Employees remain a significant entity within an organization since they are the core resource that maintains the smooth flow of operations and transactions behind the mentioned organization. In this respect therefore, the managers as well as the officials running various organizations and firms have a mandate to maintain employee morale through various means such as empowerment and motivation within their various workplaces (Scott, 2005, p.160). However, this may not apply to all employees hence a need to apply a widely known concept called ‘management by objectives’ (MBO) that may counteract to this ideology and maintain the smooth operation of an organization. Thus, this paper will draw an attempt to explain the concept behind MBO as well as discuss why managers may not be able to empower all employees in their organizations.
The term empowerment to employees refers to the delegation of prerogatives to the employees. In this respect, the employees acquire the warrant to make decisions based on their own perception without direct influence from the management (Marjani & Alizadeh, 2014). This technique of leadership applies in huge corporations where there are many numbers of employees to guide and supervise. The top officials therefore delegates management to other employees hence empowering them with similar decision-making authorities.
The empowerment to all employees may not be feasible due to various reasons. For instance, everyone has different opinions and ways of doing things. Now, if all employees were empowered, it would be inevitable that an element of confusion would arise. A good case example is that of an airport luggage-checking bay. Officers at the terminal may possess different level of strictness while checking the passengers’ luggage. One of them may have an element of biasness say probably towards the females hence allowing unchecked luggage to pass through. The other officer at a different terminal may not leave anything to chance hence checks all luggage regardless of gender. This kind of confusion compromises the airport’s security hence showing that such kind of empowerment to the employee is rather unnecessary. Managers therefore in such a case should ensure the stipulation of a standard way of doing things for both employees.
Furthermore, there is also the element of fear of manipulation of the employees by the customers. This is a perception nearly all managers have when it comes to the issue of empowerment of employees. A good example case is that of a supermarket. Customers usually have a tendency to bargain their way through prices of commodities sold. Moreover, other customers take a rather radical path where they may yell until they get what they want. If employees of the supermarket had empowerment, such manipulation would inevitably come true thus becoming costly the supermarket. On the other hand if the employees did not have empowerment, such bullying and manipulation would not occur.
Another reason that managers do not empower all employees is because the process is somewhat tiresome. This is probably because there is a lot of work behind the process of empowering the employees. For instance, there must be training of the employees, constant supervision and monitoring and finally creation of clear-cut guidelines that regulate the limits of the employees’ empowerment (Marjani & Alizadeh, 2014). In this respect therefore, due to such long processes, most managers find it easier to put up a rigid policy which all employees would follow hence avoiding the waste of time and effort that empowerment comes with.
Since empowerment of all employees may not be a feasible mode of management, employers instead use the technique known as the MBO, which stands for Management, by objectives. This refers to the process whereby the managers of an organization clearly define the goals and objectives of their firms to their employees thus agreeing to what they should do to achieve them (Rogers & Hunter, 2000, p.322).
MBO involves a participative nature where it entails the involvement of every entity within the organization be it the officials or the employees (Humble, 1999). All individuals participate in three important practices, which are the setting of goals, the choosing of courses of action and finally the making of decisions within the organization. This management technique garners its significance in comparison with employee empowerment because it involves employees in decision-making. This is empowerment in its self. Employees consequently gain morale in carrying out the responsibilities, which they themselves helped to form (Ravangard, Sajjdnia, Farman & Bahadori, 2014, p.2).
MBO becomes effective through the motivation of employees who find a sense of job satisfaction when they feel that the management considers their involvement in decision-making is rather important (Ravangard, Sajjdnia, Farman & Bahadori, 2014, p.4). MBO furthermore allows better communication amongst the entities within the organization in the sense that the frequent feedback and suggestions between the managers and employees aids the proper bonding of people within the organization (Rogers & Hunter, 2000, p.322).
Having this line of thought therefore, the use of the MBO technique proves to be a better option than that of directly empowering the employees. Employers as well as management superiors ought to apply this ideology within their work places for better efficiency of work carried out by their human resource. Employers also have to keep in mind that interaction with their employees is a significant requirement since it aids them to monitor the operations within the organization as well as enable the creation of a better rapport with them within the workplace.
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