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The conflict management approaches that are most frequently used by managers at ABC Corporation are competition and authoritative command. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page.
DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. Explain how, when we become managers, we can determine which style to use in a variety of situations.
As we saw in the opening case, most managers will use a variety of management styles depending upon the situation. When we look at the styles of management, we see that most styles fall into one of two categories: a task-oriented management style or a people-centered style. A manager with a task-oriented styleA management style that tends to focus on the details of what must get done. A people-orientedA management style mostly concerned with the interpersonal relationships within the organization. Understanding these two main differences in management style, we will now look at other possible styles a manager might use.
Utilization of a participatory management styleA management style that focuses on task-centered and people-oriented styles. A manager who uses a teamwork management styleA highly people-centered approach to management in which relationships are most important.
An autocratic styleA management style that takes a task-only focus and tends to make most of the decisions for the department.
On the other hand, a participative styleA management style that seeks input from employees.
At the other extreme, a free-rein styleA management style that gives employees freedom to make decisions. The path goal theory says that the role of a leader is to define goals and lay down the path for the employees to meet those goals. It is great to talk about management style, but the application of that management style is just as important as knowing the management styles. The model looks at three areas: the relationship behavior of the manager, the task behavior of the manager, and the readiness of employees. The bottom line when discussing management style is that no one style works best in all situations. Just like in communication, a different management style should be used depending on the employee. Task styles focus on getting the job done, while people-centered styles focus on relationships. An autocratic style doesna€™t allow much room for employee decision making; the focus is on getting the task done. The situational leadership model, which looks at relationship behavior, task behavior, and the readiness of employees, is used to recommend different management styles. As a privately held company, the owners hold their personal concerns as the most valuable ends to achieve in conflict situations.
See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. There isna€™t necessarily one management style that is better than another; they are simply different and might be used in a variety of situations. In this section, we will discuss how and when you might use each style when managing people.


This model, developed by Ken Blanchard (author of the One Minute Manager series of books), does a good job explaining how we might use one type of management style versus another. The relationship behavior means how supportive the manager needs to be in helping employees. Leaders are still involved in decisions and problem solving, but control is with the follower.
We may be more comfortable with one style versus another, but we need to change our management style depending on the person and task we are working with. First, how people are managed is one of the most important aspects to motivation in any organization. Just like with communication, you will likely want to vary your approach based on the situation to get the best results. Your staff has an excellent record of achieving goals, and your relationship with them is trusting and supportive. A situation has developed in which you need to make quick decisions and finish a project by the end of the week. My personal conflict management approach is collaboration and problem solving, with the best interests of the entire organization as a whole viewed as the most important aspect. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (43 MB) or just this chapter (537 KB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). As we will discuss in this chapter, there are several management styles that can be used in a variety of situations. The concern for this manager is that employees know what is expected of them and have the tools needed to do their job. Setting goals, making plans, and determining objectives are viewed as a group effort, rather than the manager making all the decisions.
The manager may establish a few objectives, but the employees can decide how those objectives are met. Clarification of the employeea€™s role and clarification around how the success of the task will be measured are key aspects in this model. Task behavior refers to the type of style the manager should use when managing employees based on their readiness level. For example, if you have an employee who is brand new, you will likely work with that person using a more directive style. Understanding "good" management and "not so good" management can help develop us for when we are placed in management positions, if we aren't already. Often this dichotomy of approaches between my previous employer and myself led to increased conflict above and beyond the original issues.ABC CorporationIn formal meetings within the company, managers use the authoritative command and the competition approach. As you read this chapter, consider past managers and think about what style they may have used. The manager is most concerned about the welfare of the employee and tends to be friendly and trusting.
Relationships are most important, and assuming the individuals work well together, the task will be successfully accomplished. This type of manager tends to tell people what to do and takes a a€?my way or the highwaya€? approach. In other words, the leader tends to be removed from the day-to-day activities but is available to help employees deal with any situation that may come up. The leader also is involved in guidance and coaching surrounding the goal and removes obstacles for employees that might affect the completion of the task. This style can be used with people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed and who need direction and supervision to get them started.
This approach can be used with people who have some competence but lack commitment and who need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. This style can be used with people who have the necessary competence but lack confidence or motivation.
This style would work with people who have both competence and commitment and who are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.


As topics are discussed, managers exercise their authority to "dictate a solution" and specify "what is gained and what is lost by whom"(Shermerhorn, Jr., et al. Understanding management styles can help us become better managers or prepare us to take on the role of manager someday. The advantage to this style, given the type of task and situation, is that as a manager you are able to pool resources and abilities from several different people. The path goal theory says that if employees are satisfied by the leadership style, they will be motivated toward the goals of leadership.
These individuals may also need support and praise to build their self-esteem and involvement in decision making to restore their commitment. These individuals may need little direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation. Likewise, someone who does good work and has lots of experience may prefer a free-rein style. In addition, understanding your managera€™s style can be beneficial to knowa€”as it can help you relate to him or her better.
As a result, the focus is on the task but also on the person and the relationships required to get the task done. This person uses his or her authority and makes all the decisions as to who does what, how it is done, and when it should get done. Part of the model also stresses that the skills, experience, and environmental contingencies of the job play a role in the success of the leader.
Many managers make the mistake of trying to use the same style with every person in every situation. Little discussion is permitted beyond clarification requests, and solution offerings by others are usually not permitted. This style might be used when the employees are experienced and the deadlines reasonable enough to provide the time needed to focus both on the task and the person. To be a great manager, we must change our styles based on the situation and the individual involved. Employees are left with a sense of unimportance, and quite often, with the feeling that the conflict was not truly resolved. Sometimes a manager will attempt to establish credibility by displaying their "superior skill" (Shermerhorn, Jr., et al.
As a result, grouplets are formed, and the grouplet works on their idea with no specific budget. This competition fosters an environment that is not welcoming for employees to question or submit ideas, as they are frequently shot down or "dominated" (Shermerhorn, Jr., et al. Consider a very tight deadline or an emergency situation in which someone needs to be calling the shots.
2003) by the manager.Outside of formal meetings, avoidance is the underlying approach that is used at all levels of ABC Corporation. With employees responsible for their specific duties and tasks, little input is desired from others. When solutions are suggested that create conflict with their preferences or established procedures, these ideas are ignored with the apparent hope that they will simple "go away" (Shermerhorn, Jr., et al.
You might consider using a directing style with your employees to make sure it gets done on time. This style doesna€™t focus on the person but rather on getting the task done; hence it tends to be more of a task-oriented style.



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