The changing trends in social, technological, political, economic and other environments discussed above are likely to create new challenges for the managers.
High degree of professionalisation will be needed if the managers have to deal with the challenges effectively. Professionalisation of management requires expert knowledge of management theory and practices, training in management techniques and sensitivity to social responsibilities.
To meet the forthcoming challenges, the managers will have to develop new principles, techniques and practices and modify the existing ones. In nutshell, successful managers will be those who are prepared to accept challenges and make use of new opportunities.
Way # 1. Adoption of Contingency Approach:
The contingency approach (conditional approach) to management is based upon the major premise that there is no one best way to handle any of the management problems. The application of management techniques, principles and practices should be contingent upon the existing environment.
There are three major parts of the overall conceptual framework for contingency management, namely, (i) environment, (ii) management concepts, principles and techniques, and (iii) contingent relationship between the first two elements. The environment variables are independent and the management variables are dependent.
For effective management, a manager should adopt the approaches to management according to the demands of the situations. Thus, the specific tasks to be performed and the nature of leadership to be provided by the managers will differ according to the demands of the situations or challenges confronted in the future.
The organisation should be viewed as an open dynamic system which is influenced by and influences the environment.
The manager of tomorrow must be able to see the business as a whole and to relate it to the total environment. He will need a broad vision to consider developments of all types on a world-wide scale and to judge their impact on the system he is managing.
Way # 2. Management of Information:
The important question here is how the future managers will use information technology for furthering the objectives of the enterprise. They will have to design management information systems to suit their organisations. With a systematic analytical frame of reference, quantitative techniques of operations research will be used frequently to solve management problems.
Thus, use of computerised operations research models will provide a new dimension to decision-making in the future. Decision-making will no longer be based merely on experience, intuition and judgement.
Way # 3. Involvement in Community Affairs:
The need to deal with conflicting interest groups (e.g., labour unions, consumers, shareholders and suppliers) will mean that the future manager must sharpen his political skills and abilities. He will have to try to satisfy every group in order to have favourable public opinion.
Thus, he will have to participate actively in community affairs. He will have to contribute time and money for educational and social projects. He will also have to educate public opinion to dispel misconceptions about business. In fact, he will have to be the ‘antenna’ of his organisation. He will have to pick up messages from the environment and communicate effectively the policies of his organisation to the outside world.
Way # 4. Management of Human Relations:
Management of human relations in the future will be more complicated than it is today.
“Many of the new generation of employees will be more difficult to motivate than their predecessors. This will be in part the result of a change in value systems coupled with rising educational levels. Greater skepticism concerning large organisations and less reverence for authority figures will be more common. Unquestioning acceptance of rules and regulations will be less likely.”
New work-force will comprise educated and self-conscious workers. They will ask for higher degree of participation and avenues for self-fulfilment. Moreover, the proportion of professional and technical employees will increase in relation to blue-collar workers. The ratio of female employees in the total work-force will also rise. Integration of women within managerial ranks will itself be a problem.
Money will no longer be the sole motivating force for majority of the workers. Non-financial incentives will also play an important role in motivating the workforce. In short, human resources will be treated as assets which will appear in balance sheets of business organisations in future.
Way # 5. Forecasting Trends:
Forecasting of changes in environment will become essential for effective management of resources. For instance, technological forecasting will be necessary to avoid blocking up of capital in those technologies which are going to be replaced soon.
Social trends forecasting will reveal the expected changes in the value system and norms of the society.
Economic forecasting will bring about the likely changes in the world economic order, economic policies of the national government and other economic trends in the economy.
It is the study of the possibilities of tomorrow and the efforts to convert these possibilities into preferred probabilities.
Futurology is concerned with both future possibilities or worlds and a set of societal and politico-economic changes that are necessary for converting these desirable possibilities into preferred probabilities. To that extent, contemporary futurism represents an active human involvement, rather than passive dreaming about the future.
Futurology has become very important in most of the countries. For instance, the United States of America has set up a Commission on the “Year 2000” and Britain has set up a Committee on the “Next Thirty Years” and a working group by the name of “Mankind 2000”.
It is important to mention The World Future Society (WFS) which is an international organisation of futurists all over the world. It is chartered as a non-profit scientific and educational organisation in Washington, D.C.
The Society’s objectives are as follows:
1. To contribute to a reasoned awareness of the future and the importance of its study, without advocating particular ideologies or engaging in political activities.
2. To advance responsible and serious investigation of the future.
3. To promote the development and improvement of methodologies for the study of the future.
4. To increase public understanding of future-oriented activities and studies.
5. To facilitate communication and cooperation among organisations and individuals interested in studying or planning for the future.
As we know that managerial actions have both planned and unplanned immediate and future consequences; every manager should attempt to think carefully about the future consequences as much he thinks about the immediate results of future actions.
Emerging Principles of Management:
Thierauf, Klekamp and Geeding have enumerated the following principles which are emerging to keep pace with the changing environment:
1. Principle of Management by Perception:
Management should have the ability to perceive future economic, political and social trends and determine their impact on the organisation so as to improve future performance. This principle is forward looking as opposed to the backward looking approach of management by exception, which focuses on comparison after the fact.
2. Principle of Social Responsibility:
The focus of this principle is to identify and analyse those social forces which have an impact on the organisation so that they may be integrated with the organisational objectives and plans to meet social challenges now and in the future.
3. Principle of Effective Organisation Development:
Going beyond the traditional purpose of organisation development i.e., creating a more benign working environment, effective organisation development should focus on economic goals, i.e., reducing the cost of manpower turnover, and absenteeism as well as improving operational performance.
4. Principle of Effective Management Information System Utilisation:
Management should be able to extract timely information from the management information system to control present and future operations. This system is both forward looking and backward looking in that it enables projection of future events and reports information after the fact. Information of both types have a place in an effective management information system.
5. Principle of Effective Employee Utilisation:
The principle’s thrust is integrating all types of organisation personnel into those positions for which they are qualified. It focuses particularly on promoting minority groups and women to managerial positions.