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Set 2 MB0038

Set 2 MB0038

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Published by Piyush Varshney
FALL 2010
FALL 2010

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Published by: Piyush Varshney on Dec 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Set 2
Answer: The Classical Era We see this trend to continue in what is called as the classical era whichcovers the period between 1900 to mid 1930s. the first general theories of management began to evolveand the main contributors during this era were Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol , Max Weber, Mary parker Follet and Chester Barnard. Frederick Taylor’s main emphasis was on finding one best way of doing each job. He stressed on selecting the right people for the job, train them to do it precisely in one best way. Hefavoured wage plans to motivate the workers. His scientific principles of management stressed thefollowing principles:1. Shift all responsibility for the organization of work from the worker to the manager; managers shoulddo all the thinking relating to the planning and design of work, leaving the workers with the task of implementation.2. Use scientific methods to determine the most efficient way of doing work; assign the worker’s task accordingly, specifying the precise way in which the work is to be done.3. Select the best person to perform the job thus designed.4. Train the worker to do the work efficiently.5. Monitor worker performances to ensure that appropriate work procedures are followed and thatappropriate results are achieved. Taylor was one of the first to attempt to systematically analyze human behavior at work. He insisted the use of time-and-motion study as a means of standardizing work activities. His scientific approach called for detailed observation and measurement of even the mostroutine work, to find the optimum mode of performance. The results were dramatic, with productivityincreasing significantly. With passing time, new organizational functions like personnel and qualitycontrol were created. Of course, in breaking down each task to its smallest unit to find what Taylor called„„the one best way to do each job, the effect was to remove human variability. Hence he lay the ground
 for the mass production techniques that dominated management thinking in the first half of the twentiethcentury. Henri Fayol, a mining engineer and manager by profession, defined the nature and working patterns of the twentieth-century organization in his book, General and Industrial Management, publishedin 1916. In it, he laid down what he called 14 principles of management. This theory is also called theAdministrative Theory. The principles of the theory are: 1. Division of work: tasks should be divided upwith employees specializing in a limited set of tasks so that expertise is developed and productivityincreased.2. Authority and responsibility: authority is the right to give orders and entails enforcing them withrewards and penalties; authority should be matched with corresponding responsibility.3. Discipline: this is essential for the smooth running of business and is dependent on good leadership,clear and fair arguments, and the judicious application of penalties.4. Unity of command: for any action whatsoever, an employee should receive orders from one superior only; otherwise authority, discipline, order, and stability are threatened.5. Unity of direction: a group of activities concerned with a single objective should be co-coordinated bya single plan under one head.6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest: individual or group goals must not be allowedto override those of the business.7. Remuneration of personnel: this may be achieved by various methods but it should be fair, encourageeffort, and not lead to overpayment.
8. Centralization: the extent to which orders should be issued only from the top of the organization is a problem which should take into account its characteristics, such as size and the capabilities of the personnel.9. Scalar chain (line of authority): communications should normally flow up and down the line of authority running from the top to the bottom of the organization, but sideways communication betweenthose of equivalent rank in different departments can be desirable so long as superiors are kept informed.10. Order: both materials and personnel must always be in their proper place; people must be suited totheir posts so there must be careful organization of work and selection of personnel.11. Equity: personnel must be treated with kindness and justice.12. Stability of tenure of personnel: rapid turnover of personnel should be avoided because of the timerequired for the development of expertise.13. Initiative: all employees should be encouraged to exercise initiative within limits imposed by therequirements of authority and discipline.14. Esprit de corps: efforts must be made to promote harmony within the organization and preventdissension and divisiveness. The management functions, that Fayol stated, consisted of planning,organizing, commanding, co-coordinating and controlling. Many practicing managers, even today, listthese functions as the core of their activities. Fayol was also one of the first people to characterize acommercial organizations activities into its basic components.
Q.2 . What is groupthink. Explain.Answer.
Groupthink occurs when the pressure to conform within a group interferes with that group'sanalysis of a problem and causes poor group decision making. Individual creativity, uniqueness, andindependent thinking are lost in the pursuit of groupcohesiveness, as are the advantages that cansometimes be obtained by making a decision as a group—bringing different sources of ideas,knowledge, and experience together to solve a problem. Psychologist Irving Janis defines groupthink as: "a mode of thinking people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, whenthe members' striving for unanimityoverride their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action. Groupthink refers to adeterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral  judgment that results from in-group pressures." It can also refer to the tendency of groups to agreewith powerful, intimidating bosses. The concept of groupthink provides a summary explanation of reasons groups sometimes make poor decisions. Indeed, groups are supposed to be better thanindividuals at making complex decisions, because, through the membership, a variety of differing perspectives are brought to bear. Group members not only serve to bring new ideas into the discussion but also act as error-correcting mechanisms. Groups also provide social support, which is especiallycritical for new ideas. But when new perspectives are rejected (as in the "not invented here"syndrome), it is hard to correct errors. And if the social support is geared toward supporting thegroup's "accepted wisdom," the elements that can make groups better decision makers thanindividuals become inverted, and instead make them worse. Just as groups can work to promoteeffective thinking/decision making, the same processes which enhance the group's operation can backfire and lead to disastrous results. How Groupthink Works Janis identified seven points on howgroupthink works. First, the group's discussions are limited to a few alternative courses of action
(often only two), without a survey of the full range of alternatives. Second, the group does not surveythe objectives to be fulfilled and the values implicated by the choice. Third, the group fails toreexaminethe course of action initially preferred by the majority of members from thestandpointof  the nonobvious risks and drawbacks that had not been considered when it was originally evaluated.Fourth, the members neglect courses of action initially evaluated as unsatisfactory—they spend littleor no time discussing whether they have overlooked nonobvious gain. Fifth, the members make littleor no attempt to obtain information from experts who can supply sound estimates of gains and lossesto be expected from alternative courses of action. Sixth, selective bias is shown in the way the groupreacts to factual information and relevant judgments from experts. Seventh, the members spend littletime deliberating about how the chosen policy might be hindered by bureaucraticinertia or sabotaged by political opponents; consequently, they fail to work out contingency plans. Three general problemsseem to be at work: overestimation of group power and morality, closed mindedness, and pressurestoward uniformity. Group-think occurs when a group feels too good about itself. The group feels bothinvulnerableand optimistic. The group feels morally right. Linked to this attitude of perfection is a correlative close mindedness. Warnings are ignored. Messengers of difference are dismissed. Negative, stereotypical views of opponents are created and used. Finally, there is pressure for uniformity. A certain amount of self-censorship occurs. If individuals have questions, they keep themto themselves. This lack of dissent results in what Janis calls an "illusion of unanimity." If anydifference does occur, group pressure is applied to bring thedissidentinto line. Janis also mentions"the emergence of self-appointed mindguards—members who protect the group from adverseinformation that might shatter their sharedcomplacency." If these precipitating  problems support tendencies to groupthink, there are  predisposingconditions as well. Janis suggests four conditions that  predispose a group to groupthink: cohesiveness, group isolation/ insulation, leader intimidation, and an absence of decision-making procedures. As a group "hangs together" and members grow to likeeach other, there will be greater pressure not to introduce disturbing information and opinions thatmight tear at that cohesiveness. Maintaining the good feelings that come from suchcohesionbecome part of the group's "hidden agenda." The insulation of the policy-making group is another factor.Frequently groupthinking groups are removed from interaction with others, perhaps because of their  position within the organization. Lack of impartial leadership is a third contributing cause. When  powerful leaders want to "get their way" they can overtly andcovertly  pressure the group into agreement. Finally, the lack of a template or protocol for decision making, or what Janis calls "normsrequiring methodological procedures for dealing with decision making tasks," can also contribute togroupthink. How to Avoid Groupthink There are several things businesspeople can do to avoidgroupthink: follow good meeting procedures, including the development of an agenda; aim for proper and balanced staff work; present competing views; and attend to correlative meeting problems, likeexhaustion. A template for discussion might also be useful. One suggestion is to use an "optionsmemo technique" in which information is presented as a problem statement, a list of options, and a preliminary recommendation. The group then looks at the preliminary recommendation with at leastfour questions in mind: 1) is the logic correct? (in selecting the preliminary recommendation fromamong the options); 2) is the judgment correct? (the logic may be fine, but the judgment may be

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