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RENSIS LIKERT

1. Human relations school in administrative theory –developed-- as a reaction counter to Physilogical, economic Man theory called efficiency engineering . In later years, its scope has been widened to emphasise the importance of people creating, operating and in fluencing organization structure. This school believes that Organisational effectiveness depends upon the quality of relationships inter se among people in the organisation and managerial ability lies in developing interpersonal competence.  

Rensis Likert is an American Social –Psychologist he established the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan in 1946.

 

2.  He made  comprehensive studies, over a period of twenty-five years. They were conducted in a wide variety of situations like industrial and commercial firms, railways, hospitals, schools and voluntary organizations and covered unskilled workers in factories to top scientists in research laboratories. His major works-New Patterns of Management The Human Organisation.

 

3. He identified  Forces accelerating the pressure for high performance, competition, resistance to pressure  close supervision, individual more freedom and initiative .

 

4. Supervisory Style:He put two Questions  Why do some managers get better results than others? What do effective managers do? He classified Two supervisors (1) Job-centered and (2) Employee-centered.

Job centred has following characters

1. They exert heavy pressure to get work done;

2.  They have little confidence in the subordinates;

3. They exercise close and detailed supervision;

4. They are punitive and critical when mistakes occur.

Low performing managers were changed into each others jobs. While high performing managers succeeded in improving the performance of low production units, low  performing managers laced in high production units brought down their output over a span of time.

 

5. Supportive Relationships: He conceives an interaction influence system to maximize  skills, resources and motivation of individuals at different levels of the organisation. Such a system would facilitate integration of organizational and managerial process such as coordination, communication, decision-making, direction, etc. The effectiveness of these interdependent process rests on the efficacy of the interaction influence system and in turn determines the capacity of the organisation to optimize the skills, abilities and resources of individuals and workgroups.

According to Likert, an organisation operating on an ideal interaction influence system will reveal some of the following characteristics.

1. Each member will find his personal values needs and goals reflected in those of the workgroups and organisation as a whole

2. Every member of the organisation would be identified with the objectives of organisation and the goals of his workgroup and see the accomplishment of them as the best way to meet his won needs and personal goals

3. Pressure for high performance goals, efficient methods, and skill development come from the members themselves. The anxieties associated with hierarchical pressures in traditional organizations will be conspicuous by their absence

4. Authentic and sensitive communication process within and between workgroups would ensure spontaneous and accurate information flows to providing rational basis for individual and group decisions and actions at all points in the organisation

5.  Every member of the organisation will be able to exert his influence on decisions and actions of the organisation. The amount of influence exerted by any individual will be proportionate to the significance of his ideas and contribution and not necessarily related to his position in the formal organisation.

6. Cooperative motivation, communication and decision processes will enable each member in any part of the organisation to exert his influence, contribute his ideas, skills, resources and improve the total capacity of the organisation for problem solving and goal fulfillment

 

6. ) The Linking Pin Model or organisation structure conceived by Likert is expected to remove the hurdles, found in traditional hierarchies and facilitate the growth of interaction influence system. --Has twin roles, --He is a member of a higher level group and leader of a lower level group. --Subordinate---Linking pin for horizontal coordination---vertical—line and staff—product departments---multiple.

 

7. Management Systems 1-4 : Isolated—as blending—type of authority ---characteristics---Likert rightly points out that the component parts of management system should be internally consistent with the overall pattern and philosophy of the organisation. thus, an authoritarian-exploitative management system displays a steep hierarchical structure, centralized decision-making, top down communication, tight supervision, man to man rather than group-to-group relations, performance under pressure, and low degree of employee motivation. On the other hand, the participative management system displays overlapping structures, cross-functional linkages, group decision processes, open and authentic three-way communication (up, down and lateral), adaptive supervision, individual and workgroups with a high degree of achievement motivation (Sytems 1 &4). The other management systems 2 and 3 reveal intermediate combinations on forms and processes.

 

The intermediate forms of management systems 2 and 3 will reveal transitory characteristics of progression from management system 1 to 4 over a period. In system-2, management orientation is still authoritative, but becomes less explotative and more benevolent towards the members of the organisation. In system-3, exercise of authority is more broad-based with delegation of power to middle levels and consultation of affected interests at lower levels. To the extent motivation, communication and involvement of subordinates replace  reliance on exercise of formal authority; consultative management systems will be well-set to move forward to the management system-4.

 

Likert marshals empirical evidence to show the prevalence of Systems 1 and 2 management practices in low performance units, and Systems 3 and 4 management practices in high performance units.

 

8. Science –based Management- Science for  fact-    Indeed, there is need for monitoring the state of the organisation and its internal management system at periodic intervals or stages of growth. Likert proposes a scheme of evaluation for the causal, intervening and end-result variable, affecting organizational climate and performance. However, he claims that social science, using the methods of  mathematics and statistics, can develop methodologies for measurement of the state of human resource and predict the cause and effect of intervening variables. But socio-metric measurements of causal, intervening and end-result variables may not always establish reliable relationships to provide firm basis for management action.Explicating the relationships between causal, intervening and end-result variables Likert postulates two hypotheses relating to the manager has well organized plan of operation , high performance goals, high technical competence and if the manager  manages by System 1 or 2, using direct hierarchical pressures, his Organisation will display (1) less group loyalty, (2) lower performance goals (3) greater conflict, (4) less cooperation, (5) less technical assistance to peers, (6) greater feelings of unreasonable pressure, less favourable attitudes towards manager, (7) lower motivation to produce, and his organisation will attain (1) lower sales volume, (2) higher sales costs, (3) lower quality of business sold, and lower earnings. 

9. Using the survey feedback method, Likert proposes an organizational improvement cycle. It comprises five steps 1. Establishing the ideal model (system 4);2. Measuring the organizations scores on key dimensions of the ideal model;3. Analysing and interpreting scores based on their relationship to the Ideal Model and prepare diagnosis of organizational strengths and correct weaknesses;4. Based on the diagnosis, preparing the action plan to build on strengths, subordinate behaviour, etc., and5. Implementation of the action plan.

10. Managing Conflicts : In search to evolve new patterns of management based on cooperative and supportive relationships, Likert also focuses his attention on new ways of managing conflict For, in the capitalist mode of production conflict is inherent in management-worker relations,. It manifests itself in several forms. Likert himself refers to the nature of this conflict when he states; There is ample evidence in the mass media and elsewhere that bitter, unresolved conflict is widespread and increasing in frequency. It occurs at all levels of society; among nations ad within nations, among organizations and within them.

Likert defines conflict, as the active striving for one’s own preferred outcome, which if attained, precludes the attainment by others of their own preferred outcome, thereby producing hostility. He differentiates two kinds of conflict. Substantive conflict is rooted in the substance of the task, Affective conflict is derived from the emotional, affective aspects of interpersonal relations. Likert considers how to handle substantive conflict even in situations where the presence of affective conflict makes this task more difficult.

The widely prevalent win-lose strategies of conflict resolution in organizations distort the receptions of individual and groups, maintain a polarized adversary orientation at all times and escalate the costs of chronically defeated groups to organizations. In conflict situations, leadership migrates to the aggressive, relegating the emotionally mature to the background.

11) Crticisms: Ideal-rational system---linking pin  model of Likert is often accused of doing nothing more than drawing triangles around the traditional hierarchical structures.

 How do we push the management Systems 1. ---Cultural constraints and social values.--- conflict ---development of advanced forms of human organisation ---of good management practices .