After essay this article you will learn about:- 1. Introduction to Management 2. How Reputation and Commitment are Interrelated? 3. The Challenges of Change 4. What is Management? 5. Significance of Management 6. Why Study Management?
- Introduction to Management
- How Reputation and Commitment are Interrelated?
- The Challenges of Change
- What is Management?
- Significance of Management
- Why Study Management?
1. Introduction to Management:
The emergence of management may be the pivotal event of our time, far more important than all the events that make the headlines. – Peter F. Drucker
We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible. – George Santayana
Those things that hurt, instruct. – Benjamin Franklin
The year 2000 is on the horizon and the present-day managers have already started facing the challenges of a completely new workplace. The topmost issue of concern for managers is diversity. Today’s managers face numerous demands and various challenges from a diverse workforce and a changing environment.
They must raise organisational productivity and improve quality by identifying their core competencies as also through transforming their organisations, by managing changes as also by leading corporate revolutions. Productivity and quality are the two key words in this changed set-up.
Productivity improvement demands building new and responsive work settings — one that provide all workers opportunities for both high performance and high quality of work-life. This, in turn, will demand continued managerial development.
Today’s managers are different from the functional foremen of F. W. Taylor’s model. They work in a dynamic environment where increasing global competition and shifting social expectations demand new managerial responses. Organisations are to be reinvested to answer calls for ‘participation’, ’empowerment’, ‘involvement’, ‘reengineering’, ‘teamwork’, ‘flexible schedules’, and the like.
All these are to be reinforced by renewed quests for productivity and competitive advantage through operating efficiency, new technology and total dedication to product quality and build-up of customer loyalty.
These and related issues have been on the minds of managers of the world’s most admired corporations. ‘Fortune’ publishes an annual list (Fortune 500) of such companies that score high on criteria of management quality, product quality, innovativeness, asset utilisation, financial soundness, workforce talents, social responsibility (corporate philanthropy), business ethics and investment value.
But even in the most highly rated companies, managers are left with unfinished jobs. In this new age characterised by information revolution there is maximum demand for knowledge workers — systems analysts, data processors, computer specialists, programmers and so on. So there is competition among firms not for land, labour or capital but for talent.
Now in all progressive organisations there is a special emphasis on human resources. The managers of modern corporations are entrusted with the task of attracting, developing and retaining talented people.
Another task of today’s manager will be to develop new products with an awareness of today’s values. It is not enough to produce new products as a matter of routine. Rather, it is absolutely essential to maintain quality or to improve it so as to be able to fulfill the firm’s overriding commitment to reputation.
2. How Reputation and Commitment are Interrelated?
Reputations reflect the behaviour one exhibits all the time through several small things. How should the leader manage reputation? The answer is simple—by always thinking and trying to do the right thing every-day. This seems to be the most sound piece of advice for tomorrow’s managers everywhere.
What will be the nature of workplace in 2000? In fact, workplace 2000 is already in the U.S.A. in many progressive organisations. Such work settings will soon be found in other organisations. Alternatively, pressing forces of competition and social change will trap them in a spirit of decline and disarray.
For managers this means that challenges of continued personal and professional development will have to be met in increasingly dynamic circumstances. The world at large is slowly but surely embarking on an exciting and unpredictable path toward the future — a path along which there will be both plentiful opportunities and endless risks.
Among the diverse forces of managerial significance, two major points have appeared to be perhaps the most important in the 1990s, viz., workforce diversity and a changing environment — social, political, economic and technological.
Indications are quite clear that the influence of these factors will continue to grow as we move gradually toward the year 2000 and beyond. However, new forces will surely emerge to join them.
3. The Challenges of Change:
For most managers, changes — some subtle and others bolder — are a way of life in today’s organisations. One can think of various directions of development in this regard. Truly progressive and dynamic managers are those who are expected to meet various challenges — foreseen and unforeseen — of the coming years while focussing on and fostering self-fulfillment, employee involvement, participation and creativity among subordinates.
Tomorrow’s managers can thrive in a dynamic environment by creating and working in cross-functional teams, task forces and new forms of group work that enable the organisation as a whole to function in a more integrated manner.
But is this enough? In truth, in a changing environment, managers are expected to create meaningful work environments that give due respect to interpersonal differences, provide a high quality of work life, and build long-term commitments among employees.
These various challenges faced by managers will be reflected in new standards of excellence which are being set by organisations whose managers understand the external environment and water its demands by their willingness to effect many changes that appear to be urgent and preparing with the passage of time.
Such vanguard organisations are now widely admired in America as high performers and good places to work in.
Such vanguard organisations have four major characteristics:
1. They are people-oriented.
2. They have visible leadership.
3. They seek employment stability.
4. They are future-oriented.
5. They have a customer-orientation.
These factors are quite obvious. But these require repeated mention. With the passage of time come new and diverse demands for new managerial responses. The search for excellence (i.e., the quest for improved performance) remains the same, but the new managers must constantly be in search for new ways to meet the challenges under new, diverse and dynamic conditions.
In his Adaptative Corporation Alvin Toffler has opined that tomorrow’s managers are expected to lead the process of innovation and adaptation to help their organisations join the ranks of the vanguard. The same view has been voiced by C. K. Prahlad and Gary Hammel in their Competing for the Future.
They argue that anyone who wants to succeed as a 21st century executive — the new managers of the mid-1990s and beyond — must reach out to the heights of competency and accomplishment.
Importantly, however, tomorrow’s managers must become leaders/motivators who create environments in which people of diverse backgrounds and interests can perform their respective tasks and always want to do their best work.
Today’s managers must meet various challenges with a diverse workforce — composed of women, minorities and immigrants. They must respond and adjust to workforce diversity in positive ways.
The Hudson Institute Study — Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the 21st Century:
The following given trends are clearly observable in America’s labour force and workplace:
1. The labour force is growing in size more slowly than in the past.
2. The percentage of young people in total labour force is falling.
3. The average age of a worker is rising.
4. More women are joining the labour force.
5. The proportion of ethnic minorities in labour force is also increasing.
Due to these changes, we will see the emergence of thin organisations where one will observe a distinct shift toward more capital-intensive technologies. Due to changes in the sex composition of the workforce, there will be more flexible work scheduling and maternity benefits.
The fastest growing source of future jobs in the entire globe will be in the service industries, especially in the area of financial services as also in professional, technical and sales fields. Most new jobs will require advanced education and technical skills, not possessed by routine workers.
The workers displaced in declining industries will have to acquire new skills to survive. Otherwise they will see the end of their jobs. Drucker uses the term ‘knowledge workers’ and Peter Senge ‘learning organisations’ in this context.
However, the new age also provides sufficient opportunity to effective managers to successfully top the talents of a diversified workforce. How well managers deal with diverse work groups is and will be a critical test of performance in the new workplace.
To be on the list of Fortune’s most admired corporations of the world, it will be necessary on the part of the managers to attract, develop and keep talented people. As one expert has rightly commented: “Talent and ability know no demographic boundaries.
Good managers act everyday on the basis of this understanding. By ‘valuing’ diversity, they find enough strength in individual differences and unlock the full performance potential of a workforce. They are able to communicate and work well with persons of backgrounds different from their own, and they are able to help others do the same”.
Managing diversity means enabling every member of one’s workforce to perform to his (her) potential. Differently put, it is a question of consciously creating an environment where everyone has an equal shot at contributing, participating and — most of all — advancing.
This sounds nice. But in practice, this may be difficult for some, especially those generations of managers who are normally used to dealing with more homogenous work groups in more traditional work settings. More and more progressive organisations — like U.S.A.’s Digital Equipment Corporation — offer special training programmes to help employees understand and best utilise the value of a diverse workforce.
4. What is Management?
Management is the process undertaken by one or more individuals to coordinate the activities of others to achieve results not achievable by one individual acting alone. Managing is the guidance, leadership and control of the efforts of a group of individuals towards some common goal.
It is a special kind of activity, distinct from actual performance of the work. Classifying the groups’ goals, coordinating members’ efforts, allocating scarce resources, representing the group in negotiations with other groups, making tough decisions so that group activities may proceed, inspiring cooperative action, exercising discipline when a member is lazy or violates a norm or an accepted rule of behaviour — all are necessary for effective and efficient group action to achieve desired results. Without managers to perform these activities the group’s output would be inadequate indeed.
However, Peter Drucker believes that the work of management is to make people productive. To regain competitive edge in the international arena society must have managerial competence. As Drucker says: “Management, its competence, its integrity and its performance will be decisive to the whole world in the 21st century”.
5. Significance of Management:
Effective managers intend to make their employees productive and they also have the ability to inspire people. Furthermore, improving the industrial and service performance of any nation will require managers to be in the forefront, applying the best techniques, knowledge and understanding of the overall business environment and the special problems of an organisation.
How the techniques and knowledge is applied will vary across groups, countries and situations.
6. Why Study Management?
Management is of strategic importance to any type of organisation. Prima facie, the survival of an organisation depends on its capacity to provide the goods and services people desire to have. Organisations are directed and guided by the decisions of managers.
It is the managers who allocate an organisation’s scarce resources to various — and often competing — ends. Managers have the ability and responsibility to generate safe or unsafe products, clean up or pollute the environment and improve or deteriorate the living standards of the people.
Managers establish the conditions under which people are provided jobs, incomes, life styles, products, services, protection, health care and knowledge. It would be very difficult to find out someone who is neither a manager nor affected by the decisions of a manager.
Management concepts are now being vigorously applied in private firms, but the need for effective managers is just as pressing in non-profit enterprises such as hospitals, training centres, urban transport sectors, and universities and colleges. Whatever the end product or service, managers are essential to guide a society’s efforts.
Therefore, individuals not originally trained as managers will find themselves in managerial positions. Many individuals presently being trained to be teachers, accountants, musicians, sales persons, artists, physicians or lawyers will one day earn their living as managers.
They will manage schools, accounting firms, orchestras, sales organisations, museums, hospitals and government agencies. The world offers a plenty of opportunities to managers and entrepreneurs who are creative and knowledgeable, timed in to what people need and what they can afford.
The future success of any nation — like that of India — lies in managing productivity, being able to cope with environmental changes and properly managing the workforce. These challenges will require well-educated, knowledgeable and hard working individuals deciding that a management career is of value to them personally.
Managing is one of the most stimulating and rewarding careers one can choose.