You may be wondering why you need to study management. If you’re majoring in accounting or marketing or any or eld other than management, you may not understand how studying management is going to help your career. We can explain the value of studying management by looking at three things: the universality of management, the reality of work, and the rewards and challenges of being a manager.
The Universality of Management .
Just how universal is the need for management in organizations? We can say with absolute certainty that management is needed in all types and sizes of organizations, at all organizational levels and in all organizational work areas, and in all organizations, no matter where they’re located. This is known as the universality of management.
Management is universally needed in all organizations, so we want to and ways to improve the way organizations are managed. Why? Because we interact with organizations every single day. Organizations that are well managed—and we’ll share many examples of these throughout the text—develop a loyal customer base, grow, and prosper, even during challenging times. Those that are poorly managed nd themselves losing customers and revenues. By studying management, you’ll be able to recognize poor management and work to get it corrected. In addition, you’ll be able to recognize and support good management, whether it’s in an organization with which you’re simply interacting or whether it’s in an organization in which you’re employed.
The Reality of Work.
Another reason for studying management is the reality that for most of you, once you graduate from college and begin your career, you will either manage or be managed. For those who plan to be managers, an understanding of management forms the foundation upon which to build your management knowledge and skills. For those of you who don’t see yourself managing, you’re still likely to have to work with managers. Also, assuming that you’ll have to work for a living and recognizing that you’re very likely to work in an organization, you’ll probably have some managerial responsibilities even if you’re not a manager. Our experience tells us that you can gain a great deal of insight into the way your boss (and fellow employees) behave and how organizations function by studying management. Our point is that you don’t have to aspire to be a manager to gain something valuable from a course in management.
Rewards and Challenges of Being a Manager
First, there are many challenges. It can be a tough and often thankless job. In addition, a portion of a manager’s job (especially at lower organizational levels) may entail duties that are often more clerical (compiling and ling reports, dealing with bureaucratic procedures, or doing paperwork) than managerial. Managers also spend significant amounts of time in meetings and dealing with interruptions, which can be time.
Create a work environment in which organizational members can work to the best of their ability • Have opportunities to think creatively and use imagination • Help others find meaning and fulfillment in work • Support, coach, and nurture others • Work with a variety of people • Receive recognition and status in organization and community • Play a role in influencing organizational outcomes • Receive appropriate compensation in the form of salaries, bonuses, and stock options • Good managers are needed by organizations.
Do hard work • May have duties that are more clerical than managerial • Have to deal with a variety of personalities • Often have to make do with limited resources • Motivate workers in chaotic and uncertain situations • Blend knowledge, skills, ambitions, and experiences of a diverse work group • Success depends on others’ work performance.
Managers often have to deal with a variety of personalities and have to make do with limited resources. It can be a challenge to motivate workers in the face of uncertainty and chaos. And managers may and it dicult to successfully blend the knowledge, skills, ambitions, and experiences of a diverse work group. Finally, as a manager, you’re not in full control of your destiny. Your success typically is dependent on others’ work performance.
Despite these challenges, being a manager can be rewarding. You’re responsible for creating a work environment in which organizational members can do their work to the best of their ability and thus help the organization achieve its goals. You help others and meaning and fulllment in their work. You get to support, coach, and nurture others and help them make good decisions. In addition, as a manager, you often have the opportunity to think creatively and use your imagination. You’ll get to meet and work with a variety of people—both inside and outside the organization. Other rewards may include receiving recognition and status in your organization and in the community, playing a role in inuencing organizational outcomes, and receiving attractive compensation in the form of salaries, bonuses, and stock options. Finally, as we said earlier in the chapter, organizations need good managers. It’s through the combined efforts of motivated and passionate people working together that organizations accomplish their goals. As a manager, you can be assured that your eorts, skills, and abilities are needed.
Gaining Insights into Life at Work
A good number of students regularly remind your authors that they are not planning a career in management. These students’ career goals are to be accountants or financial analysts or marketing researchers or computer programmers. They ask us: Why do I need to take a management course? Our answer is: Because understanding management concepts and how managers think will help you get better results at work and enhance your career. And who knows, you may become a manager someday. Oftentimes, successful employees are promoted to managerial roles. For example, you may begin your career as an auditor with a major accounting firm and and, a few years later, you’re overseeing an audit team or you’re a partner thrust into managing a regional office.
Dealing with Organizational Politics
If you want to improve your political skills at work, we offer the following suggestions:
Frame arguments in terms of organizational goals.
People whose actions appear to blatantly further their own interests at the expense of the organization are almost universally denounced, are likely to lose influence, and often suffer the ultimate penalty of being expelled from the organization. Challenges to your actions are not likely to gain much support if your actions appear to be in the best interests of the organization.
Develop the right image.
Make sure you understand what your organization wants and values from its employees— in terms of dress, associates to cultivate and those to avoid, whether to appear to be a risk taker or risk averse, the importance of getting along with others, and so forth. Because the assessment of your performance is rarely a fully objective process, you need to pay attention to style as well as substance.
Gain control of organizational resources.
The control of organizational resources that are scarce and important is a source of influence. Knowledge and expertise are particularly effective resources to control. These resources make you more valuable to the organization and, therefore, more likely to gain security, advancement, and a receptive audience for your ideas.
Make yourself appear indispensable.
You don’t have to be indispensable as long as key people in your organization believe that you are. If the organization’s prime decision makers believe there is no ready substitute for what you bring to the organization, your job is likely safe and you’re likely to be treated well.
If you have a job that brings your accomplishments to the attention of others, that’s great. However, if not—without creating the image of a braggart—you’ll want to let others know what you’re doing by giving progress reports to your boss and others, having satisfied customers relay their appreciation to higher-ups, being seen at social functions, being active in your professional associations, and developing powerful allies who can speak positively about your accomplishments.
Develop powerful allies.
It is often beneficial to have friends in high places. Network by cultivating contacts with potentially influential people above you, at your own level, and in the lower ranks. These allies often can provide you with information that’s otherwise not readily available and provide you with support if and when you need it. Having a mentor in the organization who is well respected is often a valuable asset.
Avoid “tainted” members.
In almost every organization, there are fringe members whose status is questionable. Their performance and/or loyalty are suspect. Or they have strange personalities. Keep your distance from such individuals. Given the reality that effectiveness has a large subjective component, your own effectiveness might be called into question if you’re perceived as being too closely associated with tainted members.
Support your boss.
Your immediate future is in the hands of your current boss. Because that person evaluates your performance, you’ll typically want to do whatever is necessary to have your boss on your side. You should make every effort to help your boss succeed, make her look good, support her if she is under siege, and spend the time to find out the criteria she will use to assess your effectiveness. Don’t undermine your boss. And don’t speak negatively of her to others