Monday, January 24, 2011

Enterprise week

Enterprise week
            During the enterprise week I attended an event Ella’s Kitchen which took place in our Bucks University. Ella’s kitchen is a name of the company which founder is Paul Lindley, Ella’s dad. The company is producing and selling innovative healthy food for children. It is new company which is developing all the time with new products.
            It all started when MR Lindley wanted to give his daughter and her generation the opportunity to both eat wholesome foods  and enjoy the food while eating. He found his target and wanted realize it using his past career experiences. In the past he worked as a chartered accountant at KPMG, next in the managing Nikelodeon. KPMG helped him in understanding costs and the finances in the company and Nikelodeon in understanding what children want as well as monitoring how they react to specific environments. Ella’s kitchen won an award for Best food and drink brand of the year. He didn’t expect but that confirmed him that his work is bringing good results. The business now sells about 100 000 units per day.
The presentation was very intresting. It showed me an insight into what is happening in the company like this one. To set up own company and make a profit we need good idea, a lot of many, experience and luck.


Power and conflict at work

Power and conflict at work
            In my opinion conflict is a tension between at least two person or sometimes between group of people who strive for different targets. Generally conflicts are regarded as  a negative phenomenon. But sometimes they lead to a new solutions and discoveries.

            Few days ago I worked with my colleagues in a football club. We were from the waiters’ agency. Our job was to serve the dinner for the guests. The girls from the staff where really unpleasant to us, they unwillingly helped us if we asked them for a help. We felt quite exploited because they ordered us what to do while they were doing almost nothing. We thought that they were behaving in this way because maybe they were afraid that we can work better than they and the manager would like to employ us instead of them. It was really bad atmosphere, we were fed up with it and we told the manager we had wanted go home. He was observing that situation and knew what was going on. Finally he reacted and told girls that they don’t have to worry about their own work because we are from the agency and just for this one party. After that the things got better but it wasn’t entirely good. Me and my friends hope it was the last time working in this place.

            French and Raven in 1959 identified five main sources of power.
            Coercive power is based on fear and subordinate’s perception that the leader has the ability to punish or to bring about undesirable outcomes for those who not comply with directives, for example, allocation of undesirable duties or responsibilities.
            Reward power is based on the subordinate’s perception that the leader has the ability and resources to obtain rewards for those who comply with directives, for instance, pay, promotion, praise, recognition.
            Expert power is based on the subordinate’s perception of the leader as someone who is competent and who has some special knowledge or expertise in a given are, for instance , the expert knowledge of ‘functional’ specialist such as the human resources manager or system analyst.
            Legitimate power is based on subordinate’s perception that a leader has a right to exercise influence because of the leader’s role or position in the organisation. It is based on authority, for example that of managers and supervisors within the hierarchical structure of an organisation.
            Referent power is based on subordinate’s identification with the leader. The leader exercises influence because of perceived attractiveness, personal characteristics, reputation or charisma. For example a particular manager may be not in a position to reward or punish certain subordinates , but may still exercise power over the subordinates because the manager commands their respect or esteem.

            Organisations to overcome conflict at work should ensure good communication , consultation and involvement in decision making. They should provide employers with human resources management policies and procedures such as: equal pay, opportunities. Organisations have to clarify goals and objectives and ensure everyone is well informed what is expected of them in their job. They should also make sure that employees have the chance to grievances, have a grievance policy and procedures. They should ensure that there is a disciplinary procedure which everyone is aware of.

Reference list:
Mullins, L. (2010) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 9th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


There is a big difference between management and leadership.
Management is usually viewed as getting things done through other people in order to achieve organisational objectives. Management has a low level of emotional involvement. It is planning, organising, directing, co-ordinating and controlling, it aims at results. Managing is marked by predictability, encouraging orders and solving problems.
Whereas leadership is more personal, it focuses on communicating, motivating, generating ideas, enthusing and inspiring people to help get better performance. It is characterised by empathy, it establishes a direction. Leadership it is a relation through which one person influences the behaviour or actions of other people.

‘Managerial grid’ by Blake and  Mouton
In 1964 Robert Blake and Jane Mouton published Managerial Grid which provides a basis for comparison of managerial styles in terms of two principal dimensions: concern for production and concern for people.
Concern for production shows an amount of emphasis that the manager places on accomplishing the tasks in hand, achieving a high level of production and getting results on profits.
Concern for people is the amount of emphasis that the manager gives to subordinates and colleagues as individuals and to their needs and expectations.
There are five basic combinations of management:
·         The Impoverished Managers - Managers with a 1,1 rating
They tend to be remote from their subordinates and believe in the minimum movement from their present position. They do just enough with the production or with people. They are often scared of commitments and they retreat from the realities of work and people.
·         The Authoritative Managers – Managers with a 9,1 rating
They are autocratic and tend to relay on centralised system and the use of authority. They want to get  job done well at all costs and they judge on results. Authoritative managers  direct and control people who ‘do what they are told’.
·         The Social Managers – Managers with 1,9 rating
They rarely criticise employees and avoid conflicts because their belief is that the harmony is more important than quality of work. They believe contented staff will undertake what is required of them and  achieve a reasonable level of output.
·         The Middle-of-the-Road Managers – Managers with 5,5, rating
Their approach is ‘live and let live’, they have got tendency to avoid real issues. They resort to book rule and last precedents. They aim for compromise but not too much loss in quality of staff work.
·         The Team Managers – Managers with 9,9 rating
Blake and Mouton consider this style an ideal example of how managers should strive to achieve goals. The Team Managers create an involving situation where people are motivated for themselves and the organisation, via teamwork, valuing others and positive responses.

There was a time during holidays 2009 when I work at Ecolaguna Camp in Poland. That was seasonal windsurfing camp not only for professionals but also for beginners. The was also a pub on the camp premises and I worked there as a waitress.
I have fond memories of that working period. I believe my manager had the Team Manager style. I was one of those who took great pleasure in working with him. His principal aim was welfare both people and the business. He cared for the staff because work accomplishment is from committed people. When someone had some problem either financial or mental. He was the one you could ask for help and he had never refused. He discussed problems with the staff when some ambiguities have appeared. If there was some difficulties in working relationship, he handled it by confronting employees directly and attempted to work out solutions with them. He sought people ideas, gave them freedom of action and let them developed it. He was very happy and open to hear any new ideas to improve the firm.

I consider Princess Diana to be an example of a strong leader. She was renowned for her elegance and prestigious title “Her Royal Highness”, displayed many leadership qualities and characteristics as she reigned over Wales. I believe Princess Diana was a good leader because she possessed these five important qualities: patience, open-mindedness, trustworthiness, confidence while giving speeches, and intelligence. In order for a leader to be effective, one must have patience, which requires self-control and perseverance.
I believe that her association in helping with charities and childcare centres accounted for her patience because she must had remained humble and self-controlled when dealing with children and homeless people. Diana developed an intense interest in serious illnesses and health-related matters outside the purview of traditional royal involvement, including AIDS and leprosy. In addition, the Princess was the  patroness of charities and organisations working with the homeless, youth, drug addicts and the elderly. Despite her unique fame, her wealth and her privilege, Princess Diana was also widely proclaimed as a successful leader. Diana’s assertive and effective way of speaking, defines her true-self and leadership personality. What can be demonstrated on an example of Muslim women who started use the style of Diana’s dressing. Mother breast-feeding in a royal families after childbirth also happened to be a common custom which before was strictly forbidden. That means she had really big impact on people behavior all over the world, even those deeply rooted in religion. She was no doubt trustworthy when it came to charitable duties, and her efforts to help needy people. A leader must also be open-minded in order to contribute ideas and to have an effect on something or someone. Possessing the integral traits of a leader, she had been appraised for her good works and diligence throughout her country. Of the last leadership qualities, intelligence is a highly prestigious trait. She was proclaimed as "a queen of people’s hearts," and most rightfully so. Frequently bombarded with reporters and paparazzi, Princess always responded with quick and legitimate answers that were rightfully justifiable.
In my opinion to become a good manager we have to been taught by a good leader as well as if someone would like to be a good leader he should learned from good manager. Moreover I also believe that not everyone can be a good leader. It’s required a lot of traits like self-assurance, decisiveness, initiative which not everybody is able to cope with. But I think that it is possible to become the Team Manager just suitable training is necessary.

Reference list:
1. Textbook:
Mullins, L. (2010) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 9th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
2. Images available from:
[Accessed 23 January 2010]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Organisational culture

Organisational culture
Organisational culture is the collection of traditional values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do and think in  an organisation.
(Mullins 2010: 829)

The visual aspects of culture in an organisation are all these aspects which concern the exterior layer of the organisation and we first come in contact with. These are for instance: way people dress, rites, rituals and habits, mottoes, staff’s language and jargon, management style etc.
I have been working in TRS 24:7 agency as a waitress for five months. This business has a lots of visible aspects of culture. First and foremost each TRS’ employer is required to wear a uniform during work. It consists of smart white shirt, black trousers, waistcoat and bowtie or tie. This dress makes a good impression at the customers, not only those real guests in hotels but also on managers we are working with.
Secondly all the staff can speak only English language while being on the hotel premises. The workers have to obey this principle due to the fact in this company there is a lot of foreigners. And the other people who don’t understand e.g. Polish, Indian or Portuguese can feel awkward and sometimes can even take offence thinking those people are gossiping about them.
Thirdly the TRS’s motto which is even in a brand name (24:7) says that the workers are available 24 hours a day. They can take morning shifts which sometimes start at 6 a.m. as well as they can work evening shift which can finish at 4 a.m.

Charles Handy, Irish philosopher born in 1932, describes four types of organisational cultures: power culture, role culture, task culture and person culture.
Power culture can be found in small entrepreneurial organisations where are few rules and procedures and sometimes a little bureaucracy. The biggest power has a central figure - ’head’ which has an impact throughout the organisation.  A power culture  is characterized by trust, empathy and personal communications for its effectiveness. Decisions are taken largely on the balance of influence and are very fast. A political party with a strong leader where members comply with the leader’s rules can be an example of  power culture.
Role culture is typical for the a bureaucracy and working by logic and rationality. The interaction between organisation is controlled by strict procedures and rules. People work to a job description which is often more important than the individual, and position in the main source of power. Role culture is typical for public services for instance healthcare and police.
Task culture is project-oriented. This type of organisation is focused on team working and gathering people around the task. Individuals and rules are less important than a task. Influence is widely spread and based more on expert power than on position or personal power. Task culture allows freedom and flexibility as there are not many rules to work with. The example of this kind of organisation can be McDonalds. During busy times like lunch or dinner hours  the staff have to work effectively as a team to ensure that all orders are completed properly and within a set time.
Person culture is where the individuals are centre focus and any structure exists to serve the individuals within it, there is no hierarchy. These organisations consist of people, who can work separately, such as: barristers, architects, doctors, surgeons or consultants.

Trying to classify culture into one of the four types described above often turns out to be quite difficult because most large businesses are likely to be  a mix of cultures with example for each of the four types in varying areas of the organisation. Each company is different than another, it happens that more than one culture can be found in one work place. There are different people who prefer working in different types of organisation culture and they are  more likely to be happy and satisfied at work if their attributes and personalities are consistent with the culture of that part of the organisation in which they are employed. Each worker need to find his own place in the firm which is most suitable for him.

I think that organisational culture is like a personality which goes beyond the formal structure. Culture gives an organisation its sense of identity, who we are, what we stand for etc. It is also sometimes an issue which holds an organisation together. It is really hard to define business into one of cultures categories because people working within organisation develop their own culture which can contains more than just one type.

Reference list:
Mullins, L. (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 9th ed. England: Prentice Hall