Question
Asked 25th Jul, 2016

What type of management style is appropriate for technical teams?

Management Styles have been altered in many organisations for the betterment and growth of organisation. Since the inception of technology how does it affects technical teams and managers. Do managers require additional skills or does the technical aspect calls for applying any specific style?

Most recent answer

15th Aug, 2018
A. J. Adesanmi
National Biotechnology Development Agency
For technical team to achieve their goals, they must create mutual trust..

All Answers (18)

25th Jul, 2016
Castor Mfugale
Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT)
Technical team is more of fine professionalism and there wont be any specific style of management rather than understanding the nature of your team and effectively communicate your goals for the purpose  of strengthening intrinsic motivation and mutual trust among the actors. Unless you have created the environment of mutual trust, you will not increase effectiveness and reach efficiency. Be thy self.
1 Recommendation
25th Jul, 2016
Igor Gurkov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Dear Shakir,
The previous answer is O.K., trust is always important for any team, but to develop an appropriate leadership style you must know the major task of a technical team (routine or innovative one), the resource scarcity and the importance of the timeframe. From these three elements it is possible to construct an appropriate style mixing control and inspiration in different dozes. 
Also look at "The Human Side of Managing Technological Innovation" edited by Ralf Katz -- this is an old book that never will be outdated.
1 Recommendation
25th Jul, 2016
Jorge Morales Pedraza
Morales Project Consulting
According to Mr. Goleman and other experts, there are six different type of management styles:
Visionary. This style is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction. Its goal is to move people towards a new set of shared dreams. “Visionary leaders articulate where a group is going, but not how it will get there – setting people free to innovate, experiment, take calculated risks”.
Coaching. This one-on-one style focuses on developing individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, and helping to connect their goals to the goals of the organization. Coaching works best, with employees who show initiative and want more professional development. But it can backfire if it’s perceived as “micromanaging” an employee, and undermines his or her self-confidence.
Affiliative. This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other.This approach is particularly valuable “when trying to heighten team harmony, increase morale, improve communication or repair broken trust in an organization.” But he warns against using it alone, since its emphasis on group praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected.
Democratic. This style draws on people’s knowledge and skills, and creates a group commitment to the resulting goals. It works best when the direction the organization should take is unclear, and the leader needs to tap the collective wisdom of the group. It is important to stress that this consensus-building approach can be disastrous in times of crisis, when urgent events demand quick decisions.
Pacesetting. In this style, the leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is “obsessive about doing things better and faster, and asks the same of everyone.” But this style should be used sparingly, because it can undercut morale and make people feel as if they are failing.
Commanding. This is classic model of “military” style leadership – probably the most often used, but the least often effective. Because it rarely involves praise and frequently employs criticism, it undercuts morale and job satisfaction. It is only effective in a crisis, when an urgent turnaround is needed. Even the modern military has come to recognize its limited usefulness.
In some case you can use only one of these six types of management styles, while in others the best approach is to use a combination of different styles
1 Recommendation
26th Jul, 2016
Brian Prasad
California Institute of Technology
Shakir: Yes, I agree, in recent years, management styles have been altered by many organisations for their betterment and growth. There are many new technologies and strategies, which when employed affects our technical teams and managers. I believe, managers do require additional skills or equivalent knowledge for applying such newer styles.
You may find your answer to:
" What type of management style is appropriate for technical teams?"  in the following article: 
Take a look. Thanks.
2 Recommendations
27th Jul, 2016
Florian Glodeanu
Kinectrics
Four main management styles practiced by managers all over the world.
Autocratic
In this management style, the manager becomes the sole decision maker.
The manager does not care about the subordinates and their involvement in decision making. Therefore, the decisions reflect the personality and the opinion of the manager.
The decision does not reflect the team's collective opinion. In some cases, this style of management can move a business towards its goals rapidly and can fight through a challenging time.
If the manager has a great personality, experience and exposure, the decisions made by him or her could be better than collective decision making. On the other hand, subordinates may become dependent upon the manager's decisions and may require thorough supervision.
There are two types of autocratic managers:
Directive autocrat. This type of managers make their decisions alone and supervise the subordinates closely.
Permissive autocrat. This type of managers make their decisions alone, but allows subordinates to freely execute the decisions.
Democratic
In this style, the manager is open to other's opinions and welcome their contribution into the decision making process. Therefore, every decision is made with the majority's agreement.
The decisions made reflect the team's opinion. For this management style to work successfully, robust communication between the managers and the subordinates is a must.
This type of management is most successful when it comes to decision making on a complex matter where a range of expert advice and opinion is required.
Before making a business decision, usually a series of meetings or brainstorming sessions take place in the organizations. These meetings are properly planned and documented.
Therefore, organization can always go back to the decision making process and see the reasons behind certain decisions. Due to the collective nature, this style of management gives more employee satisfaction.
If decision making through the democratic style takes too long for a critical situation, then it is time to employ autocrat management style before it is too late.
Paternalistic
This is one of the dictatorial types of management. The decisions made are usually for the best interest of the company as well as the employees.
When the management makes a decision, it is explained to the employees and obtains their support as well.
In this management style, work-life balance is emphasized and it eventually maintains a high morale within the organization. In the long run, this guarantees the loyalty of the employees.
One disadvantage of this style is that the employees may become dependent on the managers. This will limit the creativity within the organization.
Laissez-faire
In this type of management, the manager is a facilitator for the staff. The employees take the responsibility of different areas of their work. Whenever the employees face an obstacle, the manager intervenes and removes it. In this style, the employee is more independent and owns his or her responsibilities. The manager has only a little managerial tasks to perform.
When compared with other styles, a minimum communication takes place in this management style between the employees and the managers.
This style of management is the best suited for companies such as technology companies where there are highly professional and creative employees.
27th Jul, 2016
Chalom Schirman
University of Haifa
I suggest the main answer is in the classic book by Mintzberg when he deals with ad hoc organizations.
27th Jul, 2016
Attila Kurucz
Széchenyi István University, Gyor
If I write here three aspects: there is not an unique, best style. It depends on the members of the team, not the technical nature of the group. The manager need to collect the suitable combination of manager tools, which is acceptable for him and support the group to perform well.  So I do not think the best professional will be the best manager. Today's managers (especially in technology-intensive industries) could not be the best professionally, and organize, and lead the others at the same time. They are communicators, coach, strategist and some time (when deadline is close) dictators. Sum up, I think the taylor-made management can be successful even for the technical teams.
27th Jul, 2016
Matthias Hajari
IT-Service-Management-Industrie for Banking and Retail
To my mind, there is no doubt
Managers accountable or responsible for Information Technology (IT) need more and higher skill level and approved management frameworks. To manage IT successful means managing indispensable assets like “people” successful as well.
In the IT Service Management industry it’s more a question how you can develop the IT Team /-Organization in higher process maturity level (see i.e.:  COBIT5, ITIL v3, ISO 20000…).
 BR
Matthias
28th Jul, 2016
James W. Thacker
University of Windsor
I have attached a section of our Effective Training: Systems, strategies and practices textbook that deals with this issue. 
28th Jul, 2016
Muhammad Shehzad Hanif
University of Central Punjab
As per my past experience from telecom/IT organizations there is no single leadership style fit for all circumstances.
Besides having all usual proven qualities of a good leader the technical manager sometimes has to be in back-seat and let the more experienced and technical guy in the driving seat without giving him the steering. While he is expected to lead and be accountable for the team, he has to allow tasks divisions and make teams pretty much like a project manager.
A good technical team leader would be expected to give his team full confidence and autonomy, despite the team fails to achieve in short-run and its more often required from him.
28th Jul, 2016
Gustavo Concari
Universidad Católica del Uruguay Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga
Dear Shakir:
                    Your answer is quite big. Let me ask you some questions you should bear in mind in order to have an appropiate answer. What´s the "technique" the technichal group works with?. It´s not the same an automotive factory than an IT industry, although both are techniques.
                    Second: as a general rule, the more the employees are skilled, the less they are prone to accept authoritarian rule. So when a team has inside skilled persons, the democratic leaders are the best. That is also important during the life of the team, a junior employee may accept authority more than a senior member of the team.
                    Two classical authors in team behaviour are Blake and Mouton, you may have heard about the Grid idea they proposed.
Regards
Gustavo Concari
30th Jul, 2016
Mita Brahma
Management Development Institute Gurgaon
Managers and consultants are fond of 2 X 2 grids. But one that is really relevant to your question, as well as adds value to the Blake-Mouton task-people grid referred to above is the Will-Skill matrix:
For low will, low skill talent, follow mainly a directive style; for low skill but high will talent, a guiding style is required; for high skill and low will talent, a style of motivation works well; and for high skill and high will talent, a style of appropriate delegation will work the best.
You could have a look at: 
and various practitioner examples available on the web.
1 Recommendation
5th Aug, 2016
Jaharkanti Dattagupta
Novel Group of Institutes
Technical teams generally comprise of professionals, having expertise in specific fields of specialized applications. Therefore, technical teams require goal oriented and participatory style of management, where mutual trust, transparency and recognition form the basis of human interactions. The managers handling technical teams must not only possess managerial skills, but also should have the domain knowledge for better cohesion as well as effective utilization through proper understanding.
27th Oct, 2016
Rajiv Kumar Sharma
National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur
Participative management style which involves sharing information with employees and involving them in decision-making is very much required for technical teams, . It has often been promoted as the quick cure for low morale.
For that Employees must possess the skills and abilities to participate. Employees must have  sound technical background, good communication skills, and general intelligence to make decisions and communicate those decisions effectively. Above all the organization's culture must support Total employee involvement , TEI approach for accomplishment of goals.
27th Oct, 2016
Mita Brahma
Management Development Institute Gurgaon
The technical worker is a knowledge worker, and wants to be respected at work, and included in decision making. I would say the best management style that works in such situations is the facilitative one.
A facilitative manager would:
1. Involve the team to give their inputs for a problem and encourage active listening;
2. Improve obstacles and make progress smoother as far as possible;
3. Help the group arrive at a shared consensus;
4. Have clarity for roles, tasks, rewards and incentives;
5. Have timely and transparent communication.
13th May, 2018
Ahmed Mahdi
Al-Furat Al-Awsat Technical University
Interesting.

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