Contemporary Issues in American Business Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

business and social climate places a myriad of pressures on managers to obtain their objectives. While the defined purpose of the organization, or mission statement, is meant to keep the organization on track toward justifying its existence, and achieving its goals, the modern manager is also a leader, and must exercise concern for how the organization reaches their goals. The most basic motivation of keeping one's job is not enough to build and maintain a career. The manager who tells the boss what he or she wants to hear, juggles a few figures, shortchanges customers, shortcuts quality control procedures, or exploits workers may think he or she is getting ahead, but eventually the long-term effects on such an individual will create a career which lacks the integrity, and honor which the organization can rely upon. This individual who does not show long-term commitment to results is a candidate for a reassignment or at least an arrested career. Such a person leaves an ominous and unanswered question hanging in the shadows of his career. "Is this person's organization going to do the right thing and is the organization is going to remain effective and combat ready?"

The commander of a carrier group is responsible for four basic areas of supervisory, and leadership oversight:

The hardware entrusted to his care, and paid for by U.S. citizens.

His men, who are building careers, have families, as well as who have volunteered to fight for their nation.

Political responsibility to superiors within the military and civilian sectors

Social impact of his duties.

The realities of the changing climate of business, society, and personnel are placed within this balancing set of priorities of the group's purpose.

The billions of dollars of hardware, and technology over which the commander has responsibility have a single and controversial reason for its existence. That purpose is to effectively deter the advancement of military force by hostile political organizations. Effective deterrence means:

constant state of readiness of men and machines.

Willingness, state of mental readiness of all staff and troops.

If necessary, prosecution of a military conflict in such a manner to bring swift, and complete closure in as direct means as possible, while protecting military and human assets.

There is nothing in the scope of the commanders operations that does not follow a path toward those three goals. Because the efforts of the carrier group commander do not only oversee the use of, and disposition of war machinery, but also govern and lead the human assets which must successfully prosecute any deterrence and war effort, the commander must also focus his efforts on managing the staff and enlisted men in order to keep them in a constant and thorough state of readiness. In this aspect, the manager is looked to as a leader to provide a moral compass, as well as day-to-day operational direction for an organization.

There are five functions of leading which places as much value on managing people and materials as it does on the leadership aspect of bringing a large group into the prosecution of a war effort. They are planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and establishing moral code or expectations. Planning consists of setting goals and deciding on courses of action, developing rules and procedures, developing plans, and forecasting. All these must take place within the larger context of the orders placed on the commander from his superiors. Organizing involves, identifying jobs to be done, training and selecting people to do them, delegating or pushing authority down to subordinates, establishing a chain of command, and coordinating the work of subordinates. These system of leadership would remain ineffective without also having a from the bottom up ladder of accountability of everyone involved in the carrier group to fulfill no more and no less than his or her respective role.. Leading means influencing other people to get the job done, maintaining morale, and managing conflicts and communication. Within the military, much of this area is effectively established by the training that goes on for new recruits, boot camp, and the traditions of the military. The idea of establishing a corporate culture is more clearly understood as maintaining the high standards of the United States military, and leaving behind our actions a reputation for success, honor, and integrity which is consistent with the standards of those who have gone before. Controlling is the function of management that involves setting standards of operations and standards fro the outcome of a mission.

The fifth function of military management is establishing the moral and ethical structure within which the commander leads. Within the military, this dynamic takes on additional meaning. The end of successful campaign means that men and women can loose their lives; materials, cities, and even countries can lie in ruins. Successfully prosecuting a military campaign, at its most basic level, means that our forces overcome, and defeat hostile opposing forces. There is no management principle, other than right triumphing over wrong, good triumphing over evil, that justifies these action. And to this end, the commander must perform every aspect of his position with the realization that immoral, unjust, or dishonorable actions will not bring about moral, just, and honorable conclusions. While in the public business sector, profit, and maintaining a job position is the highest motivator for ongoing success. In the military, however, profit is not an aspect of the position. Faithful stewardship of materials paid for by others is a similar consideration, but that is not the same as the need to create profit in order to continue the organization. The motivation for military personnel is not the continuation of a job. This job will continue, as the military will continue. "Getting Fired" is not a consideration, apart from stepping outside of well defined boundaries. So the motivation to do an excellent job is that of moral duty, and honor.

Managers, or leaders frequently find themselves having to make tough decisions that involve making choices between conflicting sets of values, and such is true of the commander. The decisions are made within a social context and there is always a dynamic exchange between managerial actions and society. Thus, the focus for the modern manager, whether in the public or private sector, must be on practical decision made in the business environment and the criteria by which the soundness of those decisions are to be judged. This leads to the third and fourth areas over which the commander has responsibility, which is his actions as defined within the political and social spectrums.

The political arena is defined by competing thoughts and principles by which men and women exercise influence and gain power. In the American system, because the citizens elect the leaders, the public assembly also desires to influence over governmental decisions and policy. It is in this arena that the clearly defined goals of the military purpose, and the time honored history of duty, honor and faithfulness become murky amidst the shifting public sentiments.

The basic meaning of corporate social responsibility is that a corporation should be held accountable for any of its actions that effect people, their communities, and their environment. As discussed, the commander of a military battle group has the responsibility, if called into an engagement, to prosecute a war effort, the results of which are destruction of life, property, environment, and possibly the culture of another political entity. This reality cannot be easily justified with the principles of civilian life, and the guidelines by which civilians measure their own success. The measure of private sector, civilian corporate social responsibility are their philanthropic contributions, acting as a steward over community concerns, and encouraging employee volunteerism to pursue the same goals.

In practice, to engage the military in these types of missions undermines the moral, ethic, and honor under which the men and…

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