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MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY

NAME: HARED ABDIFATAH NUNOW


ADM.NO: BCOM/2016/58049
UNIT NAME: PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
UNIT CODE: BBM 1201
TASK: ASSIGNMENT DRAFT ONE
1. The principles of bureaucracy as provided by MaxWeber are today widely applied
in Kenyan organizations. Critically evaluate this statement (10marks)

Bureaucracy is supposedly unsuitable to quickly changing and highly demanding features of

contemporary organizations as this type of management is synonymous to red tape and it

represents dozens of negative effects such as rigidity, alienation, and low commitment (Adler,

1999, pp.37). However, with core characteristics of the bureaucratic form (e.g. formalization,

hierarchy and specialization) (Adler & Borys, 1996, p.1) as well as evidence of ongoing

existence of this management method, bureaucracy is proved to remain relevant in terms of

following facets: it very fits organizations characterized with routine tasks; it comes up with

exceptional requirements of some specific organizations; it is very well-suited to ease the tension

of interest conflict between members of organization; and an appropriate style of bureaucracy

will create and foster trust, commitment and motivation among employees.

Despite the fact that bureaucracy possesses some negative consequences such as rigidity,

alienation, and low commitment (Adler, 1999, p.37) or bureaucracy is under criticism for

dehumanizing people (Grey, 2005), there is evidence of bureaucracy existence in today world.

For example, in Kenya, the democratic government uses the rules of bureaucratic management;

and bureaucratic principles are applied in administration of the customs and the foreign service

alike (Mises, 1983, p.47). Normally, when bureaucracy is discussed, this management style is

usually assimilated to red tape, over-controlling bosses, and apathetic employees or it is

regarded as incompatible to individual liberty, personal accountability and other virtues or it is

even regarded as one of the great evils. Nevertheless, this stereotype against bureaucracy is

probably shaped by practical adoption of insufficiently bureaucratic form in nontraditional

communist in Kenya. According to Pearce (2000, p.151), bureaucracy in these is characterized


by particularistic organizational practices that are designed to encourage excessively high level

of formalization and hierarchy in favor of minority group interest (e.g. workplace authority,

leaders).

The current existence of bureaucracy in Kenyans Organizations may be primarily

attributed to positive influences derived from bureaucracy rules that may be suitable at different

extent to organizations regardless its sorts or level of development. Apparently, it is normally

agreed that there is inevitable conflict in the interest between members of an organization. For

example, the interest of workers and managers not always come hand in hand (Adler, 1999,

p.45). According to Jaffe (p.97), this conflict in interest that inevitably cause organization

tension, may be neutralized through bureaucratic rules (e.g. procedures, supervision or

coordination) so as nonowners find their interest while creating interest for organizational

owners. Additionally, (Adler, 1999, p.96) also points out that bureaucratic rules are more easily

exercised and enforced if all members of organization have common interest. For example, both

managers and workers in Kenya find their interest in complying with rules and principles of fire

or safety prevention practices and as a result, the high level of bureaucracy formalization to have

these rules strictly exercised and enforced is voluntarily accepted by all members of

organization. Obviously, in this regards, the formalized procedures of the representative

bureaucracy are necessary and relevant for any sort of organization.

As bureaucracy is characterized with hierarchical structure, formalized procedures, and

staff expertise (Adler, 1999, p.37), this management style is thought to remain suitable for large-

scale organizations in which timeliness, conformance and orderliness are crucial to get the whole

system run smoothly. These requirements, obviously, are especially demanding for success of
contemporary organizations that typically come under pressure of increasingly fierce global

competition as it has been evidenced in Kenya.. Furthermore, the application of bureaucracy

management style with high level of formalization and standardization is fairly desperate for

specific sectors or organizations such as military, hospital or police offices particular

organizations whose performance is thought to be hardly conducted without the high degree of

formalization and arbitrary rules. Undoubtedly, the operation of highly-disciplined organizations

like police offices is unlikely to be well performed to ensure security or social order in the

absence of bureaucratic rules but this has not been the case in Kenya.

Additionally, with respect to organization tasks as evidenced in Kenya, bureaucracy is

considered to be beneficial for routine tasks that are characterized by repetition; and to be

counterproductive for non-routine tasks that are typical of innovative (Adler, 1999, p.37).

Accordingly, employees are more motivated in no routine tasks with low level of formalization

as well as in routine tasks with high level of formalization. Apparently, in an organization whose

tasks are primarily routine, if most employees are satisfied with high level of formalization and

control (Jaffe, p.65), bureaucratic form is said to remain relevant.

Bureaucracy is seen as a necessary management style in Kenyan organizations that

creates and fosters trust, commitment and motivation of employees (Pearce, 2000, p.151). In this

regards, the controversial issue is that whether this function of bureaucracy remains suitable for

contemporary organizations in comparison with other styles of management?

With respect to effectiveness in promoting positive attitudes of employees towards their

workplaces, there are contradictory views of bureaucracy in comparison with democratic forms.

Whereas participative management style if regards as flexible to promote motivation and


cooperation of employees (Quang & Vuong, 2002, p.15), bureaucratic segmentation limits

employees to their particular job, and consequently, it inhibits the mobilization of multiple

intelligence (Jaffe, P.121). However, while agree with the former statement, this paper argues

that the later opinion do not cover positive features of bureaucracy that also help promote

motivation and commitment of employees.

Based on opinion of Pearce (2000, P.150), according to which formalized systems that

are used by the large organization in the developed world include performance appraisal systems,

job descriptions, job posting procedures as it has been happening in Kenyan organizations.

Obviously, these criteria of a management system can be found in bureaucracy style. For

example, when result-based performance appraisal is applied in performance activities,

employees, who are genuinely competent and expect to be assessed on the basic of universal

principles such as merit rather than personality or special relation, become more committed to

their workplaces.

In conclusion, bureaucracy as a particular style of management remains to be the widly

used in Kenya for it has proved to be relevant and necessary to contemporary organizations,

especially to those characterized by large-scale size, routine tasks and to those performance of

which is essentially and vitally relies on high degree of hierarchy and formalization of

bureaucratic form. Furthermore, despite the quickly changing practices of international business

context as well as diverse movement of organization structure, the core features of universal

bureaucracy such as formalization, hierarchy and staff expertise in favor of timeless,

conformance and clear accountability remain inevitably necessary for contemporary

organizations to stay ahead of increasingly intensified competition.


2. Environmental scanning tools aid the managers to appropriately determine their

position as far as their operating environments are concerned. Discuss these tools

(10marks)

Environmental scanning is a technique of study of the general environment done to

identify the trend of the environment and organize the organization accordingly. There are

different techniques or methods of environmental scanning. It normally reveals equivocal,

ambiguous, incomplete, unfinished data and information. The scanning system should be aligned

with the context of an organization. Hence, a scanning system plotted for a volatile environment

may be inappropriate for a stable and fixed environment.

The mentioned below are Tools of Environmental scanning.

Executive opinion tool

It is also known as executive judgment method. In these environmental scanning, it is forecasted

on the basis of opinion, conceitedness and views of top executives. A panel is formed consisting

of these executives.

Expert opinion tool.

In these environment forecasting is based on an opinion of outside experts, enthusiast or

specialist. The experts have much more well knowledge about market conditions and customer

taste and preferences. Although this method is similar to executive judgment method. However,

it requires external experts.


Delphi method as a tool

This method is the systemic extension of expert opinion method varying a stage, develop a new

forecasting method based on the results of questionnaires and feedback sent to a panel of experts.

It involves forming a panel of experts and questioning each member of the panel where each of

the members is independently questioned about the future environmental trend. After that, the

responses and summarized are returned to the members for assessment. This process continues

till the acceptable consensus is obtained. Several rounds of questionnaires are sent out, and the

anonymous responses are clustered and shared with the group after each round. The specialists

are allowed to modify and improve their answers in subsequent rounds. Since multiple rounds of

questions are asked and the panel is told what the group thinks as a whole, the Delphi method

seeks to reach the appropriate and correct response through consensus.

Extrapolating tool

Under this technique, the past information is used to assume, predict and explore the future as

well as to function from the past. There are different methods used to extrapolate the future, they

are: time series, trend analysis, and regression analysis.

Use of Historical analogy tool.

In this method, the environmental trends are analyzed with the help of other trends which are

parallel to historical trend when the past data cannot be used effectively. This qualitative tool is a

method for collecting sufficient information and evaluating the effectiveness of potential
adaptation strategies from the other trend by comparing observed. These compared situations and

conditions that can be generally shared for more important characteristics such as time scale,

severity, reversibility, significant influence sector, or exaggerating factors and find out how well

accurate and actual adaptation response worked out .

This method has not seen extensive use recently in these days but also it is extremely useful

during the initial survey stages of evaluating adaptation strategies to avoid duplicating research

or to narrow the list of feasible, workable, possible and practicable options, and is generally used

in union with a quantitative evaluation of adaptation options. This approach does not provide a

method to weigh the trade-offs among different adaptation and adjustment choices but instead

provides insight into how the adaptation process may work. Also, an example of adaptation in

one place at a specific time is not always suitable for a future adaptation at a different place.

Use of Intuitive reasoning:

Under this method, rational, logically sound, absurd and unbiased intuition is used for

environmental scanning by the scanner. Environmental dynamics are guessed by the individual

judgment that requires free thinking not constrained by past experience or personal biases.

Reliability of this method is questionable. However, the validity and trustworthy of such

judgments cannot be evaluated. Intuitive decision making is far more than using common sense

because it involves additional sensors as a gut feeling, sixth sense, inherent impulse, inner sense,

instinct, inner voice, spiritual guide, etc. Many pages on the site are vowed to encourage and to

make the process of receiving information instinctively a more aware one to perceive and get

alerted of the information from outside. People who can't accept the existence of such sensors

may instead call it tapping into "collective intelligence" or "collective unconscious".


Use of Scenario building:

Scenario building is a method that aids decision-makers by providing a context for assessing,

planning and programming, lowering the level of uncertainty and raising the level of knowledge

in relation to the consequences of actions which have been taken or are going to be taken, in the

present. Scenarios are the composite pictures of possible future. They are built on the basis of

time ordered sequence of events that have logical and reasonable cause and effect interpersonal

relationship with each other resulting forecast based on good interrelationships among the

events. Scenarios are built to address future contingencies. The prime aim of scenarios and

scenario building is to enable decision-makers to detect and explore all, or as many as possible,

alternative futures so as to clarify present actions and subsequent consequences. They should,

thus, be prevented from making strategic decisions before they have done some strategic

thinking!

Use of Cross-impact matrix:

Under this method, environmental forecasts through various methods combined composed and

coordinated and consistent description of further future. Cross-impact matrix is used to search

necessary interactions among them, to determine the internal consistency of the forecasts and to

find out potentialities impact in each of them. More recently, the cross-impact analysis was used

on a stand-alone basis or in combination with other techniques to answer a number of research

question on different subjects such as the future of a specific industrial sector, world geopolitical

evolution, the future of collective activities and jobs.


Use of Network tool

In this networking method, contingency trees and relevance trees are most popular. A

contingency tree is a pictorial display of logical relationships at which several alternatives

outcomes are possible among environmental trends. A relevance tree is a logical network

assigning a degree of significance importance to various environmental trends with reference to

an outcome similar to a contingency tree. The network analysis methods are used in project

management where the elements are key activities of the project in the mutual time relation focus

on calculating critical path optimizing between the elements.

3. The contract management process comprises three phases (phase 1 pre-award, phased
award and phase 3 contract. Administration). Discuss the above statement with the
buyer and seller activities in mind. (10marks)

Phase 1 pre-award

Pre-Award is the first phase of the contract life cycle. The pre-award process for the buyer

includes assisting in defining the customer requirements for products or services, and then

developing a comprehensive acquisition plan to fulfill those requirements in a timely manner at a

reasonable price. This includes developing and executing an overall strategy for the purchase,

which is accomplished through researching the marketplace, developing contracting strategies,

preparing solicitations, and requesting offers. The pre-award process for the seller includes

developing and executing a strategy for obtaining the award for a contract, including pre-sales

activities, market strategies, and responding to the procurement. Developing Solicitation is

primarily the domain of the buyer. It is the process of describing all the elements of the customer

requirements (technical, business, regulatory, etc.) to the sellers. The value added by this process
is the accurate presentation of the customer requirement through a solicitation in order to create a

viable contract that can be performed.

Award Phase 2

The second contract life cycle phase is Award. The award process involves all the work by both

the buyer and seller that produces an awarded contract. Some contracts are very simple and

others are exceedingly complex, but the majority fall somewhere in between. There is one

domain in the award phase. The job tasks and competencies of the Form Contract domain

produce the contract. For this transitional phase, buyer job tasks include: Evaluating offers,

Conducting negotiations, Selecting the source, Awarding the contract(s), Debriefing offers, and

Addressing mistakes in offers and seller challenges to the selection process. For the seller, job

tasks include: Clarifying offers, participating in negotiations, and preparing final offers.

Post Award Phase 3

Once the Award phase is completed, the Post-Award contract life cycle phase begins. This

involves all of the contract management functions known as contract administration. The

contract administration functions will vary greatly depending on the complexity of the contract.

Both the buyer and seller are actively involved in contract administration to ensure satisfactory

performance and to bring the contract to a successful conclusion.

Buyer job tasks include: Addressing any issues arising during contract performance that might

increase performance risk, Executing contract modifications, Monitoring compliance of contract

terms, Making payment(s), and Closing out the contract. Seller job tasks include: Contract

performance, Invoicing, Engaging in subcontracting activities, Managing contract changes, and

Bringing the contract to a successful conclusion


References

Adler, P, S 1999 .Building better bureaucracies, Academy of Management Review, pp.36-49.

Adler, P, S & Borys, B 1996 .two types of Bureaucracy: Enabling and Coercive. Aministrative

Science Quarterly, pp.61-89.

Baird, M, Compton, R & Nankervis, A (eds) 2005, Human Resource management: strategies

and processes, 5th edn, Thomson, Melbourne.

Du Gay .P 2000, In Praise of Bureaucracy. Publications Ltd, Lodon.

Grey, Ch 2005 .A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about studying

organizations. Sage Publications Ltd, London.

Jaffe, D .Organization theory: Tention and change, 1th edn. University of North Florida, New

York.

Pant, P. R. (2009). Business Environment in Nepal (SIXTH ed.). Kathmandu, Nepal: Buddha

Academic Publishers and Distributers.

Mises, L, V 1983. Bureaucracy. Margit Von Mises, New York.

Pearce, J.L 2000. Insufficient bureaucracy: trust and commitment in particularistic

organizations. Organization Science, pp.148-162.

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