Modern Business has to contend with serious problems like radical legislation, alien propaganda and shifting of public opinion in Africa, which forces rapid changes in business methods and policies, including the effort of management to shoulder an increased burden of national responsibility. As always in the past, industry will have to take first place in paying the enormous tax bills for social and political innovations. The only preposition for industry now, is to take care of added responsibility and do the job profitably.
No intelligent student of business conditions, could deny that industry is facing many challenges in management, because of the rapid shifting of political and economic scenes. On one side, all businesses must endure the pressure of increasing taxes and higher costs in production, while on the other side, they require as a matter of necessity for businesses to comply with the new laws and unfamiliar demands due very largely to manufactured public opinions in Africa.
“Since 1933, the major problems of industry appear to have been in the field of labour and there is nothing to indicate that, the problems will be solved in the near future” (McCormick, 1933). In all of my analysis to find basic causes and express them in the simplest possible terms, I arrived to the conclusion of two simple primary causes of all labour troubles, which are;
1.The actual unfairness on the past of employers, expressed in unsatisfactory working conditions, working hours and inadequate wages
2. The ignorance on the part of employers as to controlling human factors and the ignorance on the part of the employee regarding the processes, merchandising, management and profits of business
Clearly, the responsibility for the elimination of these causes, rests entirely on modern management. If the African situation is criterion, we cannot expect any government to enter into an educational campaign, which does not advance the interests of its political dominance. Businesses must find a way, not only to satisfy the reasonable desires of its workers, but also to protect them against dangers to themselves, when attempts are made to mislead them by false political and social prophets.
As earlier lamented on the challenges facing management in businesses within the continent of Africa, it will be appropriate on the basis of this article to recommend a management approach, seen as a realistic and valuable instrument for enterprises striving to grow in Africa, based on a series of experimental tests conducted over the years with this module and the fruitful testimony thereof from an enterprise whose name has been re-held based on the owner’s request.
The module is termed as Multiple Management System; it is a business management approach whereby Senior Management Board (SMB) and Junior Management Board (JMB) are setup simultaneously under the same business to oversee the complete governing of the corporate structure of the business, with both boards having a designated role to play for a specific goal obtaining, yet meeting regularly to brainstorm and charter an efficient pathway for the Enterprise growth. It must also be observed that, the multiple management systems offer no general panacea, nor does it furnish any magic formula for the solving of labour problems. The module will not work, if an organization is dominated with selfish desire to make the largest possible profit at the lowest possible cost or used as a means of deception to pacify workers by falsely representing that, they are taking part in management, it will result in havoc.
If the Multiple Management System module is properly adopted, it will help to serve and forewarn workers of the business and protect them with the truth. It furnishes a common ground for complete understanding and tends to eliminate disagreements between employer and employee by harmonizing their interests.
It must be observed that all radical movements create class struggle and depend for their advancement on the false premise that employer and employee are natural enemies with divergent and antagonistic interests. The class struggle should have no place in industrial countries, and it cannot be promoted among workers who know that, throughout the history of the world, wherever it has existed, the working class pays its inevitable penalties in exploitation, inadequate wages, forced labour and misery. I therefore submit that, all arguments of radicalism lose their appeal when they meet the fact that, in reality, the interests of the employer and the employee, capital and labour are so intimately related as to be almost identical.
Analyse the arguments of the communistic theorists and radical organizers, and you will find that, they invariable appeal to the unthinking emotions and the weakest of the human factors. Obviously, the only effective defence is the irresistible appeal to logical thinking and a stimulation of the wholesome creative elements of the human mind, under a system of co-operation and absolutely fair dealing.
For many years, the best thought in industry growth, has been gradually adopting methods of profit sharing and other means of expressing the relationship of interests. Multiple management system approach goes further, to intelligently cut off selfishness because it not only requires fair division of profits, but also the utilization of the spirits of justice and equity. It brings an enthusiastic return of contributions of ideas and activities which improve the business. It wipes out the demoralizing elements of class distinction, establishes the development of the business as the major objective of all and guide the thought of the entire organization into constructive channels.
Charles P. McCormick (1933) McCormick System of Management, the efficiency magazine, Kent House, 87 Regent Street London.
Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu, DBA, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Finance. Faculty fellow Cape Coast Technical University Ghana. Expert in Managerial Economics, Head of Research, Frederic Bastiat Institute, Africa.