MBA Integration Portfolio Term Paper

Pages: 15 (5684 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 19  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … pursuit of an MBA, in order to demonstrate how the courses, separately and together, have impacted his knowledge of computing, leadership, and management. The paper discusses what the author has learned from coursework focused on transformational leadership, organizational tools, the use of web technology, how financial management benefits organizations, a manager's economic toolkit, the author's experience with a marketing plan and a case study, decision support systems, broadband services, and helpdesk service quality. The paper then goes on to discuss the author's conclusion that the lessons about management have prepared him for future changes in technology.

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Term Paper on MBA Integration Portfolio Assignment

One of the most rewarding aspects of working towards an MBA is that one is able to see how individual topics and courses will able to impact one's abilities as a manager. For example, learning about transformational leadership enables and empowers future leaders, by teaching the skills needed to motivate employees. Of course, good leaders need more than charisma, and learning what organizational tools are used by successful managers helps one prepare for the day-to-day requirements of management. Not surprisingly, one of the most important and useful tools for business is also one of the newest; there is no doubt that the proper use of web technology can provide a tremendous benefit to human resource management. Computer science has also enhanced opportunities for financial management, and helped clarify exactly how and why financial management benefits organizations. In addition to company-wide financial management, the author's coursework has also taught that it is important for managers to have a broad-based economic toolkit, which can help a manager determine whether or not a course of action will be beneficial to the company. Of course, textbook learning, while helpful, does have some limitations. By establishing the marketing plan for Basic Healthy Life, the author was able to get hands-on-type experience in today's modern world of business. Although all of the above topics helped highlight both potential problems and useful solutions in future management scenarios, the author found the final three topics to be particularly interesting because of their focus on computer information systems. While completing the case study of the Griffith Company, the author was introduced to a real-life business scenario and given the opportunity to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of various possible computing approaches for that company. The coursework describing decision support systems (DSS) in today's organizations and four broadband decisions gave further illumination to the computing possibilities available to modern mid-sized organizations. Finally, experience has taught that all of the computing power in the world is useless if employees do not know how to use it; therefore, the author found the study of helpdesk service quality to be tremendously useful. Combined together, these 10 different topics provide a very good foundation for anyone interested in a computer information systems-based approach to management.

Transformational Leadership

Although the term "transformational leadership" is relatively new, the concepts underlying the idea are not. Put simply, transformational leaders are those leaders who are able to inspire their subordinates. A transformational leader does not merely ask a subordinate to do a job, but makes it clear that they have faith that the subordinate will be able to do so. Furthermore, transformational leaders seek to communicate values and ethics, not merely ideas to their employees. As a result, these "charismatic leaders inspire and excite their employees with the idea that they may be able to accomplish great things." (Humphreys and Einstein, 2003, p. 92).

However, it would be incorrect to assume that transformational leaders are not concerned with ideas. On the contrary, one of the crucial roles that transformational leaders play is the role of knowledge manager. As a matter of fact, having a leader who can manage a company's knowledge resources, in addition to a company's physical and financial resources, gives a company a tremendous advantage over its competitors. Innovation occurs in environments where employees are encouraged to share ideas and management has an understanding and appreciating of employee creativity.

Of course, it is not enough for a leader to inspire individual employees; a truly transformational leader inspires employees to work as a team. One way that they do so is by enhancing communication between team members. Another important factor in team success is that transformational leaders give their employees the power and authority that they need to do their jobs. The most important factor may be that a transformational leader is able to share his or her values and goals with team members, thereby establishing a group set of values and goals. Together, these factors result in increased productivity.

Manager's Organizational Behavior Toolkit

In order to understand organizations, one must first understand organizational behavior (OB). OB "a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization's effectiveness." (Robbins, 2005, p. 9). Although OB has not been a formal discipline for an extended period of time, its concepts, like those of transformational leadership, have been in existence for thousands of years. Those who study OB today do so for the same reasons that people investigated group behavior in the past: to control, predict, and explain behavior. In fact, because a proper understanding of OB can allow someone to do all three, whether management understands OB can be the determining factor in an organization's success.

Today, there are several competing models of OB; however there are some consistencies between models. For example, the basic OB model has three levels: individual, group, and organization; and each of these levels build upon each other. (Robbins, 2005, p. 26). In addition, Wood suggests that there are eight different levels of analysis to be used when looking at organizational issues: individual, team, intergroup, organizational, interorganizational, societal, international, and global. (Wood, 1996).

These different forms of analysis can be very important to managers, because they can help managers tackle common organizational problems.

More importantly, an understanding of organizational behavior can help a manager step back and examine his or her own perspective. For example, an employee's poor performance might be attributed to a lack of individual skill, a breakdown in group dynamics, or a failure of the company to provide the employee with the necessary resources to do the job. How a manager views that underperformance will largely be a function of the managers own OB analysis. Furthermore, there are certain trends that affect how people approach organizational problems; people prefer quick fixes and seek explanations at the individual level. It is only when one understands higher levels of analysis, that one can gain a deeper understanding of the problem, its causes, and all of its possible solutions.

Furthermore, a study of OB leads one to the conclusion that several different factors affect organizational performance. The most obvious factor may be an organization's formal statements, such as its mission statement or charter. However, more important than an organization's formal statements is how it actually operates its business. Therefore, how leadership acts, what type of behavior is rewarded, and what type of behavior is punished are the pivotal factors affecting organizational performance.

It should be obvious that a company's organizational performance is linked to its likelihood of success. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that successful companies share several key organizational themes. First, successful companies mirror their founders. Second, crises propel cultural change in an organization. Third, a successful business requires a sense of purpose. Fourth, successful organizations tailor their internal structures to their specific goals and the individual talents of their members. Fifth, successful companies figure out great ways to implement great ideas.

Technology has had a tremendous impact on OB, especially on the communication aspects of OB. For example, technology has helped transform the decision-making process in many companies; shifting from a top-down process to collaboration. In addition, technology has changed the internal communication structure of organizations. First, technology has changed the methods of internal communication, but, furthermore, the rapid growth of technology also requires a more formalized method of internal communication regarding changes. One of the most significant OB changes that has occurred as a result of technology may be one of the most overlooked: the conversion to a 24-hour workday. In addition, the lack of physical barriers to organizations means that businesses can create virtual organizations to achieve a specific aim.

Finally, the most significant interrelationship between technology and OB occurs when an organization implements a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Edwards & Humphries (2005) used the example of PowerIT, Ltd. To demonstrate the interrelationship between OB and the implementation of new technology. Because upper management did not seem to be committed to the implementation of a sweeping ERP system, the project was met with antagonism. In fact, eventually a specialized team had to be created in order to salvage the scenario. Such a scenario makes it clear that OB can be extremely important when organizations attempt to incorporate new technology.

In addition, OB discusses the importance of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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