Management is a process, a series of actions and activities or operations that lead to
some end. Management can be looked at as a rational scientific process or as a process of human interaction. Scientific management
pre-supposes ability to select, train, motivate and supervise workers by rational, scientific, and measurable criteria. A
human relations approach aims at making the worker psychologically and emotionally satisfied so that he may be productive.
The human approach to management will in the end produce the best results. Management should not be looked at as a complicated
matter. It can be simple and straight-forward. It is true to say that management of people is just plain common sense.
The core function of management is problem-solving. Other functions include: decision-making,
planning, organizing, controlling, evaluating, communication, negotiation, and coordination.
A manager gets others to produce and not to produce himself. Thus a manager must know how
to get good performance out of others. A good manager can manage anything with sufficient resources. Management need not be
specialized. The same general principles that are used in one organization can be used in another one with some modifications.
This is because management is basically dealing with people and not the technology or the environment. Whoever knows how to
manage people can manage them wherever they are.
A good manager is realistic, has good and effective communication skills, is persistent,
is firm but flexible, and is motivated, as well as being motivating for others. A manager should be realistic in his work.
Optimism should be minimized. A manager must have good communication: an open-door policy, a clear communication pipe-line,
and a communication hierarchy. People management breaks down quickly if communication fails. A manager should persist in pursuing
objectives. Giving up or quitting when faced with obstacles is bad management. When objectives are no longer meaningful, they
should be abandoned. Continuing in such a case is not persistence but is stubbornness. It will lead to even more frustration
and waste of resources. The manager should be firm in pursuing organizational objectives but should be flexible in dealing
with changing circumstances because too much rigidity can lead to failure. The manager is a motivator of men. Motivation can
be intrinsic (commitment to an idea, need for achievement, need for recognition, or feeling of responsibility) or extrinsic
(salary, working conditions, job security). Intrinsic motivators outlast the extrinsic ones. A good manager will know how
to reach and touch the inner person and be able to motivate him.
Span of control refers to the number of people or projects that a manager can personally
supervise. Span of control can be extended by more delegation and better control.
The manager should not try to be personally everywhere all the time.
Organizational communication can be improved by using all lines of communication.
Vertical communication is between superiors and subordinates and can be up-down or down-up. Horizontal communication is between
peers. Diagonal communication cuts across the vertical hierarchical system and across administrative subdivisions. Multiple
channels should be used: oral, written etc. The following methods can be used in an organization: counseling, grievance procedures,
attitude surveys, ombudsmen, open door policy, suggestions box, periodic meetings, written material, and social gatherings.
The organizational grapevine can be positive or negative. Important information especially about attitudes or fears can only
come from the grapevine. It however also conveys wrong or misleading rumors. You must learn to deal with rumors effectively.
Listen to them because some of the information may be true. Provide correct information formally and informally to counteract
A manager requires the following resources
in order to produce results: people, money, physical assets, time, and information. People are the most important and most
valued resource. With good people the other resources can be generated. Money is needed to pay for daily administrative expenses
as well as program costs. Physical assets like buildings and equipment are necessary inputs for many projects. Presence of
physical assets builds confidence in the organization and its management. Time is needed to manage. Management is a hands-on
job. A manager can not be too busy in other things and fail to find time for management. Information is needed for planning
and for monitoring execution. A manager must set up an efficient management information system (MIS)
Management style is unique to each manager and each management situation. Background personality,
training, and life experience contribute to shaping the style. There is no one right style. Each style or combination of styles
is suitable for particular situations. What works well with one group of workers may not work with another group. The circumstances
of work may call for particular styles. A style used by one manager will fail if used by another manager with the same workers
and the same circumstances. A correct diagnosis must be made to determine the suitable style for each worker and each situation.
An appropriate style leads to productivity and contentment of all, managers and workers. An unsuitable style can stress the
Management styles are on a continuum one merging into the other. Usually one manager uses
a combination of styles depending on circumstances. Management styles can be classified based on exercise of power or activity.
In the exercise of power managers can be divided into the following categories: exploitative
authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative and participative, laisser-faire or hands-off. The authoritative manager
is essentially a dictator. He could work only for his own interests (exploitative) or may have the interests of the organization
at heart (benevolent). A manager who consults his workers has a participative management style. Some managers abdicate and
exercise laissez-faire management. There are a few situations in which laissez-faire is a good management style
Managers can be classified according to activities as follows: directing, coaching, supporting,
supporting, and delegating. Directing emphasizes structuring tasks, control, and supervision. A directing style is suitable
for followers with low competence but high commitment and enthusiasm. Coaching involves directing and supporting the workers.
A coaching style is suitable for followers with moderate competence but low commitment and a sense of disillusion. Supporting
involves praising, listening, and facilitating. A supporting style is suitable for followers with high competence but little
experience. They may have either low or high commitment. Delegation is turning over day-to-day decision making. Delegation
is suitable for followers with high competence, high commitment, and reliability
Management by objectives, MBO, is a process of setting goals, delegation, and reviewing
achievements in the light of the set objectives. Management by objectives (MBO) uses the goals' approach to measure effectiveness.
The more the result is quantifiable the better. MBO will operate best in those situations in which the goals and objectives
are quantifiable. MBO is based on a clear-cut strategic plan and specific measurable goals. Realistic targets are set, goals
are down-delegated to individuals or teams. Tasks are defined very well (timing, resources needed, quantitative and qualitative
standards are set). The results are appraised against the set targets. MBO encourages creativity by delegating responsibility.
It is very challenging to the individual and the team. MBO is associated with increased performance, better communication
since everybody knows what is expected, more job satisfaction, individual growth, and higher motivation. MBO has some disadvantages.
Setting priorities and targets may not be easy. The worker may not try to work beyond the set targets. The process may be
time-consuming especially at the beginning.
Quality management aims at competitive excellence. Employees must be inspired to go the
extra mile. Talk about quality must be turned into quality action. While talking about quality management you have to be three
related elements: quantity, time, and cost. Obsession with quality could lead to a virtual stoppage of production because
nothing is deemed good enough. In the end quality comes from quantity. You produce the best you can today. You try to do better tomorrow. With continuos improvement you eventually get the quality as well as the quantity
you desire. Performance standards should be raised so that they are slightly
out of reach. They should be raised continuously so that there is continuos improvement in quality. Deadlines must be realistic
because they affect quality. There is no point in delivering shoddy work on time.
Management failure could come from several sources: poor human skills, limited resources,
ignorance of stakeholders, political infighting, bureaucratic interference, and moving
goal posts. Poor human skills will rapidly lead to failure of the manager however good his conceptual and technical skills.
Management is getting work from people. If you as a manager do not know how to deal with them you will fail rapidly. Limitation
of resources (people, money, material) means limitation of results that can be produced. Limited or wrong misleading information
results into an ineffective MIS. A poor MIS essentially cuts the manager off from reality and the organization and he ends
up not able to manage well. Ignoring stake holders by an arrogant manager is a grave error. Powerful internal and external
stakeholders could turn against the manager or against the organization. This will result in the manager spending time and
effort in self-defense to save his position or the organization with the consequence that management fails. Political infighting
is a manifestation of either poor leadership or a low caliber of workers. It is always negative and ends in disasters. Bureaucratic
interference and bureaucratic rigidity can bring an organization to a standstill. The bureaucracy and its procedures become
an end in themselves and not a means to the end. Moving goal posts is a sign of lack of clear visions and strategies. Successful
managers set certain goals and persist in pursuing them
Challenge to managerial authority is common. It is a human tendency to resist being told
what to do or to obey a higher authority. A wise manager will know how to get people to work without having to confront their
egos. Your authority as a manager can be challenged. There are many reasons for this some being defects in the manager and
others from the workers. When your managerial authority is challenged, do not resort to violence because you will lose even
more authority and leave behind a bad working atmosphere. Use your authority as a fist in a velvet glove. Persuasion, appeal
to reason, humane approaches can win over people. You should however not let anyone doubt your ability to take serious measures
to resolve the situation if more mild ones fail.
Organizing is a process of allocating resources, human and material, to achieve a mission.
An organization is a group of people working together to achieve a common purpose. There is no peopleless organization. Each
person in the organization counts. Each is unique and must be treated so. An organization may be formal or informal. Formal
organizations have a lot of written documentation. Informal organizations, which predominate in the Muslim world, are more loosely structured.
An Islamic movement is a special type of organization. At inception it is more of a current
or a school of thought but as it confronts the realities of trying to change society it crystallizes into a tightly controlled
organization. When the original vision and enthusiasm wane, the organization may slowly turn into a loose informal network.
The Islamic movement goes through the following stages of evolution to maturity: Definition of a goal, Deep understanding,
Sticking to the teachings of Islam , Choice of leaders, Definition of methodology and time-related objectives, Taking leaders
to accountability, Obedience of leaders, and Undertaking programs that will lead to tajdid of the society
Organizational design is determining the organizational components, their grouping and
definition. Organizational design should be rational, realistic, efficient, and responsive to its environment. An organizational
design can be based on the function, the end-product, the clientele, the process or the place.
Organizing around function such as education, dawa, or health serves people better in that it provides a complete service in one place. It is however inefficient because
it has to duplicate processes that are carried on at other places. Organization by end-product is similar to organization
by function. Organization by clientele is very convenient to the public served but may have to sacrifice specialization or
try to have all services in one place, an inefficient way of doing things. Organizing by process eg accounting may make coordination
difficult. Those involved can easily fail to see the bigger picture. Organizing by place is very responsive to local circumstances
but may lead to lack of coordination
Most organizational systems adhere to the principle of unity of command (ie an individual
reports to one boss). A matrix organization is a notable exception. The matrix design violates the principle of unity of command.
It has a rectangular organizational chart. There is simultaneous authority by
several managers over a worker. A matrix design combines the traditional structure based on function or end-product with the project management structure. A matrix design has the advantage of coordination, integration,
flexibility, and suitability for changing environments. The disadvantages of the matrix design are: dual authority leads to
role ambiguity, the organization will collapse very easily when inter-personal relations are not good, to much time is required
to make decisions and solve problems. Matrix organizational structures are not likely to succeed in most Muslim countries
where personal relations and loyalty between managers and subordinates are paramount.
Organizational structure refers to how the various components of an organization fit together,
coordinate, interrelate and work together. An organizational structure can be analyzed at the level of individuals, group
of individuals or the whole organization. Organizational structure defines jobs (design, definition, description and grouping),
division of labor, specialization, departmentation, chain of command, reporting relations, span of control, authority and
its delegation, control and coordination, and human resource management. Organizational structure conforms to the maturity
of the organization. Older well established organizations have more sophisticated structures. Some newly established organizations
may hardly have a structure. The type of structure chosen is determined by the organizational strategy, the environment it
is operating in, the management philosophy, the size of the organization, the technology used, and the geographical distribution.
The structure may emphasize norms (rules, procedures, expectations) or may center on personnel. Some organizations may be
closely structured whereas others are loosely structured. The structure may be horizontal, vertical, or spatial.. The structure
may be formal (emphasizing authority) or quite informal and flexible (emphasizing personal relations). Some organizations
are very centralized whereas others are at various degrees of decentralization.. Most organizations are organized as departments.
There are alternatives to departmentation such as use of task forces, work-teams, case management, and assembly-line. There
are many organizations run by a small group (oligarchy). The organizational chart defines authority and functional relationships
both horizontally and vertically. Organizational and employee behavior are affected by the type of structure. Trying to understand
behavior as isolated events and not as part of a structure can lead to wrong conclusions. The new trend in organizations is
to combine bureaucracy with adhocracy.
A complex organization has different jobs and departments. They experience more organizational
problems than simpler organizations. It is better to have several simple organizations than one single complex unwieldy one.
Differentiation refers to adaptations of organizational subunits to their working environment.
Specialization is necessary for maximum efficiency; however workers should never lose the
Integration is the directing of differentiated specialized units in order not to lose sight
of the central mission, objectives, and vision. Substitutability should be built into every organization so that when an individual
or department is incapacitated there is someone else in the organization who can do the work.
No large organization can operate without a bureaucracy. The civil service is for example
the government’s bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is designed to control large administrative units in an efficient and rational
way. In practice the performance of many bureaucracies is far from the efficiency and uniformity that are claimed.
Bureaucratic inefficiencies and blunders are a common-place joke in organizations. Whatever
their disadvantages, organizations need a certain amount of bureaucracy. The bureaucracy should be designed for the convenience
of the people served and not the bureaucrats. A bureaucracy is characterized by division of labor and authority; a hierarchy
or chain of command; and a structure. It tends to be impersonal, formalistic, bound by rules and highly disciplined. Bureaucracies
can be efficient if well run. They are powerful and have an innate ever-expanding tendency. Bureaucracies are not always rational
neither do they always follow their own rules.
Organizations, like individuals, undergo development as they adapt to a changing environment.
Organizational structure must constantly change to be appropriate to the environmental changes and technological advancement.
An organization must grow and develop. Stagnation is a prelude to failure. Development can be stimulated by external factors
(social, political, technological) or internal factors (processes and behavior). Effective organizational development must
be planned, pro-active and not reactive, problem-oriented, well managed and always focused on improvement. Too rapid an expansion
can end in disaster. Concentrate on small steps so that you can debug as you go along. Formalism, bureaucratic rigidity, poor
organizational culture, inertia, and poor leadership may hamper organizational development.
Organizational effectiveness can be assessed based on the following criteria: quality,
quantity, efficiency (ratio of output to input), worker morale, ability to respond effectively to environmental changes, and
development. Organizational effectiveness can be improved in 4 areas: leadership, planning, organization, and control. Good
leadership is the start of effectiveness. No organization can survive and operate well with a poor leadership. Effective planning
is needed to define the mission, goals, and objectives. Organization involves job design, job description, and delegation.
Control involves setting standards, comparing results to standards, and taking corrective/reinforcement action.
Organizational culture is that set of shared values and norms that distinguish one organization
from others. They include: strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, and shared values. An organizational culture is developed
by defining a vision or an agenda, sharing the vision with others, focusing on key values, and using symbols of language,
rituals etc to reinforce the culture. The world-view or cultural background influence organizational culture. No organization
can operate in a cultural vacuum divorced from its social environment. For a Muslim organization culture is derived from the
Qur'an, the Sunnah and the Islamic heritage over the past 14 centuries. An organizational culture from the Islamic perspective
is based on the following principles: (1) work is a form of ibadat (2) sense of mission and purpose (3) universal values (4)
clear contract: duties and responsibilities (5) leadership as an amanah (6) commitment (Ikhlas) (7) hope for reward (thawab).
The leadership has a lot to do with defining and sustaining a particular organizational culture. It defines the philosophy,
the policies and programs, behaviors, and actions. The work environment reflects the organizational culture. Job design, team-work,
fairness, equity, justice, and job security. These factors are a product or a manifestation of the organizational culture.
They in turn impact on and shape that culture.
An organization must have continuity in order to learn from previous experience. New managers
must learn from old ones. The future must be built on the past. It should not be understood that a call for blind following
of the past is being made here. Learning from past experience should be critical, picking the good, rejecting the bad, drawing
analogies and analogies. The most important lesson is not to repeat mistakes of the past. Major and sudden discontinuities
in an organization rapidly lead to failures
There must be consistency in objectives and activities at least in the short run. Inconsistencies
lead to conflicts, inefficiency, and loss of credibility. Inconsistency is a manifestation of lack of a guiding vision and
commitment to a strategy.
The organization must learn from its past and from its environment in order to become better.
Members of the organization should also be in a continuos learning process. Learning is necessary for improvement and dealing
with changing internal and external environments. The learning could be of new information, skills, or technics. It could
also be a deeper understanding and appreciation of what is already known
The organization must keep records so that it can have an institutional memory. Records
should be reviewed regularly. Records not in current use should be kept away.
The security of confidential documents must not be compromised. Reduce access to filing cabinets. There should no easy access
to top security documents. Ordinary documents should be easily accessible.