Sunday, February 5, 2012

Management Research Paper

Research Paper on Management

Despite various progressive trends in international management practice, many still believe that the autocratic management style is still widely applied. According to Wajcman, “macho management is still the norm among executives, and to break through the glass ceiling women have to manage like men”.

However, I would like to disagree with this statement. First of all, macho management style is sharply criticized by the authors of contemporary management theories and literature. Autocratic leadership model is to be replaced by laissez-fair style to adjust to the changing environment. There are many factors that influenced management theories. While in the past century, higher education was considered to be a privilege, it is much more affordable today because of rapid technological progress.

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As a result, contemporary people are more educated and can access larger volumes of information without putting too much effort (Matusak, R. Laraine). Moreover, these technical advances speed up people’s lives, reduce product life cycles, and constantly change the environment.  Another trend indicates the growing value of intellectual property, or, if stated simply, trade in ideas. This means that motivation and initiative are at high demand, and macho management style can not provide enough motivation factors to achieve the same result as laissez-faire model (Wright, P.). It has become much harder to control the workforce by means of power and authority as people have become more educated, and their needs have also increased. Therefore, the positions of manager and his/her subordinates tend to be leveled, which shapes different leadership style.

This management trait, on the contrast to macho leadership, has been traditionally associated with women. In the course of her research, Judy Rosener has discovered that men tend to take transactional leadership approach, while the behavior of female leaders could be characterized a transformational management. This means that men are more likely to perceive their work as a series of tasks or transactions relying on their authority and position in the company. Women, on the other hand, demonstrated desire to share their power and enthusiasm and encourage people to contribute in exchange for feeling of satisfaction from the job. This type of leadership has a highly interactive nature, which creates interdependence between independent team members (Matusak, R. Laraine).

However, I do not think that these discoveries prove the existence of gender-specific roles. In other words, it is incorrect to say that men’s leadership skills are embedded in power and authority and women’s management style focuses of interaction and motivation. I believe that management style of a manager depends on such factors as his cultural background, education, and social environment. Therefore, in some cultures these perceptions are different. Also, it is important to note that scientists proved the ability of both men and women to change their leadership styles. It is stated that the key success factor in contemporary management is the ability to adjust to the needs of a group of individuals and/or the entire company (Wright, P.). In practice, indeed, there is no single resolution to the question of leadership because each situation requires specific approach; even autocratic leadership can turn out to be necessary in certain circumstances. Therefore, I think that women do not necessary have to copy the macho management style from the men if this is not applicable to the given circumstances.

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