Management Principles: Application and Challenges


This paper is based on the topic of management principles. It explores the topic by providing the definitions of manager, management, and organisation. The definitions are followed by a discussion of why managers are important. Other issues which are discussed include organisational structure, SWOT analysis, and organisational culture.

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A manager is a person who is charged with the responsibility of coordinating, controlling, directing, and providing the necessary leadership and guidance to an organisation for it to achieve its goals and objectives. A manager therefore should be a person who exercises authority and leadership over other people. For managers to effectively get employees do the right thing at the right time and in the right manner, they must be appealing to them.

If managers wish to meet organisational objectives effectively and efficiently, they must be ready to serve their employees so that the employees can serve the organisations. Managers must understand that employees are social beings who have social, psychological, and emotional needs. They must also understand that employees not only work for financial gains but also for satisfaction (French 2011).


In a book titled “management”, Schermerhorn defined management as the art of getting things done through people (Schermerhorn 2010). Many organisations have policies, procedures, and guidelines that govern the decision making process. Managers must understand how to get employees do what they are supposed to do and know what exactly gets done, the results to be achieved, and how best the results can be achieved in an efficient manner (Schermerhorn 2010).

Why managers are important

In organisations, employees are seen as a resource that is relatively flexible to be controlled for organisational gain. Human resource management therefore centres on articulating the needs and aspirations of the workers, meeting their needs, giving them challenges, and helping them towards self actualisation (Aquinas 2006).

Managers are important in organisations because they play crucial functions such as management, organising, and directing. The management function constitutes planning, staffing, controlling, recruitment, budgeting, and reporting. The organising function entails implementing organisational changes which may be occasioned by internal or external forces to organisations. In organising, a manager decides on a position to be filled and the duties and responsibilities attached to the position.

The manager also makes decisions about how work is done on a day to day basis. The directing aspect of management entails looking for appropriate ways of motivating employees to work willingly and effectively. The manager must provide directives to employees for them to know what is expected of them. After directing, the manager should evaluate how jobs are done and what progress is made towards attaining organisational goals. The manager is also supposed to plan how to meet current objectives of the organisation and device ways of meeting future organisational goals and objectives.

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Organisational Structure

According to Sims, organisational structure refers to how various units of an organisation relate to each other (Sims 2007). The purpose of organisational structure is to make sure that organisations get their work done which is made possible by division of labour. All the jobs in the organisational structure taken together form the structure where each job position relates to others either in a horizontal or vertical manner.

The structure of an organisation greatly influences its culture. The reason is that organisational structure is about how various job positions relate to each other. For instance, if employees fear their managers, then the organisation is likely to have a rigid organisation culture. On the other hand, if employees and managers interact with each other without fear, then the organisation is likely to have a flexible organisational culture.

Other structures are horizontal in nature and they are associated with line management. In organisations with horizontal structures, there are several managers working under a senior manager. These managers are presumed to be at par in terms of power and as such, none of them can give orders to the rest. Instead, they are in charge of specific departments but they work in collaboration with each other. Under the line managers, there are project or program officers who are charged with implementation of the core activities of the organisation (Sims 2007).

One distinct form of organisational structure is the entrepreneurial structure. This structure encompasses a centre of power that is dominant in an organisation. In organisations with entrepreneurial structure, the behaviour of employees is a true reflection of the behaviour of the managers. In an entrepreneurial structure, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has good relationships with all departmental heads and team leaders of the organisation.

Some characteristics of the bureaucratic structure include hierarchical authority and written rules and regulations that specify the exact nature of relationships among the employees and how tasks are carried out. The independent form of organisational structure is characterised by a centralised support system that enables various organisations to work independently without supervision (Fox 2009).

Organisational Structure for BP Europa

Under the CEO, there are various officers in charge of various departments of the organisation. They include the CEO Europa, Chief Financial Officer Mr Brian Gilvary, and other executive vice presidents who fall under the office of the president. The executive vice presidents are charged with the responsibility of heading various departments such as alternative energy, marketing, refining, and group staff. Under the executive vice presidents, there are middle level managers and supervisors, then the general workforce. All employees have specific roles to play in the organisation and are answerable to an authority above them.

In business strategy, the concept of specialisation refers to a situation in which different employees are assigned different tasks which they are best qualified for based on their training, education, and experience. Specialisation enables employees to work effectively and efficiently due to the ability to focus on specific areas which they are passionate about.

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BP has embraced the concept of specialisation by assigning all employees specific duties in the organisation. As a result, confusion and ambiguity in the organisation have been eliminated. There is also proper utilisation of time since each and every employee is aware of what they are supposed to do and who they are answerable to. Through specialisation, BP has also been able to realise its goals and objectives in an efficient and effective manner.

BP organisational chart

BP organisational chart

Company profile

The name of the Company under evaluation is Tesco which has its headquarters at Cheshunt, United Kingdom. According to information posted on its website, Tesco is a multinational Company dealing with grocery and general retail merchandise (Tesco 2014). It is the third largest retail merchandise in the world after Wal-Mart and Carrefour. Its main market is in the United Kingdom but it has grocery stores in more than 13 countries across the globe (Tesco 2014).

Tesco’s mission is to be acknowledged by its customers as the premier drilling Services Company while the vision statement is to become a customers’ strategic partner in elimination of non-productive time. The three core values of the organisation include compliance to organisational ethics and provision of a safe work environment (Tesco 2014).

Tesco’s expansion strategy is coined to respond to the needs of all its customers, both in the United Kingdom and in other countries where it has operations. The challenges associated with entering new markets abroad were the key determinants of Tesco’s expansion strategy where it used mergers and acquisitions to enable it to penetrate those markets (Tesco 2014).

Examples of mergers by Tesco Company include the partnership with Samsung in South Korea to form Samsung –Tesco Home-plus merger and in Thailand where it went into partnership with Charoen Pokphad to form a merger called Tesco-Lotus. The Company also acquired several Companies in 2005 in South Korea. With the advent of globalisation, Tesco managed to move to China where the culture and values are completely different from those of the United Kingdom. The Company entered China in 2004 after acquiring about 50% of the Hymall. It also operates in various cities and towns in China such as Shanghai, Weifang, and Taizhou where it deals with imported wines, beers, and cheese products especially from Italy, Netherlands, and France (Tesco 2014).

A SWOT analysis is important for carrying out strategic management process for Tesco because it may enable the Company to understand its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Such an understanding could enable it to come up with strategies of dealing with the weaknesses and transforming the threats into opportunities.

Improving organisational performance

The performance of Tesco can be improved by using employee engagement initiatives such as employee training and strong organisational culture. Employee training involves the training of employees on a continuous basis. Employees may be trained on various aspects of their job and other processes of an organisation. Training of employees enables them to improve their performance and efficiency, which consequently impacts positively on the productivity of the organisation. Employee training also ensures that an organisation makes maximum use of its human resources because well-trained employees are capable of multitasking

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A strong organisational culture is where more emphasis is placed on improving the work environment and making employees feel appreciated. In organisations with a strong culture, employees are perceived as crucial assets and are treated with respect, dignity, and understanding. Such organisations also acknowledge that employees have the potential of being creative in their work.

Consequently, supervision plays a minimal role because employees are capable of forming group norms and rules which govern their work. Organisations with a strong culture also recognise the importance of employees interacting with their managers in a friendly way without fear of victimisation. When employees fear their managers, they tend to work with their bodies but their minds and hearts are usually far away.

Strong organisational culture also boosts organisational efficiency because of the internalisation of what is required of each and every employee. The sharing of values and beliefs creates a good work environment free from confusion, ambiguity or lack of understanding among the employees. The good work environment not only increases efficiency but it also saves time because employees are able and free to consult each other. Employees also portray good behaviour at work because they know what is right to be done and what is not right (Sakikawa 2012).

Tesco can also improve its performance through a radical shift from mechanistic to humanistic approach in its management. The humanistic approach to management is usually associated with strong organisational culture where more emphasis is placed on improving the work environment and making employees feel appreciated. In organisations with such a culture, employees are perceived as social beings with social, psychological, and financial needs.

Such organisations also acknowledge that employees have the potential of being creative in their work. They also value the synergy found in teamwork. Consequently, supervision plays a minimal role because employees are capable of forming group norms and rules which govern their work. Organisations with a strong culture also recognise the importance of employees interacting with their managers in a friendly way without fear of victimisation.


Managers play crucial functions in organisations such as organising, leading, directing, and management. Organisations have different organisational structures which define the relationships of various units in organisations. Organisational structure also determines the culture of organisations. However, a cohesive organisational culture is the best for organisations which aspire to meet their objectives in an efficient and effective manner.

Reference List

Aquinas 2006, Organisational behaviour: concepts realities applications and challenges, Excel Books, New Delhi.

Fox, W. M 2009, The management process: an integrated functional approach, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, N.C.

French, R 2011, Organisational behaviour, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.

Sakikawa, T 2012, Transforming Japanese workplaces, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Schermerhorn, J 2010, Management, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.

Sims, R. R 2007, Human resource management: contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities, Information Age Publishers, Greenwich, Conn.

Tesco 2014, Mission, vision and values, Web.

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