What is meant by the study of organizational theory, what are the classifications of organizational theory and their precepts and what can we learn from its history?
Create a time line of Organizational Theories (schools) showing the precepts of each theory/school. Then in a summary paragraph compare the various theories on the time line identifying the trends of perspective that are illustrated by the time line.
Businesses to continue to succeed must always maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The key to doing this has changed over the last century as is illustrated in our discussion in week one of the 21st century business challenges. Using your time line explain how the change in obtaining a competitive edge is reflected in the change of organizational theory over the last century?
The change of value regarding human resource to the organization coupled with technology is shifting the design of organizations towards “boundaryless” and flat organizational structures.
Search the Internet and find an example of a boundaryless or flat organization explain how it is human resource centric.
The 21st century manager is a person who can implement the leader’s vision by creating processes, procedure, and short term goals that forward, the vision, purpose, culture, and structure set by the leader for the organization. The manager does this through the implementation of the four functions of a manager, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The four pillars of management function.
Select an organization that you work for, or have worked for, and identify the vision, mission, organizational structure (including the decision making flow) and the culture of the organization. Where possible use your course material to identify the structural (bureaucratic, flat, horizontal, democratic etc.) or cultural type (clan, collaborative, market, adhocracy etc.). Include in your discussion a definition of the word organization.
Some organizational theorists suggest that the four pillars do not go far enough to explain how the manager should approach the new 21st century business landscape and that a systems thinking approach is more comprehensive. Students should compare and contrast with respect to POLC.
Compare and contrast the Fayol’s POLC functions of management with the systems thinking approach and determine which is more comprehensive and explain why. Be sure to explain each of the precepts and how they work.
The manager creates a detailed action plan formulated from the long term goals, vision and mission, set by the leader. This plan is created through planning and strategizing. To understand the concept of vision and mission and its role in the process, you will get to do the leader’s job and formulate the vision and mission of an organization. By creating the vision and mission you should take away the idea of their import in crating your short term plans and goals.
Create a vision and mission statement to fit this company. Annie Oakley owns a specialty rifle manufacturing company, ANNIE”S BABIES. She designs rifles to fit the specific requirements of the individual. Her rifles range in price from $2500 to her most expensive one to date at $25,000. She wishes to become the Lamborghini of the rifle world. Currently she has a small but growing clientele and receives her orders by word of mouth. Anxious to get her plant more active Annie seeks to gain customers by being known for her attention to detail, personal designs, and quick turnaround. Her employees are expected to produce the rifles with these ideas in mind and never to give in to the temptation to lower the quality of the rifle.
In the planning phase, managers create a detailed action plan aimed at the organizational goals. Strategic management, or what you will learn as strategizing, is what an organization will do or not do to achieve the goals and objectives that lead to meeting the stated mission and vision.
Annie wishes to develop the business to incorporate a new style of rifle which is computer generated, plastic, and collapsible. It also takes plastic bullets. This process must cost less than 1 million dollars and take less than 2 months to produce. She has one large client who will pay 3 times her investment and is anxious to accept the project. However, it will be a one of a kind project and Annie is not sure others will have a use for the gun in the future. It will make a reputation for her in the gun community. Identify the principles of strategizing and then apply the principles to develop a project action plan for the company. Be sure to include the facts from the first LA to help. Use your vision and mission statement as well. If you think you need to make up facts to complete the assignment feel free.
Organization is the phase in which the manager allocates resources both human and capital within the organizational structure to best forward the vision and purpose of the organization.
Annie is considering amending her current organizational structure. Using your reading try to advise her on what structure might work well to help solve her project problem.
Annie currently has four leadership team members that each head up one division: rifle design, rifle manufacture, rifle customer service, and sales. They each have final decision making authority within their departments. Annie says that she is thinking of creating an additional link in the decision train for the new project with one department head that like the others reports to the leadership team. Alternatively, should she feel the need to disband the project after the client sale is complete Annie would like to know what would happen if the fifth link were self-contained. Explain how you would allocate the resources of the company to make the new link in the train work on a daily basis? Be creative and practical think of the types of people you would need to accomplish the goal, money, resources of the business etc. Be sure to consider the various other departments and how they would interface with the project team. Alternatively, how would the link work if it were self- contained?
How has technology changed the way in which the manager defines how tasks are performed and completed within the organizational structure? What happens to structure when the walls are missing? How do the tasks get complete and by whom?
Choose one of the two questions below and answer it through your readings and at least two additional sources from the Internet.
21) How has technology changed the way in which the manager defines how tasks are performed and completed within the organizational structure?
22) The manager’s job is to keep stability within an organization. What happens to structure when the walls are missing? How do the tasks get complete and by whom?
23. What is the manager’s perspective of leadership? How does it differ from the leader’s perspective? Managers focus on process, procedure, and implementation of the organization’s purpose. Their perspective is on getting the job done and keeping stability. The leader is about change and moving the people toward the vision. The area of overlap comes in terms of the need to use “soft or people skills” to get their job done yet even there a difference in perspective is seen. The manager motivates while the leader empowers.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
“Leadership is working with goals and vision; management is working with objectives.”
“When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”
“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people.”
24. In the five quotes above each leader is commenting on the perspective of a manager in the organization as opposed to a leader. Keep these quotes in your mind when reading this week’s material and formulate your management perspective. How should a manager approach his or her job? What ideas should be their watch words? Think of things like setting goals, making decisions, motivating employees and allocating resources. What mindset should a good manager have to approach these tasks?
The manager must be able to solve problems, communicate, and lead teams toward the completion of a task.
25. You are the manager of the northern branch of the Laurel City bowling alleys. The owner, Jill Espy, has 4 other bowling alleys around town. The average employee assigned to the concession stand of all the Laurel City bowling alleys lasts 3 years. However, in your branch the average employee lasts only 8 months. Jill is concerned about this huge discrepancy and wants to know your explanation for the difference and what you can do to correct the problem. Training new employees is costly to the company and this high turnover is costing her money that could be better spent elsewhere.
You have tried talking with your current concession staff and have learned that pay and scheduling may have some effect on the turnover rate. However, one person indicated that many of them do not know how to handle difficult customers. It made them not want to come to work.
From your reading this week on a manager’s need to lead their people how would you solve this problem? Consider motivation techniques, mentoring or other ideas from you reading to effectuate a positive change. Think outside the box. Be sure to look at all your resources including those within the organization and those without.
THEME ONE: Known as the critical thinking phase of the management functions the “Control” function is designed to evaluate the goals to see what and who works and doesn’t and why? In the traditional definition controlling involves ensuring that performance does not deviate from standards. Controlling consists of three steps, which include (1) establishing performance standards, (2) comparing actual performance against standards, and (3) taking corrective action when necessary. Performance standards are often stated in monetary terms such as revenue, costs, or profits but may also be stated in other terms, such as units produced, number of defective products, or levels of quality or customer service.
The measurement of performance can be done in several ways, depending on the performance standards, including financial statements, sales reports, production results, customer satisfaction, and formal performance appraisals. Managers at all levels engage in the managerial function of controlling to some degree.
Effective controlling requires the existence of plans, since planning provides the necessary performance standards or objectives. Controlling also requires a clear understanding of where responsibility for deviations from standards lies. Two traditional control techniques are budget and performance audits. An audit involves an examination and verification of records and supporting documents. A budget audit provides information about where the organization is with respect to what was planned or budgeted for, whereas a performance audit might try to determine whether the figures reported are a reflection of actual performance. Although controlling is often thought of in terms of financial criteria, managers must also control production and operations processes, procedures for delivery of services, compliance with company policies, and many other activities within the organization.
The Organizational Control Process
The control process involves carefully collecting information about a system, process, person, or group of people in order to make necessary decisions about each. Managers set up control systems that consist of four key steps:
1. Establish standards to measure performance. Within an organization’s overall strategic plan, managers define goals for organizational departments in specific, operational terms that include standards of performance to compare with organizational activities.
2. Measure actual performance. Most organizations prepare formal reports of performance measurements that managers review regularly. These measurements should be related to the standards set in the first step of the control process. For example, if sales growth is a target, the organization should have a means of gathering and reporting sales data.
3. Compare performance with the standards. This step compares actual activities to performance standards. When managers read computer reports or walk through their plants, they identify whether actual performance meets, exceeds, or falls short of standards. Typically, performance reports simplify such comparison by placing the performance standards for the reporting period alongside the actual performance for the same period and by computing the variance—that is, the difference between each actual amount and the associated standard.
4. Take corrective actions. When performance deviates from standards, managers must determine what changes, if any, are necessary and how to apply them. In the productivity and quality‐centered environment, workers and managers are often empowered to evaluate their own work. After the evaluator determines the cause or causes of deviation, he or she can take the fourth step—corrective action. The most effective course may be prescribed by policies or may be best left up to employees’ judgment and initiative.
These steps must be repeated periodically until the organizational goal is achieved!
Below are five questions that are set to challenge your understanding of the control process management function. If your last name begins with A-M answer the questions AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU CHOSE THAT ANSWER. Be sure to reference the class material to prove your selection is correct. If you last name begins with N-Z Grade at least one main post (if you notice over the week that some answers haven’t been graded be sure to grade them so that everyone has peer feedback) and explain how you arrived at your answers. Be sure to reference the class material to prove your selection is correct. Answer each question and explain how you arrived at your answer.
1) Taking corrective action is required when the process is:
A. Unpredictable and risky.
B. a new leadership team is required.
C. measured and the results don’t meet company standards.
D. in its early stag
2) In measuring ____________, it is useful to evaluate internal operations and core processes against benchmarks such as past performance, industry standards, and legal expectations.
A cost effectiveness
B control processes
C best practices
D organizational impact
3) ________ define how a business should act, while ________ underline what actions should be taken operationally.
A Strategy; goals
B Standards; objectives
C Controls; management
D Objectives; standards
4) Utilizing specific performance metrics, such as ________, organizations can control processes through measuring the relative effectiveness of internal processes.
5) Coca-Cola is thinking about entering a new industry, creating their own branch of convenience stores. As a result, they should conduct:
A internal research of operational efficiency.
B financial objectives research for their R&D department.
C industry process standards research.
D competitor research in soft drinks.
In this article as well as your reading this week the balanced score card is explained: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/the_balanced_scorecard.htm .
One of the best tools a manager has is a balanced score card. Remember our bowling alley manager from week 5? Explain how the use of a balance score card could help him to measure and possibly improve his problem. How does the score card approach fit in to the control function of management? Be specific and attempt to think through the manager’s problem using the scorecard. How can it potentially fix the turn over problem he has in the branch?
(Just so you don’t have to keep going back to week five)
You are the manager of the northern branch of the Laurel City bowling alleys. The owner, Jill Espy, has 4 other bowling alleys around town. The average employee assigned to the concession stand of all the Laurel City bowling alleys lasts 3 years. However, in your branch the average employee lasts only 8 months. Jill is concerned about this huge discrepancy and wants to know your explanation for the difference and what you can do to correct the problem. Training new employees is costly to the company and this high turnover is costing her money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Traditionally theorist suggest that the managerial function of controlling should not be confused with control in the behavioral or manipulative sense. This function does not imply that managers should attempt to control or to manipulate the personalities, values, attitudes, or emotions of their employees. Instead, this function of management concerns the manager’s role in taking necessary actions to ensure that the work-related activities of employees are consistent with and contributing toward the accomplishment of organizational and departmental objectives.
Research the idea of controlling from afar in the virtual organization on the Internet and answer the following question: How can a manager be assured or measure work that is performed when the employee may be 5,000 miles away?
Revisit the 21st century manager as an individual. Who is s/he? What does s/he do? How does s/he accomplish their job within the organization? What challenges are unique to the manager in contemporary business?
Go back through the class and select 5 of the most important themes and explain why you feel they best illustrate what you will take away from this class.
What is the 21st century organization? What challenges does the manager face with this new organization?
Take the attached personality test http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=3873
Take the linked management style quiz
Share with the class your results and explain to the class how you think your personality is reflected in your management style. Also discuss if you think that your personality and your management style will allow you to be a good modern day manager? Be sure to reference the material in your discussion.