IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT IN ODL By M.Ravi Babu[1], Padala Laxman[2] and Mohd. Husamuddin[3]

Abstract

Organization management refers to the art of getting people together on a common platform to make them work towards a common predefined goal. An organization is nothing but a common platform where individuals from different backgrounds come together and work as a collective unit to achieve certain objectives and targets. An organization consists of individuals with different specializations, educational qualifications and work experiences all working towards a common goal. The employees are the major assets of an organization and contribute effectively in its successful functioning. An organization can’t survive if the employees are not at all serious about it and treat their work as a burden. The employees must enjoy whatever they do for them to deliver their level best.

Organization management helps to extract the best out of each employee so that they accomplish the tasks within the given time frame. Organization management binds the employees together and gives them a sense of loyalty towards the organization. Organization management enables the optimum use of resources through meticulous planning and control at the workplace. Organization management gives a sense of direction to the employees. The individuals are well aware of their roles and responsibilities and know what they are supposed to do in the organization. An effective management ensures profitability for the organization. In a layman’s language organization management refers to efficient handling of the organization as well as its employees. Organization management gives a sense of security and oneness to the employees. An effective management is required for better coordination among various departments including open and distance learning. The article discusses about the importance of organizational management and institutional learning in open distance learning (ODL).

Keywords: Organizational management, Institutional learning, Open Distance Learning (ODL).

INTRODUCTION

Organization is a social system deliberately established to carry out some definite purpose or goal. In some organizations, these goals are reduced in a well documented form while in other organizations they are quoted verbally and duly expressed by the top management. All the organizations work towards achieving their objectives or goals. To accomplish their goals, organizations start acquiring different resources. Human resource is the most important of all these resources. Organizations are known by their leadership and the human resource they have. Every organization needs good people to run it effectively. Organizations also need to have hierarchies of authority and accountability. Someone in a group is accountable for the output of all members of the group. He / She is vested with a certain degree of authority to be able to plan, assign task, monitor and control the group’s activities

Manager’s job is to coordinate all efforts so that the people work together to achieve a common objective. To lead them effectively manager must understand these relationships and know how to build up a team work to get maximum efficiency and productivity. Every action and decision will have a reaction and effect on the people he leads. Today employers need to play a changed role realizing the ‘Human’ aspects of work and their relationship to productivity. When ‘Human’ aspects in work are ignored, the work becomes monotonous, tiresome and a boredom. The managers have to pay full regard for the values of good ‘Human Relations’. If human relations aspect is ignored in management, the result will be high labour turn over and inefficiency in work.

Organization Management
  • Organization management refers to the art of getting people together on a common platform to make them work towards a common predefined goal.
  • Organization management enables the optimum use of resources through meticulous planning and control at the workplace.
  • Organization management gives a sense of direction to the employees. The individuals are well aware of their roles and responsibilities and know what they are supposed to do in the organization.
Need for Organization Management
  • Organization management gives a sense of security and oneness to the employees.
  • An effective management is required for better coordination among various departments.
  • Employees accomplish tasks within the stipulated time frame as a result of effective organization management.
  • Employees stay loyal towards their job and do not treat work as a burden.
  • Effective organization management leads to a peaceful and positive ambience at the workplace.
Essential Features of Organization Management
·         Planning
·         Organizing
·         Staffing
·         Leading
·         Control
·         Time Management
·         Motivation

ROLE OF LEADERS / MANAGERS

Leaders and managers play a large role in influencing an organization’s corporate culture. A good leader establishes a positive and healthy organizational culture by motivating his/her subordinates to perform at a high level, by promoting open communication, and establishing positive authority. Furthermore, to succeed in establishing a positive atmosphere and a culture where employees encouraged to thrive, it is essential that managers go beyond good management and become great leaders. Leaders and managers need to review existing structures and ensure that they are commensurate with the changing vision and working well. The leaders and managers also need to take into account job design factors, individual departmental differences, task competences, technology, environmental uncertainty, strategy, and the individual characteristics of their sub-managers (Gibson et al ., 2000:325). The managers’ role is to facilitate the teams, coordinate the work between them, and to provide the necessary training and coaching that makes subject teachers into education professionals. To this end they will consult team representatives but they take the decisions themselves. Management provides team members with the opportunities to develop the skills they need to operate as members of a team.

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES

Goltz (2009) states that some cultures promote productivity while other cultures are destructive to the organization. A productive organization is one where employees are motivated to contribute their best efforts. A healthy culture promotes employees with a healthy appetite for performance and success. One of management’s most crucial roles in establishing a productive culture is to motivate subordinates.

Bateman and Snell (2007) suggest that effective managers must identify which behaviours they wish to motivate employees to exhibit. Motivating individuals to perform at a high level is usually a big priority. In order to motivate employee’s management must set goals that motivate. Goals that motivate are those that appeal to individuals and do not conflict with their personal values. Goals should be measurable and quantifiable so that employees are motivated to achieve them.

POSITIVE AUTHORITY

The power and authority of management may be established in many different ways, sources of power come from both negative and positive sources. A positive organizational culture however centres on management’s ability to establish authority in a positive light. Managers may use the following tactics to establish positive authority. They are:

  • By establishing reward power by influencing others to follow his or her guidance in holding valued rewards (Bateman and Snell, 2007)
  • By establishing referent power by socializing with employees and demonstrating admirable characteristics to influence individuals to perform based on a desire of approval or admiration (Bateman and Snell, 2007)
  • By establishing expert power by demonstrating or gaining expertise and knowledge and encouraging employees to learn and gain from his or her experience (Bateman and Snell, 2007)

To deliver a sustainable environment for performance there are a number of organisational development and design elements that may be relevant to delivering the performance outcomes required.  The Organization Development practitioner will get involved in any number of intervention including; organization diagnostic, evaluation, strategic thinking, culture change, change management, coaching, mentoring, leadership development, team building, organizational design, evaluation, performance management, talent management, HR processes, learning and development, sales effectiveness, and customer services as part of a holistic Organization Development intervention. The basic concept of both professional development and organizational development is the same, however, with an essential difference in focus. Professional development attempts to improve an individual’s effectiveness in practice, while organizational development focuses on ways to improve an organization’s overall productivity, human fulfilment, and responsiveness to the environment (Cummings & Huse, 1988). These goals are accomplished through a variety of interventions aimed at dealing with specific issues, as well as through ongoing processes.

Margulies and Raia (1972) articulated the humanistic values of Organizational Development as follows:

  • Providing opportunities for people to function as human beings rather than as resources in the productive process.
  • Providing opportunities for each organization member, as well as for the organization itself, to develop to his full potential.
  • Seeking to increase the effectiveness of the organization in terms of all of its goals.
  • Attempting to create an environment in which it is possible to find exciting and challenging work.
  • Providing opportunities for people in organizations to influence the way in which they relate to work, the organization, and the environment.
  • Treating each human being as a person with a complex set of needs, all of which are important in his work and in his life.

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VALUES

Organizational Development values are consistent with positive face of power. Values such as trust, openness, collaboration, individual dignity and promoting individual and organisational competence are a part of foundation of Organizational Development. Power equalisation has long been described as one of the values of Organizational Development. The role of Organizational Development practitioner is that of a facilitator, catalyst, problem solver and educator. He / She is not a political adviser or power broker.

THE ROLE OF ORGANISATIONAL PRACTITIONER

The facilitator or educator role is incompatible with a political activist role because cooperation requires one set of behaviours and competition requires another set altogether. Organizational Development practitioner has three primary tasks, they are:

  • To generate valid useful information
  • To promote free informed choice
  • To help promote the clients’ internal commitment to the choices made

Michael Beer has identified means by which an Organizational Development group can gain and wield power during its change efforts in an organisation:

Competence: Demonstrated competence is the most important source of power, acceptability and ability to gain organisational support.

Political Access and Sensitivity: Cultivating and nurturing multiple relationships with key power figures in the organisation will ensure timely information and multiple sources of support.

Sponsorship: Organizational Development groups will gain power to the extent that they have sponsorship, preferably multiple sponsorship n powerful places. This has been recognised under the term ‘get top level support for the program.’

Stature and Credibility: Power accrues to those who have been successful and effective. Success leads to credibility and stature. Early successes in the Organizational Development program and its usefulness to key managers of the organisation help promote this reputation.

Resource Management: Power accrues to those who control resources – in this case, the resources of OD expertise and ability to help organisational sub units solve their pressing problems.

Group Support: If the Organizational Development group is strong internally, it will be strong externally, if the Organizational Development group is cohesive and free of internal dissention, it will gain more power.

OPEN EDUCATION

Open education is a term that has been used interchangeably with distance education. It has been describes as “arrangements to enable people to learn at the time, place and space which satisfies their circumstances and requirements”. While distance education refers to the process of learning in which there is spatial, and usually temporal, distance between the teacher and learner, on the other hand open education (or open learning) refers to the process of making learning available to a learner at a place and time of his/her choice and at a rate suitable to the learner.

OPEN LEARNING: MEDIUM OF EDUCATION FOR ALL

Open education is particularly characterized by the removal of restrictions, exclusion and privileges; by the accreditation of students’ previous experiences; by the flexibility of the management of the time variable; and by substantial changes in the traditional relationship between the professors and students. Open education is an evolutionary modification of the educational approach to the teaching learning system. The major features of open learning are

  • It offers open or flexible entry conditions
  • It provides for accumulation of credits in subjects and thus qualify for certification, or diploma, at one’s own pace
  • It offers a great variety of subjects and choice of subjects is left to the students, to suit one’s personal needs and requirements
  • It provides bridge courses to assist in learning readiness so as to be able to move to a higher level
  • The multimedia and integrated learning packages make learning easier.
  • The specially prepared distance education text promotes self learning, to a great extent and the rest to be made up through personal contact classes and non print media support.
  • The provision of modules in a subject package and semesterisation add to the degree of flexibility that a student can avail himself of.
  • The continuing internal assessment along with external evaluation in preference to only external assessment is also a standard provision in distance learning system.

THE CONCEPT OF ODE IS CHANGING

Today distance education is evolving in a networked world (Oblinger, 2001:9). The online environment, with its requirement for integrated systems, has dramatically increased collaboration among divisions, notably the library, academic administration, student services, information technology and learning services (Calvert, 2001:16). The use of ICT in university teaching must have a specific purpose, must chart a definite path to realize a specific goal, and must use a cognitively sound justification within a defined context. The issue is not that of hardware and software. It also encompasses access, equity, appropriateness, value added to learning, competence in faculty and technical support staff, cost effectiveness and cost benefit, the creation of new learning environments, and consideration of the social and cultural milieu in which the technology is put to work (Jegede, 2000:48-49). Instructor/student communication may be integrated with online learning using currently available technology like audio conferencing, video conferencing, internet audio etc.

IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT IN ODL

Open Distance Education (ODE) calls for the development of many new capabilities and requires multiple specialists to collaborate in developing learning infrastructures, systems and programs. It is therefore vitally important to invest in developing staff’s knowledge and skills at all levels to help them deal with the changed roles, functions and responsibilities that go along with these changes. It is also important to establish high professional criteria for recruitment, policies and procedures for enhancing teaching quality, standard-based performance assessment, resources and advanced accreditation for ongoing staff development, and incentives and career paths for good instructors (Latchem and Hanna, 2001:48). Current staff development rarely adequately supports faculty member s required to create self-instructional materials. The range of skills required to function in a multimedia environment is even more demanding. Institutions are quite enthusiastic about investing in new equipment, software programs and connections, but very unrealistic when it comes to investing to training. (Dhanarajan, 2001:65). In the postmodern discourse, organization members are often empowered to make decisions once reserved for managers, and emphasis on a clear and powerful vision or mission helps to ensure that decisions are made to achieve the organization’s overriding purpose (Daft, 2001:16).

The employment of digital technologies for the provision of educational and training programs requires expertise, some of which is very new. Moreover, the range of expertise that education and training providers need in order to support these new media is continually changing as technologies develop and software is updated. This expertise can be acquired by recruitment, staff development, or buying-in or contracting-out (Inglis et al., 1999:85). The convergence of technologies obviously means that a shift will be necessary in instructors’ profiles and roles. They will become mediators between students and their access to information provided by various resources (Trindade et . al ., 2000:6).

Students of ODL in a suitable Organizational Management will be:

  • Well-prepared with communication, numeracy and critical thinking skills
  • Critically and ethically engaged in global and local issues
  • Knowledgeable and respectful of the diversity of individuals, groups, and cultures
  • Accomplished at integrating the skills of a liberal education with disciplinary or professional competency
  • Skilled in collaborative problem-solving, research, and creative activity

CONCLUSION

Organization development activities provide a climate in which an organization’s strengths can be identified and balanced. Organization development is directed towards the future. It addresses tomorrow’s problems starting from a thorough understanding of present realities. Organization development encourages the extension of management knowledge and understanding. Organizational management and institutional learning is necessary for the success of ODL.

REFERENCES

Amar, Nathrai. (2000). Distance Education, Open Learning vs Virtual University Concepts, New Delhi: Authors Press.

Avasthi,& Maheshwari. (2005). Public Administration, Agra: Lakshmi Narain Agarwal.

Goel S. L & Shaline Rajneesh. (2001). Management Techniques, Principles and Practices, New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd.

Lepousky, A. (1965). Administration – The art and science of organization and management, Kolkata: Oxford & I.B.H. Publishing Company.

Nirmal, Singh. (2000). Principles of Management – Theory, Practices & Techniques, New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd.

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[1] Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, IASE, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

[2] Junior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, IASE, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

[3] Research Scholar, Dept. of Sociolgy, Osmania University, Hyderabad.