Essay on Contingency Theories in Management

1653 Words Apr 13th, 2011 7 Pages
This essay sets out to show where the four popular management contingency variables of organisational size, routineness of task technology, environmental uncertainty and individual differences are reflected in the work of the manager that was interviewed. Using classical theories of Fayol, Mintzberg and Katz along practical examples from the managers’ day-to-day routine, this essay sets out to explain how these theories and functions impact upon how the manager applies the situational approach to management using the contemporary and widely accepted contingency theories.

The manager that was interviewed was Mr. Luke Jecks, the Director of Sales and Marketing within an Australian-based organisation in the private sector, Cellarmaster
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In addition to the organisational size theory, Mr. Jecks employs Routineness technologies to effectively manage the organisation.

To achieve its purpose, an organisation uses task technology. Routineness technologies require organisational structure, leadership styles and control systems that differ from those required by customized or non-routined technologies. (Robbins et al, 2010). Goodhue and Thompson (1985) imply that technologies are viewed as tools used by individuals in carrying out their tasks. And tasks are broadly defined by Perrow (1967) as the actions employed to transform inputs into outputs. Technology, or the work done by organisations, is considered the defining characteristic of organisations. Perrow (1967,p.195) states that “organisations are seen primarily as systems for getting work done, for applying techniques to the problem of altering materials, whether the materials are people, symbols or things Perrow (1967) also states that Non-routine technology is where an organization has to develop structure that allows employees to respond quickly to manage exceptions and create new solutions.

Routine and non-routine technologies are both employed by Mr. Jecks within the organisation. In applying Fayols’ principle of leading, Mr. Jecks sets out clear and transparent work plans with centralised decision-making. Mr. Jecks applies the contingency variable of routineness of task technology, and places a high degree of

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