The following essay is my first assignment on management, highlighting the humans skills reflected in the work of an interviewed manager and how the size, technology and environment uncertainty of the interviewed manager's organization influence the manager interviewed. The interviewed manager will be referred as Mr. X and the organization as the Company Y in the essay hereafter. Mr. X is the Inventory ; Purchasing Manager of the Company Y which was founded in Alabama (1946) as Construction Contractor, later incorporated in 1971. After exiting the Construction industry in 1993, turned focus on manufacturing.
The company Y keys on manufacturing products that offer a superior competitive advantage and hold leading market share positions. The company Y manufactures in the globally. Operations employ approximately 3,100 employees world-wide and products are sold in more than 110 countries. Mr. X is the Manager at the U.K Branch. Mr. X is a top level manager. As discussed in (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, ; Coulter, 2009) manager is who coordinates and overseas the work of other people so that organizational goals can be achieved and top level managers are responsible for making organization-wide decisions.
Mr. X is involved in key decisions for UK Branch and being head of supply chain maintaining 5000 production lines, therefore can be categorized as a top level manager. As a top level manager, Mr. X involves in many areas of the company, from involving with employees to motivating and making key decisions as well as keep up-to date information of the products and technical developments for the products(customers and employees are also informed). The interview also shows that Mr. X possesses the human skills explained by R.L. Katz (Peterson, 2004) and also relevant to the Management functions defined by Fayol, 1949 and roles by Mintzberg, 1973 as compared in (Lamond, 2003).
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As Mr. X is a member of the operational management team and involved in key decisions in UK branch, reflects his managerial position. Katz argues that "Human skills are primarily concerned with people" (Peterson, 2004). Mr. X has all the three skills discussed by Katz which are technical, human and conceptual skills. Mr. X possesses human skills more compared to conceptual and technical as evident form the interview. Mr. X involved in motivating, working as a team with other heads, having good relation with the rest of the team and also negotiating with the other business parties. Mr. X has a very high level of human skills.
Especially motivating the workforce by interacting with employees proves his level of human skills. A normal top level manager is supposed to possess more conceptual and less technical and some extent to human. However Mr. X has plenty of Human skills and technical to do his tasks. As evident in interview Mr. X collaborates along with employees and people. Industry related fairs, meeting related contacts from outside of business and industry proves he possesses all the necessary human skills.
His ability to communicate and inter-relate with the employee and motivate them is the evidence of his human skills. Mr. X is a person who doesn't avoid the managerial tasks rather guide the employees. As Katz argues, the people who don't have all the necessary managerial skills to perform managerial tasks, they often try to avoid the task and rather do the technical work (Peterson, 2004).
The Company Y uses computerized business management software namely SAP for managing over all company. It helps with budgeting, marketing, team management, workflow, travelling management, demanding planning and preparing of reports. The company premises are also monitored by CCTV. As answered by Mr. X, The company uses highly technological facilities such as computerized work area and machineries equipped which makes the work easier and as well as much more productive. As argued in (Davies, 2003), new technologies often require higher level of education and training to use them. Mr. X oversees the workforce performance and use a lot of the technological facilities in the work.
However the new implementations and developments might require Mr. X to broaden his knowledge and train for using these. Technology has also brought uncertainty to the employees of their job security. Technology is replacing employees these days. Mr. X and Company Y might be more involved in the training and increases the expenses. Developments in monitoring system as used by Company Y (SAP) need Mr. X to broaden his knowledge and learn to use this. Computers and management systems have stretched the manager's effective p of control (Davies, 2003). This is a threat to Mr. X's job.
The management level at headquarters of the company Y might take control and manage the UK branch through these technological developments. Technology also has drawbacks, such as loopholes. Mr. X might be depending on the technology equipped on the company to perform his managerial work. If any problems such as system failure occur, his work might be affected. Also the tech gears needs to be up to date, if not might result in less productivity and failure in management or manufacturing.
The size of the Company Y is huge as Mr. X stated in the interview that the UK branch alone has 100+ employees. Size of the company is a key issue to attend while making business decisions and plans. Mr. X has a workforce of more than 100 employees, therefore he needs to attend the employees, evaluate and motivate them. The task is big therefore, that might be the reason Company Y pays for GALLUP (an organization specializing in customer and employee management) as the global company Y needs better consultancy. As discussed by Fayol, managerial activities "concerned with drawing up the broad plan of operations of the business, with assembling personnel, coordinating and harmonizing effort and activity" (Lamond, 2003).
Managing the huge size of business, with operating many places, and more employees is difficult. Mr. X might face difficulties in facing huge organization where rapid changes are possible. Managing the work at Company Y is established in a very stable way. The size of the business is huge though located and managed in small branches makes the managing easier. If company Y makes Mr. X manage another branch or as a results of economic downturn, hands over him the management of another branch, work may not be very efficient as well as effective.
Environment uncertainty is "the degree of complexity plus the degree of change existing in an organizations external environment" (Hunger, 2004). As stated by Mr. X, the objective of the company Y is to keep up with the industry and make conceptual efforts on gaining advantage over the competitors amid the economic crisis on hand. Environment uncertainty is not manageable, as the external environment is beyond the company Y's control. Competitors, suppliers and legal bodies affect the organization. Mr. X might find that the bargaining power from the suppliers, customer's willingness to buy and competitors' actions to take over market share is things directly affecting his work.
Unable to make negotiations with suppliers, making costs high and decrease of customers, which might slow the growth and result in loss. Also the competitors who are the main rival of the business might take advantage of this uncertainty. Mr. X has to take special responsibility in evaluating the changes in environment and prepare to defend as well report to the headquarters. As discussed in (Hunger, 2004), entry barriers can be thought of, where there is an obstruction that makes other companies to enter the market. Mr. X needs to make special analysis of the changes in size, technology and environment which would directly or indirectly affect his job.
Mr. X's management functions as of (Fayol, 1949) are more likely to be Planning, Organizing and Co-ordinating (Lamond, 2003). The evident roles as of (Mintzberg, 1973) management Mr. X has are Leader, Liaison, Monitor, Disseminator, Negotiator and Spokesman. As evident from the interview Mr. X leads with decisions made in UK branch. Mr. X involves in maintaining service level through out the business.
Mr. X also contacts industry colleagues and also transmits information to stakeholders in and out of the organization. Mr. X also takes concern of economic downturn and takes measures for it. The main corporate team in US decides more on the conceptual targets and allocation of resources. Mr. X also involves in negotiation with vendors. Lean processes are also implemented to achieve organizational goals and improve the company Y as a whole.
Davies, M. J. (2003). Trends shaping the future: Technological, workplace management and institutional trends. Futurist , 30-43.
Hunger, T. L. (2004). Environment Scanning and industry anaylsis. In T. L. Hunger, Strategic management and business policy (9th Edition ed., pp. 55-70). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Lamond, D. (2003). Henry Mintzberg vs. Henri Fayol: Of Lighthouses, Cubists and the Emperor's New Clothes. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 8(4) , 5-24.
Peterson, T. O. (2004). Ongoing legacy of R.L. Katz: an updated typology of management skills 42(10). Management Decisions , 1297-1308.
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