I need a response to the below statement: From the perspective of a general manager in my field of academic and vocational training, hierarchical philosophies typically overpower decentralized approaches
I need a response to the below statement:
From the perspective of a general manager in my field of academic and vocational training, hierarchical philosophies typically overpower decentralized approaches. Decentralized approaches to control operate at lower levels in universities and commercial organizations, but there is still the fundamental understanding that authority lies within the hierarchy and the decentralized authority is delegated and subject to being overruled if not aligned with the organization (Daft, 2013).
This relates to the quality methods and their success directly as geography and culture affect the management philosophy that is implemented, even if another one is touted as the one the company embraces. For example, Total Quality Management (TQM) methods were embraced by a large organization the author worked with during an organizational change project. The change management teams sent out to each campus of 400 or so employees were to implement TQM methods such as techniques such as benchmarking, quality circles, continuous improvement, and others (Daft, 2013). These in concept are excellent in concept. In practice in the organizational change project the author worked in, there was great opposition to the pre-requisites for TQM to work. For example, the person at the top of the hierarchy did not want any move towards open management where there was more transparency in budgeting, purchasing, allocation, HR, and other key processes related to the key operations of the organization. Giving transparency was perceived as releasing power and control. Quality circles would have more access to information and be able to set targets for improvement after surveying and gathering feedback from the staff. This implies a delegation of decision-making, or at least recommendations thereof (Daft, 2013). In a tight hierarchical society, these management process objectives went against the organizational culture held by the leader. This is not surprising as Saudi organizational opacity is among the highest in the world (Daft, 2013).
However, this opacity is changing. Civil service roles in academia, government, and others are lagging, but they are being pushed to change due to globalization and economic hardship. Privatized pension funds for non-government employees are undergoing deep restructuring to become more transparent and open. Other international businesses the author works with such as Microsoft, Cisco, and others are employing local staff in requiring them to engage in a business culture that insists upon TQM methods around quality circles, Kaizen, and other techniques.
There is a top management recognition that opacity and quality do not coexist in high-performance organizations. In the author’s spheres of business coaching and academic training, he sees this tension regularly, the desire for high performance and quality, with a reluctance to embrace transparency and open management methods. In the author’s opinion, those who can continue to move towards open management will grow personally and bring their organizations to growth if they can reach a critical mass required for change (Kotter, 1996). If there is not that critical mass, it is entirely possible entire government ministries and academic institutions will fail in their missions and be economically bankrupt. Many are on the brink already (Grand & Wolff, 2020).
Daft, Richard L. Management (p. 615). Cengage Learning. Kindle Edition.
Grand, S. W., Katherine. (2020). Assessing Saudi Vision 2030: A 2020 review. Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/assessing-saudi-vision-2030-a-2020-review/
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Harvard Business Review Press.
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