As the world moves through the 21st Century, business is becoming more dependent upon professional managers, who can bring success to an organization. Issues such as globalization and decentralization add to the need for organization's to hire flexible managers capable of leading. A 21st century manager should possess three traits and utilize them to lead organizations: the ability to stimulate change, excellent planning capabilities, and ethics. A manager can be defined as “a person who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities in order to achieve organisational goals” (Robbins, 2003). An organisations management hierarchy can be conventionally categorised in to three levels: the top, middle and first line levels of management. Organisational tasks are distributed among these three levels as such, that the first line managers handle the operational employees (non-managerial staff), middle managers manage the work of first-line managers and top management handles entire organisational decisions and plans. But in the present world a manager cannot be defined in a clear-cut manner. When analysing managerial work around the world, major variations can be found in the anticipated roles and required skills. This is applicable both horizontally and vertically along the organisational hierarchy. The importance placed on managers differ in rank with diverge organisational types, culture and other economical, technological, political and demographical factors. Henri Fayol’s management functions, planning, organising, leading and controlling are an important categorization of management which we can analyse management styles on. The planning function involves defining goals, developing strategies to achieve them and determining resource allocation to integrate and coordinate activities. The organising function includes the process of determining what tasks are to be done, who does them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made. The third function of leading involves motivating subordinates and selecting effective communication channels. Lastly, the controlling function makes certain that the path towards organisational goals is ensured through continuous monitoring and evaluation (Robbins et al., 2003). The local culture influences these functions; how managers plan, take and carry out decisions, motivate and lead their sub-ordinates. Except in exceptional cases, generally the company culture is born with due respect to its country culture. Geert Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, power distance and time orientation, help facilitate an understanding of these differences across cultures (Robertson, Crittenden, Brady and Hoffman, 2002). For example, Asian countries are known for its collectivism culture whereas most Western countries are acquainted with individualistic culture. According to Mukherji, A. and Hurtado, P. (2001), individualistic cultured managers plan and organise with promptness, precision, rationality and structure, and they emphasise importance on discrete leadership and control but less on power distance. Alternatively communal cultured managers refrain from quick unilateral decisions and acknowledge ideas of sub-ordinates while leading and controlling. Furthermore, as the culture affects the organisation as a whole, these traits affect all top, middle and first-line levels of management. Still, exceptional countries like China may have totally different approaches irrespective of its communal culture. Wang, Lin, Chan and Shi (2005) focuses on such an exception saying that, though from the same Asian culture, the preferred conflict handling styles of managers in countries like Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong differ from China, because of the level of intercultural exposure, legal systems, ownership advantage, and bargaining power. Groschl...
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