Introducing Management: Basic Concepts

Talent Intellectual capital is the collective brainpower or shared knowledge of a workforce that can be used to create value. (Competency x Commitment) A knowledge worker is someone whose mind is a critical asset to employers. Diversity Workforce diversity describes the composition of a workforce in terms of differences among people according to gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and capabilities. Prejudice is the display of negative, irrational attitudes toward members of diverse populations.
Discrimination actively denies minority members the full benefits of organizational membership (ex: glass ceiling effect). Globalization – the worldwide interdependence of resource flows, product markets, and business competition Technology- technology is an crucial part of everyday business and helped with globalization communication. It has also added flexibility to workplaces through things like, telecommuting. Ethics – set of moral standards of what is “good” and “right” in one’s behaviour.
Careers – skills should be portable and always of value. Portfolio workers are people who always have the skills needed to readily shift jobs and even careers. Some critical skills include mastering, networking, entrepreneurship, tech-savvy, marketing and passion for renewal Organizations in the new workplace What is an organization? Organizations are collection of people working together to achieve a common purpose. All organizations share a purpose of providing goods or services of value to customers and clients.

Organizations as systems: organizations are open systems (they transform resource inputs from the environment into product outputs) that interact with their environments in the continual process of obtaining resource inputs and then transforming them into outputs in the form of finished goods and services for their customers. Organizational performance: When operations add value to the original cost of resource inputs, then 1) a business organization can earn a profit or 2) a non-profit organization can add wealth to society.
A way to tell is through productivity which measures the quantity and quality of outputs relative to the cost of inputs. Performance effectiveness is an output measure of task or goal accomplishment. Performance efficiency is an input measure of the resource costs associated with goal accomplishments. Productivity = effective and efficient performance. Changing nature of organizations: Organizational trends and transitions: Renewed belief in human capital: demands of the new economy place premiums on high-involvement and participatory work settings that rally the knowledge, experience, and commitment of all members.
Demise of “command-and-control”: traditional hierarchical structures with “do as I say” bosses are proving too slow, and costly to do well in today’s competitive environment. Emphasis on teamwork: driven teamwork which pools talents for creative problem solving. Pre-eminence of technology: new opportunities appear with each development in computer and information technology; they continually change the way organizations operate and how people work.
Embrace of networking: organizations are networked for intense, real-time communication and coordination, internally among parts and external with partners, contractors, suppliers and customers New workforce expectations: a new generation of workers brings to the workplace less tolerance for hierarchy, more informality, and more attention to performance merit than to status and seniority. Concern for work-life balance: As society increases in complexity, workers are forcing organizations to pay more attention to balance in the often-conflicting demands of work and personal affairs.
Focus on speed: everything moves fast, so those who get products to market first have an advantage, work is now expected to be done both well and in a timely manner. Organizational Environment Dynamic forces and the general environment: General environment of organizations consists of all external conditions (economic, legal-political, technological, socio-cultural and natural environmental conditions) that set the context for managerial decision-making. Economic conditions: some of these influence customer spending, resource supplies and investment capital that is crucial for managers to recognize.
Legal-Political conditions: monitor changes to understand the trends that can affect the regulation and oversight of businesses. Internet censorship is the deliberate blockage and denial of public access to information posted on the Internet. Technological conditions: technology is only evolving, so you must be up-date with it. Socio-cultural conditions: these conditions take meaning as norms, customers and social values on matters like ethics, human rights, gender roles and lifestyles. All such changes have consequences for how organizations are managed.
Natural environment conditions: going “green” is one of the impacts/changes we have seen in the past few years. Public concern to such matters changes the way organizations will run. Sustainable business is when firms operate in ways that both meet the needs of customers and protect or advance the well-being of our natural environment. Sustainable innovation creates new products and production methods that have reduced environmental impact. Stakeholders and the specific environment: Specific environment (task environment) includes the people and groups with whom an organization interacts and conducts business with.
Members of the specific environment are often described as stakeholders, who are the persons, groups and institutions directly affect by an organization. Value creation is the creation of value for and satisfying needs of stakeholders. Competitive Advantage: refers to something that an organization does extremely well, a core competency that clearly sets it apart from competitors and gives it an advantage over them in the marketplace. Competitive advantage is linked with strategic positioning which occurs when an organization does different things or the same things in different ways from its major competitors.
Competitive advantage can be achieved in the follow ways: Achieved through costs- finding ways to operate with lower costs and earn profits Through quality- create products/services that are demonstrably and consistently higher quality for customers Through delivery- finding ways to outperform competitors by delivering products and services to customers factored and consistently on time, and to continue to develop timely new products Through flexibility – finding ways to adjust and tailor products and services to fit customer needs in ways that are difficult for one’s competitors to match
Environmental Uncertainty: means that there is a lack of complete information regarding what exists and what developments may occur about the environment. There are two dimensions of environmental uncertainty: 1) Degree of complexity or the number of different factors in the environment – an environment is either classified as relatively simple or complex. 2) Rate of change in and among these factors – environment classified as stable or dynamic. High uncertainty environments require firms to have flexibility and adaptability.
Organizational effectiveness: is sustainable high performance in using resources to accomplish a mission and objectives. Organizational effectiveness in different viewpoints: Systems resource approach: looks at the input side and defines organizational effectiveness in terms of success in acquiring needed resources from the organization’s environment Internal process approach: looks at the transformation process and defines organizational effectiveness in terms of how efficiently resources are utilized to product goods and services.
Goal approach: looks at the output side and defines organizational effectiveness in terms of how to measure achievement of key operating objectives. Strategic constituencies approach: looks at the external environment and defines organizational effectiveness in terms of the organization’s impact on key stakeholders and their interests. Managers in the new workplace What is a manager? A manager is a person who supports, activates, and is responsible for the work of others. Levels of Managers: Top managers guide the performance of an organization as a whole or for one of its major parts (CEO, presidents, and vice presidents).
They also create and communicate long-term vision, and ensure that strategies and objectives are consistent with the organization’s purpose and mission. Middle managers report to top managers and oversee the large departments or divisions. Team leaders report to middle managers and supervise non-managerial workers. Top managers guide the performance of an organization as a whole or for one of its major parts (CEO, presidents, and vice presidents). They also create and communicate long-term vision, and ensure that strategies and objectives are consistent with the organization’s purpose and mission.
Middle managers report to top managers and oversee the large departments or divisions. Team leaders report to middle managers and supervise non-managerial workers. Type of Managers: Line managers are responsible for work that makes a direct contribution to the organization’s outputs ex: retail manager. Staff managers use special technical expertise to advise and support the efforts of line workers. Functional managers are responsible for one area such as finance, marketing, production, personnel, accounting, or sales.
General Managers are responsible for complex, multifunctional units. Managers are sometimes called administrators in public or non-profit organizations. Managerial Performance: Accountability is the requirement to show performance results to a supervisor. Effective managers help others achieve high performance and satisfaction at work. Quality of work life is the overall quality of human experiences in the workplace. Changing nature of managerial work: Upside-down pyramid is a concept: operating workers are at the top, serving customers, while managers are at the bottom support them.
Customers and Clients – ultimate beneficiaries of the organization’s efforts ^Serve^ Operating workers – Do work directly effecting customer/client satisfaction ^Support^ Team leaders and managers- Help operating workers do their jobs and solve problems ^Support^ Top managers – Keep organization’s mission and strategies clear The Management Process Functions of Management: management is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals. These steps don’t have to be accomplished in a linear fashion.
Planning: the process of setting objectives and determining what should be done to accomplish them. Managers identify desired results and ways to achieve them. Organizing: the process of assigning tasks, allocating resources, and coordinating work activities. Managers can turn plans into actions by defining jobs, assigning personnel, and supporting them with technology and other resources. Leading: the process of arousing people’s enthusiasm and inspiring efforts to achieve goals (plans and objectives).
Managers can build commitments to a common vision, encourage activities that support goals, and influence others to do their best work on the organization’s behalf. Controlling: the process of measuring work performance, comparing results with objectives, and taking action to ensure desired results and corrective action if it is needed. Managers can maintain active contact with people in the course of their work, gather and interpret reports on performance, and use this information to make constructive changes.
Managerial Roles and Activities Managerial Roles: The roles fall into three categories: informational, interpersonal and decisional roles. Informational roles involve the giving, receiving, and analyzing of information. Fulfilling these roles involve monitoring, the scanning for information; disseminator: someone who shares the information, and a spokesperson- acting as official communicator. Interpersonal roles involve interactions with people inside and outside the work unit. A manager fulfilling these roles will be a figurehead- the odelling and setting forth key principles and policies; a leader- providing direction and instilling enthusiasm; and a link coordinating with others. Decisional roles involve using information to make decisions to solve problems or address opportunities. A manager fulfilling these roles will be a disturbance handler- dealing with problems and conflicts; a resource allocator- handling budgets and distributing resources; a negotiator- making deals and forging agreements; and an entrepreneur- developing new initiatives.
Managerial Activities: they are always busy with many things like meetings, problem solving etc. They work long hours, intense work pace, work at fragmented and varied tasks, work with many communication media and accomplish their work largely through interpersonal relationships. Managerial Agendas and Networks: Agenda setting develops action priorities for accomplishing goals and plans. Networking is the process of creating positive relationships with people who can help advance agendas. Networking creates social capital which is a capacity to get things done with support and help of others.
Essential Managerial Skills: Learning is a change in behaviour that results from experience. Learning in management is focussed on developing skills and competencies to deal with the complexities of human behaviour and problem solving in organizations. Lifelong learning is continuous learning from daily experiences. A skill is the ability to translate knowledge into action that results in desired performance. Categories of skills of managers: Technical skills: the ability to use a special skills or expertise to perform particular tasks.
Human and Interpersonal skills: the ability to work well in cooperation with other people. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively. Conceptual and Analytical skills: the ability to think critically and analytically to diagnose and solve complex problems. Developing Managerial Competencies: High concept is the ability to see the big picture, identify patterns and combine ideas. High touch is the ability to understand and enjoy others in the pursuit of a purpose. Managerial competency is a skill-based capability for high performance in a management job.
Here are some high-concept and high-touch competencies: Communication: ability to share ideas and findings clearly in written and oral expression—includes writing, oral presentation, giving/receiving feedback, technology utilization. Teamwork: ability to work effectively as a team member and team leader—includes team contribution, team leadership, conflict management, negotiation, consensus building. Self-management: ability to evaluate oneself, modify behaviour, and meet performance obligations—includes ethical reasoning and behaviour, personal flexibility, tolerance for ambiguity, performance responsibility.
Leadership: ability to influence and support others to perform complex and vague tasks—includes diversity awareness, global understanding, project management, strategic action. Critical thinking: ability to gather and analyze information for creative problem solving—includes problem solving, judgement and decision-making, information gathering and interpretation, creativity/innovation. Professionalism: ability to sustain a positive impression, instill confidence, and maintain career advancement—includes personal presence, personal initiative, and career management.

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