The Role of the Manager essay

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Question 1

Which of the above incidents actually required Mr Smith’s personal attention?

The case study provides several incidents that took place at Petersdale General Hospital through which the manager’s role is analysed. There are several cases that actually required Mr. Smith’s attention which he failed to take into consideration. This includes the fourth incident because it involved reading of the post that had many requirements. As the manager, Mr. Smith should have reported to work early enough to tackle those issues in time. Time management is crucial in any organization since it facilitates efficient implementation of plans, as well as the execution of activities. Mr. Smith should be a role model to his staff members so that they may also emulate the acceptable habits that will promote suitable working conditions.  The eighth incident also required Mr. Smith to attend to it by reading the post before going home. When his secretary brought the post to him, he opted to postpone attending to it due to either weariness or negligence. The step he took was not the best, since it implies that he had developed the habit of procrastinating. As a manager, he should learn to deal with issues immediately, as well as being informed about any upcoming event, including meetings and recruitment of new staff members. The tenth incident also required Mr. Smith to put away the office work and concentrate on his family. He should organize himself in a way to finish his office work and go home without extra office tasks to be able to find the time to spend with his family (Zenger & Folkman 2002, pp. 115-117).

Question 2

What areas of management responsibility that Mr Smith was not dealing with, that perhaps he should have been dealing with?

There are several areas of management responsibility that Mr Smith was not able to fulfil, such as proper allocation of duties among his staff members. From the case study, Mr Smith is not able to fulfil all his duties, since he seems to respond to all the issues facing his staff. His staff members should assist in the areas that they are able to handle. The other area that Mr. Smith is not able to handle is motivating his staff members so that they become effective in carrying out their duties. Motivation is essential in management as it fosters good relationship between the staff members and the management team. When employees are motivated, their work output also increases. Mr. Smith is also not good at solving problems that face his staff; therefore, he should apply the problem solving cycle that involves seven steps. The first step is to identify the problem. As a manager, he may not know the problem by himself; hence, he has to involve his staff members, as well as his own managerial problems in identifying the problem. The second step is to explore the problem from different angles by analysing how the problem is affecting him as a manager, how it affects his staff and what they can do to solve the issue. The third step is to set the goals. Mr Smith and his staff need to come up with a clear set of goals that will solve the problem that the hospital faces. After setting the goals, there is a need to look at the other possible alternatives that will solve the problem at hand (Flynn 2006, pp. 143-147).

The more possible solutions they create, the more likely an effective solution will be found. Mr Smith should play the role of involving his staff members in a brainstorming session that will result to the generation of several ideas on how the problem would be solved. In addition, the ideas can be practical, as well as manageable. The next step is selecting a possible solution from the long list of feasible ones. This will be done by sorting out the solutions that are more applicable to the problem and which seem to be manageable, as well as realistic. Again this requires incorporation of other people’s views on each alternative. The sixth step is implementing of a possible solution by first gathering energy and getting motivated or motivating others. This is because the implementation process takes time and requires personal commitment. Furthermore, it also requires proper planning that includes the time for implementation, how it will be done and the rewards for the implementers. The last step is evaluation so as to assess the effectiveness of the solution, this can be achieved by analysing the impact it caused and how the situation has changed. If the solution is not successful in solving the problem, then one has to begin the process again (Drucker & Maciariello 2008, pp. 34-39).

Question 3

If you were a management consultant, what advice would you give to Mr Smith to improve his effectiveness? Give reasons for your assessment and apply relevant theories in your analysis.

From the case study, it is evident that Mr. Smith is overwhelmed by the tasks that he has to handle as a manager. This is seen in the cases when he is not available at all times, when the staff members want to consult with him. The issue of decision making is also a point of concern. As a management consultant, I would advice Mr. Smith to effectively apply the principles of management, as defined by Henri Fayol in his Administrative theory. The theory emphasizes on five principle roles of management which include Planning, Organizing, Commanding, Coordinating, and Controlling. As a manager, Mr. Smith is ought to plan the activities of the hospital and organize them, as well as the staff members. In addition, he should command, coordinate and control what takes place despite his absence (Robbins & DeCenzo 2001, pp. 86-88).

Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management theory advocates that organizations should have a system that ensures workers are well trained in handling their practices, as opposed to permitting them personal prudence when handling tasks. Moreover, he alleged that managements should share the workload evenly among the workers and perform the role of instructing, as the workers provide the labor and each group performing what it is best suited to do. Furthermore, Taylor’s theory also believed that the complex tasks would be broken down into subtasks so as to ensure optimum performance of each subtask. Consequently, Mr. Smith should subdivide his tasks among his staff members, more especially to his deputy who is quite effective due to the years of experience. This will give Mr. Smith an opportunity to handle the major managerial tasks, as well as relax to be more effective in executing his roles. It is also evident that Mr. Smith does not entirely trust other staff members, since he depended on himself in making decisions that he would have shared with others. Their opinions and ideas would also be helpful in handling of the issues facing the hospital (David 2005, pp. 79-87).

The Bureaucratic theory by Max Weber’s advocates for the management that is based on expert and thorough training, written records and official activity being given the first precedence over other activities. In addition, the theory also purports that the management of organizations should adhere to knowable and stable rules. In reference to this case study, Mr. Smith should go for more managerial training to perfect his skills and also promote the training among his staff members so as to ensure quality delivery of services. This is because despite the fact that he had previously gone for a two month course on management, he still had some areas that required polishing. Furthermore, most of his employees did not approve of his leadership, even though they acknowledged the fact that he is a kind person. Consequently, his managerial skills are not up to standard as depicted in the case study. He should therefore aim at fulfilling his managerial roles as expected (Thompson & Strickland 2000, pp. 47-51).

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