Administrative theory

Administrative theory

Administrative theory emphasizes for an organization to carry out managerial activities more effectively. Famous writers on this were Henri Fayol, Max Weber, and Chester Barnard.

Henri Fayol's theory was directed to achieve the 'most rational' organization to fulfill various tasks assigned to a large group of labour. In other words, organizations are anticipated to clear and stiff aims, which are retained by every individual, by following the rules and regulations fulfilling the individual expectations, as per the given blueprint and structure.

Henry Fayol's 14 principles of management-

  1. Division of work - The task should be performed by the dedicated people and the same should be a unit or department.
  2. Authority - Assigned people who are allowed to give orders and anticipate that they are met.
  3. Discipline - Employees should be dutiful and respect towards the organization
  4. Unity of command - As per the company hierarchy, one autorise perosn should give orders to the employees
  5. Unity of direction - the company and employees should have only one plan and objectives.
  6. Avoid unclearness or confusion within the organization and follow only on objctive
  7. Salary -the company should take care of employeess economic situation and salaries
  8. Centralization - Centralization depends on the importance on the authority that makes the decision or department level.
  9. Scalar chain - authority in an organization which commands evenly from top to bottom.
  10. Order - everything, people and resources, has a place that it belongs.
  11. Equity -management-employee relations should be fair in terms of equity.
  12. Stability of tenure of personnel
  13. Take new intiatives to increase prodcution
  14. Harmony and unity within the organization

Chester Barnard (1886-1961) is an experienced manager and did extensive study in sociological theory in building a theory of the organization.

According to Barnard an organisations is a "cooperative system" of people having three important elements: (1) willingness to cooperate, (2) one purpose, and (3) communication.' Missing of any three elements would lead to an imbalanced organization.

Decision making process:

Decision making is to decrease un-ambiguity and changes in an organization. Uncertainty is reduced rather than totally removing. Decision is made with certainty and knowledge about alternatives is not too possible. Every decision has some risk and if there is no uncertainty there is no Decision making process and there are some steps to follow to implement Decision making.

Task 1 Decision Making is a Recursive Process

All the organizations always think about decision making and alternatives to solve the issue. The alternatives effect the criteria we apply to decision and vice versa. The following image explains the decision making process:

Understand Different Styles of Decision-Making

As per Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), people are separated into thinkers and feelers:

  • A Thinker inclines to reason and logic
  • A Feeler uses values and subjective judgment

Use Varied Logics in Innovation Projects

The present leaders in the business are going with formulated logics to solve the ambiguity even technology leaders has same logic to address the ambiguity of the fuzzy from end.Identify the Loop Poles

Ask yourself "What can go wrong in a situation? What is the possible outcome?" and decide that can live with those future problems.

Estimate the Chances

Probabilities are common for decision making and investments. The objective is to estimate the probable effects if a given event occurs.

According to Warren Buffett, top successful investor, is a chief of guessing the probabilities. He says, "Take the probability of loss times the amount of possible loss from the probability of gain times the amount of possible gain. "

Discuss with people before decision making

Figure out problems and make decisions more effectively by talking with people. However the vital thing is to communicate which is very important in business to resolve troubles and make decisions, both by yourself and with people.

Decision making tree

A decision tree is an important efficient tool of decision-making theory and practice. It will especially help in situations of difficult decision problems. A decision making tree is essentially a structure that represents, in a specially organized way, the decisions, events for uncertainty, also possible outcomes of all decisions and events.

Task 2

How to assess your strengths

Strength is a mixture of inbuilt aptitude, personal character, behavior, sharable skills and learned knowledge that when applied produces a consistently successful result. Following are the key questions to evaluate strengths. The skills are divided into three categories:

  1. Knowledge-based skills: Developed from education and experience for example degrees, computer skills, languages training, and technical ability.
  2. Transferable skills: Your portable skills that you take from one company to another as communication and people skills, reasoning problem solving and planning skills.
  3. Personal qualities: Your exclusive qualities like hardworking, discipline manager skills.
Accessing Weaknesses

Weakness prevents you from performing at best. Think to manage the activity and the steps you could take on a practical level to improve overcoming your weaknesses. The strategies that can be used to manage and avoid weaknesses are by practicing the task or activity, designing a system to deal with the weakness, concentrating on strength to overcome the weakness.

Reflective Action

Reflective action is a self sustaining process in which learning occurs through experience from one's own actions. The leaders and managers learn through this process while participating in training workshops and coaching sessions. In addition, they have an access to life-long process that allows them to learn from any situation they encounter.

Action Learning

Action learning considers learning as 'relational learning' based on a collective process which has the "person participating in a shared process of meaning-making, making frameworks of understanding"

Action learning is built around different elements:

The 'set' - a (small) group of people;

The learning vehicle - the work-focused, real-time project or task that the individual and set can focus on

The process which the set adopts when working- each individual has their own 'space' to consider the problem, but the set adopts a helpful questioning approach;

A set adviser - who helps the group as it works and learns;

A set duration for the program and the emphasis on learning which emerges from both the 'problem' and working within the set.

(In our subject, it is easy to consider the lecturer as the 'set adviser', but you will also be called upon to be the 'set advisor' during the subject as well).

  1. Action Learning is built on the premise of: L = P + Q
  2. Where:

    L = 'Learning' through a combination of knowledge and insightful questioning

    P = 'Programmed Knowledge' - 'expert' and 'personal/input' knowledge

    Q = 'Questioning Insight' or in effect the process of action learning

    As the action learning process is built upon the experiential learning model and in order for Q - Questioning Insight, to be effective a cycle of learning is required

    Again, within the action learning cycle, the different learning styles come into play. The learning spiral also evolves to ensure that the learner will not return to the same place of knowledge, but to a different and new place.

    While 'reflection' is placed in just one location of the learning cycle, reflection should occur at all stages of the cycle, not only in undertaking an action but also in planning a new one.

  3. Action learning is built on problem and not puzzle solving
  4. 'Puzzles' have a single solution to the question which is to be found. 'Problems' are those issues, challenges, and opportunities which have many right ways of doing things and hence more than one solution.

    In the simple equation:

    L = P + Q

    Programmed knowledge (P) is probably sufficient to answer 'puzzles'. But it is insufficient to solve 'problems' where there are no right answers:

    To deal with problems and to make precise decisions, you need questioning insight in addition to the programmed knowledge. In finding a solution to a problem, a holistic approach of learning has to be followed where complexity is taken into consideration while making decisions.

  5. Learning as a Social Process
  6. Action learning is a social framework for individuals which aims to solve a problem where the individuals pool their ideas and take action. Here, the learners take the responsibilty for their decisions and actions thereby managing the situation by actively interacting with the world. At the self development level, being involved in this process strengthens the individual's ongoing learning and builds their personal capacity. Whereas at the group level, collaborative enquiry allows for "shared work, knowledge and ways of knowing where new social meanings and realities are collectively constructed" .

  7. The set adviser
  8. The role of an adviser is important and also dangerous if entered into with preconceived outcomes. In other words, facilitator establishes and maintains an environment to learn and also to ensure the participants identify and consider their learning.

Action Learning Model

  • The Challenge. Participants are given an unstructured situation without any prior preparation in the form of a problem, a question or a project. Initially, it can be presented informally, but is always formalized into a charge.
  • Issue Identification. Participants consider the issues they must confront and manage in order to produce the deliverable required by the charge.
  • Two types of issues are identified. (1) Project Issues where information and data needs are unique to the project situation, but must be collected and analyzed for deliverable. (2) Learning Issues where knowledge of concepts and techniques to be presented or developed in order to develop the deliverable.

  • Inquiry. Participants engage in inquiry based on the identified issues. They research to collect information and data necessary for the project. They also engage in learning activities independently with experts, and/or interactive learning modules which are developed and provided for their use.
  • Action. Participants analyze the data collected using the learning developed, and make decisions regarding the deliverable. This process frequently involves iteration with point 2 and 3 as more information leads to the identification of additional issues and to the need for more inquiry. However, at some point, the iteration must stop (usually caused by a time deadline) and the deliverable must be prepared and delivered.
  • Reflection. Participants engage in reflection after the deliverable is presented and feedback is received. The process of reflection focuses on making learning explicit and tha abilities to recall and make use of the content learnt in other situations.
  • Action Research

    Action research is a self-reflective enquiry conducted by participants in social (including educational) situations in order to improve their:

    • Own social and educational practices;
    • Understanding of these practices and
    • The situation (and institutions) in which these practices are carried out"

    The essential element of action research is experimenting with new ideas tom improve and increase knowledge. In action learning, there are a series of cycles to increase knowledge based on

    • Planning (analyzing a complex situation and developing a strategic action plan),
    • action (implementing the plan - the practical testing phase),
    • observing (the monitoring of action), and
    • reflecting (reflectively evaluating the results over the whole action process).

    The outcome of action research is 'Looping' and moving the cycle forward to probe into the future and to improve practice. The four 'steps' of planning, acting, observing and reflecting should not be seen as static steps, but rather moments are to be taken in the action research spiral

    The role of the researcher is diversified and can be placed on a continuum of possibilities depending on their emphasis (e.g. participation, empowerment, knowledge generation etc) and techniques or approaches

    Although the action research model provides a useful framework to review action learning processes, it is not a prerequisite, i.e. many action researchers do not have action learning sets (groups) and vice versa. But many of the underlying principles of these approaches to learning and research are similar.

    Task 3

    Wild cat Strikes:

    Wildcat strikes has spread to power stations across Britain today with more than 2,000 workers at 17 different sites. The government has called independent mediator Acas to look into claims that British workers are allegally excluded from engineering and construction projects.

    The workers were brought to that place on worse terms and conditions to get jobs in front of British workers. There are jobs in the country but there is a need for people with the skills.

    So,people started to worry that their jobs could "certainly look to the Conservative Party to do more to promote employment and combat unemployment than is being done in this country at the moment".

    The various judgments that have been made distorted the original intention and there is a need to bring in fresh directives to make it absolutely clear that people cannot be undercut in this way.

    A true understanding of industrial strife demands consideration of related, less-spectacular manifestations as well.The object of study is not the labour dispute, the strike or the lockout but the total range of behavior and attitudes of opposition and divergent orientations between industrial owners and working people

    The demand for a change in EU law to protect the interests of British workers has led to the need for a clear understanding for the call off of the strike. Rather than focusing on wildcat strikes only, it is necessary to place them in relation with the behavior that leads to and that which results from them.

    • Perception

    Perception includes the processes associated with the recognition, transformation and organization of sensory information. It is closely related to all higher-order cognitive functions (such as reasoning, concept formation, problem-solving, memory, etc.) as well as sensory-motor behavior.

    Attention is a fundamental component of perception that is often used to differentiate higher-order cognitive processes from are purely sensory processes. Some theories of memory, such as Paivio, Craik & Lockhart, distinguish various levels of processing based upon perceptual phenomena.

    Theories of Perception:

    Two major classes:

    1. Bottom-up: Perception builds up a set of primitive "features" in a hierarchy to our internal representations.
    2. Top-down: perception starts with a set of primitives.But, our perceptual experience is influenced by higher-level processes, such as knowledge and context.

    Five main theories:

    • Direct perception
    • Perception is a direct result of stimulus energy affecting receptor cells. No higher cognitive processes or internal representations are necessary

    • Template/Exemplar theory
    • We store examples of all the objects we have seen as exemplars or templates.

      We compare a perceived object to this set of exemplars until we find a match.

    • Prototype theory
    • Instead of storing many exemplars or rigid templates, we store a prototype, which is like the average of an object.

      We compare a perceived object to these prototypes until we find the closest match.

    • Feature theory
    • Perception starts with the identification of basic features that are put together into more complex objects, which are put together into more complex objects, etc. until we identify an object.

      Example: Pandemonium

    • Neural basis for feature theory
    • Using single-cell recording the neurons in the primary visual cortex (occipital lobe) respond to visual features such as lines and corners.

      These feature detectors are a result of how the early visual system is wired.

    Structural description theory

    Kind of like a three-dimensional version of feature theory, where the basic features are geometric shapes called geons rather than having lines and corners We recognize objects by matching the geons we are looking at to the stored geons in memory.

    Top-down theories

    Top-down theories include various degrees of influence of higher cognitive processes on what we actually perceive. The primary example of this is the effect of context on perception, such as in the Word Superiority Effect.

    Constructive and Defensive behavior:

    It isessential to understand emotions in order to understand constructive thinking. Many feel that their emotions are a way in which makes them to automatically react to circumstances.

    Most of the people are aware that it is possible to control their emotions, as well as the ways in which they express them. But, many feel that there is no way for them to actually stop the emotions from occurring in the first place.

    For instance, when most people are treated in a manner which is unfair to them, they will react with anger. Once they become angry, they can decide whether or not they want to showcase this anger. One thing that most people don't realize is that their emotions are affected by the manner in which they see the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.

    The basic foundation for constructive thinking is the way you think and the things you think. In other words, you are what you think. Constructive thinking is as a way in which you think constructively about the world around you.

    The key to constructive thinking is understanding that interpretations often will have an influence on your emotions.

    Defensive Behaviour:

    Defensive behavior is a method which is used by many of us to protect our self-esteem. Often, defensiveness is used to hide those parts of our personality or emotions that we can't or don't want to expose to others.

    It is obserbed in people who are excessively concerned with guarding against the real or imagined threat of criticism, injury to one's ego, or exposure of one's shortcomings.

    Eventually defensive behaviors is a "knee jerk reaction." You may be defensive about certain subjects, people or emotions and do not realize it. Defensiveness can become emotinal destructive when it becomes a day-to-day way of life.

    You must first become aware of defense mechanisms if you want to deal and understand themm. Here are a few common signs of defensive behaviors:

    • Not talking about certain subjects;
    • Becoming defensive when challenged;
    • Negatively misinterpreting what others say;
    • Finding yourself easily irritated, especially by certain people or topics;
    • Feeling as if no one understands you;
    • Overly self-critical; and also
    • Finding it difficult to listen to the opinions of others.

    Defensive behavior can be marked as sarcasm, diminishing silence, shaming or blaming, denial, anger, inflexibly sticking to one way of thinking, without listening to others, and not thinking at all

    When you feel that you are getting defensive, here are a few things you can do:

    • Take a deep breath and look at the situation clearly and without emotion. Slowing down "knee-jerk" reaction can allow you to think clearly.
    • Don't allow someone to push your "hot buttons." Take a minute to gain control to think and react logically. See if the other person will sit down and talk with you unemotionally.
    • Walk away to clear your head and allow the defensiveness to cool down. Give yourself time to form a cool and rational response.
    • Try not to become negative or pessimistic about yourself. Negative self-talk will only make matters worse. Say to yourself something like, "I am good at handling situations like this is a positive and logical manner."

    Defensiveness does not serve you in positive ways. Often, defensive behavior will hurt you emotionally and physically more than it is having an impact on the other person/people.

    Interpersonal skills:

    Interpersonal skills can be defined as "the skills which are needed for effective communication with the opposite person or group". Eventhough there is literal variation over the exact skills which falls under this heading most authors tend to agree on a number of core areas in which competency is essential for effective interpersonal interactions.

    These include the following:

    • Self-awareness: Self-awareness can be a pre-requisite for the type of "other-awareness" or empathy assumed to achieve effective communication .
    • Effective listening: The profecient listening ability is a core skill in a range of interpersonal situations .Some of the features that underpin effective listening and its role in oral communication.
    • Questioning: The ability to question on a particular instance can lead to an efficient Interaction, can increase the amount of relevant information and can also increase the time span.
    • Oral communication: Some particular processes must be involved in effective oral presentations.The topic of oral communication is addressed in greater depth by the corresponding Learn Higher learning area.
    • Helping or facilitating: Being an efficient helper is considered an important aspect of interpersonal competence. Ideas about helping behavior from Humanistic psychology have also had an important influence in terms of generating research and developments in the area of interpersonal skills teaching, an issue which is explored.
    • Reflecting: A skill that is closely related to the psychological sciences or counseling more specifically is the ability to reflect or present reflections.Define reflections as "statements in the interviewer's oral words which builds and re-present the essence of the interviewee's oral words".
    • Assertiveness: Being assertive is an important interpersonal skill for interactions regarding domains. Asserting oneself can serve many different communicative functions including allowing the views to be expressed clearly and openly and the dismissal of negative conflicts.
    • Non-verbal communications: A number of communicative activities also involvs in non-verbal behavior and an ability to point and portray messages through this medium is also seen as a vital interpersonal skill. Messages can be communicated through the following non-verbal channels:
    • Facial expressions: Ekman's work in the area of facial expressions provides solid evidence that information about an individual's emotional state can be transmitted via their facial expression. In addition, facial expressions can be used to regulate interactions, which can be the synchronisation of conversations .
    • Gaze: Emotional information can also be communicated through gaze. For example, stareing for longer are often seen as symbolising hostility or aggression. Looking can also be used to initiate and regulate interpersonal interactions and can be used to assess the reactions of others during oral presentations and conversations.
    • Gestures: Gestures can be used to replace words, in addition to words to place emphasis on an element of a verbal message, or to regulate or symbolise the beginning or end of an interaction.
    • Posture: An individual's posture can reveal how they feel and their attitude towards others involved in the interaction. Posture also tends to vary as a function of how formal an interpersonal situation is. with more relaxed postures indicating less formal situations.
    • Paralinguistic cues: Non-verbal vocal cues such as the pitch, tone and speed of speech can also reveal information about emotional states and can be used to regulate interactions. For example, people experiencing anxiety tend to speak very quickly and in a high pitch.


    Action learning helps everyone to learn the utmost and the best from one another, and shows how real problems are being solved.Further the action learning concepts applies to new conditions where they were not applied previously.



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