Research Paper: Management Responsibility Practice

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Management Responsibility/Practice

I think that many managers are surprised by environmental changes because the changes happen gradually. Managers often fail to take the time to analyze the external environment, so changes that have been occurring do not register with the managers until those changes are significant and having an impact on the business. By this point, the adaptation process is more difficult. There are always going to be some changes that are too difficult to anticipate, the terror attacks on 9/11 being one of those. The possibility of such an attack was very remote, so a manager would not have had cause to anticipate the attack. Moreover, it is less the attack itself than the impact of the attacks on business that can be anticipated. Airlines may have a plan for a slowdown in business, but not a slowdown as severe as what occurred in the wake of the attacks.

The most important forces in the external environment are the state of the economy, the pace of technological change, the shifts occurring in global trade patterns and pending resource constraints. Most of these forces arise in the general environment. One that arises in the task environment is the pace of technological change. Although there is a general aspect to this, the pace of change will vary depending on the industry, the product and the economy in question.

3. Symbols help to reinforce corporate culture (Rafaeli & Worline, 1999). They provide a common framework that helps define what the company is, how it conducts its business and what it represents. Stories, ceremonies and heroes all have strong cultural value. FedEx reinforces its culture with stories of company heroes from the 1970s in order to teach new employees the values expected of them in the company. These stories and heroes provide a powerful framework for new workers to understand their expectations.

Part 2. 1. Each foreign market entry strategy has certain advantages and disadvantages. Exporting allows the company to utilize local distribution channels, but gives the company little control. The company can exit easily, but has little market presence. Licensing allows for greater market penetration and local production, but has lower profit potential and removes a lot of control from the situation. Wholly-owned subsidiaries are costly to set up and do not allow the company to maximize local knowledge. However, they give the company the greatest amount of control over the market entry. Subsidiaries have the highest exit costs as well, and are less scalable than other forms of market entry.

2. The cultural value of individualism is the degree to which the individual is valued in a culture vs. The collective. Power distance is the "degree to which the less powerful members of organizations accept that power is distributed unequally (Geert-Hofstede.com, 2009). A high power distance culture would have strong divisions between leaders and followers, where a low power distance culture would place more power in the hands of its junior members.

These values can impact the organization significantly. In highly individualistic cultures, it may be more difficult to organize successful teams because members are less inclined to sacrifice their own interests for the interests of the group. In teams with high power distance, junior members may be unwilling to make decisions, concentrating decision-making authority within the team. Certainly, when organizations that hold these values differently come together, there can be significantly cultural misunderstandings that arise.

Part 3. 1. The best way to have avoided this situation is for senior management to have communicated the cost-cutting strategy at their level first. Resistance in these types of situations is inevitable, but it is easier if the workers understand the rationale for the cost-cutting and the consequences if it is not done. From, it is my job to communicate the necessity for these changes to the workers. I will also seek backing from my senior managers, so that they are seen to be strongly in support of the changes as well. Resistance directed at me may not be reduced, but the inevitability of the changes due to the high visibility of upper management on the issue may temper some of the outright hostility.

2. There are four steps in a SWOT analysis -- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Quick MBA.com, 2007). Strengths and weaknesses are internal variables, identified through internal analysis of the company. An analysis of the external environment will help to identify the opportunities and threats that exist.

3. Porter's Five Forces are the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the intensity of rivalry within the industry, the threat of new entrants and the threat of substitutes. These are the forces that determine the profitability potential of an industry (Porter, 2008). The power of buyers can be derived from buyer volume or from the importance of the company to the buyer. The power of suppliers can be derived from the presence of substitute inputs or the differentiation of inputs. The intensity of rivalry in the industry can be determined from the industry concentration and the exit barriers. The threat of new entrants can be determined by government policy and by the capital requirements to enter. The threat of substitutes can be impacted by the buyer inclination to substitute and by switching costs (QuickMBA, 2007, 2).

Part 4. 1. Internal forces for change are those forces within the firm, while external forces are those that act on the firm from the outside. For example, an internal force would be a new CEO, an external source would be a new competitor. The main forces for change in a university would be external, since internally universities are fairly conservative, the pace of change in their business being relatively slow. In a pharmaceutical firm, external forces are also more powerful, though there is more impact from internal forces such as technological developments, new product directions and leadership. However, the external forces such as the regulatory environment, competition and outside research are probably stronger.

2. Organizations experience resistance to change for a number of reasons. Some of them are cultural inertia, entrenched interests and a poor understanding of the change. In particular, employees are often concerned with how the change is going to affect them (Gehrke, 2010). Managers can use a number of techniques to overcome this resistance including communicating the rationale for the change, being specific about the impacts of the change, establishing a common vision for the company and involving the organization in the change discussion (Gehrke, 2010).

3. Lewin's force field analysis shows a change initiative from the perspective of the forces driving the change and the forces resisting the change. The changes are rated as weak, moderate or strong and it is the balance of the intensity of these forces that will determine whether or not the change effort succeeds (Lewin, 2010). An example of a force driving the change is corporate leadership driven by poor performance of the firm. The change could be resisted internally by entrenched interests within the firm, but external forces can also resist change -- for example the firm may be failing because competitors have superior technology. That disadvantage is driving the need for change, but the lack of good technology presents a challenge to the change effort.

Part 5. 1. The first point I would emphasize is that equal employment is subject to a number of laws, which must be upheld in the hiring process. Understanding the laws with respect to equal employment is critical to ensuring the company does not run into lawsuits in the future. The second point I would emphasize is that equal employment delivers a number of benefits to the company in terms of the value of diversity. The first is important because the laws provide the stick for companies, while the benefits of increasing diversity provide the carrot for equal employment programs.

2. In determining the compensation plan for a textile factory I would focus on the way that the plan motivates employees and what is allowed under law. If I want to orient the employees to work as hard as humanly possible, a pay-for-performance scheme would be used. If safety and quality are more important, a job-based plan might work better. In a restaurant, a job-based plan would be best, because the different jobs make different contributions to the company. For sales people at an insurance company I would consider the ways in which the program motivates the salespeople. If pure sales numbers are the only consideration, pay for performance works best. If customer service is important, a skill-based system would pay reps based on the attributes they bring to the job.

3. Exit interviews help HR management understand why an employee is leaving. They also help the employee with the exiting process by going over some of the issues that the employee might have. The exit interview should ask the employee about their reasons for leaving, areas of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, how the company fulfilled their career goals, the quality of the supervision, and other areas where the interview can… [END OF PREVIEW]

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