Part 6.1. I would seek to change the cognitions of the employee in order to change the affects and the behaviors. The cognitions underlie the other two traits, so any change must start with the underlying values and beliefs. It is important for managers to have an understanding of organizational behavior because managers are responsible for guiding that behavior in directions that support the organization's objectives. Knowledge of OB is more important at lower levels because those are the managers that must deal directly with the organization's rank and file. Higher level managers dedicate more time to strategy formulation and environmental analysis, which involves setting directions for the organization, but the lower level managers are the ones that must implement the strategies and that means dealing with the human elements of the organization.
2. Of the four components of emotional intelligence, the one that I feel is most important for managers today is motivation. Managers today must constantly motivate employees to perform acts, to subscribe to organizational culture and to back organizational change. The ability to get results from others is the single most important task in modern management.
3. I am a hands-on learner. I learn best through physical means, through doing tasks. It is through this means that I can best understand the ways that things work. By understanding how I learn best I can do two different things to improve my learning. The first is to focus learning on the style by which I learn best. Also, though, I can work on learning through new styles, to make me more flexible with respect to how I learn.
Part 7.1. Trait theories of leadership are based on the idea that good leaders have certain personality traits. People are born with certain traits, and some traits are suited to leadership. Behavioral theories of leadership are based on the idea that good leaders demonstrate certain behaviors. Essentially, the difference is between the idea that leaders are born and the idea that leaders can be made (Changing Minds.org, no date).
2. Transformational leadership is leadership that is focused on bringing the organization into new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking and new norms of behavior. There is an implicit process of getting from one state to another associated with transformational leadership (Ibid). An organization that is undergoing a strong change process needs a transformational leader. An organization in a stable environment where success is determined by incremental improvement needs a transactional leader. An organization that is uninspired, unmotivated and has little sense of purpose needs a charismatic leader.
3. Level 5 leadership is different from servant leadership because it is the combination of deep personal humility and intense professional will (Collins, 2001). While Level 5 leaders are humble, they are not doormats, and they are the strongest members of their organization. Collins argues that not every leader can become a Level 5 leader. He characterizes the Level 5 seed as something that is a personality trait that allows the leader to be relatively free of ego, something that many leaders with all of the other traits of great leadership simply are not.
4. Leadership is critical in flatter organizations, because the lack of hierarchy makes leadership a more ill-defined concept. It is easier for an organization to be rudderless in a flat organization because managers and employees have fewer people to look to for leadership. Some leadership styles are better suited to hierarchical organizations, for example a transactional leader, because the company that needs a transactional leader does not require strong, multilayer leadership -- a hierarchical organization will suffice.
Part 8. 1. The program has been successful at reducing accident rates because it provides an incentive for workers to conceal accidents. This type of program may also convince workers to take safety more seriously but it is questionable whether or not the presence of a financial incentive would be more powerful than the strong disincentive of injury. It is more likely that the accidents are being covered up than being prevented.
2. I would rather work for a manager high in need for achievement. I have a sense of achievement that is best matched in a leader. Leaders that need affiliation may not be as concerned with performance, but they will also want too much of my time, which hurts my career progress. Managers in need of power have little benefit as they would prevent me from accumulating power, again stunting my progress.
3. Empowerment leads to higher motivation because satisfies a need for personal achievement. Without empowerment, achievement is difficult. Given that achievement is one of the most powerful motivators, empowerment can unlock this powerful motivator. This leads the employee to a higher level of achievement than would be reached if the employee did not gain anything from personal achievement or was unable to achieve.
Part 9. 1. The elements of the communication process are the message, the messenger, the receiver, the encoding, the decoding, and the channel. A teacher is the messenger, sending a message about the trait theory of leadership. The students are the receiver. It is encoded in English, using the channel of spoken words. The students then must hear the arrangement of words and understand them as intended by the speaker.
There are several barriers to upwards communication. These can include power distance, lack of channels, lack of willpower on the part of superiors to initiate communication, a perceived lack of need, and there are physical barriers. Managers that are off-site in particular are difficult to communicate with. However, even when on-site the culture of the organization may prohibit upward communication and there may not be adequate means by which to make such communication happen.
In a program to make managers better communicators I would discuss channels and other potential barriers. I would also discuss how to foster such communication -- how to ask for it, and when. I would discuss the need to view issues from the perspective of employees, and how to listen to them. Managers must ensure that they are able to receive the messages that the employees are sending, but they also need to ensure that the employees are receiving management's messages properly. Thus, I would also include an element assessing the organization's communication capabilities. With these elements in place, managers can become more effective communicators.
Part 10.1. Operations management relates to the issues surrounding the production of goods or services. For manufacturing and service organizations both, it is applied to the process by which products and services are created. This includes activities from design, procurement and production.
2. Lean manufacturing is that by which waste is minimized. Essentially, all resources expended should directly contribute to the manufacturing process. Other resource usage is discouraged as much as possible.
3. Productivity is the amount of output relative to the organization's inputs. This term can be used in reference to goods or labor. Managers seek to improve productivity because it lowers the cost of production and reduces waste. Managers seek to improve productivity through technological innovation, through new process designs and by using more efficient materials.
4. The value chain is the means by which the company adds value to a good or service. A simple value chain would be when a painter turns a canvas and some paint into a work of art. It is important to monitor the value chain of the company because this is the core area from which the company's profits derive. Should the value added in the value chain be reduced, the company's profitability could be put into jeopardy. Cost advantages can disappear, the profit margin could be squeezed and the company could be overtaken by competitors. It is also worth examining the value chain to understand which activities fall outside of the value chain. The costs associated with those activities should be minimized, because they are not directly adding to the means by which the company makes money and achieves success. So a value chain analysis is also a valuable tool to help identify waste within the organization.
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