Term Paper: Roles of an Organizations Manager

Pages: 4 (1428 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] " http://www.mapnp.org/library/org_thry/org_defn.htm

Question

What are some of the unprecedented forces that require increased flexibility and continual improvements in strategies and operations within organizations for regaining or holding a competitive advantage in this dynamic global economy?

One of the earliest analyses of organizational strategy is that of Michael Porter's value chain analysis. This suggests that the goal of every profitable firm should be to offer customers a level of value that still exceeded the costs of the activity to the firm. Firms can deploy different strategies by targeting different aspects of their operation to maximize value within a given market, by for instance, though "cost leadership, "when a firm sets out to become the lowest cost producer in its industry, often achieved by economies of scale, by selling on a high level of volume. Another of Porter's organizational optimization of vale models is that of differentiation. The uniqueness of a particular product rather than its cost value is stressed. However, Porter underlines that no firm can disregard the cost of its product or production in any marketplace, nor can even the most exclusive and highly differentiated product entirely ignore the economic factors of cost.

The dynamism of the global economy suggests that both cost and differentiation alike must be considered and maximized to their greatest potential, given the increasingly competitive marketplace that all firms are being faced with. For instance, the introduction of the Internet means that firms that are mainly domestic in nature must still, whether they like it or not, have to compete with firms from other countries that purvey their products on the world wide web. Highly differentiated products within a certain sphere cannot rely on the fact that their firm is the only firm to purvey such products within a given area, as customers now have the ability to access such goods on the World Wide Web. The web even purveys services long relegated only to the real world, such as homework help and academic libraries. Even information is a commodity in the virtual, dynamic economy.

Thus, today, all firms, even the most domestically oriented firms, must deal with competition and respond to the international global culture. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management has noted that there are different types of organizational culture just like there are different types of organizational strategy to maximize product differentiation and cost value. For instance, in a corporate academic culture, employees who are "highly skilled and tend to stay in the organization, while working their way up the ranks. These organizations provide a stable environment in which employees can development and exercise their skills. Examples of this culture are found in universities, hospitals, and large corporations." However, the international dynamism of competition has created even within such boutique firms a drive to innovate and cut costs, and the changes in the university and health care system have striven to maximize profit and knowledge.

Also, the international environment has exposed the American organizational environment to different corporate cultures, such as the "Club Culture" in Japan and many Asian nations "where he most important requirement for employees in this culture is to fit into the group. Usually employees start at the bottom and stay with the organization." (Sonnenfeld, 2004)

Paradoxically, the exposure to the European and Asian corporate environments has created more and more of a corporate philosophy of becoming more cutthroat in terms of strategy, increasing the temptation to engage in corporate consolidation and merger, what is termed a "Fortress Culture" when employees don't know if they'll be laid off or not, or a "Baseball Team Culture" of a fast-paced, high-risk organizations, such as investment banking and advertising. (Sonnenfeld, 2004)

This ethos has infused even the most traditional and stable corporate environments in America by necessity, as cost cutting and competition in a cutthroat environment becomes strategically paramount in a diverse world. Yet paradoxically, the more diverse and the more connected the business world becomes, the more homogenized it must be to compete in terms of streamlining and increasing employee productivity -- and personal stress.

Works Cited

Porter, Michael. (2004) "Competitive Strategy Framework (porter)." Value-Based Management.net. Last updated: August 5, 2004. http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_competitive_strategy.html

Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey. (2004) "Organizational Culture. http://www.mapnp.org/library/org_thry/culture/culture.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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