Mapping Management Styles in Employee Relations

Management Styles

Different management styles exist and are in use, with the most common in use today being Management by Objectives (MBO). Bell, Bodie & Fulk (2011) in their research article on MBO and its role in developing team performance. The article explores different theories in literature on MBO and team management in improving performance. They identify that MBO improves organizational performance, if management can understand its principles. First, MBO is founded on communication between employee and manager. Secondly, management and employee jointly create goals, which direct employees’ efforts, and form the basis for evaluation. Thirdly, goal setting involves employee participation, and must be specific in nature to direct efforts to achievement of higher organizational goals. Fourthly, management enhances ability of employees to accomplish goals by development and motivation of employees. In addition, management evaluates performance of employees, gives feedback on accomplishments, and reward system. Bell, Bodie & Fulk (2011) identify the application of these principles will assist in the increment of performance for teams. In team development and management, the MBO allows managers and teams to set goals, direct effort towards meeting goals, and use goals as performance measures. Overall, the article finds evidence that MBO is applicable today since it can resolve the challenges in organizations.

The second article is describes that successful organizational leadership is through effective management of conflict. Darling & Walker (2001) identifies that the use of behavioral style of paradigm in the management of conflict is effective in solving issues for individuals and organizations. Darling & Walker (2001) identify conflict management as a leadership tool that uses conflict to stimulate individual development, address problems, increase critical self-appraisal, vigilance, and examining values in decision-making. They make use of an actual case involving a conflict between the president and vice president of finance for Intertrak.Com, Ltd. Darling & Walker (2001) use the case to show that the concept of behavioral style which focuses on the different interpersonal behaviors. These are relater, director, socialize, and analyzer, and determine how the individual works, interacts, and communicates with others. The researchers identify that effective conflict management based on this style, requires the identification of the type of behavior. Conflict management requires the leader to make observations and receive feedback of the individual to understand their personal behavioral style. This leads to understanding of the different human interactions like assertiveness and responsiveness influence on conflict and conflict resolution. The article explores the advantages, disadvantages, and communication methods, identifiable for use in each behavioral style. The article finds that the use of the paradigms of behavioral style leads managers to make meaningful contributions to conflict management (Darling & Walker, 2001).

The third article describes budget management, as a management technique that depends on forecasts that take into account external and internal conditions of the organization. Ocneanu (2009) identifies that internal managerial control of resources entails the comparison of budget and expenditures. He believes that management must consider the three phases of budgeting: forecasting controlling, and budgeting, as a leadership skill. This skill allows the management of budgets involving objectives and goals or specific instruments detailing the carrying out of business activities. Budgets are also involves quantifiable treasury and finance resources, production resources, and personnel (Ocneanu, 2009). Therefore, in this article, effective management entails a leader than can manage budgets on time allocation, personnel, monetary resources, or assets. Effective budget management is the forecasting, distribution of resources including time to meeting budget goals, and monetary of differences with expenditure to prevent waste.

Difference between my Management Style and Management by Objectives (MBO)

My management style is the democratic style, where I allow employees to contribute their opinions. I make decisions and policies by taking into consideration the contributions of employees and stakeholders. I encourage participation by creating an open-door policy in the company to make sure there is free and open communication. This is almost similar to the Management by Objectives style detailed in Bell, Bodie & Fulk’s (2011) article. The article describes MBO as a management style that encourages contributions by employees in setting of goals. However, there are inherent differences between the two styles, despite the appearance of participation, and open communication. The democratic management style uses participation, while MBO emphasizes on clarity of responsibilities and roles in setting objectives. The disadvantage is that my style easily leads to challenges like delays in decision making from the numerous contributions. However, MBO overcomes this with the use of organization and clarity of objectives in allocation of employees, duties, and responsibilities in goal setting. My style calls for increased communication similar to MBO’s ability to improve coordination and communication. However, the difference is that my democracy entails an open door policy that increases contributions without organization, often creating confusion. MBO’s increases communication for it requires regular feedback, reviews, along with open door policy in an organized manner. In the process, MBO calls for increased coordination of ideas, efforts, and communication. Since MBO specifies the importance of clarity of goals, it gives order and meaning to the open door, and participatory policy.

Conflict Management: Case Scenario

In Darling & Walker’s (2001) article, a conflict between the vice president and president of finance for ensues. The conflict arises when the new president and chief executive officer Hensley, joins the company and realizes he cannot work with the vice president of finance effectively. The conflict arises when Hensley proposes a new procedure for decentralizing budget control responsibilities to different operation divisions. This procedure would place control on different managers of operations rather than on the vice president and finance department solely. However, two months later, the vice president does not attempt to follow up on the board meetings suggestion to go ahead with the implementation of the project. As a result, the Hensley assumes the vice president is delaying the development in preference for control over budget. Darling & Walker’s (2001) proposed the combination of conflict management and behavioral style to solve this conflict.

However, if I was in this position, I would propose the two leaders be encouraged to solve the conflict on their own and in their own terms. I would recommend this to get them involved in solving their own problems, while at the same time giving them an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. It is this first step that points out to them their error and encourages them to change their behavior. This implies that both managers realize they are leaders, and must build accountability, responsibility, and respect for each other. This is because their reaction to differences in opinions, reflects on their relationship, and consequently on employees. The next important aspect is to have the president and vice president, learn to communicate effectively, and understand the process of mediation. Good communication skills prevent team conflict. I believe they failed to communicate, such that what the vice president said was different from his body language, creating confusion with the president. Therefore, the president and vice president need to learn effective communication, and value of interpersonal skills. This is vital rather than criticizing behavior and actions. In the process of creating a communication line and language, the vice president and president will be in a position to discuss their issues. I would also recommend the two attend communication workshops to learn the importance of good communication is listening keenly. I believe with the two communicating, their conflict will be resolved, and they will be in a position to effect organizational goals.

Challenges of Managing Budgets

Budgets are designed to allow managers to control and command an organization from the corporate center or head. However, since budgets are an annual item, they do not allow a manager to respond rapidly to unpredictable events. This is because budgets have restrictions on allocated resources, such an unpredictable event that requires human, monetary, or material resource cannot access (Steele, 2008). In addition, given its bureaucratic and restricted nature, budgets become out of date within a few months. This challenge is associated with the frequent changes to assumptions arising from changes in the market like commodity prices, demand, exchange, and interest rates. A tight budget presents a challenge to an organization and management today in terms of loss of competitive edge (Steele, 2008). This is associated with the current driver’s of success, which require continuous innovation and fast response, over the traditional management of human resource and budgets. This implies that management that follows the traditional management style dominated by budget management is not in a position to accommodate innovation (Steele, 2008). This is presents a serious challenge for management today as budgets are traditional separate from strategy. It is a major problem for management since businesses and organizations thrive in the principle of strategic themes in operations, core business, and organizational management. Therefore, the construction of a budget will require the organization of the different functions and departments in a coherent strategy.


Bell, R.L., Bodie, N., & Fulk, K.H. (2011). Team management by objectives: Enhancing developing teams’ performance. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 12(3), 17-26.

Darling, J.R., & Walker, E.W. (2001). Effective conflict management: Use of the behavioral style model. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22(5), 230-242.

Ocneanu, L. (2009). The budget management and the board management agenda. Economy Transdisciplinarity Cognition, (1), 196-200.

Purcell, J. (2007). Mapping Management Styles in Employee Relations. Journal of Management Studies, 24(5), 533-548.

Steele, K. (2008). Are budget limitations real? Perspective, perceptions, and a plan. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 21(3), 85-87.

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