Management Styles, Productivity & Adaptability of Human Resources: An Empirical Study

By Jain, Ravindra; Premkumar, R. | Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, October 2010 | Go to article overview

Management Styles, Productivity & Adaptability of Human Resources: An Empirical Study


Jain, Ravindra, Premkumar, R., Indian Journal of Industrial Relations


Management Styles

Management styles are collectively learnt behaviours, subject to all the infirmities of human learning. They incorporate both the contents of decision making and the process of decision making and are aligned to goal setting, strategy formulations and strategy implementation. They are profoundly influenced by the distinctive social culture and climate in which an organization operates. The distinctive way in which managers perform the various functions in an organization decides their management styles. There is a core management style that reflects the values and norms of a culture and this is practiced in the given organizational climate and culture. Such a core management style may have variations and mainly include conservative style, entrepreneurial style, professional style, bureaucratic style, organic style, authoritarian style, participative style, intuitive style, familiar style, altruistic style, innovative style etc. Given the choices, unlimited number of management styles can be visualized.

There is evidence that the use of a nurtured, paternalistic, benevolent style of management, especially when combined with a demanding style that expects subordinates to perform, is correlated with aspects of organizational effectiveness (Khandwalla 1995). The most predominant leadership style among all categories of scientist and administrative professionals was found to be "direction oriented style" followed by "participation oriented style" (Muthayya & Vijay Kumar 1985). Ansari (1986) found that "Nurturant Task Leadership Style" positively influence organizational commitment, job satisfaction and HR effectiveness. The majority of managers adopt "high task--high relationship" as their primary leadership style (Kool & Saksena 1989). The study of Sharma (1997) concluded that the human and fair management style has been the most critical determinant of organizational commitment.

Unblemished participative, organic and management styles are likely to be effective in curbing a number of problems, viz., delay in problem solving, problem of poor team work and administrative problem; such styles are also positively correlated with the mechanism of organizational learning; in the situation of greater rate of change in industry, faster pace of globalization, multicultural society, and greater need for sustainable development, the practice of participative, organic, professional and altruistic styles would be more effective and therefore the four management styles, viz., participative, altruistic, professional, and organic, are the most desirable amongst the various management styles (Khandwalla 1995).

The results of earlier researches, thus, indicate that management styles vary from culture to culture and within the specific culture from industry to industry. Management styles also vary from one setting or situation to the other or within an industry; and from time to time in the same culture, industry and in an organizational setting or situation. Styles vary widely because organizations differ in terms of their type, purpose, size, operating context & environment, genesis etc. The organization's operating context influences management styles only to some extent; internal factors of an organization (including role and style of top & senior executives) shape management style to a greater extent; thus, the management style, though partially constrained by the organization's operating context, and is also, at least partially, a strategic choice of management. Keeping all the above mentioned observations in mind, in the current context of faster pace of globalization, multi-cultural organizations, faster pace of internal and external changes in organizational environment and fast growing need for sustainable development, management styles practiced in variety of organizations need to be studied afresh in order to look for broad generalization. Such an endeavour may reveal ways by which organizations enable themselves to perform better in future. …

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