A community is a socially organized group of people having something in common for example the norms or identity which gives them the sense of togetherness. It is based on this idea of the community that Henry Mintzberg bases his argument as he brings out the concepts in the article ‘Rebuilding Companies as Communities’. He begins by identifying the cause to the collapse of many business entities as being due to the over-valuation of leadership at the expense of ‘communityship.'
To further elaborate the point, he uses Obama’s presidential campaign, Toyota, Pixar and Semco as some of the operations whose success is credited back to the vibrancy of the ‘communityship’ kind of cooperation. In his analysis, Henry does not entirely discredit leadership, though, he stands for having the leadership positions given just but enough credit in the success of any organization.
He also points out the disadvantages brought about by the uncontrolled leadership positions like that of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This positions holders may at times do adopt strategies that devalue their employees equating them to human resources. Such policies like firing employees when the company does not attain its targets or offering themselves obscene packages at the expense of the organization. He claims that some holders of these positions barely understand what is actually on the ground and compares them to a person standing on top of a pyramid in Egypt. He still emphasizes on the middle-level accreditation by using ‘From Top-Down to Middle-Out’ as an example. This type is where the organization’s directions begin from the middle-level managers who are closer to the employees then spreads out to the rest of the firm.
The strengths/weakness of arguments and assumptions
As a starting point, Mintzberg acknowledges the importance of not only leadership but directional modes of administration. This mode is where the top most leaders in the organization provide directives to the rest of the organization.
On the other hand, Mintzberg gives less credit to use of performance outcome data and instead prefers an information diet fed from hearsay, speculation, and gossips. He goes on to say this informal sources of information can be richer in content even though they are less reliable. Secondly, Mintzberg’s concepts go contrary to what the performance belief has always been. Business expert’s advice that the company can transform its operations positively if it effectively inculcates performance management and measuring in its day to day activities.
Research methods and limitations
There are four typically applicable research methods namely correlational research, observational research, the quasi-experiments and the true experiments shows that he did apply observation as his primary means of data research. Through this method, the researcher used observation and recording of the information then later making a report out of it.
The method he used for research also has its limitations which render the practice not to be fully active. One of the limits is that the method is limited to present time information only. All the historical events are not observable. Instead, they can only be got from second-hand sources like interviewing older employees at the firm or from past recorded sources like the company records.
The second limitation is that the data collected cannot include personal opinions of the specimen under study (the employees). The exact presence of the viewer and the event under study are most of the time not certain. This uncertainty may act as a direct disadvantage to the observation method. Finally, the subjects under study may change their habits due to the knowledge that they are under study. Their reaction may then affect the overall results.
Applicability of approach
The managerial concept presented by Mintzberg is highly applicable in many organizations around the world. As a matter of fact, it is by the methods appropriate in reviving poorly performing entities or sub-branches within the same organization. All institutions have different managerial levels in its hierarchical structure. At the middle level lies some leaders together with another low-level employee.
Mintzberg argued that these middle-level positions had the greatest influence on the overall performance of the entire entity. Proper organization of ideas, policies, and strategies at these intermediate managerial levels leads to the efficient outcome at the firm. The idea is applicable because it is also much easier to meet the majority of the employees at the business from these levels.
Impact on concepts of organizational commitment and organizational decision-making
Employee’s pay, career development, and job security are some of the obligations the business has on its employees (Toga, Khayundi and Mjoli 2014). By meeting these requirements, the organization expects its workers to reciprocate through increased commitments at work and consequently influence them to stay in the organization (Toga, Khayundi and Mjoli 2014; Smith 2011). Recent research has shown that any positive relationships between the employees and the organization ultimately leads increase in job performance.
The leadership qualities and functions like decision making offer essential insights and directions to all the operations of the organization. In-depth research also revealed that the leader needs to possess the confidence quality in them to help in gathering information and the final decision-making process (Toga, Khayundi and Mjoli 2014). The manager needs to be informed by the kind of decisions to make to maintain the stakeholder's interest as it is considered that proper leadership and management is the exact success formula for any organization.
Mintzbergs’ views vs. the four perspectives of organizational effectiveness
Almost all organizational theories have the specific objective of making the organization more efficient. In the olden days, organizational effectiveness was determined by the extent to which the organization achieved its stated objectives (Shelton and Gartland). This perspective was limited in that there was no threshold of measuring the success. In the modern day, organizational effectiveness is monitored by the following aspects (Shelton and Gartland). Open systems perspective, internal subsystem effectiveness, organizational learning perspective, high-performance work practices perspective and stakeholder perspective.
In a comparison of Mintzberg’s view to the four views, there are more similarities than differences. To begin with, the concept presented in the organizational learning perspective resonates well with Mintzberg’s idea of having the firm’s strategies developed at the middle-level managerial position. The position is strategically placed in between hierarchy of the enterprise. At this point, the lower level employees get reached too easily while at the same time, directives from the senior positions flow and get acted upon from the point.
Therefore, in case the organization has relevant information that needs even distribution within itself, then the middle-level group certainly can carry out the task efficiently. The other important similarity is in line with the internal subsystems effectiveness. An efficient organization is one where there are higher production levels by use of minimal labor, energy, and materials. If the internal subsystems are effectively cooperative, then the organization can register impressive records on organizational efficiency. Mintzberg advocates for operating the organization in the community style whereby it is run from Top-Down to Middle-Out.
Every organization has a set strategy controlled by principles that direct its operations and the general management (Ananga and Magesh, 2016; Chimomona 2016). In its operations lies its employees who uphold a certain feeling of responsibility and strength towards the mission clearly defined in the organization’s goals statement. Chimomona (2016) stresses that this responsibility brings the commitment that the employee has to the organization which profoundly determines whether the employee will maintain their position at the firm and support towards the attainment of the goals.
This commitment is achievable only if there is cooperation between the organization and its employees. The employee engagement can be achieved by the organization serving its employees positively as well. For instance, the remuneration should be adequate and equitable to the amount of service that the workers provide. The firm can also add in other incentives like making arrangements for the employees to have educational improvements.
Briggs and Little (2008) identifies leaders are the organization’s decision makers. The efforts that they put in place to pursue the vision and goals of the organization involves the direction for prioritizing efforts and resources. They should also take full responsibility for the organization’s activities, and therefore they need competent decision-making skills (Passarelli 2010). In case the organization uses the top position kind of leadership, then it will be challenging for an organization to achieve its goals quickly. Most of the time, these leaders do not know what exactly is happening on the ground. The middle-level managers in such organizations are reluctant of entirely undertaking their roles resulting in a poorly performing organization.
The quality of decision made by the organizational leaders is an increasingly important aspect which determines the failure or success of the organization Kekana (n.d). In the current complex world filled with ever increasing levels of informational connectivity, scarce resources like the finances and the highly required need to meet the expectations of the stakeholders are some of the fields that call for the quality in decision-making skills.
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