Essays on Fundamentals of Fire Fighting Skills Assignment

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The paper 'Fundamentals of Fire Fighting Skills' is a perfect example of a Management Assignment. One of the early models in management is the Classical theory by Henri Fayol where he compared an organization to a ‘ machine’ with the interrelated parts working together to achieve its goals. Management involves organizing, planning, forecasting, coordinating, commanding, and controlling the ‘ workers’ who have specific tasks fitted for specific parts in the ‘ machine’ (Beckford 1998: 37). However, Montana and Charnov (2000: 14) argued, this approach was not favourable to workers since human relations were not considered.

Another theory arise which focused on the needs of the workers, known as the Behavioural Approach. Elton Mayo was one of its proponents, inspiring human relations movement after conducting significant studies relevant to workers. Leadership aspects within an organization have also been given important consideration. According to the Contingency Approach, leadership style, given the needs of a specific situation determines the efficiency of management style. This suggests managers use other strategies from other approaches such as the Classical, Behavioural, and the Operational. This approach follows a step-by-step methodology in determining solutions for a specific situation.

It also considers the limitations of any operation the organization might engage with such as availability of needed technology. Human resources of an organization are also considered examining workers’ competence, abilities, and skills Charnov 2000: 30). Another significant management approach is the Systems Approach, known as the Operations Research, wherein the operation of the whole system is analyzed. Any problem within the system is carefully examined and related if it would affect the other system. This has been useful in solving production problems and productivity with the help of the effective organization, scientific methods, and mathematical models.

However, this fails to explore the human dimensions, unforeseen opportunities, and environmental threats Charnov 2000: 29). Fayol and Mayo both outlined the roles and responsibilities of an efficient manager. According to Fayol, managers are responsible for maintaining human and material organization with respect to objectives, establishing a competent guiding authority, coordinating the effort, formulating decisions, employee selection, defining duties, encouraging initiative and responsibility, giving sanctions, and maintaining control (Beckford 1998: 38). Mayo also developed a theory known as the Administrative Theory combining scientific principles and overall organizational management.

He wrote four significant contributions to the theory: (1) defining supervising and prioritizing management, (2) defining functions of managers as part of the functional definition of management, (3) developing general principles of management, and (4) stressing manager flexibility and disregarding the notion that ‘ managers are born’ (Montana and Charnov 2000: 18-19). In the aspects of how managers should view the workers, McGregor made a comparison between Taylor’ s scientific management and Mayo’ s Behavioural approach, labeled as Theory X and Theory Y respectively.

In Theory X, the manager functions in maintaining working conditions and giving workers rewards/sanctions. Theory Y, on the other hand, considers human relations on the workers. He concluded that workers in Theory X were not as productive compare to Theory Y. Workers dislike and avoid work, needed to direct, have little sense of responsibility, and not fully creative. In Theory Y however, workers respond to the working conditions, participate in self-motivation to accomplish the goals of the organization, accept responsibility, and creative. Another key factor in worker productivity is motivation.

Motivated employees are eager to work thus increasing work productivity. According to the Motivation Theory by Abraham H. Maslow, highly motivated workers are likely to increase productivity and decrease negative attitudes such as absenteeism and tardiness. (Montana and Charnov 2000: 236). These needs are (1) survival needs, (2) safety or security needs, (3) social and belonging needs, (4) self-esteem need or ego status, and (5) and self-actualization needs. Maslow conceptualized a model of motivation called Hierarchy of Needs because he believed that these needs are in the hierarchy (refer on Fig. 1), such that when survival needs are satisfied, the individual’ s needs would surely emerge on safety and security and so on (Sashkin 1996: 2).

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