Programs & Methods of MDP

03/03/2021 0 By indiafreenotes
  1. Case Study:

Case study method is an excellent medium for developing analytical skills. It was started by Harvard Business School. This method is increasingly being used by many other prestigious and not so prestigious management institutes in India.

Case is “a written description of an actual situation”, which provokes in the reader the need to decide what is going on, what the situation really is or what the problems are and what can and should be done. A case is an objective description of a “real life” business situation in which executives is required to take action and is responsible for results.

In this method, an actual business situation is described in writing, in a comprehensive manner. The trainees are asked to appraise and analyse the problem situation and suggest solutions. The actual decision taken in the subject case is known only to the executive and is disclosed only at the end of session when it is compared with the various solutions offered by the group.

The case method of development utilizes actual case example collected from various organizations for diagnostic purposes. The trainee must:

 (1) Identify the major and minor problems in the case

(2) Filter out the significant facts from the insignificant

(3) Analyze the issues and use logic to fill in the gaps in the facts

(4) Arrive at some means for solving the identifiable problem.

Cases in personnel management are after each major section in the text. In ensuring group discussion, concerning the case, the trainee will usually see that other candidates differ from himself or herself about what is important and what action should be undertaken.

  1. Incident Method:

This method was developed by Paul and Faith Pigors. The central aim of this method is to stimulate self-development in a blend of understanding that is essential for productive interaction.

This blend combines intellectual ability (power to think clearly incisively and reasonably about specific facts and also about abstractions); practical judgement (capacity to modify conclusions arrived at intellectually, so that they meet the test of common sense); and social awareness (being able to appreciate the force of other people’s feelings and willing to adjust or implement a decision so that it can be more acceptable to persons who are affected by it.

Group work of each of these cases begins when a group meets. Each member working along for a couple of minutes, studies a written incident. He asks himself, what seems to be going on this incident? What lead can I find here toward facts or the case and issues that stirred people up?

Appended to each incident is an invitation to make short-term decisions in the role of person who had to cope with an incident when it actually happened. A slight variation in this method may be in the form of incident method. In this method, trainee is given certain incidents and his reactions are noted down.

Some trainees may even play surprise roles which interrupt the manager and give him two or more simultaneous problems more like real on-the-job pressures. Through the feedback of his behaviours, the trainee comes to know his behavioural pattern and tries to overcome the one which is not productive or functional. Thus, he can learn techniques of giving priorities to various problems faced by him.

Under this method, group members address questions to the discussion leader. The general trend of questioning is to find out about what, when, and how of the situation in which an incident developed, and who was present there at the time. Clues are also tracked down if they seem to offer reliable insight into the why of behaviour. Asking the collection of data, it is necessary to isolate the most important items for decision making.

  1. Role Playing:

Role playing, as a method of learning was introduced by Moreno, a Vatican psychiatrist. He introduced the terms ‘role playing’, ‘role rehearsal’, ‘psychodrama’ and a variety of specialized terms, with emphasis on learning human relations through insight into one’s own behaviour and its impact on others.

Role playing is a simulation in which the trainee is asked to play a part in a problem situation requiring integration with others. Basic mental sets are stated for all participants, but no dialogue is provided. For example, a supervisor, on the advice of a motion and time study engineer, has decided to change the work methods of subordinates.

Role playing as a method of learning involves human interaction in imaginary situation and leadership learning. In drama, and play, actors play various roles. While playing these roles, they assume themselves as the persons whose role they play. Similar is the case in role playing training.

Role playing technique is used in groups where various individuals are given the roles of different managers who are required to solve a problem or to arrive at a decision. Thus, it is spontaneous acting in a situation involving two or more persons under training situation. Dialogues grow spontaneously as the role playing proceeds. At the end of the role playing sessions, there is a critique session in which trainees are given feedback about their role playing.

Role playing is close to a laboratory situation in dealing with people in job situations. Playback of tape, if recorded, provides opportunities for the trainee to examine his or her performance with the additional insight of participants and experienced observers. Role playing helps the trainees to develop better perspectives in performing their jobs, because they may see the jobs from different angles. It also develops sensitivity among trainees which is quite helpful in maintaining better human relations.

  1. In-Basket Method:

In-basket is a popularly used device in identifying executive potential in executive assessment centres. In this method, each item of the trainees is given a file of correspondence bearing on a functional area of management. Each individual studies the file and makes his own recommendations on the situations.

If further information is required by him, it is supplied by the members of the team. They are provided with an in-basket of assorted memoranda, requests, and data pertaining to the firm. The trainee must be sense out of his mass of paperwork and prepare memos, make notes and delegate tasks within a limited time period.

The observations of each individual member are compared and conclusions on different functional areas reached and these are put down in the form of a report. For this purpose, such teaching methods as the incident process, role playing, syndicate method, and conference method are used.

  1. Business or Management Game:

Business games are classroom simulation exercises in which teams of individuals compete against one another or against an environment in order to achieve a given objective. The game is close representation of real life conditions. Under these, an atmosphere is created in which the participants play a dynamic role and enrich their skills through involvement and simulated experience.

Most business games are expressed in the form of mathematical model controlled and manipulated by an electric computer; while others can be played manually. In the former case, quicker feedback is available; clerical work is avoided and time is controlled. Some games are interacting types of games, while others are non-interacting in types.

The interacting types of games are like a game of tennis; the decision of one team influence or affect the performance of the other teams. In the non-interacting types of games, each team is independent and do not affect others. A problem is provided to them along with all the necessary information and constraints.

Team of trainees are formed to meet, discuss and arrive at a decisions concerning such subjects as production amounts, research and development, inventories, sales and a myriad of other activities for a simulated films. Games can be relatively, simple, permitting rapid decision making to be effected, or extremely complicated, entailing long and detailed analysis of trends in cost, inventories and sales.

Usually, management games consist of several teams which represents competing companies. Each team consists of two to six members. Team take decisions regarding production, prices, research expenditure, marketing, advertising, and attempt to maximize hypothetical profits in this simulated environment.

The decisions of a team are fed into a computer which has been programmed according to a particular model or of the market. The game continues for six to twelve periods. At the end of that period, the final results are worked out by each team and compared with those of others.

Business games are intended to teach trainees how to take management decisions in an integrated manner. The participants learn by analyzing problems and by making trial-and-error decisions. Such games illustrate the existence of various group processes, including communication, the resolution of conflicts, the emergence of leadership and the development of ties of friendship.

The processing of information is supposed to be guided by knowledge of the goals and policies of the organisation. Even if mistake is made in the game, the trainee can learn a lot from his mistake. This avoids possible mistakes while taking decisions for his company. This method develops capacity to take rational decisions by managers.

  1. Sensitivity, Laboratory, or T-Group Training:

This becomes quite popular during 1950s. Sensitivity training also known as laboratory or T-groups with T-standing for training evolved from the group dynamics concept of Kurt Lewin, and the first sensitivity training session was held in 1946 in State Teachers College, New Britain, USA.

Since then, it spread to numerous training centres in USA and other countries. Sensitivity training is a small group interaction processing the unstructured form which requires people to become sensitive to others’ feelings in order to develop reasonable group activity.

It is known by several names such as ‘T-group training’, ‘action training’, ‘group dynamics’, ‘confrontation groups’, ‘awareness expertises’, ‘sensitivity retreats’, ‘human capacity movement’, ‘encounter sessions’ and so forth.

It involves face-to-face learning about ongoing behaviour within a small group that needs continually for periods as long as one to two weeks. According to Chris Argyris, “sensitivity training is a group experience, designed to provide maximum possible opportunity for the individuals to expose their behaviour, give and receive feedback, experiment with new behaviour and develop awareness of self and of others”.

Specific result sought includes increased ability to emphasis with others, improved listening skills, greater openness, increased tolerance for individual differences, understanding group process and improved conflict resolution skills.

  1. Simulations:

It is a training technique which indicates the duplication of organizational situations in a learning environment. It is a mock-up of a real thing. This technique has been used for developing technical and interpersonal skills.

In simulation, the following procedure is adopted:

  1. Essential characteristics of a real life organisation or activity are abstracted and presented as a case not to be studied and analysed as in the usual case study method but to be experienced by the trainee as a realistic, life like circumstances.
  2. Trainees are asked to assume various roles in the circumstances and to solve the problem facing them. They are asked to be themselves, not to act.
  3. A simulation often involves a telescope of compressing of time events, a single hour may be equated with a month or a quarter or a year in real life and many events are experienced in a relatively brief period of time.
  4. Simulated decisions games and role playing exercises put individuals in the role of acting out managerial problems. Games which are frequently played on an electronic computer that has been programmed for the particular game, provide opportunities for individuals to make decisions and to consider the implications of a decision on other segments of the organization, with no adverse effect should the decision be a poor one.
  5. Trainees are required to make decisions that have a real effect in the simulation and about which they receive rapid feedback. The simulation is followed by a critique of what went on during exercise.

For example, activities of an organisation may be simulated and the trainee may be asked to make a decision in support of those activities. The results of those decisions are reported back to the trainee with an explanation. The report illustrates what would-have happened if that decision was taken. The trainee teams from this feedback and improves his subsequent simulation.

The advantages to simulations are the opportunities to attempt to create an environment, similar to real situations the managers incur, without high costs involved should the action prove undesirable. The disadvantages are that it is difficult to duplicate the pressure and realities of actual decision making on the jobs and individuals often act differently in real life situations when they do in acting out a simulated exercise.

  1. Grid Training:

The managerial grid is an organisational development technique developed by Robert R. Bloke and Jane S. Mouton. The grid represents several possible leadership styles. Each style represents a different combination of two basic orientations concern for people and concern for production.

The management training programme is built around this managerial grid. It aims at developing open confrontation of organisational problems and high people high production (9.9) leaders.

Such programmes last for three to five years and usually involve the following steps:

  1. Phase-1 involves a weekend conference, where trainees are taught the fundamental of grid- training,
  2. Phase-2 comprises the discussion, analysis arid solution of the units’ problems and practices by the management and the subordinates.
  3. Phase-3 involves meeting with various groups with the aim of working out companywide problems and setting some development targets for the company as a whole,
  4. Phase-4 involves outlining specific procedures for accomplishing the company’s development targets.
  5. Phase-5 includes evaluation of the units’ accomplishments and beginning work on any remaining or new problems.

Managerial grid with concern for people is shown on the vertical scale and concern for output on the horizontal. A score of 1 indicates trainee low concern and score 9 indicates high concern. Such assessments are then followed by thorough group discussion of the meaning of the measured location of each trainee. Usually with the admonition that the group should move to a more balanced position of equal concern for both people and productivity.

  1. Conferences:

The conference method is another commonly used method of executive development. Topics such as human relations, safety education, customer relations, sales training, are often discussed, debated, spoken about at conference specially organised and designed for the purpose.

A conference is a meeting of people to discuss a subject of common interest, problems, and doubts. The conference is structured around a small group meeting, wherein a leader helps the group identify and define a problem, guides the discussion along desired lines and summarises the views that represents the consensus of the group in dealing with the problem.

The participants exchange notes, opinions, and ideas on the subject in a systematic, planned way. A conference may be divided into small groups for focused discussions. Participants are expected to air their opinions and thoughts freely.

In order to ensure its success:

(i) Participants are expected to come prepared for the conference

(ii) The conference leader should conduct the sessions according to a plan, giving enough room for healthy interchange of different viewpoints

(iii) The discussion should proceed along desired lines

(iv) The size of the groups should not be too large. When big organizations use this method, the trainer uses audio visual aids such as black board, mock ups, and slides.

  1. Lecture:

In this method, the instructor organizes the material and gives it to trainees in the form of talk. Lectures are formal talk on a topic by an experienced and knowledgeable person. The presentation is generally supported by discussions, case studies, audio-visual aids and films shows.

It is a simple and inexpensive way of imparting knowledge on a topic of special importance to a large audience. There could be a speedy interchange of ideas on a specific topic. The method may often degenerate into a kind of one-way traffic where the presenter tries to get ahead without paying attention to the reactions of the audience.

If the lecture is not interesting enough, the audience may not participate and offer any feedback. The listeners play a largely non-participatory role. They may ask questions but they never get the feel of what is being talked about. Moreover, participants do not share each other’s experiences and hence the learning is confined to what the presenter has to say.

An advantage of lecture method is that, it is direct and can be used for a large group of trainees.

The method could be used effectively if the following things are to be kept in mind:

  1. The presentation should be interesting, lively and leave enough room for healthy discussions.
  2. The presenter must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Adequate presentation must precede the actual presentation.
  3. To enrich the presentation, audio-visual aids, examples, real life incidents, cases, books and periodicals should be used freely, encouraging the audience to participate freely. Better to set time limits to the lecture, since listeners tends to switch off completely beyond a point.

11. Transactional Analysis:

When people interact with others, there is a transaction for which one person responses to another. The study of these social transactions between people is called transactional analysis (TA). It was popularized by Berne’s book, Games People Play (1964) and Harris’ book, I Am Ok. You Are Ok (1976).

According to Berne, two people interact with each other from one of the three psychological positions known as ego states. These three states are called parent, adult and child. People, whose parent ego state is in control, may be protective, controlling, nurturing, critical, and instructive.

They may dogmatically refer to the policies and standards. The parent state is made up of one’s attitudes and behaviour incorporated from external sources. It is an ego state of authority and superiority. A person acting in a parent state is usually dominant, scolding and otherwise authoritative.

The parent tends to be judgemental, condescending and punishing with frequent use of such words as “should”, “ought”, and “mustn’t”. The adult ego state will appear as calculative, factual and emotional behaviour. It tries to upgrade decisions by seeking facts, processing data, estimating probabilities and holding factual decisions.

The adult state is objective and rational. It deals with reality, and objectively gathers information and open mind. Since it reasons and is reasonable, its actions are almost computer like — making decisions, give opinion. The child ego state reflects the emotions developed in response to childhood experiences.

It may be spontaneous, dependent, creative, or rebellious. Like a child, this ego states desires approval from others and prefers immediate rewards. The child contains all the impulses that are natural to an infant. Acting in this state, the person can be obedient or manipulative, charming, at one moment and repulsive the next. Whereas the parent acts as he or she was taught, the child is emotional and acts according to how he or she feels at the moment.

In TA theory, the parent and child ego states feel and react directly while the adult state think or process transactional data logically before acting. In most situations, the ideal interaction is an adult stimulus, followed by an adult response. TA is based on intuitive feel rather than on hard evidence, the TA experience may help managers understand others better and assist them in altering their responses so as to produce more effective results. The objective of TA is to provide better understanding of how people relate to one another, so that they may develop improved communication and human relations.

  1. Management Institutions:

Along with the universities and colleges, there are management training institutions such as NITIE, Bombay Management Association, and Productivity Councils and so on. These institutes run special training courses for graduates interested in management education and also orientation programmes for existing managers from public and private sector enterprises.

Companies can depute their managers for short orientation courses and update the knowledge and information of their managers in specific areas. Even seminars, workshops and conferences are arranged for the training of managers by various associations such as chambers of commerce and export promotion councils.

Mumbai University has its Bajaj Institute of Management for various management development courses. Colleges affiliated to the Universities also conduct DBM, MBA and other management development programmes for the executives from business sector. Candidates working at managerial levels in companies are normally selected for such training programmes.

Various methods of management development have been discussed above. However, it is difficult to suggest which of the training method will prove better, for the success of each method largely depend on:

(a) How it is employed;

(b) The instructor’s ability and personality;

(c) The trainee’s maturity, background and willingness to learn; and

(d) Company atmosphere and the extent to which there is an opportunity and encouragement to the trainee to apply to the job what he learnt in the class or the programme.

It may only be said that some methods may suit some training objective or group of participants better than others, but the acceptance and adoption of one or other of these methods will have to be done with caution and after careful thinking.