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Management by Intercourse

Management by intercourse, also known as management by interaction, is based on the works of Sorcher and Goldstein in 1974. Management by intercourse is behavior modeling, specifically for managers training under the program, and for employees who will be under this style of management. Adding Bandura's social learning theory in 1977, which in essence says that to observe a behavioral model is equivalent to learning it. By showing those interested in management by intercourse some samples of management behavior that are to be emulated, management will learn quickly and be able to adopt these models in their daily activities in no time.

Management by intercourse is behavioral at its root. It seeks to create a more productive environment not through the more common carrot and stick behavior of the corporate world, but through changing the actual behaviors of both management and employee for a more creative and positive environment.

Whereas most management styles are based on organization, profitability and the like, management by interaction assumes that management has already fixed those objectives firmly in the organization. Management by interaction seeks only to extract, if possible, the still untapped potentials that can still be made available to the company.

Behavior at Play

And although it seems that this style of management is a little removed from productivity and profitability because it is rooted in positive behavior, and not on measurable and quantifiable objects such as time and money, behavior is actually a more reliable method of increasing productivity and profitability.

In fact, the carrot and stick method is a behavioral method of positive and negative reinforcement, and it is a tried and tested method in the corporate world. But it is only one behavior that has been utilized for so long, and management by intercourse only seeks to expand that two dimensional model of carrot and stick into a more complex behavior, which, with correct usage, will be a more productive means of accomplishing the organization's objectives.

Emotional Quotient in a Corporate Environment

But just because management by intercourse has difficult and hazy metrics does not mean one can just pretend to have the skills for management by interaction. Although it is a relatively young science, it is still a science, and even if the measurements are rather vague, there are other quantifiable elements in management by interaction that will tell if the skills involved are present or not.

For example, employee absenteeism. This is a measurable metric, and a direct effect of having the right skills in this style of management. If a manager has the right skills, then employee absenteeism should go down, especially if it was a targeted problem to begin with in the organization.

In fact, prior to any training in this style of management, the first step is a diagnosis of which skills the organization needs. For example, in a business that has a high degree of customer interaction and complaints, anger management and anger pacification is targeted for both management and employee. And there will be several behavioral skills to target organizational problems, and the results should show improved responses, otherwise retraining would be necessary.

In fact, as per Bandura's theory of social learning, if the manager has learned a skill in management by interaction, a verifiable outcome is when employees who are directly under the manager will show the same behavior.

The Blind Feedback

Feedback is a necessary step in management by interaction, and it shows a much better result if it is blind feedback. Because the metrics are still in development, feedback either from employees or from customers regarding the management is the next best thing. As in the case of diagnosing the problems and recognizing which skills are needed by the organization, the same effort is put in the analysis of the feedback.

Training in this style of management takes time. Experimentation with regard to newly acquired skills also takes time. Feedback determines if the time was well spent or not, just so that the effort will not be merely wasted.

New Behavior in Traditional Business

Because management by interaction aims to open up all kinds of behavior pertinent to the goals of the organization, it is inevitable that changes are made to the work environment itself, without touching the organization's objectives. And because it is an introduction of new behavior, office relationships also change.

Traditional relationships such as manager-employee interaction will likewise change. In fact, there is a subset of management by interaction called management by walking around, propagated by Hewlett. Simply by walking around in the office, checking up on employees and their performances instead of sitting behind the desk, any employee concerns are immediately handled without paperwork, without red tape, and without much fanfare.

Another example of a non-traditional approach and new behavior in a corporate situation is a certain First he introduces himself as an owner of Voipo, and then directly handles customer complaints in their website. This is certainly non-traditional behavior, and a very effective one at that. With an owner of a company directly handling a customer's concerns, there is immediate assurance that the complaint will be handled immediately, effectively, and properly, and as much as possible, solutions will be made in favor of the customer.

There are many examples fit to be a model in Bandura's social learning theory, and while learning these useful behaviors is already difficult, the application is all the more so. The point of the whole exercise is productivity and effectiveness, but in new ways that traditional corporate behavior will usually frown upon.

And by incorporating these new behaviors that are perfectly aligned with the organization's objectives into its daily operations, productivity and effectiveness will certainly increase. And more importantly, since social learning begins by example and then by imitation, then management by interaction will see no end in sight simply because more and more people will imitate the new behavior as it is seen, and thereby changing the work environment to more positive and pleasant conditions.