The Digital Age on the Role of Manager

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"A musician must make music, and artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization. . . . It refers to man's desire for self fulfilment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming. . . ." (Abraham H. Manslow)

Management idea creates the feeling of consciousness about the self trust that people have.

Each person can either react positive or negative to the idea of manage or being managed, by stating its own trust or entrust in his powers and weaknesses. Running in history, managers have been the people who gained the trust or have been given the trust of the people they were responsible for.

The kings of the old kingdom eras can be referred as managers where by the way they ruled-managed their people; their names have been "surnamed" in a positive or negative way. These kings - managers had to think, judge, plan, organise and rule their state in an efficient way which would give wealth to their people and the economic - military power to their kingdom. Nowadays is worth actually to think or study the last century's evolution and compare it with the old times past.

Change has took place in a very small period of years where technology and economy became more developed and in reality more complex for the logic based man to handle them.

Technology gave the power to people, of developing products in excellence by large numbers, which in the last centuries these were just an outreach dream. In addition the last two decades computer technology had actually integrate everything in people's lives which particularly changed the way that people work and communicate.

This computing period required new ways of management where the standard used management methods should change or rely, in order to be in the control position for the progressive rhythms that market expansions required.

Internet gave a new era in connections where have already become a vital place for communications, finance, marketing and advertisements. Internet banking is now a vital place for any individual or company with a major segment of the worlds transactions carried out electronically.

It can be said that technology affected people's jobs in three manners.

These are:

Make people's jobs easier

Make people's jobs more complex or more difficult

Make people's jobs lost.

These manners are fact from the time that technology became part of our daily routine and in sequence of our job.

At least in the wealth countries, life changed rapidly in a dizzy way which has created a sequence of changing attitudes in the methods of production for any outcome scope.

As simply stated... for the present times: "The study of management is not the study of an isolated activity where, the traditional hierarchical form of organisation became less efficient" (Knight, W. Hal 1986).

Nowadays, a managing process is linked to a plural number of activities. At times of competitive prices, services today related to marketing, sales, finance, advertisement and web addressing are fundamental and in the need of a professionally co-ordinated system.

Especially for large industrial organisations, a multi department feature is essential for an effective structure of them. Managing a big number of people is more efficient by having a group of managers where each panel of activity or activities have a co-ordinate response manager. The natural sequence of departments that an industrial organisation has can be stated as:

General Board Department and Personnel Department

Procurement Department

(Raw materials and input resources)

Production Department

Marketing Department Finance Department

Sales Department

Each department engages its own manager and employees where the number of them relies on the department's needs; whereas the managers are in sequence members of a general board of the organisation.

In these days partnerships are being created from managers that work together in order to withstand the economic and extreme working loads that an organisation or a company has.

The general board is constituted by members coming from all of the departments and the principal shareholders that can either have a direct or an indirect relationship with the organisation.

A general director chairs the resulting board where all the long and short term decisions are made, applying forecast in the market needs, and deal with the input of strategic scopes and objectives. The fundamental Contract and law management is also being under the general board's authority.

Stock markets the last sixty years became the focused area for the shares of any company's capital involved in. The shares value price is being controlled depending on the company's positive or negative economic growth state which shall always being analysed by the general board.

An individual opinion relies in the idea that today's industrial managers might have more arguments with their partners or senior managers instead of their employees. Whereas two or more strong personalities opposed each other's thoughts, then an agreement of feelings is hard to arise.

Quite often in today's organisations, big arguments arise between the organisation's managers and shareholders. Is crucial, for an organisation where the right shares of it to be directed by the right shareholders that really care and visualise the organisation's growth.

A good example has been the Liverpool Football Club over the last month or years!

For the modern Industrial managers the activities and the tasks that are responsible are being exponentially increased, and the need of clear objectives in specified times shall be always stated in a time flow design.

All the departments (including the general board group), shall held analysis giving emphasis in Gannt charts.

Gannt Charts can be efficiently addressed in, by combining the sequence of the four practical methods below:

Indication of a SMART Objective

A SWOT analysis

Work Breakdown Structure diagram.

PERT diagram identifying the critical paths

These practical models ensure for a modern manager benefit and control.

A modern industrial manager shall be a generalist with knowledge in all the activities he is responsible for, having a strong and competitive personality. An industrial manager should rely between the people and the technology used, aiming for specialised employees in their given tasks, in developing individually work perfection followed by time and profit credits.

Depended from each person's character, a manager has to be a person that inspires and shows a positive and effective power and energy, through his employees. He shall take control and responsibilities in intelligence, creativeness and to visualize.

Intelligence and a creativeness are direct connected with planning and co-ordination by visualising in advance the organisation needs.

These needs shall be in accordance with the employees from which, a right balanced relationship between them relies as a constructive input energy by taking an equilibrium work done from them.

Organisations and companies need managers with a constructive way of thinking and innovative ideas for continued growth in the competitive environment in order to sustain and evolve their market ambitions and targets. Managers educated, with the appropriate general appearance which are able to chose and handle, by placing the right people to the right positions.

Theories of Management rose over the last century where the first foundations have been actually erected up from Dr Frederick Taylor's concept in his study of scientific management.

Management conclude to be associative with rules of management and can be directed in structural layers for a productive management under control.

Various methods and analyses have been exponentially made afterwards through which have been in sequence, generalised, for the outcome managerial methods that are being used today.

The Japanese business through the 70s and 80s has been the reason for the west countries of rethinking their existing theories of the applied scientific management and made some use of time in re-thinking and developing main concepts as:

Supply-Chain Management,

Activity-Based Costing,

Just-in-Time,

TQM,

Benchmarking Business Process

Inducing also new methods as: Re-engineering, QFD, Core Competence, Learning Organisation and Empowerment

All these are matters that modern managers consider and should apply is so called Integrated Product Management or simpler, Life Cycle Management (LCM).

Life Cycle management has a direct scope of improving the "Functional Unit" which is the concept related with each stage's performance in a Life Cycle Management.

The manager have to actually get into and develop a life cycle thinking which shall provide him the force of knowledge, to conduct its organisation like a conductor of a symphony orchestra

Figure 2: Symphony Orchestra sitting arrangement. (Retrieved from VISUAL DICTIONARY ONLINE: http://visual.merriam-webster.com)

Figure 2 indicates a symphony orchestra's plan view, in similar structure as with a management plan and prospective. In this case, the conductor is co-ordinating musicians in specified rhythms and timings, where, by simultaneously individual tasks done, the music is being develop. Each instrument and its sound is related by its own different task (in this case the individual music parts) in which all of the sounds produced together, complete the harmony puzzle in a hearing of music symphony.

As in business, if any sound (task) goes attuned (or missed), then an out of tune harmony exist in both music and business.

It is well known that people having hobbies or activities such as music, sports and other positive actions, gain a life advantage in having more developed managerial skills than people which chose develop a more theoretical life. In large respect for two major composers named, Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederic Taylor. Each one, reached excellence in their individual field of study.

Theories although developed in human motivation base, are till our days being in concern and for each organisation might differ.

The first man introducing this field of study has been the psychologist Abraham Maslow.

Maslow's most well known theory is the self - actualization scene which also completes his self-construct pyramid of the hierarchy of people needs.

Maslow said: "self actualization is hard work, that it involves a calling to service from the external, day-to-day world, not only a yearning from within."

Figure 3: Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Image retrieved from the 2nd Edition of Manslow in Management, 1998)

This hierarchy of needs applies personally in both managers and employees as it is based on the human nature.

Some years later, Douglas McGregor's stated theories; Theory X and Theory Y are two points of view or options that managers can have in respect with the work feeling environment passing through their employees. The selected theory will in advance design the overall scene through an organisation's flow and productivity chart.

Humans are able to reach their imaginations if they have the faith and motivation for them.

In the most cases apparently, the money and as the general routine of society comes, this motivation for a self actualisation is lost easily.

In principle if most of this feeling is lost, then a theory X applies where a cohesive routine of time and money is imposed without any out scope motivation. Theory X states that people shall be relative forced and driven in order to do their task of work, as they were not in the need of money they would just not work.

People as individuals can be referred as individual managers in their own part of work in order to be motivated and self actualise. So in a point of view an organisation can be just managers where these managers are all just directed by a senior manager which is also rely on them.

Dealing in a Theory Y case, a manager shall provide a motivation feeling, where in ideal circumstances, each employee apply as an "individual manager" through his own task.

A case in which, employees feel self-satisfied and motivated in their working environment.

Profit sharing between all the people working in an organisation give a constructive feeling around which is reinforcing the links around production which efficiently can lead in success.

A theory called Theory Z of which Dr. William Ouchi can be direct related with Maslow's ideas. Dr. William Ouchi has for years studied the Japanese management and their market evolution afterwards the world war two, which had amazing successful results for the Japanese economy followed up by their economic boom during the 80's. Dr Ouchi focused in developing a methodology to apply these Japanese management concepts to the USA's industry.

Theory Z aims the share of all the information of a an organisation, by socializing its members including the employees. Aspects how the work series are being performed and how the performance of each can be improved. Developing, a family work environment, by sustaining the employees in a job of their life in high employee morale and satisfaction.

In opposition to the theories X and Y, theory Z relies on the altitude responsibilities that employees should have and not a topic just focused for managers.

As motivation can be then result through all the members, this structural basis of this management method can be in accordance with theory Y and then the organisation would highly elevate economically followed by the high productivity of its valuable members.

It sounds nice through a manager's ears if an employee express the following statement: "Work is not work. It's a hobby you happen to get paid for." (1998, Cover story in FORTUNE magazine)

A digital age have just started and its well of concern, how life rapidly change, affecting people's daily routine and activities. Managers today have to be always prepared and "up to date" in order to withstand the continuously competitiveness that technology impose. Studying the behaviour of today's young people, a conclusion outcome states that as technologies evolve, the man's logic and inspiration will decade. This factor can be although the key for the upcoming managers whereas the most logic and practical minds have the chance to pass through their thoughts and ideas. As human potential shall be the main base that modern and future management is, and going to stand with.

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