MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS WRITING.HUMAN RESOURCE INVENTORY
SECTION 1(M2): CHAPTER 1 AND 2
1. “Managers should be paid more than regular employees.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer in scholarly detail!!
The paper agree with the statement in an organization, the managers should get higher payment compared to the regular employees. The significance of management to any company cannot be underestimated since the management that the organization continues to function. The managers are the people who form part of management facets and provide the competent and effective workforce of the company (Certo & Certo, 2012). For the organization to be competitive and survive in the market in today’s business environment. The managers need to be remunerated well compared to the regular workforce. The managers’ jobs are so intense that in most instances they lack the private time they can spend with their families.
According to Certo & Certo (2012), for a company to according to the industry standards that is prevailing, they need the services of an effective manager. This is evident from the fact that the companies regarded as the best managed in the world pay their CEOs large sums of money. Certo & Certo (2012) gave an example of Lawrence Edison, the CEO of Oracle, who in the year 2009 was paid about $555.98 million for his services. With a generous compensation, the manager will bring to the company his valuable services, experience, expertise and to ensure that the company performs beyond its financial expectations
By remunerating the managers more than the regular employees, the essay does not advocate for the huge financial compensation to the company’s management particularly if it does not relate to the financial performance of the organization adequately. By huge financial compensation, the paper mean that the payment that us above twenty times the salary or the wage of an average employee of the same company. However, the managers’ salary should be marginally above that of an average worker, this gives the manager or the CEO of the company some authority as an intrinsic motivation and consequently encourage them to perform even better
The manager should also be compensated more than the average worker because they are entrusted with running and managing the day to day operations of a company, some of which has multi-billion dollars in assets. The managers in their work have to deal with top-level company issues compared to the normal operation activities in the company. They are involved in all business aspects, some of which fall under different departments, and still they have the duty of steering the company to its goals and set targets (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Another reason the managers should be paid more is that they are entrusted with the duty of ensuring the overall goals set by the shareholders and directors of the company are met. They are answerable to the company’s shareholders and the directors, and therefore, whenever set targets are not met, or the company owners need answers concerning the company performance, they will not look for the regular employees for explanations, but rather the managers (Certo & Certo, 2012). Lastly, they have a difficult duty of managing people from different background, culture, age groups among others. This is not an easy task especially when they are required to work together to achieve the set targets.
2. Discuss in scholarly detail why is it important for managers to be aware of cultural differences in their dealings with people?
The key to success for any company in the marketplace is how the manager is culturally sensitive. As the world continues to be more globalized and interconnected, communication with stakeholders, employees and customers from different backgrounds is an important skill to learn and master. Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that culture shock upon arriving in the United States. These students must understand the cultural awareness is often used as a synonym of cultural sensitivity. Cultural awareness is the ability of an individual to place himself or herself in the shoes of another. Cultural sensitive, On the other hand, is being aware that both cultural similarities and differences exist between people and that they can affect communication styles, behaviors and attitudes (Certo & Certo, 2012).
When dealing with people, it is important for the managers or even company owners to be aware of cultural similarities and differences. Typically managers have their set of ways of doing things in the company that is their patterns or behavior, customs, and habits. However, it is also very common especially in the business world to come across people from different social, religious and cultural backgrounds. These people may be having different ways of communicating their ideas and doing business. Certo & Certo (2012) stated that what might be acceptable or normal to one business person may be unusual or counterproductive to another person. Therefore, it is important for the manager that when they are communicating with people from different backgrounds, they should be aware of existence of cultural differences and respect them
Being aware of cultural differences amongst managers is also important when planning advertising programs that are cross-cultural, and the mechanisms for selling to the customers from the various cultural background. For instance, the marketing manager being aware of cultural differences will allow him or her to market their products in a manner that respects diversity. It is important to remember not to offend clients from different ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion or even social class (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Certo & Certo (2012) also indicated that with the globalization, more people are traveling from one region to the other to seek employment. These people come with their differences in culture from their home countries hence creates a diversity of cultures especially multinational companies. Therefore, the managers should be aware of the cultural workplace diversity and embrace it for the company’s benefit.
Being aware of cultural differences amongst employees is also important for the manager because of the effect it can bring to the operations of the company. According to Certo & Certo (2012), the managers can utilize the cultural diversity aspect for employees’ personal growth within the company by ensuring that the employees learn about new perspectives, ideas, and humans from centuries back as early as 14th century. It has been a backbone of cultures. This makes them and the company to better understand their global community and their surroundings.
Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that by understanding cultural diversity by the manager, it will allow the company to create and strengthen its relationship with particular groupings of customers because they will be able to communicate well with a person in the company who shares the same cultural background. For instance, customer care representative who have the same cultural background offering services to particular demographic customers
3. How is lower-level management analysis different from comprehensive analysis of management? Is the latter approach suitable for an organization focusing on increasing productivity by concentrating on the “one best way” to perform a task? Explain your answer in scholarly detail!!
From the classical approach, the two major areas are the comprehensive analysis management and lower level management analysis. The lower level and comprehensive management analysis differ because the comprehensive management analysis pertains to the high potential managers, senior leaders, and the executives. On the other hand, Lower level management analysis majorly focuses on the best way of performing tasks. That is, how in a company a situation can be structured and organized to get the highest production from the company’s workforce (Certo & Certo, 2012).
According to Certo & Certo (2012), comprehensive management involves overseeing and controlling of the whole company including all its departments and branches. Furthermore, comprehensive analysis management has to set the strategic plans, company goals, make critical decisions and draft the policies for the company. Certo & Certo (2012) further indicated that comprehensive management normally uses the systems of the company in generating special reports for the top-level company executives and also for other purposes. Some of the generated reports include the company’s accountability data and performance data reports that assist the management in making decisions. Lastly, comprehensive management also needs the understanding of the managers on how world economics, competition, social trends and politics affects the effectiveness of the company. The managers of an organization who embraced comprehensive analysis of management are majorly concerned with the whole of the managerial performance. The elements of management under this management analysis as pointed out by Certo & Certo (2012), include organizing, planning, coordinating, commanding and control
On the other hand, Certo & Certo (2012) elaborated that lower level managers comprise of the operation level management, Section officers, and the supervisors. These work closely on a daily basis with the operative employees by guiding and overseeing their work. Their functions in a company include communicating the issues of the employees, recommending and suggesting changes to the top level management. Moreover, they have the responsibility of solving the workers grievances, ensuring discipline is observed in the company and also motivating them. They are the company’s image builders since they directly work with the company employees
The essay does not believe that comprehensive analysis of management is suitable for an organization that is focusing on increasing its productivity. For a company to focus on increasing their productivity by focusing on the best way of performing a task, the best-suited approach is the lower level management approach. This approach is only suitable if the tasks for the company if the work applies to the lower management and workers. Productivity is connected directly to the needs of the employees (Certo & Certo, 2012). Given that the lower level management interacts more with the operative workers of the company, they will understand better the challenges faced by the employees and be in a position to fix them. However, by the company embracing comprehensive view, if required, can address the whole range of managerial performance issues (Certo & Certo, 2012).
4. Discuss in scholarly detail the human relations movement in management theory? How would you, as a manager in an organization, use the human relations approach to manage employees?
Human relations according to Certo & Certo (2012) is the analysis of the issues of people arising due to organizational and interpersonal relationships. In the world of business, human relations are vital parts for the success of an organization. It is often stated that an employee that us happy is a more productive and this proven in the history of the movement of human relations in management. The whole of human relations movement in the theory of management entails the ability to persuade people to perform things that normally they would do.
Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that human relation movement is believed that it was started by Elton Mayo in collaboration with other researchers from Harvard. In 1924, they carried series of tests on the productivity of employees at Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric company in Illinois. These experiments were famously known as the “Hawthorne studies.”
From their study, Mayo and his colleagues suggested that the performance of a person was impacted depending on the treatment they get. The two factors that helped in determining the attitude and behavior of employees were a personal and social process. Therefore, it is imperative for the management to recognize the significance of the needs of the employees so as to get the maximum out of their performance. The conclusion of Mayo and his colleagues was that for the manager to achieve from the employees, the company should show interest in the needs of the employees.
Douglas McGregor and Abraham Maslow’s are two of the known major contributors that aided in human relation movement advancement. The Maslow’s hierarchy of need that has five levels suggests that people get motivated to do things that will in turn help them in meeting their needs (Certo & Certo, 2012).
.As a manager in a company, I would use human relations approach to managing employees in a different way since it is vital to the success of the company. First, I would work together with the employees to realize the company goals. By using human relations, I would create a welcoming and stable workplace affects both the organization and its employees. The effects of culture in the company. According to Certo & Certo (2012) retention in the workplace is linked directly to human relations. This is an important factor in retaining the employees because, without it, the company can incur huge costs, energy ad time in constantly recruiting new staff. Furthermore, human relations is vital in motivating the employees in an organization and therefore as a manager, I will ensure that my employees are motivated well by ensuring their needs are satisfied. Additionally, using human relations in fostering creativity is significant for the company by allowing employees to come up with new and innovative ideas. Certo & Certo (2012) asserted that the creativity of an employee is dependent on their ability in communicating with their colleagues in the workplace, and this needs social interaction. This implies that the employees in a company are less able to come up and share ideas needed for the survival of the company if there is no proper relationship amongst the employees.
5. Discuss in scholarly detail how a manager’s understanding of his employees’ physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs improve productivity?
According to Certo & Certo (2012), an individual in any organization pursues a work that is meeting his needs, and, therefore, an employee is not also different. The companies that meet the needs of their employees makes the workers continue working with them. However, if the company does not meet the needs, the employees will move on to other available avenues. By fully understanding various employee needs such as the physiological, social, safety, self-esteem and self-actualization, the manager of a company can create a conducive environment that meets the employee’s needs. Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that a motivational environment in a company is suitable for encouraging behaviors of the employees that results in increased productivity.
The understanding of the needs of the employees by the employees to improve productivity is based on the rationale that supporting, equipping, facilitating, retaining and satisfying the employees to perform their duties effectively (Certo & Certo, 2012). The manager needs to understand that empowering the employees in an organization brings value to their services and products and enhances productivity. Furthermore, Certo & Certo (2012) asserted that the manager also need to understand that a right working environment in the organization for the employees to transfer their skills and knowledge into outcome, is based only on the satisfaction of their needs. Empowering the employees triggers self-initiation, responsibility, and control amongst the staff. Creative problem solving and wise decision making are a few augmented aspects as a result.
According to Certo & Certo (2012), the management should understand that the company’s best assets are the employees, and therefore, if they are not adequately motivated, the impact on productivity will be tremendous. It is important for the managers to fully understand involved processes in motivation so as to direct employees effectively towards the goals of the organization. The efficiency of the organization entirely will be on the decline by the employees who are not motivated, and the management may be forced to use extra expenses in recruiting additional staff to meet deadline or complete tasks
According to Certo & Certo (2012), it is important for the managers also to understand that when motivating employees, emotions are also involved. The performance ability of an employee can be significantly affected if the employee is emotional about anything or a given situation. The motivation of the employees to perform also has to do with attitude and morale. Furthermore, the style of management adopted by the manager may also motivate employees because if the manager is not liked by the employees, they are likely to perform in dismissal.
Productivity in an organization is directly linked with the sufficient motivation of the employees. Certo & Certo (2012) stated that staff members who are feeling challenged, are satisfied with their jobs, and has the opportunity of accomplishing their goals in the company will cooperative and better behaved on their jobs. They will be less motivated to seek other available job avenues or change their jobs, will be more present at their workplaces and most importantly, they will produce high-quality work
SECTION 2(M3): CHAPTER 3, 4, 5 AND 6
1. Who are organizational stakeholders and what types of responsibilities does an organization have to them? Discuss in scholarly detail!!
Certo & Certo (2012) defined stakeholders as people with interested in the business operations. Some of the stakeholders in an organization include the customers, shareholders, employees, the government, communities, suppliers, business partners, law enforcement among others. There are various types of responsibilities that an organization has to these stakeholders.
To begin, Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that organizations economic responsibility to their owners or the shareholders. The responsibility of the organization is to produce goods and services that is needed in the market and to maximize profits for the shareholders or the owners. The virtual commitment that the organization makes when they accept the investors capital is the profit
The organization also have both moral and ethical responsibility to their employees in offering non-discriminatory employment ad hiring practices. It is important ethically for the organization to offer screening purposes that result to the hiring of the most capable candidate. Furthermore, organizations are generally expected to provide reasonable and fair working conditions to their employees where they are free from abuse, bullying and harassment (Certo & Certo, 2012).
To the community members and customers, the organization has the responsibility to commit ethically in treating other community members and customers fairly. This according to Certo & Certo (2012) starts with transparency and honesty in the way the organization does business. The promotional messages should be honest and does not exaggerate about the product claims and also about the company. Additionally, the organization has the responsibility of meeting the expectations of the community by supporting them financially, engaging in corporate social responsibilities and also through civic actions
According to Certo & Certo (2012), organizations also have legal responsibilities to follow the laid ground rules, regulations, and laws. Legal responsibility implies that society considers it important for organizations to have appropriate behavior and respect. Therefore, business are expected within the legal frameworks to fulfill their economic goals. The legal requirements according to Certo & Certo (2012) are imposed by the federal, state or local councils and their regulating agencies. The companies that break the law knowingly under this category are poor performers. Manufacturing goods that are defective intentionally or even billing customers for the work not done is deemed illegal.
Similarly, organizations have discretionary responsibilities to its stakeholders. Discretionary responsibility according to Certo & Certo (2012) is purely voluntary and guided by the company’s desire to make some social contributions that are not mandated by ethics, laws, and economics. These discretionary activities include the organization’s philanthropic contributions to the society or communities with no payback. They are also part of social responsibility since it is beyond the expectations of the society to contribute to the welfare of the community. Social responsibility of an organization is the duty owed to the people the organization directly operate with daily. An organization has a social responsibility of supporting public interest if they have the capability, and also to minimize any negative impact they have on the community’s surrounding. These goals can be met by minimizing pollution, promoting charitable acts among others (Certo & Certo, 2012).
2. Discuss in scholarly detail the concept behind ethnocentrism and what other negative dynamics can interfere with workforce productivity?
The concept behind ethnocentrism is a person feels that their social infrastructure improvement like healthcare institutions, libraries and schools. Furthermore, if the local culture compared to other people’s cultures is superior. This leads to the person judging and analysing other beliefs and cultures, from his or her culture. Ethnocentrism is also the natural tendency of people to judge other groups less favorably to their own. Therefore, ethnocentrism refers making a judgement of other groups based on an individual’s cultural point of view (Certo & Certo, 2012). From the explanation, Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that everyone is ethnocentric, and it cannot be willed away or avoided by well-meaning or positive attitude. Therefore, the essay will define ethnocentrism as making false assumptions about other people’s ways or beliefs based on an individual’s limited experience.
The changing dynamics in the world of business triggered certain social dynamics that can interfere with the productivity at the workplace. Therefore, for an organization to realize success in diversification, it must come up with mechanisms of neutralizing these dynamics. Some of these negative dynamics include ethnocentrism, prejudice, stereotype, discrimination and tokenism (Certo & Certo, 2012). It is important for the managers of companies to understand these negative dynamics so that they can monitor their own perceptions and also to help their employees in viewing their fellow employees more accurately
Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that if ethnocentrism is allowed in an organization to infiltrate the workplace, the outcome is always intragroup conflicts fuelled by cliquish behaviours, exclusion and favouritism. When conflict is rampant in a company, productivity and performance in the workplace suffer. Therefore, to avoid ethnocentrism and is resultant conflict at the workplace, Certo & Certo (2012) suggested that employees and managers need to analyse their own biases and cultures objectively, always strive to maintain open communication channels and learn about other people’s cultures.
Prejudice according to Certo & Certo (2012) is a preconceived opinion, judgement or assumption on an issue, group of people or behaviour. The stereotype is a negative or positive assessment of perceived attributes of members of a certain group or even the members themselves (Certo & Certo, 2012). Discrimination, on the other hand, is the act of treating a person, an issue or behaviour inequitably or unjustly on the basis of prejudices and stereotypes. Lastly, tokenism is also another negative dynamic that affects workplace productivity. It refers to being one among the very few members of a group in a company. Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that token employees are either given very low or high visibility in the company.
Many women in the workplaces face gender role stereotypes. According to Certo & Certo (2012), one of the major discriminatory practices faced by women in companies in known as “glass ceiling.” That is the invisible advancement limit. Moreover, women also face sexual harassment as a form of discrimination. Furthermore, the minorities at the workplace either racial or ethnic minority groups are socialised as members of either dominant culture or minority culture. Similarly, the old workers and the disable workers also face prejudices and stereotypes such as lack of worth in the labour market, incompetence and senility
3. Discuss in scholarly detail why managers make foreign investments? What are the benefits and risks involved in this?
Managers make foreign investments to increase their total return of their portfolio and to diversify. However, despite the fact that the benefits of foreign investments are accepted widely, there are also risks involved when a manager makes the international investment. Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that foreign investment can be lucrative but there are also some risks, and, therefore, it takes more work in finding worthwhile investments in foreign markets compared to finding locally.
Some of the benefits a manager can realize after investing in foreign markets include expansion of markets, seek resources, seek strategic assets and also for efficiency. According to Certo & Certo (2012), a manager may make foreign investments include to seek market for their goods and services after they have saturated their home markets, or when they have a belief that foreign markets will bring higher returns. This is beneficial to the company as the company gains extra profits and expand their market share globally.
Another benefit of foreign investments is cheaper costs involved in producing goods in some foreign countries in their subsidiaries and sell it in other foreign or their home markets. Certo & Certo (2012) pointed out that foreign facility may be able to obtain inputs of production (natural resources, capital, labour, land) at lesser costs and produce superior products compared to when the products are produced locally
On the other hand, some of the risks involved in foreign investments according to Certo & Certo (2012) include transaction costs, currency risks and liquidity risks. The transaction costs are the biggest barrier to managers making foreign investments. The transaction costs vary greatly depending on the international market the manager is investing. Moreover, brokerage commissions are almost and always higher in foreign markets compared to the domestic rates. Additionally, there are frequently additional charges on top and are specific to the local markets, and they include levies, stamp duties, clearing fees, taxes and exchange rates (Certo & Certo, 2012). Furthermore, if a company is investing through a professional or fund manager, there are also additional fee
Currency risk is another risk involved in foreign investment especially currency volatility. When a manager is directly investing in a foreign market, they have to change their domestic currency to the foreign currency at the current rate of exchange for them to but the foreign stock. If the investor holds the stock for a year and sells it, they will have again to convert it back to their domestic currency one year later at the prevailing rate of exchange. That uncertainty of the future rate of exchange will be that many investors are scared of
Liquidity risks is another inherent risk in international markets especially the emerging ones. Liquidity risk according to Certo & Certo (2012) is the risk of the investor not being able to quickly sell their stock once they have entered a sell order. Moreover, typically there is no way in which an average investor can protect them from this risk
4. What can managers do to ensure that management action taken across national borders is ethical? Discuss in scholarly detail!!
International management according to Certo & Certo (2012) is the performance of activities of management across national borders. International business is growing and this evidenced from the increasing number of multinational corporations. For the multinational companies to thrive, they must have managers that were competent. The attitudes of the managers towards an operation of a multinational company can range from geocentric, to polycentric and to ethnocentric. Furthermore, controlling multinational companies is complicated by different geographical separation and currencies. According to Certo & Certo (2012), some of the special issues that need to be addressed in international management include preparing expatriates and maintain ethics for foreign assignments, ethics specifically is a challenge since what is viewed as ethical in another country may be perceived as unethical in another country. It may help in respecting local traditions, core human rights and determining wrong and right by examining the context. Furthermore, preparing the expatriates may need thorough training that covers cultural adaptations, culture profiles, logistical information and application of the role of the manager to the company.
To ensure management activities taken across national borders are ethical, managers can do the following as elaborated by Certo & Certo (2012). To begin, the managers through their management actions can develop ethical values, goals and objectives that are morally sound. This action would prevent deception, misrepresentation, bribery and fraud as well as preventing unnecessary expenses for public relations and legal for damage control, stakeholder reflection of the multinational company policies in future, supplier and customer disappointments. Furthermore, the top management executives at the headquarters and its foreign subsidiary levels should pursue repeated reinforcements and counselling aggressively to their subordinates with particular dos and don’ts that are applicable to the company and its entire industry. Similarly, a code of ethics should be explained to all staffs, and they should endorse them fully.
The manager should also ensure that executes at all levels of the company closely work with their subordinates and other teams to scrutinize any potential aberrations of ethical conducts closely. Certo & Certo (2012) indicated that frequent discussions regarding mistakes may bring forward these issues and help in sensitizing all staff members about the lapses and temptations of unethical business conducts.
The manager should also create ethical culture across borders in the organization, pursue strategies that will result in the sustainability if ecologically and socially responsible practices. As much as these may have short-term costs, in reality they may have long-term benefits in overall in both non-monetary and monetary terms. For instance, those practices that would result in image improvement as a firm that is ecologically sound has high integrity and impeccable ethics in all employee ad business dealings.
According to Certo & Certo (2012), the manager with his top-level management executives should also scrutinize personally any new practices in their across border subsidiaries for any potential ethical lapses, fallouts, and oversights. Such screen processes that are systematic would warn any employee at the lowest level to avoid any temptation and caution the multinational company’s employees in time to be very careful in coming up with newer practices and methods to show their superior performance at the expense of ethical business and good administrative practices .
5. Discuss in scholarly detail factors including entrepreneurial alertness, information asymmetry, social networks, and the ability to establish means-ends relationships that influence the ability of individuals to identify opportunities.
Entrepreneurial opportunities are often identified through creative thinking and alertness. Often alertness includes three elements that come together to help entrepreneurs identify new opportunities. The first of the elements is scanning and search. This first element involves looking at existing businesses and identifying gaps that can be filled with resources that one possesses. The second element includes association and connection; entrepreneurs often have resources in existence such as skills and training capability. Once the entrepreneur has identified the gap, the next step is to identify ways in which the resources can be used to fill the gap. Finally through evaluation, entrepreneurs can come up with creative ways to meet the needs of the clients and customers (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Information asymmetry exists when one part of the two involved in entrepreneurship has more or better information than the other. This creates a platform where it is possible for the one party to take over and disadvantage the other. In such a case, if the entrepreneur has information that the rest do not he has the chance to take advantage. They can fill in the gap before others take note and bring in competition. It is important to note that individuals can also level the gap through screening. By identifying parties that may have the information, approaching said parties and, therefore, gaining such information to further their entrepreneurial ambitions (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Perhaps the biggest influence in today’s entrepreneurial world is the social networks. Through social networks, entrepreneurs are able to cross borders and to grow businesses with little resources. Whereas in the past entrepreneurs would require resources for marketing and expansion, today social networks are able to give cheap and easy opportunities for expansion. Secondly, social networks provide a platform to identify the current needs of consumers, trends, and tastes. Through this, new entrepreneurs are able to identify areas that they can specialize in; in addition to specializing the technique that they will use to approach the consumers. A presence in the social market signals is approaching and unidentified needs allowing entrepreneurs to find original ideas for business. The social media also allows entrepreneurs to gain favorable new ideas, cross borders and even gain access to new products for the new clientele.
Finally, networking allows the entrepreneurs to conceptualize ideas that they may have. Sometimes, the ideas possessed by entrepreneurs are difficult to actualize; however, through relationships with their mentor, they receive ideas on how to make the ideas a reality. The relationships also provide a bridge to potential customers and investors. The majority of entrepreneurs indicate that their first customers came from networks they had built originally before starting the business. At the conceptualization stage, the means- end relationships tend to cast the net of the entrepreneurs widely allowing them to build and also make way for development in the future. In the beginning, such relationships are more used to pave the way for tangible benefits such as immediate access to customers and immediate investment in the development projects of the business (Certo & Certo, 2012).
SECTION 3(M4): 7, 8, 9 AND 10
1. Discuss in scholarly detail the management by objectives approach (MBO) and explain the three basic parts included in most MBO programs. Also discuss factors that are essential to the success of a management by objectives (MBO) program.
To many scholars management by objectives is often defined as management by results. In this system managers often measure performance and results through success in completion of objectives. Managers identify objectives which they make known to employees and also to the stakeholders of the business. Each stakeholder is expected to work within the objectives and towards success of the business by completing the objectives stated (Certo & Certo, 2012). The main principle of management by objectives is ensuring that all employees remain aware of and are consistent in what is expected of them. MBO combines three basic elements to ensure success. These elements are:
Individual objectives: objectives are not just directed to the organization as a whole, they are also scheduled individually. Each player within the organization has specific goals which they are working towards. Such goals are in turn translated to become main goals and objectives of the organizations. It is through individual goals that management can identify specific roles and duties for employees. It is important to note that the goals are mutually identified and set (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Performance reviews: are vital in identifying how achievable the goals that were set are. Without performance reviews, employees and individuals would not be motivated to work harder in order to achieve more. Performance reviews are conducted within specific periods and the results shared to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Rewards: This is often the distinguishing foundation of this program. Once the goals have been identified and reviews carried out; individuals are awarded according to how far they have come in terms of achieving their own goals. This motivates people to work harder, and to find creative ways to achieve their goals which in turn translates to success for the business.
For MBO to be successful the following factors need to be considered:
Communication: the objectives of the organization need to be clearly communicated to the employees. They need to be made aware and to remain in knowledge of not just the objectives but most importantly their role in ensuring the objectives are met.
Goals are vital: this program insists that managers often fail when they focus more on the plan. Instead the focus should be placed on identifying the right goals. This means putting subordinates to work so that they are part of the goal setting process. When employees are involved in setting goals they are more inclined to work towards success of the same. In addition, the goals must be so that they are clear and easy to understand in addition to building the motivation of the group (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Coordination: where various departments are in play, managers need to ensure good coordination. This program means that the entire organization is working towards similar goals. Each department therefore has a role to play in ensuring success of the goals and objectives and in supporting other departments towards the same success.
2. Explain in scholarly detail the steps in the decision-making process and based on this process, what are the pros and cons of group decision-making and brainstorming as a group decision making process.
Decision making is an issue that managers and business owners often have to contend with daily. There are many decisions to be made each day from simple operational decisions to long-term strategies and planning. Identifying the process of decision making enables managers to streamline the process, thereby making better decisions in a more efficient manner. The following are the steps involved in decision making according to (Certo & Certo, 2012):
Identification of an issue: the process begins with identifying a problem or an issue that requires addressing. Decisions are not just made; they must be specific to a problem or an issue. For example, a company may realize that the costs of sales are much more than the actual sales thereby prompting a decision to bring costs lower.
Information collection: this step includes seeking out various forms of information to identify the strengths of each decision in question. Information can show the cause of the issue and the possible solutions of the same.
Brainstorming: this involves considering all possible solutions. This step involves others who are in place to help with the decision-making process, for example, subordinate employees and other stakeholders who may have information on various challenges with particular decisions.
Choosing the best alternatives: this involves measuring the strengths and weaknesses of particular decisions. With the information gathered, it is easy to identify potential challenges and outcomes of particular decisions and, therefore, select the best alternative.
Implementation: once the alternative has been selected, managers then move on to implementation the same decision through a set of activities. Plans are made, and employees are given duties that are directed towards making the decision a reality. It is important to note that once the decision has reached this stage there is no probability of turning back. All challenges and problems encountered must be dealt with rather than beginning the process of seeking another alternative.
Evaluation: even with the best of decision-making processes, it is important to understand the strength of the decision. This means continuously going back to check the performance of particular decisions and making plans that may need to adopt to ensure the success of the overall plan. If the decision chosen is not working it might be time to seek another alternative in its place.
The above steps are in line with individual decision making; however there are alternatives where group decisions may be considered. Group decisions have the advantage of bringing together various ideas and a variety of information which in turn means a richer decision in terms of depth and magnitude. It is rare to go wrong with a group decision as all people are involved and feel responsible for the success of the decision. However, with a group decision the time taken to come to a chosen alternative can be quite long. Often debates and meetings can become the bane of success. Endless debates waste time, especially where the decision is required promptly. Furthermore, the group decision-making process while on one hand can bring teams together on the other hand it can cause divisions. Some people may just side with others because they have personal axes to grind with others. In this case, decisions are made on personal rather than business grounds. For timely decisions, therefore, group decisions may not be the most ideal (Certo & Certo, 2012).
3. Discuss in scholarly detail a comparison including pros of cons of strategic and tactical planning.
Organizations are often managed through various strategies falling under different categories. Managers have to acquire the right skills and ensure that they understand the strategy they have chosen completely. Two of the most common management techniques are strategic and tactical management. Each of this is an organizational control technique which is directed at ensuring an increase in profits. Strategic management is a level of management that defines itself through setting of goals and objectives. The goals and objectives are the foundation upon which direction of the organization id determined. Strategic management has become the most influential modern method of management employed today. Tactical planning on the other hand is more involved with the day to day running and short term management objectives. This is the strategy that specializes in determining activities for less than one year in the business. It is much easier to prepare and constantly adapts to the changes in the industry and market (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Strategic management often comes from upper management. The top management is more inclined and skilled to use objectives and determine long term goals. This is simply because upper management has a clearer understanding of the organization and the path of growth that has been selected for the organization. On the other hand subordinate managers have a better understanding of the actual day to day operations of the business. For this reason, they are more likely to develop tactical plans. Tactical plans also allow managers to address the day to day challenges as opposed to long term challenges (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Strategic management often requires a larger and more complex set of facts and information. This is because the strategy being set needs to include the history of the organization, the market environment and finally expected changes in trends. On the other hand, the tactical management requires basic information which can be found from everyday records. Tactical strategy is based on information from the cash book, sales registers and credit registers. In the same way strategic plans are often less detailed. This is because they provide a general outline of the expected plans and activities. On the other hand, tactical plans insist on details of all activities that are to be carried out, the persons responsible for all the activities and the resources that are to be used for the same. Tactical plans are often thought to be an explanation, a breaking down of the main strategic plan.
Despite the above differences, managers also require strategic and tactic management plans. The strategic plan gives focus into the future so that the entire organization is working together towards a similar goal. Tactical management plans on the other hand, allow managers to plan for day to day operations of the business. The activities are outlined in the tactical plan; however they are all directed to the success of the objectives and long term goals. By focusing on one in favor of another, managers may lose out on the basic tenets of each one. Managers need to master the techniques of supporting each of the plans to ensure proper growth and development of the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
4. Discuss in scholarly detail the program evaluation and review technique (PERT) including an explanation of the critical path.
PERT is a mathematical program often used to analyze the tasks involved in the completion of a given project critically. Often managers are required to have an estimated time and cost for the projects that they are working on. With this in mind, the project is broken down into specific tasks including the amount of time that it will take to complete each task given the entire project. It is important to note that sometimes the order of completing a particular project such as building will be easy to follow. However, where the project such as marketing is subject to the response from customers and clientele, the path may be more difficult to follow. PERT allows the managers to plan for expected challenges and to give a realistic estimate of the completion time. The critical path for PERT has several steps and pointers that need to be taken into consideration. They include:
The event: according to Heerkens (2002) this is the issue or marking point from which managers can indicate the start and end position. All activities are either geared from or geared towards that particular event. The event is the fundamental instrument in PERT upon which success or failure is measured.
Predecessor event: this is the event that indicated the beginning of the actual event. It is often considered the catalyst upon which the actual event was based. In business, this could mean a challenge or problem that necessitated the project to find a particular important solution.
Successor event: this is the event that immediately follows a particular event. For example in a marketing project once advertisements have hit the main media streams, there may be an increase of orders from clients. This is immediate reaction considered the successor event.
PERT activity: this is the undertaking of a particular task that takes up the required resources and time. The activity can be measured in terms of labor, financial resources and most importantly time. A PERT activity only comes into play when the predecessor event has already occurred.
Furthermore, a PERT activity can be broken down into sub-activities that are much smaller and easier to control over time. Sub-activities take up fewer resources and are all geared towards the completion of the main activity. They define the particular roles and duties that are carried out by individuals within the activity.
With PERT, the critical path is often defined using the longest possible time and procedures that could delay the completion of the project. The path takes into consideration the lag time and the pessimistic time, which considers possible challenges and accounts for their solutions. Using the critical path, managers can adjust accordingly towards expected challenges. The critical path accounts for critical activities that are unnecessary activities that may take time and, therefore, delay the completion of the project. This allows managers to shorten the path, plan for faster completion and in the need shorten the duration necessary for competition of the projects (Certo & Certo, 2012).
5. Discuss in scholarly detail concepts and application behind the Gantt chart, explaining its features used to support management efforts?
The Gantt chart was first introduced in 1896 by Adamiecki (Certo & Certo, 2012). He illustrated a project schedule using bar charts that were clear and ideally placed so that basic understanding was easier and ideal. The bars often indicate the start and finish of particular elements of the project and include the various activities to be involved in the same. The Gantt chart has developed so much so that today, one can clearly identify the various activities that are dependent on each other. The Gantt chart is considered an ideal project management tool in measuring time and the rate of success of the business. The Gantt chart provides the following benefits to the user:
Identification of activities: the chart clearly identifies the activities that are involved in the project. The bars are representatives of various activities, including activities that are interlocking and dependent on each other. The Manager is, therefore, able to keep track and remain aware of the various activities that are to be completed in the project. This ensures no single activity is left out and increases the chances of success of the project.
Time measurement: according to Deeprose (2002) the main challenge in the completion of projects and therefore in project management is the management of the schedule and time. Without proper tracking, projects can run beyond the scheduled time and in doing so take up resources that were previously not planned for in advance. With a Gantt chart, managers can clearly identify how much time was to be spent on particular activities. All stakeholders are made aware of how long a particular activity was to last.
Furthermore, the chart clearly identifies how long particular projects were to last that is the start date and end date of the project. Therefore, managers can constantly keep track whether they are on schedule or behind schedule and adapt the plan and activities to ensure success. If followed properly and strictly adhered to, the chart allows projects whether large or small to be completed promptly and flows into the management of resources for the benefit of the project.
Overlapping activities: dependent activities often take up much time within the project. Managers can waste resources, duplicating activities that have already been completed. The chart clearly identifies such activities allowing the manager to reduce duplication and, therefore, save much. Kerzner (2001) indicated that labor duplication and further duplication of activities make it difficult to follow up the success of the project. It also demoralizes and reduces the motivation of the workers as well as the manager himself. Without proper guidance, it is entirely possible for the managers to drag on, doing very little and, in this case, the project would be doomed to failure. However, when such activities are identified and avoided, success and progress is easy to see, and motivation is easy to build within the project team and other stakeholders. The chart is easy to build and follow through making it an ideal tool for project managers.
SECTION 4(M5): 11, 12, 13 AND 14
Every business employs particular formal policies in the day to day running of the same. Whereas the small business may not be so formal in their organizational structure which adapts according to the needs of the organization at a particular time, the larger business structures are more formal and strict with regard to their organizational structure. Managers employed are usually at task in identifying the strengths f the organizational structure and weaknesses of the same. For a manager, following and adhering to the organizational structure can bring about the following benefits:
Streamlining of operations: managers are responsible for organizing the business functions and various processes that allow products and services to reach the final consumer. The organizational structure already in place gives new managers an opportunity to streamline activities even further thereby saving the company and business in terms of cost of operations.
Easy decision making: perhaps the biggest benefit of organizational structure is that it allows managers to make decisions much more easily. Where structure exists, procedures are clear. Each individual is aware of what responsibilities they are to cover and which duties fall under their roles. Therefore, decision making is quick and easy ensuring development and growth of the business.
Measuring performance: managers are often responsible for measuring performance not just of individuals but also of departments. When managers ignore the set up organizational structure it becomes difficult and in some cases completely impossible to measure the performance of such organizations. With clear structures, individuals are aware of their own roles and duties and therefore measuring of performance becomes easier.
However (Moore 2002) indicates that sometimes managers out much stock in organizational structure; much more than deserved by the same. Adhering strictly to organizational structure can lead to the following problems and challenges for managers:
Poor motivation: strict organizational structure means that employees do not have the capacity to explore and grow within an organization. With fewer chances of career development, they are more likely to become demoralized and this could lead to loss of great talent. Such organizations often have a flow of labor that is detrimental to the costs of the company.
Lack of creativity: strict adherence to organizational structure is likely to lead to a problem in terms of exploration of creativity. Employees and managers are less likely to experiment with ideas that could lead to new products, reduced costs of operations and increased profits. Workers go by their routines without actually employing themselves to ensure success. A flexible structure could lead to greater success where managers can experiment with new ideas, identify new talents and find creative ways of ensuring their own success within the industry. In fact it may be much easier to become benchmarks through this system of management than with strict organizational structures.
2. Describe in scholarly detail the characteristics of a responsible manager and explain the method used to determine the degree of responsibility a manager possesses.
A manager is defined by his skill and training, however, even before training there are traits are that are important for the success of good managers. Often managers who fail in their tasks have not sharpened the characteristics or did not posses such skills in the first place. Poor management leads to lack of motivation by employees which in turn translate to failure of the business. Identification of a good manager is vital towards ensuring growth and development of the business. The following are important characteristics of managers:
Leadership: a manager is beyond just a manager of the resources in the business, they are leaders of the team. Often they are looked upon by others to provide guidance which will ensure success of the business and completion of the business objectives. A manager by displaying self assurance and emotional stability can build the morale of the team leading the same towards success. Managers who are exemplary leaders often have teams that are highly motivated to work for them in addition to being high performers.
Communication: a manager is the bridge between the customers, employees and other stakeholders. Good managers are able to create an environment where communication is an important element. Employees feel free to speak to managers and the feedback is evident. Communication is not just about passing the message, it is important for managers to also be able to receive and give feedback to employees. Through communication, managers are able to gauge the needs and wants of all stakeholders and therefore act accordingly. They are also able to maintain the motivation of employees who feel that managers are working with them for their benefit and are also listening to them.
Organized: managers are often tasked with various responsibilities and oversee different departments and employees. Without proper organization, it is possible to get lost within the chaos. In addition, customers often require and in some cases demand that managers are aware of their needs, anticipate their wants and therefore provide an excellent and satisfactory service. An organized manager is able to have all that is required, compartmentalize various issues and keep the organization running as a well oiled machine. When a manager is organized, employees are also expected to be organized and therefore the business as a whole becomes more organized. Schedules, inventory and departmental budgets need to be kept well organized to ensure easy access and proper decision making.
Problem solving: managers need to be able to anticipate problems and challenges and find solutions for the same. Their skills, training and experience only serve to sharpen this skill. Problems within the organization need to be resolved as quickly as possible with as little resources as possible. Without proper anticipation, majority of the challenges encountered by the business may ground the same business forcing it to a standstill. The first step towards solving the problems is taking responsibility for the challenge and problem wherever it has occurred. This is an ethical approach towards solving all the problems encountered in the business.
Time oriented: all tasks in the manager’s docket are often time sensitive. They require too be addressed immediately. Managers must therefore be time sensitive in order to save on resources and address all the issues without procrastinating which would be costly for the business.
3. Testing is examining human resources for qualities relevant to performing available jobs. Although many different kinds of tests are available for organizational use, they generally can be divided into many categories. To explore this, discuss in scholarly detail different types of tests used by organizations during the selection process of employees?
In order to gauge the suitability of a candidate with regard to the organization fit, human resource managers often resort to tests. When a job is advertised, many skilled and properly trained candidates make the application seeking employment within the organization. Various tests provide different advantages to the managers. Each has its own place and its own importance in gauging particular skills of the candidates. These include:
Aptitude tests: (Dessler 2000) states that often people mistake aptitude tests with intelligence tests. Whereas intelligence tests focus more on the IQ of the individual, aptitude tests are applicatory. They often measure the ability of the individual to master the expected tasks of the job. The tests measure the ability of the individual to learn the tasks that are expected of him within a satisfactory duration and with proper training. Once the employee has been selected, they will e given proper training with adequate teachers in order to master what is expected of them. However, if they do not possess the ability to learn the basics and intrinsic of the job, failure is imminent. This may mean the company having to spend further resources in training or even employing other people.
Achievement tests: they are more concerned with testing the validity and reliability of the resume and interview results. Often candidates are aware of the skills and requirements for a particular job. They may indicate that they posses such skills during the interviews and also as part of their resume. Achievement tests, confirm that this claims are nearest or closer to the truth. They are inclined with testing the actual job knowledge. For example, during selection of sales personnel, candidates may be required to sell the particular product to the interviewers. This test is also ideal where individuals will be required to complete complex tasks such as managing machinery. They can be tested on their knowledge and skill in doing the same.
Situational tests: where the job may involve several challenges which require special skills to resolve, candidates can be asked to attempt critical solutions. This test exposes candidates to expected challenges and observes the solutions put forward by the same candidates. Candidates may be placed in groups or individually to observe both their independent decision making and their ability to participate in a team.
Interest tests: This test focuses on the emotional attachment of the individual to the job. It measures the reasons behind the job in order to determine the probability of attachment to the company. Individuals who are emotionally attached to the job are more likely to perform better in the same tasks than others.
Personality tests: are used to determine the value system and emotional stability of the candidate. They allow the managers to see into the personality of the candidate and thereby gauge the probability of conformity with the organizational culture. Individuals with extreme characters may not fit well in the organization and in some cases can become a disruption to productivity of the other employees within the organization.
4. What is the “human resource inventory”? What are the different human resource inventory records maintained by an organization? Discuss in scholarly detail!!
An inventory determines the current resources within the organization and their ability to meet the future needs of the organization. Often, human resource managers are required to look at the current needs and the trends of growth determining whether the organization may at one time or another require further human resources to meet its needs. Without inventory the organization may find itself over staffed, understaffed or lacking individuals with particular skills when such skills have come to be required. According to Certo & Certo (2012) human resource inventory goes to the point where managers record all the skills, talents and abilities of the various individuals within the organization. This way, they can also determine individuals who are being underutilized within the organization and make adjustments of the same. In addition should a need arise, with an inventory it is possible to determine who can and will feel the particular gap easily. This prompts employees to improve themselves even during the period of their employment in anticipation of gaps that will come up within the organization.
Records in human resource inventory
Management inventory card:this is a complete record of the history of a particular employee within the organization. It includes basic information such as age and date of employment; and goes to include particulars including performance reviews and previous achievements in the organization. Finally it includes the possible ways in which the skills of the individual can be used to further the benefits of the organization.
Position replacement form: whereas the management inventory is focused on information about the people, this record is more focused with information about the positions itself. The inventory gathers information on the history of the position, how it came to be, the skills required to complete tasks within the organization. This ensures that the human resource managers are aware of the required skills should a vacant position arise within the organization.
Management manpower inventory: this is a vital record when employees leave the organization. The record compares the former employee with performance records of other employees and comes up with possible replacements for each position. Once an employee leaves the organization, they do not stay for long with a vacant position; the position is immediately filled. The card shows the strengths of particular employees within the same organization.
Management inventory allows the manager to answer the following vital questions:
- What potential do all employees within the organization have? This determines the skills that are present, talent that is within the organization. This determines the resources that the organization has at present.
- When a position falls vacant, does the organization have the required resources, skills and talent to fill the same? This determines who exactly and what exactly is required to fill that particular position.
- What advocate does the company have from picking one employee for a particular position and task over another? This question addresses the weakness and strengths of different employees. This is important when two individuals are being considered for the same position within the organization.
5. What is organizational change? Do you think change is important to organizations? Explain your answer in scholarly detail!!
Organizational change is the process by which individuals and the organization at large undergoes transition and changes over a period of time. Certo & Certo (2012) states that the one constant in the life of an organization is that it must change. Today’s organizations understand the importance of change and management of change, however very many continue to struggle with the actual change when it happens. Management of change is vital in any organization. When change is managed poorly it can lead to poor motivation and underperformance of the organization. Organizational change occurs when the organization starts making plan for the future. There is a necessity to move the organization from the current state to a future state which is much more desirable. All members within the organization need to embrace the change for better results to be seen and accomplished. Change is vital for any organization because without change it is likely that organizations would lose their competitive edge and in turn become extinct losing to their competition.
Benefits of organizational change
Advancements in technology: technology is changing on a daily basis; management hardware and software for example are being re-invented on a daily basis. Advancements in technology allow the organization to clearly meet the needs of the customers. Customers are often drawn to an organization where access to products and service has become easier through adoption of technology. For example, paperless companies are often considered to be highly advanced and therefore attractive. Organizational change allows companies to take advantage of the advancements in technology. Technology can be used to grow and develop further the goals and objectives of the organization.
Meeting customer needs: organizational change is vital in meeting the customer needs. Customer needs are often changing, with tastes and preferences becoming different. Organizations that continue to maintain their current nature fail to take advantage of the change. As changes continue occurring in the world, customer needs continue to change making demands for newer products and services and creating gaps that were otherwise non-existent within the industry. By changing, organizations put themselves in a position where they can make profits by meeting and filling these new gaps.
Growth and development: in order to grow, organizations like human beings must change and acquire necessary resources and skills to allow growth. Employees may need newer skills, managers may need newer objectives and the organization itself may need to adjust its own growth patterns in order to develop. There is no growth that can take place within an organization if it remains within the status quo.
Challenging the former state: when employees begin to ask why, and seek out other alternatives to the former state; newer ideas form and the nature of the organization begins to change. By challenging the former state, newer ways to deliver services, to deal with customers and to make profits can be realized. By doing things the same way, organizations miss out on various opportunities which can be taken over by completion. This makes the organization vulnerable to extinction.
6. Discuss in scholarly detail a topic for your final paper and write a 2-3 paragraph description of its importance to the field of management? (Note: Review module 8 for details on the final paper and expectations)
Conflict and disagreement only leads to an unfriendly environment. Productivity is lowered greatly in the organization as all people begin to become petty and direct their energies towards fuelling their conflict. When management ignores the situation, employees tend to focus more on increasing conflict than resolution of the same. Unless the issues are brought forward by the managers, employees will fester and a conflict becomes a bigger thing than it was at the beginning, managers must be willing to work with the employees to resolve the conflict as early as possible and in the most sustainable way possible (Deeprose, 2002). The issues underlying the conflict must be clearly addressed for a sustainable solution. For managers who remain unaware of the importance of conflict resolutions often find that their work environment remains miserable and sometime this can lead to high turnover in all departments.
Employees often lose motivation in production and this interferes with nit just their work but also the work of others. Conflict often festers beyond the parties that were originally involves unless it is dealt with completely and immediately. When parties are conflict, it is likely that employees are going to start taking sides in support or against one or another. The result is a disruptive work environment, where teams and departments are unable to be productive and to work together. Managers, therefore, send more time, micro-managing the teams to ensure that productivity is achieved (Dessler, 2000). Time that would have been spent organizing and making plans for development of the organization is pent resolving small matters. This situation is not only frustrating to the employees but also to the managers whose performance is measured by the productivity of his subordinates.
Conflict management allows employees to bond and feel more like a family, friends or at least close associates. Organizations that enjoy such an environment find that turnover is lowered and motivation is higher. Certo & Certo (2012) states that when employees are friendly with each other, they tend to enjoy their work more and are more motivated to work harder for the success and growth of the company. In addition, they are less inclined to leave their current position for newer environments where they may not be able to make friends as easily. Friendliness and support therefore is essential in building a positive work environment where employees are more productive and focused in achieving the goals and objectives of the company.
Conflict management allows a manager to be able to introduce and adapt to change. Change often brings with it several ideas. There are often two teams; those who adapt immediately and those who are against any change. Managers often require teams to work together in order to influence the laggards to adapt to change. However, when conflict already exists and is far from being resolved; the factions become stronger and the divide much wider. In such a case adapting to the changing environment become difficult and in many cases impossible. Conflict can indeed become persistent in the company if it is not dealt with decisively (Chao, 2012).
SECTION 6(M7): 18, 19 AND 20
1. Discuss in scholarly detail concepts behind groups as used in context of management and why is the study of groups important to managers?
Groups in organizations are a way in which tasks and projects are completed. Since groups are usually made up of members of different personalities, then they must establish clear communication channels through which they interact with one another respectfully. The force behind groups in an organization is to complete organization tasks and projects collectively among group members. In this way, every employee feels like part of the company. Due to the communication among members there is influence by all group members. Different kinds of groups exist; there are formal groups that are dedicated to performing certain tasks to help attain the organizational goal.
Formal groups divided into two, command and team work groups. Command groups are usually tasked with handling routine activities of the organization, for example, committee departments in a company. Groups serve different purposes in an organization, for instance, committees are critical in the decision-making in an organization. Through the committee, honest opinions are raised since groups members usually feel protected enough to expresses their opinions genuinely. Through groups, members of the organization are equally presented therefore there is less resistance especially when it comes to changes in the organization.
The tasks-groups, on the other hand, are those made up of organizational members who are given non-routine tasks in the organization. The informal groups are those that arise from the social interactions of members of an organization. Examples of formal groups are interested groups and friendship groups. Formal groups serve different purposes in the organization. For example, they are used to promote cultural and social values in the organization. They also ease communication among members of the organization. They are also said to the desirability of the work environment.
The study of groups is important for managers since groups are made up of people, human resource is the most important resource for any organization. Managers need people for efficient completion of work and projects. The common way in which tasks are accomplished in an organization is through division of work in groups, as Certo and Certo (2012) outline other reasons why it is important for managers to study groups are first because groups exist in all kinds of organizations. Secondly, groups are usually an inevitable part of the organization. Thirdly, is because the understanding of groups will help the manager raise the likelihood will raise the competitive advantage of the company (2012).
To manage both the formal and informal groups effectively the effects these groups have in the organization regarding their productivity. To do this they must determine the group existence, and then understand how informal groups evolve. When determining the group’s existence, the manager will need to find out the kinds of informal groups that exist in his organization. They can do this through the use of the sociometry approach, which is an analytical tool used by managers for this purpose. The sociometry approach is used to obtain inside information on how the informal groups work. Managers can construct the sociogram to understand the groups in the organization better (Certo & Certo, 2012).
2. Discuss in scholarly detail concepts and theory behind a sociogram and how would a manager construct a sociogram and why might it be useful?
A sociogram is a chart that indicates the relationship within a group. The theory behind the sociogram is to discover the structure within a group. From sociograms information, such the networking skills of the groups is usually identified. To managers, sociograms are used to provide a proper understanding of the group and provide insights into group management. Sociograms create underlying relationships in the group. There exist different types of sociograms, first is the tree sociogram, that displays information in a tree-like structure, secondly is the block sociogram that displays information in a block matrix to mention a few (Certo & Certo, 2012).
There is a variety of ways that managers can construct sociograms, the purpose of the sociogram is usually the primary reason for its construction. The criterion for construction varies depending on the content of the sociogram. The manager is supposed to collect the information he wishes to include in the sociogram. For example, the sociogram can focus on assessing the attitudes of members of a group towards the introduction of new technological changes. Then the manager will need to collect all the information about how the technology is being used in the organizational group.
The process of constructing the sociogram by a manager begins by the manager devising simple questions. The questions should be constructed in a way that they are consistent with the goal intended to be achieved. For example, if it to assess the impact of new technology then the question should cover the subject adequately. The second step is for the manager to involve the target group members by allowing them to answer the question asked in the first step (Certo & Certo, 2012). The answers they make should be privately done. At this point, the manager should explain to the members the limits of the answers or choices given. The third step is for the manager to list down each members name and the number of times they selected a particular answer. This should take place in a tallying format. Next, the manager makes a large diagram with rings that, an additional ring should be added to indicate the number of times a group member was chosen. The plotting should begin on the outside ring towards the middle ring. The names of the group members should be included in the ring next to the number of times they answered a particular question. Arrows should then be drawn from each of the group members to the answers they gave. The information should be confidential for the managers’ use only.
In this way, the manager can link the use of the technology and the kind of attitude in bringing out in a member of the group. The sociogram will then give the manager the necessary information he needs that will help him handle any form of resistance from the group. In addition, the sociogram will provide the information to the manager on how the organizational group members want the technological changes be implemented to maximize their output and create a competitive advantage for the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
3. Discuss in scholarly detail an organizational socialization process for new employees. Why is this process important?
Employee’s first week at the workplace is centered on understanding organizational culture and how such culture is formed. Since it is usually very intense for new employees as they all try to adjust to the intense culture within an organization, such employees, therefore, need more attention and reassurance. It is, therefore, important for an organization to create a systematic socialization program, for instance, through the orientation process that gives the management more influence on how the employees adapt to the new work environment. According to Certo and Certo (2012) best time to orient a new employee is usually at the beginning of their employment since they can properly adjust.
The organizational socialization process is the chance for new employees of the organization to familiarize themselves with the culture of the organization. The main purpose of the organizational socialization process is to promote continuity rather than a change in the organization. There exist different forms of organizational processes, first is the formal socialization, this mainly occurs through the organizational orientation process. Other mechanisms are through the mentorship process in which new employees are attached to the older employees of the organization. The second form of organizational socialization process is the informal one that occurs through peer relationships among employees. This is said to be the most effective manner of the socialization process (Chao, 2012).
The socialization process occurs in different stages. There is the pre-arrival stage; here new employees are recognized with the set of values and principles they bring into the organization. This stage not only looks at the qualification of the individuals but also the social value they bring into the organization. The interview process is usually used to ensure that employees have the right set of values for the organization.
The second stage is the encounter stage; here employees relate their expectations with that which the organization provides. Employees who find their expectations differing with what they find in the organization are supposed to undergo a socialization process to ensure that they detach themselves from their expectations and embrace organizational expectations. If socialization is not a solution, some new employees may choose to resign.
The final stage of the socialization process is the metamorphosis stage, where new members are expected to work out problems they encountered in the previous stage. Once done with this stage the employees are now part of the organization since they will be aware of the organizational culture and how they are going to be evaluated.
The socialization process in the organization serves several purposes. First, it allows new employees to feel a sense of membership in the organization. As explained earlier this is the process of integrating new employees into the organization when employees are considered as part of the company then they will likely give the best performance. The second reason is increase job satisfaction; the socialization process allows new employees to compare their satisfaction expectations to that of the organization. When the gap between the two is reduced, then employees are said to have attained job satisfaction (Certo and Certo, 2012).
4. Discuss in scholarly detail what managers can do to increase the probability that ethics training influences organization members to act ethically over time?
Principles of ethics in an organization are built on organization culture. Organizational culture refers to the shared values that members of the organization have with regards to the functioning of the organization. Managers have a role to play with regards to improving ethical behavior in an organization. The first step in promoting ethical behavior is by the communication of an agreed code of ethics among employees. Through the code of ethics employees in the organization will be guided by the forms of accepted behavior in the organization. Upon employment employees should be expected to familiarize themselves with the code of ethics of the organization through a mentorship or orientation program, this may happen either in a formal or informal environment. In this way, employees will have a clear expectation of what the management of the organization requires from them.
Another way to increase ethical behavior in an organization is for the managers themselves are a good example to the employees. The organization, therefore, has to observe utmost care and due consideration when choosing its managers. This is said to be the most influential way of promoting ethical behavior among employees since most employees look upon their managers for guidance. Employees especially new employees tend to emulate their managers, and it is for this reason managers have to observe a high standard of ethical behavior. When managers strictly adhere to the organizational code of ethics, employees will have no option but to adhere to the same.
Employees who do not observe the set ethical standards must be punished. With an asset of disciplinary actions for unethical behavior then employees will have no option but to behave in the required manner. Imposing sanctions helps employees understand the effect of their unethical behavior. The manager has the task of laying down the different disciplinary measures to be taken in case of inappropriate behavior (Certo and Certo, 2012).
A reward system is also appropriate to ensure ethical behavior within the organization. When employees are rewarded for ethical behavior, he or she will serve as an example to others who do not behave ethically. It is also very common for an employee who has been rewarded for positive behavior to go astray. It is, therefore, important for managers to identify an appropriate reward system that will motivate employees to behave ethically.
Ethical behavior in the workplace among employees can also be achieved through attainment of a work-life balance. Employees need to have enough time to rest and attend to other needs to give the best behavior in the workplace. The management, therefore, has to allow employees to have a flexible working schedule. In this way, employees will have enough time to rest. The manager also has to pay close attention to complaints of employees and create a working solution. For example, employees tend to resist change if they are not involved in the whole process of change.
Primarily it is the responsibility of the managers to promote ethical behavior within an organization and among employees. The organizational culture should be tailored towards promotion of ethical behavior (Certo and Certo, 2012).
5. Discuss in scholarly detail the “innovation process” and also discuss steps involved in the innovation process.
According to Certo and Certo (2012), innovation has a different perspective depending on the person defining it. To managers, innovation is the process of application of new ideas that are used to improve the organizational process, products, and services. It is only through innovation that important organizational goals are achieved. Organizations therefore, make the company more competitive making it more desirable to customers. Organizations that tend not to have innovative ideas are less attractive to customers. The authors further suggest the driving force the fuels prosperity in an organization is innovation. The innovation process begins with employees. Innovation is different from creativity, since innovation the process of turning an idea into an improvement process for organization products and services. Creativity on the other hand is the generation of new ideas in an organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The innovation process is usually the process that managers take to implement the creative ideas in the company. The first step in the innovation process is the inventing step. In this step, the new idea in the innovation process is established intended for helping the organization achieve its competitive advantage. The idea varies from one organization to another and range from technology, product, the process and management. Technology ideas are usually targeted at enhancing how the technology is being used in an organization. Consequently, it is usually aimed at easing communication within an organization. Product ideas, on the other hand, are usually focused at developing new ideas for products and services. The process ideas focus on improving the manufacturing process, for instance adopting more complicated machinery for the production process. Next are the management ideas that focus on the better mechanism of management, for instance improving human resource management, the organizational structure and change of leadership (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The second step is the developing stage; here the idea in the innovation process is made practical. Ideas that do not focus on creativity should not be pursued. The appropriate way of implementing the idea is then decided. The third step is the diffusing stage, where the idea I put into use. This phase can only take place once the first and second stages have passed. Customers are then informed at this stage; they are then allowed to give their opinion regarding the product change. If the feedback is negative, then the innovation process is put to a stop and re-examined (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The fourth step is the integration process. At this stage the invention is recognized as a permanent part of the organization. The actual change then takes place at this phase. For instance, if the idea was to introduce a new idea into the leadership of the company by creating a new department then the change is integrated at this point. If it is regarding the change of product packaging, then the change put in place (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The fifth step is the monitoring stage, where a follow up is made on the idea to determine if there have been any improvements. The management is then asked to implement the new ideas to ensure they are properly integrated into the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
SECTION 7(M8): 21 AND 22
1. Explain in scholarly detail the importance of power to the control process. Describe the difference between positional power and personal power.
Certo and Certo (2012) define control as the process of ensuring a planned event occurs as it was arranged. It is, therefore, possible to say that planning and control go hand in hand. Power, on the other hand, is the extent of one’s ability to influence other people so that they respond to orders. The orders, in this case, are called powers. The more power an individual has, the greater their influence in the decision-making process (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The control process is an organization is usually derived from the goals and strategic plans of the organization. For an effective control process to be created in an organization, the vision of the company must be clearly identified. The controlling process in an organization is divided into three steps. First is performance measurement phase, here managers usually determine what is needed to be done to ensure that the organization runs effectively and efficiently. To do this manager are expected to establish performance gauges for the performance being measured. The manager is supposed to ask themselves what they need to measure (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Comparison of the performance standards measured is the next step; here the standards to be measured are compared to the expected standards. This may take the form of the whole performance measurement of the whole organization or that of particular individuals in an organization. Certo & Certo (2012) state that performance standards are the yardsticks to determining whether organizational standards are adequate or inadequate. Examples of standards being measured include productivity, marketing, leadership, customer service, employee attitude and social responsibility standards (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Taking corrective action is the next step. Once the factual standard of performance has been compared to the expected standard of performance the next step is for the manager to correct the factual standard. The organizational mistakes are identified and corrected at this stage. It is also important for the managers to ensure the set standards are reliable to the organizational goals and visions (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Positional power is that kind of power that is acquired from the position one holds in an organization, for instance, a manager has managerial power. If such a manager is promoted from a lower managerial position to an upper position than he or she acquires more positional power (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Personal power, on the other hand, is acquired from the relationship that a holder of a position has. For instance, the manager has personal power with regards to the relationships he has with other people. Personal power is usually centered on the strengths, confidence and competence of the individual. The primary components of personal power are the focus, a way in which the power is conveyed. The second component is action, and the third component changes. There are four kinds of personal power, coercive, legitimate, reward, and referent powers (Certo & Certo, 2012).
As Certo & Certo (2012) explained, managers have the ability to increase their total power in the organization by increasing both positional and personal powers. To increase positional power is primarily by moving from a lower position to a higher position. Personal power cannot however be controlled by moving from a lower position to an upper one. Managers have the control of personal power they have over other employees within the organization. Certo & Certo (2012) stress the importance of developing personal power within an organization.
2. Describe in scholarly detail the information that is appropriate for making strategic planning decisions and for making operational control decisions.
Decision- making is primary in all organizational strategic planning processes. Once decisions are made the organizational management has the duty to make sure that the necessary resources are available for the implementation of the decisions. The strategic planning decision-making process utilizes different models that are tasked with providing realistic pictures of the organizational development plan. Therefore, the strategic planning decision-making process has to consider several factors (Certo & Certo, 2012).
First is the capacity strategy, which is usually targeted at the provision of the right resources and facilities needed for the organization to produce the required output. The output capacity of the organization determines its ability to meet future demands. With the right capacity strategy, then the organization can produce the best output results.
Second is the location strategy, which provides the organization with a map work for a competitive location for manufacturing services and distribution of its activities. With a competitive location, the organization can lower both transportation and communication costs. Therefore an organization is said to have a good location if the location is near a market, has access to required federal state and local governments. A good location is also characterized by access to direct competition (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Third is production strategy, which is a strategic plan that outlines the goods and services the organization is supposed to given. The main component of a production strategy is the fact that it links operations strategy and functional strategies of the organization. The production strategy takes into account the strengths and weakness of the operations and decisions of the organization. It also ensures a smooth transition from research to product development (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Process strategy is another essential to the strategic planning decision-making process. In process strategy outlining of the means and methods, the organization will adopt in transforming resources into goods and services. Here decisions are made with regards to the labor, equipment, and managerial skills needed to implement the decision effectively. The process strategy has to be a competitive strategy that will ensure efficient and effective use of organizational resources. The process strategy is usually directly linked to the decisions made in the product strategy phase (Certo & Certo, 2012).
In the layout, strategy planning for the location and flow of organizational resources takes place. The resources are distributed both within and outside the organizations. This is an important phase since the actual decision making takes place here. Decisions usually made favor the cost-effective and efficient strategies. The layout strategy phase decisions are linked to all the processes of decisions making in the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
As explained by Certo and Certo (2012), the human resource strategy is another phase in the strategic decision-making process. This is the last phase in the strategic planning process. Here employees are usually engaged in the organizational activities. At this stage, it is important for the organization to make use of group and team work. The human resource strategy phase involves activities and decisions regarding the labor force required, the job design, work methods to be used, and work measurement methods (Certo & Certo, 2012).
3. Discuss in scholarly detail technology, information technology, and information systems and how each is used to support the management process.
Technology is defined as the process or apparatus that members of an organization use to complete their tasks and projects. Technology does not just refer to the use of computers and the internet but also includes old mechanism of completing tasks in an organization. Information technology, on the other hand, refers to the use of computers and telecommunication devices that use information in the performance of work (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Information system is described as a network of applications created within an organization for the purposes of providing managers with information for assisting them in the decision-making process within an organization. Through the information, system managers can access important information. Primarily in the most organization the information system is used to provide managers with access to the ongoing reports on significant activities within an organization. From the information, managers are usually able to make decisions to improve organizational performance. Information systems are usually characterized by computer usage online access to information is, therefore, inevitable. Information systems are usually planned systematic systems from which information is derived (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Many organizations tend to have different kinds of managers who need access to different kinds of information. The information system created must, therefore, be capable of collecting different kinds of data, transform it, and pass it to the respective manager. As Murdick explains, the Information system appropriateness depends solely on the activities the manager is involved in, in the organization.
The information management system is essential for decision making in the organization. Through the information generated from the system, the decision-making the process for the managers is made easy. It is also easy for managers to receive concrete and up to date information that is reliable to the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Information systems also produce answers to routine questions within an organization. The information system is used to keep track of the decision-making patterns in an organization. Therefore, new employees or managers can access previous decisions of the organization and assess any shortcomings or strengths of such decisions. With the use of information systems, it is easier to carry out the comparison and appropriate research within an organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Technology, on the other hand, supports the management process by allowing managers to work remotely. Sometimes managers may be away from their desk and still need to access information. With the information technology device such as computers, they will be able to access organizational information such as reports and ongoing projects. Such accessibility to information allows managers to increase their productivity and that of the organizational employees (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Consequently, information technology allows managers to store and protect organization information. Larger organizations are prone to great insecurity risks and may need protection. If such protection is not available, then they will need to store the information is resources like cloud storage. They also assist managers to communicate effectively within and outside the workplace.
In conclusion, therefore, information, information technology, and information system is essential to the management process. All this resources provide support to the manager hence increasing the company’s competitive advantage.
4. Discuss in scholarly detail the challenges faced by executives in managing the information system (IS) workforce
Most organizational managers have faced several difficulties in managing the information system workforce. Organizations that have a larger information system are usually forced to outsource the information system services to other organization. Outsourcing may be beneficial to the organization but seen as dangerous by the customers unpatriotic and a breach of the confidential agreement with the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The information system is usually created with the aim of improving decision-making and access to information within an organization. Before the creation of an information management system, the manager has the duty of familiarizing himself with the problems of this kind of system. First is with regards to privacy; a management information system is usually linked to the internet, therefore, posing a greater risk to the organizational security. Although the information system would have made it easy to communicate and for managers to work remotely, the information may pose a great danger with regards o privacy. An information system that do not have enough security measures are likely to be hacked and confidential information interfered with or released to the public (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Another problem associated with information system is that it requires constant maintenance. For the information system to provide up-to-date information, it must occasionally be updated. Therefore, the organization and the management have the duty to hire individuals who will keep the information system running smoothly. The individuals hired need to have enough experience on how the information system works. An organization will need to prepare itself since maintenance of an information system increases the labor costs for the individuals and constant training for the managers (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The use of information system may become ineffective to the organizational operations. The management information system is usually targeted to help achieve certain objectives when those objectives are attained then the system purpose is distinguished. Installation of an information system is usually expensive for the organization. Although access to information technology is easier today, the information system is usually complex to install and may take a larger amount of resources to install an effective information system. Additional, the information system requires additional resources for the upgrade purpose. Managers, therefore, have the duty to ensure they create a budget that will be used to cater for any expenses attached to the information system (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The use of an information system may face resistance from the employees. If not properly integrated employees may resist the use of Information system since they see it as a threat to their job security. Therefore, the management has the duty to ensure that before the introduction of the information system, all employees are informed of its purpose and assure of their job security (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The information system relies heavily on electricity. In case of power failure, the information system seizes to be productive to the organization. Therefore, this means that organizations that rely heavily on the information system for their competitive advantage may not be productive in case of power shortages (Certo & Certo, 2012). The data entered into the information system needs to be accurate, if not the output obtained will have errors that may affect the organization heavily especially if decisions are made based on this kind of erroneous data (Certo & Certo, 2012).
5. Discuss in scholarly detail “management by exception”? How does it operate? Do you think management by exception is an efficient strategy? Why or why not?
Management by exception is a kind of management control which allows considerable variations between the planned and actual performance that are brought to the managers attention. This kind of management is primarily based on the exception principles that recommends subordinate to handle organizational matters. This, therefore, allows a manager the time to with exceptional organizational matters or non-routine matters. Therefore, management by exception allows subordinates to make critical decisions in the organization. This kind of management is based on the understanding that subordinates understand organizational issues better that managers. Managers are also given the time to focus on only important issues in the organization (Certo & Certo, 2012).
For an organization to implement management by exception, a basic framework needs to be set to identify issues that vary from plan to plan. The main advantage of management by exception is that it reduces the amount of financial and operational results for the management review. Besides, employees are allowed the chance to follow their approaches to achieving organizational goals, since the managers only step in if the exceptional conditions exist (Certo & Certo, 2012).
Management by exception also has certain disadvantages, first is that it is based on the existence of a budget from which the actual results are compared. Errors may occur if the budget was not properly formulated a larger deviation hence. This may result in a waste of time if employees investigate them. The second disadvantage is that management by exception requires the use of financial analyst who is supposed to prepare the deviations summaries and then present the same to the management. If the analyst is incompetent, he or she might not recognize the errors and might not bring the same to the management’s attention (Certo & Certo, 2012).
The third disadvantage is that the management by exception concept is premised on the command and control system. In this kind of system, the conditions are monitored and decisions made by an identified group of managers. Therefore, the decision-making process is usually slower and may lead to more losses within an organization. The management by exception makes the assumption that managers are the only ones with correct deviations. A successful organization should ensure that the employees have the ability to deal with variances as soon as they arise (Certo & Certo, 2012).
I think management by exception is the best strategy. As discussed earlier the management by exception allows managers the best use of their time, thus concentrating on more important matters within an organization. Since only important issues are brought to the manager’s attention, then managers will spend most of their time working on significant issues (Certo & Certo, 2012). For instance, if organizational productivity goals are being achieved then managers can deal with other problems within an organization rather than monitoring the production activities. Secondly, since employees are involved in the decision-making the process of the organization, then management by exception provides them with job satisfaction. In management by exceptions, employees are allowed to handle the day to day job activities. Therefore, if efficiently and effectively implemented management by exception is the best strategy of management.
SECTION 5(M6): 15, 16 AND 17
1. Managers should prevent the flow of grapevine. Do you think this argument is valid? Explain your answer in scholarly detail!!
In an organization 80% of the information comes through the grapevine. The grape vine can be defined as the informal system of passing around information. The formal system includes memos, and written reports which are passed to the relevant individuals and groups. However, the grapevine is often the easiest way to reach each and every employee. For managers, the grapevine often poses some problems sometimes to the detriment of the organization. Their main policy is to do away with the grape vine completely, however, as they soon discover this cannot be achieved as easily. Whereas in some cases it is important for managers to curb the growth and spread of grapevine rumors. In other cases, the grapevine may serve the purpose and benefit of the managers. In such a case, managers should not only participate in the grapevine, they should actually encourage the growth of the grape vine with caution of course. There are various management options available to the manager when it comes to the grapevine:
- Instead of completely doing away with the grapevine, the manager can use the grape vine to ensure that the right information is given to the employees. This may mean actually controlling the grapevine. It is important to also note that majority of the grape vines are often fuelled by a lack of information. Grapevines are built on speculations rather than on right and true information. Managers therefore need to keep their employees within the loop in order to manage the grapevine.
- A common misconception is that the grapevine is often simple lies and rumors based on complete untruths. However, the grapevine can clue in the manager into what is happening within his organization. Grapevine information is more than 80% the truth or at least has some element of the truth. It is important to heed the grapevine in order for the manager to keep n touch with the organization. Ignoring the grapevine could easily lead the manager into failure where he is caught by issues in surprise. The grape vine gives the manager, the opportunity to prepare for and find solutions to possible problems as per the rumors.
- Despite the probability of grapevine information being true, there are many cases where the information being peddled is more of les than any truth. Many managers make the mistake of ignoring such rumors hoping that they will eventually fizz off and die. However when rumors are not addressed they take on a life of their own. Soon what began as a simple rumor is taken to be the hard truth and correction of the same becomes completely difficult. Managers need to act promptly when it comes to rumors, addressing them immediately and decisively to curb the spread.
- Employees need to be aware of formal communication channels versus rumors. Managers can ensure that they are aware of ways through which they can confirm the information that they are receiving and through which they can get the truth not just information flowing through the grape vine.
2. You are the CEO of a leading manufacturing company. You want to encourage greater upward communication in the organization. What are some ways in which you will be able to accomplish this? Discuss in scholarly detail!!
Managers spend majority of their time engaging employees and other stakeholders. In an organization communication is vital towards success of the same organization. Managers must be able to communicate goals to the employees; employees need to communicate to each other and to the customers. It is only through proper communication that all stakeholders can successfully engage each other ensuring growth of the organization. Poor communication often translates to conflict. Conflict can be detrimental to the survival of the organization. Managers can improve communication by:
Assessing the current communication level: this allows managers to be aware of the weakness in the current system and where improvements need to be made for improvement. Managers can request employees to rate the communication system within the organization. In addition, the managers can ask the employees which ways and tools can be used to improve the communication system within the organization.
Improve direct communication: organizations tend to rely heavily on memos and reports, ignoring the importance of direct communication. For employees, direct communication through one on one meetings and conversations may take time however; the subject matter is often ingrained into the employees. For example if a manager requires a specific task to be completed in a specific manner it often pays to communicate this directly to the employee responsible. In this manner, the employee can ask questions and seek clarification ensuring that the task is completed satisfactorily. Direct communication also highlights any possible challenges with the information being communicated.
Avoid assumptions: one weakness in communication is whereby one person assumes the other person knows or has the information they posses. It is important to do away with such assumptions as they minimize the effectiveness of communication in an organization. Assumptions often increase conflict and disagreements within an organization and also with its customers. For example should an organization introduce new products with better benefits yet assume that the sales team is aware of the new improvements. The sales team might fail to market the product because they do not understand its benefits or do not understand the difference with other products. This assumption therefore creates great conflict with the managers and other stakeholders who expect the new products to perform well. The secret in building strong communications is to simply be open and discuss everything even matters that may seem like general knowledge
Training: many managers fail to completely understand the need of investing in excellent communications. It is often assumed that teams and individuals are aware and know how to communicate to each other. However, many employees may fail to communicate effectively simply because they do not know how exactly to communicate. Managers can invest greatly in trainings to ensure that employees posses the skills required for proper communications. When employees are aware and are confident in their own skills they are able to communicate more effectively. They can engage each other and the clients much more effectively simply because they are confident in their own skills and knowledge.
3. The trait approach to leadership assumes a good leader is born, not made. Do you agree with this view? Explain your answer in scholarly detail!!
The debate of leadership qualities has gone on for some time. Whereas traditional scholars have believed for a while that some individuals are born with the leadership nature and skills; modernists have often believed that the skills are gathered through training. Genetics indeed plays a role in bringing about leadership. There are individuals who by their own genetic disposition are inclined to become leaders. With training and experience such skills are sharpened and made more effective. Some characteristics such as openness to new experiences are inborn traits. According to these theorists the young children sometimes exhibit the ability to lead even in their young age. For example, a young child in nursery school can become a leader in play school all the way to high school. Through the innate characteristics such as charisma and reliability this individual is most likely to continue in the path of leadership for a long time. Such inborn characteristics are easy to identify in early stages of life. Once identified they can be developed so that the individual is sharpened in skill and talent enabling them to become better leaders and more effective in their own leadership.
Majority of the mangers indeed show some inborn characteristics that can be developed to ensure effective leadership. Without this innate characteristics and genetic disposition, it is quite difficult to train and develop a leader. In some cases it can actually become impossible to develop a leader where no genetics exist pre-disposing he individual towards leadership. Such talents must be identified at an early age.
On the other hand modernists insist that several people can show traits of charisma and also extroversion; however this does not immediately qualify them towards leadership. Were this the case, simple genetics would prove leadership qualities. However, individuals require to be trained in order to bring about and develop the said skills. Training sharpens and actually produces the leader. This is the reason why there are specific courses that are geared towards the development of specific leadership skills. In this assumption, it is assumed that leaders are not only about character but also about skills. It is through training that individuals are able to identify the skills they possess, sharpen them and perfect them to become excellent leaders. Looking at many historical and effective leaders, much training and sharpening of their skills including the development of specific characteristics was put in place to make them exemplary. According to this theory traits that are thought to be innate such as patience and openness to change and also charisma can be developed through proper training. Leaders who have had particular weaknesses are often trained and sharpened to make them stronger in these aspects.
In conclusion therefore, individuals are often born with simple traits and mannerisms that could make excellent leaders. However, such genetics in themselves do not make an excellent leader. There is need to undergo training in order to master the actual skills and requirements that make an excellent leader. Such genetics only become a behavior and habit through proper and structured training.
4. What are the major forces in the situation that influence a manager’s determination of how to make decisions? Explain in scholarly detail!!
The decision making process is much more complex than many people imagine. For managers especially a simple decision could easily alter the track and path of a business; affecting a number of employees and other stakeholders in the organization. Before a manger makes a decision such as increasing the price of a product or reducing the human resource within the organization, he must take several factors into account. In addition, he is often influenced by several factors such as:
The system: decisions are not made in a vacuum. Often managers are required to work within a particular system which influences their decision. Organizations operate within particular structures and system and the managerial decision must adhere to these structures. For example when considering price, if the organization is one that works towards price reduction and increase in price would not be met with support from all stakeholders. In this case, the manager can take advantage of the system to reduce the alternatives available in the decision making process and increase the chances of succeeding with a particular decision.
Competition: perhaps, the biggest influence to decision making is the competitor. The decisions made by the manager need to reduce the threat to the business by the completion. For example again in price setting, if the market is price sensitive and increase in price is likely to lead to a loss in the market share to the competition. All decision need to be influenced by this factor. (Hoang 2007) indicates that benchmarking often occurs when organizations are trying to emulate and make better the policies of completion so that they can influence the market share to their benefit.
Available alternatives: before the making of the decision, the manager often encounters various alternatives which he can use to generate the decision. Alternatives often provide boundaries and limits to the manager with regard to how far they can go with their decisions. Alternatives can be set by other stakeholders and the competitions and also the customers. Through these alternatives the decisions to be made by managers are limited and influenced.
Business environment: the organization does not operate in a vacuum. The business operates in an industry and is heavily influenced by the business environment. The business environment is made up of the political environment, the legal environment and the economic situation. (Sen 2008 ) shares an example where the global economic downturn can lead to a cut in prices and in fact a complete focus in decreasing the cost of operations in order to succeed in business. Ignoring the business environment can lead to costly decisions for example introduction of new products which are not in line with customer tastes and preferences. Such products receive a low market share costing the company much in terms of resources and also loss of market share to the competition.
Managers need to be sensitive to changes in the business environment so that all decisions made are in line with the nature of the environment and therefore more inclined to success.
5. Discuss in scholarly detail concepts and theory behind behavior modification and explain how reinforcement and punishment can be used to shape behavior?
Behavior modification is the term used to describe techniques that are applied to change and alter the patterns of behavior in groups and individuals. Managers have often taken behavior modification to heart whereby the organizational culture is the goal for behavior modification. Employees need to be pushed towards productivity, reductions of costs and growth of the organization. Often changes in their attitudes and behavior is necessary in order to gain success. Behavior modification can be achieved through positive reinforcement that is the rewarding of good behavior so that it is reinforced. This is especially useful for employees where high performance is rewarded, reinforcing the same and ensuring increased performance in the organization as a whole. Behavior modification can also be achieved through negative reinforcement, where negative behavior is punished such as through penalties in salaries and demotions for under performance. Majority of the managers focus more on positive reinforcement to bring about change.
Behavior modification and punishment
In this case, proponents insist that unlike common belief it is not the individual but rather the behavior that is being punished. The idea is to reduce the tendency of negative behavior occurring. For example in an organization where employees may come late to work, managers can introduce a system of cutting their pay by a percentage or admonishing them for this bad behavior. It is assumed that with time the behavior will completely die off. However, it is important to note the weaknesses of using negative reinforcement. Individuals often become demoralized. In the original use of negative reinforcement, major scholars experimented on children. Negative reinforcement may shape new behavior and in fact introduce better and much more positive behavior. However, such behavior is often met with conflict and criticism. Workers do not come to work early because they want to but only because they are expected to come early. They come early because the bosses will punish them. Such behavior modification is therefore not sustainable and with time employees are likely to return to their former behavior within no time. Managers are therefore more managers are more inclined to turn towards positive reinforcement.
Behavior modification and positive reinforcement
Change occurs when positive behavior is rewarded. When employees are rewarded for good performance they are likely to engage more in this positive behavior. Furthermore, others are more likely to emulate this behavior leading to a changed organization. Unlike negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement and rewarding. However, the positive reward system can be detrimental and can also lead to behavior that is not sustainable. Employees engage in behavior because they are being rewarded. Once the reward system is not sustainable then behavior is also likely to revert to the former behavior. With a reward system all parties involved must come together and become involved in the establishment of a reward system. When employees are aware of the reward system they are less likely to feel that managers are favoring others or that the manager is being unfair in the rewards of other employees. Positive reinforcement can be established through increased allowances or simple recognition of the positive behavior. Managers are often discouraged from using reward systems that are based on finances simply because they are hard to sustain. Employees become more financially adhered so that the system becomes unsustainable. Other forms of reward systems such as recognition for good behavior are encouraged because they are much easier to sustain. In addition behavior developed through this system is much more internalized; it quickly becomes part of the culture.
It is important to note that when employees are not exposed to positive reinforcement, they become demoralized. However, the system must be adequately detailed to ensure that small negative behaviors are not rewarded in place of positive behavior. Managers must be keen to determine whether behavior modification by negative or positive reinforcement is best for the organizational culture.
PERSONAL MANAGMENT PAPER ASSIGNMENT
HUMAN RESOURCE CONFLICT
As long as two or more people continue to coexist in an environment there is bound to be some form of conflict. Traditionally managers tended to view conflict negatively often seeking to squash it completely. However, it is important to note that conflict does have some positive aspects to it. In addition, conflict cannot be completely done away with especially when it is in the work place scenario. From small businesses to large multi-national corporations conflict is something that all managers must learn to manage. Often conflict can lead to unproductiveness as well as lower the motivation of the workers. In my experience, when two workers are engaged in some form of personal conflict; little if any work is done. Majority of the time is spent on the grapevine attempting to get any juicy details on the conflict. The effects of the conflict therefore go beyond the two workers and right into the entire office.
Conflict can arise in any sector, department and level of employment in the companies. Subordinates can conflict with their supervisors and managers. On the other hand, managers themselves can conflict with each other and the same for subordinates. Much of the conflict at work in my experience stems from simple personal and personality differences. Once these differences are highlighted for example through a skewed reward system or performance measurement scale, conflict arises. It is true that some conflict can lead to increased productivity with workers focusing their energy into performing better than others. However, in majority of the cases, workers under perform, and much focus is drawn into the conflict rather than accomplishment of tasks and goals that are expected of them.
Why Study Work Place Conflict
Dessler (2000) states that workplace conflict can become so disruptive so that individualism takes the place of teamwork and unproductivity becomes the norm. When not adequately addressed, workplace conflict can take up the time and energy of the manager. Work place conflict stem from the challenges experienced in the work place. When employees feel that they are being less than productive or are experiencing extreme challenges in being productive, they begin to attack others in the workplace. As relationships break down, productivity reduces greatly and in extreme cases the company becomes crippled by internal conflict. Managers are unable to focus on growth of the company instead spending most time dealing with internal problems and stalled projects due to poor teamwork.
Reduced mental health: one of the major issues for employees in a conflict filled environment is the reduction of mental health. Often in teams, members become frustrated due to increased conflict. Members and individuals can feel that their opinion is less than valued. In such a case frustration can lead to inactiveness. Members who are shunned by others in the office tend to be silent and less opinionated. This is despite the fact that they may have the best ideas which can in turn lead to increased profits and growth of the company. While working for a publicity company, I found that individuals, who are conflicted within a team, keep silent. Do not contribute and in turn become heavily frustrated. There is often an increase in sick leaves when conflict is at its highest. Members show symptoms such as continuous headaches, loss of appetite and simple absenteeism. For managers, this spells a lowering in the morale for work which can be detrimental towards productivity.
Table 1: a comparison of cases of conflict and absenteeism in General motors
|Reported conflicts||Average days of absenteeism||Month of the year (20120)|
The table above shows a report by managers of the average calculated absenteeism in the company. As more and more cases of conflict were reported to the human resource department, there was an increase in average days of absenteeism cases reported. In a branch where more than sixty conflicts were being dealt with or resolved, managers had to contend with at least 22 days of absenteeism which also translates to severe decrease in productivity. In fact Simmons (1999) shows that these branches were barely able to make any profits or cover the costs of production. Majority of them were operating under loss and suffered from continuous and increasing employee turnover.
Decreased achievement of organization goals: managers are often tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all employees are working towards the achievement of the goals in the strategic plan. In order to achieve these goals, managers often require strong and coordinated teams. When people are cooperating with each other and competition is directed towards increasing productivity rather than towards being better than others; a company is able to grow and achieve more. When conflict arises, it draws out focus from the core goals. Employees become more focused on the nature and details of the conflict. If not immediately resolved, the conflict often takes a life of its own drawing attention from all even those who were not part and parcel of the conflict.
For example, in my experience during meetings managers would have set the agenda for discussion. Meetings included set goals for discussion such as the nature of publicity and the pitch to be given to potential clients. However, when two colleagues enter into a conflict especially where their ideas differ one from another, the result would become inherently detrimental to the achievement of these goals. The meeting would turn to focus on the conflict. Within no time, cliques would be formed each supporting one individual in favor of the other. The focus would not be on the ideas being discussed but rather on the individuals themselves. Colleagues would support ideas not based on the credibility of such ideas but instead based on who was the proponent of the idea. Sometimes a weaker plan would be selected because majority of the individuals in the meeting were in conflict or felt wronged in one way or another by the proponent of the better idea. This system would easily spread beyond local meetings in the office to infect the entire organization and its working system.
Increased turnover: when workers are not happy at work they are most likely to leave the place of employment in such of another where they would be more comfortable and happier. It is common to hear people say “I loved working for that company but my supervisor was less than nice and always on my neck, therefore I chose to leave after a while”. Companies with increased turnovers commonly blame conflict between subordinates and their managers for this phenomenon. Often subordinates feel that their productivity and their personal worth is threatened by the conflict. It is on this assumption that they choose to move on from their work and instead find another place of employment. Noonan (2007) shares an example of coca cola in 1994 when an increase in turnover at the head office was traced to conflicting ideas which has moved from the board room and become translated into personal matters that seemed to lack a proper solution. It is not uncommon for large organizations as well as small businesses to contend and deal with such matters.
Increased turnover is costly to the company. The company must engage in a process of recruitment spending time, energy and resources selecting the right person. Meanwhile productivity becomes affected as team members are forced to pick up the slack of the member who left. Further, the company has to spend on training and equipping the new employee to fit the job requirements and tasks. With all this spending, the company profits often tend to suffer greatly. Secondly, the loss of potential talent, skills and creativity is quite a loss. It is important to note that majority of the employees who leave a company often go to work for the competition, a situation that increases the threat to the company.
Conflict begets conflict: an interesting thing about conflict is that it acts in much the same way as a rumor. Conflict often starts with two people but escalates to become a departmental and eventually a company matter. Much of the conflict in the workplace are personal grievances between two individuals. However, when they are not properly managed they take on a life of their own and become much beiger translating into difficult situations that require the attention of executives.
While working for a PR firm, two friends came into conflict over differing ideas on how a campaign was to be directed. Unfortunately, unaware of the undercurrents; the manager gave the authority to direct and create the campaign to one of them. The resulting conflict drove the project to the ground. Complains of insubordination became common. Teams became divided based on who they were supporting to lead the campaign. Eventually the company became so divided that one could clearly distinguish between the two camps. With the project looking at possible failure and the loss of a client, executives had to take drastic measures, firing some and giving warning to others.
Conflict can have positive effects when properly managed and directed. It can increase productivity as employees compete to become better than each other in a positive manner. Secondly, it can increase and improve the communication levels between the employees and others. However, in many cases small conflicts are left to fester and they turn into something ugly. Media has often reported cases of violence among employees in a work place. Although this is the most extreme reaction it shows exactly what happens when conflict is allowed to fester and develop negatively. Managers are responsible for channeling conflict, which must exist within a workplace into positive avenues so that the company can reap the rewards and fruits. Employees need to become aware, recognize and acknowledge differing opinions to those that they hold, different values and belief systems. It is only through encouraging diversification and acceptance that managers can be able to handle conflict.
Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Different managers give credence to different methods of dealing with and managing the state of conflict. Having worked with two different companies, it has come to my attention that what matters most to the managers is the organizational culture. Through studying, researching and analyzing the culture, managers are able to draw out the best system of managing the existing conflict in the workplace. In addition, managers also consider the two people engaged in conflict in order to find the best solution (Mathis and Jackson 2003). For some, the manager may resolve to force them into a difficult project where they would have to address the challenges together. The result is improved communication and the consequent development of professional courtesy and respect. For yet others the manager may elect to follow a particular grievance procedure or even counseling.
Positive perspectives: where most managers fail is viewing all conflict as negative. Such a manager will strive to create a conflict free environment. While this is an ideal goal, it also shows a lack of realism. Employees will always find themselves in one form of conflict or another. Whenever two people are engaged in conflict, it is important to note that something positive can be drawn from the same conflict. Managers need to be able to identify positive aspects of the conflict. They should be able to draw out some positive matter to the benefit of the company such as increased competition. With this completion, they can set up two teams to work on different projects. In an attempt to outdo each other, employees will become more dedicated and highly motivated to produce more. There will be less chances of absenteeism as each team looks forward to be recognized in favor of the other. Conflict is also a platform through which the manager can ensure increased communication and teamwork. Managers can equip employees with skills of communication where they are able to resolve their problems and work as a team.
Setting up proper grievance structures: perhaps the biggest concern I have noticed with employees is the unavailability of proper grievance structures. Conflicts are often left to fester for long, where a small problem becomes bigger and unmanageable because employees do not have a simple and clear way to deal with the problem. Subordinates tend to suffer most when there are no grievance structures. Conflicts with the bosses often lead to frustration because the employee is not aware or does not have access to any grievance structure.
Grievance structures which are formal and accessible make employees feel that the employer is concerned and ready to listen to them. When an employee feels that their voice is being heard they are more willing to engage in resolving their conflicts. Conflicts are easily and best handled in an open procedure creating a high level f trust. When employees trust the procedure they are able to report cases of conflict without fear of penalties and repercussions. This means that they are able to resolve conflicts easily without festing over time as can be seen in the table below. Data gathered from employees in the Power Group, Dallas; correlated the strengths of grievance structures and there-occurrence of conflict situations within teams.
|Strong grievance structures||Occurrence of conflict|
|Perception of strong grievance structures||Pearson Correlation||1||.426*|
|Occurrence of conflict||Pearson Correlation||.426*||1|
|*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).|
From the above table, it is clear that strong grievance structures are strongly related to reduce conflict. When the structures are stronger, there is higher probability that employees will be getting along better and thereby increasing chances of increasing production through teamwork. According to Chorpra (2010) just as an organization values fresh ideas and creativity from employees in the same way should their complaints and issues be valued.
Build participative resolution: Mostly managers falsely focus on resolving the matter in the conflict simply by themselves. However, this is definitely a foundation for failure. Unfortunately employees almost always feel that they are being marginalized and their issues belittled if the manager takes a dictatorial or totalitarian kind of approach to a conflict. Eunson (2007) states clearly that a dictatorial approach often covers the main issues. Individuals are forced to get together and resolve their conflict without addressing the underlying matters. This system lacks sustainability, within no time the same issues will become an issue with conflict arising again. This time, the issues have been given time to grow root, fester and emotions to build up. Because of this, the conflict becomes difficult and in some cases completely unsolvable. In this case, the mangers are forced to consider extreme measures such as firing one employee or even transferring and moving the conflicting parties.
Participation on the other hand, allows the conflicting parties to engage with each other. Communication during the participation process allows the individuals to resolve any underlying problems. Participants have the responsibility and are given the knowledge through which they can own their own part in the contribution of the problem. Once every one has reached a point where they feel the issues underlying the conflict have become resolved, and then a solution is sort. This solution is sustainable because both parties own up and take responsibility towards ensuring the conflict is resolved and peace is maintained. For a peaceful resolution, all parties need to feel that they were equally heard. Managers can be tempted to take one side in favor of another; however, the best Ida would be to get someone independent to chair the conflict resolution. This way all the parties involved will have equal voice, all their arguments will receive equal weighting and be considered equally.
This study will help managers target their energies towards positive resolution while at the same time finding new and creative ways to make positive change through conflict. Like every aspect of the business it is important for managers to make plans and prepare structures through which conflicts can be resolved at work. In some cases, managers live in fear of conflict often opting to squash even little conflicts which creates an environment of fear where employees are not willing to be creative or to present conflicting ideas. Ignoring the presence of conflict is also detrimental because it builds a culture whereby conflict is an everyday issue. In this case productivity is low and employee turnover is quite high. Conflict occurs when employees lack respect for each other and their diverse opinions and characters. Conflict management is therefore about building an organization culture where individuals feel appreciated for their diversity.
Certo, S. & Certo, T. (2012). Modern Management: Concepts and Skills (12th ed.) Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Chao, G.T. (2012). Organizational Socialization: Background, Basics, and a Blueprint for Adjustment at Work. Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology. Volume 1.
Deeprose, D. (2002). Project management. Oxford, U.K: Capstone Pub.
Dessler, G. (2000). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Eunson, B. (2007). Conflict management. Milton, Australia: John Wiley & Sons.
Heerkens, G. (2002). Project management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kerzner, H. (2001). Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. New York: John Wiley.
Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2003). Human resource management. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-western.
Moore, D. (2002). Project management: Designing effective organisational structures in construction. Oxford
Noonan, W. R. (2007). Discussing the undiscussable: A guide to overcoming defensive routines in the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
Sen, M. (2008). Business management. Jaipur, India: Oxford Book Co.
Simmons, A. (1999). A safe place for dangerous truths: Using dialogue to overcome fear & distrust at work. New York: AMACOM.