Management Methods

By Berman, Eileen L. | Industrial Management, January/February 2002 | Go to article overview

Management Methods


Berman, Eileen L., Industrial Management


One of the big pieces of news from the corporate world is mergers. As you read about these corporate marriages, one intriguing factor that pops out concerns CEO management styles. Read about one CEO and you will find he manages by delegation and uses his position as a vehicle for public relations, informing the world about the company in a way that expands its image. Another CEO believes in hands-on management and involves herself in the day-to-day operations, keeping a visible profile within the company. Different approaches suit different companies.

Do you feel that, as a manager, you could be more effective if you involved yourself in the day-to-day operations to a greater extent? And what exactly does that mean? Will you delegate? How will you delegate? These factors affect an organization's operating style.

Delegation takes many forms. But in whatever form, delegated activity that carries a responsibility for taking a project to completion must also carry with it authority. If you want people to get results, you must give them the authority to carry out their mission without coming to you for approval of every little detail. Trust is a vital factor in delegation.

Delegation also requires that managers conduct periodic reviews of the project and provide deadlines tied to specific expectations and results. This process is important because it will prevent projects from getting detoured or running away with themselves. Supervisors need to track progress so they can redirect the course of projects as appropriate.

Another part of hands-on management is to know your staff. For this, you have to get into the arena and have visibility within the company so that people know who you are and begin to form a bond with you. This aspect of management is vital to morale and productivity. You must be more than a name and a face that people see in the newspaper or corporate directives. If times are rough, you will have more leverage with employees if they know you as a caring, interested, and compassionate human being. People are willing to take pay cuts if they see managers as understanding and as willing to take the same medicine they are offering to employees.

If you choose the other management route and are more comfortable with a closed-door policy than an open one, less visibility rather than more, you will have to build trust in other ways.

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