Most organizations do not find their optimal form as soon as they are created, they evolve and change. Semco SA spent almost two decades to reach the form they have today, and they are still changing. It was the vision of Semco's CEO Ricardo Semler, that in the 1980's laid the foundation for what the company's structure is today (Killian, Perez ; Shiel, 1998). Semco was at the time a rigid hierarchical organization, and in the initial process Semler met a lot of resistance due to what Cronin states, in an article in Your future in Business and Law, as fear of change (2001, p.8).
The workers were skeptical due to the increased responsibility and the managers were afraid that they were giving away to much of their responsibility. Because "Management of change calls for leadership" (Ibid. ) and that "It is a natural reaction for staff faced with uncertainties and insecurities about the future to resist change" (Ibid. ) Ricardo Semler would have had to be a strong leader to enforce the radical changes he did.
Strong leaders have throughout history made deep impacts on society, names like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Joan of Arc to mention a few have effectively led the way to change people's general opinion of right and wrong (Robbins et al. 2001, p. 593). Equally managers have the opportunity to affect the success of a company by motivating its employees. Richard Branson, (as cited in Robbins et al. , 2001, p. 611), holds that "almost 100 per cent of running a business is motivating your staff [.. ] if you can motivate them, then you can achieve anything".
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Controlling To "achieve anything" the managers have to keep their eye on the ball. They need to make sure that the plans and actual work are helping the company reach its goals (Robbins et al. , 2001 p. 685). In an observation by Peter F. Drucker, of a company of engineers, he found that the majority of the engineers worked on smaller projects commissioned by small companies that created only a small part of the revenue, the larger contracts were largely ignored and little effort was directed towards them.
When Drucker interviewed the engineers they told him that the smaller projects largely were more challenging and that the bigger clients had their own engineers (Harvard Business Review,1964). The lack of control in the above mentioned case meant that the managers did not have sufficient information to make the right decisions. The goal of profit maximization did not fit the way the employees worked. The inconsistency was according to Drucker not known by the management (Ibid. ), making the way they measured and compared performance faulty.
Managers can make or brake their company just by choosing the right criteria when measuring accomplishment. Taking the resent bankruptcy of the US' power company Enron into account. The internal pressure to make profits became so big that it became the only criteria for success in the minds of its employees. The employees and managers subsequently started to hide loss and boost revenue with creative book-keeping. The discrepancies became so large that when the actual results surfaced they were enough to make one of the biggest companies in the USA go bankrupt, literally, overnight.
Conclusion Man needs to assume certain roles to function together. Realization, within the group, that some people are more important to them than others, gives rise to positions of power, or rather, positions of power to manage. As far back as our researchers can research, man has worked in groups, therefor the position of managers must have been present. The fact that managers have been around for a long time is, however, not enough to imply that it is the most important job of our society.
What managers actually have done in all that time they have been around, is getting closer to establishing their importance. To do so the paper has taken Fayol's universal principals and showed that even the individual components of management, has had an impact on peoples way of life and thought. Together the notion of near-perpetual existence and that every aspect of management holds such a potent possibility of change, it seems evident that Henry Mintzberg was right when he wrote: "No job is more vital to our society than that of a manager"
Bartol, Martin, Tein & Matthews (1998) "Management - A pacific rim focus", The MacGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Cronin, B. (2001), "Managers: you can't live without them" Your future in business and law: New Hobsons Press Pty Ltd, p. 8 Donnelly, S. B. (2001, August 13), "Just plane dangerous? " Time Magazine, p. 56-57 Drucker, P. F. , (1963), Managing for Business - analysis, allocation, decision", Harvard Business Review. Vol. 41. no 3 Drucker, P. F. , (1964), "The big Power of little ideas", Harvard Business Review. Vol. 42. no 3.
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