Effecting Management Culture Change through Research-Based Management Development: A British Case Study
Robert G. Hamlin, Margaret Reidy, and Jim Stewart
This article describes how OD/MD initiatives, based on the findings of rigorous internal empirical research conducted through an HRD professional partnership between in-company practitioners and university business academics, helped bring about second order changes in the management culture of one part of the British Civil Service. The article argues that the credibility of the internal research, derived from its academic credentials, and the visionary leadership of the executive head of the organization were the most significant factors in overcoming the forces that constrained the planned strategic change. This United Kingdom case study lends support to recent calls in the British and United States management literature for more use of strategically-led, research-based approaches to management and organizational development.
In recent years various authors have been calling for more research-based approaches to management development (MD) and human resource development (HRD). For example, in the United States, Swanson (1997) has argued the case for HRD professionals to advance their professional practice by becoming truly expert practitioners through what he calls “backyard” research, and Jacobs (1997) has argued for collaborative partnerships between HRD practitioners and HRD scholars for integrating research and practice.
Similar arguments have been made in the United Kingdom by, for example, Jacobs and Vyakarnam (1994) and Hamlin and Davies (1995), and other writers have argued for more internal research to underpin organizational change programs (see Quirke, 1995; Stewart, 1996; Hamlin & Reidy, 1997).
In our view, active collaborative partnerships between HRD/MD practitioners and business academics are becoming increasingly important in the drive for excellence and expert practice. Yet, as Jacobs has observed, there have been relatively few instances in the field of HRD that actually illustrate how HRD in practice has been “profoundly influenced by research and vice versa” (Jacobs, 1997, p. 47).
The aim of this article is to provide a UK-based example of a collaborative partnership of the type discussed by Jacobs which has successfully bridged the HRD research/practice gap, and is bringing about major changes in management culture within the organization in question. The partnership is set within a Department of the British Civil Service, namely the Anglia Region of Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise (HMCE), which is one of fourteen HMCE regions within the UK. The partners in this instance include Dick Shepherd, the regional head of Anglia, Margaret Reidy, his internal research officer/OD consultant, and Bob Hamlin and Jim Stewart, two business academics/HRD practitioners from the University of Wolverhampton and the Nottingham Trent University respectively. The case study describes how second-order changes in management culture have been and continue to be brought about through MD/OD initiatives based on the findings of rigorous empirical internal research designed to identify the criteria of managerial/leadership effectiveness. The application of these behavioral criteria for the purpose of measuring managerial competencies and developing effective leaders is also described.
Background to the Organizational Context
It has been well documented in the British management literature that bringing about change within the British Civil Service has been a slow and protracted process (Bate, 1996; Fry, 1979; Fulton, 1968). Numerous radical organizational change programs initiated by successive governments have been obstructed by the traditional culture of the Service.
At the time of his appointment as regional head of Anglia, Dick Shepherd found himself in a region which, while still productive, was working with a “command and control” style of management in need of change to reflect a new environment in which year-on-year demands to deliver more for less were being made by the Department. Furthermore, the traditional management style did not sit well with the changing managerial philosophy being articulated by the Board of HMCE. Shepherd concluded a new cultural infrastructure was required, one comprising characteristics such as flexibility, risk taking, enterprise, and innovation and change that would enable Anglia to cope efficiently and effectively with the various change programs likely to be imposed from above and those he would also be initiating. Furthermore, he believed strongly in the concept of empowering people and teams by giving them all the facts and encouraging them to develop their own solutions. However, this required team managers to provide the right leadership and to create the right environment when acting both as team heads and team members. Having set out his expectations clearly, and having encouraged a more open style of management, he found that the changes were very slow to happen due to “cultural lag,” a term Bate (1996) uses to describe the condition when culture is no longer relevant to the needs of the organization.
To make further progress, Dick Shepherd realized he needed to understand better the culture of Anglia to know more accurately how best to change it. Cultural diagnosis came to be seen by him to be a necessary ingredient in the process of initiating and bringing about the organizational and cultural changes he considered essential for the long-term health of his region. Hence, he appointed an organizational behaviorist, Margaret Reidy, as a research officer/OD consultant to carry out, in the first instance, internal management research. This included a major ethnographic longitudinal case study on cultural change designed to help inform, shape, and measure the changes he wanted to bring about. In the main, the change programs he initiated were successful in terms of the desired changes in organizational structure, systems, and procedures. However, the desired changes in management culture were only partially achieved. Whereas some managers exhibited behaviors indicative of enlightened management values consistent with the requirements of the changing organization, a large proportion continued to exhibit the characteristic behaviors of a traditional “rigid” bureaucracy.
At the beginning of 1995, Dick Shepherd decided he needed to further develop and strengthen the cultural infrastructure of Anglia, particularly the management culture, in order to make it more relevant. He considered this a vital development. Although he was generally aware of the effective and ineffective managerial behaviors exhibited by his managers, he felt he had insufficient specific knowledge to be certain about those that were strategic to success or failure and which, therefore, needed either to be encouraged and promoted or discouraged and eliminated.
He required some means of determining with greater insight and clarity of understanding those particular managerial behaviors that were most effective (and conversely least effective or ineffective) for managing successfully within what had become an organizational environment of constant change and uncertainty. In OD terms he wanted to hold up a mirror to his managers and help them decide how to make meaningful change. Consequently, he commissioned Margaret Reidy, in collaboration with Bob Hamlin from the University of Wolverhampton, to carry out an in-depth, empirical research study into the criteria of managerial and leadership effectiveness.
Managerial and Leadership Effectiveness Research
The research program comprised two phases. Phase A focused on the complete management task of Higher Executive Officers (HEOs) and Executive Officers (EOs) who had significant managerial responsibilities within their respective roles. Phase B, which was based on the research findings from Phase A, focused on the leadership aspects of management only.
Phase A: Criteria of Managerial Effectiveness Research
This research program comprised three stages.
. In this job analysis phase, statements of behavior and behavioral dimensions that characterized effective and ineffective management were generated using the well-established Critical Incident Technique (CIT) (Flanagan, 1951) but applied as, for example, by Latham, Wexley, and Rand (1975), and Hamlin (1988). Essentially it involved a series of interviews with team leaders, their line managers, and subordinates to determine what they considered as being effective or ineffective management. Over 130 people operating in HEO or EO grade roles were interviewed from 15 out of 21 offices geographically spread throughout the Anglia Region Each person interviewed was asked to describe five incidents of effective and five incidents of ineffective managerial behavior which they had personally observed within the preceding six-month period. When interviewed, managers and team leaders were not allowed to volunteer critical incidents based on their own managerial practice, but only those they had observed in others. In total over 1,200 critical incidents (CIs) were collected. This number was considered more than sufficient to prevent what Brogden and Taylor (1950) had called deficiency error, namely failure to include an important dimension in the “ideal” or “true” set of criteria that determines managerial success or failure in the job under study.
. This phase concerned the creation and administration of a Behavioral Item Questionnaire (BIQ) based on the Stage I findings and comprised, in the first instance, a detailed sorting of the CIs which revealed a high degree of overlap, duplication, and similarity of meaning. Those CIs that were ambiguous or complex (in that the CI comprised a sequence of interrelated behavioral activities with no indication as to the key behavior) were discarded. Only those CIs that were found to be the same as or similar to at least two others gathered from different divisions or offices of the organization were used. Hence each behavioral item was based on a cluster of critical incidents comprising a minimum of three “virtually the same” CIs, with one being selected as a representative “verbatim” statement of that particular critical behavior. So as to protect the anonymity of the contributing managers and staff, certain clusters of CIs were structured into composite statements. Throughout the translation process care was taken to avoid researcher contamination creeping in through, for example, the loss of vital meaning embodied within the original CI, or inclusion of a change of emphasis. In the main, the words or phraseology of the observer/participant were retained. The process ultimately led to the creation of a BIQ rating instrument comprised of 83 discrete behavioral items to which a Likert type scale was attached. (See Appendix for details of these behavioral items.) The instrument was widely seen within the Anglia Region and elsewhere within the Department of HMCE. Its content was well received as articulating accurately the realities of management practice within HMCE, both the effective and ineffective. Prior to the BIQ being administered, five members of the senior management team piloted and assessed the instrument. Based on their feedback, no changes or refinements were deemed necessary.
The final phase involved establishing job dimensions and identifying criteria of managerial effectiveness through a process of reducing, classifying, and grouping the effective and ineffective behavioral items into behavioral categories. To avoid the possibility of subjective judgements of the researchers/job analysts creeping into and contaminating the research findings, it was decided to use a statistical method for exploring the relationships between the 83 behavioral items and for making sense of the large number of correlations between these variables.
Factor analysis was the chosen method, which is similar to regression analysis but differs in that the variables all have equal status; no single variable is designated as the dependent or criterion variable. Factor analysis usually starts with a matrix of correlations containing up to a hundred or so variables that are difficult to interpret. However, the statistical processing aids in the interpretation by pointing out clusters of variables that are highly intercorrelated. The factors referred to are hypothetical constructs developed to account for the intercorrelations between the variables. Hence factor analysis seeks to replace a large and unwieldly set of variables with a small and easily understood number of factors (see Comrey, 1973; Robson, 1993).
The particular SPSS Factor Analysis method considered most appropriate for “clustering” the 83 behavioral items was alpha factoring with varimax rotation. The 43 effective behavioral items comprising the BIQ were factor analyzed separately from the 40 ineffective items. This yielded statistically sound correlations resulting in extracted factors, the underlying meanings of which could be readily interpreted and categorized with descriptive labels. The resultant behavioral categories were found to be consistent with the findings of the ethnographic longitudinal research program on cultural change that had been running in parallel. These provided the basis for identifying the criteria of managerial effectiveness applying in Anglia. The positive and negative criteria of managerial effectiveness so identified were as follows:
Positive Criteria of Managerial Effectiveness
1. Empowerment/effective delegation and communicating widely
2. Active supportive leadership
3. Proactive management
4. Proactive team leadership
5. Active development of others (training, coaching, and mentoring)
6. Managing change
Negative Criteria of Managerial Effectiveness
1. Tolerating poor performance/ low standards
2. Uncaring, self-serving management focus
3. Autocratic/dictatorial management (lack of concern/ consideration for staff)
4. Exhibiting gradist behavior
5. Narrow/parochial behavior
6. Resistance to change
7. Lack of emotional control
8. Manipulative behavior
9. Irrational management
10. Entrenched management thinking
From these research findings it was concluded that the core managerial competencies required to be an effective manager within Anglia were those determined by the behavioral underpinning of the six positive criteria listed above. For example, the managerial competence entitled “active supportive leadership” comprised behaviors consistent with the notion of “a leader actively providing help and support to individuals” as indicated below:
Active supportive leadership
• Brings to the attention of own line manager the successes of own team members and seeks due recognition for them
• Gives recognition, appreciation, or praise when due to team members
• Stands up and/or fights for or defends the interests of subordinates
• Identifies training/developmental needs of team members and puts forward requests/business cases for suitable courses
• Actively seeks to ensure staff have the necessary resources for the job, including, for example, operational equipment, adequate staffing, technical support, and any data or sets of guidelines required
• Accompanies team members faced with potential operational difficulties, physical danger, or other stressful situations
• Helps team members who have been ill or are overwhelmed with domestic crises
• Involves team members in team events in order to determine the aims, objectives, and action plans of the team
• Shows an interest in and listens to the concerns and anxieties of staff and takes positive action to address the problem
• Gives people time to acclimatize and adjust to changes in organizational structure and/or systems rather than confronting them with an imposed “big bang” approach to change
• Makes him/herself available to give back-up support to team members
• Initiates, promotes, and supports personal development of staff
• Actively encourages and supports developmental and organizational initiatives taken by staff
Phase B: Criteria of Leadership Effectiveness Research
A leadership effectiveness BIQ was compiled comprised of twenty effective behavioral items selected from the managerial effectiveness BIQ. The statements were assessed for fit against other behavioral concepts of leadership behavior used widely in the UK, such as the Management Charter Initiative (MCI) (Woodall & Winstanley, 1998, pp. 76-79), the Investors in People (IIP) model (Hamlin, 1999, p. 44; Woodall & Winstanley, 1998, pp. 34-36), and the European Foundation Quality Management (EFQM) (EFQM, 1999). The BIQ was developed and administered in two versions, one for managers and team leaders to “peer rate” colleagues, and the other for team leaders to “self-rate.” Factor analysis was again used to reduce, classify, and group the items into behavioral categories from which to identify positive criteria of leadership effectiveness and the leadership competencies.
Criteria of Leadership Effectiveness/Leadership Competencies:
I Empowering people; providing help and creating a supportive climate
II Developing self; developing others and enabling involvement and participation of others in decision making
III Promoting open and honest communication and a corporate approach
I Empowering people and encouraging self-reliance in problem solving and decision making
II Adopting a corporate approach and involving people in corporate issues
III Building and developing effective teams; effective teamwork
IV Providing sound, expert advice, and professional support to people
For the purpose of illustration, the behavioral items comprising Criterion I (Peer-rating) are listed below.
Criterion I — Empowering people; providing help and creating a supportive climate
(i) Encouraging people to learn from their mistakes
(ii) Helping/empowering/allowing people to work through their own problems
(iii) Helping/supporting people dealing with complex work
(iv) Helping others to handle/resolve problems in a corporate manner
(v) Unobtrusive management – empowering people to get on with the job
(vi) Providing back-up support in diverse and problematic situations
(vii) Supporting people through giving due recognition/credit
(viii) Being supportive in difficult times
Using the Research Findings
Research-Based Organization Development Initiatives
Part way through the CIT stage of the Phase A research program, Dick Shepherd and Margaret Reidy decided opportunistically to take advantage of the preliminary research findings. They wished to create a research-based OD instrument which could be used at Shepherd’s annual management conference. Its purpose was to get his managers to discuss and confront various persistent managerial behaviors that were associated with the traditional “command and control” style of management, and which were now inappropriate for managing effectively in the new emergent “flexible” bureaucracy. It was anticipated that OD instruments created from research to which most managers had contributed would prove more powerful than adapted “off-the-shelf” OD instruments typically used by many external consultants.
Over 800 CIs were subjectively classified and clustered into eight categories of managerial behavior, each comprising examples of effective and ineffective management. The descriptive labels subjectively determined for each category were as follows: consultation, communication, open management style, gradism, cooperation, team building, confronting team members on difficult issues, and looking after the interests of team members.
The OD instrument so constructed was used in syndicate workshops involving sixteen groups of managers. Each group was given one category to consider in depth and tasked to identify ways of increasing the effective and eliminating the ineffective managerial behaviors.
All syndicate groups produced a wide range of ideas for change and improvement which were presented to the conference in plenary session. This approach elicited questions and resulted in intense debate on the floor. People felt secure because the CIs had been neutralized in the form of composite statements, and their identities had been rigorously protected during the CIT phase of the research; they also knew that to be included in the instrument every statement had to have had as a foundation at least three CIs. Therefore anonymity assured the managers that no statement could be attributed to any one person. This encouraged and enabled managers to speak out freely and to admit openly the problems of managerial and leadership effectiveness that did exist.
Whereas previous initiatives to bring about changes in the management style had had only limited success, on this occasion the research-based OD interventions resulted in very positive and constructive reactions. Furthermore, as a direct outcome managers were inspired to initiate a diverse range of MD/OD interventions based on the research (See Hamlin and Reidy, 1997).
Research-Based Management Development Initiatives
The managerial/leadership effectiveness research findings have also been used to develop a number of “self-analysis framework tools” to help bring about further change in the management culture of the organization, and to support people through the change process. So fa, five have been or are in the process of being created; these focus upon the behavioral competencies of active supportive leadership, empowerment, training and development, mentoring, and coaching. By employing the concept of self-analysis, managers and team leaders within Anglia are being invited to gauge their own managerial/leadership styles against the behaviors comprising the framework tools. At the time of writing, the “leadership” tool was being used as a supplementary document within the existing 360 degree performance appraisal system, and had enabled managers to obtain feedback from their peers and/or team members without the risk of compromising their positions within the organization. A further development has been the use of these “self-analysis framework tools” as diagnostic and developmental instruments for a series of OD/MD workshops designed to address various problem issues revealed by the managerial effectiveness research. So far these workshops have focused on such issues as consultation and communication, gradism, cooperation within and across teams, corporate awareness, and parochialism.
All of these initiatives have been highly successful in engaging the active interest and commitment of Anglia people to organizational change, particularly to the changes in management style and culture that Dick Shepherd considers essential for the future. Managers have gone much further in their thinking than has been the case with previous organizational change initiatives. Particular behaviors have been recognized, accepted, and admitted to openly for the first time as real examples of effective and ineffective management within Anglia. This has given managers the confidence to acknowledge their own ineffective behaviors, to commit themselves to action in public, to look forward rather than backward, and to approach the required organizational change in a more positive manner.
As was the case in Anglia, people often do not respond well to OD interventions based on survey feedback methods using generic instrumentation that is not specifically based on their own organization, or to external research that is not sufficiently relevant. In contrast, the internal research reported in this article was well received by Anglia personnel, who demonstrated a strong willingness to move forward with cultural change through MD/OD initiatives based on the findings. As Quirke (1995) observes, “the use of research as an instrument on the corporate dashboard” provides “continual feedback that allows greater responsiveness ,” and helps “to speed up the changing of behavior within organizations” (p. 214).
From our experience in Anglia we can fully endorse Quirke’s observation. The use of research-based MD/OD for the purpose of bringing about organizational change has been particularly powerful. However, the perceived benefits and value have centered around the academic rigor and credentials of the internal research effort, the strict codes of anonymity and confidentiality that were applied, the sense of ownership of the data, and the relevancy of the research. The case study reported here has demonstrated the importance and value of rigorous internal research as a tool for getting results that meet or exceed the performance outcomes that organizations require from MD/OD practitioners. As Swanson (1997) has observed, “HRD devoid of operating principles and theories to guide the HRD effort, or of research and its use, has led to poor practice in the profession that has undermined for long periods of time the whole credibility of HRD” (p. 4). Our experience also leads us to support strongly Jacobs (1997), who contends that “the HRD field depends on research being considered an essential counterpart to practice, not an optional activity when convenient or an extravagance when financially possible” (p. 47).
With regard to the HRD collaboration reported in this article, it has from the outset been viewed by all of the active participants as a professional partnership. However, it should be noted that a key factor in the success of this particular partnership was the visionary leadership of Dick Shepherd who commissioned the research in the first place, and who subsequently promoted its use within the organization.
Finally, we believe we have provided here a good example of an HRD collaboration which has resulted in a management development effort that has been particularly effective and successful. As Dick Shepherd explained, the research that underpinned the organization and management development interventions was of enormous value in bringing about the culture change, and gave him the confidence and courage to proceed with the change program. Furthermore, the case study demonstrates the value of HRD professional partnerships of the kind advocated by Jacobs and illustrates how rigorous internal research can profoundly influence and enhance the impact of HRD and MD practice within organizations.
Certain parts of this article have been published elsewhere though in a different form and from a different perspective in Hamlin, R.G., Reidy, M., & Stewart, J. (1998). Human Resource Development International,1(3).
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Outline for a Behavioral Item Questionnaire (BIQ) containing Critical Incident (CI) Statements based on Research Interviews in HM Customs and Excise: Anglia Region — 1995 to 1996
1. Actively seeks to ensure staff have the necessary resources for the job, including, for example, operational equipment, adequate staffing, technical support, and any data or sets of guidelines required.
2. Undertakes the necessary groundwork and/or research in order to be well prepared for given situations (e.g., familiarizes self with new procedures for the benefit of team members; conducts in-depth research on topics before giving sound advice; carries out detailed investigation when conducting efficiency reviews).
3. Confronts and/or speaks out to team members on difficult/sensitive issues.
4. Publicly reprimands, criticizes, or confronts in an antagonistic manner staff, colleagues, or senior managers.
5. Actively encourages and supports developmental and organizational initiatives taken by staff (e.g., ‘Springboard’, ‘Personal Development Plans’, ‘NVQs’ and special ‘Away Days’ ) through the provision of additional funding; the loan of people/specialists; giving generously of her/his time, and so on.
6. Includes team members in meetings and/or projects which normally would have involved higher grades.
7. Helps team members who have been ill or are overwhelmed with domestic crises (e.g., counselling them, providing practical support and/or providing less demanding work temporarily; enabling them to acclimatize on return to work; helping people through a difficult patch).
8. Excuses him/herself from blame and/or blames others when things go wrong (e.g., blaming others for things they did not do and persisting in this; checking up on people when they deny any knowledge of an issue and thereby calling their credibility into question; passing the blame for organizational ‘cock-ups’).
9. Consults widely with people in situations, particularly those involving change when people may be sensitive or fearful.
10. Asks for the advice and opinions of people but then appears to ignore these and proceeds to implement his/her own predetermined decisions.
11. Manages in a dictatorial and autocratic manner (e.g., suddenly announcing decisions made behind people’s backs without their knowledge; moving team members between teams or teams between units, without consulting either the individuals or the line managers involved).
12. Gives feedback and constructive criticism to his/her people.
13. Shows lack of interest in or concern for the interests of staff (e.g., being insensitive to individual’s needs, such as keeping temporary employees in a state of anxiety about the renewal of contracts; denying staff the necessary resources that their colleagues in other units have; ignoring people’s problems in the hope that they will go away; being dismissive of survey results relating to own unit and so on, leaving staff feeling undervalued and ignored).
14. Communicates ineffectively with people (e.g., speaks rarely to people within the same office; gives ill defined, foggy presentations; gives off negative body language inconsistent with the verbal message).
15. Personally takes the time and trouble to train, coach or mentor team members (e.g., sitting with and advising individuals on their first day at busy enquiries desks; helping people overcome difficulties such as mental blocks with work; coaching people as they prepare for promotional interviews).
16. Resists change and new working procedures even to the point of sabotage (e.g., neither caring about nor making an effort to understand the concept of team-working; too ready to dismiss research/ideas; overt reluctance to accept change; insisting on maintaining hierarchy in her/his team despite delayering, being antagonistic towards senior managers).
17. Gives recognition, appreciation or praise when due to team members (e.g., formally writing to the individuals/team giving them credit; showing appreciation by supporting sports events).
18. Abdicates responsibilities (e.g., leaving own managerial work unattended while going to low priority meetings, showing disinterest in the responsibilities of his/her post while trying to obtain a transfer to another division; refusing to select and put forward staff for special projects, thereby denying them valuable opportunities for personal development).
19. Develops and fosters good working relationships with the public and also with outside organizations/bodies in the wider community (e.g., builds closer links with the Police, Inland Revenue, European Customs; lengthens opening hours to facilitate the public).
20. Displays irrational, abusive or volatile behavior towards team members (e.g., completely losing one’s temper with a team member/blowing one’s stack out of proportion to the incident; displaying conflicting emotions/behavior towards staff by being aggressive and abusive or conversely nice and apologetic).
21. Involves team members in team events in order to determine the aims, objectives and action plans of the team (e.g., annual away-day planning events).
22. Shows favoritism when allocating resources such as office accommodation, furniture, IT equipment and so on.
23. Holds frequent meetings with team which are well organized and well run (e.g., prepares clear and focused agendas; effectively chairs meetings which are recorded; ensures there are no interruptions).
24. Makes herself/himself absent at critical times when s/he should be around to give help, support, and advice to team members or colleague managers.
25. On major change initiatives, such as the Fundamental Expenditure Review, conducts special events to communicate with staff (e.g., running ‘Roadshows’ and/or forums for disseminating information; answering people’s questions and addressing their concerns; keeping people them fully informed and updated about the potential changes).
26. Creates political pacts or coalitions with one or two other managers.
27. Enables, helps, and supports his/her team and/or team members to work through their problems and arrive at sound solutions.
28. Moves own poor performers or problematic team members to other teams thereby leaving the recipient managers to resolve the problems associated with the people.
29. Places team members who are known to be negative towards change in roles which help them overcome their initial resistance to change.
30. Autocratically and without prior warning presents to staff significant changes (e.g., introducing new local organizational structures which would have a major impact upon working relationships in the office; imposes such structural changes in the face of known opposition).
31. When approached, gives help and support to people outside his/her own Unit or Division (e.g., advising team members from other teams who may find it difficult to talk to their own line-manager; stepping in to cover when another manager is off ill or away, giving a talk at a meeting when the original guest speaker has to cancel).
32. Procrastinates over important issues which leads to adverse consequences (e.g., allowing backlogs to build up; failing to give reminders on impending deadlines; drags heels in finding replacement staff.
33. Makes him/herself available to give back-up support to team members (e.g., on those occasions when they have to work in particularly confrontational situations such as difficult arrests; dealing with interviewees with known violent tendencies.
34. Omits to give or pass on information or to keep staff informed and updated on what is going on in the organization.
35. Actively seeks, fosters and/or gives team members opportunities to develop themselves either in post or by attending courses (e.g., pushing people forward for developmental opportunities when they have the competencies but are initially reluctant; encouraging PDPs to gain work experience when staff are interested in the possibility of transference to other areas; encouraging people to run with high level projects).
36. Exhibits Gradist behavior (e.g., communicating with own grade only at meetings and ignoring lower grades; insisting on authorized signatories; issuing formal memos to subordinates even in own office; shutting people out at meetings because of their grades, and so on).
37. Gives technical advice to, instills confidence in, and acts as a sounding board for staff who find themselves having to deal with complex work for which they need help and support.
38. Behaves towards team members in a domineering, dictatorial, overbearing, or sexist manner and/or makes unreasonable and unfair demands of them.
39. Promotes and fosters good communications with people (e.g., through team briefing sessions; the relaying of information from divisional and other meetings; helping in the assimilation of dry or complex information by, for instance, injecting a sense of humour into presentations).
40. Delays or does not take managerial action to resolve problems with persistent under-performing individuals or to deal with Discipline and [or] Inefficiency Cases.
41. Gives people time to acclimatize and adjust to changes in organizational structure and/or systems rather than confronting them with an imposed big bang approach to change.
42. Turns a blind eye to or fails to resolve problems (e.g., failing to ensure work areas are covered allowing everyone to leave for breaks at the same time; leaving difficult casefiles for others who are more technically competent to pick up; not finding out the true extent of problems in own district and having to be told about them by senior managers instead).
43. Empowers people (e.g., encourages staff to take on responsibilities normally associated with higher grade; fosters a higher involvement across grades in decision-making; allows people to set up and run with projects).
44. Shows an interest in and listens to the concerns and anxieties of staff and takes positive action to address the problem (e.g., holds frequent meetings where people have a platform to air their grievances; gives staff a fair hearing, shows interest in and actively listens to what people have to say).
45. Manifests manipulative or politicking behavior, saying or doing one thing and then changing behind people’s backs (e.g., approaching diverse people to take on a project as if each one is the only candidate; disallowing an appeal when the recipient may feel the comments in her/his report are unfair; influencing decisions which are outside of his/her remit).
46. Co-operates with colleague managers by releasing staff, with their consent, to give technical assistance to other teams, or to discuss discuss/resolve problems for mutual benefit (e.g., volunteers valued members of staff in a non-parochial way to help other teams or units with problems).
47. Within the promotional system exhibits favoritism (e.g., shows partiality to drinking buddies and/or close friends when temporary promotional opportunities arise; shows favoritism towards certain junior team members to the detriment their peers; pushes people forward for posts despite knowing they lack the requisite competencies).
48. Manages people unobtrusively allowing them to get on with the job without constant supervision.
49. Allows team to run with insufficient or inadequate resources (e.g., fails to understand the problems which may arise out of new situations; neglects to arrange cover for managers on long-term sick leave; does not give same level of resources that other teams receive; does not acquire extra accommodation despite office overcrowding).
50. Steps in to prevent subordinate managers from making or enforcing potentially bad decisions (e.g., as Countersigning Officer arranges for an individual to transfer to another team to ensure that he/she will receive fairer treatment; prevents people with vested interests from empire building or influencing the outcome of reviews).
51. Brings to the attention of own line manager the successes of own team members and seeks due recognition for them.
52. Identifies training/developmental needs of team members and puts forward requests/business cases for suitable courses.
53. Exhibits poor judgement (e.g., fixes judgement on people based on a single incident in the past; displays entrenched attitudes; betrays the confidentiality of information given by others; hides behind the authority of superiors;when correcting the ineffective behavior of one member of her/his team, imposes the solution on all).
54. Initiates, promotes, supports, personal development of staff (e.g., encouraging people to take on NVQs to increase their competencies; actively supports personal development of new team members who have been denied developmental opportunities in previous posts; helping people choose roles which they would be most effective in).
55. Ineffectively conducts performance appraisals (e.g., fails to moderate box markings; makes unfair comments in the report without hard evidence; gives appraisees no chance to prepare but instead ambushes them with any shortcomings).
56. Encourages prompt involvement and early consultation with the Trade Union Side and maintains good and amicable working relations with TUS representatives.
57. Refuses to implement new and more speedy systems of communications.
58. Actively monitors individual and team performance (e.g., sets up contingency planning systems to provide feedback if anything goes wrong; persuades people to retrograde when it is apparent that they are not coping with the work they have been promoted into; ensuring that comprehensive notes are kept on poor performers and that case files are continuously updated and monitored).
59. Fails to organize self or others (e.g., being disorganized: does not prioritize or plan properly for events; allows paperwork to build up; when setting up new projects fails to produce an agreed list of roles and responsibilities with team members; habitually breaks appointments).
60. Proactively sets out to build the team (e.g., ensures that the right people are in the right roles; tries to get to know people on a one-to-one basis; inculcates a team working philosophy; organizes team building events).
61. Condones ineffective behavior and poor performance from team members (e.g., awards inappropriately high performance box markings to poor performers; allows individuals to ignore certain aspects of the work which they don’t like doing; exhibits inability to control unruly members of staff; fails to deal with persistent poor performance caused by, for example, heavy drinking or other personal problems).
62. Involves team members in the processes of decision making and problem solving and actively seeks their ideas and suggestions (e.g., resolves change initiative difficulties with staff; allows open and fierce debate on emotive issues; instigates reviews and encourages people to put in recommendations for best practices).
63. Withholds information and data from people at different levels in the hierarchy and/or from peers for political motives.
64. When the managers or team members make mistakes, rather than reprimanding them (e.g., bawling them out, pillorying, or berating them), instead helps them to learn from their mistakes.
65. Actively promotes the “Collection Corporate Approach” (e.g., promotes the Team/Collection approach to all the staff, encourages professional standards of dress, ensures that outlying and recently amalgamated offices receive equity of treatment with rest of Collection.
66. Takes all the credit for success achieved by own team members (e.g., having participated only in the initial organizing of the work, taking credit for all successive achievements; failing to nominate people for special bonus awards or to give rewards; taking credit for the team’s work having denied them support).
67. Innovates change or takes the initiatives to effect improvement for the benefit of staff and organization (e.g., setting up enquiries desks; implementing appeal system procedures; finding and securing work for own team/division/organization for surplus staff; creating new posts to cover identified specialist areas such as communications or resettlement).
68. Adopts a narrow/selfish parochial attitude (e.g., ensures own new team exclusively has all of the most effective and experienced people to the detriment of other teams; when expressing complimentary views on the progress made by his/her own team, passes derogatory remarks about other teams).
69. Takes initiative to solve problems and or make more effective use of systems (e.g., researching ideas from people for their feasibility and running with them when viable; sharing own technical knowledge by participating in specialist internal and external projects; setting up statistical/monitoring systems to support staff with data on work outputs).
70. Refuses to nominate people for special bonus awards or to give rewards (e.g., refusing overtime to people who have put in long hours on projects even at weekends; allowing to go unrecognized the tremendous efforts that staff have put in developing specialist skills leading to more being done in the organization).
71. Ensures people such as superiors, peers, and subordinates receive essential information immediately it is available.
72. Delegates to staff own managerial responsibilities overloading them to the point of personal abdication and subsequently blaming them when things go wrong.
73. Stands up or/and fights for or defends the interests of subordinates (e.g., trying to influence the retention of temporary team members after they have received a heavy investment in training; supporting people when their competencies have been unfairly called into question; promotes as Team leader the work of the unit in order to gain recognition for his/her staff).
74. Attracts people into posts by being evasive with the full facts about the work or terms and conditions.
75. Gives team members/appraisees less than two performance appraisals within the quarterly system (e.g., denying people the right to more than one appraisal using heavy workloads as an excuse).
76. Accompanies team members faced with potential operational difficulties, physical danger or other stressful situations (e.g., taking part in exercises on coastal rigs; fully supporting teams on coastal watch; backing managers at meetings which are set up to sort out problems which are sensitive and long standing).
77. Blocks, refuses, or denies the giving of assistance to team members who are seeking personal development mainly to keep them working within the team base (e.g., telling staff to get lost and/or asking them why they were bothering to request access to developmental courses).
78. Proactively disseminates within the team/unit major documents of cultural importance such as the Anglia Expectations (The Anglia Expectations document acknowledges the values which people brought to the organization, encouraging them to maintain and perpetuate these values in the midst of continuous change. It also outlines the expectations people have from management and the organization, and the expectations which management and the organization have in return.) and/or Framework documents (e.g., holds meetings to elicit feedback and subdivides teams into different groups to discuss contents under diverse headings and feeding back the responses to senior management).
79. Consults with staff insufficiently and/or inadequately (e.g., going ahead with a decision without corporate consensus or consultation on issues which widely impact on people; failing to circulate vital information when under instructions to do so; running information surgeries without having enough details to answer people’s questions effectively).
80. Fails to give recognition or acknowledgement for the good work of others (e.g., failing to give recognition to individuals causing them to seek fairer treatment in other teams/units; acknowledging the work done only by one team when it was achieved in a joint effort with another team).
81. Takes action to prevent or prejudice the chances of employees from being successful when applying for vacant posts.
82. Gives full responsibility to subordinate managers empowering them to run unit, specialist project, and/or team budgets.
83. Adopts an uncooperative attitude towards others (e.g., refuses to work with peers/teams or colleagues from HQ; empire builds at the expense of other units).
Robert G. Hamlin is a principal lecturer in human resource development and a divisional manager at the University of Wolverhampton Business School. His main research interests are concerned with identifying the criteria of managerial effectiveness and behavioral competencies applying within different types of organizational settings; he has published widely in this field. He is active as a management training and development consultant both nationally and internationally. email@example.com
Margaret Reidy is a research officer within a part of Her Majesty’s Custom and Excise, a major department within the British Civil Service. She is currently engaged in a doctoral research study on cultural change that is being supervised through Nottingham Trent University.
Jim Stewart is a reader in human resource development at the Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University. He has authored, coauthored, or coedited many books and articles in the field of human resource development. He is also active as a researcher and as a consultant to various UK and Europe-based organizations.