Home

ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-03

0407-MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Prof Omar Hasan Kasule

MODULE OUTLINES

39.1 PRINCIPLES & CONCEPTS OF MANAGEMENT

39.1.1 Definition and Functions Of Management

39.1.2 The Manager

39.1.3 Management in the Organization

39.1.4 Management: Styles and Problems

39.1.5 Management in Qur’an and Sunnat

 

39.2 STRATEGY, al istratiijiyat

39.2.1 Concepts of Strategy

39.2.2 Understanding Planning

39.2.3 Strategy Planning

39.2.4 Strategic Moves

39.2.5 Strategy Implementation

 

39.3 PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION, takhtiit wa tanfiidh al masharii’e

39.3.1 Action/Tactical Planning

39.3.2 Project Planning & Appraisal

39.3.3 Implementation

 

39.4 CONTROL AND EVALUATION, al muraaqabat wa al taqwiim

39.4.1 Control

39.4.2 Evaluation

 

39.5 DECISION-MAKING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING, al qaraaraat wa al mashaakil

39.5.1 Principles of Decision Making

39.5.2 Process of Decision-Making

39.5.3 Principles of Problem-Solving

39.5.4 Process of Problem-Solving

39.5.5. Management of Crises


UNIT 39.1

PRINCIPLES & CONCEPTS OF MANAGEMENT

UNIT OUTLINE

39.1.1 DEFINITION AND FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT

A. What Is Management?

B. Scientific Management

C. Human Management

D. Commonsense Management

E. Management Functions

 

39.1.2 THE MANAGER

A. The Role Of The Manager Is To Manage People

B. Attributes Of A Good Manager: Realism

C. Attributes Of A Good Manager: Communication

D. Attributes Of A Good Manager: Persistence

E. Attributes Of A Good Manager: Motivation

 

39.1.3 MANAGEMENT IN THE ORGANIZATION

A. Span Of Control and Organizational Communication

B. Managerial Resources: People

C. Managerial Resources: Material

D. Managerial Resources: Time

E. Managerial Resources: Information

 

39.1.4 MANAGEMENT: STYLES and PROBLEMS

A. Management Style And The Situation

B. Management Styles Based On Exercise Of Power

C. Management Styles Based On Activity

D. Management By Objectives

E. Quality Management

F. Problems In Management

 

39.1.5 MANAGEMENT IN QUR’AN and SUNNAT

A. Competence

B. Specialization

C. Control

D. Delegation

E.


UNIT SYNOPSIS

39.1.1 DEFINITION AND FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT

Management is a process, a series of actions and activities or operations that lead to some end. Management can be looked at as a rational scientific process or as a process of human interaction. Scientific management pre-supposes ability to select, train, motivate and supervise workers by rational, scientific, and measurable criteria. A human relations approach aims at making the worker psychologically and emotionally satisfied so that he may be productive. The human approach to management will in the end produce the best results. Management should not be looked at as a complicated matter. It can be simple and straight-forward. It is true to say that management of people is just plain common sense. The core function of management is problem-solving. Other functions include: decision-making, planning, organizing, controlling, evaluating, communication, negotiation, and coordination.

 

39.1.2 THE MANAGER

A manager gets others to produce and not to produce himself. Thus a manager must know how to get good performance out of others. A good manager can manage anything with sufficient resources. Management need not be specialized. The same general principles that are used in one organization can be used in another one with some modifications. This is because management is basically dealing with people and not the technology or the environment. Whoever knows how to manage people can manage them wherever they are. A good manager is realistic, has good and effective communication skills, is persistent, is firm but flexible, and is motivated, as well as being motivating for others. A good manager has the following attributes: realism, good communication, persistence, and motivation.

 

39.1 3 MANAGEMENT IN THE ORGANIZATION

Span of control refers to the number of people or projects that a manager can personally supervise. Span of control can be extended by more delegation  and better control. The manager should not try to be personally everywhere all the time. Organizational communication can be improved by using all lines of communication. Vertical communication is between superiors and subordinates and can be up-down or down-up. Horizontal communication is between peers. Diagonal communication cuts across the vertical hierarchical system and across administrative subdivisions. Multiple channels should be used: oral, written etc. The following methods can be used in an organization: counselling, grievance procedures, attitude surveys, ombudsmen, open door policy, suggestions box, periodic meetings, written material, and social gatherings. The organizational grapevine can be positive or negative. Important information especially about attitudes or fears can only come from the grapevine. It however also conveys wrong or misleading rumors. You must learn to deal with rumors effectively. Listen to them because some of the information may be true. Provide correct information formally and informally to counteract the rumors. A manager requires the following resources in order to produce results: people, money, physical assets, time, and information. People are the most important and most valued resource. With good people the other resources can be generated.

 

39.1.4 MANAGEMENT: STYLES and PROBLEMS

Management styles can be classified based on exercise of power or activity. In the exercise of power managers can be divided into the following categories: exploitative authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative and participative, laisser-faire or hands-off. Managers can be classified according to activities as follows: directing, coaching, supporting, supporting, and delegating. Management by objectives (MBO) is a process of setting goals, delegation, and reviewing achievements in the light of the set objectives. The causes of management failure are poor human skills, limited resources, poor MIS, ignorance of stakeholders, political infighting, bureaucratic interference, moving goal posts, and challenge to managerial authority.

 

39.1.5 MANAGEMENT IN QUR’AN and SUNNAT

The Qur’an enjoins recruitment of capable workers who have strength and honesty. Specialization necessary. The worker should not be compelled to work beyond capability. Omar used to check on his workers. The prophet used delegation in many instances.

 

UNIT 39.2

STRATEGY

 

39.2.1 CONCEPTS OF STRATEGY

Strategy is a rational approach to management of uncertainties involving assessment of the internal and external environments, forecasting the future, thinking forwards and reasoning backwards, and preparing for various hypothetical scenarios by establishing strategic objectives and formulating plans to accomplish them.  Strategic management deals with sudden changes in the environment and is likened to shooting at a moving target when riding on a galloping horse. Study of the seerah reveals effective strategic thinking and planning at all stages of the forward march of the Islamic mission. The Hudaybiyah events illustrate very clearly the strategic thinking of the prophet. He agreed to conditions that appear unfavorable to Muslims because his strategic interests were to get political recognition and peace at the southern border so that he can concentrate on dawa in the north.

 

39.2.2 UNDERSTANDING PLANNING

Action planning is laying down the detailed tactical or operational plans. Effective plans are specific, action-oriented, flexible, and consistent with organizational long-term goals and objectives. Plans can be classified according to different criteria: (a) Objective: strategic, tactical/operational (b) Duration: short, medium, long-term (c) Specificity: general, specific (d) Complexity: complex, simple (e) Methodology: top to bottom, bottom to top (f) Scope: comprehensive, narrow (g) Importance: major, minor  (h) Scale of measure: qualitative, quantitative  (I) Security class: confidential, public (j) Formality: formal, informal (k) Implementability: easy, difficult  (l) Flexibility: flexible, inflexible (m) Creativity: rational, intuitive, creative (n) Cost: expensive, cheap. Planning has limitations due to environmental factors beyond the control of the planner. Failure to plan is due to philosophical objections to planning the future, resistance to change, fear of commitment, and difficulty of the planning process.

 

39.2.3 STRATEGY PLANNING

Strategy formulation goes through the following steps: defining organizational vision and mission, clarifying externally-imposed mandates, analyzing stakeholders, analyzing the internal and external environments, identifying strategic issues, collecting information, making assumptions and forecasts, formulating general strategic approaches for various possible scenarios, choosing the most favored scenario and formulating detailed tactical plans for it. A strategic plan covers a long period of time. Its practical implementation is through a series of annual action or tactical plans. Contingency plans should be ready for immediate implementation if the chosen plan fails or encounters obstacles. Each chosen plan must be subjected to a workability test: can it work in practice? can the underlying vision be maintained, can the barriers be overcome?. Strategic plans need constant revision.

 

39.2.4 STRATEGIC MOVES

Strategic moves are actual measures taken to implement the strategy. Strategic moves can be sudden and major to throw competition off balance, paced and incremental with continuous evaluation, slow today with major impact in long-term perspective. Strategic moves may be sequential or simultaneous. Strategic moves may be conditional or unconditional. Strategic moves are preceded by assessment of key players. In a zero sum situation, in which one person's gain is always another person's loss. In non-zero sum situations collaboration and coordination lead to a win/win outcome. Planning strategic moves should consider relative power, resources, time, and the environment. Brinkmanship in strategic thinking is risky but has its rewards. Pre-emptive moves involve taking reactive moves even before the events reacted to have not yet fully unfolded which results in gain of lead-time and an upper hand.

 

39.2.5 STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

The timing and sequence of strategic moves must be in stages and be part of strategic logic. Each strategic move must be broken down into its separate specific components to make analysis, monitoring, and modification easier. Very big strategic moves are riskier. Each move must consider previous moves and anticipated future ones. Strategy implementation requires motivated leaders, resources, organizational restructuring, and behavioral changes. Strict control measures are needed to ensure that there is no deviation. Contingency or back up plans must be made. Opportunities should always be exploited. There are 4 main difficulties in strategy implementation: the long lag-time between action and outcome, uncertainty about the future, and dynamic shifts that require changing plans rapidly.

 

 

UNIT 39.3

PLANNING and IMPLEMENTATION

 

39.3.1 ACTION/TACTICAL PLANNING

An action plan implements portion of the strategic plan. It covers 1-2 years.  Planning may be bottom-up (decentralisation) or top-down (centralisation) depending on the circumstances. Its 2 components are determination of objectives / expression of intention (niyyat) and formulation of actions to achieve objectives. The planning process must follow systematic and rational stages: environmental analysis, stating vision and mission, niyyat and commitment, setting goals and objectives, collecting and analyzing information, making assumptions/forecasts about missing information, searching for opportunities, considering all alternative solutions, deciding on the best alternative, formulating action plans, communicating, setting up control mechanisms, execution of the plan, follow-up and follow-through, and evaluation using goals as criteria. Plans must be reviewed regularly. The time scheduling should allow float time to absorb delays. A good plan must make allowance for the human factor because humans are not perfect. Each action plan must include contingencies in case the main plan does not work or faces unforeseen obstacles. A good action plan Detailed planning for each task: who is responsible?, methodology, timing, place, human resources, non-human resources, expected result, and criteria of evaluation.

 

39.3.2 PROJECT PLANNING & APPRAISAL

A project is a group of activities carried out with clearly defined time and cost to reach specific objectives. The stages of a project are conception, feasibility study, project planning, implementation, termination, and evaluation. The advantages of project planning are: reducing risk, clarifying objectives, setting standards for performance, setting up structures for implementation, and setting up a control system. Each project must have a project director and a project team. A project director must be appointed very early in the life of the project and should participate in the planning process. The project Team is set up and the project is explained to them. Stakeholders must be identified for each stage of the project. Key stages and milestones of the project must be identified. Human and financial resources must be budgeted. The plan must be updated continuously during implementation.

 

39.3.3 IMPLEMENTATION

What is planned must be put into action. Actions must be consistent with words (Qur'an 2:44). Tasks once started must be completed. The components of Implementation are inputs, transformation, and outputs (products or services). The implementation strategy must be built in the action plan. An equilibrium is needed between effectiveness (achieving targets) and efficiency (doing things right at minimum cost). The requirements for successful implementation are vision, good planning, follow-up, follow-through, proper knowledge and skills, clear well written goals, clear priorities, a clear plan of action, and emphasis on quality. Implementation fails due to unclear vision, too big goals, unpleasant tasks, Indecision, lack of confidence, Poor planning, inadequate time, and Distractions. The stages of implementation are planning, mobilization of resources, definition of tasks, assignment of tasks, and assuring completion. All concerned must be in the information loop. Implementors must manage multiple priorities, budget time, benefiting deadline crises, accept some degree of risk, and have contingency plans for unforeseen situations. Successful implementation requires pro-activity, simplicity, intuition from experience, incremental approach, keeping records, human skills, delegation, good communication, and negotiation. The terminal stages of the project are as important as the start and must be planned carefully.

 

UNIT 39.4

CONTROL and EVALUATION

 

39.4.1 CONTROL

Control is assuring that plans are carried out effectively and efficiently. It provides a systematic and methodologic approach to ensuring compliance. It enables early detection and correction of mistakes. It may be internal (due to taqwa and thawaab) or external (due to rewards and punishment). It may be pre-action, concurrent, or post implementation. Project costs must be controlled by making sure that the operational budget is within the approved budget. No amount of control will get good results out of demotivated, weak-willed workers. Managers must be given enough authority to resolve control issues in areas of their responsibility. A good control system must be flexible, timely, accurate, cost-effective, understandable, acceptable, and objective. The steps of the control process are (a) setting standards, criteria, or objectives; (b) measurement of actual performance; (c) comparing actual to expected standards; (d) and taking corrective action. Base plans can be changes as a result of control activities. The control program can fail due to resistance, inaccurate information, rigid bureaucracy, negligent management, too rapid changes, and an overstretched organization. Continuous quality improvement (QI) is a management philosophy that is committed to continuous and consistent improvement in quality. It is consistent with the Islamic concept of ihsaan that calls for continuous human improvement. Quality assurance or quality improvement is a type of control.

 

39.4.2 EVALUATION

The objectives of evaluation are Assess whether objectives were achieved, Assess efficiency, Assess effectiveness, and Learn from experience. Its benefits are: Identify success and reinforce, Help management see areas of weakness and improvement, Reassure workers that they are moving well, reassure stake-holders, Gain confidence of supporters and donors, If the results of an evaluation process are not used to improve future performance the evaluation has not achieved its pupose. Evaluation may be process evaluation or outcome evaluation. It may be internal or external. It may be during project implementation or at the end of implementation. The basis for evaluation in the Qur'an and sunnah is the individual accountability as well as the reward and punishment. Data for evaluation can be collected by Direct observation, Questionnaire, Interview, End-product, Records review, and Performance/knowledge tests. Self-evaluation is very difficult but yet very important. Only the most mature, most self-confident, and most sincere people are capable of looking at themselves in mirror and deal objectively with their performance, negative or positive. Projects are evaluated on the criteria of keeping the schedule, finishing within budget, meeting all project objectives, and meeting stakeholder expectations.

 

UNIT 39.5

DECISION MAKING and PROBLEM-SOLVING

 

39.5.1 PRINCIPLES OF DECISION MAKING

Leaders and managers make strategic, tactical, or operational decisions. Programmed decisions are routine procedures and un-programmed decisions are creative, innovative, and risky. Major decisions are best taken incrementally. Certainty is better than uncertainty. Easier alternatives are preferred. Discussions improve decision making. Best decisions address needs and not want and require time. Scientific decisions are better than hasty or prevaricative decisions. Decision making can be rational systematic, intuitive, mathematical or statistical. Consensus is better than majority decisions. A competent individual decision is better than that of a majority of average individuals. The worst decision is that by an average individual.

 

39.5.2 PROCESS OF DECISION-MAKING

All possibilities are considered and the larger picture is visualized while putting the decision in proper context. Review of previous related decisions helps. An assessment is made whether a decision is necessary. A bad decision is stopped before making a better one. The degree of risk and uncertainty must be known. The present decision must be related to others. Biases are acknowledged. Implementability must be considered. The issues must be classified as to importance and urgency. Assumptions and forecasts are made. Available resources are considered. Decision alternatives are generated and the best alternative is selected. The future impact of the decision is analyzed. Then istikhara is carried out before decision implementation. A bad decision should be changed sooner than later.

 

39.5.3 PRINCIPLES OF PROBLEM-SOLVING

A problem exists if reality is different from the expected. Problems should be identified early in the lag time between cause and consequence. Problems are challenges and opportunities that should be approached with an open mind and viewed as holistic. Problems are solved and not shifted around. It is better to leave a problem unsolved if the consequences of the 'best' solution are worse than the original problem. An optimal solution will produce maximum effect from minimum effort. Cumulative experience cannot solve all problems. Fixed tested procedures solve routine and emergency problems but not creative new problems. Decision audit is educative. 'Best' is not synonymous with the simplest solution. Quality solutions can be arrived at by generating a lot of alternatives and selecting the best proving the rule that quality is from quantity.

 

39.5.4 PROCESS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING

Problem solving is realistic appraisal, seeing problems as challenges and opportunities, open mindedness,, toleration for alternatives, the realization that 'different' is not 'wrong', encouraging 'strange' ideas, combining and extending ideas, creativity, and persistence. Stages of rational systematic problem-solving are: analysis of the environment, recognition of the problem, identification of the problem, determination of the ownership of the problem, definition of the problem, classification of the problem, prioritizing the problem, collection of information, making assumptions and forecasts, generating decision alternatives, pause during incubation period that leads to illumination, selection of the best alternative, analysis of the impact of the chosen alternative, implementation, control of the implementation,  and evaluation of the results. Barriers to effective problem solving are wrong concepts, attitudes, behaviors, questions, and methods. When you have an overwhelming problem, talk to someone who can listen. De-emotionalize the problem. Look at problem from wider perspective. Identify positives in the problem. Solve the problem systematically. Do not escape/avoid, do nothing, scream, self-anesthesia, or lament.

 

39.5.5. MANAGEMENT OF CRISES

A crisis is a situation of a major change with potential risk. A crisis, preventable and non preventable, is always waiting to happen. Crises are opportunities for creative problem solving. A crisis is a fluid, dynamic, and fast condition associated with fear and interferes with normal life. It goes through 5 stages: prodroma, acute crisis, chronic crisis, and crisis resolution with ripple effects. Crisis management reveals organizational weaknesses and strengths. Strong organizations have mechanisms to forecast crises, contingency plans, and worked-out worst-case scenarios. They can detect prodromal signs before a crisis. Crisis management involves reversing prodromal signs and intervention to deal with after-effects. The crisis intervention strategy includes identification of the crisis, isolation of the crisis and management of the crisis. Decision making in a crisis is stressful.

Omar Hasan Kasule July 2004