Critically analyse management and leadership theories over the last century, commenting on the extend to which effective leadership is different from effective management. Include evidence from practical examples in support of your answer.

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Essay Title :  Critically analyse management and leadership theories over the last century, commenting on the extend to which effective leadership is different from effective management. Include evidence from practical examples in support of your answer.

When people work together, they can accomplish more than when they work separately. However, some groups are more successful at achieving their goals than other groups. The field of management explains why some organizations succeed while some others fail. In the broadest terms, management could be defined as “the process of planning, organizing, and controlling the performance of organisational members and of using all other organisational resources to achieve established organisational goals.” First of all, management is a process or an ongoing interaction. If a snapshot of an organisation is taken, it just tells you where the organisation was at that time. However, by the time the photograph has been developed, the character of the organisation and what its managers are doing has already changed. Second, managers use all the resources of the organisation such as human, financial etc. People seem to be the most basic resource of any organisation, but managers should be using the other available organisational resources as well as human resources. For example, a manager who wants to increase production volume has to purchase modernised machinery as well as motivating the workforce, thus has to use both human and financial resources to attain the goal. Finally, the definition put an emphasis on achieving the organisation’s established goals. Managers of any organisation try to attain specific ends. What makes an organisation different from another is its own unique set of goals. Having given a broad definition for management, it would be beneficial to underline the term of  ‘manager’ and answer the questions of  ‘Who is a manager?’ and ‘What does a manager do?’ to the extend of  ‘What are the characteristics of highly effective management?’.

        Different authors have used different approaches or models for categorizing what managers do and the skills they need to be good managers. Generally speaking, managers are organisational planners, organisers and controllers. Actually, every manager takes on a much wider range of roles to move the organisation toward its stated objectives. However in all views, there are similar characteristics of managers.

First of all, managers work with and through other people . They act as channels of communication within the organization. They also interact with individuals outside the organisation such as customers, suppliers, the press. As a result, good interpersonal and negotiating skills are essential for good management. Moreover, managers are responsible for seeing that specific tasks are done successfully. All members of an organisation are accountable for their particular tasks. What makes managers different is that they are held accountable not only for their work, but also for the work of the others. Thirdly , managers balance competing goals and set priorities. Every manager faces a number of competing demands for time and resources. Because these are always limited, each manager must set proprieties. Beyond those, managers must think both analytically and conceptually. While analytic thinking requires managers to break a problem down into its constituent parts, analyse those components and come up with a solution, conceptual thinking requires managers to think about a problem in relation to its larger implications to see the whole pattern. Also, managers must be good motivators, mediators and politicians. Because, in order to work with and through people, managers develop networks of relationships and build alliances and coalitions.

In spite of a long history of well-organized groups reaching objectives, management as a body of theory and principles is mainly a twentieth century phenomenon. The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gave a rise to a need for systematic management. Different approaches have been taken to the management styles. Two main management theories are F.Taylor’s Scientific Management, Henri Fayol’s Classical Organisation Theory and E. Mayo’s approaches named as The Human Relations Movement.

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Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) built the body of principles which now constitutes the essence of scientific management. He and others sought to determine scientifically the best methods for performing any task and for selecting, training and motivating workers. He based his managerial system on production-line investigations where he studied and timed the movements of the best workers performance and trained the rest of the workers to emulate them. The contributions of Scientific management to increased worker productivity were significant. Many of the methods of Scientific Management continue to be used. However, The approach has a limitation that it is based ...

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