Essays on Management

Question

This Essay is based on 6 different business topics-
1-Management & Organisations
2-Functions in the organisation– Operations Management
3-Functions in the Organisation – HR
4-Functions in the Organisation – Internal marketing
5-Functions in the organisation – Management Accounting
6-Functions in the organisation – Ethics & professionalism.

The above are the topics. It is a 500words essay on each topic. You will get a journal article and it must be a scholarly peer reviewed journal that talks about each topic, that is what you would write the essay with.

Answer

ESSAYS IN MANAGEMENT

Contents

1.      Management & Organisations. 2

2.      Functions in the organisation– Operations Management 4

3.      Functions in the Organisation – HR. 6

4.      Functions in the Organisation – Internal marketing. 8

5.      Functions in the organisation – Management Accounting. 10

6.      Functions in the organisation – Ethics & professionalism.. 12

References. 15

1.   Management & Organisations

Bjorkman, I, Barner-Rasmussen, W Li, L 2004, ‘Managing knowledge transfer in MNCs: The impact of head quarter control mechanisms’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 35, pp. 443-455.

This article deals with the issue of how multinational organizations can manage knowledge transfer using headquarter control mechanisms. The authors examine how the goals of subsidiaries can be clarified through the use of expatriate managers as well as compensation systems. The objective is to show how this approach can enhance the competitive advantage of the multinational organization.

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The authors’ arguments are based on two theories: socialization theory and agency theory. The sample consisted of 134 Chinese and Finnish MNC subsidiaries. Bjorkman, Barner-Rasmussen & Li (2004) used face-to-face interviewed were carried out in which top managers of these subsidiaries were requested to respond to structured interview questions.

The main theme in this paper is the flow of knowledge within multinational organizations and how headquarters liaise with subsidiaries to facilitate this flow. Bjorkman, Barner-Rasmussen & Li (2004) argue that research on the strategies that MNC headquarters use to transfer knowledge to subsidiaries is lacking. They are of the view that MNC headquarters can adopt certain organizational mechanisms to successfully enhance the transfer of knowledge to subsidiaries.

The generally accepted view is that MNC headquarters have a critical role to play in how subsidiaries are managed. This article reinforces this view. This paper contributes significantly to a better understanding of this view by examining how different organizational mechanisms can be adopted to ensure that knowledge is transferred from headquarter MNCs to different subsidiaries.

The style of communication is very complex. The language used is not easy to understand. A reader must have some background knowledge on different theories of management, organization, and knowledge management to understand the ideas being expressed.

I have learnt a lot from this article. I now understand that many complex issues need to be addressed regarding the way organizations are managed. I have gained more knowledge on many abstract issues relating to knowledge management. Prior to reading this article, I did not understand the difficulties that managers of MNCs face in efforts to manage the transfer of knowledge from headquarters to subsidiaries.

A number of ideas highlighted in this article are of great organizational relevance. For example:

  • Managers of MNCs now understand how they can facilitate flow of knowledge and competencies to subsidiaries
  • Managers can appreciate the importance of sharing knowledge in order to build competitive advantage.
  • Companies can organize international training programs aimed at promoting the goal of knowledge sharing and transfer
  • Companies can establish international task forces that specialize in evaluation of subsidiary behaviour.
  • Information obtained regarding subsidiary behaviour can be used to identify areas where new knowledge should be provided.
  • The ideas made in this paper can also encourage managers of subsidiaries look for ways in which they can contribute to the overall wellbeing of the multinational company.

2.   Functions in the organisation– Operations Management

Schmuck, R 2010, ‘operations strategies’, Regional Formation and Development Studies, vol. 2, no. 7, pp. 133-141.

The topic that the article chosen deals with is operational strategies. In this article, the author sets out to show the role that operations management plays in efforts to plan and implement strategy. Schmuck (2010) presents a literature review, after which he provides ideas relating to the long-term planning efforts of a company. The objective of the paper is to identify operational strategies that companies should follow to achieve success.

In terms of methodology, Schmuck (2010) has relied on a deep literature review of books and articles that are viewed by mainstream economists. The author systematically chose those books and articles that address current issues in current management; namely, inventory management, Total Quality Management (TQM), inventory management, supply chain management, just-in-time management, and aggregate planning.

The main theme is the need for companies to build core competencies that are difficult for competitors to copy. Another argument is that companies should enter into strategic alliances as well as increase their size through internal growth or acquisitions. Arguments are also made in support of the need to put into consideration elements of time, economies of scale, wages, and flexible manufacturing systems. Schmuck (2010) opposes the idea of mass customization, arguing that the extremely high level of today’s competition does not allow for it.

Some of these arguments fit in with conventional view of corporate strategy. For instance, the idea of building core competencies is increasingly becoming popular. Companies are also looking into ways of adopting new methods and technologies to enhance productivity. However, the idea of mass customization still remains a dominant theme for most companies that operate in the international market.

 The way Schmuck (2010) presents his arguments is very easy to follow. The arguments are presented in very simple language. The author avoids jargon, complex diagrams, and charts that characterize most scholarly articles. The reader does not need to have prior knowledge of the topic to understand the arguments that the author is trying to make. He only needs to have a basic conceptual understanding of operations management.

I have learnt about the need to build core competencies by tailoring products and services to specific niche markets. I now appreciate the need to avoid mass customization as a way of dealing with the cut-throat competition that characterizes today’s global market.

The ideas located in this article are of great organizational relevance. The following are some of the ways in which this relevance is demonstrated:

  • Strategy plays a more critical role today than ever before. Examples from Nokia’s switch from mobile phones to mobile information techniques and Disney’s switch from cartoons to mainstream entertainment
  • Companies are advised on how to respond promptly to changes in the market
  • Companies are encouraged to generate generic strategies as a platform for determining possible strategic alternatives on the basis of competitive advantage
  • The issue of economies of scale is highlighted in the context of efforts to lower costs and maintain competitive advantage

3.   Functions in the Organisation – HR

Boselie, P & Paauwe, J 2005, ‘Human resource function competencies in European companies’, Personnel Review, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 550 – 566.

The article deals with the issue of human resource competencies in European companies. Boselie & Paauwe (2005) examine the relationship between HRM and organizational performance in Europe. They also examine the debate on HR roles during the last two decades. The role of the HR manager is also examined in terms of changes in expectations and efforts to change the HR function. 

Boselie & Paauwe (2005) collected survey data in 2002 through an initiative known as the global human resource competence study (HRCS) under the auspices of the University of Michigan. This web-based study targeted respondents from the European HRCS. Data from these respondents was subjected to empirical analysis.

The main argument is that there is a need for the position of the HR function to be evaluated in terms of its contribution to organizational performance. The main themes tie up the relationship between HR delivery, business knowledge among HR professionals, and strategic contribution of the HR function.

The generally accepted view on the HR function is that it plays a critical role in the overall organizational performance. Managers often argue that HR is the most crucial function in their organizations. However, their decisions and actions normally do not reflect this view. It is also widely held that the HR function is of strategic relevance in enabling organizations build sustainable competitive advantage. The article identifies specific competencies of the HR function that can facilitate long-term organizational sustainability. These competencies include personal credibility, HR delivery, and strategic contribution.

The article is fairly well written and easy to understand. However, a person with no prior knowledge of issues of HR function and organizational management may have difficulties understanding the argument being made.

I have a learnt two things from reading this article. The first one is the concept of personal credibility. The second one is that the HR manager should be an entrepreneur and a strategic partner who works with other organizational leaders to contribute to the overall sustainability of the organization.

This article is of great organizational relevance. For example,

  • It provides information on the need for the HR manager to possess business knowledge to be able to manage the HR function well.
  • It contains information on how HR managers can act as change agents for the organization.
  • Organizations are encouraged to focus not just on performance but also on long-term viability.

4.   Functions in the Organisation – Internal marketing

Rafiq, M & Ahmed, P 2000, ‘Advances in the internal marketing concept: Definition, synthesis and extension’, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 449 – 462.

This article highlights recent advances in discourse on in internal marketing. The article traces the origin of the concept of internal marketing and how it has evolved over the years. Rafiq & Ahmed (2000) also seek to determine how the concept should be defined in theory and applied in practice by business organization.

The concept of internal marketing is explored through a detailed literature review. The review focuses on how the concept has developed since its inception. Rafiq & Ahmed (2000) attempt to define the various phases that characterize the evolution process of the concept of internal marketing. In this analysis, efforts are made to synthesize literature as well as research trends and gaps. The paper also provides information on how different scholars have critiqued the concept of internal marketing over the years. The authors of this research paper have relied heavily on secondary research. In this research, scholars’ views regarding the need to create a coherent model of internet marketing are presented. On this basis, the paper makes recommendations on the most plausible research directions and managerial implications.

The main theme of the article is the evolution process of the concept of internal marketing (IM). Rafiq & Ahmed (2000) argue that there interrelated phases of evolution can be discerned in IM literature. The first phase is employee motivation and satisfaction. In this phase, the objective was to ensure consistency in the quality of service provided by employees. The second phase is customer orientation. Emphasis at this point was on interactive marketing, whereby emphasis was on the need to respond to customers’ needs. The third phase was characterized by efforts to broaden the scope of the concept of internal marketing. In this new conception, IM is being seen as a platform for strategy implementation.

These themes seem to be a reflection of generally accepted views regarding employee relations. It is true that employees are no automatons, hence the need to motivate them to enable them provide high-quality services to customers in a consistent manner. However, the conception of employees as internal customers is often taken for granted in many organizations. Many companies seem not to take notice of the unique marketing opportunities that employees provide. For this reason, the understanding of the IM concept remains unclear in most corporate circles.

Rafiq & Ahmed (2000) have used simple language to communicate their views. The article is well-structured and easy to read. The conclusions made seem to follow from the arguments made in the preceding sections. The authors have made a good attempt at highlight the salient issues arising from each of the phases of the evolution of the IM concept. The reader does not need to have prior knowledge of IM to understand the arguments being made.

I have learnt a lot about the need to communicate marketing strategies to employees as a way of motivating them. I now know that for employees to be satisfied, they need to appreciate the importance of their work in attracting customers. I also understand the importance of viewing employees as internal customers of the business organization.

The organizational relevance of this article is evident in two ways:

  • First, marketing managers can adopt a marketing like approach to motivate employees with a view to promote overall organizational performance.
  • Secondly, the study can be used by a marketing manager to develop step-by-step-guidelines on how to implement an internal marketing program.

5.   Functions in the organisation – Management Accounting

Yazdifar, H, Zaman, M, Tsamenyi, M & Askarany, D 2008, ‘Management accounting change in a subsidiary organisation’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 19, 404–430.

The paper deals with issues of change in management accounting in the context of parent-subsidiary relationship. Yazdifar et al (2008) seek to examine why and how managers of subsidiary companies oversee the emergence and maintenance of management accounting systems (MAS) and why these systems tend to change over time. The authors’ objective is to more away from the traditional research trend that embraces a static view of management accounting in the context of headquarter-subsidiary relationship.

A longitudinal case study is used to address the dynamics of management accounting at a UK-based chemical company following the introduction of rules and systems of management accounting at a new subsidiary. The theoretical framework in which this case study is hinged draws largely from old institutional economics as well as new institutional perspective. The core objective of using this blend of empirical focus and multi-theoretical framework is to make a unique contribution to management accounting literature.

In this case study method, the researchers rely primarily on interview data. However, they also make use of internal company documentation. To determine the reliability and validity of data, the researchers compare the results contained in interview transcripts with company documentation. The study period was eight years, in which 17 different individuals undertook 33 interviews, each of which lasted between one and two hours. Afterwards, email and telephone conversations were initiated as a follow-up strategy of clarifying the different issues arising during the process of analyzing interview transcripts.

The main theme is management accounting change. The context is a subsidiary organization. The core issue is on how subsidiary organizations interact with headquarters as part of change management efforts. Yazdifar et al (2008) argue that it is common for parent companies to impose their management accounting systems on their subsidiaries. Parent companies do this primarily by seeking to build congruence between their own accounting practices and those of their subsidiaries. Yazdifar et al (2008) argue that during this implementation process, political, institutional, and cultural factors must always be put in place.

This theme deviates from generally accepted views regarding inter-organizational interactions between headquarters and subsidiaries. It is assumed that once a parent company acquires a new subsidiary, issues of dominance by one division should not emerge. It is assumed that the parent company should provide directions regarding all organizational operations. However, this article creates the impression that subsidiaries may at times exert a certain degree of control over their operations, values, and overall organizational culture on the parent company.

The article is properly written although it seems that core themes are not coherently stated. The study seems to take a very wide scope, thereby impacting negatively on depth of analysis. Therefore, it becomes difficult to understand precisely the arguments that the authors are trying to make.

The most important thing that I have learnt a critical review of this article is that parent companies face numerous challenges in efforts to align their management accounting practices with those of their newly-acquired subsidiaries. They have to put into consideration numerous institutional, political, and cultural factors in these efforts. I did not know that headquarter companies must put into consideration aspects of institutional congruence when seeking to acquire new subsidiaries.

The organizational relevance of this article is based on the following views:

  • Parent companies need to reorganize operations in subsidiaries to promote uniformity in terms of values, practices, and beliefs.
  • During the implementation of change in management accounting systems, a parent company should put into consideration taken-for-granted assumptions and values that exist in the subsidiary.

6.   Functions in the organisation – Ethics & professionalism

Shafer, W 2009, ‘Ethical climate, organizational-professional conflict and organizational commitment: A study of Chinese auditors’, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1087-1110.

            This article examines the impact of the ethical climate in certified public accounting (CPA) firms in China on how auditors perceive organizational-professional conflict (OPC). Shafer (2009) also sets out to test for differences in the way ethical climates of international and local CPA firms are perceived. The objective is to determine how professional and organizational values tend to conflict in CPA firms.

            In this study, 167 professional auditors working with local and international CPA companies in China were surveyed. The study focused on those professionals working as seniors and managers. The researcher chose to use data that are part of a larger research survey. The components of this larger survey are described in detail in secondary sources, primarily books and journal articles. However, it is worthwhile to note that the findings of this larger survey are yet to be reported in any study. Different scale items in each of the OPC instruments and questionnaires were randomized. Participants responded to a six-point scale containing “completely true” on one end (1) and “completely false” on the other (6). Shafer (2009) also used the impression management scale to control for social response bias, which is common in studies that touch issues of ethical perceptions and judgments.

            The author argues that individual, local, and cosmopolitan climates have an impact on the way professionals perceive organizational-professional conflict (OPC). According to Shafer (2009), OPC is negatively correlated with affective organizational commitment. In other words, ethical climate tends to have on the extent to which auditors, accountants, and other accounting professionals remain committed to their organizations to their organizations. 

            It is generally accepted that auditors and accountants should always be ready to deal with challenges arising from OPC. However, this paper creates the impression that most of these professionals tend to be taken by surprise whenever these challenges arise. The themes discussed in this paper have enlightened me on the need to avoid overlooking any ethical conflicts that may arise in the organization.

            Shafer (2009) uses a highly technical style of communication. Someone who is not a specialist in issues of OPC and OC will no doubt have difficulty understanding the argument the author is trying to make. Nevertheless, it is evident that the author has communicated his ideas succinctly throughout the paper.

            I have learnt that it is important for managers in the accounting profession to appreciate the importance of ethical climate. I have also learnt that one of the defining elements of an ethical climate in an organization is the presence (or absence) of conflicts between the ethical values of the organization and those of the profession.

The ideas presented in this article are of relevance to the contemporary organization because:

  • They address real-life conflicts that arise in organizations as a result of differences in terms of ethics of the accounting profession and those of the organization.
  • They provide suggestions on how to promote organizational commitment by promoting the ethical climate of an organization.
  • The ideas also provide motivation for managers of CPA firms to put in place structures that promote compatibility between professional and organizational commitments.

References

Bjorkman, I, Barner-Rasmussen, W Li, 2004, ‘Managing knowledge transfer in MNCs: The impact of head quarter control mechanisms’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 35, pp. 443-455.

Boselie, P & Paauwe, J 2005, ‘Human resource function competencies in European companies’, Personnel Review, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 550 – 566.

Rafiq, M & Ahmed, P 2000, ‘Advances in the internal marketing concept: Definition, synthesis and extension’, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 449 – 462.

Schmuck, R ‘operations strategies’, Regional Formation and Development Studies, vol. 2, no. 7, pp. 133-141.

Shafer, W 2009, ‘Ethical climate, organizational-professional conflict and organizational commitment: A study of Chinese auditors’, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1087-1110.

Yazdifar, H, Zaman, M, Tsamenyi, M & Askarany, D 2008, ‘Management accounting change in a subsidiary organisation’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 19, 404–430.

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