S-Cool Revision Summary

Absenteeism.

This measures the proportion of the workforce who are absent from in a given period of time. Ideally, the business would wish the figure to be as low as possible, since a high figure could indicate low levels of morale, job satisfaction and motivation.

Accountability.

This measures the extent to which an employee is held responsible for the successful completion of a task or a piece of work.

Autocratic leadership style.

This is often referred to as an authoritarian leadership style, and it basically means that the people at the top of an organisation make all the decisions and delegate very little responsibility down to their subordinates. 

Chain of command.

This is the direct relationship between a superior and the people working beneath him.

Communication channels.

These are the routes within a business through which communication happens. 

Culture.

This term refers to the shared values, beliefs and norms which exist amongst the workforce in a business.

Decentralisation.

This means passing responsibility and authority away from the headquarters of the business to regional offices and departments.

Delayering.

This process involves one or more layers of management in the organisational hierarchy being removed, in order to cut costs and improve communication flows.

Delegation.

This occurs when managers pass a degree of authority down the hierarchy to their subordinates.

Democratic leadership.

This involves managers and leaders taking into account the views of the workforce before implementing any new system.

Empowerment.

This involves a manager giving his subordinates a degree of power over their work (i.e. it enables the subordinates to be fairly autonomous and to decide for themselves the best way to approach a problem).

Hawthorne effect.

This resulted from Elton Mayo's studies of employee behaviour between 1927 and 1932. It states that employees are more likely to be motivated and more productive if they have a degree of social interaction with their peers and also with management.

Human Relations School.

This term refers to managers who follow Elton Mayo's views on the importance of social interaction at work.

Job enlargement.

This involves increasing the number of tasks which are involved in performing a particular job, in order to motivate and multi-skill the employees.

Job enrichment.

This is a method of motivating employees by giving them more responsibilities and the opportunity to use their initiative. 

Job rotation.

This involves the employees performing a number of different tasks in turn, in order to increase the variety of their job and, therefore, lead to higher levels of motivation.

Kaizen.

This is a Japanese word which means 'continuous improvement'. It is widely held that any aspect of the business can be improved - not just the production processes.

Layers of hierarchy.

This term refers to the number of levels within the structure of the business, from senior management at the top to shop-floor employees at the bottom.

Management.

This is the process of achieving the objectives of the business by using its available resources effectively.

Management by objectives.

This involves each manager setting objectives for himself, based on the overall objectives of the business. It was first developed by Peter Drucker.

Matrix management.

This is the term given to describe the situation where a number of employees from different departments within the business are asked to temporarily work together to achieve, say, the successful launch of a new product. Each person in the team will then be accountable to their departmental manager as well as the team manager.

Paternalistic leadership style

. This is fairly autocratic in its approach to dealing with employees, although their social and welfare needs are taken into account when a decision is made that will affect them.

Performance-related pay (PRP).

This is a method of giving pay rises on an individual basis, related to the employee achieving a number of targets over the past year.

Piece-rate.

This payment method involves the employee receiving an amount of money per unit (or per 'piece') that he produces. Therefore his pay is directly linked to his productivity level.

Organisational chart.

This is a diagram which shows the different departments within the business, the chain of command, the span of control of each manager, and the channels of communication.

Span of control.

This refers to the number of subordinates who are accountable to a specific manager. The span of control is described as 'wide' if there are many subordinates reporting directly to a manager.

Teamworking.

This is the opposite production technique to an assembly-line which uses an extreme division of labour. Teamworking involves a number of employees combining to produce a product, with each employee specialising in a few tasks. Cell production is an example of teamworking.

Theory X

Theory X is a very authoritarian management style, which assumes that employees need constant supervision, they will avoid performing their jobs if they can, they do not seek responsibility, they prefer to be told what to do, and they are really only interested in job security.

Theory Y.

Theory Y, on the other hand, is a management style which assumes that employees wish to be given praise and recognition for their achievements, they like to be given responsibility at work, and they wish to use their imagination, creativity and initiative.

Theory Z.

This refers to the Japanese style of management (which is similar to McGregor's Theory Y) and it focuses on a job for life, a strong corporate culture, extensive training for all employees, and the involvement of employees in the decision-making process.

Worker participation.

This refers to the participation of workers in the decision-making process, asking them for their ideas and suggestions.

Works council.

This is a type of worker participation and it consists of regular discussions between managers and representatives of the workforce over such issues as how the business can improve its processes and procedures.