Management – Efficiency and Effectiveness

Published: 2021-09-29 13:10:11
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A manager, as defined by Bergman, Coulter, Robbins and Stagg (2009), is someone who coordinates and oversees the work of others so that organisational goals can be accomplished. Further to this definition management, which is essentially what mangers do, involves ensuring that work activities are completed efficiently and effectively. There are three specific categorisation models to explain what exactly it is that managers do: •Management Functions (Henry Fayol) •Management Roles (Henry Mintzberg) •Management Skills (Robert L.Katz) Throughout this assignment reference will be made to Ms Williams, a middle manager working for The National Library of Australia, whom I interviewed in order to examine these aspects of Ms Williams’ work.
Ms Williams is the ‘Manager of Offsite Reference Services’ at The National Library, a large organisation within the public sector. In essence Ms Williams is responsible for the close supervision of a team of staff, whom with reference to the library catalogues and databases etc. provide answers to library reference enquiries.Ms William’s must also spend time at several service points throughout the library to provide the public with assistance when required. In this assignment I will be discussing how each of the management models apply to Ms Williams’ work and how they are relevant to achieving efficiency and effectiveness. Management is almost entirely concerned with getting things done and determining how to get things accomplished although there is a debate over whether more concern should go into low-cost production or complete satisfaction of goals and objectives.These two paths are known as the decisions which separate effectiveness and efficiency.
Efficiency and effectiveness are often considered synonyms however when the definitions are examined a distinction between the two can clearly be seen. Effectiveness is ‘doing things right’ meaning conducting the right activities and applying the best strategies for competitive advantage. Efficiency on the other hand is ‘doing things right’ – it defines whether processes are completed using the least resources and in the shortest time possible.After analysing these definitions one can see a clear difference and understand better how trying to balance both efficiency and effectiveness can have major implications for business of all sizes. High performance requires the efficient and effective use of an organisation’s resources through management functions, roles and skills. Ms Williams’ job description, the management of a small team of employees in charge of answering a considerable number of reference enquiries, demands a high level of efficiency and effectiveness as responses must occur proficiently and within a certain time frame.Henry Fayol, a French industrialist during the early years of the 20th century, proposed that all mangers perform five functions.
These classical functions provide clear and discrete methods of classifying the thousands of different activities that mangers carry out and the techniques they use in terms of the functions that perform for the achievement of organisational goals (Carroll & Dennis 1987).To help accomplish this efficiently Ms Williams in involved in implementing PC software to aid staff in responding to enquiries as well as writing guidelines and manuals to assist staff members. The effectiveness of Ms Williams’ team in measured through process implemented by Ms Williams to ensure enquires are answered within service charter deadlines. The effectiveness of the organisation can also be monitored through Fayol’s controlling function. Ms Williams is in charge of conducting daily checks of enquiries waiting to be answered and following up with overdue enquiries as well as any complaints the library has received to ensure organisational goals are achieved.Further to Fayol’s five functions of management Henry Mintzberg, a prominent management researcher, observed managers at work and concluded that there are ten management roles or ten specific categories of management behaviour which fall into three different categories: •Interpersonal (Figurehead, Leader, Liaison) – Involve people and other duties that are ceremonial and symbolic in nature •Informational (Disseminator, Monitor, Spokesperson) – Involve receiving, collecting and disseminating information •Decisional (Entrepreneur, Disturbance handler, Resource allocator, Negotiator) – Roles that revolve around making decision When portraying the disseminator Ms Williams’ communicates the results of regular performance reports to other organisation members, facilitates regular staff training sessions and passes on feedback from clients. This role is significant when aiming to complete work efficiently and effectively and it allows for areas requiring improvement to be identified and necessary changes to be made either by Ms Williams as a middle manager, or top level management.
There are many different service points around the library at which the general public are able to ask a library staff member for help and information face to face. Ms Williams is often appointed to these different service points and as such becomes a figurehead for the National Library and in this role Ms Williams is able to efficiently provide the public with the information they require.One of the most relevant roles Ms Williams plays regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of her work is that of the entrepreneur. In this role Ms Williams is a member of a number of different steering groups within the organisation – staffing coordination, Web 2. 0 group and the catalogue improvement project group. In these groups Ms Williams is able to aide in the management of reference software, including undertaking the testing of new software, enabling her to influence software choices which have a direct effect on the level of efficiency achievable by the organisation. In order to better perform their duties manager require certain skills dependent upon their level of management.
Another prominent researcher, Robert L.Katz, found that managers require three essential skill types: •Technical – Knowledge of and proficiency in a certain specialised field •Human – The ability to work well with other people individually and in a group •Conceptual – The ability to think and conceptualise about abstract and complex situations Ms Williams started working at the National Library in a non-managerial position in which she acquired an immense amount of technical knowledge. In order to provide the answers to public enquiries extensive knowledge of library catalogues and databases is essential and the greater the level of knowledge, the more efficiently responses can be compiled. This knowledge has been retained despite her advancement within the organisation and in order to lead her team Ms William’s has developed superb managerial knowledge. This coupling of managerial and technical skills is of great importance in regard to achieving efficiency and effectiveness.O’Neal (1985, as cited in Fleet & Peterson 2004) stated that without these fundamental skills “managers cannot effectively plan, direct, control, or assess work activities. ” Human skills are necessary to all mangers as they are always working with others and Ms Williams work in no exception.
Most of Ms Williams’ time is spent closely supervising a team of staff members and this close proximity offers great encouragement to all team members to maintain a high level of efficiency and effectiveness. Evidence of the efficiency and effectiveness Ms Williams’ managerial job leads to can be seen throughout the functions, roles and skills of management she performs.Organising is the most imperative function Ms Williams’ involved in and with 16,000 enquiries per year to answer efficiency as crucial. In order to communicate responses to the public the spokesperson role is essential when aiming for efficiency and effectiveness. Technical skills are indispensable for Ms Williams’ as her job revolves around the efficient and effective use of the library and its systems. By analysing Ms Williams’ position we are able to establish why efficiency and effectiveness are relevant to her job. When we examine her job in relation to the different managerial functions, skills and roles we are able to ascertain exactly how it is she is able to achieve efficiency and effectiveness within the workplace.

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