Those in senior positions with strategic responsibilities are therefore required to understand and acknowledge the full range of concerns, when seeking opportunities and enhancements in this form of investment. It is also incumbent upon those in departmental, divisional and functional positions to understand the pressures that mergers and takeovers bring with them, especially if it is known or perceived that overwhelming attention has been given to the narrow financial interest.
Culture – similarities and differences, ability of organizations to perform at different countries, reasons for relative success Organization culture is an amalgam and summary of the ways in which activities are conducted and the standards and values adopted. It encompasses the climate or atmosphere surrounding the organization, prevailing attitudes within it, standards, morale, strength of feelings towards it and the general levels of goodwill present. It is an essential feature of effective organization creation and performance and is formed from the collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that prevail throughout the organization.
The basic dimensions of national cultural differences are: Power – distance: the extent to which power and influence are distributed across the society, the extent to which this is acceptable to the members of the society, access to sources of power and influence; and the physical and psychological distance that exists between people and the sources of power and influence. Uncertainty – avoidance: the extent to which people prefer order and certainty, or uncertainty and ambiguity, and the extent to which they feel comfortable or threatened by the presence or absence of each.
Individualism – collectivism: the extent to which individuals are expected or expect to take care of themselves; the extent to which a common good is perceived and the tendency and willingness to work towards this. Masculinity – femininity: the distinction between masculine values (the acquisition of money, wealth, fortune, success, ambition, possessions); and the feminine (sensitivity, care, concern, attention to the needs of others, quality of life); and the value, importance, mix and prevalence of each.
There are number archetypes that may be distinguished. Power culture is where the key relationship exists between those who wield power and influence, and those who work for them. The main problem that a power culture must face is that of it size, difficulties with sustaining levels of influence for a person in the centre and a problem of permanence.
People/person culture exists where the key relationship is between people, and intrinsic interest is effective binding mechanism between them. Task cultures are to be found in project teams, marketing groups and marketing oriented organizations, where the emphasize is on getting the job completed. Such cultures are flexible, adaptable and dynamic, nut operate most successfully in dynamic and confident environments and markets. Role cultures are found in where the key relationship is based on authority and the superior-subordinate style of relationship and key purposes are order, stability, permanence and efficiency. Pioneering cultures exhibit constant questioning of the ways in which things are done, continuously seeing new markets, projects and opportunities.
Entrepreneurial cultures are based on the creativity, dynamism, vision, energy and enthusiasm of the entrepreneur who may nonetheless lack the organizational and behavioral expertise necessary to sustain a permanent and continuing enterprise. Entrepreneurial cultures are based on enterprising individuals who work within organizations rather than create their own. These archetypes are very seldom found in isolation. In practice, most organizations have features of each. Conflict – how to prevent the conflict, how to reduce it.
Conflict exists in all situations where individuals and groups are in disagreement with each other for whatever reason. This potential therefore exists everywhere, where two or more people are gathered together and therefore in all forms of organization. The following levels of conflict may be distinguished: argument, competition and warfare. Conflict can both be positive and healthy, such as argument, or destructive such as warfare.
Most organization conflict can be traced back to one or more of the following: competition for resources; lack of absolute standards of openness, honesty, trustworthiness and integrity; lack of shared values, commitment, enthusiasm, poor motivation and low morale; unfairness, unevenness and inequality of personal and professional treatment; treatment; physical or psychological barriers; inability to meet expectations and fulfill promises; expediency and short termism, the nature and structure of work and finally the people involved.
The strategic approaches to the management and resolution of conflict are based on the framework which: recognizes the symptoms of the conflict, recognizes the nature and level of the conflict, recognizes and understands the sources of conflict, investigates the root causes of the conflict, establishes the range of outcomes possible and establishes the desired outcome.
The desired outcome removes the symptoms of the conflict by addressing the causes rather than vice versa. Effective strategies for the management of conflict vary in content between organizations and situations, however the main lines of approaches may be outlined as follows: attention to standards of honesty and integrity; attention to communication; attention the hopes, fears, aspirations and expectations of all those who work in the organization; attention to the systems, procedures and practices, the establishment of organizational purposes common to all those present in the organization; the establishment of a universal identity and commitment to a purpose; the removal of the barriers that exist between departments and divisions; the establishment conformism based on the creation of desired means and methods of participation and consultation, and fused with absolute standards of honesty and integrity.
These are the main organizational behavior approaches required to address and tackle the sources and cause of conflict. The key to the effective management of conflict lies in recognizing that it exists and in creating conditions allowing for constructive, open, honest debate without escalating into competition of warfare types of conflict. Information – obtaining it and using it in business. Full information enables organizations and their mangers to reduce uncertainty, analyze levels of risk, maximize chances of success, minimize chances of failure and assess the prospects and likely consequences and outcomes of particular courses of activity. It enables projections to be made for the organization as a whole and for each of its activity. Summary positions are often established under the heading of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or SWOT; these are most effective when related to the organization as a whole, to its markets, to its backers and stakeholders and to its competitors.
Effective planning is based on full information. Effective planning is a process, the purpose of which is to arrive at and retain continued clarity of direction. It involves the analysis of the information, thinking it through, testing ideas, examining what is possible and what is not. More specific schedules, practices, operations, activities, aims and objectives all then come from this body of knowledge and the understanding which arises from analyzing it. The purpose of management information systems is to ‘oil the wheels’ of the organization, providing means for the effective transmission, reception and general communication of information. These systems provide the basis for effective general business practices and are specifically aimed at enabling sound decision making.
Nature of leadership
Leadership is the core of all managerial and supervisory activities. All those in managerial positions have a leadership function and all those in leadership position have managerial responsibilities. The following different types of leader may be distinguished: traditional leaders whose position is assured by birth and hereditary; known leaders whose position is secured by the fact that everybody understands their pre-eminence; appointed leaders whose position is legitimized by virtue of the fact that they have undergone through a selection, assessment and appointment process; bureaucratic leaders whose position is legitimized by the rank that they hold; functional or expert leaders whose position is achieved by virtue of their expertise; charismatic leaders whose position is based on the sheer force of their personality; informal leaders whose position is maintained by virtue of their personality, charisma, expertise or command of resources, but whose position is not formally legitimized by rank, appointment or tradition.
Three broad leadership styles may be distinguished: autocratic, consultative/participative and democratic participative. The autocratic style of leadership is characterize by close supervision; conformist coercive environment; great demands placed on staff, whose interests are subordinated to those of the organization, and who are treated without regard for their views; questioning is discouraged and leader makes all final decisions for the group.
Consultative/participative style is characterized by total communication between leader and members; unspecified ways of working; leader being accessible and developmental, making decisions after consultations with the group, retaining responsibility and accountability for results and finally encouraging questioning. Democratic/participative style is characterized by decisions made by the group, by consultation or vote; members bound by the group decision and support it; members contributing to discussion; development of coalitions and cliques and assumption of leadership roles by chair.
The benefits that accrue to the participative/consultative approach are the following: communication, satisfaction, supervision, understanding, barriers tend to be broken, and objectives are more likely to be encompassing various stakeholders. Ineffective leadership style is based on ruling with an iron hand; punitive approaches to problems; criticizing others in public; seeking scapegoats from among the group; insisting that everything is done the leader’s way; lack of general consideration or empathy.
A number of common functions of leaders in organizations, which may be found in all directorial, supervisory and managerial roles are the following: setting, agreeing and communicating objectives; providing suitable equipment, resources and environment to enable people to meet their objectives; monitoring, evaluating, reviewing performance; appraisal of groups and individuals; giving feedback; setting standards of attitude, behaviour and performance; solving problems, operational and human.
Administering rewards and punishments; dealing with grievances and discipline; organizing and harmonizing resources; ensuring inward flows of materials; ensuring that deadlines for outputs are met; taking effective decisions; developing the capabilities and performance of the group and its members; developing the efficiency and effectiveness of the group and its output; acting as figurehead and representative inside and outside the department; parenting. The main leadership roles include: figurehead acting as human face of a unit to the rest of the world; ambassador acting as advocates, problem solvers and cheerleaders; servant; maintenance, role model and ringmaster.