Economic globalization has motivated an increasing number of corporations and enterprises to set up branches and production facilities throughout the world. During this process, a manager's approach is considered to make a difference for the productivity of his or her staff, which partly contributes to the success of the company. Hence, many companies have realized that management style plays an important role, and they tend to take it into account while recruiting a manager. Currently, there is no one persuasive definition about management styles. A common definition on the internet is “a management style is an overall method of leadership used by a manager. There are two sharply contrasting styles that will be broken down into smaller subsets: Autocratic and Permissive”(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2000).This definition demonstrates that management styles vary from individual to individual, and also generally points out two strikingly contrasting management styles. However, it cannot sufficiently illustrate the key factors that influence management styles. This essay will discuss these key factors, such as culture, gender, domain and cost of operating companies.
The first thing worth noting is that different cultures can lead to diverse management styles. Cultural difference frequently causes various approaches while managing the companies, but they may bring the similar consequences. For example, the father plays a role of incontrovertible authority in a Mexican family, managing and deciding the significant things. Children grow up in this patriarchy culture, and get used to relying on the people who are superordinate and respected by them to make decisions. As a result, when they work under surveillance, they are not apt to take responsibility initiatively. In contrast, children growing up in the United States, experience less influence of paternal authority, since mother, who provides economic support to the family, can give a voice to the major things as father does. This kind of family pattern shows the importance of self-sufficiency. Therefore, independence and individualism are long-honored in the United States society, and American employees tend to pursue a relatively free and relaxed working environment. Within two different cultures, Mexican executives make all decisions unilaterally for management, whereas American executives advocate a more permissive working environment. Meanwhile, the loyalty of the former is more than the latter (Kras, 1989, cited in Morris and Pavett, 1992). Morris and Pavett (1992) furthered Kras’ research and found that productivity at American parent plant and its Mexican factory was equal, although there were striking differences between two managerial styles. The conclusion of above research was limited, because the study lacked a large representative sample, only focusing on a single multinational corporation (MNC) and its affiliated factory. Yet, it also implied that companies should adjust managerial styles to local cultures, so that productivity could be ensured effectively.
Accompanied with the remarkable increase of women leaders, it is considered that management styles vary with different genders. There exist two different views on this issue. On the one hand, it is believed that both genders can produce opposite management styles. According to the research carried out by Case (1988, cited in Ladegaard, 2011 p6), generally, male leaders in her study tended to be competitive and confrontational, which was reflected in their direct and task-oriented management styles, and they often played a dominant role in the organization. But female leaders preferred to be collaborative and person-oriented, and they did well in lubricating human relationships. Also, the conclusion of the research argued that diverse management styles in both sexes could achieve the equal management effect, and women did not need to follow men’s management modes. Since the number of people...
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Cross, M. (1989) Flexibility and Integration at the Workplace. Management Decision, 27(4), pp. 43-47.
Ladegaard, H.(2011) ‘Doing power’ at work: Responding to male and female management styles in a global business corporation. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(1), pp. 4–19.
Morris, T. and Pavett, C. (1992) Management Style and Productivity in Two Cultures. Journal of International Business Studies, 23(1), pp. 169-179.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2000) Management Styles. rpi.edu. Retrieved 28 August, 2013 from http://www.rpi.edu/dept/advising/free_enterprise/business_structures/management_styles.htm.
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