Democratic Decision-Making Undermines Successful Management

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Democratic decision-making undermines successful management. Management, as defined by Meyer et al. (2007, p.638), is ‘The planning, organising, leading and controlling of human and other resources to achieve organisational goals efficiently and effectively’. This definition portrays management as a set of process and actions, rather than an individual and their role as a manager. Management is a broad term, as there are different management styles that are used across different types of organisations and contexts. A mechanistic structure of management can be implemented in a stable organisational environment, where authority is centralised at the top of the hierarchy and more senior members control subordinates, an example of this being in Mcdonalds’ restaurants. In contrast, in an ever-changing environment such as the Google Corporation, an organic structure can be used where management is decentralized and responsibility is given to first and middle managers. Authority rests with departments best suited to the problem at hand. (Burns and Stalker Cited in Meyer et al. 2007). Different countries and societies have different expectations of management. A study by Kawar (2012) shows that cross-cultural differences exist in management and that as a result barriers may occur in communication between cultures. In some cultures, the importance of power is emphasised in management, where the manager’s key role is to take decisions and distribute work and employees follow all directions given by managers. In contrast, in some cultures, inequality is undesirable and the manager is expected to be involved in the work itself rather than to be responsible for delegation between employees. Decision-making is a significant part of management – whether through planning, organising, leading or controlling people or processes in a business or organisation (Meyer et al., 2007). In management, it is essential that productive decisions are made at every opportunity. Boddy et al. (2011, p.630) defines decision-making as ‘The process of identifying problems and opportunities and then resolving them’. If other team members participate and contribute in the decision-making process, it can be defined as democratic decision-making (Bhatti et al, 2012). Although the role of the manager is a vital one, it is suggested that more effective choices can be made through the use of democratic decision-making in most businesses and organisations. Research by Bhatti et al. (2012) found that leadership style has a strong correlation to job satisfaction. The compiled results of this research study on a total of 205 teachers showed that the democratic leadership style provided employees with higher overall job satisfaction, where they rated themselves as having an easier working environment, with a sense of ownership and control which increases interest and enthusiasm in their work. As well as this, they felt that overall where they did not meet expectations; they worked with their leader to resolve the relevant issues. In contrast, those under an autocratic leadership style of management reported feeling threatened or being punished if they did not meet expectations. This shows that democratic leadership has a positive impact on job satisfaction, as employees prefer to work in an atmosphere in which they feel they can exchange views and feel content reporting mistakes to leaders, (Bhatti et al. 2012). A positive attitude and working environment is essential to the welfare of employees and through this comes the success of a business or organisation. Research shows that 61% of organisations report losses in productivity due to a negative atmosphere in the workplace, where two thirds of employees report a lack of focus due to this negativity, (Anon, 2012). This demonstrates the logic behind ideas from Prentice (2004) that leaders or managers should recognise the roles and functions of all employees in an organisation, regardless of status, and allow them to...
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