Managemet Essay Example
Effective management is the foundation for successful organisations. An organisation may have all the vital resources including land, labour and capital, but if they are poorly managed, the organisation is deemed to fail. Often, the term management is confused with leadership or they are used interchangeably. However, the two terms are different. According to Weihrich, Cannice and Koontz (4), management is “the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, work together in groups, efficiently accomplishing selected aims.” On the other hand, leading is influencing people to contribute to organizational goals and is prerequisite for effective managers. Management basically involves five functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. However, with the modern dynamic organization, how managers manage is changing, and management is becoming an increasingly complex and demanding activity. Managers have to learn to be responsive to the ever changing internal and external environment especially in a global competitive climate. The aim of this paper is thus to enumerate three important changes facing managers and examine how each might be affecting the job of the manager.
Evolution of Management Thought
The way companies are managed has evolved over a long period of time. Before, there was no organized management as all activities were aimed at increasing output at all cost. However, Frederick Taylor best regarded as the father of scientific management came up with various principles of scientific management in 1911 after realizing that productivity can only be achieved through increasing efficiency in production (Weihrich, et al. 13-15). According to him, there was a need for group harmony and cooperation if output had to be maximized. The development of workers was also crucial for success.
Management evolved further with the efforts of Henri Fayol the father of modern thought in 1916. He observed the activities carried out by managers in their daily and came up with 14 principles of management which he grouped into 6 activities namely: technical, commercial, financial, security, accounting and managerial (Weihrich et al. 12). He also came up with the concept of authority, responsibility and unity of command to guide in managing. The idea of bureaucratic organizations was coined by Max Weber in 1947. In this case, hierarchy of authority and formal procedures were to guide management of the organization.
The Hawthorne studies by Elton Mayo and Roethlisberger had a great impact on management. They discovered that there were various factors that impacted on worker’s productivity such as interrelationships and staff morale (Robbins et al. 124). This made managers to start considering human behavior in their decision making, and hence, the emergence of concepts such as motivation, communication and leading. These studies gave way to the development of modern management theory by researchers such as Peter Drucker. In modern organizations, they must have a clear purpose and verifiable objectives in order to survive. Workers are also treated as the most valuable assets hence their development essential. In the recent past, most organizations have become learning organizations. This has seen managers being engaged in training and development of employees.
Impact of Environmental Changes on Managerial Role
Managers in modern organizations perform similar functions regardless of organizational size. They have to plan, organize, staff, leadership and control for the organization to be successful. In line with modern thought by Drucker, an organization needs a clear mission or purpose and objectives to be achieved (Robbins et al. 96). This is where the function of planning is derived from. Managers develop plans and also policies and strategies to achieve the goals set therein. In doing this, they must not only consider the internal environment but also the external environment as it has a great impact on the organization. The systems approach to management that takes into account the environment and appreciates the interrelatedness of the various functions is thus crucial. Various actors such as employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers all make demands on the enterprise and managers must be able to deal with all these demands through their plans.
Plans cannot be operational in themselves without the other management functions. Managers must establish organizational structures of roles and responsibilities for implementation of plans. Organizing is thus an essential part of their job. Once structures are in place, staffing is done to ensure the right people for each role. This involves recruiting, selecting, compensating, appraising and promoting staff as well as training (Robbins 348). If staffing is not done properly, then organizational goals cannot be realized; employees can make or break a company. The manager then has to influence these staffs towards accomplishment of goals through leadership. They do this by motivating employees, effective communication, and also by adopting appropriate leadership styles in different situations. Systems in place cannot function properly in not well controlled. Managers must control the staff to ensure that everything goes as planned through performance appraisals among other measurement tools. Deviations must be corrected to ensure achievement of goals.
Though managers may plan well, organize, staff, leadership and control there are many factors in the environment that can impact on the results. As such, managers should be able to identify, evaluate and respond effectively to any changes if the organization has gained a competitive advantage (Weihrich et. al. 38). Some of these factors include technological advancements, economic, social, ecological, ethical, political and legal factors. However, our attention will be drawn to technological, economic and ecological factors. Technological advancements have had a great impact on how managers manage. In the early days, managers used to operate manually in their activities but today, their work has been made simpler through technology especially the internet. They can now carry out staffing online through the internet. They advertise for jobs, recruit and select online thereby gaining a pool of talented individuals with diverse skills. However, the way work is organized has become complex. They source staff from all parts of the world and have to control them virtually. Furthermore, they have to keep training workers to keep up with technology advancements lest their skills become redundant (Easterby-Smith, Crossan & Nicolini 783-796). The way they organize has also changed dramatically. Now virtual organizations are a reality or even virtual teams unlike in the past where they had to manage people physically. They also have to keep updating their skills to be in line with current trends and also must be aware of the current trends in the environment so as to plan properly. They also have to be innovative so as to maintain competitive advantage.
Economic factors such as globalization have taken a toll on management. Previously, managers only managed organizations in one geographical or national area, but in the face of globalization, the world has become a global village. Multinational companies and international companies are the order of the day for those who want to be successful. As such, managerial work has become very complex especially due to operations across various regions and multiple cultures. When planning, managers have to consider not only opportunities and threats in their host country but also in other countries so as to expand the market. They thus have to be aware of global trends while planning. Venturing in other countries also changes how work is organized. The organizational structure becomes more complex as many factors have to be considered (Weihrich et al. 58). For example, a manager has to decide whether to have virtual teams to enable cooperation between various regions or to have cross-functional teams in each company. An effective organizational structure is the key to success as it determines the organizational culture and leadership style. The complexity is even greater when staffing and controlling. Managers have to decide whether to recruit locally or internationally in parent and host countries. Some countries discourage employment of foreigners in favor of the local population. Furthermore, the diversity of cultures becomes greater thus a headache for managers. Though diversity is vital for success, managing people from different cultures is very taxing. Managers must meet the needs of these individuals and take into account their value and belief system while developing policies and strategies (Ortlieb & Sieben 480-511). According to the Hofstede’s framework of a culture, different countries have different cultures thereby making management a very complex task (Weihrich et al 67). Some countries like Australia are individualistic and risk takers and thus operating in a country like Hong Kong, which is collectivist, means different styles of management are needed. Managers must develop an international perspective in their roles.
Another set of important factors impacting on the management is ecological factors. This entails the relationships that exist between people and the environment. In recent years, there have been complaints about global warming and climate change and this has had a great impact on management (Sandra 87-108). Countries endeavour to reduce carbon emissions in the environment for a better place, and as such, organizations are encouraged to embrace green technologies to combat pollution. Customers also have changed their tastes and insist on buying environmentally friendly products hence management have to shape up. In their planning activities, they must consider how their products and the production process impact climate and look for ways to minimize the effects. The strategies they adopt are therefore, critical for success of the organization. This has made their work very complex as they strive to meet the needs of various clients and still remain relevant and obtain ISO standards for the company. Companies have to produce quality goods, which are environmentally friendly, while also focusing on reducing costs, and this is a daunting task for every manager operating in a global business.
Management concept has evolved over time from Fayol’s scientific management to modern management thought. Managers are faced with many changes throughout their career and these affect how they conduct their jobs. Their work has become more complex and demanding owing to the nature of the dynamic environment in which they operate. Technological advancements mean continuous updating of skills and keeping in touch with current trends for business success. The way they manage is also affected as new structures are required for the new technologies. Globalization is another factor which leads to the complexity of work. Modern organizations operate in multiple regions and cultures and managers must adopt an international perspective to be efficient. Managers also have to keep in line with ecological changes and develop green strategies in their management. The role of managers thus continues to be very complex, and successful managers must be responsive to changes.
Easterby-Smith, Mark., Crossan, Mary and Nicolini, Davide. “Organisational Learning: Debates Past, Present and Future.” Journal of Management Studies, 37.6 (2000): 783-796.
Ortlieb, Renate and Sieben, Barbara. “Diversity Strategies and Business Logic: Why Do Companies Employ Ethnic Minorities?” Group Organisation Management 38.4 (2013): 480-511.
Robbins, Stephen., Bergman, Rolf., Stagg, Ian. and Coulter, Mary. Management. 6th ed. Frenchs Forest: Pearson, 2012.
Sandra, Waddock. “Building New Institutional Infrastructure of Corporate Responsibility.” Academy of management Perspectives August. 2008: 87-108.
Weihrich, Heinz., Cannice, Mark V. and Koontz, Harold. Management: Global Entrepreneurial Perspective. 13th ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill, 2010.
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