Styles of management in logistics - Freights

Styles of management in logistics


Beliefs and methods of superior, manager influence on employees are expressed through a managing style.
There are no good or bad managing styles. However, there are less or more effective methods of people management. Efficient management means activities dependent from a given situation. People can be guided to a specific goal, lead them, or force them to achieve it. A way in which the goal is achieved by management of team depends on:

  • Goal – type of work;
  • Qualifications and experience of work team;
  • Motivation

In theory it is advised to adapt proper style to the personality of employees and type of work. In reality it is difficult to achieve.
Style of management is usually adjusted to the proceedings of whole group not to individuals. Adjusting process of the manager to his employees happens gradually – not from day to day. Professional qualifications and experience of employees are measured by a number of employee’s interventions and assistance on the part of superior (chief, what should I do with it?).
Characteristic managing style can be noticed in work of every superior though it is difficult to define it univocally. The most known in theory is a democratic style and autocratic style. We can also distinguish styles between those two mentioned – indirect styles. Basic (derived from classical division) styles of management are:

  • Autocratic style
  • Decision making is up to manager;
  • Communication is held generally downwards.
  • Democratic style
  • Decisions constitute a group process;
  • Communication lines are open; manager is an coordinator of a group discussion.
  • Liberal style
  • Decisions are made by individuals not group;

Extension of the abovementioned styles is contained in the following table.

Autocratic style Democratic style Liberal style
Managerial policy is subjected to the leader Leader guides group discussions, decisions, encouragements participating in work team. Leader entitle the work team to make decisions
Leader acts in an authoritative manner and does not give the group a freedom of action Leaders actions are always preceded by a group discussion which delivers various solutions Actions of the leader is not related to the actions of a work team
Leader intervene in a way an employee performs the action as well as in each work team member’s task Leader does not intervene in detailed tasks and work of the individuals but is interested in the work effectiveness Leader is not interested in the actions of the work team or individuals
Objective context is prevailing, not the personal, manager is a “good spirit” of an organization but not a judge Leader does not intervene in detailed tasks and work of the individuals but is interested in the work effectiveness Lack of spontaneous interest in the effectiveness of the work team. Situational context is prevailing (in case of failure seeking for a scapegoat)

Main supporter and creator of division managing styles, considered today as classic, is R. Likert who distinguished four main styles depending on the intensity of democratic features. These are:
Oppressive-authoritarian style, based on constraint and authority concentrated. Manager using that style demands from his employees entire obedience and subordination. In such organisations there is a sharp division for leaders and subordinates;

Patronate-autocratic style (paternalistic). Managers expect from his subordinates obedience in return of privileges;
Consultative style is based on activation of his subordinates while at the same time keeping the right to make key decisions;
Participating style (democratic, integrative) intends to possible full activation of employees.
Manager who adopts democratic style with a higher probability will achieve higher effectiveness and quality in work team, and employees are as a rule satisfied. Efficiency level of organisation is high.

Both, autocratic and democratic manager achieve success in specific situations. Therefore, different management styles apply to different situations. Autocratic manager focused on tasks, performs best in extreme situations, either very favourable or unfavourable, whereas manager who is focused on people (democratic), performs best in indirect situations.
Whether situation is favourable for the manager or not decide three variables:

  1. structure of organisational goals,
  2. personal relations between manager and co-workers,
  3. power and authority at subordinates

Which style should be recommended in a given situation depends mostly from mental features of subordinates and superiors, more precisely, from relation between features of their characters. Fundamental general guideline of efficient management is applying in each situation an adequate style.
In view of organisational character of the examined logistics companies it may indicated that the dominant style is of management is liberal. Employment of small number of workers leads to decision making by the manager and then convey them to subordinates. Main communication of formal matters is carried this way.
Similarly to the past and present as well as to the future, a manager of the future company or big economic organization would have significant influence on the effectiveness of his unit in accordance with the principle “like master like man”. It is considered that manager in a changed work conditions would have to possess slightly different qualifications and skills than today.
That is why, many theoreticians and practitioners of state that it is necessary to formulate theoretical model and practical instructions which would contribute to possibly optimal management of different kinds of organizations in the future.



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