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Blog: Management Effectiveness: Bottom-up or Top-down? by James Solomon

Bamford, D (2003) ‘Managing planned and emergent change within an operations management environment’, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, evaluates what he believes has worked and what has not been effective in UK based companies. Bamford emphasises that a company needs a “bottom-up” approach rather than a “top-down” hierarchy. This means that it is the employees that make a difference in the company. Bamford continues by saying that the twenty-first century dynamics of business, change has become extremely important because it binds and steers the business to new improvements.

Changes if done successfully can hold together new beliefs and their actions can be influential.

Regarding the hierarchical explanation, employees need someone who clearly leads the team. Every company needs clear leadership, someone to help the team work together and to provide a structure. “Management’s mandate is to minimise risk and to keep the current system operation. Change, by definition requires creating a new system, which in turn always demands leadership”. (Kotter, J (1996). Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press). Change therefore is primarily about leadership.

C. Lakshman, (2007) “Organisational knowledge leadership: a grounded theory approach”, Leadership & Organisation Development Journal, theory is based on the relationship between leaders and their impact on success. He states that leadership requires a large amount of knowledge management. This is the capability of a company that ensures the employees work as a team and are inspired to create and share their ideas and knowledge to create an improved performance. Those who lack a knowledge regarding leadership management have a significant effect on a company and its successes. Lakshman tested his theory by interviewing 37 high ranking officials in a number of organisations and this resulted in a gap showing itself between those who had knowledge of management and those who lack this understanding. Companies whose leaders had a knowledge overall had a more successful, more inspiring company.

Lakshman thus concludes his study by stating that there is a lack of knowledge management in companies who are less successful to those whose leaders possess knowledge.

At TouchstoneEnergy, we understand that change is nothing new, but the pace and enormity of change that businesses are facing today can make it difficult to keep everyone and everything moving ahead together. TouchstoneEnergy helps organisations and their people adjust to change, whether it is user training, processes that need integrating into existing work habits, or a strategic direction that depends on the understanding and support of stakeholders.

By James Solomon 


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