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Managers of an organization need multiple skills to perform their duties and act consequently. Their job is assorted and complex. A research by Robert L. Katz, he found that the managers need three essential skills: conceptual, human and technical in order to perform the four management functions; planning, organizing, leading and controlling.
According to Forbes Magazine, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of phenomenon Facebook and one of the youngest billionaire ever share the ability of great conceptual skills. Conceptual skills are thus said to be one of the crucial of all managerial skills. Managers with conceptual skills are able to see the organization as a whole, to conceptualize about abstract and complex situations´ (Robbins, S., Coulter, M. 2005) and to think strategically. Conceptual skills stands out from others skills that required by a manager as the ability to use information to solve organizational problems, identification of opportunities, implementing solutions and selecting critical information from masses of data to direct the organization in the world of overflowing information. He should be able to agonize the problem areas and enforce solutions selecting critical information from masses of data, understand the business.
Mark Zuckerberg has managed the facebook quite efficiently and has put the doubts of many people to rest. He uses to prepare the organization for the contingent events in the rapid changing environment. He recognizes problems, identify opportunities and implement solutions. He maximizes the use of information, ideas and concepts. Simultaneously with conceptual skills he uses other skills such as human and technological skills which it is necessitates organization to achieve its goals effectively and efficiently.
Human skills, being controversially regarded as the most important set of skills have always been the root of all skills. Conceptual skills is not all that are required by a manager but it is a combination of competencies in various skills which conceptual, human and technical skills jump out from others to be more vital. Top managers' use conceptual skills while making a decision since it affects the entire organization. He needs human skills which involve the ability to work well with other people both individually and in groups. Being chief executives officer he should look for to motivate the employers of the organization. Human is the most important asset of an organization and human (interpersonal) skills are regarded as the most important set of skills for a manager in today's competitive environment. Creating culture, building the senior management team, financing road shows and indeed, the delegation itself is done by Mark Zuckerberg.
In facebook Mark Zuckerberg plays an extensive role in the decision making process. In the organization he deeply and inextricably involved with every major decision that it undertakes. He uses to negotiate and help the subordinates and rest of the employees to produce new ideas and make the final decision. He usually focuses on the technological side and innovation. He plays quite big interpersonal role in the general public by giving speeches and talking in the conferences. He uses to give information to the outsiders through the meetings and speeches conducted by facebook. Besides this he use to visit certain sessions and interact with other business managers and sign the business documents. During such interaction he asks the Sheryl Sandberg COO formerly via president of Google chief of staff for the U.S to assist him and offer some guidance. In general Mark Zuckerberg plays extensive role in all informational, interpersonal and decisional roles in the facebook which allows and makes it to be the leading social media today.
Q2) Discuss the various dynamics of the external environment Facebook presently operates in. What do you see and understand as real challenges Facebook's management team must grapple with in the days ahead if the company is to succeed in its mission to connect the whole planet? (7 marks)
The only thing that would not change in the world is: the world is kept on changing. Although Facebook currently rank as the top social networking sites in terms of revenue and number of users, they still have to persist in innovating to hold on the honor. Facebook always encourage their users to share information public to offer better product to users, marketers and developers who wants to reach them. When so much of data is publish online, it can be a threat to Facebook. It forced by Canadian privacy commissioner to make changes to privacy changes and streamlined permissions dialogue. Just as estimated, Facebook confront disputation on privacy issue after the security researcher "Wednesday" once Beacon is launched. There are more than 100 million Facebook users' personal information is being used or spread out to the public without users' authorization. This issue is not just about data leakage for user but also for developers and marketers who uses Facebook as a tool to operate their business. Beacon is a platform which takes data from 44 web destinations and mashes it up with Facebook's internal information to help build more focused advertising messages. It was a system which allowed third parties site being posted on the wall of the users' profile. People found out that it actually tracking every single thing people done online even they had logout their Facebook account. Facebook data leakage which disclosed by Wall Street Journal is said to be unintentionally. Press coverage and European Commission have their investigation on their own. The Beacon platform had breached the federal wiretap and video-rental privacy laws. "A federal judge on Wednesday approved a $9.5 million settlement to a class action lawsuit challenging Facebook's program that monitored and published what users of the social networking site were buying or renting from Blockbuster, Overstock and other locations." (David Kravets) Under the settlement, Facebook agreed to terminate Beaon platform started from November 2009. Facebook should provide a more user friendly privacy settings for the user to avoid the issue above to happen again.
A table containing Top 30 countries with highest number of Facebook users was shown in appendix. Data is updated to 1st of April 2011. The table indicate the number of users is increasing tremendously every year. The figure 154,226,960, is the numbers of users in USA which is surprisingly high and own the first place in the ranking. Although China and India has the largest population in the world but India only own the fifth place at about 22,956,220 users. However, a statistic updated on 6th May 2011 indicates that India is the leading country which owns the highest audience growth rate. It is strange that China is not in the ranking, because Facebook is being banned by China. In the New Era of Management ninth edition by L. D. Richard predict that "China will overtake United State economy as number one by midcentury." Unfortunately, China banned FB really bring down a lot registration and opportunities to generate profit. Without China, FB was like losing one of his leg or hand. China Mainland population which is about 1,330,141,295 (July 2010 est.) [Source: CIA World Factbook, Jan 2011 ] China government always being tight to the access of internet, information flow and media censored Facebook because of the fatal riots happen in western region of Xinjiang in province of China. Perhaps they believe that such an action will contain the reports or discussions of the riots or stop them from happening completely. News updated on 28th April 2011 said that, Mark Zuckerberg still wanted to get connected to China and is now creating some sort of localized version of site to fit China's government and hope to launch it in China.
Top 30 countries with highest number of Facebook users (1st Apr 2011 - data from Facebook):
Number of Facebook users April 2009
Number of Facebook users April 2010
Number of Facebook users 1st April 2011
12 month growth %
Q3) How would you describe and classify the corporate culture at Facebook? What are the elements and symbols that showcase FB's culture? In this context, how effective is Mark Zuckerberg as a cultural leader for FB? (6 marks)
Ravasi and Schultz (2006) define organization culture as a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations.
In the past, the hierarchy of management is vital for a corporate. However, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has created a relaxed, unstructured and open corporate culture that emphasizes more on equality. At Facebook, there are no cubicles, no walls, just mainly office furniture. This enables the employees to work in a relaxed and comfortable environment as they can come and go as they please, with no standard work schedules, thus more employee freedom. Furthermore, the managers at Facebook also practice this working environment. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, and even Zuckerberg himself has no office. They work among the employees in the open workspace that could enhance openness and problem solving process. Besides, Mark holds a public question-and-answer session for the entire organization for an hour every Friday. This session has created a great deal of openness in the organization. The openness, according to Zuckerberg, encourages collaboration, team-work and an informal atmosphere and communication.
Zuckerberg's company is ballooning into an empire, but it remains scruffy, funky and slightly adorable. That is partly attributable to a workplace that combines playful start-up culture with muscular ambition and bite. Facebook's goal is to be viewed as a "hip geek culture" in order to attract the best talent. Zuckerburg is responsible for the foundations of this culture, creating a fun environment by banging a gong when someone finishes a big coding project. Facebook even hired well-known graffiti artist David Choe to paint murals in the first Facebook offices.There's a block of meeting rooms named after inventors at the far end of the Facebook ground floor, with one given to Al Gore, who invented the internet. Facebook is creating an intrinsically social culture, rather than enterprise software or geeky, engineer-driven algorithms. At Facebook, the employees can play video or table tennis games whenever they need to unwind on the job. This fun working environment has increased the job satisfaction of employees in the Facebook organization. Job satisfaction is the primary factor in intrinsic motivation. Therefore, due to the corporate culture recognized by Zuckerberg, Facebook employees are satisfied with their jobs and as a result do their jobs well and raise the productivity of Facebook.
"Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you" is the slogan of Facebook. This slogan says quite a bit about the social platform. Facebook has taken a very utilitarian stance on providing a social network. They have created a framework and are expecting you to do most of the work.
When we used to wear suits to work, organizational hierarchy was indicated through the price of your suit. With Facebook, Mark forever altered our norms of privacy: our information is now public, our break-ups broadcasted, and our drunken shamings eternalized. However, Zuckerberg has changed this culture by only wear T-shirts, jeans and Adidas flip-flops to work.
Mark Zuckerberg shows effectiveness as a cultural leader for Facebook by able and willing to take the risks in hiring the executives for the company, motivate employees to achieve Facebook's goals by established a relaxed, fun and unstructured corporate culture, and think strategically in the incident of refusing to bring Facebook, as a company, public.
Q4) In what ways does Facebook, as an organisation, fit in with traditional and current, modern-day management thinking and theories and in what ways is FB challenging them? (6 marks)
As time passed, many professions had developed several management theories as a guide for manager to run the organization. There are Classical Perspective, which occurred during the nineteenth and early twenty, Management Science Perspective, which emerged during the world war two, The Recent Historical Trend which happen after the world war two and The Modern Management which combine all different theories. In today business world, different management thinking and theory are required by the manager to fits in different industries and achieve their organization goals. Facebook is the new trend in the twenty-first century, which manage and lead by the founder name Mark Zuckerberg.
Humanistic perspective was conducted by Mary Parker Follett and Chester Barnard. They believe that manager need to first value peoples' feelings, needs, thoughts and social relations. (Daft, n.d). Mark Zuckerberg had this management thinking of creating a social network that allowed people all over the world to engage which each other and get their updates even faster. He found out that as a human, when they disclose feelings and thoughts to their friends will make them feel closer to the person, and also behaviour on understand others emotions and opinions that surrounding. Besides, Mark Zuckerberg also adapting this theory to his employees by providing those free meals along the day, bottomless finger foods and unrestricted dry cleaning service. He allowed subordinates to express themselves, motivate them to have the same goals as the organisations goals by giving opinions on improvement of the organisation.
Studies developed by Hawthorne state that in order to increase output, managers firstly need to improve human relation with the subordinates. Managers need to make employees feel respects, appreciated and have the sense of belongings to this organisation. (Daft, n.d). Mark Zuckerberg claim that an office is only just a place to gather people to brain storming to generate profits and human are the most important resources for the organisation. Therefore, Mark Zuckerberg design his headquarter with no wall between departments and the meeting rooms are located at the middle of the work space and separate by glass walls so that all the people can see through the meetings.
Besides, Abraham Maslow theories, a study that claim that people are influenced by several needs and by hierarchy order. This has been used by Mark Zuckerberg, firstly, he fulfil the physical needs by providing them free meals and considerable income. Secondly, he satisfied the love and sense of belongings seeks by the employees which allowing them to disclose their thoughts and opinions. Thirdly, he will appreciate them by contribute many ideas and plans to run the business, this will increase employees' esteem needs and belief that they are the proper source in helping make the world improve. Lastly, Mark Zuckerberg will somehow challenge the employees to meet certain goals. This will not only increase the improvement of organisation growth, it also acknowledges employees to fulfil their self-actualization needs.
Moreover, Contingency View is the modern perspective that managers have no actual plan and managers will base on the situations or industries and economic to lead the organisation. This theory mostly utilize by organisation with structure of effective in an internet company which need to depend on the new technology. (Daft, n.d). Because Facebook is always dealing with trends of the world, and create new trend for the world. This required innovations, inspiration and new technology from the employees. Therefore, it is hard for Mark Zuckerberg to always follow the plan.
Furthermore, quality seeking by the user was also a challenge face by Mark Zuckerberg. He use Total Quality Management to deal with it by improving the convenience of user to easily sign up as a user and also create software which allow user to use their mobile phone to log in and keeping on improving the privacy settings of each user. He also create benchmark of user can tag others pictures and status make them to have the same picture and comments. He also came out with the `like' button allow user to like the status and which his competitors like Friendster and MySpace does not have.
Learning Organisation is a modern theory which allows people not afraid to make mistakes and hope they can learn from the mistakes. It allows managers to raise the capability to discover and grow. (Senge.P. n.d). When Facebook dealing with the mistakes they made in beacon, they understand that not all people like to disclose their thoughts to the public, certain privacy are required from them. Facebook has learnt from this mistake and change their privacy settings.
Q5) Describe the personality, leadership and management style of Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Discuss his most cherished values and how they govern his life, work, relationships, and the way he leads and manages his people. (7 marks)
It is undeniable that Mark Zuckerberg is the key player of the successful of Facebook in the global nowadays. Therefore, the personality and cherished values that he holds are strongly affected his life, work and relationship.
As a young billionaire, Mark did not dress himself up with branded clothes and accessories. In fact, he always wears jeans, T-shirt and North Face fleece. Besides, he rents a house with his girlfriend and drives an entry-level luxury car. Yet, his life is nothing more than meetings and talking to people due to the expansion of Facebook. He is a simple man and has showed no concern to spend much money or make money. Perhaps, these are the reason why he rejected offers from big companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft. People think that he was wrong and questioned him why would he refuse the offer because the field that he involves is unpredictable. However, from the interview with Diane Sawyer, he saying, "We really just believe in what we're doing." This showed that, making money is not the primary motivation of the formation of Facebook but the vision is simple as to attach people from different countries or even culture and share their life to people that they care about. Mark, as a student of computer science and psychology definitely has a great sensitivity of vision. He knows that the most powerful thing in this world perhaps is the connection of people and the usefulness of the Internet. Therefore, Facebook achieved success in just few years because people like the ideas of sharing their feelings and life to their loved ones.
Such personalities that Mark had affected the way he presents in work. He said everyone has a voice and people can organise whatever they want. For that reason, the open floor plan in the headquarters of Facebook allows all the workers know each single thing that happens in the buildings. Also, he holds a public question-and-answer meeting for the company for an hour on each Friday. Giving thought to these seemingly minor issues has the potential to drastically improve the working environment and employee engagement. Furthermore, although Mark is a young and rich leader, he never behaves arrogantly and still sincerely apologizes due to the mistakes that he have made. For example, membership of a group named "Students against Facebook news feed" that formed by Ben Parr has increased to 750,000 users within a week. Instead of being enemy with him, Mark actually posted a letter on Facebook and promised that they will come out with privacy controls. This is a leader quality that Mark had, which is problem solving. On one hand, he did not mention to make changes to the new features and support the usefulness of News Feed to know more about close friends. On the other hand, he promised to strengthen the privacy control. It seems like two-way benefit to him and Facebook without throw the new features away that causes losses and at the same time can settle the negative comment on Facebook.
The tough-minded that Mark Zuckerberg had also affected the way he held the position as CEO in Facebook. Mark will improve each role in the organization each six months and performance of employees is being rank from one to five. He valued those hardworking and brilliant employees that can make him success. Some co-workers said that it is stress and fear when working in Facebook. However, the situation has been changed when Mark hired Sheryl Sandberg and people now are regretting they did not join the company. Nevertheless, Mark hire people not only because of their talent but also follow through and do things creatively such as hiring the former Firefox developer, Blake Ross. Mark showed his tough-minded completely when he turned the offer from Yahoo down. The former CEO of Yahoo, Terry Semel said, "I'd never met anyone-forget his age, twenty-two then or twenty-six now-I'd never met anyone who would walk away from a billion dollars. But he said, 'It's not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it.' I couldn't believe it."