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An evaluation of a managing director's performance in an organization in terms of time.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the behavior of a manager in a period of time as a sample and gives detailed results and analysis in relation with organizational goals. It uses computer software to record daily activities with some details. In order to improve a manager's behavior in relation with organizational goals TMIM was designed. TMIM measures and evaluates the time spent by the managers to improve the way of allocating their time to the organizational expectations. This model considers the time spent by managers to organizational goals and in the meantime considers the attention they pay to continuous improvement as a strong tool of productivity as well. In this model "the main activities and key processes of the organization", "the way of communications" and, "departments and personnel" are determined first. Then, the time a manager spends to handle the organizational processes in relation with departments and personnel through a compatible communication is measured. Finally, spent times are analyzed and time management solutions are presented. The designed model was performed in an electric service providing company through figuring out the characteristics of the managerial behavior by recording and analyzing four years experiences. Before performing this model, time allocation by the managing director was not compatible with the organization's missions and goals. After performing TMIM; analyzing results; and giving feedback, new time allocation led to obvious improvements and managerial effectiveness as a result of the manager's performances.

Keywords:

Behavior of a manager, Manager's performances, Time improvement model, Time management.

Introduction

Designing a model to document, evaluate, and analyze the behavior of a manager is obviously requisite due to the lack of awareness of job performance, limitation of time, wrong habits in doing jobs, vague effectiveness of time spent on organizational goals, and generally the absence of a comprehensive instrument to evaluate the result of spent time. There is a need to define and understand the concept of time management. Time management refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects, and goals. This set encompasses a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of the time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing. Initially, time management referred to just business or work activities; however, eventually the term broadened to include personal activities as well. A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools, and techniques.

Many definitions have been given in the previous studies; for example, time management involved the process of determinacy of needs, setting goals to achieve the needs, prioritizing and planning the tasks required to achieve these goals (Lakein, 1973), planning and allocating time (Burt & Kemp, 1994; Francis-Smythe & Robertson, 1999), an application of self-regulation processes in the temporal domain (Griffiths, 2003), self-regulation strategies aimed at discussing plans, and their efficiency (Eilam & Aharon, 2003), behaviors that aim at achieving an effective use of time while performing certain goal-directed activities (Brigitte J.C., 2007). Nonetheless, there is no common denominator definition yet.

Actually "time" and "management" point out that the term "time management" is misleading and that the concept should actually imply that it is "the management of our own activities to make sure that they are accomplished within the available or allocated time, which is an unmanageable continuous asset. Some authors (such as Stephen R. Covey) offered a categorization scheme for the many time management approaches that he reviewed (Covey S.R, 2001):

First generation: reminders based on clocks and watches, but with computer implementation possibility; can be used to alert a person when a task is to be done.

Second generation: planning and preparation based on calendar and appointment books; includes setting goals.

Third generation: planning, prioritizing, and controlling (using a personal organizer, other paper-based objects, or computer or PDA-based systems) activities on a daily basis. This approach implies spending some time in clarifying values and priorities.

Fourth generation: being efficient and proactive using any of the tools above; places goals and roles as the controlling element of the system and favors importance over urgency.

Since being efficient and proactive using any tools of the first 3 generations of time management is the performance of the 4th generation, TMIM (1) tries to introduce a model in which a manager's behavior can be documented, evaluated, and analyzed to improve his performance in relation with organizational goals and it can be considered as a part of the 4th generation. This model considers two different aspects of time: first, the relation of the time spent by a manager to organizational goals and second, with respect to continuous improvement as a strong tool of productivity that differentiates this study from the others.

Overview

A review of time management literature had rendered different methods and models. Although thousands of theories, questionnaires, time management training programs, and recommendations were found, no comprehensive model for monitoring the time, evaluating its usefulness, and giving expert recommendations related to the major was presented. Almost all of the previous researchers studied the behavior of groups of people as samples, using methods like survey, diary study, interview, and intervention. They have mainly used self-report questionnaires as measures. In total, ten different types of self-report questionnaires were used to measure time management behaviors; three types of which were used more often, TMBS (2), TSQ (3), and TMQ (4) (Claessens, et al., 2007). Some of the studies are described as follows:

Brigitte J.C. Claessens, Wendelien van Eerde and Christel G.Rutte tried to provide an overview for those interested in the current state-of-the-art in time management research. This review includes 32 empirical studies on time management conducted between 1982 and 2004. The paper type is literature review and the method is a survey of a selection of studies (Claessens B. J et al., 2007).

R. Hasanzabeh and A.G Ebadi studied 112 managers. To collect data, the questionnaire for time management was used. The results obtained identified that time management is different among managers with respect to work experience, background experience in management, and education. There is a relation between effective factors in time management and the extent of time management among managers. Meanwhile, the share of each factor in time management (control of troublemakers, adequate knowledge, meetings, correspondence planning, and personal interests) differs among managers (Hassanzadeh & Ebadi et al., 2007).

Another study investigated two mediation models of time management. The first model consisted of parts of Macan's (1994) model. The second model combined this model with Karasek's (1998) JobDemand--Control model. Two sets of self-report questionnaires were collected and were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The study demonstrated the importance of studying both planning behavior and job characteristics (Claessens, 2004).

Claessens, Rutte, van Eerde, Roe, & Croon (2004) introduced a time management model in which the perceived control of time and occupational self-efficacy partially mediate the relation between time management behaviors on one hand and performance and well-being outcomes on the other hand. The survey contained 14 scales, including time management behaviors, perceived control of time, occupational self-efficacy, and outcome variables (Claessens et al., 2004).

Green and Skinner (2005) studied 232 employed adults as sample. They developed key skills questionnaire to measure time management skills. The variables investigated in the study were time management skills, time culture, stress, and work home balance (Green & Skinner, 2005).

Claessens et al. (2004) in a study on 70 R&D engineers used longitudinal survey as the method and planning scale as the measure. Planning, job satisfaction, job performance, perceived control of time, and work strain were the variables included in his study (Claessens et al., 2004).

Davis (2000) used TMBS with a sample of a group of women working in 14 different nursing houses. The purpose was measuring time management behavior, job-included tension, somatic tension, job satisfaction, experience, and performance (Davis, 2000).

Adams and Jex (1999) in their survey with a sample of 522 employed adult used TMBS to measure time management behaviors, perceived control of time, work-family conflict, job satisfaction and health (Adams & Jex, 1999).

Jex and Elacqua (1999) in a survey of 525 employees of different organizations measured time management behaviors, role conflict, role overload, work-family conflict, strain, and feelings of control overtime, using TMBS (Jex & Elacqua, 1999).

Griffiths (2003) measured time management behaviors, self-reward, self-punishment, job productivity, job satisfaction, work-family conflict, stress, positive and negative affectivity, and conscientiousness using TMBS on 120 central office employees and teleworkers (Griffiths, 2003).

Francis-Smythe and Robertson (1999) used survey and experiment as method, 48 employees or students as sample and measured expected task duration, retrospective tasks, time management behaviors, and time structure with TMBS and TSQ (Francis, et al., 1999).

Hall and Hursch (1982) in a diary study on 4 members of faculty and staff at a university used an activity log and short survey to measure time spent on high priority tasks, feelings of effectiveness, and satisfaction (Hall & Hursch, 1982).

Barling et al. (1996) in a survey using the short version of TMQ measured Short-range planning, long-range planning, achievement striving, sales performance, and years of sales experience. They studied 120 car salesperson as the sample (Barling, et al., 1996).

Macan (1996) used survey and intervention measures time management behavior, stress, job satisfaction and job performance with TMBS. The sample in this study was a group of 38 employees from a social service agency (Macan, 1996). In another survey, he studied two groups of people, 353 employees from two organizations and 341 students, and measured time management behaviors, job satisfaction, and job performance using TMBS (Macan, 1994).

Simons and Galotti (1992) used planning survey to study two groups, 88 undergraduate students and 39 undergraduate psychology students. They used methods like survey, intervention study, and diary survey. Variables included in their study are planning practices, goal setting, prioritizing, and accomplishment scheduling (Simons & Galotti, 1992).

Few studies of organizational time management were found and periodic measurement and continuous improvement were of no consideration in these studies.

This paper evaluates the behavior of a manager in a period of time as a sample and gives detailed results and analysis in relation with organizational goals. It uses computer software to record daily activities with some details. To improve a manager's behavior in relation with organizational goals, TMIM was designed.

Time Measurement and Improvement Model

TMIM tries to introduce a model in which a manager's behavior can be documented, evaluated, and analyzed to improve his performance in relation with organizational goals.

This model considers two different aspects of time: first, the relation of the time spent by a manager to organizational goals and second, attention to continuous improvement as a strong tool of productivity that differentiate this study from the others.

In the next section, a scheme of this model is presented and then it will be described in detail.

A Scheme of Model

TMIM is designed to measure and evaluate the time managing directors spend and to improve their way of spending time according to the organizational goals and missions.

This model has four main parts:

Input: Input includes "the main activities and key processes of the organization", "the way of communications", and "departments and personnel". In other words, a manager handles the organizational processes in relation with departments and personnel through a compatible communication. For example, he/she handles a financial activity in relation with finance department through a meeting.

Time Allocation: In this part, the relation of spent time to input is determined. This part is the main process of TMIM model in that it explains which activity, which way of communication, and with which department or person the manager spends his time.

Output: The model gives various outputs to the manager and organization using measurements and the input. Some of these outputs are: time allocation to the key processes and main activities of the organization, time allocation to each communication, time allocation to each department or personnel, and coincidence of time spending and time planning.

A combination of these outputs is also possible.

Improvement: In this model, improvement means continuous improvement and it is a process or a strong tool for productivity that intends to create a sTable and compatible development in all parts of a process, which in turn guarantees its maintenance and improvement in the future (Douglas & Fredendall, 2004).

Measurement can lead to an analysis of work productivity and time wasting elements and tries to decrease and remove them. In this part, suggestions for improving the way of using time is given to managing directors using model's outputs.

Model Description

In this part, each parts of the model is described.

Input: To measure and evaluate a manager's behavior, it is necessary to record all activities. This measurement can lead to an analysis of work productivity and time wasting elements. Recording all the activities and aligning them with the organizational goals, plans, and standards, a criterion for time management, will be achieved.

At first, it is necessary to record the current way of doing jobs in detail and then, in next step, analytic statistics will be available as a valuable tool to reduce the gap between the current status and the ideal one.

A time spent by a manager, is important with regard to 3 aspects: first, the activity that he is performing; second, the department or the person that through him the activity is performed; and finally, the way of communication in this activity.

To determine model's inputs, "organization's main activities and key processes" must be defined using organization mission analysis, organization structure analysis, and job description in the first step. The other input, then, is "the way of communication between the manager and departments or personnel". The definition of different ways of communication differs depending on different organizations. For instance, almost all organizations perform their activities through meetings, phone calls, and paper works.

Time Allocation: After determining the effective factors on spending time -i.e., activities and communications- in the next stage, all of manager's activities must be measured in detail. The way of communication, its subject, the involved people, the involved department, start and finish time, and extra comments if necessary are some of these details. To achieve this, establishing a database is recommended to record and keep the related data.

Inputs entrance occurs with an operator. This operator can be the manager's secretary or a person who is familiar to work with this database. When the manager is performing an activity, the operator records it with details. The way of communication, its subject, the negotiator, and his job and the related department are entered in this stage.

It is also possible to define a section to enter the manager's plans previously and after entering inputs, a comparison will be available that tells us the achievement of the manager's plans and the amount of unpredic Table affairs in organization.

Output: Outputs are possible to be available in form of figures and Table s for a desirable period of time. A report can provide the time spent on a communication, activities around this communication, and involved departments or personnel. On the other hand, this report can be about an activity, one of the organization's departments, a related organization, or even a person. In other words, each report or output can be based on a communication, an activity, a department, or a person.

Various outputs and their usages will be discussed in "case study" in detail.

Improvement: In this model, improvement means continuous improvement and it is a process or a strong tool for productivity that intends to create a sTable and compatible development in all parts of a process, which guarantees its maintenance and improvement in the future.

One of the strongest ideas presented by Deming was continuous improvement cycle. This cycle contains four stages: the first stage is planning to change whatever you attempt to improve. The second stage is to perform that change in a small scale. The third stage is observation and evaluating results, and the fourth stage is making decision and performance (Douglas & Fredendall, 2004).

This cycle is repeated over and over again. No one makes changes in this cycle to negate in the next cycle. It is just a waste of time. When a change is planned, it aims to improve the situation; therefore, in case of failure, a great lesson is taught. As the work trend gets better, the related knowledge of this trend gets better too. Continuous improvement is the most effective way to improve the efficiency and quality in organizations (Easton & Jarrell, 1998).

In the designed model, measurement can lead to an analysis of work productivity and time wasting elements. So, in this part, suggestions for improving the way of using time is given to managing directors using model's outputs. They can be in form of general time management advice and organizational recommendations such as delegation, organizational structure reform, job rotation, and job description reform, which leads to the improvement of manager's performance in spending time toward organizational goals.

This part of model, in addition to helping the inputs reform, can help to reform the main activities and processes of the organization, ways of communication, departments, and personnel in case they change.

Case Study

The designed model was performed in an electric service provider company with the mission of "providing, producing, transferring, distributing, and selling electric energy". This mission is deployed in form of some elements that are called "main activities" in this paper.

Obviously, the reasonable allocation of time to these elements indicates the effectiveness of manager's performance in terms of time.

In this study, the behavior of managing director was recorded and analyzed by experts for several years (Figure 2) and the results led to obvious improvements with regard to effective use of time. A summary of this study is as follows.

As it was explained in "model description", the most important inputs in this model are organization's main activities and goals. After analyzing the organization's mission and interviews with the board of directors and experts by the project team, "generation, transfer and exploitation, distribution and subscribers, construction and development, learning and growth (manager's support, knowledge and information) financial issues (general support, finance), stakeholders affairs (1), and personnel affairs1" were defined as the main activities.

Another input is the way the manager's communicates which was determined after an accurate study on his behavior during two months. They include: phone call, meeting, committee (2), supervision (3), settling official letters, and public visits (4).

To record inputs fast and accurately, a database had been designed and information like means of communication, subject, involved people, involved department, date, start and finish time, and comments if necessary had been recorded for four years. The time the manager spent was amended with regard to organization goals using this information and based on continuous improvement. In the next section, some outputs, analysis, and improvements are described as TMIM's outcomes.

Model Outputs in Case Study

1. The way of time allocation to organization's main activities and processes, and the amount of time spent on each communication: Although detailed analyses which are used as feedback and due to improve current status will be given by experts, model gives some kind of analytic outputs that can be used to have a brief look at time spend and as one of management dashboard tools. One of these analyses is the comparison of the spent time in different departments of organization and possible variance among them that shows the manager's interest in one department and his separation from another one. Total time trend figures are one of these outputs. The ways of time allocation to organization's main activities and processes, and, the amount of time spent on each communication are shown in Table s 1 and 2. Structure reform, delegation, committees' integration or their structure reform are some policies to improve time usage which is a result of comparing Table s 1 & 2.

2. Time Allocation to Individuals and Units

In Figure 3, managing director's time allocation on departments is shown. To analyze allocated time to individuals and units, accurate statistics on these two groups is available.

3. Further Analysis

Regarding to allocated time to each activity and communication, for further analysis, more details are possible to be seen. For instance, it is possible to have a report of communications around a main activity. It is also possible to have a report of departments and personnel that were in relation with managing director due to this activity. These reports can be prepared based on a communication to show related activities.

The other type of statistics that can be useful in particular situations is comprehensive information. This information exists for each activity and gives detailed report of related communications. In other words, whatever was generally available in form of figures and Table s is available to use with all recorded details now.

In addition to previous reports, more general statistics and information are given. They include allocated time to communications analysis and allocated time to main activities analysis for months of a year (Figure 4).

Improvements due to model's establishment in case study

After outputs description, in this part, improvements resulted by the model's establishment are explained. It must be mentioned that these improvements are done to allocate more time to main management tasks according to organizational goals, decreasing daily activities.

Regarding to a report from March to September in 2009 (1), as it can be seen in Table 2, meeting has taken 594 hours and its rank is the first with 33%. Although it cannot be said that the time allocation to meeting is too much without further analysis, with determining comprehensive reports and analyzing the details of meetings, a large amount of manager's time can be released using suggestions like: determining necessities to convene, forming pre-meetings and presenting its result to the manager, respect to time planning for each meeting, and optimal delegation.

According to the same Table, it is also seen that 20% of managing director's total time is allocated to "settling official letters" which compared to other communications is too much. Whereas settling official letters is a daily activity, with taking a suiTable solution, the allocated time to this communication can be allocated to a main management activity. A person familiar with organization's processes, for example, can settle letters using manager's delegation and refer essential cases to the managing director only.

From March to September in 2007 "financial" activity with 7% has the 7th rank in the allocated time to activities' Table. This activity has the 2nd rank with 14% in the next six months. In February 2008, the same activity with 23% is the first activity on this Table. Further surveys show that allocating more time to "financial" activity leads to a time decrease in activities like "generation". After more investigation, it is found that the same thing happens every year. For example, in January 2010, "financial" activity gets 24 hours of the managing director's time. This time allocation increases to 68 hours in February 2010. However, the total time he spends in February, is 33 hours more, but after checking "generation" activity in these two months, it is seen that paying more attention to financial activity leads to a time decrease in "generation" from 16 hours in January to only 3 hours in February. On the other hand, more investigation about the nature of this organization tells us that this is a governmental organization and these kinds of organizations convene to decide how to spend the considerable rest of their budget in this period of time each year. Accordingly, they spend more time to "financial" activity convening to work on their budget. Nevertheless, if they adjust time spending to this issue during the year, time allocation to other activities will be the same in all months.

Evaluation of the report of the time allocated to individuals and units shows that in 2005, the statistics expert with 25%, is the first person who has allocated the director manager's time in learning and growth activity. Professional analysis showed that this person must continue his activity as productivity expert. After changes, the examining of the same report in the 2006 shows that the same person, as efficiency expert with 28% is the first person in learning and growth activity.

Comparing the period from March to December of 2008 with the same period of the next year shows that in the first year 15 hours is allocated to "learning and growth" activity, which is equal to 1% of the total time. However, in 2009 the hours have increased to 54 hours which means 4% time increase. This indicates that after the distribution of time in 2008 and realizing the importance of "learning and growth" activity and also understanding the little attention which was paid to these issues, it was planned to allocate more time to it, and necessary reforms were applied.

"Construction and development" in 2007, with the maximum time allocation, is the first activity. Imposing solutions such as empowerment to deputy director and the project and development deputy changed the position of this activity as the first in 2007 to the third next year. In further stages, these corrections are applicable in the similar way for communication, which are placed in the first rank.

Comparing the period from March to December of 2008 with the same period in the previous year, there is significant difference in the distribution of time by managers. The characteristic of these two time periods is the change of director managers. The approaches of these two managers can be analyzed through a comparative survey. For further use, establishing a relation between the director's approach in allocating time and organization outputs is possible. And this will lead to valuable results though we are not going to discuss them here to avoid longer content. It should be mentioned that the second manager in general allocated more time to organizational activities.

Comparing the time spent by managers in main activities in this period of time, changes from issues related to "construction and development" to "distribution and subscribers" (consumption management, power cuts, and distribution issues) and "financial" issues were observed.

Conclusion

In this paper, an organizational time management model was explained. This model considers two different aspects of time: first, the relation of the time spent by a manager to organizational goals and second, attention to continuous improvement as a strong tool of productivity.

The designed model was performed in an electric service provider company. In this study, the behavior of managing director was recorded and analyzed by experts for four years and results led to obvious improvements with regard to effective use of time.

Some major findings by using this model in the mentioned case study are as followings:

1. Promoting optimal use of time in organizations particularly among managers.

2. Consideration to time, measuring, and controlling it as a main source using reports such as:

* Time allocation to organization's main activities,

* Time spent on each communication, and

* Time allocation to individuals and units.

3. Possibility of analyzing ways of doing activities and time wasters for manager and try to eliminate or reduce them using structure reform, merging, or separation of activities.

4. Planning based on organizational goals and awareness of plans aberration.

5. Changing manager's work habits and old ways of doing jobs using ways like prioritize activities, delegation, etc.

6. Comparing two managers' performances in time management.

7. Some statistical results after using this model in case study organization are as below:

8. Time spent on budget allocation in latter months of a financial year was 23%; after using time management model the same amount was adjusted during the year.

9. According to organizational strategies it was determined that "learning and growth" be assigned more importance and after using this model it increased from 1% in a year to 4% in next year.

10. "Construction and development", with the maximum time allocation, was the first activity in a particular year that with imposing solutions according to this model changed to the third in the next year.

In brief, before performing this model, time allocation that explains on which activity, through which way of communication and with which department or person the manager allocates his time was not compatible with organization's mission and goals. After performing TMIM, analyzing results and giving feedback, some changes in main activities, ways of communications, departments and personnel, and new time allocations led to obvious improvements and manager's effective performance.

After achieving expected goals of the model in the case study, software was developed for similar organizations' use. In next steps, managers' behavior can be measured using this model and valuable conclusions related to management styles, time management techniques, and the relation of time allocation to manager's style can be drawn using comparisons.

References

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(1). Time Measurement & Improvement Model

(2). Time management behavior scale (Macan et al., 1990)

(3). Time structure questionnaire (Bond and Feather, 1988)

(4). Time management questionnaire (Britton and Tesser, 1991)

(1). Interaction with stakeholders due to achieve their policies

(1). Personnel affairs are about their personal problems and welfare

(2). Committee is a kind of meeting with constant members from different units of organization.

(3). It refers to supervising projects, constructions, etc.

(4). Public visits are meetings with subscribers and applicants.

(1). Financial year in this organization is March to February.

Mohammad Saeed Taslimi (1), Abolfazl Sherafat (2*), Abolfazl Ershadifar (3)

(1). Professor, public administration, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Iran

(2). Ph.D. Candidate, Production and Operation Management, University of Tehran, Iran

(3). Master of Business Management, Science and Research, Branch Islamic Azad University, Iran

(Received: 27 April 2013 - Revised: 7 January 2014 - Accepted: 7 January 2014)

(*) Corresponding Author Tel: +98-9131545464 Email: sherafat.a@ut.ac.ir

Table 1. Time allocation to organization's main activities in a year

Activity                    Spent Time  Sittings  Percent
Construction & Development  263:47       462      24.5%
Financial                   305:25      1254      28.3%
Stakeholders affairs        108:49       126      10.1%
Personnel affairs           101:13       358       9.4%
Transfer & exploitation      76:22       267       7%
Generation                   74:15       165       6.9%
Distribution & Subscribers   57:00       217       5.3%
Learning & Growth            93:08       140       8.6%

Table 2. Time spent on each communication in a year

Communication               Spent Time  Sittings  Percent
Meeting                     781:01      1053      47.5%
Settling official letters   355:23      2004      21.6%
Supervision                 170:46        79      10.3%
Committee                   146:23         8       8.9%
Phone call                  162:55      1721       9.9%
Public visits                30:06       130       1.8%

Table 3. Time spent on communications for construction and
development in a year

Communications in Construction and Development in anticlimactic
order of spent time
Communication              Spent Time  Sittings   Percent
Supervision                126:14        34         48.1%
Meeting                    105:44       145         40.1%
Phone call                  20:08       275          7.6%
Committee                   10:55         6          4.2%
Public visits               00:04         1          0%
Settling official letters   00:02         1          0%
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Author:Taslimi, Mohammad Saeed; Sherafat, Abolfazl; Ershadifar, Abolfazl
Publication:Iranian Journal of Management Studies
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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