Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) Professor of Medicine & Director, Training Center, International Islamic University PO Box 70 Jln Sultan PJ 46700 Telephone 60 3 755 3433 fax 60 3 757 7970 Paper presented at  The IIITM Team Building Training Camp held at Alang Sedayu Jungle Lodge, Gombak 30 Nov - 1 Dec 1996

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: counselling, 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 the rumors.


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 workers


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, poor MIS, 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 holistic view.


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.





Give examples of the following forms of organizational communication from your personal experience:

                (a) upward communication

                (b) downward communication

                (c) horizontal communication



Give advantages and disadvantages of informal communication in an organization. How can a manager make use of the informal communication network?



Describe examples of hands-on and hands-off management from your experience. What criteria do you think should be used in establishing a suitable equilibrium between the two.



Give examples of the following general principles of management, if any, from the seerah or your experience

                (a)           division of work

                (b)           unity of command

                (c)           unity of direction

                (d)           subordination of the individual to the general interest

                (e)           centralization

                (f)            stability of tenure for personnel

                (g)           remuneration for workers

                (h)           esprit de corps




Think of a manager you worked under in an Islamic organization, use the following criteria to evaluate him/her

                (a)           good listening

                (b)           providing training

                (c)           clear assignments

                (d)           fairness and justice

                (e)           assigning challenging jobs

                (f)            accepting suggestions easily

                (g)           fair and considerate                            




Think of an Islamic organization that you know very well or to which you belong or have belonged to in the past. Analyze its organizational structure using the following criteria:

                (a)           Formal vs informal

                (b)           Centralized vs decentralized

                (c)           Use of job descriptions

                (d)           Departments/specialization

                (e)           Organizational charts

                (f)            Management style

                (g)           Budgeting and budgetary control



Compare a centralized and a decentralized organization by indicating high or low for each of the following criteria

                                                                                CENTRALIZED    DECENTRALIZED

Delegation of authority

Speed of adaptation

Efficiency of coordination

Efficiency of communication


Duplication of work







For each of the following 4 alternatives to departmentation, indicate high or low for each of the following criteria:

                                                                TASK                     WORK                   CASE                     ASSEMBLY

                                                                FORCES                 TEAMS                 MANAG.               LINE

                                                                --------     -------       -------                       -------------------       -----------


Task structuring

Task sequencing

Task continuity


Expertise level



Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of competition within and between organizations


                                                                                                Advantages          disadvantages


                within organization


                between organizations



Professor Omar Hasan Kasule December 1996