Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 3-D Approach to Management


By Kiernan King, Toppel Peer Advisor

Is your work environment not running as smoothly as you’d hope? If you’re trying to find the wrench in your office’s community building scheme, try applying the three dimensional approach to management and see if you can find the problem!

According to political science scholars, management can be broken down into a three-dimensional approach – structure, culture and craft. Structure is defined as the rules and policies that govern an organization. Culture is the ideas, attitudes, opinions and beliefs of a community. Craft can be viewed as the methods and strategies any leader such as a CEO can use to motivate employees and encourage hard work. All are interdependent, and a change or modification in one aspect can cause a change in the other. 

How Structure affects Culture:

Let’s say your supervisor makes a rule that only closed toed shoes can be worn in the office. The Culture in the office may be modified so that everyone hopefully believes that professional dress will help contribute to the professional work environment and not wear flip flops.


How Culture affects Craft:

Let’s say the office is overflowing with enthusiastic employees who are excited to be at work and eager to help others. A supervisor may establish a friendly competition among the staff where whoever advises the most students during walk-in hours receives a prize at the end of the month. This could help motivate their employees to continue working hard and not settling for anything less than his or her best.


How Craft affects Structure:

Let’s say your supervisor thinks productivity levels would increase if he allowed employees to go home early if all of their work was finished for the day. If he noticed that employees reacted positively to this idea, he could decide to make it a permanent rule within the office.


If you notice that the general attitude in the office is negative, as the supervisor try implementing new policies to change it. If you’re unhappy with how your supervisor is running things, perhaps suggest something in which his perspective on certain policies can change to ultimately better the workplace as a whole. Happy employees make clients happy!