company evaluation, management homework help

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Attached is the discussion instructions along with the required reading material (chapter 1 and 2) that is needed to complete this discussion post. Please ensure that you read the instructions carefully. There is a minimum of 250 words. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Select one of the companies below and conduct some basic research. • • • • • British Petroleum (BP) Facebook Hyundai Dunkin' Donuts Netflix a. State what you believe is the distinctive competence and core competence of your selected company. b. Give an example of how the values and mission statement help to shape planning. Also give some internal and external factors that may influence the business in the future and explain how they will influence the business. Respond substantively to two other learners c. Complete a SWOT Analysis for your selected organization; applying each of the categories in evaluating the company. Guided Response: Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Introduction to Management: Achieving Form through Function Fuse/Thinkstock Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to: • • • • Describe an organization. Define the concept of management and describe various management roles. Explain the five management functions. Recognize key historical figures and their contributions to management theory. 1 Introduction Chapter 1    1.1 Introduction Many people think management is primarily concerned with supervising employees, or that it constitutes an obscure set of practices invented by corporate experts in high-level positions within an organization. Some might associate management with certain entrepreneurs, such as Andrew Carnegie, founder of U.S. Steel; John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil; Ray Kroc, the driving force behind McDonald’s; Sam Walton, who created the Walmart empire; or others such as Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and current executives in other well-known corporate giants. Instead, a more fundamental view suggests that the management discipline consists of a set of five specific functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. These five functions are part of a body of practices and theories carried out by successful managers. You will learn more about these five functions in this book. We want you to understand that although research and theory form the basis of management, a more comprehensive view includes the other practices that managers use to implement these theories. Typically, managers direct their organizations while researchers evaluate how they operate and apply various theoretical perspectives. The analysis of individual management practices and theories can be used to create innovative new methods, theories, and approaches. As theorists try to bring some meaning to how management affects overall organizations, the purpose and practical applications for the various management theories are contained in the five functions. Understanding these five functions and the underlying support theory behind them is the starting point for becoming a successful manager. Chapter 1 introduces several important concepts of effective management and leadership. Each concept serves as a building block to help you understand and apply the five functions of management. In this chapter, we define management and explain the nature of an organization. We explore the nature of various types of organizations and examine historical figures along with their contributions to management theory. The following “Management in Practice” box might help you begin to understand the role of management in an organization’s success through the application of the five functions. MANAGEMENT IN PR AC TICE Costco: Successful Management of the Five Functions The world of retailing includes an endless number of small stores, chains of units offering specific product lines, and “big box” outlets that dominate many markets. Within this mix, Costco has located and maintained a unique niche over the past several decades. Even as the past decade presented several major challenges to the retail industry, Costco has grown and thrived. What is the secret to this success? Part of the answer can be found in the application of the five functions of management. In the planning process, a simple mission drives the entire company. Costco seeks to keep prices low, sales volumes high, and ensure that employees are satisfied with their jobs and happy to be part of the organization. Several key company policies serve to support this mission. For example, (continued) Introduction Chapter 1 the retailer, while large in scope, offers a more limited line of products on shelves when compared to other big-box stores such as Walmart or Target. Each item can therefore be priced at only 14% or less above its wholesale cost. This approach limits the amount of profit made on actual sales, but the company offsets these discounts through its membership fee program, in which customers pay an annual fee of $55 to shop in the store. Also, company managers constantly examine changing conditions in the industry to make sure the organization is ready to respond. The organizing function in Costco consists of a simple, straightforward approach. Individual jobs are clearly defined for individual employees. Departmental activities are well spelled out and communicated, leading to no overlap in activities or functions. Clearly established lines of authority and responsibility have existed for many years, giving every member of the company a sense of direction with a solid understanding of his or her role in the company. Costco takes a unique approach in the area of staffing. Rather than hiring business school graduates directly out of college, the organization’s human resources department selects and promotes employees who have worked in stores and warehouses and sponsors them to take graduate-level business courses. Also, the executive team recently acknowledged that managers in the top tier of the Costco organization were all aging. In response, the organization has begun an active program of “succession planning,” designed to ensure a smooth transition into the next generation of leaders (Stone, 2013). As you will learn in the section of this book dedicated to leading, several key activities are involved. Among them, motivational programs constitute a primary factor. Costco’s management team, led by its cofounder Jim Sinegal, constantly emphasizes employee satisfaction. According to Brad Stone from Bloomberg Business Week (2013), Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 per hour, which does not include overtime. Remember, in the United States the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. By comparison, Walmart reports its average wage for full-time employees in the United States to be $12.67 per hour. Further, Costco offers an extensive health insurance program that covers nearly 90% of its employees and a 401(k) retirement plan. These benefit programs are superior to those the competition offers. In turn, the management team at Costco expects that customer satisfaction will be a high priority. The basic philosophy suggests that happy employees will treat customers well; in competitor stores, less well-paid employees are more likely to be surly and disinterested. Newly designated CEO Craig Jelinek, who assumed his position in 2012, has been observed to practice the same no-nonsense approach to leadership. To the relief of employees at every level of the company, this includes a strong level of empathy and concern for the rank and file that had been established by Jim Sinegal. Costco continues to refine the company’s control system. Store managers continually monitor sales of individual items, removing those that do not fly off the shelves. When an innovation fails, it is removed. For example, an experiment with self-checkout lanes similar to those offered by other retailers was deemed ineffective. As a result, the machines were taken out. Activities are assessed at every level of the company and corrections are made as needed. What does the future hold for Costco? The challenge of Internet shopping continues to grow, because the coming generation of shoppers appears to be more comfortable with—and actually prefers the web to brick-and-mortar stores. In response, Costco has tried to improve its online shopping system. Also, tense relationships with some manufacturers, including Apple, Sony, and Panasonic, will require additional consideration. Future growth may be tied to international expansion. The company’s plans include building new stores in France, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. At the least, you can expect Costco to continue applying its unique approach to the five (continued) Introduction Chapter 1 management functions in order to deal successfully with a fast-paced, demanding retail environment (Stone, 2013). Discussion Questions 1. Have you ever shopped at Costco? How was the experience different from that at other big-box stores? 2. Do you think other retail chains would be wise to offer higher wages to employees? Why or why not? 3. Can you think of another company that manages its operations in the same way as Costco? Organizations Every day, you encounter numerous organizations. Now you are taking a class from an educational organization; later you may visit a grocery store. Those who stop to pay parking tickets encounter a local government organization. In a modern, postindustrial society, interactions with organizations shape the nature of daily living, including maintaining your home, being part of social and religious groups, and making a living. An organization is a collection of people who work together and coordinate their actions to achieve a wide variety of goals or desired future outcomes. The purpose of any organization is to serve a social need. Organizations take the forms of profit-seeking (or business) organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies. Organizations are driven by a mission to accomplish a set of agreed-upon goals: • an economic goal (a profit-seeking entity) • a social good (nonprofit entity) • the general public’s welfare (government entity) Profit-seeking organizations (also known as for-profit or business organizations) deliver goods and services that offer value to consumers in exchange for money, normally expressed as sales and other revenues. Profit-seeking companies offer products and services to consumers, other companies, and to governmental organizations. Other organizations have different concepts regarding their purposes. Nonprofit organizations are created because there is an expressed social need. Typically, donations are solicited to maintain nonprofit organizations. Sometimes society doesn’t need what an organization produces, and the organization fails. Governmental organizations serve different purposes, including maintaining order, providing universal services such as roads and fire protection, and regulating commerce. Governmental organizations generate revenues through taxes and fees. In this book we examine primarily business organizations, how they operate, why they were established, and the reasons some fail while others thrive. The feature box “Organizational Characteristics” discusses other characteristics of organizations. Introduction Chapter 1 Organizational Characteristics Organizations display six distinct characteristics. Each of them must be found within a group of people in order for that collective to be considered an organization. The elements found in organizations include the following: • Membership consists of more than two people. One-person organizations do not exist. • People in the organization routinely interact. In today’s society, interactions take place in a variety of ways: face-to-face contact, in group and team meetings, and via the use of numerous technologies. These interactions can be as basic as written memos and notes but also can include recent innovations such as the Internet, websites, email, social media posts, and others. • Tasks are divided among members (division of labor). In the coming chapters, we will look at the ways jobs are designed and how the tasks of individual members are coordinated to achieve various goals. At the least, an organization includes dividing up jobs and then combining them to accomplish specific outcomes. • Someone is in charge (a hierarchy of authority). Even the most basic, rudimentary organization has a leader. As organizations grow in size, the hierarchy of authority becomes more complex. In the coming chapters, you will be exposed to the ways in which organizations are designed to develop lines of authority and responsibility. • Activities are coordinated among members. Through the use of devices such as planning programs, motivational systems, and the efforts of leaders, members are encouraged and taught to work together to achieve larger objectives. • Members share a common purpose or goal. Every type of organization has an overarching goal that all members seek to achieve. This characteristic is seen in business or for-profit organizations, nonprofits, and governments. Organizational Origins Consider how a for-profit business organization might get started. A lone farmer purchases a plot of land and is now ready to start planting on it, hoping to make a profit and providing healthy, farm-fresh produce for the surrounding community. At this stage he has not yet established an organization; he is just one man with a plot of land and some seeds. For his farm to become an organization, he will need to decide how much produce he wants to sell and the nature of the market—which consumers in the community will buy the produce. He also needs to know who his competitors might be, because a farm down the road could be selling the identical assortment of vegetables that he’s planning to market. The farmer will also need to assess how much capital, or money, he has, and how much he will need to sustain the business. When thinking about the financial cost, he must take into account how many resources he will need to operate the farm— human resources and general resources such as tractors, planting materials, and water. After hiring the needed human resources, including a manager to oversee the employees, the farmer’s goal becomes to make a profit on the produce that he sells. This is a simple example of a for-profit business organization in an early stage of development. With the right management—and with good planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling—it could become an even greater success than the farmer initially imagined. If that turns out to be the case, he will need to focus on how to progress with the changes that occur as his organization grows. You will learn more in this chapter and throughout this book about how to keep an organization profitable and relevant. The following facts apply to organizations. Think about them as you study the topics in this book. Management Roles Chapter 1 • Most organizations are small, consisting of fewer than 200 members. • Most organizations are short lived. Only 15% of business organizations survive more than two years. • Organizations go through life cycles: They are born, grow, mature, decline, and many then die. • Organizations are social systems. The people within them determine the eventual outcomes.   1.2 Management Roles Management theory is the study of the overall management process. The term management has a variety of definitions. Our approach suggests that management consists of all the techniques that are used to lead the human resources in an organization to become productive. To do so, an organization’s manager must efficiently and effectively carry out the primary management functions. A manager is responsible for helping to achieve an organization’s goals and desired future outcomes. Managers also supervise employees and seek to make the most of an organization’s other resources. Management specialist Peter Drucker (1909–2005), one of the most influential theorists on the subject of management and practice, wrote articles and books exploring how humans are organized across society with regard to business, government, and the nonprofit sectors—the main sectors that organizations encompass. Drucker once said, “Management in turn, is the organ of the institution. It has no function in itself, indeed, no existence in itself” (Drucker, 1985). In essence, management cannot exist without an organization. One of Drucker’s most famous books, The Concept of the Corporation (1946), analyzes General Motors as a large social institution involved with business activities. He describes the nature of management, how organizations select managers, how managers act, and how an organization is structured into units of management such as divisions or sections. Drucker has also examined and explained the role and position of large organizations in a modern society in his writings. Even Claremont Graduate University/Associated Press though these important and influential works were written over a ▲▲Management consultant Peter half century ago, many of the management theories and methods Drucker (1909–2005). continue to be practiced today. His ideas greatly influenced the business world, because at the time, management was not considered the most significant part of an organization. The theory during Drucker’s time was that the president or the chief executive of an organization would give orders, and others would simply follow. Drucker shifted the focus of management to include the study of human interactions within an organization, the flow of information, the decision-making process, and managerial autonomy, because he believed these factors could greatly influence an organization’s success. In today’s Management Roles Chapter 1 world of organizational practices, Drucker helped us understand the central importance of the manager’s role; in essence, managers are absolutely crucial to the success of any organization. Managerial Levels Even though managers function in similar ways, each of them performs different tasks and operates on different levels within the organization. Organizations typically have three levels of management: front-line managers (supervisors), middle managers, and top managers (executives). Let’s take a closer look at these three different types of managers. Front-Line Managers or Supervisors Front-line managers, or supervisors, carry out and direct the daily activities of the organization. Front-line managers work in the various divisions, operating units, or departments to assure the short-term goals of the organization are achieved. Front-line managers may have varying titles, including • office manager • department manager in a retail store • production line leader or foreman in a manufacturing plant • head server in a restaurant • director of accounts payable/ receivable • crew chief on an airline flight Moodboard/Thinkstock ▲▲As a front-line manager a construction site foreman would provide direction to on-site workers and be responsible for implementing building plans. These managers deal with short-term operating decisions and oversee the daily tasks of nonmanagerial employees. An example of a front-line manager is the supervisor in an automotive parts company. Suppose this supervisor is responsible for overseeing the employees who work within the distribution division of the organization. She is responsible for making sure the parts are distributed to the correct locations and to the customers who ordered them. More specifically, if a large shipment of 5,000 parts were to be sent to one of the organization’s best clients, the front-line manager would be the person responsible for making sure the order was correctly filled. Serving as a front-line manager often becomes the first step of a managerial career. If a supervisor does well and is successfu ...
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