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Terms and concepts in traditional management

In order to understand management one must first understand the term “organisation”. Hellriegel et al (2008. p6), and The Free Dictionary (Online: Accessed 15 March 2011) define the word “organisation” similarly, as a number of people, more than two, working together towards a common purpose or goal in a structured or organised manner.

Manager

The Free Dictionary (Online: Accessed 15 March 2011), defines a manager as a person who manages people in an organisation, in order to reach set goals, (MAN100. Study Guide, p.3, 2011).

Management

Management is defined in many ways but many indicate that it is a person or group of people who direct others (workers) to reach an objective in an organisation and perform tasks of planning, organising, leading and control, Hellriegel et al (2008. p9), Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managers, accessed 15 March 2011], MAN100: Study Guide, 2011.

Planning

According to the study guide, (MAN100. 2011, p6), planning is regarded as the “primary management function” because it prepares for the remaining parts of management. The study guide further indicates that how an organisation reaches its goals involves decisions and involves planning. Hellriegel et al (2008. p10) also supports this view by stating that, “planning involves defining organisational goals and proposing ways to research them.” McNamara [online] says that planning “is selecting priorities and results (goals, objectives, etc.) and how those results will (be) achieved”.

Organising

The Study guide (MAN100, 2011. p7) explains that organising entails the homework necessary for put into operation plans for action. Hellriegel et al (2008. p10) says that once plans are developed they must be turned from “abstract” information into “reality”.

Leading

Hellriegel et al (2008. p10) explains that leading needs communication in order to motivate workers to reach the organisation’s goals. The study guide (MAN100, 2001. p7) also supports the explanation by indicating that leading is about influencing people in an organisation so that the goals of the organisation can be reached. The workers are kept happy by creating a happy work environment.

Controlling

The study guide (MAN100, 2011. p7) explains that controlling is about pointing the workers in a direction so that the goals of the organisation are reached. Hellriegel et al (2008. p10) supports the above by saying that monitoring of workers is required but that “corrective action” is a key in controlling

Using traditional management to improve customer service.

A traditional viewpoint can improve customer service because you are controlling what happens in the workplace. By planning, organising leading and controlling your workers you can make their work efficient (MAN100. 2011).

For example a call centre that dispatches ambulance, police cars and fire trucks are failing to meet there requirements because they are taking the call and then logging it because they are using an old system, it therefore prolongs the time to answer the next call in order to dispatch what is required. The manager will use resources to devise a plan that will make the calls more efficient. The operators in the Call Centre could be asked for their ideas and if the ideas are practical, they can be used on a trial basis. An example is to install headsets with a microphone. By obtaining the headsets they will have their hands free and so be able to type information into the computer system and dispatch the required services quickly (Interview: A R Kesten – Executive Manager: Disaster Management: Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality).

In order to improve the Call Taking Centre operations, one needs to plan a number of things. One needs the workers, the Information Technology (IT) department, the Finance Department and many other role-players to be involved. Getting these people together requires planning. Organising the role-players into a group is the next step. The group members need to be invited to a meeting or workshop. Agendas need to be prepared and the venue large enough for the meeting or Workshop needs to be prepared.

The next step is to lead. Leading means that all the role-players must buy into the idea of speeding up the call taking actions. This may mean that the IT department needs to upgrade the programme used to log calls and get a quotation and purchase headsets. It then needs to be installed. Your employees need to be sent on training and one need to explain to them why it is a requirement. Make sure that they understand why this is happening. Answer any questions they have about this, show them what you expect from them and help them to achieve their goals.

Monitor their work. Check the statistics. Ensure they are doing what is required of them. Set out rules and regulations for them to follow. Prepare a detailed structured plan setting out what is needed to be done on a daily basis. Once the rules for monitoring is set and the operators understand them they will know how they are going to be measured. If one has the measuring tool one can evaluate previous performance against current performance and have a picture of how well or not the new method is doing.

QUESTION 2

2.1 Role and importance of Vision and mission

Vision

The vision in the strategic planning of an organisation is like a long-term goal the organisation has. The vision of an organisation will direct the organisation along a path towards achieving it. A vision needs to be clearly stated and short so that people can easily remember it. It is important to have a vision because it lets everyone know what he or she is working towards. The vision is also important because it helps to focus the staff on the long-term goals (Hellriegel et al, 2008. p136).

Mission

An organisation’s mission should, according to Hellriegel, et al, 2008. p136, cover the following aspects: “Core purpose”, “Core strategies”, “Core values” and “Core behavioural standards”. The mission is the broad strategic plan of an organisation. It is developed to help the organisation reach the vision.

Goals; (strategies, resource allocation and tactical and operational planning)

According to Hellriegel, et al (2008) p136/7, once the vision and mission are in place, it is necessary to develop goals. The goals are developed from the vision and mission in order to break them down into more understandable parts. The goals give a more detailed picture of the vision and mission. The people in the organisation would be able to better understand what needs to be done because the goals give a clearer picture.

Hellriegel, et al (2008) p137, indicates that there are three levels of goals and that one follows on another. The goals can be broken up into “strategic level” goals, “tactical level” goals and “operational level” goals. Because one level follows, another, each one provides more detail than the next.

The “strategic level” goals, according to Hellriegel, et al (2008) p137, are “normally” set by “top management” of the organisation. The goals can be developed to cover up to a 5-year period. Hellriegel, et al also indicates that that “strategic goals have to be in line with the vision and mission of the organisation. The strategic goals must be clearly understandable because the tactical goals are developed from them.

Tactical goals are normally developed from the strategic goals and are developed by middle managers and by leaders of departments (Hellriegel, et al (2008) p137). Hellriegel et al continues by saying that the tactical goals are developed for a “one to four year” period. It makes sense then that the tactical goals will be more specific than the strategic goals from which they are taken. Carpenter M., Bauer T., & Erdogan B [online] also indicates that objectives provide a clearer picture because they must be “must (1) be related directly to the goal; (2) be clear, concise, and understandable; (3) be stated in terms of results; (4) begin with an action verb; (5) specify a date for accomplishment; and (6) be measurable.”

Once tactical goals have been developed, operational goals can be set. The operational goals, according to Hellriegel et al, are developed for a department or section in the organisation. These goals are set for a short period of up to one year.

Hellriegel et al (2008) also indicates that goals must be “challenging”, “attainable”, “specific and measurable” and “time limited”.

It is in this way that people working in an organisation will be able to focus on what needs to be done in order to achieve the vision and mission.

QUESTION 3

3(a) Strategic planning process and (b) role and importance of the strategic planning process

Hellriegel et al (2008) describes a basic strategic planning process as having the eight parts indicated below one part after another:

Developing a mission and goals

The role of the mission and goals is to give direction to the organisation. In this way, it will know where it is and where it wants to go.

Assessing the threats and opportunities to the organisation

The role of assessing the threats and opportunities is to look at what can affect the organisation from the outside. In this way the organisation can look at what its competitors are doing which will affect the organisation and make it fail.

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation

The role and importance of assessing the organisations own strengths and weaknesses is to look at what it is doing well so that they can improve on it and also to look at what they are not doing well again to improve on it.

Prepare strategies

The role of preparing strategies is to make sure that strengths remain strengths, weaknesses are turned into strengths, opportunities are used to improve the organisation and threats are thought about and acted on to remove them.

Develop a strategic plan

Develop a strategic plan to deal with the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that the organisation can grow. The strategic plan will give more details of how you would increase your strengths, change the organisations weaknesses into strengths, and find out what the organisations threats are so that you can develop a plan to remove them or change them into opportunities and last to look for opportunities to grow the organisation.

Develop tactical plans

Develop tactical plans so that the details of what to do and how to do it can be decided on. The tactical plans will explain what the organisation has to do and how it needs to be done and by when.

Putting in controls and assessing results

Put in controls to make sure that the plan stays on track and measure the results. By putting in controls, the organisation can make sure that the plan stays on track. Assessing results makes sure that what was planned to be achieved is achieved. It also lets the organisation make small changes to the plan if the plan is not working as well as the organisation thought it will.

Repeat the planning

By repeating the planning process the organisation can make sure that things have not changed that will affect the plan. This is important because we live in a world where things change all the time. The organisation needs to be careful of changes that could affect it and then change the plan in line with the changing world.

QUESTION 4

Different tasks of managers

According the Hellriegel et al, first line managers are directly responsible for the production of good services. Middle managers focus on coordinating employees activities by determining which products or services to provide, and deciding how to market these products or services to customers. Top managers spend most of the day planning and leading.

How the tasks differ and how they are aligned

Hellriegel et al (2008) p.13 explains that first-line managers are directly in charge of the manufacture of goods and or providing of services. The first-line managers can be supervisors responsible for a small team of people who do a specific job. The first-line manager makes sure that the team members all carry out their specific jobs.

Hellriegel et al (2008) p.13 also indicates that middle management managers get broad and general strategies from top management. The middle management managers must “focus on coordinating employees’ activities, determining which products or services to provide and deciding how to market these products or services to customers.” Middle managers are, according to Hellriegel et al, p.14 also responsible to direct and coordinate the work of the first-line managers. Middle managers also carry out the instructions of the top managers. Middle managers are also not always doing the technical work that they trained to do because they must non manager others who have the technical knowledge below their position.

Top managers, according to Higgins (2005) quoted in Hellriegel et al (2008) p.15, are successful senior managers who spend a lot of time working on executing strategy. These top managers understand that working of strategy is important to make the organisation successful. The top managers must work on strategy execution or implementation because this, according to Hellriegel (2008) p.15, leads to “strategic performance”. This is important if the organisation wants to use a good strategy in the right way to get to the required goal. Hellriegel et al, p16 also indicates that top managers “spend most of their day planning and leading” and that this could take up to 70% of their day.

QUESTION 5

Hellriegel et al (2008) p.10 says that leading is about communicating with and motivating others to do the tasks needed to reach the organisations goals within the context of a supporting organisational culture.

Management is about getting people in your team to do a job of work in such a manner that they are happy to do it and do it well. (Hellriegel et al (2008). The most important parts of management is planning, leading, organising and controlling.

A manager needs, according to Hellriegel et al (2008) p.16 to have technical skills. The manager needs to know how the job should get done. The management skills of the first-line manager will be different from the middle and top managers. The first line manager needs to know the job in order for him or her to correct or teach a certain task. The first-line manager will help the worker to learn the job or to do it better. The middle manager will have better strategic skills and be able to explain why the job is important.

All managers need human skills in order to get the work done (Hellriegel et al (2008) p.17). This skill is important as a manager works with people. If a manager does not have human skills then he / she will not be able to communicate properly and this could cause the work to suffer.

The next skill a manager must have is to think “analytically” (Hellriegel et al, 2008. p.17) and to solve problems.

However, the successful qualities of managers, identified by Harbidge House and quoted in Hellriegel et al (2008) p.17&18, are:

To provide clear direction

A manager must be able to set clear goals and standards and must clearly communicate them.

Encourage open communication

Managers must be able to speak honestly to subordinates and must not beat around the bush but be straight forward but not cruel.

Coach and support people

The manager must be able to help subordinates and also be able to speak with senior management about the problems that subordinates have in order to solve them.

Provide objective recognition

The manager must be able to see the work good employees are doing and not criticise them. The should reward good work by saying that the employee is doing good work or by financial or other reward.

Establish ongoing controls

The manager should be able to follow up on issues that employees have raised and provide proper feedback.

Select the right people for the organisation

The manager should be able to appoint the right people with the right skills to perform work which is needed. The people who are appointed must be able to support the vision and mission and goals of the organisation.

Understand the financial implications of decisions

The good manager will know what the financial implications are of decisions that are made. Quality of the work done by employees may mean that an employee gets a larger salary.

Encourage innovation and new ideas

The good manager will encourage his workers to come up with better ways of doing work and of new ways to do the work faster, better and with better quality.

Give subordinates clear-cut decisions when they are needed

The manager will not be afraid to make decisions that need urgent attention. In this way, employees will respect the manager.

Consistently demonstrate a high level of integrity

The manager needs to be honest and not show any favouritism. He needs to be fair and treat all worker equally.

QUESTION 6

Management is seen as one of the most important and exiting careers in the world.

Management is important because workers need to be controlled and to follow orders to complete the tasks that are given to them and have it done by the deadline they were given. It is important because they structure the organization and make sure that the work gets done.

Management is exiting because there are constant changes happening and these are new challenges to overcome everyday. It’s exiting because it keeps you on your toes and keeps your blood pumping.

For example a manager comes to find that his employees are underperforming. He has to find out why and then find a way to fix it. In the process of doing that upper management tells him the system they are using is going to change so he has to set up the new system and solve the problem with his employees. He then sets up the new system and sends his employees on training and goes with them. While training is in progress he speaks to his employees and finds out what the problem is, thereafter he sits down with his employees and sorts out the problem.

This is why management is important and exiting.


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