Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    Management refers to the organization and coordination of work to produce a desired result. A manager is a person who practices management by working with and through people in order to accomplish his or her organization's goals. When you think of the term manager, you may be imagining your supervisor as he or she hires and terminates employees and makes major decisions above your authority. However, although you may not view yourself in this way, you yourself may also be a manager. In fact, many of us practice management skills in the workplace every day. You may have a team of employees that you manage, or lead a project that requires management strategy, or demonstrate leadership qualities among your peers. These are all scenarios that require you to apply the principles of management. In this course, you will learn to recognize the characteristics of proper management by identifying what successful managers do and how they do it. Understanding how managers work is just as beneficial for the subordinate employee as it is for the manager. This course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of management as they are practiced today. 

    Management began to materialize as a practice during the Industrial Revolution, as large corporations began to emerge in the late 19th century and developed and expanded into the early 20th century. Many large corporations during the early 1900s did not have any competition and thus dominated their industries. At the time, each employee was seen as a cog in a wheel - a useful yet expendable part of a business's operation. But the development of the assembly line in the 1910s and 1920s and the attendant automation of production processes drove changes in management strategy and required businesses to rethink how they managed their resources (i.e. their people, finances, capital, and tangible assets). The fundamental concepts of modern management were famously explored by Frederick Winslow Taylor, an American engineer who wrote The Principles of Scientific Management. Published in 1911 and based on research conducted by Taylor, the book's analysis aimed to couple the efficiency needs of a business with the specialized talents of its employees. Taylor's conclusion was that employees are almost always driven by the desire to earn money. Because businesses at the time had very little production capacity, the principles of management aimed toward driving sales by enticing employees with more money for increased production. As such, modern management's focus was on producing as much product as possible to meet consumer demand for goods and services. 

    By the late 20th century, automation, higher educational levels, and the push for speed had changed management practices, and businesses had by and large moved away from a top-down, centralized direction style and toward leaner organization with less regimentation. Nevertheless, Taylor's theories and their lessons remain important as a foundation for understanding how to manage large projects that require a variety of skills and a large number of workers. 

    This course will illustrate the ways in which the practice of management evolves as firms grow in size. Historically, middle managers have served as so-called "gatekeepers" who collect, analyze, and pass information up and down the management chain within an organization. But two recent developments at the turn of the 21st century - namely, low-cost data manipulation in computers and the emergence of widespread, real-time communication (in the forms of inexpensive, long-distance global calling, email, text messaging, and social media) - have reduced the need for these middle-manager gatekeepers, and companies have eliminated thousands of such positions. The goal? To speed the flow of information and decision-making and reduce the number of layers that separate the customer from the leadership of an organization. 

    This course is based upon the idea that the essential purpose of a business is to produce products and services in order to meet the needs and wants of the marketplace. A manager marshals an organization's resources (its people, finances, facilities, and equipment) toward this fundamental goal. In this course, you will explore the tasks that today's managers perform and delve into the key knowledge areas that managers need to master in order to run successful and profitable businesses.

  • Unit 1: What Is Management?

    In this introductory unit, you will begin your exploration of the practice of management. In human society there has always been a need for some degree of management in order to organize the efforts of individuals for the common (and individual) good. Even in very primitive times, gathering food, protecting against predators, and caring for the young required humans to coordinate and organize in order to achieve common goals.

    Put simply, the term management refers to the coordination of work activities through and with other people to accomplish the goals of an organization. In this unit, you will explore the various functions of management. Management involves not only coordination, but also planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Over the years, the common definition of management has become less specific, as managerial functions have come to include staffing, directing, and reporting. In modern companies, there are fewer layers of management, as today's organizations rely instead on the delegation of responsibilities and authority in order to achieve goals. As a result, today's managers now speak in terms of "leading" or "guiding" people, rather than giving instructions for every action.

    Management is both an art and a science, and ultimately you will need more than one course on management to fully develop your own management ability. Still, even if you have no aspirations to manage a team, you may need to lead projects, manage committees, and/or interact with managers. Understanding what makes a good manager is one of the biggest factors in the success of an organization and its employees.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 15 hours.

  • 1.1: What Is Management?

  • 1.1.1: Introduction and Doing Good as a Core Business Strategy

    • Read this section, which introduces the fundamental principles of management and provides an example of a real-world implementation of these managerial concepts. You may also find it useful to consider the exercise questions provided at the end of the reading. Be sure to click "Next Section" when you are done reading the introduction to read "1.1: Case in Point: Doing Good as a Core Business Strategy".

  • 1.1.2: Who Are Managers?

    • Read this section, which includes a discussion of the ten key roles that managers fulfill. It also establishes a framework for understanding the nature of the work that a manager regularly performs. Be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of this reading.

  • 1.1.3: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Strategy: A Manager's Guide

    • Read this section, which establishes the concept of leadership and makes a clear distinction between a manager and a leader. Review the concepts of leadership and strategy as well as the framework for implementing these concepts cohesively. As you read through the text, pay particular attention to the definitions for leadership, entrepreneurship, and strategy. Be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of this reading.

  • 1.1.4: Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling: The P-O-L-C Framework

    • Read this section, which reviews the P-O-L-C (Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling) framework. This framework outlines the four principle functions of management. Be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of the reading.

  • 1.1.5: Economic, Social, and Environmental Performance for Managers

    • Read this section, which reviews how managers analyze economic, social, and environmental elements to support the effective execution of customer service within an organization. Be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of the reading.

  • 1.1.6: Understanding the Performance of Individuals and Groups

    • Read this section, which explains how to distinguish between individual- and group-level performances. While there are indeed differences between the two, managers strive to make sure that individual and group-level performances are compatible. It may be helpful for you take notes that compare and contrast the distinctions between individual and group-level performances. Be sure to pay particular attention to the illustrative tables and graphs located throughout this reading. Also be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of the reading.

  • 1.1.7: Your Principles of Management Survivor's Guide

    • Read this section, paying particular attention to the concept of a managerial tool guide. This guide seeks to help you understand your own learning style so that you may more fully respond to and manage the learning styles of others. This material also provides you with an opportunity to apply what you have learned in your analysis of the gauge-discover-reflect process of managing, which should help you 1) identify your knowledge and capabilities about something; 2) obtain enough information about it so you can establish effective goals and develop a plan to work toward achieving those goals; and 3) examine the difference between what has happened and what should have happened in a particular situation. Be sure to complete the exercise questions at the end of this reading.

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: Why is it important to understand your learning style? Why does a manager need to be aware of an employee's learning style? What is your learning style preference? How can this information help you become a more effective learner?

  • 1.1.8: Management Principles throughout the Ages

    • Instructions: Read this article and consider the following questions: How is today's work environment different from that of the past? How did the division of labor theory change an organization's productivity? Do companies in the modern business world still embrace the classical approach, the qualitative approach, and the organizational behavior approach? If so, how?

  • 1.1.9: A Final Thought: An Alternative Perspective on What Management Is

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: What does management mean to you? What are some key functions of managers? Does your current manager, or a manager you are familiar with, effectively perform these key management functions? If not, why? What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

  • 1.2: The Role of Managers: What Do Managers Do?

  • 1.2.1: An Introduction to What Managers Do: The Four Functions

    • Read this section, which introduces the four functions of management and describes how they work together to provide a template from which managers draw in order to properly execute their workplace tasks. Be sure to click the "Next Section" link and read "6.1 What Do Managers Do?" after you have read the introduction.

  • 1.2.2: What Is the Management Planning Function?

    • Read this section, which introduces the process that an organization uses to create and implement strategic, tactical, and operational plans. Managers use these plans to provide a roadmap from which a company's business develops. Pay careful attention to the discussion of how to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, as well as the discussion on mission statements and establishing goals and objectives. Also be sure to review the text's treatment of contingency planning, a process that requires managers to identify an alternative route toward achieving a goal or objective. Finally, be sure to work through the exercises at the end of the reading.

  • 1.2.3: How to Organize People, Equipment, and Money

    • Read this section and focus on the discussion of the top, middle, and first-line levels of management, which will provide you with a better understanding of the various ways to organize a business and its correlating activities. The organizational charts in this reading provide an excellent backdrop for you to better understand the flow, coordination, and reporting relationships of the managerial model. Be sure to review this section's discussion of the authority of managers and the concept of delegation.

  • 1.2.4: Managers Have To Possess Great Directing Skills

    • Read this section and closely examine the foundational elements associated with leadership. This reading will further develop your understanding of what managers do to achieve organizational goals and objectives. This section also emphasizes how you can identify your own leadership style. Note that leading is sometimes referred to as directing. Keep this alternative term in mind as you progress through this course.

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: What is a manager? What is a leader? How do a manager's approach and a leader's approach set each role apart? Why does an organization need both managers and leaders? What would happen if an organization had only managers or leaders, but not both?

  • 1.2.5: Effectively Controlling the Environment Is a Management Essential

    • Read this section, which takes a close look at the five-step control process that is necessary for keeping a plan on target. After completing this reading, work through the exercise at the end of the section.

  • 1.2.6: Managers Need a Variety of Skills to Be Successful

    • Read this section, which examines the core skills that are essential to a manager's success. This reading also explores the process of solving problems in a business environment. An effective manager will face a variety of problems that require a decision. Some of a manager's decisions will be more successful than others, but the steps outlined in this process will help you minimize the possibility of a bad decision. Be sure to complete the exercises at the end of the reading.

    • Read this article and think about your own management style. Has your company used any of the assessments discussed in this essay? If so, have you taken any of these assessments? Have you ever been responsible for evaluating the assessment of another worker? Do you feel that these assessments are accurate measures of an individual's management skills and capabilities? Why or why not?

  • 1.2.7: The Role of Tomorrow's Leaders

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: What shifts in the modern business world have caused leadership roles to change? Can a focus on leading globally, building partnerships, being innovative, and collaborating enable leaders to be more effective? If so, how? As a leader, do you currently practice these four essential roles? Why or why not?

  • 1.2.8: Developing Influencing Skills

    • Read this article and think about your own influencing skills. Consider the different types of approaches you may use to suit a particular situation or individual. Do you generally employ a push or a pull strategy? Are you flexible enough to vary your style, as needed?

    • Read this article and consider the different techniques you use when you make a presentation or speech. As you prepare your presentations, do you consider the styles of other speakers? Which styles do you feel most suit your personality? After reading this essay, what steps will you take, if any, to revise your speaking style and employ different strategies when preparing your presentations?

  • 1.3: The Personal Side of Management

    • Read this section, which examines how the SAS Institute treats its employees and how this policy has affected the company. Being an effective manager requires more than just understanding concepts and principles. Managers have to be able to express a personal, softer side in order to achieve trust, commitment, and buy-in from those they manage. Basically, you have to show your human capital (your employees) that you care about them as people.  Be sure to click "Next Section" and read "2.1 Case in Point: SAS Institute Invests in Employees" after you have read the introduction.

  • 1.3.1: Identifying Your Personality and Values

    • Read this section, which examines the dynamics of personality traits and will help you to develop an understanding of how they impact workplace behaviors. In order for a manager to properly implement the P-O-L-C framework, s/he must be able to provide value within her/his own task executions, set the pace and tone to be followed in the workplace, and build relationships that support the greatest return on investment for both the employer and the employee. 

  • 1.3.2: Behavior = Values + Perception

    • Read this section, which will help you develop an understanding of the personal biases that you use in order to support how you go about making decisions for yourself and others. Be sure to carefully consider the bridge between your personal biases and your personality, and how the combination of this information can be used to make you a better manager.

  • 1.3.3: Workplace Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

    • Read this section, which describes how managers shape opinions, beliefs, and feelings regarding the workplace environment. Pay particular attention to the factors contributing to job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

  • 1.3.4: KSAO (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Other Characteristics) vs. Fit

    • Read this section, which discusses the concept of workplace "fit." In today's business world, it is not enough to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to execute the role and functions of a particular job - many organizations are relying more on fit. Fit refers to whether or not you have the personality and character dynamics to successfully integrate into the organization. In this section of the reading, you will explore how to identify several fit dynamics - e.g., person-job-position fit, person-organization fit, etc. You will also develop an understanding of how fit dynamics connect to and integrate with work behaviors. 

  • 1.3.5: Influencing Workplace Behaviors

    • Read this section, which examines the factors that have the strongest influence over workplace behaviors. In understanding these factors, a manager should be able to develop programs and a workplace environment that supports improved dynamics between the employer and the employees. Ultimately, knowing these patterns can help increase productivity within the workplace. 

  • 1.3.6: Developing Your Positive Attitude Skills

    • Read this section, which provides a guideline for cultivating and conveying a positive attitude in the workplace. Positive attitudes are contagious and will greatly affect productivity in your work environment.

  • 1.3.7: Workplace Personality Tests

    • Read this article and think about what, if any, personality tests are conducted by your organization. Have you taken a personality test, or given one to others? Do you believe that the five personality traits discussed in this reading accurately portray human beings? Why or why not? As society advances and new technologies impact our lives, will our personalities adapt and change? What about the possibility of individuals displaying different personalities based on their form of interaction? For example, will introverts feel more comfortable expressing themselves in an online environment? What other personality characteristics will be impacted by the use of technology.

    • Reflect on the Big Five Personality Test that you have just explored. What type of personality do you believe defines your individual preferences? Do you feel that your personality style has changed over time based on your experiences? Share your thoughts on these questions in the discussion forum by clicking the link above and creating a free account (if you have not already done so). Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

  • Topic 30

  • Unit 2: Historical Development and Globalization

    The more complex an organization and its operations, the more active a role management plays. Successful management imposes a degree of order and discipline so that work can be accomplished expeditiously, no matter what the size of the organization, how many countries it operates in, or how much of its work is performed virtually.

    In this unit, you will explore various theories of management throughout history, paying close attention to Frederick Winslow Taylor's scientific management theory, which was widely practiced in the industrial age of the 20th century. You will also take stock of more contemporary, 21st-century approaches to management, which tend to be better suited to organizations in knowledge-based industries (as opposed to those in manufacturing). Finally, you will begin to examine management from a global perspective.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 13 hours.

  • 2.1: A History of Management Theory

  • 2.1.1: The P-O-L-C Framework

    • Read this section for a brief review of the Planning-Organizing-Leading-Controlling (P-O-L-C) framework, which has been utilized by firms large and small throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This reading will also explore the case of the Hannah Anderson Corporation, and how the company has implemented the P-O-L-C framework to create a thriving clothing-import business. Be sure to click "Next Section" and read "3.1 Case in Point: Hanna Andersson Corporation Changes for Good" after you have read the introduction.

  • 2.1.2: Understanding Early Management Principles

    • Study this visual timeline of 19th- and 20th-century management and leadership theories.

    • Read this section to explore the thought process behind early management theory, with a particular emphasis on Henri Fayol's 14 principles of management. Pay close attention to these principles, as they have great applicability to contemporary management. You will also be introduced to a more recent management thought process spearheaded by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman in their book In Search of Excellence. Be sure to take detailed and organized notes on the principles and theories outlined in this reading.

  • 2.1.3: The Role of Social Networking in the 21st Century

    • Read this section, which explains why managers need to be able to identify social and political trends. These trends significantly shape how a manager performs his or her tasks and often dictate the foundational success of an organization. This reading also covers the evolution of social networking, from its origins as a way for college students to connect, to its present-day role as a viable, effective, and efficient way for corporations to utilize the viral nature of the Internet as a marketing tool. As you read, consider how social networking has blurred the lines between personal, professional, and business activities. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages for businesses using social networking.

    • Read this article and consider the growing ways in which you use email as compared with your use of email two years ago, or even five years ago. How much has your usage of email increased? Do you now rely on this method of communication more than you did in the past? How involved are you in social media, on both a personal and a business level? In your own work, are you often encouraged to use social media as a way to expand business opportunities?

    • Reflect on the social networking article that you just read. Is social networking, as a business activity, part of your workplace responsibilities? Do you feel that personal social networking activities are conducted too much during the workday, distracting employees from their duties? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on the discussion forum by clicking on the link above and creating a (free) account, if you have not already done so. Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

  • 2.2: Historical and Contemporary Theories of Management

    • Read this article and think about the differences between the early scientific and bureaucratic approaches to management. Viewing these ideas within their historical context, do you think the two theories could have co-existed, or was it only possible for a company to use one or the other? As you read about the advancement of management theories, consider the approaches used in your own organization, or another contemporary organization. Can you see business areas in which some of the older theories are being implemented? If so, do they mesh well with some of the more modern approaches being used?

    • Read this article and think about what you have learned in this course regarding personality types. What traits do you see in Taylor as a person that resulted in the development of his theories? Where did Taylor's ability to develop management theories fit in with his ability to come up with innovative inventions? Recognizing the fact that Taylor's theories may have been misunderstood or misapplied, do you see any modern applications and uses for his methods? Are any of these methods being used in your own organization, or another contemporary organization you can think of?

    • Watch this lecture by business consultant David Logan, who explains how and why we work well in so-called "tribes." Be sure to take careful notes as you watch this talk.

    • Reflect on some of the theories of management that you have just explored. Consider the management theories that are in operation in your own workplace. Do you believe that these principles are being effectively implemented? What other practices do you feel might be better suited to your work environment? Share your thoughts on these questions in the course discussion forum by clicking the on link above and creating a free account (if you have not already done so). Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

  • 2.3: Scientific Management Theory

    • Read this article and consider the Ford Motor Company's manufacturing processes prior to Henry Ford's implementation of the assembly line. Think about what might have occurred had Ford not hired Frederick Winslow Taylor to evaluate Ford's manufacturing methods. How did Ford's strategy of lowering automobile pricing - so that his own employees could afford to buy one of his cars - change the automobile industry, consumer behaviors, and the future of urban and suburban environments?

  • 2.4: A Modern Look at Management

    • Read this article and consider Henry Mintzberg's view of technology and email. Do you agree that these phenomena have a negative impact on a manager's effectiveness? What about Mintzberg's view that aiming for a specific goal can ultimately be detrimental to an organization's success? Also consider Mintzberg's view on creating sense of community within an organization. Does such a community exist in your own organization, or another contemporary organization you can think of?

    • Read this article and think about Henry Mintzberg's view that management is a result of an individual's experience and the situation in which that person finds himself or herself. Do you agree with this view? Do you, or those around you, manage based on this approach, or do you/they use a more scientific and structured method? In your experience, which approach has proven to be more effective? How do Mintzberg's management approaches complement or contrast with other theories discussed in you previous readings in this course?

  • 2.5: The Global Environment

  • 2.5.1: Business Is Going Global, and Management Has To Change

    • Read this section, which discusses why countries and corporations, both large and small, engage in international trade. With globalization in mind, pay particular attention to the different models and incentives for international trade and business cooperation that are discussed in this reading. Trade deficits and surpluses affect many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Think about how some of these determinants might impact the business market in your own country. Be sure to click "Next Section" and read "3.1 The Globalization of Business" after you have read the chapter introduction.

  • 2.5.2: Getting Involved in International Business

    • Read this section, which discusses the various challenges and opportunities encountered by companies as they engage in international business. When a company enters the global market, the application of management principles intensifies as the demands of stakeholders begin to take shape. This reading provides a road map to how companies expand internationally, emphasizing the importance of international licensing agreements and franchising opportunities. Pay close attention to how companies outsource manufacturing to other countries with lower costs of labor in order to maximize profits. And keep in mind that both domestic and international manufacturing options have advantages and disadvantages in regards to environmental conditions, skilled labor, financial incentives, and cultural differences.

  • 2.5.3: The Environment of Global Business: Cultural, Economic, and Legal

    • Read this section, which describes how to identify legal, political, cultural, and economic differences between two different countries. These are considered to be invaluable skills in the international business environment. Consider how business professionals utilize this information in order to increase organizational success. The concepts of language, time, and communication are also discussed in this reading, providing you with a basis for understanding how to improve your business environment while managing employees, resources, and capital. 

  • 2.5.4: Managing and Controlling Global Business

    • Read this section, which describes the ways in which governments and international bodies promote and regulate trade. You should be able to identify and discuss the various tools and policies that governments typically utilize to encourage economic growth. This information can be used by managers and leaders to make strategic decisions, including deciding if and when a business should expand on a global scale.

  • 2.5.5: Managing through Trade Barriers

    • Read this section, which provides insight on the various ways to minimize and/or remove trade barriers, a process that directly supports the concept of free trade among designated nations. One example of this idea is NAFTA - or the North American Free Trade Agreement - an agreement among the United States, Mexico, and Canada. This reading also introduces you to initiatives that countries and international organizations are taking to bridge the gap between developing and developed economies, allowing rapid growth in emerging markets and encouraging competition on a global scale.

  • 2.5.6: Global Enterprise Management

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How has the spread of globalization provided growth opportunities for businesses? On the flip side, how has globalization challenged businesses? Does the company you work for, or one you are familiar with, implement the three management strategies mentioned in the reading? If yes, how so? If not, do you think these strategies could help the company excel as a global enterprise?

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How important is globalization to Coca-Cola's success? How did Coca-Cola begin its globalization journey? What specific practices supported Coca-Cola's goal to be the best beverage company in the world? How did Coca-Cola's global marketing strategies, product differentiation, and technology efforts support the company's desire to grow globally?

  • 2.5.7: Global Management on a Local Level

    • Read this section, which describes how to apply global management practices to variations within local business contexts. To navigate to the next section, click on the arrow key at the bottom of the page, or click on the link to the section in the left-hand table of contents. 

  • Topic 47

  • Unit 3: Organizational Culture, Diversity, and Ethics

    In this unit, you will look at organizational culture and how it provides a company with its own workplace climate and personality. Organizational culture includes attitudes, values, and work styles which, when managed properly, can lead to a highly productive workforce.

    A diverse workforce brings together people from different backgrounds. Each individual brings his or her own experiences and expertise to the table. The blending of these backgrounds can enhance productivity by allowing for the free flow of new ideas and creativity. This unit will explore the importance of a diverse workforce, and how managers can make the most of their employees' individual knowledge and approaches in order to reach corporate goals.

    Management sets the tone not only for a corporate climate; it also sets the standard for personal behavior. In this unit you will also learn about the importance of ethics - that is, "doing what is right" or "doing the right thing." In light of recent major business scandals borne out of unethical behavior, almost all business schools have devoted aspects of their curricula to the study of ethics. In order to understand how to apply ethics to different circumstances, you must understand how ethics can vary based on differences in society, culture, and politics. There are a number of different philosophies purporting to explain how to apply ethics to decision-making, but none of them are absolute. However, understanding these various philosophies can help you reach workplace decisions that are more ethically grounded.

    This unit will conclude with an exploration of business ethics in the modern-day workplace environment. An organization and its managers have duties - including legal and ethical responsibilities - that they must uphold as part of their service to their stakeholders, including investors, vendors, employees, and the communities in which the organization operates. 

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 16 hours.

  • 3.1: Corporate Culture

  • 3.1.1: Work Culture Case Studies

    • Read this article, which explains how Yahoo! changed its corporate culture by eliminating its previous policy encouraging telecommuting and enforcing a new, stricter workplace policy that requires all employees to work on site in company offices. Consider how this change may impact productivity at Yahoo!, as well as how it may set a precedent for work cultures in other organizations. This case study will introduce you to some of the dilemmas faced by corporations and managerial staff in the 21st century.

    • Read this section, which briefly introduces the world of Google. As a real-life business application of the concepts you have learned in this course, this description of Google provides you with an understanding of how a modern, rapidly expanding company creates its own organizational culture. Be sure to click the "Next Section" link and read "8.1 Case in Point: Google Creates Unique Culture" after you have read the chapter introduction.

  • 3.1.2: Why Managers Need To Understand Organizational Culture

    • Read this section, which discusses assumptions, values, and artifacts as they apply to organizational culture. You will learn how to identify elements of organizational culture, as well as develop an understanding of why it has become such an important aspect of a manager's success. This reading also includes a discussion of the multiple layers of organizational culture that exist, and how you can better understand and interpret each one. 

  • 3.1.3: How Managers Can Measure and Identify Organizational Culture

    • Read this section, which explains the seven dimensions of organizational culture and discusses how to use these dimensions to identify the impact of cultural strengths within an organization. The goal of studying this information is to help you better recognize the roles and functions that a manager must fulfill in order to make a successful impact on productivity - which, in turn, further supports the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. Carefully examine Figure 8.6, which provides an illustrated profile of organizational cultures.

    • Read this article, which explains the essence of corporate culture and the different types of cultures that exist within organizations.

  • 3.1.4: How Managers Form and Maintain Organizational Cultures

    • Read this section, which discusses strategies that will assist you in better understanding organizational culture in the workplace. Several of the key points in this reading are expressed through visual models in order to help you understand how to create and maintain a productive culture within an organization. 

    • Listen to this audio clip featuring former Shell Oil executive Anita Burke, who considers controversial issues that have led to dramatic changes in corporate culture.

  • 3.1.5: Managers Have To Be Aware of Organizational Cultural Changes

    • Read this section, which introduces a six-step process that managers can use to support and implement cultural change. As an organization grows and develops, so does its culture. A manager must be prepared to assist in adjusting organizational culture as needed. Pay careful attention to this model for change, especially under the headings in the text titled "Creating a Sense of Urgency" and "Role-Modeling."

  • 3.1.6: Check Yourself: Do I Fit In?

    • Read this section, which further elaborates on the idea of employee fit. Usually, when a company makes a decision to employ someone, it should be understood that the hiring managers have taken the time to assess the candidate's ability to fit within the structure of the organization. This reading provides insight that will assist you in making similar decisions about an organization you may be joining. You should focus on how to proactively assess an organization's environment in order to determine whether or not your skills, personality, and character dynamic fit well into the structure of the organization. This reading will cover the key factors that you should consider prior to joining a new organization. 

  • 3.1.7: Building Organizational Culture in a New Business Venture

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How important is a company's culture to its bottom line? How do the eight guiding principles mentioned in this reading foster a positive company culture? Does the company you work for, or one you are familiar with, have a positive company culture? If yes, how so? If not, how do you think implementing these eight principles could help change the culture for the better?

    • Reflect on the article about company culture that you have just read. Consider a company you have worked for, or one that you are familiar with, in which the culture was a positive one. What were the aspects of this culture that made your experience positive? On the flip side, have you ever experienced a negative company culture? How did you deal with this negative environment? Share your thoughts on these questions in the course discussion forum by clicking the link above and creating a free account (if you have not already done so). Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

  • 3.2: Diversity

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How important is it for an organization to incorporate diversity into every facet of its business? Why have many businesses chosen to adopt only a couple practices in support of diversity and change? What do all five examples of diversity champions have in common? How do you think their outstanding diversity efforts have contributed to their success?

  • 3.2.1: Managing a Diverse Workforce

    • Read this section, which explains how diversity is changing the workforce.

    • Read this section, which includes a discussion of the challenges and benefits of diversity, and the tools you can use in your work as a manager to address various aspects of diversity.

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: What is the impact of changing demographics on the workforce in New Zealand? And, as demographics change worldwide, how should organizations respond in terms of their hiring practices? Do you think the outcomes of this case study could be applied to other industries besides education? In conjunction with the findings within the education industry, do you think that educating all employees about diversity is beneficial to a business's success? If so, how?

    • Read this section, which discusses cultural identity and how to better analyze culture in the business world using Dutch researcher Geert Hofstede's framework. Study this information with an eye toward uncovering ways to address cultural impact on organizational behavior and learning how to become better equipped to make management decisions associated with culture (filtered through an understanding of diversity, as mentioned in the previous reading).

    • Read these sections, which discusses how to integrate the concepts of culture, diversity, and ethics into a cohesive thought process that can be used to support national and international management decisions. Be sure to click "Next Section" after reading Section 3 to read Section 4.

    • Read this section, which provides a case study of the workplace environment at IBM. Think about how models and concepts of workforce diversity might apply to IBM and its efforts to promote a positive, fulfilling, and challenging work environment for its many employees.

  • 3.2.2: Generational Diversity

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How prevalent is generational diversity in today's organizations? What are some of the differences between each generation group? How important is it for a person to know his or her own generational tendencies as well as the generational tendencies of coworkers? What generation group do you belong to, and what generational tendencies do you notice in your own behavior? How do these tendencies affect your interactions with others?

    • Reflect on the article about generational diversity that you have just read. What, if any, impact does generational diversity have on your own workplace? Are younger, more technologically comfortable employees tolerant of older employees who may not possess as many technological skills? Have you observed the reactions of older employees to new technology, and if so, how did these employees deal with those changes? Share your thoughts on these questions in the course discussion forum by clicking on the link above and creating a free account (if you have not already done so). Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

  • 3.3: Business and Managerial Ethics 101

  • 3.3.1: Defining Business Ethics

    • Read this section, which describes managerial duties in the workplace. Managers have a number of responsibilities when they take on the role of overseeing the resources of a company. As they carry out their tasks, mangers must be ready and able to apply the core elements of ethics in the workplace. Be sure to click "Next Section" and read "2.1 Misgoverning Corporations: An Overview" after you read the chapter introduction.

  • 3.3.2: An Individual Approach to Ethics for Managers

    • Read this section, which describes a variety of ethical approaches that managers can utilize in the workplace. In this reading, you will learn the necessary steps that a manager must use when making an ethical decision, as well as how to solve a particular ethical dilemma or ethical lapse. Be sure to carefully review all the information presented in this section, especially the "Key Takeaways" presented at the end of the reading.

  • 3.3.3: Identifying Ethical Issues

    • Read this section, which describes how ethical issues affect managerial decisions. Many business scandals revolve around individuals in powerful management positions who have made decisions laced with unethical behavior. In this section of the reading, you will learn how to analyze ethical behavior in order to appropriately address potential concerns as they may arise. Focus in particular on concepts such as integrity and bribery, which help provide an ethical framework on which to base your managerial decisions.

    • Read the section and then review table on business ethics issues. After thoroughly studying these two resources, consider the following questions: Of the twelve ethical lapses mentioned in the article and table, which one is the most frequently broken in your own workplace? What actions might an organization take to fix these unethical behaviors? Do you think unethical behaviors are becoming more common in the workplace? If so, why?

  • 3.3.4: Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

    • Read this section, which defines corporate social responsibility and provides an introductory discussion about the numerous responsibilities that corporations carry out in service to their stakeholders.

  • 3.3.5: What Is Environmentalism?

    • Read this section, which highlights various ways in which companies have adopted green environmental manufacturing processes. Managers are often responsible for working alongside engineers and scientists in order to establish and implement improvements that lead to a more environmentally friendly mode of output. New movements toward sustainability and clean energy have pushed corporations and small businesses to minimize the negative effects of production on their surrounding environments.

  • 3.3.6: Responsibilities to Stakeholders

    • Read this section, which introduces the five stages of corporate responsibility.
    • Read this article and consider the following questions: Who are the shareholders and stakeholders of a business that you are familiar with? What is the primary source of conflict between shareholders and stakeholders? Why is stakeholder responsibility so important? How does following the five stakeholder principles lead to stakeholder satisfaction?

  • 3.3.7: Making CSR Work for All Stakeholders

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: How important is CSR to you as a consumer and a business professional? How can CSR positively and negatively impact a company? Do the benefits of CSR activities outweigh the drawbacks? If so, why?

  • 3.3.8: Ethical Issues and Considerations

    • Read this section, which describes how unique business cultures help to shape the professional lives of managers and employees. Codes of conduct and verbalized expectations are of tremendous importance in the 21st century, as they help raise awareness about the issues and business practices that are of greatest concern to an organization. In this section of the reading, you will learn how companies use a variety of means in order to promote ethical leadership. You will also see how a clear and concise code of conduct can act as a significant asset to an organization.

    • Read this article and consider the following questions: What is values-based leadership? How is values-based leadership different from other leadership styles? Do you know any values-based leaders? If so, do they apply the key values-based leadership qualities noted in this article? In what ways do these leaders apply these qualities?

    • Watch these two short videos featuring Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP). Fiorina introduces some important points to consider when approaching company ethics, including the long-term advantages gained by a company that emphasizes ethically based work.

    • Read this article and think about examples of ethical companies you are familiar with. How do these companies compare with the companies discussed in this reading? If you work for a company with strong ethics and values, how do you feel about working for this organization? Does your company have a code of conduct or code of ethics? Next, think about how you feel when you purchase products or services from companies with good ethical reputations. Also consider companies you are aware of that have exhibited poor ethical behavior; as a consumer, how do you feel about purchasing products or services from those organizations?

    • Read this article and answer the following questions: Does corruption exist in society today? If so, where? How widespread a problem do you consider corruption to be? Does the organization you work for, or one you are familiar with, implement any of the anti-corruption actions noted in this article? How can you make a difference in the war against corruption?

    • Read this article and consider how international laws and US courts provide jurisdictions over human rights violations. What position do you think the US Supreme Court should take on this issue? How can international entities, such as the United Nations Global Compact and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, continue to have a positive impact on corporate global human rights policies?

  • Topic 69

  • Unit 4: Leadership and Teams

    Throughout this course, we define managers as people who work with and through other people to accomplish the goals of an organization. One important managerial function we have not yet touched upon is motivation, or the ability to persuade and inspire others to commit to an organization and its goals. A good leader must be a good manager if he or she wishes to get a lot accomplished. In order to get work done, managers must often foster collaboration between employees so that individuals with different skills from different parts of a company can successfully contribute to projects. The concept of collaboration has evolved into the practice of creating teams comprising specific individuals with complementary skills who gather around a common purpose. This purpose might include accomplishing a specific task, addressing a particular problem, revising an internal company process, etc. 

    The term teamis used so frequently today that the meaning of this concept is often diluted. Still, contemporary companies and organizations rely on the efforts of different kinds of teams, and many times an organization will pull together teams with members scattered over multiple geographic locations - including, even, multiple countries - in an effort to bring together the skills and competencies needed to address a significant task. 

    One of the key roles of any manager is to establish the goals and purposes of a team and to select appropriate team members. From there, the team will - more or less independently - work to accomplish its purpose under the supervision of a leader, who must organize and manage the team effectively. 

    What does a successful team look like? Would you be surprised to know that the best teams actually experience conflicts? In fact, conflict can be a productive force capable of generating new ideas and multiple options for consideration. The key is to avoid letting professional conflict spill over into personal relationships, a task that is difficult to achieve without careful study and practice. In this unit, you will look at the different stages of group development in order to learn how to create a successful team and avoid the common pitfalls of working with a team. 

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 12 hours.

  • 4.1: Leadership

  • 4.1.1: Management vs. Leadership

    • Watch this short video for a refreshing view on the definition of leadership and the impact leaders can make on the lives of others.

    • Watch this lecture for a motivational message on what makes leaders great.

    • Read this article, which features an interview with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Deborah Ancona. After finishing the reading, consider the following questions: Should all leaders throw away their old models of leadership? Which of the four capabilities discussed in this article would you consider to be of greatest importance? Or, should all capabilities be given equal importance? Why or why not?

  • 4.1.2: Leaders and Leadership

    • Read this article and consider whether or not you agree with Mr. Immelt's argument that leadership may have no shelf life. Do you feel that it is necessary for GE, or any large organization, to continually change its leadership strategies? Are some strategies universal and time-tested? Do you think that any of the 10 qualities of leadership stand out more than others? Or, should they all be given equal weight? Why or why not?

  • 4.1.3: Common Failures in Leadership

    • Read this article and consider Warren Bennis's ongoing references to William Shakespeare. Do you agree with Bennis's premise that people purposefully choose to avoid negative comments? Or, is our aversion to negativity an unconscious act? What do you think of Bennis's theory that we do what we believe we should without considering whether or not we are moving toward what we desire?

  • 4.1.4: Management's Power and Influence

    • Read this section, which introduces you to the concepts of power and politics as they are considered within the business world. This reading will closely examine Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple Inc., and the ways in which he used a variety of power strategies to achieve business success. 

    • Read this section, which addresses the meaning of power. Power ultimately can be considered to be one's ability to influence others, a skill that all managers need to possess, regardless of their level of management within an organization. This reading also discusses the negative and positive consequences of power as it is used by managers.

    • Read this section, which discusses and defines different types of power. As you are learning about these different types of power, keep in mind that all managers have a dominant style of power - that is, a style they are most comfortable with. But if a manager relies only on utilizing one type of power, he or she may find him- or herself in situations in which his or her management loses some of its effectiveness. A good manager has to develop an understanding of all types of power, and then use this understanding to shape how he or she will respond within any given situation.

    • Read this section, which discusses how to interpret, manage, and prioritize organizational politics. As you will see, lack of opportunity often leads to feelings of contempt and jealousy in the workplace. One example provided in this reading is the absence of upward mobility within a given company. If employees believe there is an absence of these opportunities, they in turn may perceive the organization as being overly political. This reading offers you strategies to help minimize the politics within your organization and promote a more harmonious environment.

    • Read this section, which emphasizes the benefits of working towards improving internal and external social networking. In today's management environment, no one should overlook or underestimate the power of social networking. As you read, focus on the discussion of social networking as it applies to management, as well as the reading's analysis of social networking's influence on an organization's ability to remain relevant within the marketplace.

    • Read this section, which examines how ethics and culture impact power. Having power without the ability to exercise some level of control will inevitably lead to a variety of ethical challenges. This potential for the misuse of power increases significantly when a company makes the decision to conduct business globally. Regardless of the setting and field in which a business operates, an organization should consider how power is harnessed and applied, and how it can be used to minimize or eliminate cultural or ethical challenges.

    • Read these sections, which review the tools necessary to create a thriving work environment. Earlier in this course, you were introduced to the concept of social networking and its impact on an organization's ability to remain competitive and relevant. As you read this section's real-life application of social networking, keep in mind that before you can actually apply any of these concepts in an organizational setting, you have to first understand how these concepts impact you individually. Too often individuals mismanage themselves and prematurely claim to possess the tools needed to properly manage strategic business environments. Throughout your studies in this course, you should be applying important concepts to your own business studies and analyzing how you can use this information to achieve individual success in management. Be sure to click the "Next Section" link after you read Section 8 to be taken to Section 9.

  • 4.2: Teams

  • 4.2.1: Case Study: General Electric Allows Teamwork to Take Flight

    • Read these sections, which discusses the concept of teamwork through an analysis of GE's employee practices. Once you have completed the readings in this unit of the course, you may want to return to this case study and reexamine it to solidify your knowledge of concepts related to teamwork. Be sure to click the "Next Section" link after you read the introduction to be taken to "13.1 Case in Point: General Electric Allows Teamwork to Take Flight".

  • 4.2.2: Managing Group Dynamics

    • Read this section, which discusses both formal and informal group dynamics. Pay particular attention to the foundational model of team and group development. There are a number of other models for team development available, but the Tuckman model is one of the most popular in today's business world. This reading also introduces a more radical approach to understanding groups and teams - known as punctuated equilibrium. This model of team-building is based on the idea that teams go through periods of stability and periods of rapid change. What happens during these alternating periods is what makes this approach to managing teams so unique. 

    • Read this article, which explains team and group formation and development. Pay particular attention to the section describing the five stages of group development.

  • 4.2.3: Identifying the Characteristics of a Team

    • Read this section, which identifies the main characteristics of a team. Note that a group and a team are not always one and the same. This reading discusses the foundational distinctions that differentiate the two. Make sure you fully understand these differences before you move on to the next reading.

    • Click on the link above and read the collection of articles under Section 6.1 ("Defining Teams and Teamwork"). Start with the sub-section titled "Defining a Team" and read through the sub-section titled "Differences between Groups and Teams." You can navigate to the next sub-section by using the "Defining Teams and Teamwork" navigation bar on the left-hand side of each sub-section webpage. This resource describes the components of teams and groups, along with the pros and cons of effective teamwork.

  • 4.2.4: How Do Managers Organize Effective Teams?

    • Read this section, which discusses how managers strategize when forming teams. Establishing team norms is an essential part of the team-building process. This reading covers how to host team meetings and how to use various strategies in order to efficiently and effectively guide a team.

  • 4.2.5: Managing the Barriers to Effective Teams

    • Read this section, which examines some of the common challenges that managers typically face when presiding over workplace teams. After reading this section, consider the following question: How have some of these concepts been applied to some of your own workplace situations? If you have never participated in a team, look at some of the case studies presented in this course with the goal of applying the specific insights presented in this reading. 

  • 4.2.6: The Areas of Team Development

    • Read this article and consider Dr. Lafair's process for team formation. Think about whether or not this process can be consistently successful. Might there be situations in which team development might not ever get to the perform stage? Might there be situations in which a team might be consistently successful, yet not reach the transforming stage? What situations might render the transforming stage ineffective?

  • 4.3: Team Management