Management Theory And Practice Semeste Business Essay

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In today's vastly changing world it is not easy to do business, and it is especially difficult to start a new business. The world economy and markets keep changing at such a fast pace that it is almost impossible to follow the demands and trends. Nevertheless, numerous new firms and businesses are emerging every day, since everybody wants a piece of the world profits. For those firms who are fairly small in size it is vital to obtain a positive market position and operate under the most optimized and individually implemented rules of business. I will be investigating how Daniela Grueneis, the CEO and Marketing & Sales Manager of DT-Trend, a design and communication firm, succeeds in the vastly competitive business. Specifically in my research I shall be investigating how she and her colleagues organize objectives and communicate between different countries, how decision making is done, which organizational structures are used in the company, how they are implemented and finally how the choice of a personalized strategy allows this firm to prosper in the competitive world. In addition I will be implementing the reality how people do business and comparing and contrasting this to the theories supported in "Modern Management - Concepts and Skills" [1] book used in class. DT-Trend has managed to go international in the 15 years it has been operating, it has also managed to do business and provide services to many other companies in Europe and abroad. By investigating DT-Trend I believe I will be able to apply the theory from the book with the reality of how business is performed in the world.

DT-Trend started its operations in 1995. The business was founded by Daniela Grueneis in Ebergassing, Vienna, and now has another major role in Moscow, Russia, which involves international cooperation in partner offices. The businesses network of operation includes New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Prague, Bratislava and its customers come from numerous countries in the world. DT-Trend is focused on communication and design, but it also provides sales, marketing, consulting, project management, creation and graphics administration services. As a result of DT-Trend's growing customer base it is important for the company to organize its tasks and set organizational objectives. Apart from knowing and achieving its organizational objectives, DT-Trend also required to make decisions. Decision making is not a one man hill to climb, since it involves all members of the business coming up with decisions, evaluating the best options, and finally the hardest step, which is when all members come together to agree on one final decision or objective. Because of this process it is vitally important for the company to understand who is the decision maker at each level of the business, who has the responsibility, and who makes sure that the decisions are spread across all the countries where DT-Trend operates.

Organizational objectives are the first step of the planning process that a firm needs to take in to consideration in order to achieve success. According to the definition from the Modern Management book, which states that "organizational objectives are the targets toward which the open management system is directed." [2] It involves inputs, processes, and outputs from the business to achieve these objectives. In theory, organizational objectives serve as the base for every other process in the company and usually a company sets short, intermediate, and long term objectives to ensure that targets will be achieved throughout the time the company operates. These objectives are needed to guarantee that the business is doing its activities in such a way that will result in achieving the objectives set at the preliminary stage. Most often businesses set their objectives in areas like productivity, innovation, profitability, managerial performance and worker performance. It is also important to note that the objectives have to be realistic and achievable. If they are not, the business will not be progressing or achieving anything. John F. Mee suggested that organizational objectives can be summarized in three points: [3] 

"- Profit is the motivating force for managers. - Service to customers by provision of desired economic values justifies the existence of the business. - Managers have social responsibilities in accordance with the ethical and moral codes of the society in which the business operates"

In reality, and in my example DT-Trend, the situation is very similar. DT-Trend and its C.E.O operate in order to achieve profits and provide desirable services to fit the demands of their consumers. DT-Trend's organizational objectives are business networking and future minded analysis with deep considerations of specific market conditions. Business networking as defined by an online dictionary means "the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers" [4] . This is where DT-Trend receives most of its clients and profits, which is why its networking has to be in the heart of the DT-Trends organizational objectives. Being future minded and working according to specific market conditions, DT-Trend provides itself with a steady and controlled future growth. This is because the company knows its approximate long-term future clientele and can organize in such a way that its previously set objectives can be reached.

In order to adhere to the set organizational objectives DT-Trend has each employee working in a specific field (Office Management: Customer service for international and local clients; Graphic Design: Distribution and Logistics). This allows the company to have each employee specialize at each task, allowing them to achieve maximum efficiency. This process in theory is called departmentalizing which, according to the definition from the "Modern Management - Concepts and Skills book" [5] , "is the process of establishing departments within the management system". As we can see from above, this involves departments like office management, graphic design and several others that are more specifically named departments based on functions. The main benefit from this system is that it allows the manager to focus on each area specifically instead of everything at once. This brings consistency and coordination to the business. As the C.E.O Daniela Grueneis contributes with such tasks like efficient financing, accounting and controlling, these and the previously stated factors all go together to allow DT-Trend to achieve its objectives.

Information organizing, sharing, and controlling are also vitally important for a company like DT-Trend, since the company operates in more than one country and as a result needs to have all employees up to date with the latest information. In theory, information is supposed to be divided among employees according to their positions in the company, so that each employee has the information he needs to complete his task. It is similar to the pyramid where the C.E.O has all the information, and the employees and managers below have less and less information as the chain of command goes further down the pyramid. This keeps information organized and controlled in the business, since each employee will know what he needs to know and no extra irrelevant information to his position or task. In another theory, the C.E.O shares information with his managers and they share it with their subordinates, spreading it down in a pyramid fashion allowing to the C.E.O to not waste time on informing each employee individually. Daniela Grueneis shares information in a similar way. She has daily briefings and brainstorming conferences, workshops or group meetings with other managers, and informs them of all the necessary information. When she needs to inform her employees abroad, she either fly's to the country, or has a video conference with the managers. Another interesting method of information organization in DT-Trend is its organizational company software. This is a custom software made for the company's activities, It allows input of information, charts and objectives that then get processed and organized into clear data. In addition to this method, information sharing is also shared in DT-Trend via special software in which information is posted and then accessed by employees. An example from the business world, Orange in partnership with Cisco have launched a Telepresence Community [6] , with which Orange's business service customers and clients will be able to video conference with one another and share information at great values.

To further continue with the topic and the theory, we need to understand how Daniela Grueneis finds, deals, and evaluates challenges that rise during business. In theory, this is done by using a 7-step CPS framework developed by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes [7] . The 7 steps of CPS are 1) Clarify and identify the problem, 2) Research the problem, 3) Formulate creative challenges, 4) Generate ideas, 5) Combine and evaluate the ideas, 6) Draw up an action plan, and 7) Do it! In this process the basics of finding, dealing and evaluating problems are found. This can be called a guideline for business in achieving their goals. The theory requires authority from the managers and his employees in order to perform the commands, and in order do certain actions that will result in influencing the actions of others. This authority must then be accepted and understood by everyone in order to avoid confusion, conflicts, and misinformation, otherwise the whole process will go out of order. In DT-Trend problems are dealt and discussed in meetings, and solutions are found by having the C.E.O and employees meet together and discuss all possible solutions for the problem.

There are many examples readily available from the business world. For example, IBM has developed a program called "IBM Research Constraint Solver" [8] , which models numerous problems and solves them all at the same time, including numerous variables and situations in order to achieve the best possible solution. This program is fully automated, and all that is required from the user is to input the problems and certain boundaries. It can also be used to solve almost any problem in the business. Another example is Microsoft, who has developed a site called "Fix it Center" [9] . Microsoft customers that have problems with Windows can simply choose the problem they have, and then let the "Fix it Center" find the solution. This solution potentially allows small firms or business who cannot afford technicians to use this site to solve their technical problems in the business.

Now that we understand how problems are found, dealt with and evaluated, we can talk about how Daniela Grueneis finds solutions, and how she and her colleagues choose the best options to be implemented. In theory, this is done by implementing a simple 5 step procedure where "1) We define the problem; 2) we remove barriers; 3) we generate possible solutions through the strategies of information gathering, creative thinking and letting the problem rest; 4) we select a solution through preliminary evaluation, evaluating pros and cons, sub-goal analysis, trial and error, working backward, and following practical problem-solving tips; and 5) we evaluate and monitor the solution." [10] In basic terms this requires businesses to accurately define the problem, because if they don't the whole process will be pointless and the resources used in solving the problem could not be retrieved. Daniela Grueneis, as the C.E.O believes that one of the best cost and time efficient ways to deal with problems is to have the C.E.O decide on the best solution to be implemented, Otherwise solutions are discussed in internal company meetings, which involve only top managers and the C.E.O. Once the upper management finds a solution that is agreed upon by all, the manager and C.E.O of the business meet locally with business partners to discuss any problems and try to implement any customer demands. This allows each solution to be personalized, which is a highly cherished feature of DT-Trends business. Several of the successful collaborations that DT-Trend and its clients had are presented in the appendices.

Now that we have considered how problems are found, and how solutions are discussed and implemented, we need to examine how feedback is gathered from different countries and used to investigate risks and uncertainties of decisions. We first begin by understanding the theory behind this. Feedback, as defined by the "Modern Management - Concepts and Skills" book is, in the interpersonal communication situation, the destinations reaction to the message [11] . This means that feedback is supposed to provide qualitative and intellectual information which in turn will be used to further improve the business. DT-Trend, for example, receives feedback by having daily communication with its international business partners and by controlling what happens at the actual location. This is in reality one of the best methods to receive feedback. This is called live feedback. This means that as soon as the business receives the feedback information, it is implemented straight away to see what the result would be. This is a continuous process of improvement for the business and is extremely helpful in keeping business reactions to customer requests and complaints up to date and taken care of. Feedback has become such a customary thing in today's society that almost every company in the world has either special pages dedicated to feedback, sends questionnaire/ e-mails requesting feedback, or you are personally asked in a shop or office for feedback on the product or service. These days feedback in most cases is free, however, there are professional organizations that provide it for a fee. An example of companies asking for feedback is Apple. "Apple welcomes your feedback on its products" [12] , Is a special section of Apple's website dedicated to feedback. Another example is Facebook [13] , the world's number one social website, which has a help center where you can provide feedback on almost any topic or feature of the website. These are only a few examples of the numerous businesses and companies that accept feedback. DT-Trend, on the other hand, does not have a specific feedback page or help center. It does, however, have a contacts page [14] where customers can e-mail and call the office to provide feedback if they want.

In the end everything accumulates to DT-Trend. It is the responsibility of the C.E.O and the employees to choose the most reliable, personalized, balanced, and organized decision making strategy that allows them to thrive in today's vastly competitive world. In theory there are plenty of guidelines for organizing objectives, communicating, and making decisions, some of which have been stated above. While in reality the situation is almost never like theory. There are simply too many variables and cases that cannot be accounted for. It is up to each business to individually decide what works and what does not. There has yet to be a book or a theory that would be able to accurately state or provide the one best way of doing business. There have only been guidelines to help businesses along the way. That is why I believe that it is experience that makes a business successful, and not theory. The strategy of success, according to the C.E.O of DT-Trend, incorporates a strict internal cost structure, a developed organizational structure of the company, and a flexible, cost-oriented business solution for their customers. These three structural strategies are key to DT-Trend's success. This is made obvious by the company's mission statement, which reads:

"Our Austrian charm and our strong international network

are the foundation for customized and innovative marketing

and advertising activities." [15] 

This statement Provides DT-Trend with a great formula for success in our competitive world.

References Used

Certo, Samuel, and S. Trevis Certo. Modern Management - Concepts and Skills. Eleventh Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education International, 2009. 624. Print.

John F. Mee, "Management Philosophy for Professional Executives", Business Horizons (December 1956): 7.

Ward, Susan. "Business Networking." Small Business:Canada, 2010. Web.

Brewster, Tom. "Orange ramps up video conferencing with Cisco." Orange has announced a deal with Cisco, expanding video conferencing services for customers.(2010): 1. Web. 11 Nov 2010.

Baumgartner, Jeffrey. "The basics of Creative Problem Solving - CPS ." (2010): 1. Web. 24 Nov 2010.

IBM, . "Tough Problems Solved ." IBM Research Constraint Solver models and solves complex problems through the examination and prioritization of myriad variables and constraints (2010): 1. Web. 11 Nov 2010.

Broida, Rick. "Microsoft Fix it Center Aims to Solve Problems Microsoft Probably Created in the First Place." (2010): 1. Web. 19 April 2010.

Ganly, Sarah. "Business management: Framing and solving problems ." (2010): 1. Web. 24 Nov 2010. and J., Goodpaster, & G. Kirby. (2007). Thinking. Prentice Hall.

"Product Feedback." Apple. Apple Inc, 2010. Web. 24 Nov 2010.

"Help Center." Facebook. Facebook, 2010. Web. 12 Nov 2010.

"Kontakt." DT-Trend. DT-Trend, 2010. Web. 12 Nov 2010.

"Philosophy ." DT-Trend. DT-Trend, 2010. Web. 12 Nov 2010.


DT-Trend Projects



The Questionnaire Sent to Daniela Grueneis

Dear Daniela Grueneis; I am writing to you about your company. Would you mind answering how you and your management team organize tasks and communication between employees in different countries, and how decision making progresses in the business?

I would highly appreciate if you could answer these questions for me. This would help me with my practical work for the term paper. Thank you for your time.

What is your name and position in DT-Trend?

Daniela Grüneis

Position: CEO and Marketing & Sales Manager

How long have you been working in DT-Trend?

Since 1995

With which countries and businesses does DT-Trend do business?

Austria (domestic market)

Russia, Slovakia, Czech Rep., Italy, Switzerland, Germany, China/Hong Kong, USA

Our clients:

4) Are there employees employed in other countries apart from the headquarters in Vienna?

No employees in other countries, international cooperation is based on partner offices

What are the organizational objectives that lead DT-Trend to success?

Business networking

Future minded analysis by considering market specific conditions

(Specifically considering future opportunities for growth and potential clientele)

In what field of work does DT-Trend have particular expertise?

Marketing, focus on Airline and Tourism Industry (brand building, extension and stretching)

How are the organizational objectives set by DT-Trend achieved and what is done in order to stick to these objectives?

Every employee in our company works in a certain field. (f.ex. Office Management; Customer Service for international and local clients; Graphic Design; Distribution & Logistics). We departmentalize our employees in order to achieve maximum efficiency. We benefit from the strengths of our employees, which are used to stick to our organizational objectives.

How is information organized, controlled and shared between employees?

Daily briefings and brainstormings, workshops, organizational company software, video-conferencing.

What do you as the C.E.O of DT-Trend do in order to achieve your goals?

Efficient Finance, Accounting, Controlling

Which organizational strategies would you say are being effectively used in practice at DT-Trend and how are they benefiting the company in general?

Networking, outsourcing, internal company software to organize incoming orders

Who are the decision makers at DT-Trend and who has the responsibility for making decisions?

I the CEO am the main decision maker and all decision are made by me, I am also the person who has all the responsibility for my decisions and the ideas of my employees.

How are problems found, evaluated, decided upon and dealt with?

Problems are dealt with and discussed in meetings, solution strategies are found by having the C.E.O and employees discuss all possible reasons for the problem in order to solve the problems.

How solutions to problems are found in DT-Trend and how is the best alternative chosen?

Solutions are being thoroughly discussed in internal company meetings. The most cost and time efficient solution is then being chosen by me, the CEO.

What is done to implement the solutions found in to the countries where DT-Trend operates?

We meet locally with business partners to discuss any problems as well as to implement our customer's demands.

How feedback gathered from different countries is used to investigate risks and uncertainties of certain decisions made in DT-Trend?

Daily communication with international business partners, controlling on location

How does DT-Trend chose a personalized balanced organizational and decision making strategy that allows them to thrive in today's vastly competitive business world?

strict internal cost structure

developed organizational structure of the company

flexible and cost-oriented business solutions for our customers