Management is an important undertaking in an organization. Effective management is a pathway towards the realization of the organizational objectives. It is, therefore, important for a manager or a potential manager to have the necessary skills and knowledge to manage the people and other resources in ways that facilitate the success of the business concerned. The management functions are critical yet sometimes complicated, but the observation of the relevant management principles makes it easier to carry on the management functions (Smit, 2007). The principles guide the management decisions and actions upon the consideration of the underlying factors within and without the organization. The five most crucial principles of management include division of labor, the principle of one boss, equity, fair remuneration, and decentralization.
An organization has some functions and processes upon which different task are performed. The functions, in this case, may require the application of different skills depending on their nature and the intended output. Division of labor is a management principle that stresses on the specialization of functions. The approach is realized by subdividing the business process into jobs and allocating individuals with the relevant expertise and experience to carry on the functions (Williams, 2013). Each of the individuals is required to carry on a specific job in the best way possible for best results. Indeed, work becomes easier for the employees because they get used to performing the jobs that they are best fitted.
The selection of division of labor as one of the guiding principles is compelled by the advantages accrued in the management functions. First, this aspect, it becomes easy to identify the jobs that are of great importance; hence, make an informed decision on the remunerations and training required. Each of the jobs requires special skills, therefore, the jobs that require certain expertise and experience demand for compensation at a higher rate than others. Secondly, the approach plays a fundamental role in making the performance appraisal and evaluation systematic and objective (Smit, 2007). The aspect is easily associated with the performance of a certain job, or process to an individual, or closely interrelated function since it is easy to measure the performance based on individuals. Division of labor can, therefore, be used in identifying the best performing workers and reward them appropriately, while at the same time looking for ways to assist the poor performers. In fact, it is one of the tools in motivating the employees.
The principle of one boss entails the arrangement where a subordinate receives orders from only one senior/boss. The subordinate becomes accountable and reports to the particular boss. The principle of one boss is enticed by the need to avoid the negative implications of not receiving instruction from one source. In fact, receiving instructions from different centers, particularly regarding a single aspect, creates confusion to the subordinate (Tripathi, Tripathi, & Reddy, 2008). The workers may not be in a position to know which and whom instructions to observe. Eventually, they may end up not undertaking an important role due to the confusion leading to poor performance of the organization in the long run. In other cases, subordinates can end up escaping responsibilities because there were no clear instructions to follow. It is worth noting that receiving instructions from different sources can lead to duplication of work in two ways. First, it implies the seniors involved are in charge of the single task and subordinate involved. Secondly, the subordinate can be forced to perform a job is two or more different ways depending on the desires of the different bosses. On the same note, another subordinate can be assigned the similar task by a different boss leading to duplication of work, a situation that will encourage the wastage of organizational resources.
The application of the principle of one boss is recommended to an organization because it enhances loyalty among the subordinates. When an employee is accountable to one boss, he/she try to demonstrate loyalty by undertaking the instructions with the seriousness they deserve. Loyalty enables the management to exercise control and demonstrate leadership. The principle also assists in enhancing efficiency because its application reduces the duplication at both the management and subordinate levels. The aspect is also important in the development of a disciplined, stable, and orderly organization because there is reduced confusion and conflict of interest (Smit, 2007). Lastly, the principle is critical in creating a sound relationship between superiors and subordinates. Indeed, the harmony enhanced is important in boosting synergy in the organization.
The other important principle to apply in management is equity. Through the approach, the employees in an organization are treated with fairness, kindness, and justice. The commitment of the management to ensure that there is equity entices the subordinates to become significantly committed to their work for the benefit of the organization. Similar treatment of the individuals in related positions is also a requirement towards the realization of equity in an organization. The rules and regulation applied by managers should not discriminate employees based on aspects such as age, caste, sex, and religious affiliation among others.
The application of equity in an organization brings in immense benefits that a manager should not let go by ignoring its application. The first benefit is that through equity, the management upholds diversity. The respect and fairness to employees irrespective of their cultural, educational, or social background imply that there is a culture of accepting and working with the people in their diversity. In such a work environment, ideas from a different perspective are made available, making it easier for making better decisions. In addition, through diversity, the organization is better positioned to attract customers/clients from different backgrounds.
Through equity, the satisfaction of the employees is likely to be high; hence, the retention rate is at the favorable levels. The treatment of the junior employees with respect and kindness is a sign of the concern and value that the management has to the human resource (Williams, 2013). The employees become respectful and obedient, which eventually lead to a strong cordial relationship with the management and the staff. However, despite the need for fairness and kindness, a manager should demonstrate a sense of control and command to the subordinates. Some of the employees can take advantage of the kindness to misbehave and engage in counterproductive activities. In such a situation, harshness is a necessity.
Employees commit their time, expertise, and experience in performing their duties for the benefit of the organization. The employees are largely motivated to provide the labor required due to remuneration earned to support their needs and those of the family members. It is for this reason that a manager should strive to ensure that there is a fair, reasonable, and a satisfactory reward for the efforts and commitment of all employees. Fair remuneration is, therefore, an important tool that a manager can apply to assist in HR management. Logical and wage rates based on the ability of the organization, the cost of living, the duties and responsibilities performed, and the market rates are key determinants of the appropriate reward. The consideration of these factors makes it easy to come up with a reward package that is acceptable and easy to defend in case of a dispute. Upon developing the positive feeling that the management offers the optimal level of reward, the commitment of the employees improves. The utilization of skills and experience to support the realization of objectives arises upon the application of fair remuneration. The other reason for the adopting equitable compensation is that it enhances the reduction of tension and differences in the workplace (Smit, 2007). The employees feel that they receive a fair share of the gains from the work they perform and that no one is favored. The attitude developed leads to a pleasing work atmosphere.
Apart from the monetary compensation, fair compensation can be enhanced through the adoption of non-monetary benefits. The first recommended benefit is the free education and training. Some employees are likely to perform better upon acquiring higher education and training, but due to lack of resources, they remain at the low-skilled level, which compromise their competitiveness. The management can take up the initiative to support such employees to undertake education and further training (Williams, 2013). The second recommended benefit is the medical cover in health care. It would be easy and effective to manage people who are healthy and committed to their work, a situation that warrants the spending of resources on the workers’ health.
The last guiding principle in management is the decentralization of decision-making. In an organization, both the strategic and operational functions and activities take place through the decisions made towards the realization of certain objectives (Williams, 2013). Decision-making can be concentrated at the top level in the organizational ranking in what is referred to as the concentration of authority. In a centralized management principle, the stakeholders at the lower level do not have authority or opportunity in making decisions, even on matters that are directly related to their duties and responsibilities. The approach dictates that they should follow instructions from those above in the ranking. The principle is applied in a situation where the management does not trust the subordinate in making credible decisions. The method de-motivates employees and inhibits talent development, which makes the application of the decentralized principle preferred in the contemporary world.
Decentralized management allows the subordinates in making or participating in reaching decisions on various matters affecting their performance. The manager, in this case, trusts the employees and shares their sharing authority downwards. The employees take up the challenge to look for the best decisions to come up with the best results and enjoy recognition for the credible decision-making. The employees subjected to this situation develop skills at a higher level and gain accountability; hence, preparing for leadership positions in the future (Watson, Gallagher, Armstrong, & Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2005). However, decentralization of authority should be done cautiously to avoid potential negative implications. For instance, before the subordinates implement certain decisions that can affect the future performance of the company, the senior management should have an overview and recommend for adjustments where possible. In addition, the degree of decentralization should depend on the capability of the employees at the lower level. Involving low skilled employees should be minimal when applying the values of decentralization.
The guiding principle selected can assist in facilitating the application of management functions including planning, staffing, organizing, direction, and coordination (Williams, 2013). The division of labor, equity, and fair remuneration are critical in the staffing functions because of their role in attracting, motivating, and retaining the employees. The principle of one boss can play a central role in directing the employees because it initiates actions in a coherent manner. Division of labor is considerably stronger in the identification and the appropriate grouping of people as well as assigning activities, which is the backbone of organizing function. Decentralization of authority is important in facilitating, organizing, and directing functions. The principle is important in the allocation of assignments and instructions through authority held or shared from the top leadership to the subordinates downwards.
As is evident from the discussion, the knowledge and application of the relevant guiding principles of management determine how effective a given manager is. The five principles, including, the division of labor, the principle of one boss, equity, fair remuneration, and decentralization are considered immensely important in organizational management. The principles assist in boosting the performance of the management functions including planning, staffing, organizing, direction, and coordination. They are particularly relevant to human resource attraction, motivation, and retention. A potential manager should put into consideration the five principles as a demonstration of how successful one can be after resuming a managerial position in an organization.