Carl R. Foster
December 2, 2008
University of Phoenix
The purpose of this paper is to ask and answer the questions, how do internal and external factors impact the four functions of management (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling), and how does globalization, technology, innovation, diversity, and ethics impact each of the four areas. Also, explain how managers can use delegation to manage the different factors listed above.
There are many external and internal factors that impact the four functions of management. External and internal factors have an enormous impact on organizations productivity. The process of assessing external and internal factors that an organization will face is vital to the planning function of management. An internal and external environmental assessment develops understanding of the processes that will influence an organizations success rate. The purpose of an environmental assessment is to identify and analyze the key trends, forces, and phenomena having potential impact on the formulation and implementation of strategies. In effect, the environmental assessment attempts to prepare the organization to acclimatize the environmental changes to take advantage of opportunities and minimize the adverse effects of threats. The organization can then prioritize issues, constraints, and assumptions that could influence the four functions of management. External factors are such that many if not all are beyond the organizations control.
The process of globalization encompasses combinations of economics, technological, innovation, socioculture, and political influences. The external and internal influences can be felt in several different ways with globalization. The economic ramifications can be felt based on the freedom of exchange of goods and services while being influenced by the emergence worldwide production and financial markets. Such emergences would include political, social, and economic influences.
Technological and innovation are enhanced with the development of infrastructures on a global basis allowing a greater flow of information through technologies such as the internet, and communication satellites. Standards can be applied globally. While it is easy to look at the positive external aspects of globalization and the great benefits that are apparent everywhere, there are also negative occurrences that can only be the result of or major factors that encourage some companies to globalize. Globalization has affected work force demographics. In fact, management diversity has become a primary issue in the 21st century. Trends such as outsourcing and off shoring are a direct offshoot of globalization and have created a work environment in which cultural diversity has become problematic. With information globalization (internet), this influential tool has been a powerful source for blowing down cultural boundaries. Companies such as Google, Nike, and Microsoft are great examples of how globalization, technology, Innovation, diversity, and ethics apply used in the four functions of management. Another stunning example of globalization is the increased interest in the use of Chinese symbols in tattooing (body art) which has seen an increase in popularity amongst the younger generation.
In the world of globalization, today??™s companies cannot succeed with out incorporating into the four functions of management, the astonishing technologies, innovations that exist and continue to evolve. These technologies and innovations create new products and better ways of managing and communicating. Advances in technologies allow companies to enter into markets that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Tele-conferencing using the internet has allowed managers to not have to travel when training or conducting other business.
Recently, business ethics (which includes corporate governance and corporate ethics) has become the focus of many changes (Sarbanes-Oxley), rules and regulations in corporations and individual can respond to internal and external stimulus. Organizations such as WorldCom, Madoff Investment Securities and Enron did not have healthy, positive ethical practices as a part of their corporate culture which leads to their demise. In an ethical organization, human capital plays a significant role in their ability to retain and attract employees that are experienced and knowledgeable. This results in lower training costs and as a result allows for greater output.
Delegation is a tool that managers can use for a variety of reasons and tasks. When a manager handles the responsibility of delegation properly the result will have a positive ripple throughout the office, the department or the entire company.
There are different aspects of delegation that will impact the results achieved. One is the willingness of a manager to let go of the task or to delegate. Many managers have been through the seminars that speak of the how to, but putting delegation into practice is more than theory. Vicky Sanderson (2004) wrote about several business managers who worked through the adjustments of delegation. The average manager spends 45 per cent of his or her time on a task that should have been delegated. Some managers have guilt to deal with while others seem unable to find anyone he or she believes can be trusted to do the job right. Some managers use the reasoning, they must understand the job before they can delegate.
10 steps to successful delegating are listed by Sanderson, tips from Pace Productivity. The steps are: delegate the objective not the procedure; ask for progress reports; delegate to the right person; spread delegation around; obtain feedback; delegate authority along with responsibility; trust people; be prepared for short term errors but long term results; give instructions and ask if there is anything needed to get started; and give praise with feedback.
When a manager is ready to delegate, and has participated in the training needed, what challenges are left Taking the steps necessary to let go of the task and monitoring the performance of the work. Stanley Portny (2002) wrote about the task of letting go and monitoring the performance. The manager??™s job is to set the goals and delegate as needed to achieve the goals. The manager must ensure the most capable people are performing the task, enabling the employees to be successful by increasing amounts of responsibility and decision authority while monitoring the performance of their work.
Managers who enjoy the technical work are often reluctant to give up the task, and others still believe that in a crunch they are the only people who can get the job done. When a manager delegates a task, he or she is still responsible for the outcome or final results. This is a challenge if the manager is not comfortable managing the performance of an employee. The manager should define the key tasks and responsibilities of the position then decide if the job is more managerial or tactical. If the task is tactical, it more than likely it can be delegated.
Once the decision of delegation is made a good manager must prepare. Different levels of authority can be delegated with the task. Stanley offers the six degrees of delegation to follow. Get in the know; show someone the way to go; go when to do so; go unless told not to; how did it go; and just go!
Get in the know. Get the facts of the task and decide if there is further action needed. If needed ask questions. When delegation is done with clear instruction an employee will excel and succeed. Show someone the way to go. If the task being delegated has optional ways to complete, decide which will have the positive outcome. Go when told to do so. Once the decision is made on which way to perform the task, be prepared to go. Go unless told not to. Review the recommended actions and go unless a decision is made not to go. How did it go Managers should monitor the actions, answer questions but be careful not to step in and do the task. Just go! Some managers will simply delegate a task and tell the employee to just deal with it, get it done; this has the potential to produce bad results.
A manager can make good use of delegation within the four functions of management to maximize an organization. When planning a new office opening the task of resources needed to operate the office could be delegated. The staffing, advertising and promotions could also be delegated. Once the overview of planning is complete the organizing tasks of human resources, office file systems are needed next. Now the manager can begin to lead the new office. The delegation that a manager can use as he or she leads is goal setting. A good manager can delegate the development of goal strategies among the employees and see the initiative take hold. Next the manager must control and coordinate the processes and structures to reach the goals that have been set.
External and internal factors have a significant impact on the four functions of management. These external and internal factors incorporate Globalization, Technology and Innovation, Diversity, and Ethics. All are considered in a managers ability to control and operate with their environment. Managers that utilize the tool of delegation will see the benefits, not only within their office but at the corporate level. A manager who delegates with purpose will see employees take ownership and pride in the task and become effective in their job. More could said about the external and internal factors impact on the four functions of Management but then that would require a manuscript the size of a book.
Portny, S. (2002) The delegation dilemma: When do you let go, Information Management Journal, Lemexa: March/April 2002. Vol. 36, lss 2; Pg 60, 5 pgs. Retrieved March 26, 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb Index
Sanderson, V. (2004) Pass the Ball, Hardware Merchandising, Toronto: March/April 2004. Vol. 116, lss 2; pg 28, 3pgs. Retrieved March 26, 2007 http://proquest.umi.com/pqdwebsid