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Management is a process of getting things done through other people (Bacal). In an organization, some of the managerial functions include organizing and controlling. Organizing, as a management function, entails establishing organizational structures and systems, through which, all activities of the organization are carried out with an aim of achieving specified organizational goals and objectives (Waldron, Vsanthakumar, & Arulraj). Organizing function of management enables employees to have formal relationships among themselves, and with other organizational resources. The key aspects of organizing involve delegation of authority, span of control, unity of command, flexibility, and harmonized assignment of duties to employees (Waldron, Vsanthakumar, & Arulraj).
On the other hand, controlling entails giving directions to the organizational members, through making decisions (democratically), implementing decision made through instructions, and acting as a leader of the organization (Waldron, Vsanthakumar, & Arulraj). These managerial functions are important because they affect the performance of the employees, and that of the organization as a whole. Poor managerial skills, among key organizational leaders, may lead an organization into experiencing various organizing and controlling problems.
Achieva’s case study, presents existence of organizing and controlling problems due to poor management. One of the organizing problems that Achieva is suffering from is lack of a properly structured organizational structure. According to Waldron, Vsanthakumar, and Arulraj, organizational structure is very useful in ensuring interrelatedness of jobs, job groups, and authority. A good organizational structure should have the following elements; delegation of authority; the decision that one unit can make without seeking supervisors’ or line managers’ approval, span of control; the number of roles that every unit in the organization performs, departmentalization; roles and responsibilities of common units, and job specifications for every unit/office/division.
Since Achieva does not have a proper working organizational structure, proper delegation of authority and span of control are lacking. Even though Achieva has been encouraging software programmers to find solutions to problems as they go along, lately, the employees have been experiencing problems with their line managers in terms of decision-making. There have been complaints about getting managers to listen to the employees’ new ideas and to act on them. This is a clear indication that Achieva lacks a proper organizational structure to allow proper span of control and delegation of authority to employees in accordance to their roles and responsibilities. A well-structured organizational structure provides employees with information, which assist them to make some decisions concerning their roles and responsibilities without seeking approval from their line managers.
Achieva’s has also been experiencing high employees’ turnover. High employees’ turnover can be a direct effect of lack of proper control by the management. The case study indicates that the working atmosphere at Achieva is very poor. There have been increasing complaints from employees that good performance is not recognized in the organization and that they do not feel equitably treated. This provides evidence that the management of Achieva have been unable to provide proper control of employees’ performance. The control function of management enables organizational leaders to make decisions concerning the evaluation of employees’ performance and compensation of employees in accordance to their performance. If organizational leaders fail to provide proper control measures for employees’ performance, the organization is unable to provide distinctions between good performing employees and average performing employees. In the end, well-performing employees feel frustrated due to lack of recognition of their performance by the organization. In most cases, such employees depart such organizations in search of better organizations, which recognize their performances.
However, it is possible for Achieva to solve the organizing and controlling problems that that the organization faces by adopting some management changes. Achieva should develop a well-designed organizational structure: one that clearly indicates the span of control, delegation of authority, departmentalization, and job specification. Such an organizational structure will allow employees to understand clearly, their roles and responsibilities within their specified divisions/sections with ease. It will also allow proper delegation of authority where employees will be able to adopt autonomy in executing their duties without seeking approval from their managers (Waldron, Vsanthakumar, & Arulraj.
The human resource manager of Achieva should also put in place a method of evaluating employees’ performance, which will determine the various methods of recognizing employees’ good performances and categorizing employees according to their skills, qualifications, ease of duties performed, and experiences. Methods of recognizing employees’ performance may include financial returns, and tangible benefits such as paid vacations, insurance, and employees’ discounts (Taylor). This will help solve the problem of high employees’ turnover and inequality in the firm.
Managing an organization is not an easy task. People appointed to managerial positions should possess certain skills, which are essential for performance of managerial functions. These skills include interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and technical skills (Adar). Holliday, DuPont former CEO, had identified Kullman as his potential successor ten years ago. One of the managerial skills that Kullman possessed that made Holliday to appoint her as his successor was leadership skill. Holliday noted that Kullman was aggressive and sharp-tongued, and thought these would be important in providing leadership to DuPont. Aggressiveness and sharpness are some of the traits that make an individual a good leader. For one to be a good manager, one should have the capacity to provide leadership under all circumstances.
There are some circumstances, which require one to be aggressive in order to provide proper leadership, for example, employees’ resistance towards change in the organization. Aggressiveness assists a manager to maintain strong standpoints during times of such resistance, and to be persistent in ensuring that organizational goals and objectives are achieved accordingly. Holliday knew that Kullman’s aggressive trait would be important in managing a large organization such as DuPont, where resistance and/or difficulties are likely to be encountered from different sources. When she finally succeeded Holliday, Kullman states that the organization had to change its business model three times until the right model was found. This is a clear demonstration of how Kullman’s aggressiveness, which translates into persistence, helped DuPont to find an appropriate business model.
Another managerial skill that Holliday noted in Kullman was innovative skill. In 1995, Kullman had been appointed by DuPont to run its $2 billion titanium technologies business. During her leadership in the safety-product division, she was able to turn the division into the highest income-earning segment. This can be attributed to her innovative skills, which she used to bring a turn-around in the division. Innovative skills make part of the technical skills that a manager should possess. These skills are important in enabling a manager, not only to give directions through instructions, but also to give directions through practical demonstration of performing a specific job to the employees (Bacal). In 1988, Kullman had managed to distinguish herself from other managers in her place of employment by providing solutions to troubled units. This can be another managerial skill that Holliday may have noted in her, which made him to make the decision of appointing her as his successor.
From a personal point of view, Kullman is likely to be a very good manager in future. This is because, in her past managerial experiences, she has demonstrated that she can provide good leadership. She managed to earn promotions from her past employers due to her ability to solve problems and provide directions in different areas. Moreover, Kullman has demonstrated that she is ready to do away with her weaknesses and focus on strengths in providing leadership to DuPont. Holliday points that she agreed to take coaching to broaden her managerial perspectives and modify her character.
I believe that I possess good management skills. These skills include leadership skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills. I know I can make a good manager using these skills because; I have found myself showing leadership in different circumstances. For instance, while working in a group setting, I have discovered that I have a tendency of assuming the leadership role. I communicate very well with other people, and I always assist other people to make decisions concerning different issues.