Paper at the International Leadership Training Program held at Islamabad 22 December - 6 January 1996 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.  MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) Faculty of Medicine International Islamic University PO Box 70 Jln Sultan Petaling Jaya Selangor DE 46700 Fax (603) 757 7970



What is management?

The manager

Organizational communication

Managerial resources

Management styles

Management by objectives

Organizational design

Organizational structure

Organizational bureaucracy

Organizational development

Organizational culture

Organizational continuity and consistency



Organizational communication: channels

Principles of management

Assessing managers

Organizational structure of your organization

Centralization and decentralization

Alternatives to departmentation






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.




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 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 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                       

                                                FORCES         TEAMS                      

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


Task structuring

Task sequencing

Task continuity


Expertise level



Professor Omar Hasan Kasule December 1996