One of interpersonal managerial roles developed by Mintzberg is the role of a figurehead, an individual who holds a majorly ceremonial role and carries out tasks like signing legal documents and greeting visitors. The figurehead holds no real decision making powers and can be exemplified by a ceremonial non executive director in an organization.
Leadership is another of the roles, and it involves carrying out of all the conventional management roles of directing, controlling and staffing. An example of this role is a chief executive officer who is in an overall supervisory position and directs all the operations of an organization and is involved in the policy formulation of the business. The chief executive officer in the role of a leader participates actively in the formulation of decisions for the organization.
Another of Mintzberg’s managerial roles is liaison. This involves maintaining information links both inside and outside the organization. An example would be a public relations officer of an organization who is usually tasked with the role of communicating information from the organization to parties external to the organization while at the same time collecting relevant information for the organization from the organization’s external environment.
These are theories were performed in western electric Hawthorne works in Chicago to study the relationship between working conditions and productivity by varying the illumination levels in the working areas of different work groups. The experiment was in a number of stages. The initial stage involved making variations in the level of illumination at the points where employees were working to determine whether the level of illumination did indeed have an effect on the morale and productivity of the workers. The results indicated that there was no clear connection between productivity and the level of illumination and this was because the workers were aware that they were under observation and therefore did not respond to the changing of the stimuli which was the level of light and simply worked at a higher productivity rate imply because they had knowledge that they were being observed.
However, the studies that followed the initial study showed that when workers perceived an act as an indication that management cared, they reacted by becoming more productive and vice versa. An example was when illumination was improved in the working place, the workers perceived this as an indication that the management cared about their welfare and they responded to this by increasing their productivity. This was called the experimenter effect. The studies also found out that whenever a group of employees were separated from the others and given a special treatment, they developed stronger social bonds which helped increase their morale and productivity. This was called the social effect.
Corporate social responsibility
Social corporate responsibility enables a business to share values with the community it operates in and helps the organization conform its mission, objectives and vision to the expectations of the community and thus develop a better working relationship with other businesses and other non business institutions. By assisting the community, social responsibility helps to strengthen the bond between the business and the community and may be instrumental in developing a loyalty among the customers in the community. Corporate social responsibility may also be an indirect method for a firm to increase awareness of its existence and its products or services to potential customers in a community.
The disadvantages of social responsibility include the giving out of a company’s profits which reduces the shareholders’ wealth and diversion of attention from profitable business activities to pursue social responsibilities which have no returns to the firm. Another disadvantage of corporate social responsibility is that a company’s intended goals of a social responsibility program may not be achieved and this will be reflected as wastage of the company’s resources. The benefits that arise from corporate social responsibility are difficult to measure.
Final four steps in decision making process
The first of the final four steps in decision making process is listing the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing each of the available alternatives. Each alternative is evaluated and the benefits that would be accrued by taking the alternative are weighed against the costs to the business, both financial and otherwise. This process is carried out for each alternative.
The second of the final four steps is making a choice of the best alternative. The alternative with the highest benefits to the business and the least costs should be chosen as the decision that determines the course of action of the business.
The second final step is to immediately take action. This involves taking the necessary measures to immediately implement the chosen decision alternative.
The final decision making step is to evaluate the decision made. This involves the process of trying to learn and reflect from the decision made and making continuous necessary amendments on the original plans.
Cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy and focus strategy
Cost leadership strategy involves developing process which is intended by the organization to win a market share by appealing to cost conscious and price sensitive customers. This is achieved through having the organization’s products or services having the lowest prices in the market segment or the least price to value ratio in the market. This calls for the organization to operate at a lower cost than its rivals.
Differentiation strategy is useful where the target customer segment is not price sensitive and the market is competitive and saturated. For a differentiation strategy to work customers must have specific product and service needs which are underserved and the firm has in its possession unique resources and capabilities to satisfy those needs with technology that is not easy for the organization’s competitors to copy. The differentiation strategy involves the organization using unique resources available to it to develop products and services that meet the customers’ unique needs and in the process eliminating the competition.
Focus strategy is not a separate strategy per se and is either part of a differentiation or cost leadership strategy. The focus strategy involves the firm making a choice as to where to compete based on cost leadership or differentiation. The firm can choose to compete in a mass market or in a defined focused market segment with a narrow scope. In either case, the basis of competition will either be cost leadership or differentiation, depending on the market the firm chooses to operate in.