take care of these decisions in future, since these executives are going to become managers in the coming future and are going to run the organization. The executives need to have managerial abilities. They need to have along with the theoretical knowledge, the ability to organize and to lead. They need to know how to make decisions and what the managerial control techniques are. Management development programs develop the executives of today into efficient managers of tomorrow. These programs ensure continuity in the organization, which is a vital aspect for the efficient running of the organization, especially in a large organization where this need is more essential. The organization being a wealth...

Planning for Organizational Future...

Planning for Organizational Future Future is always unpredictable (Fig 1), though it is an important aspect for planning for an organization. Future can be described only by two things namely (i) it is not known in the present and only people can make a guess about it, and (ii) it is going to be different than what exists today and from what is expected now. Fig 1 Unpredictable future The above statements are not principally new or particularly unusual. But these statements have far-reaching following implications. If present day actions and commitments are based on the predictions of future events then these are wasted attempts. The best thing which the people can hope to do is to anticipate the future effects of the events which have already permanently taken place. But it does not precisely mean that because the future is going to be different and cannot be predicted, people continue to function in the present way with the comfortable assumption that nothing is going to change. Though it is risky to make the unexpected and unpredicted future, still it is a normal activity. And it is less risky than sailing along on the comfortable assumption that nothing is going to change and also less risky than following a possibility of ‘what must happen’ or ‘what is most probable’. Management is required to accept the need to work systematically on making of the organizational future. But this does not mean that the management can work for the elimination of risks and uncertainties since this is not feasible. The one thing the management can try to do is to find, and occasionally to create, the right risk and to exploit uncertainty. The purpose of the work on making the future is not to decide what...