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Question:

Discuss about the Self Reflection.
 
 

Answer:

I can say that I have learned a lot from this management course. I am glad that I have gained not only the theoretical knowledge but I have also learned various practical aspects of management. This paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, I have discussed the four subjects of management that I found most interesting. The first part discusses my reflection on these four subjects. In the second part, I have discussed the four key theories that I have learned in this course. In the third part, I have discussed on how my level of understanding of both the subjects and the theoretical models has developed an advanced level of knowledge for me as an effective manager.

The four key subjects that I would like to discuss as part of this reflection are strategic management, leadership strategies for a changing world, strategic human resource management and corporate social responsibility. The critical analysis of these subjects can be discussed as:

Strategic Management: In this course, I have learned about various aspects of strategic management. I have learned that organizations must have a mission and vision in place and the strategies must be developed and executed to achieve the mission and vision.

Leadership strategies for a changing world: When doing business with companies that have disengaged employees, I am also not as motivated to do business with them. I find that as a consumer, it is so easy to identify those organizations where there is a lack of focus and effort by the followers. Part of successful execution of servant leadership is to create a lasting impact on the culture. When leaders command their employees, they often create an atmosphere of pressure which can lead to a lack of satisfaction with their jobs, which has an impact on the way they treat their customers.

 


Strategic human resource management: I have learned that human resource management is an integral function for any organization as people are the biggest asset for any organization. Most of the research that has been completed shows an increased level of effectiveness with attaining goals and completing job requirements in shorter deadlines for followers under leaders. Because of this research as well as the studies of others being so clear, taking the time to educate leaders about all of the positive correlations and benefits that have been seen will certainly help to implement these principles more effectively (Lewis & Andriopoulos, 2014). I think that there could also be a great deal of value in presenting some of these HRM case studies within other organizations to show how great leaders can move their organization in any direction desired for sustainable development.

Corporate social responsibility: With this course, I have learned the importance of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Current research reveals when employees establish and maintain high-quality relationships with their direct supervisor along with goal resemblance and social interaction, the environment is accelerated with positive energy levels, and it’s an important source of employee work motivation (Birasnav, 2014).

key theories and application

In all the subjects of management, I have learned various management theories. The four key theories from the management subjects can be discussed as:

Servant leadership theory: Servant leadership varies from traditional methods of leadership because it focuses more on the relationship with followers, and less on the actions of the individual leader. Servant leadership, although quite valuable, is not always the best method of leadership in all circumstances. Servant leadership works best in situations where followers are highly motivated. Depending on the level of motivation, there are other types of leadership such as transformational and autocratic leadership that may be more appropriate (Vidic & Burton, 2011). In many other forms of leadership, you are often selling a vision to followers, whereas within servant leadership you are building that vision collectively with them. Understanding the circumstances and leadership intention is essential to determining the most effective leadership style.

 


Strategic management theory of competitive advantage: I have learned that there are two key approaches or theories of strategic management. The first approach is cost leadership approach and the second approach is product differentiation approach. The organizations like Walmart use cost leadership approach and an example for product differentiation would be Apple. The companies which have a unique and different product would often charge premium prices for their products. Omar & Leach (2014) indicated that some managers make changes based on environmental changes for the sake of change and to increase social perception of the firm, regardless of the effectiveness of the change. This can prove to be a waste of time and money in the long run.

PESTLE analysis: The PESTLE analysis is a powerful tool to assess the external environment. Despite the problems that could arise, I assert that it is still beneficial to engage in many of the theoretical tenets of Open Systems because the environment is rapidly changing and being engaged in it can prevent the organization from dissolving completely (Jackson & Schuler, 2014). For example, organizations, which are affected by the legal environment or the political environment benefit from an open system view because the open systems view promotes flexibility and adaption to the environment (Westley & Mintzberg, 1989).  Conversely, the problems that could arise from open systems stem from the vulnerability to misread and misinterpret the environment. A leader’s or manager’s ability to take into consideration all facets of the external environmental components affecting the organization can pose another challenge.

Change management theories like Lewin change management model, Kotter change management model, etc.: With strategic human resource management course, I have learned that change management is an integral part for any organization. For any organization, the change agents should be authentic; build trust, and are committed to a flexible pursuit to find the best potential for themselves and those around them (Boone & Makhani, 2012). In addition, servant leaders are also empathetic and open communicators that work together with their followers to solve complex problems (Vidic & Burton, 2011).

 

Self-Reflection

There is one common thing that I have learned across all the subjects. That, the significance of learning and knowledge to every organization cannot be overemphasized. Knowledge includes all forms of content such as objects, information, data and wisdom. It is gathered from individuals, communities, networks and the internet. For organizational knowledge to add value to the organization, there must be an effective knowledge transfer and process in place. According to Herrmann & Nadkarni (2014), certain factors can cause barriers to effective knowledge sharing; they include: organizational culture, language difference, control and hoarding, incentives and motivation, difficulty in explaining and inadequate technology. For knowledge to be efficiently shared and add value in the organization, employees must be made to commit and be truly involved in their work; this may be achieved by inculcating employee ownership. Executive management should also strive to engage their employees, this way they would be able to match projects to employee passion and proficiency.

“Change does not occur by itself. Personal energy and effort are required to promote a new idea successfully (Barrick & Colbert, 2014).” I anticipate the greatest challenge of operationalizing strategy across business functions will be to get all stakeholders to buy into the new strategy. Within the organization I work for, the mission, vision and strategy have historically been the same. To add a definition or facet or direction to the strategy will be difficult. Many of the employees including leadership are not creative. Rules are encouraged and enforced, a traditional authoritarian style of leadership exist within the organization. In a culture that is stagnant learning and growth does not come easily. The internal business process does not seek innovation or next generation educational modalities (Nijstad & Berger-Selman, 2014).

I have learned that the first step for management is people management. It made me think how trust is so important in an organization.  People need to feel valued and that their opinions and thoughts matter.  I think sometimes people are afraid to speak up and voice their concerns or let on that they don’t know something. If they had voiced their opinion it may have led to deeper thoughts and different outcomes.  At times, I feel insecure and need to remind myself that my superiors expect me to be the knowledge holder for my departments.  That’s why I’m there.  They really do trust and rely on me to tell them when I have another idea or a doubt about one.  Thankfully in my organization I trust my administrators because I feel they trust me.

 


I have learned that greatest learning is learning from people. I have learned that management is much more about transactional management. I have witnessed many times throughout my life that when a manager was not willing to champion the ideas of upper management and resisted the change, it would fail in that area but not in others where the change was supported and championed.  Understanding the role of mid-level management and the impact on the organization is crucial (Mujtaba, 2013).  Although we will not always agree, once a decision has been made it is vital that we support the change and do what we can do lessen the resistance below us and not fight the change our organization is supporting.

I would like to say that the managers and employees of an organization have a huge impact on the organization’s ability to innovate and change.  O’Reilly & Tushman (2004) suggested that while the failure to achieve innovative breakthroughs is the battleground for management theory. It was found in their research that all types of innovation can have different targets but understanding customers is the way to be creative.  O’Reilly & Tushman (2004) suggested using a Map of Innovation to plot the targets on a matrix.  One thing I have not seen in the literature, but have seen in person, is that a toxic leader not only costs their employers money as the company is in a constant search for replacement employees, but they can have long lasting negative impacts on those they manage.  It is very important to establish a good thing with your staff because you have to know what you are dealing with when it comes to leadership in the company. When you have several of the same type of business going on around you and you are trying to compare what they’re doing with what you’re doing it starts with the leading of the company. You have to make sure that you have the ability to work with all types of individuals daily. And you have to make sure that you are doing well with these people also making sure that they know what they’re doing at all times and that it is pleasing to to the public eye as well as the company eye.

As a conclusion, I would like to say that I have learned a lot about management from this course. I am sure that the learning would help me to emerge as a better manager. In fact, more than a better manager, I would like to emerge as a leader. I am very much fascinated about the servant leadership style and I would definitely like to practice this style of leadership along with the transformational leadership style in my professional experience.

 

References

Birasnav, M., 2014. Knowledge management and organizational performance in the service industry: The role of transformational leadership beyond the effects of transactional leadership. Journal of Business Research, 67(8), pp.1622-1629.

 Boone, L. W., & Makhani, S. (2012). Five Necessary Attitudes of a Servant Leader. Review Of Business, 33(1), 83-96.

Colbert, A.E., Barrick, M.R. and Bradley, B.H., 2014. Personality and leadership composition in top management teams: Implications for organizational effectiveness. Personnel Psychology, 67(2), pp.351-387.

Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. and Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.

Herrmann, P. and Nadkarni, S., 2014. Managing strategic change: The duality of CEO personality. Strategic Management Journal, 35(9), pp.1318-1342.

O’Reilly, C. & Tushman, M. (2004). The Ambidextrous Organization. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved fromhttps://hbr.org/2004/04/the-ambidextrous-organization/ar/1

Lewis, M.W., Andriopoulos, C. and Smith, W.K., 2014. Paradoxical leadership to enable strategic agility. California Management Review, 56(3), pp.58-77.

Mujtaba, B.G., 2013. Managerial skills and practices for global leadership.

Nijstad, B.A., Berger-Selman, F. and De Dreu, C.K., 2014. Innovation in top management teams: Minority dissent, transformational leadership, and radical innovations. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 23(2), pp.310-322.

Omar, A.T., Leach, D. and March, J., 2014. Collaboration between nonprofit and business sectors: A framework to guide strategy development for nonprofit organizations. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 25(3), pp.657-678.

Vidic, Z., & Burton, D. (2011). Developing Effective Leaders: Motivational Correlates of Leadership Styles. Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology, 23(3), 277-291.

Westley, F. and Mintzberg, H., 1989. Visionary leadership and strategic management. Strategic management journal, 10(S1), pp.17-32.

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