Management style and its influence on organisational climate : a case study.
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This study explored the management style at Durban Mill and the corresponding climate it created. The first objective was to establish the current style of management using the Managerial Grid Theory developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in 1964. Blake and Mouton's Managerial grid (1975) identified five different styles of management, each differentiated by the degree of concern for people and degree of concern for production. According to Blake and Mouton (1975) the Team Leader (9,9) style of management is effective most of the time, however, one must not dismiss the other styles as depicted on the Managerial Grid (see Figure 2.1), as depending on the situation they may be the most appropriate style to use. The second objective was to identi fy the impact of this style of management on the psychological climate in the company i.e. the atmosphere in the workplace. The model used in this study to measure psychological climate was based on a study conducted by MCG Davidson (2000). Davidson's model, in itself was an adaptation of studies conducted by .lames and .Iones (1979) and Ryder and Southey (1989). The dimensions of climate identified for this study was, Leadership Facilitation and Support; Professional Organisational Esprit; Conflict and Amhiguity: Regulations and Organisation Pressure: Joh Challenge. Importance and Variety and Workgroup Co-operatioll. Frielldlilless alld Warmth. This research hypothesised that the dominant style of management in the mill is Impoverished Leader (i.e. Iow concern for people and low concern for production). Further, this style of management influences each dimension of climate as identified above. The results indicated, the two dominant management styles in the company was Team leader and Impoverished leader. According to Blake and Mouton's (1975) theory, whilst the fom1er result is positive, the latter is a less than desired style for any company to operate in. The findings in the climate section of this study revealed that there is seldom to occasionally a positive climate in the workplace regarding, leadership support and facilitation, company image, issues relating to conflict and ambiguity, regulations and job pressure and job challenge. The correlation analysis showed that management style and organisational climate are strongly related (r=0.786), variables. Management style is related to the following dimensions of climate vi z. leadership facilitation and support of employees, professional organisational esprit, con flict and ambiguity and regulations and job pressure. Poor support was found for the relationship between management style and job variety and importance and no relationship found between management style and workgroup friendliness and support. In order to improve relations between management and employees and thus contribute towards business success, a holistic approach was taken in the recommended strategy. A reengineering of the business towards a leaming organisation based Tobin's (\ 993) theory was suggested. Tobin 's theory on "Ieaming organisations," is characterised by five foundations VI Z . visible leadership, ' thinking' literacy, overcoming functional myopia, ' Ieaming' teams and managers as enablers. The recommendations cover a detailed account of the five foundations of the leaming organisation approach and the course of action to be taken at the mill to place it on the road to business success.