The problem being analyzed is the lack of delegation in the work place which is a major issue in the investment company I work for. Most of the senior managers do not delegate their duties to their subordinates, and this behavior has serious ramifications on productivity of these employees. This is because it curtails the development of the professional careers of most employees. In analyzing this work based problem, I will concentrate on the two available realms of literature, i.e. the lack of knowledge on the need for delegation among senior managers; furthermore, explore the critical action learning aspects that provide vital insights of the problem with the lack of leadership skills in managers, which is a major contributing factor to the escalation of this problem. This is because of the lack of leadership skills in managers makes organizations have rigidity within their structures that further worsens the situation. This critical literature review aims at assessing the available literary works on this topic and examining the various viewpoints presented by the authors. This will enable me to articulate my position on the viability of finding solutions to this problem based on my own ideas and those from the available literature.
Redefining the Problem
There are clear indications that the main cause of the problem about the lack of delegation at the work place is the lack of sufficient knowledge on leadership by the senior managers. It is for a reason that I have decided to deal with lack of delegation, I should go deeper and address the root source of the problem. Therefore, I will evaluate the available literature on this issue; moreover determine how this concerns to the lack of delegation at the workplace. The action learning set emphasizes the key leadership attributes that must be evident in any manager and the implications for their absence.
Work Place Problem-Lack of Delegation
Most organizations have become dynamic and more complex due to the various interactions that are evident in today’s business environment. One of the main measures of how successful an organization can be is a determination of the success of delegation initiatives that are implemented in the organization. Nevertheless, there are various managers who fail to delegate due to various reasons. They do not possess the managerial skills and the usually crucial intent that are mandatory for successful delegation.
Most managers fail to delegate responsibilities due to the fear of competition. They are afraid to delegate some or most of their roles to their subordinates since it will create more autonomy to them which will make the managers lose control (Richard 2010). This is a misconception that fails to recognize the impact that employee autonomy has in boosting their morale and creating an enthusiastic work force that is eager to deliver results. Employee autonomy gives employees more accountability and responsibility roles in their work outcomes. Furthermore, this has a positive impact on motivation levels of such employees. They are able to set their own work plans with achievable targets, goals and objectives. In order to meet these objectives the employees interact more with their counterparts through sharing ideas, knowledge and skills which lead to more certainty in achievement of their set goals and targets. They become more innovative with their roles and also adopt work place virtues such as extroversion and conscientiousness that have huge positive impacts on their productivity and job performance. The main reason why managers perceive that delegation will lead to the competition for their positions which may render them jobless is due to the lack of concurrency quality of leadership (Seaman 2001). They fail to realize that for an organization to be successful, it should have as many leaders as possible at the same time.
Also, managers fail to exercise willingness in decentralizing and sharing their power with others due to their fear to lose control in the organization. They also fail to recognize that their power in the organization can be substantially increased as opposed to the beliefs that it will decrease, when they share it with others. Such misconceptions make managers fail to realize that they will have more control and power over their subordinates when they delegate most of their duties (Nair 1996). It is for a reason that they will assume new and higher roles of supervising, guiding and directing the various teams that are available in the work place. They will also be tasked with the responsibility of identifying new avenues and opportunities where their organization can exercise greater competitive advantage. Therefore, managers are advised to have an overview of their organizational structures so as to eradicate the hierarchical and more bureaucratic regimes and adopt more flat structures for enhanced performance. It is for a reason that these regimes discourage the growth of leaders in the organization due to their rigidity and poor response mechanisms (McPherson 1998) in order to rapid and discontinuous change that may be occurring in the organization’s external environment.
Lack of delegation is also a manifestation lack of collectiveness in the leadership of an organization. The manager becomes overworked since he holds most of the responsibilities despite not being talented in executing all of them expeditiously. This is mainly a result of the lack of trust in other employees and doubting their capabilities. Moreover, it is a result of the lack of appreciation for diversity (Raelin 2001) that is represented by the organization’s work force. The employees in an organization are mainly recruited in an open process that ensures equity and suitability for the available roles. It is reflected in the employee diversity in terms of gender, culture, religion, race and industriousness. Failure by managers to harness and utilize these attributes deny the organization essential benefits that could accrue from bidirectional learning, shared duties and responsibilities, mutual accountability and joint action that could be derived from these individuals. The organization is also denied vital benefits of collaborative approaches in solving organizational problems (Blumen 1999). It is made in order to rely heavily on individuals rather than on teams in the implementation of policies and strategies and these compromises the quality of outcomes. This is due to the lack of the necessary buy-in from the main actors in strategy and policy formulation who are employees.
Lack of delegation is also manifested through managers who fail to adopt collaborative leadership. Such managers are insensitive and resentful towards opinions and views that may be contrary to their own. They fail to advocate and nurture dialogue in the organization. Their beliefs, attitudes and aspirations are treated as an end to themselves and are not open to scrutiny. They also demonstrate an unwillingness to take risks since there are no internal forums where the pros and cons of such actions can be discussed. The organization becomes bound by unilateral decisions which on most occasions have glared omissions and misconceptions. Such decisions lead to the loss of resources and may compromise the long term performance and success of the entity.
The failure by managers to accommodate collaborative leadership reduces chances of continuous learning in the organization and limits chances of employee growth. This has severe effects on succession in case some of the more experienced employees leave the organization. It is for a reason that the more experienced workers have fewer interaction opportunities with their juniors who they are supposed to train and guide on the intricacies of their higher and more complex duties. This behavior creates organizational gaps that lead to the low productivity and non achievement of predetermined goals and objectives for the organization.
Leadership and Community
It is imperative for communities to be guided on how to acquire leadership practice in all their structures. Communities should have institutions that nurture and promote the growth of leadership practice. Individuals should also be identified and trained so that they can act as viable change agents within their communities (Manz & Sims 2001). Such acts promote the prevalence of coaches and mentors in the society and increase the likelihood of members of the community adopting self leadership skills. The individuals will be more proactive in engaging in self goals setting through response to the inherent natural rewards that they will achieve after succeeding (Laschinger 2004).
The attainment of these natural rewards creates greater confidence and enthusiasm in these individuals. They are able to focus more on their capabilities by realizing emotional and social barriers that may have been compromising their success in the past. They become innovative in the formulation of work solutions to these barriers and eventually increase their operating effectiveness. They are able to appreciate the need for adopting open forums for discussion of confidential matters that may relate to interpersonal relationships, work policies, personal growth and development. Such individuals who have achieved personal development and self leadership attributes can then focus on creating these same attributes to their colleagues and counterparts in the community. They are able to educate others on the need to desist from achieving personal goals and objectives at the expense of the community (Raelin 2003). They also educate community members on the need for personal care and the benefits of caring for others.
Reflecting on the Issues
The problem of the lack of delegation can have severe repercussions on achievement of organizational goals which could endanger the survival of an organization. It is for a reason that lack of delegation has a huge impact on the morale and enthusiasm (Fredie 2003) of employees in meeting set goals and objectives of the organization. Organizations that fail to embrace delegation as a competitive advantage are risking greatly. It is for a reason that in the world, we are living today, there are various radical and volatile changes that are occurring on almost a daily basis. Managers must adopt the four main qualities of leadership in order to guarantee continuity and success in the long run. These four qualities of leadership are concurrency, collaboration, collectivity and compassion. They ensure that an organization can optimally harness the greatest resource that they have i.e. the human resource. It also ensures that this resource is utilized properly and effectively. This is done through identity of the various competent ices that individuals possess (David 2000). Managers have a greater understanding of areas where their subordinates have special talents and capabilities and how they can be utilized to benefit the organization. It eliminates the feeling of employees and is not recognized. Individual who possess higher levels of industriousness should allocate more roles that suit their abilities and are compensated adequately for them. This is possible only in organizations that have managers who understand the benefits of delegation of roles and how it should be done.
Managers must understand that delegation of their duties does not mean that they have no role to play. They still hold the accountability role (Allan 1999) and should, therefore, guide and supervise their subordinates as they execute these new roles. Also, they must ensure that their organizations are thoroughly equipped and have the capacity to offer development opportunities to these employees in order to enhance their development. This ensures the managers can trust and have faith and confidence in their subordinates. It eradicates any negative misgivings and perceptions that may have been in existence previously. The employees who duties have been delegated to later develop and enhance their capacities and become leaders in those roles which they later pass on to new employees who may be joining the organization. Eventually, delegation of duty becomes part of the organization’s culture and identity.
Conclusions and Actions for the Future
Leadership at both the organizational and community levels must be focused on the identification of natural talents that people possess. Then, it should focus on how these talents can be nurtured and transformed for increased productiveness and growth. Managers who adopt delegation of duty to subordinates must be focused on the indirect benefits such as acts brought to the organization. It creates a sense of empowerment and recognition to individual workers. This raises the morale of the workers. Moreover, they become enthusiastic to execute the allocated roles promptly and precisely. The workers become more attached to the organization and like identifying with it. This attachment breeds commitment which eventually benefits the organization through reducing staff turnovers and increasing productivity. There is also more integration between the employees in all cadres, and this cultivates trust and effectiveness. There is internal competitiveness between various sections in an organization due to the ambition and effectiveness. Managers must also have the courage in implementing delegation policies in their organizations due to the stereotypes and non responsiveness of established structures. They must make efforts to abandon hierarchical organizational structures in favor of flat ones. Flat structures have lesser reporting levels, and there is more engagement between managers and their subordinates. It is easier for a manger to execute his supervisory and guiding roles in such a structure since errors can be corrected on time. Organizations that do not have delegation mechanisms fail to effectively utilize their human resource since its talents and capabilities are not known.