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Key Skills for Managing Workforce in Large Organizations

Discuss about the Article Critique for Implications Management Skills.

In the article, ‘The critical challenges facing New Zealand’s chief executives: implications for management skills’, authors highlighted the result of a 2012 survey. The survey was done for 265 chief executives in the New Zealand region. The business environment in New Zealand and all over world has seen several changed and transformations. The objective of the survey was to examine their most critical challenges in the current environment, discusses the implications for New Zealand’s management skills. There are certain key results or the output of the survey. The survey concludes that there are three fundamental skills that human resource managers should have to manage the workforce and to overcome the environmental challenges in the large organization. These three skills can be listed as:

Managing uncertainty and renewal,

Managing stakeholders and business partners, and

In the article, authors argued that leaders or the chief executives must have the support from various stakeholders in the organization to create and to implement effective corporate level and business level strategies. The challenge of operationalizing strategy to the functions of the business involve concepts and people. A visionary senior leader may not be a specialist in marketing, finance, or production so they may not understand that nuances of those functions (Grant & Collins, 2016). Thus they rely on the leaders of those functions. If those sub leaders are not on board with the strategy then they may be resistive to giving the kind of assistance necessary to operationalize the strategy. It is important the executives should think beyond management. The focus of the executives in New Zealand should be effective leadership strategies and not only management skills. Authors argued that the chief executives should be able to realize the key things that separate managers from leaders. one challenge that a manager has is that often things don’t go as planned.  A manager may have planned on a staff of 12 for a task and due to circumstances out of his or her control such as sick days or resignations, a managers plan to accomplish a task may be thwarted (Kuntz, 2013).  A leader would have a better opportunity to overcome such obstacles by asking more of the 10 individuals remaining to do a little bit more simply because of the relationship he or she has with the staff. The article is an interesting article to read as authors have made several subtle points in the article. Managers can control staff by using numbers, stats and objectives.  However, after a while these tactics will wear thin, and there is a possibility of staff turnover or lack of engagement. Leaders control can vary based on the relationship of the leader and staff. 

Leadership vs. Management Skills

Authors argued that the chief executives should always be ethical and approachable. They should make sound decisions but be available to talk and reach out to those in need. They have to ensure they are being the one in charge but also being reachable and seeming human. Many times the senior executives and CXOs wear their managerial hats but quickly forget they are human. A great leader has a duty to communicate the rationale or vision of the organization or whatever department or unit they represent to the stakeholders or to the public. Leadership is an important function at all levels of management (Cardno, 2013). Great leadership is key to getting cooperation whether it’s making policies or initiating change within an organization.

I would agree with you that when managers/leaders lead by example they can get the most out of their employees. When managers/leaders are supportive, trustworthy, honest, and respect their employees/followers their production of work increases and the work environment is a more relax and positive working environment. In the article, authors argued that the CXOs in the organization should have the ability to manage the change in the organization and the change management requires innovation (Marshment, 2016). Employee advisory groups are one of the methods that leaders can employ that incorporates all four leadership functions. The leader must be thoughtful in planning or determining how the composition of the employee advisory group will be determined so that it is represented across whatever diverse spectrum there are of employees. This may mean: young and seasoned, male and female, not having any formal education and having an advanced degree, meticulous and carefree, outspoken and not heard. The leader must organize what resources the employee advisory group will be able to utilize. The leader must demonstrate confidence in the group by providing them with a goal and then letting them know that the leader will be available if needed, but will leave the progress to meet the goal up to the group. Controlling by the leader in this situation could be handled well with ARE or appreciation, recognition, and encouragement (Rossignoli, 2012). At the end of the day, the leader has not just delegated a task, but has made steps to grow future leaders.

Leading others through times of change and innovation is a key function of people managers in many organizations. Setting the standard and providing support for people will help ensure innovations are carried out effectively. Motivating and engaging employees is critical when leading them through this process, as it help them grow toward their goals and the goals of the business.

Importance of Ethics and Conscious Capitalism for Organizational Success

The article is an interesting article to read as authors have made the reference to contemporary human resource management practices being practiced in the organization. During times of innovation, leaders need to control their people and the processes that are being changes. Leaders should help ensure the process aligns with company goals and objectives. They should also ensure their followers are meeting the needs of the business to carry out such changes. To add to the authors point, I would like to say that the CXOs should also focus on the ethics and moral values within the organizational setting. Ethics area indispensable in management and leadership. Without some moral compass to guide decision making, every choice runs the risk of becoming a computation based solely on money or influence. While it is true that businesses exist to make money, this answer is insufficient. A corporation exists to make money by providing goods or services supplied by employees of the firm. While simple this definition implies an ethic of the right goods or services and the just compensation of those employed to meet the needs addressed by the company.

In the article, authors highlighted that CXOs should focus on triple bottom line. The understanding that companies have a triple bottom line and not merely an existence around a blind grab for cash is good (Gerth, 2013). It focuses decisions on the social and ecological impacts of the business while still considering financial issues. Much of the last century and a half has seen increasing government intervention to curb unethical behavior by business and their leaders. Yet, immoral people will always find ways to behave badly and, if given power, will abuse it to their own ends. The best protection for any business is to appoint ethical leaders and build a culture of accountability and justice. In an indirect manner, authors have also touched based the point of conscious capitalism for the CXOs in New Zealand. Ethics in conscious capitalism is simply driving that organization to a higher purpose of what doing what is right. “Conscious businesses do what is right because they believe it is right. They treat all their stakeholders well because that is the right, humane, and sensible thing to do- and because it is also smart business practice to do so” (Kræmmergaard, 2015).  The management tactics within an organization that values conscious capitalism, emphasize, practice and encourage conscious capitalism because it makes for a happier and stronger workforce and improves the value of the company. A workforce that enjoys what they do and who they work for, will be much more productive and innovative than a workforce where morale is low.  Furthermore, buy keeping a workforce that is excited or happy to come to work, a company limits the expense of high turnover, re-training or organizational restructuring that typically takes place with companies not focused on conscious business.    

As a conclusion, if I have to rate the article, I would rate it 8 out of 10. I believe that the learning from this article would definitely help the executives, leaders, mid level managers and employees across New Zealand and other parts of the world.

References

Cardno, C. and Youngs, H., 2013. Leadership Development for Experienced New Zealand Principals Perceptions of Effectiveness. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41(3), pp.256-271.

El Sawy, O., Kræmmergaard, P., Amsinck, H. and Vinter, A.L., 2015. Building the Foundations and Enterprise Capabilities for Digital Leadership: The Lego Experience.

Gerth, A.B., 2013. How newly appointed chief information officers take charge: exploring the dynamics of leader socialization.

Grant, G.G. and Collins, R., 2016. The Role of Leadership. In The Value Imperative (pp. 173-191). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Hutchinson, A. & Boxall, P. (2014), ‘The critical challenges facing New Zealand’s chief executives: implications for management skills’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol.52, pp.23-41.

Kuntz, J.R.C., Kuntz, J.R., Elenkov, D. and Nabirukhina, A., 2013. Characterizing ethical cases: A cross-cultural investigation of individual differences, organisational climate, and leadership on ethical decision-making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(2), pp.317-331

Lees-Marshment, J., 2016. Deliberative political leaders: The role of policy input in political leadership. Politics and Governance, 4(2).

Ricciardi, F., Rossignoli, C. and De Marco, M., 2012, September. IT commoditization challenging the leadership of information systems managers: an emerging issue for information systems performances. InProceedings of the VIII Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS, Rome (pp. 28-29).

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