Starting 1972 the international organisation ‘W. J. Reddin & Associates Inc’ systematically investigates manager effectiveness.
Though disentangling effectiveness proofs testing, examinations have yielded important conclusions:
It appears that effective managers make it clear to their staff what performance they expect of them. They are strongly focused to set targets, though they achieve these in many different ways without structuring them all that well. Moreover targets are achieved by means of rather different management styles. Some managers achieve their targets in an authoritarian style, whilst others opt for rather more democratic and cooperative methods. The most important factor for success is that clarity is provided about the performance expectations.
Not only do effective managers engage with target setting, also they see to it at a reasonably high level that targets are being achieved. Investigation shows reasonably clear that rather effective managers create a ‘Results Oriented’ culture and absolutely are not self-satisfied where it concerns the achievement of high level targets.
Investigations demonstrate that effective managers are ready to accept responsibility to enhance their workers performances. They understand quite well that situations of conflict belong to the management process and that it is necessary to be decisive and to accept responsibility in order to achieve set targets. Moreover effective managers like their work and feel well in their role as a manager.
As an offset to the dimension ‘result orientation’ effective managers surprisingly empathise and commit to the needs and feelings of their staff. Though such empathy is directly linked with the tasks that the staff must fulfil; it does not stretch across all areas of staff life, yet is restricted to the relationship of advice and company of staff by which a sincere interest in their career development is shown. Effective managers will show a certain sensitivity when caring for the capabilities and talents of men. Also a readiness to show sincere appreciation for the behaviour and the performance of staff.
Reddin investigation clearly shows that effective managers do not ‘police’ their staff. They are conscious of what is happening in their organisation or department and they use different methods in the keeping abreast with the manner how their staff perform. These methods are linked to set targets and to primarily gather information that can be deployed during feedback to prevent or solve problems. The link between the dimensions ‘process monitoring’ and ‘feedback orientation’ is a direct one. Effective managers demonstrate ‘process monitoring’ behaviour to gather information relative to exercise their factual tasks.
Effective managers like to busy themselves with the clear definition of expectations. Also they are clearly focused on providing staff with feedback about how their performance corresponds with those expectations. Appreciating the link between the dimensions ‘feedback orientation’ and ‘communicating’, it appears that effective managers furnish positive as well as negative comments. It is essential that feedback is always given against the background of earlier defined expectations. Feedback is a tool to communicate, show empathy and to underline the necessity for enhanced performance.
These so-called ‘core behaviours’ do not represent all that will make an effective manager, yet they furnish the basis on which other behaviours can and must be built.
Reddin investigation leads to at least five important ‘outside’ factors that will determine the effectiveness of management:
The level of the manager inside the organisation, the specific nature of the work that he or she must lead, the experience and personality of staff and the unique work culture in the organisation appears to affect the effectiveness of the manager.
Research results irrefutably show that the six core behaviours described above will always distinguish effective managers from the less effective, such in spite of the effects of specific factors of level, task, staff and work culture.