Which management style to use
A manager is generally responsible for a project or a team of people and, essentially, must be able to communicate, negotiate and influence. However, these skills can be performed in different ways. A key component of job satisfaction is the relationship between managers and their staff. This, in turn, is influenced both by the people and management styles involved.
“Management style” is a term often used to describe the “how” of management. For a while it was believed that there were only two basic management styles: autocratic and democratic. An autocratic style is used to instruct and command. Managers who use this style impose their decisions on staff and expect or demand compliance. A democratic style allows decisions to emerge from a consensus (eg, a vote).
Management styles are functions of behaviour and linked to personality. Mel Smith, head of medical and pharmacy affairs at Reckitt Benckiser, agrees. Mr Smith uses a democratic rather than autocratic style of management because it suits his personality. “People work better if they are listened to. I think a belligerent style of management breeds resentment in staff,” said Mr Smith. “I am pretty extrovert and quite like talking so the consensus style of management works best for me. Obviously if things need to be done quickly, I would use a different, more appropriate style of management,” he added.
The list of management styles is extensive. Some styles, however, are more commonly recognised than others.These include:
- Charismatic A charismatic style relies heavily on personality to lead and inspire others. Managers who use this style tend to be good communicators.
- Persuasive Managers who use a persuasive style make decisions but then invest time in persuading their staff that the decision made is the right one.
- Consultative A consultative style involves considering the advice and feelings of others before the manager makes a final decision.
- Transactional Use of a transactional management style means making transactions with staff and trading rewards, such as money and jobs in return for compliance.
- Transformational Managers who use a transformational style focus on staff development and attitude tranformation.
- Delegating Managers who use a delegating style give subordinates responsibilities for decision making and problem solving.
According to a survey published by the CMI, most managers in UK organisations are bureaucratic and reactive.1 The report found that the management styles in many organisations are not conducive to the creation of high performance cultures where creativity and innovation can flourish, possibly because management is restrictive. In successful businesses managers were described as accessible, consensual, entrepreneurial, empowering, innovative and trusting.
Managers will use the styles they feel most comfortable with. Martin Crisp, regional pharmacy manager, Boots the Chemists, agrees. “I believe most managers have a preferred style that they will tend to default to but a good performer will use a variety of styles depending on the specific situation,” he said.
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Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10997333
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