Essential Managerial Skills in A Depressed Economy: The Transactional Analysis Approach
Let me start this presentation with a moonlight approach. As a farm going boy who grew up at Ikogosi, a village in Africa, I made a unique observation. That unique observation bothered on managerial skill among a group of raccoon that used to ravage my father’s maize farm. As teenagers, it was always our desire to catch one or some of these raccoons alive. To achieve this goal, we would approach the farm stealthily, tip-toeing and making sure our body did touch or shake any grass, shrub or leaf’s in order not to leak our approach to the ravaging raccoons. Funny enough; do you know that our several efforts were never rewarded simply because the raccoons applied managerial skills into their affairs. The managerial skill was based simply on division of labour and security consciousness. While many of them were busy eating, few especially older ones were eating at the same time harvesting the ration for one or two on surveillance duty. Whereas those on surveillance mission stayed on top of a tall tree to watch farm owners approach. Their main duty is to alert those eating and harvesting on the farm to run to safety at the approach of people.
If raccoons of lower creation to man, especially in terms of intelligent quotient, could introduce managerial skill into their activities, how much more of we, human beings with superior intelligence. Is it therefore a surprise that one visible inherent characteristics of man is his ability to manage his activities whether effectively or ineffectively? Due to the diversity of human activities, the dynamism of such activities, the manifest variation in their skill level and perceptual differences that pervade their persons, men tend to apply different managerial skills in tackling their myriad of problems.
Bearing in mind the submission, the present article is written to discuss essential managerial skills for a depressed economy but purely from the angle of transactional analysis.
1.2 Managerial Skills
Management is an integrating activity which covers the individual, the group, the organization and the environment. The skills range from cultural, economic, political, psychological, social to the technological. Oftentimes users of the skills do combine more than one skill, that is” the conceptual, human and technical skills. Having conceptualized managerial skills from the management perspective, let us shift attention to “depressed economy”.
1.2.1 Depressed Economy
Looking at depression from the grammatical perspective, to be depressed means to detrude, drop, lower, sink, abash, debase, deaden, degrade, damp, militate, stagnate, paralyse, demobilize, gloom or despondent. Considering the negativities attached to depression, all we need to do is to a lot these negative traits to economy arid we would have understood the concept “depressed economy”. Similarly, one could construe economic depression as that economy which is stagnant, debased, gloom and utterly fail to respondent to hitherto effective strategy.
1.3 Managerial Skills Conveniently Used in Managing a Depressed Economy
Adam Smith in his book titled Wealth of Nations propounded Quantity Theory of Money. The theory believes that there is an invisible hand that regulates the economy and that what matters in an economy is money. His school of thought developed the monetary policy and thus the Monetarist, like colossus gladiated the world economy until the 1930’s when the great depression stretched its fangs on the world economy. Despite all the monetary instrument introduced and used the economy was growing more depressed.
In 1936, Lord John Maynard Keynes, who was once a monetarist posited that, when an economy reaches a certain level of depression, monetary policy and its instrument cannot work. Rather he said fiscal policy and its instrument such as taxation or government expenditure is the only thing that can take the economy out of the woods. Whenever there is more money in the hands of the people, all government needs do is to increase taxation or reduce its expenditure. This will reduce the amount of money in circulation thereby reducing prices of goods and services.
Around the 50’s and 60’s, the fiscal policy could no more solve the economic problems, thus the monetarist jumped back into recognition. Since then, government have been making use of both monetary and fiscal policies in tackling economic problems.
The big question is, how effective is the economic skill of monetary and fiscal policies in addressing economic depression in the world? One could say that the c9mbined usage of the two is not doing much. Which is why big economies like United States of America is beginning to embrace expansionist policies. Even at that, the spread or expansionist strategy is beginning to fail, with the rate suicide bombing against America and her interests. Therefore, it is high time the search light is beamed to other areas.
1.4 The Need for A Complementary Managerial Skill
Since the monetary and fiscal policies could no longer singly and jointly remove economic depression, there is the need to search for and utilize a complementary managerial skill.
A cursory look at both monetary and fiscal policies shows them to be economic skill in all its ramifications whereas the backbone of any organization is people. The predominant victims of any economic depression are also people. Due to economic depression, they become tensive, aggressive repugnant, edgy and antagonistic. It is also usually convenient for an organization to downsize, that is, reduce its work force than to reduce its machines or technology. This perhaps accounts for the failure of economic skills at completely revamping the world economy, even that of the so called advanced economies.
If the aforementioned points hold, then, it becomes logical and appropriate to add to the economic skill another skill which is psychological and social in nature, a skill that is people oriented and people focused. That skill is transactional analysis (T.A.) Let us at this juncture make effort to understand what transactional analysis is all about.