The nature of the business
The nature of the business can have a great effect upon the management functions and styles used. I have explained that passive and consultative styles have been used in Allen Concrete by Mr. Crowhurst. These management styles suit this organisation as it is a small company therefore it is capable to use these styles. For example, in a large company consultative management is not always possible because communication within the organisation is limited.
Big companies adapt to hierarchical structures whereby information takes a very long time to travel from the top to the bottom. As a result of this, managers can not always consult workers before decisions are made as there is a lack of communication due to the huge size of the organisation, if they were to attempt to consult all the employees, a lot of time and resources would be wasted in the process, delaying the speed of decision making which is vital.
B&Q is a large DIY company which is well established in the UK, Fencing and concrete are among the many products they offer; this makes them a competitor of Allen Concrete. B&Q has adapted to a hierarchical structure and therefore communication between the top and bottom of the organisation is likely to be slow, so in comparison of B&Q to Allen Concrete, communication and culture in Allen Concrete is a lot more personal and specific as the company works on a much smaller scale with much fewer employees.
This gives Allen Concrete an advantage over B&Q as they can use passive management styles whereas managers in B&Q are likely to be too busy and overloaded to carefully assess the progress of each employee. Big companies tend to suffer from this problem; managers in these large organisations can only offer an impersonal and unspecific service to employees, whereby evaluation and analysis of employees is often inaccurate due to the vast number of employees a manger has to deal with.
I have explained that large organisations tend not to use passive and consultative management styles as they work on such a large scale which causes such a personal and specific management style to be incapable of working properly. Instead, large companies tend to adapt to management styles such as autocratic and directive. Managers in these companies would therefore make decisions quickly with little or no consultation with other workers. This can therefore be ignorant and cause employees to feel less motivated as they are put in situation whereby they may feel as though they are a small cog in a big wheel thus have little or no effect upon the working practices of the organisation in which they work.
However, autocratic and directive management can be successful in crisis or emergency management. For example, health and safety regulations are clearly specified in large organisations and senior management teams normally have contingency plans organised in the event of an emergency, employees may be oblivious to how well protected they actually are. Allen Concrete is unlikely to have such sophisticated procedures in place due to lack of resources that are available to them, being such a small company in comparison to organisations such as B&Q.
I will now assess how managerial and supervisory functions would change depending on the nature of the business. I have explained that Allen Concrete is small-medium sized company, they therefore conduct working practices completely different in comparison to larger companies in the same industry, I have already demonstrated these differences in terms of management styles. Below I have explained the differences in terms of managerial and supervisory functions:
Training and mentoring – This varies tremendously between companies, size being the most significant factor. Large companies invest amounts of money into professional and effective training and mentoring programmes, for example they may hire external training organisations or send trainees abroad to offices overseas, this enables on and off the job training. Whereas small organisations tend to offer training in a more direct approach, for example exclusively on-the-job training. Allen concrete has no formal training programme in process as they simply do not have the resources to do so.
Monitoring and directing – There are to forms of monitoring that organisations use, these being formal and informal. Small companies such as Allen Concrete tend to use informal monitoring more than formal, this is because they work in smaller offices with fewer employees in a closer and tighter relationship. This enables staff to built more personal relationships and develop trust, thus formal monitoring is not needed on such a large scale. Small organisations also have insufficient funds to support the requirements of formal monitoring, for example formal monitoring would require CCTV and recording facilities incorporated into the email and telephone systems. Large organisations tend to adapt to formal monitoring as they have large numbers of employees are more prone to misconduct in the workplace in comparison to smaller organisations.
Planning – organisations of all kinds and sizes take planning very importantly. They all tend to follow the same routine when planning is concerned, for example all organisations use strategic and action planning. However, companies such as Allen Concrete tend to focus less upon tactical planning as they are a relatively small company and therefore have little impact upon the market in which they operate. For example, Allen Concrete would be unable to reduce competition by reducing prices as it is likely they are unable to afford this due to high costs. Whereas big companies that benefit from economics of scale such as B&Q could lower the prices they charge for fencing and concrete products and therefore put small companies like Allen Concrete out of business. Allen concrete is likely to be a victim of tactical planning, but not a significant perpetrator.
Organising – Mr. Crowhurst is responsible for the organising within his department, this may seem to be a lot of pressure which it is to a certain extent, but it is important to take into consideration that he works in a small company therefore organising is not taken as far as it is in big companies. In large organisations, organising can take several forms which are of a more complex and detailed structure in comparison to the types of planning that takes place within Allen Concrete.
Motivating – this would have a similar effect as organising if change, Allen concrete is a small organisation thus motivation can be maximised in some aspects but not in others. For example Mr. Crowhurst is able to deliver specific attention to employees and enable them to feel valued as worthy assets of the company, this is achieved through the consultative and passive management styles used. Whereas large organisations may run big and expensive motivational packages which have been developed by professionals who have inputted vast amounts of resources. For example, large corporate organisations offer perks and benefits such as pension schemes, stock options, private health care and generous bonuses. Large organisations are more likely to put motivational theories into practice as they have the resources to do so as I have explained.
Problem solving – problems can vary tremendously for small companies like Allen Concrete and large companies like B&Q. For example, a small company may be struggling to maintain suitable levels of cash flow whilst a large corporate company may be suffering from a lack of confidence and support from shareholders due to an ever decreasing share price. The problems vary on scale; a small company may need just 50,000 to solve its problems while a large company could require millions. However, this does not make the large companies problem for significant, as 50,000 would be just as significant to a small company due to its limited amount of resources.
Appraising – this takes place in all organisations and has an effect upon all employees. Large companies able rewards in line of financial, whereas small companies are more likely to offer rewards in line with more responsibility. However, small organisations are likely to be able to hold appraisals on a more frequent basis as there is less planning and preparation involved, and less employees to deal with.