Management & Organizational Behavior
1b. Describe your use of the four management functions in the management of your daily lives
The four management functions in management are, planning, organizing, directing and controlling. I make it a point to plan my day by looking at the different assignments I have for the day. Planning, I believe is the most important function of management. Unless I have a plan, there is no direction, and so, I plan my day be looking at the various agendas I have for that day. My planning is built on the strategy of what I think is most important to me on that day, and what’s not so important. Since I am a student, I also give priority to my studies first and then to other activities. Once I have my plan in place, I will look to organize my work depending on the importance of that particular activity. For this, I break my work into the number of hours I have, and then focus on assignments that require my immediate attention and time. I assign time for each work that I have and ensure that I keep to the time. I also ensure that there is a buffer time for each work, as there could be a last minute change or some work that could come while I’m working on an assignment or agenda. In directing my work, I always look at the possibilities there would be if I completed an assignment before time. This would give me more time to work on other assignments where I may be pressed for time. Also, I look at the time I would have for myself if I can complete the designated works in lesser time. This drives me and I always try to complete my assignments and other planned works before time. And finally, when it comes to controlling my work, I always make it a point not to compromise on the quality of work for completing the work on or before the scheduled time. This is because, this could add more pressure on me to complete an assignment which I might have to repeat doing again in addition to the new set of assignments that I will get the next day. This will put more pressure on me and will affect the quality of work I do the next day. Therefore, I always look at the various possibilities before planning my day and work accordingly.
2a. Give an example of an important force in the macro-environment that a specific company has faced recently, and how it responded.
Social, economic, law & political, demographic and technological factors contribute to macro-environmental forces that affect businesses globally. In recent times, the business world has undergone colossal changes because of the highly competitive global market. Outsourcing work, joint- ventures in third world countries, innovative methods to address customer needs and requirements are few areas where one has seen unprecedented changes. Organizations have had to address multiple issues, not least of all those of understand the perceived strengths and weaknesses of their products or services, weigh customer’s views on why they will buy, or won’t buy from them, assess the ability to produce and develop these products over a long period of time, keeping in mind the customer’s needs and demands, and other factors that can hamper future production, to name a few. In understanding the social factor that consumer buying patterns are determined by trends, McCain recently modified their strategy to counter growing competition. It is said that one in four of all British potatoes consumed are eaten as chips. However, sales of chips reduced dramatically as people began to understand the consequences of health-related issues. Since making chips involved using edible oil, people in Britain began to avoid consuming them as frequently as did in the past. In order to counter this, McCain responded by reducing quantities of salt and oil throughout its potato products range, and communicating that their chips were not unhealthy; they are made using natural ingredients such as specially selected potatoes and sunflower oil.
3b. Do you think that when managers make decisions they follow the decision-making steps as presented in this chapter? Which steps are apt to be overlooked or given inadequate attention? Explain
Decision-making is an important factor in success, and this is an area that requires constant thinking and execution. For organizations, decision-making is the ultimate step to make or break. Since businesses operate under highly competitive work environment, managers have to be extra careful in what they say or do for their organization. Quite clearly, the major steps that managers address when they take a decision for their organization are, defining a problem that may exist and why a decision has to be made, the factors that comply to making that decision, look for and select the best alternative, execute the program selected, and finally, develop a control and evaluation program to monitor the progress of the decided plan. However, when faced with the process of decision-making, not all processes are considered by managers. In most cases, they are apt in overlooking the process of conflict, risk and group-thinking. The reason for this is because, in the case of group thinking, managers feel that they have the authority to take decisions independently and have the power to control labor. In many cases, managers feel that it would be inappropriate to discuss problems wit their subordinates as it could lead to disrespect or be labeled as inefficient. Managers feel that conflict and risk are controllable and so don’t give it much importance, even though they play a vital role in any decision-making effort.
5b. Discuss three specific arguments for and arguments against the concept of corporate social responsibility. Where do you stand, and why?
Growth is supplemented by development, and development in turn, is supplemented by external factors. Be it from nature, the environment or through human beings, it is only through these sources that corporations can sustain themselves. However, little consideration is given to supplement or sustain the ecological imbalance that is created by mass removal of these resources in the name of development. In the name of industrialization, the air, land and water are contaminated, in the name of development, land is grabbed from the poor little or no monitory benefits are provided, and villages and agriculture is run over by corporate in the name of development. The contaminated air, water and land leads to health hazards and the respective governments, where such developments take place, turn a blind eye. Floods, landslides, airborne diseases and climate changes are attributed to such inappropriate actions by local administrators and corporate. The positives of corporate social responsibilities are that they offer the local natives ample job opportunities, the living conditions of the people improve considerably, and there is economic and social growth. I believe that corporate social responsibility is a great initiative by corporations as they not only offer more job opportunities, but they also serve the community in which they function in a highly responsible way. They develop roads, better drinking water supplies, electricity and connectivity. Corporate social responsibility is not only that, corporate that do establish their presence in an area, go out of their way to ensure that they minimize or remove any or all risks that might occur due to their operations. Therefore, I do believe CSR is an important part of sustainability and progress.
7b. Most entrepreneurs learn the most important skills they need after age 21. Why is this so, and what are some of those skills?
Many entrepreneurs learn the most important skills they need after the age 21, because that is the time by when they would have experienced the difficulties of running a business successfully. In most cases, the period before this is marked with testing and learning by experience and it is only when they reach the age of 21 do they realize that there is more to success than mere experimentation. There is a level of maturity that is needed to analyze and evaluate business goals and by understanding what went wrong and why, they will never learn from mistakes. This is why only a few entrepreneurs under the age of 21 have become successful. Most entrepreneurs under the age of 21 can’t take failures lightly and most automatically drop out of business. Only those who understand and want to succeed have the inclination and maturity to take failures as opportunities to better business management and succeed. Some of the more common skills that entrepreneurs after 21 learn are to be diplomatic, accept defeats and successes uniformly, develop better man-management skills, and adaptability.