What is Your Management Style?

The style of management used will vary from organization to organization. The two main types of management styles used in modern business environments are authoritative and democratic management styles.

Authoritative and Democratic Management Styles

These two styles of management both have their merits and demerits. As such, it is not possible to say which is more effective. However, each of these management styles has their proponents. The general nature and cultural framework of an organization will invariably determine what management style policy the company pursues. It should also be mentioned that the country where a business operates would also affect the style of management it practices. This is because legislations and employment policies will determine what sort of management structure a company formulates. In any case, the aim of any management style is to motivate employees to produce their best work performance. A company's chosen management style will either increase its employee's productivity or diminish their overall work morale. This means that the management style that a company pursues will always affect its overall profitability.

Before pursuing a management style, a company would first of all have to ascertain its short term and strategic goals. Once this is done, the company will then need to study the behavioral profile of its employees. Taking these two important steps will help ensure that the company pursues the most suitable management style. Regardless of what managerial style an organization executes, an effective flow of communication between all hierarchical levels of the organization is imperative. Without adequate communication, no managerial style can operate.

Proponents of the authoritative management style assume that by nature, people do not like to work. Or at least, they would prefer to engage in leisure activities rather than work. This further implies that without any coercion, people will generally not give an organization their best work performance. With this in mind, proponents of this management style suggest that the only way to get the best performance from employees is to force them to work through coercive management policies and guidelines. They believe that without such stringent managerial measures, the entire organization will suffer in terms of productivity and profitability. Furthermore, proponents of the authoritative style of management believe that employees should be given little scope to express their opinions or participate in any aspect of the decision-making mechanism of the organization. The reason for this is because they believe that the motives of employees will always conflict with that of the organization, and as a result, by allowing them to make contributions or express opinions will only lead to a dysfunction within the organization.

The authoritative style of management may perhaps work in certain work settings/environments. But it has to be said, that in today's corporate culture, the use of the authoritative style of management has faded somewhat. On the other hand, proponents of the democratic style of management believe that people bring out their best work performance when they are allowed to express themselves and to participate in the decision-making process of the organization. They believe that people need to be given incentives in order to raise their productivity levels. Under this style of management, any coercion or excessive restrictions within the workplace will lead to a fall in the morale of the employees. In order to increase productivity, a company must constantly stimulate the motivational levels of its employees. A freedom of communication between all levels of management is key within a company that practices a democratic style of management.

Which Business Management Style to Use

The decision to use a particular business management style is perhaps one of the most important decisions that an organization could make. This is because a management style could either make or break an organization. As mentioned, both the democratic and authoritative business management styles have their advantages and disadvantages, but some might consider them to be two extremes of the traditional management style spectrum. Some experts have suggested that the most effective management styles are those that incorporate a mixture of both the authoritative and democratic management styles. Companies should not adhere to a particular traditional style of management, but rather, they should allow their management style to evolve with changes in the corporate cultural environment. Following one traditional style of management in a rigid manner may not benefit a company in a changing business environment.

Japanese Management Style

For many years now, the Japanese corporate culture has been considered to have perhaps the best management style. This is because the Japanese have been able to achieve unprecedented levels of success using their unique management style. It should also be mentioned that the Japanese management style is closely linked with the technological change that the country has undergone over the years. Under the Japanese management style, the organization is one where all employees are regarded members of a social clan. The company's dedication is not to the shareholders, but to the organization as a whole. For more information about Japanese management style, visit: http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu36je/uu36je0g.htm.

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