Defining a Manager and Examining the Decision-Making required by them


Manager is a person who in charge in an organization to manage resources available in organization such as labor and coordinating activities in organization to ensure the organization is toward achieving the organization's goals. Manager can be classified into 3 levels which are first-line managers, middle managers and top managers.

First-line managers as known as supervisor are the lowest level in the management. They are senior who controlling a few workers. They supervise employees and close with them. They define the daily task and weekly target with employees.

Middle managers are communicator between top management and low management. These managers include all levels of management between the first-line level and top level of the organization. They are people who listen to top manager and make implementation to what top management had decided.

Top managers are manager who are responsible for decision-making, make strategic planning, vision and mission statement and set goals and objectives which affect the whole organization.

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2. What are the functions of a manager? Which is the most important? Explain.

A manager utilize the organization available resources with it optimum level. Functions of manager are planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

Planning is a process of defining goals, make strategic planning for achieving those goals and developing plans to carry out activities or tasks in organization.

Organizing is the process of determining what should be done, who should carry it out, how to arrange the organization resources that available to achieving the organization's goals in a proper way.

Leading is a process which includes motivating workers, dealing with employees' behavior issues. The manager have to consider the way to communicate with employees when the manager want to tell them what to do, which method should be use, when and where the task should be carry out. Besides, when employees are not obey to the manager, the manager have to motivate them by different way such as financial incentives or non-financial incentives like increment of salary or offer employees a better position.

Controlling is a process of monitoring activities in organization to make sure that they are being accomplished and check is there any gap or difference between what is expected and what are doing currently, the manager have to do something to reduce the gap.

In my opinion, planning is the most important in management process. This is because that planning is a process which we determine what organization need to do. In planning, manager set goals and objectives based on resources available in organization. Without planning, organization's members do not know about the target. If there is no planning, the organization will facing a problem, they are not clear about the goals and objectives and don't know how achieve the goal. The organization will not toward become a progressive company because there is no improvement or dynamic.

3. Explain Mintzberg's managerial roles.

Mintzberg's managerial roles include interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.

An interpersonal role is managerial roles that involve people and other duties that are ceremonial and symbolic in nature. This role includes figurehead, leadership and liaison. Figurehead means the manager is seen as a symbol of status and authority. Leadership means the duties of manager is to motivating and direct subordinate, overseeing their progress, promoting and encouraging their development. The manager should train, advice and influence their subordinate in a positive way. Liaison means link and coordinate people inside and outside the organization to help achieve goals.

Informational roles means associated with the tasks needed to obtain and transmit information for management of the organization. This role includes monitoring, disseminator and spokesman. Monitoring means analyzes information from both the internal and external environment. Disseminator means transmit information to influence attitudes and behavior of employees. The manager has to inform members of organization about information that updated. Spokesman means represent an organization or unit to speak to outsiders or stakeholders about information to positively influence the way people inside and outside of the organization respond to it.

Decisional roles means associated with the methods managers use to plan strategy and utilized resources to achieve goals. This role includes entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resources allocator and negotiator. Entrepreneur means encourage managers to create improvement projects and supervise teams in the development process. Disturbance means the responsibility for handling an unexpected event. Resources allocator means the manager has to decide who to get resources and budget. The manager has to assign resources between functions and division, set budgets of lower managers. Negotiator means seek to negotiate solutions between unions, suppliers, other managers, customer or shareholders.

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4. Describe the skills a manager needs to have in order to achieve his/ her objectives. Which do you think is the most important and explains?

A manager needs to have some management skills in order to achieve his or her objectives. Those skills are technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills.

Technical skills are skills that include knowledge in a certain specialized field. This skill is developed by practice such as fixed a particular machine, performing particular duties, to make something correct. This skill usually need by first- line managers.

A human skill is the ability to work well, cooperate and communicate with other people individually or in a group. This skill is to interacting different people and human being and combining different people into a group and leading the team. The manager have to learn about understand people, how to get along with people and motivate people or employees. This skill need by middle managers who usually need to communicate with low management and top management.

Conceptual skill is the ability to think in a complex situation. Managers who posses this skill will understand things in an easy way. They got some future thinking about the organization such as how the organization fits into broader environment in the future. It also consider as skill of making vision. This skills need by top managers who have to make the vision of organization.

In my opinion, I think that human skill is the most important. This is because in the workplace, a manager has to face and communicate with many workers to guide and lead them toward organization's goals and objectives. So, a manager always has to learn to understand people and motivate them. Due to this, human skill is very important for a manager.

6. Is a sales representative (an entry level job in a marketing organization) in charge of a territory considered a manager? Discuss.

In my opinion, a sales representative in charge of territory cannot consider as a manager. As a manager, their functions are planning, organizing, leading and controlling or monitoring. As a sales representative, they may did planning such as defining their targets like how much goods to be sell and make strategies such as how to pursue customer to purchase it, but a sales representative did not do other function like organizing, leading and monitoring as a manager. So, a sales representative cannot be considering as a manager.

7. List the six Management Theories and describe how each is used by managers today.

The six Management Theories are scientific management, general administrative theory, quantitative approach, organizational behavior, system theory and contingency theory.

Scientific management is used by manager today. For example, when a manager analyze the basic work tasks that must be performed, use time-and-motion study to get rid of wasted motions, employ the best qualified workers for a job or plan incentive system based on output, they are using the principles of scientific management.

General administrative theories are used by manager today. For example, the 14 principles of Fayol serve a frame of reference from which many current management concepts such as managerial authority, centralized decision making and reporting to only one boss. All of these are used by manager today.

Quantitative approach is also used by manager today. When a manager want make decision in the areas of planning and controlling, they have to make budgeting, queuing, scheduling quality control. Due to this, they have to use the quantitative approaches.

Organizational behavior are using by manager of an organization today in their workplace too. They study behavior of workers, learn to communicate and work with employees.

Currently, a manager of an organization is using system theory. As a manager today, they should not only concern some part of the organization, but the whole system of the organization too.

Contingency theory is using by manager today too. Managers who are using this approach will do things depends on the situation. If there are some uncertain situation happened, the manager will change his approach to fits the situation.

8. List the seven dimensions of organizational culture and which you believe is the most important and the reasons for your belief.

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The seven dimensions of organizational culture are attention to detail, outcome orientation, people orientation, team orientation, aggressiveness, stability, innovation and risk taking.

In my opinion, I believe that attention to details is the most important among the organizational culture. This is because when the company gives attention to details, they will notice some wrongdoings and improve it immediately. Besides, when they give attention to details, they will notice some little opportunities for them to get large benefits for the organization. For example, when an account clerk records the transaction's amount of RM1000 as RM10000, if they are not attention to details, it will cause loss for the company.

9. Rank the eight characteristics of an innovative culture and your reasons for ranking them in such order.

1. Challenge and involvement

2. Risk-taking

3. Debates

4. Trust and openness

5. Idea time

6. Playfulness or humor

7. Freedom

8. Conflict resolution

I am ranking them in such order because in my opinion, challenge and involvement will always stimulate many new and different ideas from different people or employees. It is the most important in innovative culture. The next is risk-taking. When people are willing to take risk, they will fear for nothing and will get some special idea for innovation which is out of the blue. I ranked debates as third is because when employees are allow to express their opinions or ideas for consideration, they will feel that their idea is being appreciate. So, they will think some ideas which are really contribute to innovation. I had ranked trust and openness as the fourth is because this characteristic considers the supportive and respectful to each other for employees. When employees get respect and recognition, they will feel comfortable with their workplace. So, they will give ideas with contribution to innovative culture of organization and benefit the organization. Another four characteristics of innovation culture which are idea time, playfulness or humor, freedom and conflict resolution, I had ranked them in such order is because I feel that they are important too, but not as the first four characteristic.

10. List all the stakeholders of a company and state which is the most important in your view and why.

All of the stakeholders are employees, customers, Social and Political Action Groups, competitors, Trade and Industry Association, governments, media, suppliers, communities, shareholders, unions.

In my opinion, employees are the most important among other stakeholders of a company. This is because those employees are people who working in an organization and toward achieving organization's goals. Besides, employees are also maybe interest with the shares of organization, they may buy the shares too and become one of the shareholder. Employees are interrelated and very important to the company.

11. If you are the CEO of a global corporation, which one of these attitudes would you advocate in your organization- ethnocentric, polycentric or geocentric. Explain.

If I am the CEO of a global corporation, I would advocate the polycentric attitudes in my organization. A polycentric attitude allows other branches in different part of the world having their own ideas, let them do things in a different way. This is a more flexible attitude. This attitude allow branches can do things based on different culture of different country and let local citizen able to accept the product based on their culture. For example, KFC restaurant in America are selling only fried chicken and some soft drinks. While, KFC restaurant in Malaysia are selling fried chicken too but they will selling chicken rice and Milo drinks which are not available in America. This is an idea based on the culture in Malaysia. The polycentric attitude allows the company more acceptable in the entire world.

12. a) Define the following:

i. Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the decision-making and implementation process that guides all company activities in the protection and promotion of international human rights, labor and environmental standards and compliance with legal requirements within its operations and in its relations to the societies and communities where it operates.

ii. Ethics

Ethics are the principles, values and believe that define what is right and wrong behavior. It can also be defined as the discipline that examines one's moral standards or the moral standards of a society.

b) In my opinion, I agree that 'conscience is the main sources to determine good and bad aspects of an action'. For example, I determine that cheating is a bad action based on my conscience because cheating is an action which will harm people and cause people having loss.

c) One of the teachings of my religion that I would use to guide me ethically in business transaction is 'Do Not Cheat'. For example, when I want to sell my product to consumer, I have to advertise to introduce my product. When I advertise the product, I will not mention the untrue information about the features or function of the product to consumer. So that they know I am an ethical business person and I can get long-term profit from my customers.

d) One of the teachings of my religion I would use to undertake CSR is do anything in a proper way which means do not do things which are illegal and cause harm to people. If I am the owner of a corporation, I will do something which are good and give long-term benefit for society. For example, I would use the production methods which do not cause environment pollution, so that the society no needs to pay for the social cost.

13. Outline the eight steps in the decision making process.

The first step in the decision making process is identifying a problem. A problem can be defined as the differences between what is existing and what is expected.

The second step is identifying the decision criteria. This means consider the criteria which relevant and will influence the decision making.

The third step is allocating weights to the criteria. In this step, the decision maker considers the importance of criteria, and gives priority to the criteria which is the most important.

The fourth step is developing alternatives. The decision maker now has to make out alternatives available to solve the problem.

The fifth step is analyzing alternatives. The decision maker has to evaluate each of the alternatives based on the criteria.

The sixth step is selecting an alternative. After the decision maker analyzed all the alternatives, he or she has to selecting the best alternative.

The seventh step is implementing the alternatives. The alternative that had been chosen must be implemented. The decision maker has to inform others who will affect by the decision and have to commit the decision.

The eighth step is evaluating the decision effectiveness. This last step of the decision making process is to check whether the problem had been solved or not after the decision implemented.

Q14. If you are an entrepreneur who has just started a company, which decision making style would you tend to gravitate towards? Explain.

If I am an entrepreneur who has just started a company, I would tend to gravitate toward directive decision making style. A directive decision making style, the tolerance for ambiguity of the decision maker is low and they have a rational way of thinking. They are able to view the problem in a rational way.

As an entrepreneur, I must be an efficient and logical person. I must be able to make fast decision based on logical and rational view when I facing a problem. Besides, I have to focus on the short run, so that my company can be keep moving all the time and become a dynamic and progressive company.

Q15. What are the common decision making errors and biases? How can a manager avoid them?

The common decision making errors and biases are overconfidence, immediate gratification, anchoring effect, selective perception, confirmation, framing, availability, representation, randomness, sunk costs, self-serving and hindsight.

A manager can avoid them by act according to their own ability; do not hold unrealistically positive views of themselves and their performances. The manager should not only want the immediate satisfaction or rewards. Besides, the manager should avoid to use only the information that come first, information which come afterward should also be consider. A manager should not interpret events based on their own thought, it may be unfair. Moreover, a manager should understand the problem carefully, if not they do not get the right solution. In addition, they should also avoid biases by always make decision that consider the company's benefit but not for personal interest.