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Overview and Learning Objectives
Due October 23 Critical Response Paper
Critical Response Paper Assignment
DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT, EASTERN TIME ZONE, USA Monday, October 23, 2006
? The vast majority of the companies that undertake downsizing neglect to build and support their human resources.?
Choose an article from one of the following sources of information: peer reviewed journal, major newspaper, trade publication, internet source.
The article should describe and discuss downsizing undertaken at an organization. Based on your article and your understanding of the class discussions and readings on downsizing, write a four page, double spaced paper that supports or refutes the above italicized statement on companies and downsizing. Discuss all major components of downsizing and their effect on human resources. Be sure to include parenthetical citations where appropriate. Include a title page (your name, date, title of article (cited), module number and course & instructor name)-does not count as one of the four pages.
Submit your document as an rtf or doc attachment in the correct place in the Module 2 written assignment space. Do not simply summarize the article but use it to support your case.
Maximizing Personal and Collective Performance
: Learning Objectives & Overview
Key Element Description
Module Maximizing Personal and Collective Performance
Overview In the Innovator Role, leaders must recognize that companies need flexible structures in order to respond to rapidly changing new demands. Managers respond to change by adaptation, receiving continuous feedback from the outside and aligning the organization with the external environment. They do this by engaging in boundary spanning and environmental scanning.
The major challenge in the broker role is managing cultural adaptation and orchestrating the integration processes between networked organizations. They must also build trust with outsiders, manage interfaces, create win-win situations for both companies and engage in negotiations.
This new style of management requires managers to ask the kinds of questions that will encourage staff to solve problems on their own and make decisions on their own. Leaders must be skilled at managing disorder.
Leaders as directors are vital for the success of non-bureaucratic, team
-based organizations. Self-managed teams
do not mean the elimination of supervisory tasks, but simply a transfer of those tasks to the team
Objectives Mastery of this module will enable you to:
Identify and acquire the critical success factors for external networking;
Identify and apply strategic responses to environmental uncertainty;
Understand and apply the new transitional roles of management issues associated with the hypereffective manager;
Apply and understand critical leadership roles with self horizontal team
Learning Activities Class Discussions & Critical Response Papers
Short Essay Examination
Belasen, A. (2000) Leading the Learning Organization, Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press
Subject: Strategic Change
Source: Belasen, A. (2000) Leading the Learning Organization, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press
Adjusting to the Environment: Adaptive Responses and Organizational Change
In the Innovator Role, leaders must recognize that companies need flexible structures in order to respond to rapidly changing new demands. When an organization has a good read of the environment, but no way to respond to the changes, the organization is strategically passive. Organization will know what its competitors are going to do in advance in the marketplace, but they have no understanding how to handle the situation. Some companies have a clear strategy and effective planning but are unable to use them because their competitors are unknown and their position within the market is unclear.These companies will resort to incremental changes that at best follow patterns from the past rather than the profound changes that are need to transform the organization into the future.
The biggest challenge to organizations is an environment that is scarce, dynamic and complex. This kind of environment has high
uncertainty and there is a low tolerance for errors. Demands are unpredictable and environmental factors must be constantly monitored. If an environment is more complex, organizations must become decentralized, push down decision-making; professionals enjoy more autonomy in their work but they are subject to rules and standardization.
If the environment is dynamic, organizations are faced with short product life cycle, uncertain sources of supply, and high
labor turnover. The organization cannot predict, and therefore, cannot achieve coordination using standardization of work products. The organization becomes more organic. It must be flexible to adjust to competitors.
Managers, in responding to this kind of environment, adapt by receiving continuous feedback from the outside and they align the organization with the external environment. They do this by engaging inn boundary spanning and environmental scanning. Effective leaders transform the entire organization with the right attitude and right questions. They must create an awareness of the need to change and enhance the organizational ability to adapt. High performance
leaders act as if they are the conductors orchestrating the change process but without specifying a particular approach. They must set new performance
standards to realign the organization with its environment and hold unit managers accountable for fundamental changes. Managers at higher
levels think and act strategically. They examine the dynamics and changes that happen along the value chain of the organization; initiate internal and external networking; and create and maintain horizontal linkages that integrate people and units along the value chain.
Linking the Organization: Information Technology and Networking
The major challenge in the broker role is managing cultural adaptation and orchestrating the integration processes between networked organizations. The high performance
leader must deal with pressures to terminate a networked alliance when conflict arises. They must also build trust with outsiders, manage interfaces, create win-win situations for both companies and negotiate. These leaders recognize that trust takes time. Therefore, leaders must create a work climate that encourages mutual respect and transforms the organization into one that is more flexible and adaptive. This means that they must negotiate linking programs, and have the competencies to succeed in boundary management. These leaders must find organizations to complement their organization and make the two stronger than either alone.
Top-level managers must link organizations, coordinate key players in the network, and monitor the flow of resources across the organizations. In addition, they must make sure alliances run smoothly and that information across organizations is shared as part of the value chain. As organizations increasingly rely on technology, technology itself will change the way managers manage people. It adds more variety to way people work, but the use of technology means that there could be a risk of dehumanizing workplace since people to people interaction is now over the computer. Thus, broker managers will face a special challenge with electronic organizational linkages. They must now possess both technical and communication skills.
Consequently, there are issues with the application of IT and its effect on complex interpersonal relationships. Direct communication is now transformed outside of the chain of command by e-mail. Some researchers argue that information technology supplements traditional face-to-face communication with its emphasis on speed, outreach and efficiency (CMC-computer mediated communication). Others have argued that it can be used as a buffer and reduce communication relations and transactions. The psychosocial need of people to talk face to face, receive nonverbal cues, immediate feedback is eliminated by CMC. Others take the opposite view. They see use of CMC and its ability for top managers to by pass the chain of command and speak directly to front line staff and their supervisors as making middle manager redundant. Top management using IT can communicate directly to teams
, minimizing time and reinterpretation. This changes power dynamics of workplace. Yet, the motivating principle of external networking is powerful. Interdependence boosts speed and quality and close customer-supplier relationships trim costs. While quality management techniques spread throughout companies using IT as suppliers use their technological expertise to boost firm performance
. Networking can be seen as an alternative to vertical integration.
Living with Corporate Downsizing: The Hypereffective Manager
Downsizing companies can be caught up in a destructive pattern of temporarily improving the status quo, but these productivity gains do not last. Cutting without adequate restructuring of work must be replaced with common sense. Organizations that are downsizing must reorganize to provide more customer value and productivity not to simply eliminate jobs. Although empowerment and self managed teams
have rendered middle managers less valuable, their knowledge about and loss of organizational memory and their contribution to informal communication networks is indispensable.
The traditional bureaucratic organization relies on maximizing efficiency so it adopts a system of centralized control through vertical hierarchies and functional departments. It uses horizontal differentiation, standardization of work processes and formalization (rules and policies; training and coordination;). By doing this management reduces uncertainty and achieves effective integration. Middle managers in traditional roles exercise positional power to get greater compliance with goals and strategies by lower levels. They provide clear direction and common patterns of behavior that reduce ambiguity and uncertainty. As producers, managers are gatekeepers who translate the goals and strategic plans of the upper levels into operational goals that are clear and understood by lower levels in the company. They respond to reports and questions for clarification from lower . These managers are sensitive to demands for accountability and responsiveness from higher
levels. They also ensure the smooth flow of information and work between upper and lower levels. Middle managers are communicators who create and manage dependencies. We can see how management roles have shifted from promoting stability to coping with increasing complexity. Their strategic role has now become dealing with change and understanding the need to change. They also have a role in preparing for it, managing the process and stimulating it.
The traditional style of management was that managers told people what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. The new style of management is that people must let their manager ask questions to encourage staff to solve the problems on their own and make decisions on their own. The new style requires managers to be skilled at managing disorder and at helping employees self-organize into groups such as self managed work teams
. During the transition from old styles to new, managers must respond to simultaneous and often contradictory sets of pressures from the top, from stakeholders to mobilize resources around new ideas, and from pressures from the bottom to maintain constancy in purpose, stability and continuity. This is both challenging and frustrating for them. Managers who are unwilling to let go of any of their roles are vulnerable to hypereffectiveness. Hypereffectiveness can transform managers into conservative, overloaded people who are pushed to the limits by top management who demand nothing short of better results.
Leading Self-Managed Teams
: Roles and Communication
Self managed teams
are also called high performance teams
. They are likely to emerge in organizations undergoing a shift in paradigms. Self managed teams
help organizations become more productive, more competitive and profitable. They offer technical breakthroughs, cost containment and quick response. SMTs have higher
quality outputs because they engage in continuous improvement and greater flexibility through adaptability and problem solving. These teams
can improve productivity because deep employee involvement builds intense commitment to the corporate vision of success. Anything that does not support the team
is a target for elimination. These teams
help drive quality improvement into every level of the organization as the organization adjusts to changes in its environment.
The director role is vital for the success of nonbureaucratic, team
-based organizations. Vertical organizations can run virtually without leaders because they are centralized. Their high
formalization is an effective substitute for leadership. Hierarchies manage functions through middle management, integrate units? efforts and monitor their performance
. Self managed teams
are referred to as bossless teams
, but although it is true that external leaders of SMTs are former managers whose roles have been transformed into facilitators and coaches, SMTs are not leaderless. A SMT is not a elimination of supervisory tasks but simply a transfer of those tasks to the team
members.Over time, multiple leaders emerge in the teams
; leadership may rotate among team
members and may be fulfilled simultaneously and complementarily by multiple team
members who assume different job responsibilities.Team
members are expected to act out the eight leadership roles and to simultaneously consider and balance the competing demands that are represented by each set of expectations. Experts agree that a balance in playing roles is essential for effective leadership.
Researcher Quinn notes that effectiveness is maintaining creative tension between contrasting demands in a social system. Team
members must see their work context as a complex dynamic system that is constantly evolving. The roles shift between leader and follower depending on different situations. Since effective team
members need to lead and follow, a team
requires both shared leadership and followership to be successful.
feedback and reinforcement of communication within the team
are the most important ways to leverage collective accountability and high
commitment to the team?s
goals. Successful leadership roles demand access to information that traditionally has been considered part of the supervisory domain.
The transformation from a bureaucratic, supervisory organization to a value based organization with self-managed teams
presents challenges. Instead of being told what to do by your supervisor, self-managed teams
are given considerable responsibility to design their own jobs, set objectives, recruit and select their own members.
Virtual Seminar Evaluation Criteria
I will be providing an individual evaluation on your participation in the virtual seminar and a general evaluation of the class participation when the seminar concludes.
Please see below for some tips about how to improve your participation. I will use this evaluation outline in assessing your participation and grade on this portion of the module.
Your response to my question: Did your response thoughtfully and thoroughly address all aspects of the question? Did your response include at least one parenthetical citation to the readings required for the course or other readings germane to this module?
Your original question: Was your question clearly stated and thought provoking? (E.g. Was your question more than a simple look up the response in the text question?) Did your question include at least one parenthetical citation to the readings for the class or other germane readings?
The way you managed the discussion associated with your original question: Did you promptly respond to all students who responded to your question? Did you respond in a way so as to promote greater depth of discussion? Sometimes a quick response like, ?I agree with our response? is fine. However, quick responses do not promote greater depth of discussion. To promote greater discussion, you will need to respond promptly and thoughtfully, offer a comment or question and then ask for a further response of your fellow classmate(s).
Your participation in other student led discussions: Did your responses thoughtfully address all aspects of the questions? Did at least several of your responses include at least one parenthetical reference to the readings for the module?
Timeliness of Your Participation: Did you jump into the discussion early? Did you respond promptly to all students who responded to your question ? Did you participate in the other student led discussions so as to allow sufficient time for your classmates to respond to you?
Respect and courtesy of your participation: Did you demonstrate respect and courtesy throughout the discussion?
Critical Response Paper Evaluation Criteria
I will evaluate your critical response paper based on the following points. My goal is to help our succeed in this course, so please read and follow these comments carefully.
Your article selection: Did you choose a journal, internet article or newspaper article about the topic? Was the article appropriately cited? Was your article choice appropriate to the topic of discussion?
Organization of the Paper: Did you include appropriate subheadings so that the reader could follow your reasoning? Did you include your name, course name, module number and name and date submitted? Did you use standard citations in the body of your paper and in the reference section? Did you follow generally acceptable grammar and composition practices? Was your paper organized and thorough?
Format: Was your written assignment generally free of typographical errors? Did you follow instructions for the submission of the critical response paper? Did you submit the paper by the deadline? Was the paper prepared according to instructions, e.g. paper page length, type of font used, no clip art, etc.
Content of Analysis: Did you summarize the main points of the article in your own words? Did you include insightful comments and original observations? Did you discuss the main elements of corporate downsizing? Did you successfully compare Belasen?s concepts about downsizing to the corporate downsizing that occurred as described in your article or newspaper article or internet site? Did you integrate concepts discussed in class, based on your personal experience, if any, in this area? Did you include additional references? Did you support any observations that you made with examples to illustrate your points? Did you include a conclusion? Did you answer the questions that the instructor posed?
In module 3, you will be reading either an autobiography or biography of a leader and answering questions about whether this person exhibits the characteristics of a high performance
manager. Your book choice will also form the basis for your written book review assignment and virtual seminar participation in module 3. Therefore, it is important that your book choice is submitted to me so that I can approve your selection. If you are not registered for Module 3, then you can ignore this assignment.
Special Note from Jacqueline Mines************************
The Leader I suggest we use is Bill Gates, However you can choose a different leader if you suggest. This notation is from Jacqueline Mines, I need to know ASAP which leader you suggest if you don't want to do Bill Gates.
Please remember that your choice of autobiography or biography is due to me via your private folder by no later than OCTOBER 16, 2006 EASTERN TIME ZONE, MIDNIGHT USA
Your choice of book must be pre-approved by me before you can begin the assignment that is due in Module 3.
Please remember that this assignment will form a substantial part of both the written assignment in Module 3 and your Virtual Seminar participation. If you have any questions, please let me know via your private folder. Thanks.
Format: Author, Title of Book, Date Published, Pu
Special note from Jackie Mines**************************
I have copies of the chapters if you need them, I can fax them it's to many to scan and emial. Please let me know ASAP.***************************************************
There are faxes for this order.
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