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Human Management Relations Theory
This theory has been in existence for quite a long time. It has been accepted in a great way by both the earlier and modern managers. It is true to say that not every manager in the contemporary workplace environment has embraced this theory. Despite this, one cannot deny that this theory has changed management for the better. The Human Relations Theory of Management was developed in the 1920s (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). At that time, the main goal of management was to ensure maximum productivity. It follows that most of the organizational management practices were constructed in such a way to ensure maximization of production. It was at that time that studies were carried out and showed that people were the important factor in production and not machines. While machines are good in making work easier, it was noted that putting focus on the employees and their welfare greatly improved production.
The theory stipulates that people are generally motivated when working in supportive teams and where the relationships in the work environment are at their optimum (Bratton and Gold, 2017). Human beings have emotions that are stimulated by various circumstances. Since human beings are emotional by nature, they cannot be compared to machines for they have feelings. If these employees are treated well and in a manner that shows that they are significant, then they are likely to appreciate the work that they do and become more productive (DuBrin and Geerinck, 2015). This is as true to the hospital environment as it is true to other social care environments. It also applies in businesses and organizations.
Evidence/Examples of Application of the Human Relations Management Theory is Used in the Hospital Setting
There are several strategies that the management to motivate the workers. The workers in the hospital setting are mainly healthcare professionals such as the physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nurses and dietitians. There are also support staff such secretaries and workers who clean various places within the hospital. The discussion above has shown the importance of motivating workers- both the healthcare professional and the support staff. Ensuring that employees are motivated goes a long way in ensuring that productivity is increased. Some of the ways used to motivate the employees are going to be discussed next.
One of the ways is ensuring that the workers receive a good pay (Jesinoski, Miller and Volker, 2016). It would be almost true to say that almost every worker would like the best possible pay. A good pay ensures that the workers can settle their bills and carry out other endeavours comfortably. This contributes to more concentration on their work leading to better results. Another way the hospital motivates the workers is by ensuring that there are adequate employees so that workers are not overworked. For instance, there are employees for the night shift and those who work during the day. Promotions are also another in which healthcare workers are motivated. Sometimes, the hospital also facilitates the employees (health professionals) to do further studies. The facilitation involves funding them for that purpose, such as providing the funds needed for education, house allowance etc. In a nutshell, the hospital seems to appreciate the importance of motivating its employees and this has led to improved services.
Benefits and Challenges of Human Relations Management Theory
There are several benefits of this theory. One is that the employees are appreciated. As it has been discussed in the previous section, the management appreciates that the employees are individuals and appreciation would motivate them to do better. Appreciation could be as simple as writing the employees a congratulations note to giving them some token of appreciation. Another benefit is that the well being of the employees is considered. While the main aim remains enhancing the services, the hospital ensures that the well being of the employees is catered for. This could be through increasing their pay, allowing them to work for only reasonable amounts of time and facilitating them for further studies. The other benefit is that a good relationship is built between the workers and the management. When the workers are appreciated, and their welfare catered for, they see the role of management as that of caring and a good rapport is developed.
There are also challenges associated with this theory of management. One is that it is difficult to tell how the employees will behave. One cannot predict the future and therefore taking care of the welfare of employees does not necessarily translate in to better services (Khorasani and Almasifard, 2017). Sometimes, it could make them expect more and more from the management. The other disadvantage is that the theory is based on strategies of predicted behaviour versus observed behaviour. This theory does not have scientific basis and though it has worked in many cases, it has failed in some others.
Bureaucratic Management Theory
This theory was developed by Max Weber. He was born in Germany and was interested in studying the capitalist economies. He visited the United Stated to study its economy. He realized that in the United States, managerial positions were occupied by skilled and qualified individuals. This was not the case in Germany where a small number of powerful individuals controlled the economy (Niskanen, 2017). In the theory, Weber defined six characteristics of a bureaucracy. One is a hierarchical economic market structure of management. This means that there are levels of management and each level is controlled by the one above it. The role of every member of the hierarchy is also clearly defined. The second is a division of labour where each employee specializes in a certain area. The specialist gains that status by gaining the appropriate skills (West, 2016). There are also formal appointments. This means that any appointments are based on factors such as competence, experience and or the set of skills one has but not on factors such as associating with powerful individuals or nepotism. The fourth is that there is a sharp difference between management and ownership. The managers are not necessarily owners but individuals who have the expertise required for the manager career (Tuczek, Castka and Wakolbinger, 2018). The fifth is that there are rules established to guide the bureaucracy. These rules are formal and with them in place, it is easy to predict the action of employees. The last characteristic is referred to as impersonality. This means that the set rules apply to all individuals without favour or preferential treatment.
Evidence of Use of Bureaucratic Management Theory in the Hospital Setting
Although this theory of management is not popular in the contemporary society, it still applies and is used in several situations. The reason for unpopularity is that many views it as complex and one that does not favour creativity and innovativeness. Taking a close look at my setting (the hospital) it is obvious that even this theory applies. It may not apply in its entirety, but it applies all together. In the hospital environment, there is a hierarchy of health care institutions. There are levels running from the primary health care institutions and dispensaries to level VI hospitals (Ginter, Duncan and Swayne, 2018). Each higher-level handle more complex conditions and situations. There is also the division of labour. In the health care environment, a patient sees the physician for diagnosis, a pharmacist for prescription of drugs, a nurse for administration of drugs or feeds (for patients who may require this) and a nutritionist/dietitian for food and dietary advice. There are also other specialists such as oncologists, eye specialists etc. Appointments are also done in a very formal manner and is based on experience/skills/competence. There are set guidelines to determine various operations (Thompson, 2017). For instance, in management of severe acute malnutrition, there are certain guidelines followed. A nutritionist can therefore predict the interventions that will be carried out to a child who presents with malnutrition. The illustrations above point out the aspects of bureaucratic management used in the hospital care setting.
Benefits and Challenges of Bureaucracy
One of the benefits this theory is that the role of the manager is clearly defined. One clearly understands their role and endeavour to ensure that they paly it well. The clarity ensures that there are little or no conflicts in the workplace concerning who is supposed to be playing a certain role. Another benefit is that the organisation of hospitals into levels leads to efficiency. The lower levels are many and near the villages or estates where people live. They deal with the common conditions. The organisation is in such a way that the more complex conditions are handled at higher levels. The theory also ensures increased effectiveness of administration.
There are also some disadvantages/challenges associated with this theory. These challenges are probably the reason why the theory is not popular today. One of such challenges is that it is difficult to adopt the theory in its entirety (Shafritz, Ott and Jang, 2015). Another disadvantage is that it discourages innovation and creativity. This is because there are set guidelines that stipulate what should be done under certain circumstances. In such a situation, flexibility is difficult, and this makes creativity and innovativeness unlikely. Another disadvantage is that the welfare of the employees in not given a priority. As seen earlier, the greatest determinant of productivity of an institution/organisation is the employees. If the welfare and wellbeing of the employees is not given priority, it follows that the productivity is likely to be low (Maylor, Meredith, Söderlund and Browning, 2018). It can therefore be concluded that this theory, like all the others, has its advantages and challenges.
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2. Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2017). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.
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10. Thompson, J. D. (2017). Organizations in action: Social science bases of administrative theory. Routledge.
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