The importance of an effective management and leadership is manifested in a healthy organizational culture. As applied in the organizational setting of software giant Microsoft Corporation, management and leadership have proven to be beneficial not only to the officers of the company but to all members of the company as well. In an effort to clearly present the nature and implications of management and leadership, this paper will discuss how the two concepts were applied in the corporate set-up of Microsoft. Although the two ideas differ, this paper also aims to present how management and leadership worked to the advantage of Microsoft Corporation as well as its managers, leaders and employees.
Management and Leadership in Microsoft Corporation
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Management and leadership are two significant components of a healthy organizational culture. The organizational culture, such as the work place settings or set-ups of small or big companies, could not function without the theories and applications of management and leadership concepts. While these two ideas are interchanged or differentiated, it is undeniable that the organizational culture depends so much on an effective, relevant and beneficial understanding and implementation of management and leadership. Creating and maintaining a healthy organization culture needs adherence to the standards of shared respects, convictions and theories of how the top to bottom members of a company need to behave and work. Hence, with an aim and role to recognize how companies work and evaluate how things are being done, management and leadership are indeed important in developing and sustaining a healthy organizational culture.
An effective effort to evaluate and apply management and leadership in a healthy and powerful organization is to make Bill Gate’s Microsoft Corporation as an example. The advent of Microsoft has introduced the importance of the Windows Software in the information technology industry and to the organizational culture in general. Microsoft was regarded as a company because the company’s technical as well as managerial and leadership efficiency has influenced and dominated the IT business. Hence, the manifestation of management and leadership to the organizational society of Microsoft Corporation is a worthwhile understanding that clearly presents the two concepts.
Management and Leadership, An Overview
While in most instances they are perceived to be similar, management and leadership are definitely two varying ideas. According to Blair (1996), leadership is only one of the many attributes and assets of a powerful and successful manager. Since the primary purpose or objective of management is to capitalize on the productivity of a company by using administrative or managerial application, managers need to organize, plan, control and direct the personnel (Blair, 1996). Hence, leadership is only one significant factor of the directing role of a manager. However, since management is not tantamount to good leadership, it is necessary for a manager to have a formal power in order to confidently exude effectiveness in his or her managerial style or way. In essence, this has made management the most essential part in an organizational culture. This is because it is through such component that the company’s mission, vision and overall position are determined (Blair, 1996).
Leadership, on the other hand, is not necessarily required in an organization. There are instances where a leader is not significant in a self-directed and self-motivated company. This is for the reason that having a leader may turn out to be detrimental to the organization rather than an asset or that the groups within the organization perceive a leader’s style to be domineering. Due to the established idea that a leader is not a required member of an organization, leadership then is also regarded as a mere advantage but not a necessary component of management. Additionally, management is normally composed of experienced people who have reached their status in the company through hard work and expertise. The manager knows how things work in the organization basically because he or she has knowledge of every layer of an organization including its technical aspect. A leader, in turn, is someone who was only designated to guide other personnel because his or her fresh concepts were recognized by the management or the company. However, this does not necessarily mean that a leader is well-experienced nor has the wisdom to push for the expected or eventual growth of the organizational culture (Brail, 1996).
In a healthy organizational tradition, management characteristics such as an authoritarian or transactional manner, a work focus to have things done and a comfortable background in life are essential. Likewise, leadership features such as the charismatic manner of inspiring people to follow, a work focus on the people and an attitude that is risk-seeking are what the culture expects from designated leaders (Changing Minds Organization, n.d.).
Online Management and Leadership
Bateman and Snell (2007) discussed how management and leadership are manifested in today’s modern world that is influenced by the power of internet. Calling it the new competitive landscape, the two authors said that the concepts of management and leadership are affected by the modifications and advancement of online communication technology. They added that the internet as a means of communication alters the manner the thoughts and actions of managers and leaders. These changes are proven in the way they design strategies to leading and encouraging the members of the organization. The two clarified that managers still manifest the general characteristics such as being strategic, powerfully interpersonal and with high regard to personnel. However, these attributes are transferred and are applied to the Internet world (Bateman & Snell, 2007).
The two further wrote on the nature of Internet business where many online organizations come and go, with some die naturally while others survive and eventually achieve stability in the industry. Bateman and Snell also presented several online companies especially how their respective organizational managers and leaders exert efforts to keep abreast with the technological and financial challenges. Aside from this, they likewise mentioned Microsoft Corporation’s management and leadership styles or implementation. In particular, how the organization and its main strategist Bill Gates used techniques such as outsourcing, downsizing of employees and merit system were also mentioned by Bateman and Snell. These strategies, the two said, are significant managerial and leadership strategies that made Microsoft Corporation survive and dominate the software business. They added that the said techniques also enabled Microsoft Corporation create and maintain a healthy organizational culture (Bateman & Snell, 2007).
Difference Between Management and Leadership
In discussing the difference between management and leadership, Bateman and Snell wrote that the philosophy of leadership is characterized by the lack of decision-making which is a function attributed only to management. This is because while the primary function and obligation of leaders are to influence or encourage people to follow, the nature of the roles and responsibilities of organizational manager, who are tasked to strategize for the company and ensure that things are done, set them apart. As such, the function of managers also includes efforts to ignite high performance level among personnel in order to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture and eventually benefits the company in general (Bateman & Snell, 2007).
Management and Leadership in Microsoft
In the organizational culture of Microsoft Corporation, management and leadership are two equally important components for the success of the company. Although the two are differentiated in nature, the management, which is headed by the company’s main operator Bill Gates, exercised his full authority over the company and the overall status of the organization. Being at the helm of the company, Gates is not only the main man behind the management’s decision and overall operation but also acts as the primary technical expert of the company. In fact, as Microsoft’s top manager or Chairman, Gates has also promoted the company’s President Steve Ballmer as the new Chief Executive Officer or CEO. Despite this development, Gates remains to be Microsoft’s Chairman but assumes a fresh position as the Chief Software Architect. Industry experts and Microsoft personnel noted that the new title of Gates will allow him to continue his foremost concern as well as enable him to enjoy while working and excel at his expertise at the same time (Reh, n.d.). Additionally, Microsoft’s management depends on its leaders who function in support to the general benefits of the company. With a general mission and values to assist people, industries and other sectors worldwide to achieve and realize their respective technological full potentials, (Microsoft Corporation, 2008) Microsoft Corporation is by far the concrete example of how management and leadership compliment each other in a healthy organizational culture. Also read about "Contemporary theory of management"
The Microsoft management and leadership reshuffle was made as an effort to activate more the company as it ignites its development and competition with other fast growing rival companies such as Google (Lohr, 2005). In maintaining the healthy and competing organizational culture of Microsoft Corporation, the company’s previous seven industry units, which were broken into three divisions, are now headed by executives each carrying President as their titles. The purpose behind this management and leadership reorganization is in order to push additional decision-making within the mainstream businesses of the company. In effect, this means that Gates and Ballmer are now delegating more power or authority to the people under them or what are called their chief lieutenants. With the more identified positions as well as roles and responsibilities, the organizational managers and leaders of Microsoft Corporation now portray the roles of exploiters. Hence, the company’s managers and leaders are faced with a function to exploit the company’s development chances and limitations for the coming years. This is particularly when Microsoft Corporation introduces an array of new services and products such a fresh version of the Windows software operating system, an improvement of the company’s Office productivity suite, developer materials and the new generation of Microsoft’s video game console (Lohr, 2005).
Additionally, the move which was tagged as the combination of services and software expertise of Microsoft Corporation specified the roles and responsibilities of the company’s managers and leaders. These include managers and leaders who have been long in the company and those who have just taken in from other companies. These managers and leaders include the founder of software technology now acting as the company’s chief technology officer who will have an overall supervision of the software and services techniques of the company. Lohr noted that the reshuffle addressed the problem of having managers and leaders who will be in charge of the deep technical requirements of Microsoft. The company recognizes the fact that it is significantly essential to have superior managers and leader to lead the company in the software industry. The organizational managers and leaders of Microsoft Corporation, therefore, are tasked to push the technology and service agenda of the company (Lohr, 2005) You can also read about relationship between power and leadership
The management of Microsoft Corporation has effectively exemplified the four functions of organizational managers such as to organize, plan, control and direct the personnel of the company. This management functions has enabled the software giant to create and maintain a healthy and competitive organizational culture. Freifeld (2007) has written on the reasons behind Microsoft Corporation’s management and leadership advantage. The authors said that what makes the company’s managerial and leadership edge is the uniqueness of their functions and the company’s approach. The company’s level of intentionality which has determined and guided all the undertakings and activities of the company was specifically noted. In citing the experience of Matthew Jacob as one of the first leaders of Microsoft, Freifeld wrote that there is nothing ritualistic in the managerial and leadership program and strategy of the company. Hence, it is neither a management for management’s sake nor leadership for leadership’s sake. This is because all that the Microsoft managers and leaders do are based or grounded in a business context (Freifeld, 2007).
It was further explained that the beginnings and workings of the company’s fresh and evolving managerial and leadership improvement approach result to a scenario that pictures the approach as a machine-like strategy. It is depicted as a cautiously engineered system which a specific role not only to bring out or build organizational managers and leaders who are just in the company for generic purpose only. The managers and leaders of Microsoft Corporation are people who are able to develop their personnel who, in turn, can make the company exactly the type of organization it wants and perceives to be (Freifeld, 2007). Hence, the management of Microsoft Corporation functions as a planner when it set a specific goal which is to maximize the technological potentials of people and organizations worldwide. Aside from this, the management has effectively performed its other functions such as organization, control and directing of personnel.
Management and Leadership Strategies
Aside from the approach of blending technological expertise and service, other Microsoft Corporation’s techniques such as outsourcing, downsizing of employees and merit system have benefited the company. These strategies are proven to have work to the advantage of not only Microsoft but other industries as well. This is because today’s modern world demands and requires for such techniques in order to survive their respective businesses. The outsourcing done by the company allows its personnel to do other tasks as their jobs as transferred to others thus the eventual downsizing was justified. Additionally, the said strategies have paved the way for the company to enhance its merit system which recognizes the deserving employees of the company. This, in turn, resulted into more benefits for all the members of the company thereby benefiting the company in general.
The importance of management and leadership in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture is undeniable. This has been proven in the case of Microsoft Corporation which was able to influence and create an impact to the software industry. Due to the fact that the company’s manager and leaders live up to their positions, the benefit extended to the whole organization. In fact, the company was able to emphasize the need for management and leadership to compliment each other. In essence, this has determined that management’s efficiency works for the company’s leadership profit which, in turn, supports the management and leads the people to right path.
Bateman, T. S. and Snell, S. A. (2007) Management: the New Competitive Landscape. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Blair, G. M. (1996). The Difference Between Management and Leadership. ME96. Retrieved August 28, 2008 from University of Edinburgh database.
Changing Minds Organization. (n.d.). Leadership vs. Management. Retrieved August 28, 2008, from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm
Freifeld, L. (2007). Microsoft’s Leading Edge. Training Magazine. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from Manage Smarter database.
Lohr, S. (2005). Microsoft Shuffles Leadership. The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from New York Times database.
Microsoft Corporation. (2008). Our Mission. Retrieved August 28, 2008, from http://www.microsoft.com/about/default.mspx
Reh, F. J. (n.d.). Gates out; Ballmer in – Microsoft Leadership Change Announced. Management Weekly Newsletter. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from About.com database.
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