Chapter 9:Leadership,management and supervision
Power is the ability to get things done.Power has been classified into six
types:Coercive power(power of physical force),resource power(control over
valued resources),legitimate/position power(power associated with position in
hierarchy),expert power(power of expertise),personal power(force of
personality) and negative power(power to disrupt operations).
Authority is the right to get things done:to ask someone else to do something and
expect it to be done.Authority is thus another word for position or legitimate
Delegation of authority is the process whereby a superior gives to a subordinate
part of his or her own authority to make decisions.Successful delegation requires
the resolution of the Trust-Control dilemma.
C=control exercised by superior over subordinate
Y=a constant,unchanging value
If there is any increase in C,the subordinate will immediate recognise that (s)he is
being trust less.
Managers and supervisors might need to delegate authority for a number of
reasons, including the following. There are physical and mental limitations to the
workload of any one individual in authority and it may be necessary to delegate to
ensure that the workload can be effectively managed. Managers and supervisors
may wish to delegate in order that they are free to concentrate on the aspects of
their work which only they are competent to do (e.g. detailed planning or aspects
of budgeting).The increasing size and complexity of many of today’s
organisations demands increasing specialisation and effective delegation is one
way of developing this. Managers also need to consider that delegation provide
subordinates with development opportunities. Many managers and supervisors are reluctant to delegate and attempt to do
many routine tasks themselves as well as more important ones. Some of the
reasons for this might be as follows:
(i) They may have low confidence and trust in the abilities of their staff; (ii) They
may believe that they are the only one capable of doing the task properly;
(iii) They may wish to keep enjoyable parts of the job to themselves;
(iv) Some managers feel more powerful by retaining their decision making
(v) They may fear that their subordinates will use the authority poorly;
(vi) They may not wish to take on the additional burden of being accountable for
any mistakes that their subordinates might
make while executing the task;
(vii) They may believe that their subordinates do not wish to have broader
decision making responsibilities;
(viii) They may wish to ‘stay in touch’ with the department or team and feel that
any act of delegation removes them from the day to day activities;
(ix) They may feel threatened and be unwilling to admit that assistants have
developed to the extent that they could perform some of the manager’s
duties.They may feel threatened by this sense of redundancy.
(x) There may be poor control and communication in the organisation so that the
manager feels he has to do everything himself in order to retain control and
responsibility for the tasks;
(xi) There may be an organisational culture which has failed in the past to
recognise and reward effective delegation. In this climate the manager may feel
that delegation is seen as shirking responsibility;
(xii) There may be a lack of understanding about what delegation involves;
(xiii) There may be a lack of training and development of managers in the skills
needed for effective delegation;
(xiv) Managers and supervisors may have had poor experiences of delegating to
To overcome the problems:train the subordinates,have a system of open
communications and ensure that a system of control is established.
Henri Fayol classified five functions of management that apply to any
organisation. They are planning, organising, commanding,co-ordinating and
controlling. -Planning involves selecting objectives and the strategies, policies, programmes
and procedures for achieving the objectives either for the organisation as a whole
or for part of it.
-Organising is about establishing a structure of tasks which need to be performed
to achieve the goals of the organisation; grouping these tasks into jobs for an
individual; creating groups of jobs within sections and departments: delegating
authority to carry out the jobs; and providing systems of information and
communication for the coordination of activities.
-Commanding is about giving instructions to subordinates to carry out tasks over
which the manager has authority for decisions and responsibility for performance.
-Coordinating is about harmonising the activities of individuals and groups within
the organisation, who may have different ideas about what their own goals
should be.Management must reconcile differences in approach, effort, interest
and timing of these separate individuals and groups.
-Controlling is about measuring and correcting the activities of individuals and
groups, to ensure that their performance is in
accordance with plans. Deviations from plans are identified and corrected.
There are two key omissions from Fayol’s classification.
-Motivating is not mentioned.It is assumed that subordinates will carry out tasks
when ‘commanded’,regardless of whether or how far they may ‘want’ to.
-communicating is not mentioned.
Peter Drucker has written management process and grouped the work of
manager into five categories.
-setting objectives for the organisation.
-organising the work.
-motivating employees and communicating information to them to enable them
to do their work.
-the job of measurement.Management must establish objectives of performance
for every person in the organisation,analyse actual performance,appraise it
against the objectives which have been set,and analyse the
comparison,communicate the findings and explain their significance both to
subordinate employees and also to superiors.
-Developing people. A manager’s job is not clear-cut and systematic in practice.More recent
descriptions of the manager’s role by Henry Mintzberg describe interperonal
roles(monitor,spokesperson,disseminator) and decisional
roles(entrepreneur,disturbance handler,resource allocator,negotiator).
A supervisor is a person selected by middle management to take charge of a
group of people,or special task,to ensure that work is carried out satisfactorily.
The key features of supervision are as follows:
(i) A supervisor is usually a front-line manager, dealing with the levels of the
organisation where the day-to-day work is done.The supervisor will deal with
matters such as staffing and health and safety at the day-to-day operational
level,whereas a manager might deal with them at a policy making level.
(ii) A supervisor does not spend all of his or her time on the managerial aspects of
the job. Much of the time will be spent doing technical/operational work.
(iii) A supervisor is a gatekeeper or filter for communication between managerial
and non-managerial staff, both upward(conveying reports and suggestions) and
downward (conveying policies, instructions and feedback).
(iv) The supervisor monitors and controls work by means of day-to-day, frequent
and detailed information: higher levels of management plan and control using
longer-term, less frequent and less detailed information, which must be ‘edited’
or selected and reported by the supervisor.
(v) Supervisors often carry out Fayol’s five functions of management (planning,
organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling) at a lower, more
There are many different def