RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

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Bamel, U. K., Rangnekar, S. & Rastogi, R. (2011). Managerial Effectiveness in Indian Organisations: Reexamining an Instrument in an Indian Context, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 19(1), 69-78.

Managerial Effectiveness in Indian Organisations: Reexamining an Instrument in an Indian Context

Umesh K. Bamel, Santosh Rangnekar & Renu Rastogi

Abstract

This study contributes to understanding the managerial effectiveness perception of executives in Indian organisations by assessing and validating the related constructs, that have been developed and standardised outside India. Employing a Western scale, a diverse sample was collected from executives of organisations functioning in India, and a total of 207 responses was collected and evaluated using principal component analysis to provide a clearer picture of the construct of managerial effectiveness perception of Indian managers at different organisational levels. Originally, the scale comprising of eight items grouped in three factors (i.e., productivity, adaptability and flexibility). The results of the study provide a comprehensive and fresh indepth view of managerial effectiveness in selected Indian organisations as the results of the present study are somewhat different from those gained with the original scale. An important finding of the study is reassembling of the variables/items of the original scale with the significant alpha value and correlation pattern for perception of managerial effectiveness. These observations provide the foundation for human resource management (HRM) policy and practices in contemporary Indian organisations.

Introduction

With an increasing ‘cut throat’ competition and dynamic business environment around the globe organisations require a team of managers to run the day to day operations (Boyatzis 1982). Managers play a significant role in the development, formulation, and execution of the organisation’s long term as well as short term strategies, that determine corporate success (Al-Madhoun & Analoui 2004). Indeed, managers are dynamic and the life giving elements in every business, and without them the resources cannot be converted into high production (Drucker 1967). Aggregation of employees’ performance represents the organisational performance which places stress on the efficient use of resources and accomplishment of desirable outcomes. With increased dependency of business on information technology, managers are required to sort out new ways to facilitate organisational production and sustainable self growth. What differentiates surviving organisations from others (Sinclair-Hunt & Simms 2005), that have not been able to tackle ‘tough times’, is the performance and effectiveness of its executive. Indeed, there has been the debate over how to assess executive managerial effectiveness, which provides a pathway for utilising resources efficaciously. Consequently, management may be viewed as a special kind of leadership in which the achievement of the organisational goal is vital and managers strive to operate in a situation with optimum performance outcomes. The performance of a manager and how effectively he/she would operate a situation is related to many variables from an individual to an organisational dimension (Page, et al. 2003, Hamlin and Serventi 2008, Bao 2009).

The fate of any organisation largely depends on the managerial actions. A key function of managers is to determine what has to be done and how it is to be done (Drucker 1967). But the managerial role is continually changing with organisational complexity, globalisation, the accelerated product life cycle, growing complexity of relationship with stakeholders, scarcity of the resources, and intense competition (Bolman & Deal 1991). Consequently, the managerial job has changed from merely supervision of subordinates and middleman between workers and top management to helping in strategy formulation, managing change, making and developing cross functional teams and improving the stakeholder relationships. As the role of the manager changes and becomes more demanding so has the interest in investigating the factors that impact efficiency and effectiveness of the manager (Mintzberg 1973, Analoui 2007). And different researchers suggest that mapping of the degree of effectiveness of any individual is not only based on skills, knowledge and personal competencies, but also on interpersonal interactions as well as the way teams are managed.

Regardless of its increasing importance, the field of managerial effectiveness has been neglected as compared to other issues of management (Willcocks 1992). India being a rapidly growing economy largely depends upon its human capital and increasing attention is being directed in Indian organisations towards improving managerial effectiveness. This study contributes to ‘closing the gap’ in this deficit in the relative literature. Hence, the main objective of this paper is to explore the perception of managers towards dimensions of managerial effectiveness by reexamining a Western scale in the Indian context. The study also traces the relative importance of variables used for mapping managerial effectiveness.

Managerial Effectiveness

Concept

Effectiveness of executives is very important for the success of an organisation in the contemporary business arena (Bao 2009). Organisations need effective and competent managers to be able to reach their objectives efficiently and effectively (Boyatzis 1982). In fact, executives employ their competencies and enhance the economic value of raw resources to play a crucial role in the development and the execution of organisational operations and effectiveness of the implemented strategies/policies (Analoui 2007). Organisations need effective and skilled executives to facilitate corporate success in the long run. Moreover, managerial effectiveness is a key component, which enables effectual operation and delivery of complex initiatives (Analoui 1999). In the words of Drucker (1988) an executive is expected to get the right things done and this is simply saying that he is expected to be effective.

Researchers have described managerial effectiveness in various ways, though there is yet no conformity on concept and method of mapping managerial effectiveness (Luthans 1988). Broide and Bennett (1979: 14) defined managerial effectiveness as, “…results and consequences, bringing about effects, in relation to purpose, and giving validity to particular activities.”. Reddin (1974) explicated managerial effectiveness as the degree to which managers achieve the output requirements corresponding to their respective positions. In other words, it is the act of fulfilling multiple expectations rather than optimising one objective (Kirchoff 1977). Boyatzis (1982) underlined effectiveness as qualities, intrinsic abilities or personality strengths of an individual, while Mintzberg (1973) defined an effective manager as one who identifies the need to understand the functions and uses the available resources to carry out these managerial functions. Drucker (1988) differentiated efficiency and effectiveness and delineated effectiveness as the foundation of success. A review of the literature revealed that there is not a lone definition of managerial effectiveness, which could be single handedly applied in every aspect of management.

Approaches to Effectiveness

A comprehensive review of the literature reveals three important perspectives of managerial effectiveness, 1) conventional perspective, 2) organisational level proficiency based perspective, and 3) individual level competency based perspective. The conventional approach stresses the ability to set and achieve goals (Bartol & Martin 1991) and explains that it is the managerial effectiveness which is responsible for organisational effectiveness. The organisational level proficiency based theory explains that internal and external factors have a strong influence on the long term future orientation of the organisation. For instance, an organisation’s mission, vision, and strategic plan formulation play a vital role in achieving future goals. This approach further divulges that any organisation incorporates the internal resources (i.e., people, material, money, machinery, know how and the external surroundings as a system to accomplish the tactical intent). The individual competency approach focuses upon the individuals rather than the association of external actors, and puts stress on the enhancement of convenient management skills and tactics (behaviour). These skills and tactics can be learned, attained, practiced, and nourished. The individual competency based approach advocates to develop management skills and tactics that can be used across different contexts and situations (Page, et al. 2003).

Analoui (1997), in his study, grouped two streams of the construct of managerial effectiveness in the relevant literature. One stream identified objectivity and order within the functional limitations, while another line of the literature tried to explain managerial effectiveness from a managerial point of view. The later stream stressed a need to understand and consider the manager’s level of awareness of their effectiveness, demand and motives behind actions, constraints and choices available at the work place (Analoui 1997). Earlier, Langford (1979) had stated effectiveness is contingent upon the situation that is available to a manager, job position, tasks assigned as well as the organisational and the socioeconomic environment. Later, Margerison (1981) proposed that the situation is important and if a manager behaves appropriately in tune with the situation, then actions are likely to be highly effective. More recently, Metts (2007) measured the managerial effectiveness of SMEs in the United States of America (USA), and stated that effectiveness could be assessed by focusing on what executives do (focusing on behaviour and action of executives), and what executives achieve (focusing on performance results of executives). Black and Edward (1979) had two decades earlier held a similar view that effectiveness could be measured by obtaining the difference between the actual output and targeted output.

Another important issue of managerial effectiveness is a need for multitasking. The importance of being able to devote small amounts of time to a variety of tasks was identified in the seminal work of Mintzberg (1973). Over two decades later it is again shown that effective executives need to be able to simultaneously manage a multitude of relationships with individual and groups directly/ indirectly affected by their actions (Fraser & Zarkada-Fraser 2003). Independently Bolman and Deal (1991) contend that a manager who can tackle a broad range of everyday organisational problems will function more effectively. Effectiveness can be increased by tuning self perception and expectations of interested groups and people. There are many attributes, which are the necessities of time and critical to delivering improved results, effective operations, and programmmes ( Hacker & Washington 2003). Both Fraser (2000), and Tsui and colleagues (1995) claimed that impression management plays a critical role in managerial effectiveness.

The present paper, through its empirical evidence, provides a clearer picture of managerial effectiveness perception in an Indian context, and further has the potential to assist executives to improve their output. Productivity, adaptability, and flexibility dimensions of stakeholder approach were used to articulate views of managers in Indian organisations. These dimensions can be grouped with an individual competency based approach as the dimensions of this scale are related with personal competency.

Methodology

Participants

The study targeted all levels of managers (senior, middle, and junior level) in large public and private sector companies in India. Notable, the findings are thus, based on primary data. A total of 207 responses was collected from Indian organisations located in the northern region of the country. The rationale behind choosing executives/managers as participants for the present study relates to the fact that managers have been considered as the important element in the organisation’s ability to secure success. A large proportion of the respondents was male (N=65.2 per cent), values that are shown in Table 1. The age profile of the respondents varies with the youngest manager at 24 and oldest executive at 57 years of age. All of the respondents had significant work experience with an average value of 16 years. A majority of the respondents (47.4 per cent) held a junior level position, while the remaining section of the sample comprises senior (23.6 per cent), and middle level positions (29 per cent). The sample comprises of management graduates (46 per cent), engineering graduates (38 per cent), while diploma holders and art graduates account for less than one quarter of the total sample (16 per cent). Respondents from public organisations equated to 47 percent, while respondents from private organisations totalled 53 per cent.

Table 1
Demographic % (N = 207)
Gender Males 65.2
Females 34.8
Managerial level Senior 23.6
Middle 29
Junior 47.4
Education Engineering graduate 38
Management graduate 46
Others (diploma holder, art graduate) 16
Ownership Public 47
Private 53
Country India 100

Procedure

The present study attempts to explore the managerial effectiveness perception of Indian executives (in Indian organisations). Primary data were used for this purpose, and a survey was carried by means of a self administered and open ended scale that was developed and validated by Mott (1971). Purposive/ snowball technique of data collection was used for the collection of responses. After establishing rapport, the subjects were asked to tick mark his or her choice against any of the five statements in each set. Scoring for the scale was done manually after getting the responses. There was no right or wrong answer to the statements or items. A set of 207 responses was received out of a distributed sample of three hundred.

Measures

This study employed primary data collection procedure by distributing a self administered questionnaire. This scale was adapted from Mott (1971), who grouped eight items in three factors productivity (three items, production output, optimum utilisation of resources, and adoption of new method of production), adaptability (three items; quality, problem anticipation, and acceptance of changes and flexibility (it includes two items; adjustment to the new situations and copes with emergencies readily and successfully). The Cronbach alpha value for the present scale is .78, and factors are 0.78 for productivity, 0.69 for adaptability, and 0.74 for flexibility. These values are shown in Table 2.

Table 2
Principal components analysis (PCA)
Factors F1 F2 F3
Eigen values 2.790 1.219 1.058
Percentage of total variance explained 34.881 15.237 13.226
Cumulative percentage of variance explained 34.881 50.118 63.344
Cronbach alpha value .78 .69 .74
Cronbach alpha value for over all scale .78
F1 Productivity
1. Production output of product and services .560 .089 .191
3. Optimum Utilisation of resources .869 .211 -.129
4. Problem anticipation and management of unforeseen consequences. .585 .162 .181
5. Adoption of new method of doing work .516 -.173 .197
F2 Adaptability
6. Acceptance of changes made in the system of organisation. .158 .697 .496
7. Adjustment to new work Environment .257 .908 -.323
F3 Quality and Flexibility
2. Quality of service and products. .157 .078 .882
8. Cope with emergencies more readily and successfully .253 -.094 .626

Note: Factor 1 = Productivity, Factor 2 = Adaptability, and Factor 3 = Flexibility.

Analysis

After collection of responses data were initially normalised and then administered by using principal component analysis, incorporating the variamax option at a significance level of p < 0.05. Principal component analysis were employed to reduce the dimensions of the factors and also to explain the variance in the observed variables in terms of latent factors (Kundu 2003). Descriptive statistics (shown in Table 3) were used to obtain the relative importance of items used in the present study to map managerial effectiveness. These statistics measure of central tendency (mean value) and measure of dispersion (standard deviation).

Table 3
Descriptive statistics and correlation (N = 207)
Items M SD 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Production 3.72 0.86 0.22 0.30** 0.38** 0.43** 0.27 0.32 0.26
2. Quality 3.76 0.74 -.02 .19 0.83 -0.01 0.06 0.41**
3. Optimum 3.03 0.90 .31 0.30 0.27 -0.01 0.24
4. Problem 3.46 0.86 0.38** 0.31 0.20 0.10
5. Adoption 3.23 0.98 0.86 0.33** 0.28
6. Acceptance 3.39 1.08 0.45** 0.21
7. Adjustment 3.14 1.16 0.16
8. Cope 3.51 1.14

Notes: a. M = Mean, S.D. = Standard deviation.
b. Production = production output of product and services; Quality = quality of services and products, Optimum= optimum utilisation of resources, Problem= problem anticipation and management of unforeseen consequences, Adoption= adoption of new method of doing work, Acceptance= acceptance of changes made in the system organisation, Adjustment= adjustment to new work environment, and Cope= cope with emergencies more readily and successfully.
c. ** p < 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Results

Before employing factor analysis the data were first examined for sample adequacy. The Kaiser-Meyer- Olkin (KMO=.903) value is near to one and indicates that the patterns of correlations are condensed. Bartlett’s test of sphericity with approximated chi square value 91.068 and with twenty eight degree of freedom, which is significant at the 0.05 level, shows that the factor analysis is appropriate. A total of eight variables regarding perception of managerial effectiveness was subjected to principal component analysis with varimax rotation by using the factors with eigen value more than one being retained. Harman (1976) indicated that factors with loading score greater 0.29 at the 0.05 level were significant, but in this study the factors having been loading greater than 0.5 were considered and included to define the factor. Three factors were extracted assuming eigen value criterion more than one (ranging from 1.058 to 2.790) and explaining 63.334 per cent of variance. They are (a) productivity, (b) adaptability, and (c) quality and flexibility. The terms were used from the original scale to define extracted factors. Table 2 gives rotated loading of variables for extracted three factors, eigen value, and variance explained by each factor.

Table 3 presents the correlation of quality related constructs. An important objective of this study was to explore the dimensions of managerial effectiveness. A mean value was obtained to find out the relative importance of variables/items according to respondents (Table 3). Variable quality of service and products was identified with a mean value 3.76 followed by the variable of production output in terms of product and services with a mean value 3.72. Variable optimum utilisation of available resources was identified as the least score with a mean value 3.03 (see Table 3).

Discussion

This study provides an overview of managerial (senior, middle, and junior level) effectiveness perception. A scale consisting of the sub scale (productivity, adaptability, and flexibility), and eight variables was used. The results from the analysis present reassembling of items/variables in three dimensions of effectiveness, and are in contrast with the original scale. Originally, Mott (1971) grouped these eight variables under three factors, (i.e., productivity; production and adaptability). Luthans (1988) also explained the same variable in his study and described a model of managerial effectiveness.

The results of this study include a pattern of the factor loadings. This pattern suggests that the three factors may be interpreted as productivity (including four items/ variables, 1) production output, 2) optimum utilisation of resources, 3) problem anticipation, and 4) adoption of new method of production), adaptability (includes two items,1) acceptance of changes, and 2) adjustment to the new situations), and quality and flexibility (includes two variables, 1) quality of services and products, and 2) copes with new emergencies readily and successfully). Each of these three factors revealed acceptable values of Cronnbach alpha (productivity 0.78, adaptability 0.69, and quality and flexibility .74) and accounted for the reassembling of items in the factors, (i.e., productivity, adaptability, and flexibility).

Table 2 shows that productivity accounts for 34.88 per cent of total variance. Four variables have been loaded on this factor. Arguably, managerial productivity is highly contributing in managerial effectiveness. Analoui (1999) also claimed that the extent of effectiveness is largely based on employee productivity, and a series of studies by Campbell, et al. (1970), Reddin (1974), and Laufer and Jenkins (1982) have reported somewhat similar observations. Gupta (1996) identified employee competence as one of the important dimension of managerial effectiveness. The productivity dimension of effectiveness in the present study constituted of variables, output of products and services, optimum utilisation, problem anticipation, and adoption of new method for production. All these variables seem to reflect competence of managers. For example, Labbaf, Analoui and John (1996) also referred to employee competence as an essential keystone for managerial effectiveness. The results of the present study support that productivity of managers has a positive effect on their effectiveness. This finding confirms that managers perceive productivity as a major part of their effectiveness. Moreover, the results show resemblances with a previous study conducted by Chauhan, Dhar and Pathak (2005) using the same instrument in an Indian context and the authors concluded functional effectiveness of managers as productivity.

Adaptability was retrieved as the second important factor with variance value 15.24 per cent and constituted of two variables, (i.e., 1) acceptance of new system and design, and 2) adjustment to the new work situation). As explained by Margerison (1981) that effectiveness of a manager dependent upon his ability to deal with different situations. Burke and Collins (2001) also contended that to be the effective manager one must be adaptive.

Of the myriad of factors identified, quality and flexibility was the third item and constituted two variables.These constructs were to quality and flexibility to measure the perception of employees towards work quality, and coping with new emergencies rapidly and successfully, and explained 13.23 per cent of total variance. Hersey and Blanchard (1977) identified employee flexibility as an important factor for their performance and effectiveness. Analoui (1997) in his study on Romanian public sector incorporated flexibility as an important ingredient of managerial effectiveness, while Al-Madhoun and Anouli (2002) in their study on Palestinian managers also recognised flexibility critical to effectiveness.

Analysis of data has established the mean value of constructs/variables and presents a pattern which shows the relative importance of variables from the perspective of Indian managers. Table 3 shows all eight variables with their mean value from variable quality of services and products with high value to variable optimum utilisation of resources with least value. Overall, the findings of the study indicate managers’ perception regarding their effectiveness and concluded productivity, adaptability, and flexibility as three important predictors.

Conclusion

The main objective of the paper was to reexamine a Western instrument in an Indian context and to check the Indian managers’perception toward their effectiveness. The loading and pattern of variables has shown managers’effectiveness perception and demonstrates that the instrument has scant devia- tion in the factorial constitution in an Indian context. However, the major contribution of this study is that this study focuses on the individual manager to provide insight of effectiveness in an Indian context from the point of view of the actors who wish to be effective at work. The present study also contributes to the exiting body of literature concerning managerial effectiveness.

The Indian executives perceived productivity as most important constituent of effectiveness, followed by adaptability, quality and flexibility. So it could be generalised that employee productivity must be considered peculiar, and executives must be provided with such resources that enable them to excel their productivity. This paper attained another important conclusion related to importance of variables and provides the answer that executives consider quality of services and products as most important variables for their effectiveness. A salient conclusion reached from the study is that Indian managers perceive effectiveness as a function of productivity, adaptability, quality, and flexibility.

Managerial effectiveness is a complex and versatile concept to explain and quantify. The three dimensions of managerial effectiveness discussed in the present study alone cannot sufficiently explain the nature of managerial effectiveness as there are so many parameters available in the literature that can be considered to explore the issue. Nevertheless, the findings of the presented data analysis demonstrate the perceptual importance which is worthy of consideration in contemporary HRM policies and practices in progressive organisations.

Authors

Umesh K. Bamel completed his master degree in HRM & OB. Presently, he is a research scholar in Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India working on organisational climate and managerial effectiveness.

Email: umeshbamel@gmail.com, umeshddm@iitr.ernet.in

Santosh Rangnekar is working as an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute ofTechnology, Roorkee. He has 17 years experience in academia and industries like Raymond Ltd. Bombay (J.K. Engineers files, Pithampur), Shriram Group of Industries (SIEL, Delhi), The Hukamchand Mills Limited Indore, Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore, IIITM, Gwalior (Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior).

Email: srangnekar1@gmail.com

Professor Renu Rastogi is from the Indian Institute ofTechnology Kanpur in Psychology (OB). Presently, she is working as a Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and has more than 30 years experience in academia. Her areas of expertise are organisational behaviour and women’s studies.

Email: renuiitr@gmail.com

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Appendix 1

Instrument of the study (Managerial effectiveness scale)

Respondent’s information
Name: ............ Gender: M/F Educational qualifications: ............
Organisation: ............ Role/ Position: ............ Age: ........
Total work experience: ........ Experience in current org.: ........ Email id: Contact no.

INSTRUCTIONS: Every worker produces something in his work. It may be a ‘Product’ or a ‘Service’. We would like you to think carefully of the things that you produce in your work and of the things produced by those people who work around in your division.

  1. Thinking now of the various things produced by the people you know in your division, how much are they producing? Tick one:
    1. Their production is very high
    2. It is fairly high
    3. It is neither high nor low
    4. It is fairly low
    5. It is very low
  2. How good would you say is the quality of the products or services produced by the people you know in your division? Tick one:
    1. Their products or services are of excellent quality
    2. Good quality
    3. Fair quality
    4. Their quality is not too good
    5. Their quality is poor
  3. Do the people in your division seem to get maximum output from the resources (money, people, equipment etc.) they have available? That is, how efficiently do they do their work? Tick one:
    1. They do not work efficiently at all
    2. Not too efficient
    3. Fairly efficient
    4. They are very efficient
    5. They are extremely efficient
  4. How good a job is done by the peop1e in your division in anticipating problems that may come up in the future and preventing them from occurring or minimising their effects? Tick one:
    1. They do an excellent job in anticipating problems
    2. They do a very good job
    3. A fair job
    4. Not too good a job
    5. They do a poor job in anticipating problems
  5. From time to time newer ways are discovered to organise work and newer equipment and techniques are found with which to do the work. How good a job do the people in your division do in keeping up with these changes that could affect the way they do their work? Tick one:
    1. They do a poor job for keeping up to date
    2. Not too good a job
    3. A fair job
    4. They do a good job
    5. They do an excellent job of keeping up to date
  6. When changes are made in the routines or in the equipment, how quickly do the people in your division accept and adjust to these changes? Tick ones:
    1. Most people accept and adjust to them immediately
    2. They adjust very rapidly, but not immediately
    3. Fairly rapidly
    4. Rather slowly
    5. Most people accept and adjust to them very slowly
  7. What proportion of the people in your division readily accept and adjust to these changes quickly. Tick one:
    1. Considerably less than half of the people accept and adjust to these changes readily
    2. Slightly less than half do
    3. The majority do
    4. Considerably more than half do
    5. Practically everyone accepts and adjusts to those changes readily
  8. From time to time emergencies arise, such as crash programmes, schedules moved ahead, or a breakdown in the flow of work occurs. When these emergencies occur, they cause work overloads for many people. Some work groups cope with these emergencies more readily and successfully than others. How good a job do the people in your division do in coping with these situations? Tick one:
    1. They do a poor job of handling emergency situations
    2. They do not do very well
    3. They do a fair job
    4. They do a good job
    5. They do an excellent job of handling these situations.