In the bygone days of sixties of last century, students of management were taught direction as one of management functions. One of the pros of consultative direction was that it reduces bossing and enhances participation for improved human relations necessary for more productivity and production in an enterprise, thus benefitting all the stakeholders. Since then a long time has elapsed and the new findings in the management field have enriched the discipline to be applied in organized human activities for giving better results. Resonance in management rises to the extent of better height when accursed bossing goes down to the level of zero. And instead, the vacuum of such bossing is filled by leading and managing for resonance and resultant better outcomes.
In administration and management parlance, bossing has long before been identified as the stigma on the administrative and management practices on way to inclusiveness and egalitarianism in those enterprises striving for better outcomes. When bossing itself has been spotted as bad, accursed bossing is worst due to further isolation of administrators and managers from their subordinates. They work closed-door and often maintain the relationships of coercion, domination, suppression, oppression and exploitation with their subordinates and in the process they dehumanize the subordinates. The subordinates become mentally abnormal; fear always haunts them; and thus they are dehumanized to become the objects.
Words like direction, dictation, etc. have negative connotations and the words like participation, involvement, ownership, inclusiveness, egalitarianism and other such words have positive ones. Long ago, the direction function of management has been replaced by the leading function in management literature. Unlike the inspirational resonant leaders, the accursed bosses prefer hierarchy in organization structure to flat one, top-down one way communication to dialogical communication, theory X approach to theory Y approach in motivating the subordinates in their organizations, employed personnel as subordinates to dignified human resources and many others such things. Often fear is the key to motivating the dehumanized subordinates. Monetary reward is seen as the critical indicator of power and status of the employees in the organization.
In his theory X and theory Y, an earlier variant of motivational theory, Doglas MacGregor said that traditionally managers make the assumptions that people do not like work and whenever possible, they avoid the work and shun their responsibilities. So, the approach to managing them requires supervision, instructions and often coercion to push them hard to give their efforts towards meeting the set goals. This is what is about theory X. His theory Y says that people do not dislike work and behave responsibly when conducive to work environment is created by the management. Theory Y is in fact the antithesis of assumptions of the traditional managers. In the changed context, even the common sense of any prudent management today will discard the approach of managing their human resources under X theory.
Many a missionary after the war of liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 intended to liberate the prisoners of poverty and backwardness by such institutions and methods which could enable them to wage a struggle against prevailing exclusionary vested interest for inclusiveness and egalitarian values of equity and justice in the society. National non-governmental organizations with the extra-territorial ones, popularly known as NGO, started to organize the excluded and disadvantaged for their empowerment and development. While these organizations responded to the needs of the organized partner groups with matching development projects and programs, some of the organizations adopted team approach rather than hierarchic organizations and direction and bossing at upper echelon.
Of them, the extreme critical ones discarded the positions of directors at upper echelons of their organizations and instead, adopted the positional identities as chief coordinator and coordinators at the top. They wanted to get rid of the directors, let alone accursed bossing. Inspirational resonant leaders rather than directors and bosses were considered their spark plugs. In programmatic areas, the conscientization (critical awareness of social reality and struggles to achieve the rights)over the development programs and projects, more dependent on financial resources, were made as their priority in the agendas of development. Rather than maintaining the relationship of Sirs and subordinates in the hierarchic organizations, they became "Bhai" (brother) to one another, intention being achieving internal inclusiveness and egalitarianism.
The euphoria of getting liberated through inclusiveness and egalitarianism both within and outside the organizations evaporated over years. Now, it is difficult to draw the line of distinction between organizations functioning under dominant development paradigm and those functioning under alternative development one. Real development organizations for inclusiveness and egalitarianism have to be evaluated by the impact they create by their grass-roots activities and values as well as activities of the leaders of development organizations. Organizations under alternative development paradigm must not fail to empower and develop both the excluded and disadvantaged people at grass-roots level, and the animators and others they engage for them.
While taking advantage of technological innovation for competitiveness and financial self-reliance by the organizations under alternative development paradigm, the management has to view their own engaged people for development and empowerment of the excluded and disadvantaged at the grass-roots level through the lens of theory Y of Doglas Macgregor. When the engaged people find themselves dignified, treated equally with the principles of justice and equity, adequately motivated by not only by financial incentives but also by non-financial ones and so on, they will be more responsible to perform their tasks of empowering and developing the people at the grass-roots. They will self-move, devoid of coercive supervision and accursed bossing.
The author is a columnist and vice-chairman of CDIP.
Leave a Comment
The horrific deaths of four individuals, including three members of th ...
About 40% of people living with diabetes globally go undiagnosed, acco ...