Kenneth Udut Self-Assessment and Chap 2 Lecture Questions
Bureaucracy appears to be low on my list of priorities. I ended up a “7”. I don’t particularly mind the bureaucratic structure, so long as it works smoothly, but anytime it infringes upon my internal sense of right/wrong, it grates against me, and I blow up in some way or another – usually silently. Yet, a free-flowing environment would appeal to me better, so long as there were things understood in common. (which often means writing them down, and once things are written down, they get codified. And once things are codified, they become procedures. Procedures can turn into a bureaucracy if the original mission is lost.)
- “The development of management thought has been determined by historical times and societal conditions.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Discuss.
I agree with the statement. Adam Smith came up with the description of division of labor, which led to assembly lines. The Industrial Revolution brought people form working in their homes, to working in factories, and also gave new meaning to division of labor by having machines starting to do many of the repeated tasks that people had previously done.
- Why is it important to understand the different perspectives and approaches to management theory?
Many of these perspectives and approaches are today used, and have shaped the way even “modern management” techniques do things, whether these “new” management styles acknowledge the originals or not.
- What approach to management thought is most appealing to you? Why?
Organizational Behavior appeals most to me, because it seems to see people as adults, rather than as automatons. It brings the people-aspect back to the job, rather than the machine-like view of people, inspired by the Industrial Revolution’s machinery.
- Can a mathematical (quantitative) technique help a manager solve a “people” problem, such as how to motivate employees or how to distribute work equitably? Explain.
Absolutely! Motivation can be inspired by goal-setting. The basis for the goals that are set can be generated by a computer analysis of the current workload and the maximum potential workload per person, and finding a figure that is somewhere inbetween as the goal, just as one example. [we’ve done this at work for sales reps who get paid based on number of prescriptions they get doctors to write for particular products. We figure out how much the maximum potential is, and goals are set based on this maximum – the rewards showing up in the paycheck].
That is just one example.
- How might an individual’s age, career stage, geographical location, and organization size affect his/her needs as described in Maslow’s hierarchy?
Younger workers, early in the career, especially living on their own for the first time, may have more Physiological needs – get food on the table. Bigger organizations may fulfill more of the social needs, although less of the self-actualization needs – whereas smaller organizations may have the flexibility for a person to achieve self-actualization.
- What are the common assumptions of motivation theorists Maslow, McGregor, and Herzberg regarding worker motivation? What are the implications for managers?
Hygiene factors correspond to Theory Y correspond to Self-Actualization. They’re all quite positive in their view of humanity’s needs. Managers need to recognize that workers have needs that need to be fulfilled, whatever level those needs may be at.
- What are some personal traits you think might be useful to a leader? Would these traits be more valuable in some situations than in others? Explain.
Honesty and Integrity, Drive, and Intelligence are most important to me in a leader. Honesty and Integrity provide solidity; Drive is the motor, and Intelligence is the brain. Other factors are also important, but those three are what I like in a manager. With Honesty and Integrity, a leader gains people’s trust. Drive is the leader’s ‘motor’, especially during tough times – which also gets the followers going during tough times. Intelligence (with a dash of entrepreneurship) helps a leader navigate – it is the rudder that steers the boat.
- This chapter’s lecture highlights “generations” of workers. Why are the characteristics of these “generations” of concern in the field of management? Which leadership style, autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire, would seem to work best with each “generation?” Why?
Each generation has different expectations, which is what makes it a concern for managers trying to bring people together on a common goal. Autocratic might appeal more to the Silent Generations, democratic to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. Laissez-faire may appeal also to Gen-Xers.