Based on the scientific management theory, what are some of the routines in health care that seem to be inefficient? What examples of participative decision making exist in your Hospital ? Provide your rationale
Scientific management is the earliest management theory known, dating back to the early 1900s. According to the foundation of this theory, humans are motivated by money, and there should be a separation between managers and the workers. The application of this theory results in a dramatic increase in productivity of the workers and profits for the organization. Around the same time the scientific management theory was developing, Fayol (as indicated by Marquis and Huston, 2006) began mapping management functions which came to be known as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Many comparisons can be drawn between the delineation of these management functions and the elements of the nursing process.
In the early 1920s, workers in the United States began to feel unsettled. A sense of dissatisfaction with repetitive tasks led to unrest. Workers understood that they knew specialized tasks, yet they felt unskilled and under-utilized. This was the first time that worker satisfaction was linked to productivity, and participative decision making was born.
Because of the participative decision-making movement, management theorists began to focus their attention on elements and styles of leadership. The great man theory is the earliest known leadership theory. It states that leaders are born and others are meant to be led.
In early 1970, the situational and contingency leadership theory emerged. The premise of these theories indicates that leaders should vary their decision-making and responses according to the situation or the employee, with the idea that no one approach is ideal for every situation. At this same time, employees began stating that they were being treated unfairly.
Current leadership theories include interactional theory and transformational theory. Interactional theory builds upon the individuality of the leader and the situation. People are complex and their motives change over time. The leadership exchange involves many variables including personality, perceptions, and the ability of both the leader and the employee, as well as the context of the specific situation.
Transformational leadership raises each person to a higher level of morality and motivation. Vision and environment are the keys to this theory. Transformational leaders are able to forecast the path of the future and guide others to a higher standard of performance.
Leadership examples abound throughout the Bible, not just in character but in style. The leadership styles are described as visionary, strategist, team leader, servant leader, shepherd, trainer, and encourager (Manz, 1998).
A curious notion about most of the biblical leaders is that many of them were perceived as weak and humble, as noted in the stories of David and Moses. Interestingly enough, followership is one of the characteristics God looks for in leaders because those that allow themselves to be led by God will not follow other people. They will lead other people to follow God in their own process of following God. God wants faithful people, not just successful people (Manz, 1998).
Servant Shepherd Ministries describes four factors that are the key to leadership: model, motive, manner, and method. Internally, there must be a mental model and a motive. In essence, an individual should lead as a servant and love God and others above himself or herself. Externally, there must be a manner and method. In other words, an individual should look on others with benevolence and use wisdom and reason in all actions and choices.
Julian (2002) describes business principles versus God’s principles. Some of the unwritten business rules include achieving results at all costs, pleasing others, making leadership the first priority, and subscribing to the idea that an individual can never do enough. Julian challenges these notions by stating that God asks His followers to serve a purpose, to work to please Him, to see leadership as serving, and to have unconditional love for others.
Although both management and leadership are important, those individuals who are in positions to influence the future of nursing need to integrate five traits:
1. Long term, visionary thinking
2. Ability to rise above bureaucracy and influence others
3. Emphasis on vision, values, and motivation
4. Ability to cope with multiple and conflicting priorities
5. Ability to think in terms of change and renewal
If all health care leaders demonstrated these characteristics, organizations might prosper through the many challenges that health care providers encounter today.