Organisational Management

Key Management Skills

In addition to having a knowledge base, managers need certain skills to carry out the various functions of management. A skill is the ability to engage in a set of behaviors that are functionally related to one another and that lead to a desired performance level in a given are. For managers, three types of skills are necessary :

Technical Skills

Technical skills that reflect both an understanding of and a proficiency in a specialized field. For example, a manager may have technical skills in accounting, finance, engineering, manufacturing, or computer science.

Human Skills

Human skills are skills associated with manager’s ability to work well with others, both as a member of a group and as a leader who gets things done through other.

Conceptual Skills

Conceptual skills related to the ability to visualize the organization as a whole, discern interrelationships among organizational parts, and understand how the organization fits into the wider context of the industry, community, and world. Conceptual skills, coupled with technical skills, human skills and knowledge base, are important ingredients in organizational performance.

Job Types Of Managerial

Although we hae been discussing the nature of managerial work in general, managerial jobs vary somewhat on the basis of two important dimensions. One is a vertical dimension, focusing on different hierarchical levels in the organization. The other is a horizontal dimension, addressing variations in managers responsibility areas. We explore these dimensions and their implications in this section. Because of its importance in fostering innovation, we give special attention to the entrepreneurial role at various hierarchical levels.

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Vertical Dimension : Hierarchical Levels

Along the vertical dimension, managerial jobs in organizations fall into three categories : first-line, middle, and top management. These categories represent vertical differentiation among managers because they involve three different levels of the organization.

First-Line Managers

First-line managers (or first-line supervisors) are managers at the lowest level of the hierarchical who are directly responsible for the work of operating (no managerial) employees. They often have titles that include the work supervisor. First-line managers are extremely important to the success of an organization because they have the responsibility of seeing that day-to-day operations run smoothly in pursuit of organizational goals. Because they operate at the interface between management and the rest of the work force.

Middle Managers

Middle managers located beneath the top levels of the hierarchy who are directly responsible for the work of managers other middle managers or first-line managers. Sometimes middle managers also supervise operating personnel, such as administrative assistants and specialists. Many different titles are used for middle managers, including “manager”, director of chief, department head, and division head.

Top Managers

Top managers are managers at the very top levels of the hierarchy who are ultimately responsible for the entire organization. They are few in number, and their typical titles include “chief executive office” president, “executive vice president” “executive director, senior vice president, and sometimes, vice president. Top level managers are often referred to as executives, although the term executive is also sometimes used to include the upper layers of middle managers as well. They typically oversee the overall planning for the organization, work to some degree with middle managers in implementing that planning, and maintain overall control over the progress of the organization.

In public. Corporations, whose stock is sold to the public, top management ultimately reports to the board of directors, the board is composed of a group of individuals elected by the shareholders for the purpose of guiding corporate affairs and selecting officers. A board typically has from 15 to 25 members, depending on company size. In some companies, boards may essentially rubber-stamp management initiatives, particularly when the majority of the board is made up of top managers and outside individuals with close ties to management. In others, boards include more outsiders, operate more independently and are more proactive factors that often lead to better corporate performance. Typically, the board appoints the CEO, who then selects other top managers, including most vice presidents, subject to board approval. Often the CEO also serves as chair person of the board. A recent study, however, suggests that companies perform better when the CEO does not also hold the position of board chairperson as this arrangement allows the board to more adequately monitor the performance of top management.

Differences among Hierarchical Levels

Although the same basic managerial process applies to all three hierarchical levels of management, there are some differences in emphasis. Major difference stem mainly from the importance of the four functions of management, the skills necessary to perform effectively, the emphasis on managerial roles at each level, and the use of the entrepreneurial role.

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a simple framework for generating strategic alternatives from a situation analysis. It is applicable to either the corporate level or the business unit level and frequently appears in marketing plans. SWOT (sometimes referred to as TOWS) stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT framework was described in the late 1960’s by Edmund P. Learned, C. Roland Christiansen, Kenneth Andrews, and William D. Guth in Business Policy, Text and Cases (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1969). The General Electric Growth Council used this form of analysis in the 1980’s. Because it concentrates on the issues that potentially have the most impact, the SWOT analysis is useful when a very limited amount of time is available to address a complex strategic situation.

The following diagram shows how a SWOT analysis fits into a strategic situation analysis.

Situation Analysis


Internal Analysis External Analysis

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Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats


SWOT Profile

The internal and external situation analysis can produce a large amount of information, much of which may not be highly relevant. The SWOT analysis can serve as an interpretative filter to reduce the information to a manageable quantity of key issues. The SWOT analysis classifies the internal aspects of the company as strengths or weaknesses and the external situational factors as opportunities or threats. Strengths can serve as a foundation for building a competitive advantage, and weaknesses may hinder it. By understanding these four aspects of its situation, a firm can better leverage its strengths, correct its

weaknesses, capitalize on golden opportunities, and deter potentially devastating threats.

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SWOT Profile

When the analysis has been completed, a SWOT profile can be generated and used as the basis of goal setting, strategy formulation, and implementation. The completed SWOT profile sometimes is arranged as follows:






4 .






4 .








4 .






4 .



When formulating strategy, the interaction of the quadrants in the SWOT profile becomes important. For example, the strengths can be leveraged to pursue opportunities and to avoid threats, and managers can be alerted to weaknesses that might need to be overcome in order to successfully pursue opportunities.

Multiple Perspectives Needed

The method used to acquire the inputs to the SWOT matrix will affect the quality of the analysis. If the information is obtained hastily during a quick interview with the CEO, even though this one person may have a broad view of the company and industry, the information would represent a single viewpoint. The quality of the analysis will be improved greatly if interviews are held with a spectrum of stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers, strategic partners, etc.

SWOT Analysis Limitations

While useful for reducing a large quantity of situational factors into a more manageable profile, the SWOT framework has a tendency to oversimplify the situation by classifying the firm’s environmental factors into categories in which they may not always fit. The classification of some factors as strengths for weaknesses, or as opportunities or threats is somewhat arbitrary. For example, a particular company culture can be either a strength or a weakness. A technological change can be a either a threat or an opportunity. Perhaps what is more important than the superficial classification of these factors is the firm’s awareness of them and its development of a strategic plan to use them to its advantage.

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External Analysis

An opportunity is the chance to introduce a new product or service that can generate superior returns. Opportunities can arise when changes occur in the external environment. Many of these changes can be perceived as threats to the market position of existing products and may necessitate a change in product

specifications or the development of new products in order for the firm to remain competitive. Changes in the external environment may be related to:

  • Customers

  • Competitors

  • Market trends

  • Suppliers

  • Partners

  • Social changes

  • New technology

  • Economic environment

  • Political and regulatory environment

The last four items in the above list are macro-environmental variables, and are addressed in a PEST analysis. The SWOT analysis summarizes the external environmental factors as a list of

opportunities and threats.

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Management by Objectives (MBO )

Meaning and definition of management by objectives

Management by objectives (MBO) has become a widely used slogan. It is a basic mentality that a high-performance manager brings to the job of managing. The term management by objectives was coined by Peter Drucker in 1954. he propounded management by Objectives concept and emphasized it and then it developed as a management philosophy,. Some authors has used the term management by results interchangeable with management by objectives.

Management by objectives is an overall philosophy of management that concentrates on goals and end results. Management by objectives is based on the presumption that people perform better when they know what is expected of them and can relate their personal goals to organizational goals. It also assumes that people perform better when they know what is expected of them and can relate their personal goals to organizational goals. It also assumes that people are interested in the goal

setting process and in evaluating their performance against the target.

Some important definitions of MBO may be given as follows :

George S. Odiorne.

The system of management by objectives can be described as a process whereby the superior and subordinate managers of an organization jointly identify its common goals, define each individual major areas of responsibility in terms of the results expected of him, and use these measures as guides for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each of its members.

Peter Drucker.

He says that management by objectives and self-control is a philosophy of management. Resting on a concept of human action. Human behavior, and human motivation. MBO applies to every manager at any level and to all business enterprises whether large or small. He says the management by objectives ensures performance by converting objective needs into personal goals.

Heinz Weihrich & Harold Knoontz.

MBO is a comprehensive managerial system that integrates many key managerial activities in a systematic manner and that is consciously directed toward the effective and efficient achievement of organizational and individual objectives.

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Essential Characteristics or Features of Management By Objectives

A careful study of the above definitions bring out the following features of MBO.

  1. Management by Objectives is a philosophy or a system, and not merely technique.

  2. It emphasizes participative goal setting.

  3. It clearly defines each individual responsibilities in terms of results.

  4. If focuses attention on what must be accomplished (goals0 rather than on how it is to be accomplished.

  5. It converts objective needs into personal goals at every level in the organization.

  6. It establishes standards or yardsticks (goals ) as operation guides and also as basis of performance evaluation.

  7. It is a system intentionally directed toward effective and efficient attainment of organizational and personal goals.

  8. MBO process (or management by Objective cycle or key elements of management by Objectives or minimum requirements of management b y objectives.

There are four important and essential steps or elements in the management by Objectives process as follows :

Setting Objectives.

Goal-setting or objective setting is a multistage process. It starts with the examining of the current stat3e of affaires, level of efficiency, threats, and opportunities. Then the key result areas are identified, such as product markets, improved services, lowered costs, work simplification, employee motivation, profitability innovation and social responsibility. The performance of these areas is critical for organization in the sense that failure in these areas may result in failure of the organization. And this is why they are known as “key” result areas. Peter says, objectives are important in every area where performance and results directly affect the survival and prosperity of business.

Thereafter interacting or joint goal setting takes place. Subordinates are actively involved in formulating goals at every level in the organization such goals are finished with reference to the overall objectives of the organization. Care is taken to establish goals that are measurable and contribute to the element also. Such goals may be long rang, medium rang, or short range. Further, resources availability also becomes an important consideration in goal setting. There is always need to decide priorities among the different objectives keeping in view the environment within which business operates as well as possible further changes in it.

Developing Action Plans.

Set objectives must be translated into action plans. It requires assignment of specific responsibilities to different departments, division, and individuals. It also requires allocation of necessary resources needed to perform the assigned responsibilities. Time dimensions are also to be decided in order that targets are reached without any unwarranted delays.

Periodic Review or Monitoring The Progress.

After setting objectives and developing action plans, it is necessary to establish a proper monitoring system with a view to regularly keeping the activities. He progress is monitored without day path leading to the ultimate objective. It is ensured that the deviations found, if any, are thoroughly discussed and immediate corrective actions are taken to set them right on the course. Such a regular monitoring and periodic review not only provide feedback which is essential for completion of work in time. But also motivates the managers accountable for performance. Periodic review and monitoring are done at departmental level generally.

Performance appraisal.

This is the last phase of MBO program that evaluates performance annually. The annual review or appraisal is comprehensive and is done at the organization level. The actual annual results are evaluated against the set objectives. Such assessment is also used for determining targets for next year, for modification in standards (goals0 if needed, and for taking corrective actions in order to avoid deviations form predetermined objectives.

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Organizations as Systems (of Systems of Systems)

Organization as a System
It helps to think of organizations are systems. Simply put, a system is an organized collection of parts that are highly integrated in order to accomplish an overall goal. The system has various inputs which are processed to produce certain outputs, that together, accomplish the overall goal desired by the organization. There is ongoing feedback among these various parts to ensure they remain aligned to accomplish the overall goal of the organization. There are several classes of systems, ranging from very simple frameworks all the way to social systems, which are the most complex. Organizations are, of course, social systems.

Systems have inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes. To explain, inputs to the system include resources such as raw materials, money, technologies and people. These inputs go through a process where they’re aligned, moved along and carefully coordinated, ultimately to achieve the goals set for the system. Outputs are tangible results produced by processes in the system, such as products or services for consumers. Another kind of result is outcomes, or benefits for consumers, e.g., jobs for workers, enhanced quality of life for customers, etc. Systems can be the entire organization, or its departments, groups, processes, etc.

Feedback comes from, e.g., employees who carry out processes in the organization, customers/clients using the products and services, etc. Feedback also comes from the larger environment of the organization, e.g., influences from government, society, economics, and technologies.

Each organization has numerous subsystems, as well. Each subsystem has its own boundaries of sorts, and includes various inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes geared to accomplish an overall goal for the subsystem. Common examples of subsystems are departments, programs, projects, teams, processes to produce products or services, etc. Organizations are made up of people — who are also systems of systems of systems — and on it goes. Subsystems are organized in an hierarchy needed to accomplish the overall goal of the overall system.

The organizational system is defined by, e.g., its legal documents (articles of incorporation, by laws, roles of officers, etc.), mission, goals and strategies, policies and procedures, operating manuals, eta. The organization is depicted by its organizational charts, job descriptions, marketing materials, eta. The organizational system is also maintained or controlled by policies and procedures, budgets, information management systems, quality management systems, performance review systems, eta.

Standard Planning Process is Similar to Working Backwards Through the System
Remember how systems have input, processes, outputs and outcomes? One of the common ways that people manage systems is to work backwards from what they want the system to produce. This process is essentially the same as the overall, standard, basic planning process. This process typically includes:
a) Establishing overall goals (it’s best if goals are defined in measurable terms, so they usually are in terms of outputs) (the overall impacts of goals are outcomes, a term increasingly used in nonprofits)
b) Associating smaller goals or objectives (or outputs?) along the way to each goal
c) Designing strategies/methods (or processes) to meet the goals and objectives
d) Identifying what resources (or inputs) are needed, including who will implement the methods and by when.

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The Four capitals of Organisational Development

Overview: The development of organisations relates to improvement to the four inter-connected forms of capital: i) Tangible Capital, ii) Human Capital, iii) Organisational Capital, iv) Social or Political Capital.

This text deals primarily with Organisational Capital. Human resource development and management is the subject of a separate report in this series and therefore deals with most issues relating to Human Capital. Important lessons regarding the status of this capital are highlighted herein as this underpins advancement of other capitals. None of the evaluations draw lessons on social/political capital.

Figure 2: Four Forms of Capital


Land, research stations, libraries, laboratories, offices, equipment and financial assets.


The skills, professionalism motivation creativity degree of problem-orientation of the staff.


The appropriateness of the institution’s mandate, the quality of its internal management procedures, and its policies and decision-making procedures assessed in terms of their contribution to the creation and improvement of research outputs.

Social or Political

The political and economic support the institution is able to muster, which in turn is largely a function of its reputation and prestige in the eyes of its stakeholders.

Tangible Capital

Lessons Learnt

  • Computerisation represents a significant organisational gain, but it will be sustainable only if it there is reasonable assurance of adequate post-project provision for repair, maintenance and eventual replacement. Otherwise it could be seriously counter-productive, since it erodes traditional systems and skills. Since many projects (including those reviewed) now provide support for computerisation this lesson may be of general relevance.

  • The provision of equipment, refurbishment of facilities and infrastructure development is still regarded by many government officials as the most significant attribute of a project. If projects support this development a solid platform for senior decision-makers may be formed to engage influential persons in the reform debate but is dependent on the nature of linkage and individuals engaged and involved with both (e.g. compare PETRRA with FFP)

  • As staff become more computer literate they are able to access more information for their own self-development which indirectly contributes to human resource capacity building; likely to lessen necessity for expensive formal training intervention. Supporting computer literacy in organisations may reduce capacity building costs over the longer term.

Key Findings

  • ASIRP provided computers and software to a large number of DAE offices and set up computerised systems to handle a range of management and other tasks, so that many of the Department’s field offices are now quite computerised. This is also the case for FFP and the DoF.

  • Equipment procurement and infrastructure development is successfully completed in most RLP projects. DAE staff criticised ASIRP for not providing books and material on technical issues (not a project function).

Human or Intellectual Capital

This section highlights lessons from the institutionalising or internalising the process of building human capital.

Lessons Learnt

  • The human capital building process is still strongly linked to project prescribed activities (by the very nature of project design) and cannot be formalised into an organisational human resource development plan. Thus the development of institutionalised HRM/D structure cannot be achieved through an isolated project located at Department level.

  • With support from HRM/D specialists and commitment to overall organisational reform departments can institutionalise effective HRM/D reform because facilities, resource persons (for technical training), training resources are already available and accessible. If an overarching reform process in place this organisational component may be the easiest to reform.

  • Specific training programme and courses may be easily internalised and sustained within already existing course curricula and programmes.

Key Findings

  • Whilst the development of strategic HRM/D plans were completed successfully in DAE and DoF and exposure to the process was beneficial to staff involved, the plans were never implemented because these were not supported by overall organisational plans and Ministerial backing.

  • As part of the reform process significant time and effort was invested to establish central HRM/D coordinating and planning units (Training or HRD Wings) in both DAE and DoF. Without full organisational ownership (mainly tacit support) the Wings never fulfilled their intended roles as strategic HRD planning units and HRM components remain documented plans only. The DoF training Wing has continued to operate semi-autonomously but mainly through a FFP mandate.

  • A fully autonomous Divisional HRD strategy was implemented successfully (although guided by the FTEP-2 project) and demonstrated that DoF could implement the principles of the HRD process at certain staff levels. However this was not internalised as a sustainable process in the absence of an overarching organisational strategic HRD reform programme.

  • Most human capital building was linked to project activities and prescribed objectives. One livelihoods course was successfully sustained by integration into fisheries related courses at one university through the SUFER programme. This was achieved through personal commitment by key individuals in the university rather than a formal institutional process led by the apex body, University Grants Commission.

Organisational Capital

Turning to organizational capital, this is without doubt the most difficult of the four forms of capital to enhance, as attempts to do so tend to challenge a potent mixture of tradition, vested interest and inertia. However, it is also the most important form of capital an agency can possess and the one that will largely determine success of efforts to enhance the other three forms. Few public sector R&D institutions in the least developed countries (LDCs) are organised in such a way as to produce a stream of relevant high quality outcomes. The agencies themselves tend to blame their deficiencies on chronic lack of funding, but others, while accepting that funding has been scarce and getting scarcer, have identified a number of failings that have contributed to the situation. Prominent among these is a chronic inability to prioritise the allocation of scarce resources. Generally speaking they lack most or all of the following:

  • independent governance and management structures

  • an agenda that is client orientated and demand driven

  • a list of R&D issues that is based on national and sectoral development priorities

  • transparency and professionalism in project selection, management and evaluation procedures

  • mechanisms to decentralise decision making

  • remuneration levels that permit professional staff to work full-time

  • procedures for recruitment, promotion termination and selection for training that are transparent and merit-based, and that reward good performance and penalize underperformance

  • funding mechanisms that link financial flows to organisational performance.

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Organisational Culture and Management Structures

The culture of an organisation is often referred to as the norms of an organisation, the way things are done and management structures relate to the more formal structures and processes in place (which are influenced by the ‘culture’). Projects try to influence changes in the way things are done to deliver outcomes more effectively; essentially to enhance organisational performance.

Key ‘best practice’ lesson

All RLP projects successfully demonstrated that organisational culture and management structures can be modified and improved but only within the formal project boundaries and duration (e.g. research management and partnerships in PETRRA, REFPI and SUFER, strategic HRD at Divisional level by FTEP-2, extension approaches and community management developed by ASIRP, FFP and CBFM2). Best results were with administrations based at the District or Divisional level e.g. District Partnership Initiative Funds and Divisional HRD strategy. The RLP experience reiterates the notion that working at the meso-level at the same time as a coordinated approach to reform at the macro-level is possibly the better practice lesson for influencing organisational culture and management structures.

Lessons Learnt

  • The clustering of projects in an organisation, particularly one whose organisational capital is largely exogenously determined, in itself hampers prospects for reform. Therefore donors and partners need to take stock and at the very least redefine the roles of projects working at this level in GoB and identify more realistically their most appropriate locus and function to support organisational development, especially when complementing a higher-level multi-donor policy forming initiative.

  • While a full sectoral approach is inappropriate for institutions with the mandates of DAE and DoF and must await action at higher government levels, major progress towards a more programmatic approach is still possible, but the issue needs to be prioritised. To this end, donor agencies must make clear their own policies by offering direct support to encourage organisational reform and sector strategies.

  • Organisational development and reform projects can take a lot longer, cost a lot more, and have much less effect than the donors may expect and where changes are achieved in organisational set-ups, doubts often remain as to their post-project sustainability.

  • Embedding cultural reform in the organisational context (which will influence management structures) may only be realised over a much longer timeframe as individuals most involved in today’s RLP project activities become future senior players in the development and implementation of the ‘rules of the game’. But government will need to set the enabling environment.

  • Where changes are achieved in organisational set-ups, doubts often remain as to their post-project sustainability.

Key Findings

  • Government departments are host to a multitude of projects supported by a wide range of donors with different rules and expectations.

  • Project culture is embedded in government Departments to such an extent that they focus on a set of activities unrelated to or duplicating with other projects.

  • Multi-project departments are fragmented with little coordination and lack of consistency in strategy and methodology.

  • Projects are often seen within departments as opportunities for a selected few rather than institutional functions.

  • Projects attract key staff away from the development and implementation of new policy processes, thus reducing the influencing potential of an organization’s greatest asset; its people.

  • Even where projects are multi-donor funded, inconsistencies between these donors’ rules can lead to sub-optimal performance on the ground (e.g. synchronising the funding of CG schemes under ASIRP, interpretation of institutional development in FFP).

  • Despite its best efforts, ASIRP’s attempts to improve DAE’s institutional capital have largely failed, for reasons connected with the organisational culture of the Department. The DAE itself admits to failings in this area in its SP 2002-2006 (ASIRP).

  • Reports on numerous interventions involving DoF have highlighted the need for change within the organisation if desired outputs are to be achieved in a sustainable manner. The current organisational structure of DoF is around projects, funded from both the development budget and from external donors. This structure does not permit the DoF to provide a standard core of extension services in a continuous manner (FTEP2).

  • The management structures within DoF are not appropriate to take over the extension programme developed by the project (FTEP2). The extension capacity building process should have been initiated after the reform of extension management structures through the FFP led National Aquaculture Extension Strategy (NAES), although implementation of the action plan for this strategy remains stalled.

  • What is seen from outside as organisational inertia may be regarded from within the system as a merit. Senior management at the DoF have a sense of being responsible custodians of natural resources and feel that it is their role to consolidate on good practice uninfluenced by outside fashions, which experience suggests are often ephemeral (FFP).

  • The closest thing to organizational reform is that achieved under FTEP 2 and FFP, where a Training Wing was initiated with the mandate to develop and implement a Human Resource Development strategy that cuts across project boxes within DoF. The EoP review of FTEP2 project (June 2003) noted the strategic importance of this change, but questioned the sustainability of the new arrangements. FFP has continued this work developing a training policy but evidence The attitudinal change necessary to support such reform is, as yet, limited at the Headquarters level, but this is not necessarily the case outside Dhaka (FTEP2).

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