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Definition of Staffing

The managerial function of staffing is defined as filling, and keeping filled, positions in the organizations structure. This is done by identifying work-force requirements inventorying the people available, and recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, apprising, planning the careers of, compensating, and training or overviews developing both candidates and current jobholders so that they can accomplish their task effectively and efficiently. It is clear that staffing must be closely linked to organizing, that is, to the setting up of international structures of rules and positions. Many writers on management theory discuss staffing as a phase of organizing.

First, the staffing of organizational roles includes knowledge and approaches not usually recognized by practicing manager, who often think of organizing as just setting up structures of roles and give little attention to filling these roles. Second, making staffing a separates function facilitates placing an even greater emphasizes on the human elements selection, appraisal, and planning and manager development. Third, an important body of knowledge and experience has been developed in the area of staffing. The fourth season for separating staffing is that managers often overlook the fact that staffing is their responsibility-not that the personnel department. To be sure this department provides valuable assistance, but it is the job of manager to fill the positions in their organizations and keep them filled with qualified people.

Defining the Managerial Job

Complete agreement does not exist as to what exactly constitutes the job of a manager. In fact, the nature of managerial tasks has been studied from several different perspectives. One group of writers known as the great man school, studied successful manager and described their managerial behaviors and habits. Although the stories about these people are interesting the authors usually do not provide an underlying theory explain the success of their subjects. Other writers primarily economists focus on the entrepreneurial aspects of managing. Their main concern is profit maximizations, innovation, risk taking and similar activities. Yet another group of writers emphasizes decision making, especially the kinds of decisions that cannot be easily programmed. An additional view of managerial job draws attention to leadership, with an emphasis on particular traits and managerial styles. Closely related to this approach is the discussion about the power influence that is the leader’s control of the environment and subordinates. Others writers focus their attention on the behavior of leaders by examining the content of the manager’s job. Finally the approach favored by Henry Mintzberg is based on observing the work activities of managers. He found through observation of five executives that their works was characterized by brevity, variety, and discontinuity and action orientation. He also noted that executives favor oral communication and that the engage in many activities that link the enterprise with its environment.

Factors Affecting the Number and kind of Managers Required

The number of managers needed in an enterprise depends not only on its size but also on the complexity of the organizations structure, the plans for expansion, and the rate of turnover of managerial personnel. The ratio between the number of managers and the number of employee does not follow any law. It is possible by enlarging or contracting the delegation of authority, to modify a structure so that the number of managers in a given instance or decrease regardless of the size of the operation. Although the need for determining the number of managers required has been stressed here, it is clear that numbers are only part of the picture. Specifically, the qualifications for individual positions must be identified so that the best-suited managers can be chosen.

The Management Inventory

It is common for any business, as well as for most non business enterprise, to keep an inventory of raw materials and goods on hand to enable it to carry on its operations. It is far less common for enterprise to keep an inventory of available human resources, particularly managers, despite the fact that the required number of competent managers is a vital requirement for success. Keeping abreast of the management potential within firm can be done by the use of an inventory, which is simply an organizations chart of a unit with managerial position indicated and keyed as to the promo ability of each incumbent.

Advantages and Limitations of the Manager Inventory Chart

  • The manager inventory chart, as seen from the preceding discussion, has certain general advantages.
  • The chart gives an overview of the staffing situations of an organization.
  • Managers who are ready for promotion can now be easily identified. Prompt action in finding a suitable position within the organization may reduce the propensity of managers to seek employment outside the company.
  • The chart also shows the future internal supply of managers by indicating who is promotable in a year or more.
  • Managers who do not perform satisfactorily are identified, and the need for training or replacement is indicated.
  • If the organization has insufficient “depth” requirement and training plans can be initiated immediately to ensure the future supply of managers.
  • Managers who are close to retirement can be identified, and preparation can be made for their replacement.
  • The chart facilitates the transfer of managers not only to strengthen weak department but also to broaden the manager’s experience.
  • One can identify prevent the hoarding of promotable people by their immediate superiors, a practice quite common, especially in large enterprises. Naturally superiors dislike depriving themselves of able subordinates by letting them transfer to other organizational units. But the overall interest of the enterprise is more important than the self-interest of an individual manager.
  • Managers can counsel subordinates about their career paths and relate them employment opportunities within the company.

Despite its many advantages, the manager inventory chart also has some limitations:

The chart does not show to what positions the manager may be promotable, if an opening occurs in another organizational unit; the person who is promotable now will not necessarily be able to fit this position, since knowledge or skills may be required in specialized areas. A promotable manager in a production department can hardly fill the job of vice president of sales.

The data show on the chart is not sufficient for making a fair assessment of all the capabilities of individuals. It is still necessary to keep records of each individual’s skill, performance, and other biographical information.

Although the chart is useful for counseling subordinates, it is often not practical to share the information will all employees. Instead, only the top manager of a division or a department may have this information available.

It takes time and effort to keep the chart up to date.

Upper- level managers may be reluctant to make their charts available to other upper-level managers because they may be afraid they will lose competent subordinates to other organizational units.

Situational Factors Affecting Staffing

Specifically, external factors include the level of education the prevailing attitudes in society (such as the attitude toward work), the many laws and regulation that directly affect, staffing, the economic conditions, and the supply of and demand for managers outside the enterprise. There are many internal factors that affect staffing. They include, for example, organizational goals, tasks, technology, organization structure the kind of employed by the enterprise, the demand for and the supply for managers within the enterprise, the reward system and various kinds of policies. Some organizations are highly structured; others are not. For some positions-such as the position of a sales manager-skill in human relations may be of vital importance, while the same skill may be less critical for a research scientist working fairly independently in the laboratory. Effective staffing then requires recognition of, any external and internal situational factors, but the focus here is on those that have a particular relevance to staffing.

The External Environment

Factors in the external environment do affect staffing to various degrees. These influences can be grouped into educational, sociocultural, legal-political, and economic constraints or opportunities. For example, the high technology used in many industries requires extensive and intensive education. Similarly, managers in the industries requires extensive and intensives education. Similarly, managers in the sociocultural environment in the United States generally do not accept orders blindly; they want to become active participants in the decision making process. Furthermore, now and in the future, managers will have to be more ordinate toward the public than they have been in the past, responding to the public’s legitimate needs and adhering to high ethical standards. The economic environment including the competitive situation-determines the external supply of, and the demand for managers. Legal and political constraints require that firms follow laws and guidelines issued by various level of government.

Equal employment opportunities: several laws have been passed that provide for equal employment opportunity (EEO). The laws prohibit employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or age (in specified age ranges). EEO is based on federal, state, and local laws, and these laws impact on staffing. Recruitment and selection for promotion must be in compliance with these laws. This means that managers making decisions in these areas must be knowledgeable about the laws and the way they apply to the staffing function.

Women in Management: in the last decade or so, women have made significant progress in obtaining responsible positions in organizations. Among the reasons for this development are laws governing fair employment practices, changing social attitudes toward women in the workplace, and the desire of companies to project a favorable image by placing qualified women in managerial positions. Opportunities for women occupying managerial positions are increasing. But career advancements may depend on the functional area, on the kind of industry, or on particular companies. Women are likely to be found at upper levels of management in areas such as personnel and public relations. Certain industries provide faster advancement opportunities than others. Financial services institutions, such as banks and relating firms, which traditionally employed large percentages of women, also have more women in managerial positions.

Evidence indicates that women also have some difficulty making it to the top. For example, no women are major candidates for the position of chief executive officer in the fortune five hundred corporations. Discrimination has been given as one reason, according to a Fortune article. On the other hand, women`s representation on boards of directors is increasing. Nevertheless, the total number of women serving on boards is still rather small.

Staffing in the International Environment: one must look beyond the immediate external environment, and recognize the worldwide changes brought about primarily, by advanced communication technology and by the existence of multinational corporations. It is not unusual for large international firms to have top management teams composed of managers of many different nationalities. The geocentric attitude is the basis for viewing the organization as a worldwide entity engaged in global decision making, including staffing decision. Companies have three sources for staffing he positions in international operations: (1) managers from the home country of the firm, (2) managers from the host country, and (3) managers from a third country. In the early stage of the development of an international business, managers were often select from the home country. Some of the reasons include the manager’s experience at the home office and their familiarity with products, personnel, enterprise goals and policies, and so on. This facilitates not only planning but also control. On the other hand, the home-country national may be unfamiliar with the language or the environment of the foreign country. Moreover, it is usually more expensive to send managers and their families abroad. For the family, it is often difficult to adjust to the new environment of a foreign country. Also, host courtiers may pressure the parent firm to employ host country managers.

Manager who are host country nationals do speak the language and are familiar with the country`s environment. Employing them is generally less costly, and it may not require relocating them and their families. The problem is that those managers may not be familiar with the firm’s products and operations, and thus control may be more difficult.

The other alternative is to employ third country nationals, who often are international career managers. Still, the host country may prefer to have its own nationals in the positions of power. Professor Arvin Phatak has voiced caution in selecting managers from countries that had political conflicts in the past, such as India and Pakistan or Greece and turkey. There are of course, many other factors that have to be taken into account when operating abroad, as illustrated in the perspectives on differences in the workweek in various countries.

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