Uploaded by Caoimhe Kenny

Business Management Function

Leading Function
Common management practices have changed and adapted a lot over the past century and in
today’s modern world, businesses have stopped taking the micro-management, limiting workers
and commanding – Democratic style approach to achieve good results. (Lane, 1995) A trending
management style in today’s modern world is a less controlling Laissez-Faire style approach to
leading a team. This would mean providing workers with freedom and room to be creative and
supporting workers by providing the tools to work and progress while guiding them as opposed to
limiting employees and controlling staff and setting specific tasks with a specific way of doing
things. (Lane, 1995, P26-27)
A reoccurring misunderstanding with “leading” in Management is that people mistakenly
think or assume that leading and management are the same. Although Management and leading
are very similar they are different. (David I. Bertocci, 2009). "Leading is the use of influence to
motivate employees to achieve organizational goals" (Richard L. Daft, 1999). Managers must be
able to make employees want to participate in achieving an organization's goals. Three
components make up the leading function: Motivating and Influencing employees and Forming
effective groups. The leading process helps the organization move toward goal attainment.
(Richard L. Daft, 1999) This would bring the first question, how would we motivate or keep a
team motivated as a manager or a leader? We asked the manager of Aspen Pharma this
question and interestingly enough he answered in line with what we have stated above. “A good
manager is a person that creates an environment that lets everybody in the team be as
successful as they are capable of being – don’t put people in boxes or put up obstacles, provide
freedom” is a direct quote from our interview. He speaks about this Laissez-Faire style approach
being very important to ensuring that everybody working as part of a project or a sub project is
motivated and has the right attitude towards the task; which would have a correlation with the
freedom they are provided and the trust in which they are given. (Lane, 1995, P26-27
Douglas McGregor; a process theorist who developed “McGregor’s Theory X and Theory
Y” in the 1950’s and was researched and looked into further in the 1960’s. This theory is still
relevant in today’s working environment with many people considering most managers to use a
combination or a balanced mix of the two theories. McGregor’s “Theory X” refers to managers
with a pessimistic view on their employees – this would be usually seen in entry level jobs or
working environments with low skill workers. (Koontz, 1980, P614-615) As for Aspen Pharma,
McGregor’s “Theory Y” is very much prevalent in the way the project manager we interviewed
speaks about their employees and the teams in which he would manage for projects and the
work stream managers for sub projects. He speaks directly about how the attitude of the work is
very important and is often a key part of decision making process when hiring staff saying “You
have to try get the attitude out of the person in an interview and where all key skills and
experience are the same I choose the person with the best attitude” (Interview). He refers to
rating scale he uses whereby attitude was the biggest factor. This was done by 4 scores being
given out of 5 and then attitude being rated from -5 to 5 this decided the overall score by
multiplying the other variables by the score they received in attitude. Which to us seems like a
very good rating system because if you score 5/5 in the first for sections but your attitude is -1
your overall score is -20. When applying “McGregor’s Theory Y” being able to put employee’s
attitude into a rating system like this shows that in Aspen Pharma having a good attitude and an
optimistic view on their role in the company is very important. (Daft, 1999, P52-53)
Within a company like Aspen Pharma where the manager is able to trust that the workers
have an optimistic view on work and a good attitude towards it means delegation will come
naturally to those in leading and management positions for the teams (Lane, 1995, P26-27).
Delegation is important within a workplace; because of this we asked our manager in the
interview what are the best methodology’s you can put in place to keep tasks and projects on
track. To no surprise he answered being able trust all workers within the organization – be it;
Project Managers, Sub project managers in a work stream or normal employees and letting them
get to the tasks. To quote him “Let everybody who was a work stream lead, set their own mini
projects form their own mini teams with their own timelines and their own measures for e.g. –
number of products to be serialised.” (Interview) To us this showed the trust he has placed on his
workers and was a good example of delegation and trusting his employees in the workplace.
When speaking about leading as a function within management in companies or
organizations - “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs” by Abraham Maslow is commonly brought up. This
is a theory that is used to describe how humans are motivated. This theory is a five-tier model in
psychology; simply put once the bottom tier of the pyramid is met humans will naturally no longer
be motivated by the wants and/or needs on this
tier and move to the next tier for motivation.
(Koontz, 1980, P636-637).
The five tiers are:
 Self-Actualisation (Highest Point)
 Esteem
 Love and Belonging
 Safety Needs
 Physiological Needs (Starting point)
In our interview the Project Manager in Aspen
Pharma described staff being able to try new
tasks and having opportunity to progress
within the organization as one of the most
Image: (SimplyPsychology.org)
important factors that will affect someone’s attitude towards work and working for the company in
general. He stated that by providing these options and the opportunity has always helped him get
the most out of his workers. This would be directly in line with “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs” and
would place the workers in this specific organization on tiers “Esteem” and “Self-Actualisation”.
(Daft, 1999, P538-539).
In summary, this project manager was a perfect example of how leading as a function
within management can be approached in a less controlling, non-democratic way. Throughout
the interview he described examples of how he kept workers motivated, tracked their progress
and how he was in a position to be able to trust the workers in Aspen Pharma. In the beginning
of our work as a group, I pictured a project manager within such a big company to take a less
controlling Laissez-Faire style approach as do most managers in successful companies in
today’s modern world. He showed understanding from a psychological point of view –
mentioning multiple times that the biggest factor to getting the most out of an employee and
keeping them motivated is to let them try new things and have opportunity to progress within the
organisation. This goes directly in line with “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs pyramid” (Daft, 1999,
P538-539). This project manager we interviewed talked a lot about the importance of an
individual’s attitude in the workplace and the importance of it; stating that it was often the
deciding factor when employing new workers. Although going into the interview I had thought that
most people in a position of management today would have a mix of “McGregor’s Theory X and
Theory Y” I was impressed to find out that he would like all of his workers to have an optimistic
view on the work they are doing and enjoy their work. (Daft, 1999) If they are not in this position
he explained that he would offer support to them and provide them tools to be in the position to
have an optimistic outlook on the workplace. This solely tied in with Douglas McGregor’s “Theory
(Lane, 1995)
(P26 and 27)– laissez faire non democratic style.
Lane, B. (1995). Managing people: a practical guide. 3rd ed. Oasis Pr.
(Bertocci, 2009)
Bertocci, D. (2009). Leadership in organizations: There is a difference between Leaders and Managers.
1st ed. University Press of America.
(Koontz, 1980)
(P614-615) McGregor Theory X and Theory Y explanation
(P636-637) Maslow’s hierarchy explanation
Koontz, H. (1980). Management. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill.
(Daft, 1999)
(P538-539) Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
(P52-53) McGregor Theory X and Theory Y explanation
Daft, R. (1999). Management. 5th ed. The Dryden Press series.
Maslows Hierarchy of needs image:
(SimplyPsychology.org) - https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html