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All questions for ADM final.doc

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University of Ottawa
Suren Phansalker

Chapter 8. - Planning 1. What are they key functions of setting objectives? Organizational objectives are the end states or targets that managers aim for, while plans are the means by which managers hope to hit the desired targets. 2. Define strategic plans. Strategic plans focus on the broad future of the organization and incorporate both external and environmental demands and internal resources into the actions managers need to take to achieve the long-term goals of the organization. 3. What are they key elements of operational plans? Operational plans translate tactical plans into specific goals and actions for small units of the organization and focus on the near term. The near term is typically 12 months or less. These plans are the least complex of the three and rarely have a direct impact beyond the department or unit for which the plan was developed. 4. What are the key issues that managers at the corporate level focus on relative to planning? Corporate-level executives would primarily focus on questions such as the following: i. What industries would we get into or out of? ii. What markets should the firm be in? iii. In which businesses should the corporation invest money? 5. What type of plans do people at the business level primarily undertake? At this level, managers focus on determining how they are going to compete effectively in the market. 6. What are the seven elements in the planning process? Analyze the environment, set objectives, determine requirements, assess resources, develop action plans, implement plans, and monitor outcomes. 7. Why is forecasting critical to the planning process? Forecasts are or can be made about virtually every critical element in the environment that managers believe could affect the organization or their area of responsibility. 8. What is benchmarking and what roles does it play in planning? Benchmarking is the investigation of the best results among competitors and non-competitors and the practices that lead to those results. In terms of results, managers might assess competitors that have the highest revenue to employee ratio as a mean of assessing productivity. For example, managers would then compare their own revenue to employee ratio to get an idea of where they stood relative to competitors. 9. Why is determining the priority of objectives important? Not all objectives are of equal importance or value. Furthermore, some objectives might be important now and less important later. Without a clear understanding of which objectives are most important and temporal priorities, employees may be working at odds with each other or create unnecessary conflicts. 10. What is the difference between defining requirements and assessing resources in the planning process? In determining resources, managers are determining the key drivers of specific goals/plans; this determines what is needed. Assessing resources involves determining how much of a resource is needed. 11. How can a Gantt chart facilitate the sequence and timing issues in planning? The chart shows when actions are to be started and how long they are expected to take for completion. It shows which actions are first, second, or last in the process; and whether a preceding action must be completed before a subsequent one can be started; or whether there is expected overlap in the timing of specific actions. 12. How can budgeting be used as a planning tool? Budgets are used to quantify and allocate resources to specific activities. 13. What is the role of MBO in strategy formulation and implementation? With MBO, specific goals are set. Participation by subordinates in setting their goals tends to lead to difficult but achievable goals. In addition, the goals need to be accepted by subordinates. Goal acceptance has a positive impact on both motivation to perform and actual performance. Participation by subordinates in the goal setting process increase goal acceptance. Subordinate performance improves according to the quality of feedback given to subordinates. Chapter 9 – Organizing 14. Define organizational structure. Organizational structure can be defined as the sum of the ways an organization divides its labor into distinct tasks and then coordinates the. 15. What is the main purpose of organizational charts? Organizational charts illustrate relationships among units and lines of authority among supervisors and subordinates through the use of labeled boxes and connecting lines. 16. What are they key advantages and disadvantages of the functional structure? a. Advantages: small to medium-sized firms with limited product diversification, specialization of functional knowledge, less duplication of functional resources. b. Disadvantages: Weak coordination across functional groups, restricted view of overall goals, limits customer attention, slower responses to market changes. 17. What are the key advantages and disadvantages of the product structure? a. Advantages: more focus on products and customers, easier to elevate performance of the product, product responsiveness to market changes. b. Disadvantages: Duplication and lack of economies of scale, problems for customers purchasing across multiple product groups, conflicts between product group and corporate objectives. 18. How is line of authority different from chain of command? Line of authority essentially specifies who reports to whom in the organization. 19. What are they key pros and cons for both, centralization and decentralization in organizational structure? Centralized organizations restrict decision making to fewer individuals, usually at the top of the organization. Decentralized organizations tend to push decision making authority down to the lowest level possible. 20. What are the critical elements of an organization’s internal and external environments that a manager should assess in considering a new organizational structure? In designing organizations managers face the challenge of capturing both specialization and integration advantages. A key factor in determining the match between the environment and organizational structure is environmental uncertainty. 21. What role does information play in the context of organizational uncertainty? It can impact product creation and production, supplier and customer communication, technology and competitor intent. 22. What are some of the key warning signs of a poor structure environment fit? One of the first warning signs is decision makers’ inability to anticipate problems. Another warning sign is an increase in conflict that prevents effective implementation. There may also be signs at the individual level. Chapter 10 – Culture 23. Define Culture. a. A learned set of assumptions, values and behaviors, that are accepted as successful enough to be passed on to newcomers. b. Begins when a group of people faces a set of challenges. Culture can evolve and change with time. 24. Describe the 3 levels of culture. a. Artifacts: visible manifestations of a culture, such as its art, clothing, food, architecture and customs. b. Values: Enduring beliefs that specific conduct or end states are personally or socially preferred to others. c. Assumptions: The beliefs about fundamental aspects of life lying below the surface, but supporting the culture. 25. Describe the 6 basic assumptions. a. Humans and the environment: People must coexist harmoniously with the environment. People are meant to dominate the environment. b. Human nature: Work is as natural as play for people. People are generally lazy. c. Human relationships: People exist because of others and owe an obligation to them. Individuals have certain rights and freedoms. d. Human activity: People should react to and enjoy whatever the present provides. People create their own destinies and must plan for the future. e. Truth and reality: Truth is what is socially accepted. Truth objectively exists. f. Time: Time is like a lake, what you don’t use today will be there tomorrow. Time is like a river, what you don’t use wisely today is gone forever. 26. What are the key differences between Theory X and Theory Y managers? a. Theory X managers assume that the average human being has inherent dislike for work and will avoid it if it is possible. b. Theory Y managers assume that work is as natural as play or rest. 27. What is a subculture? Part of a culture in which cultural values are deeply held but not widely shared. 28. What strategies can managers use to create or change culture? a. At least 5 critical strategies for effectively managing organizational culture. b. One way to create or change a culture is to select individuals who’s assumptions, values and behaviors already match those that you desire. c. Even if selection is not perfect congruent cultural values can be introduced and reinforced in new hires through socialization. d. In addition employee evaluation reinforces culture. e. Further, rewards and compensation may be among the most powerful means of signaling what the organization values and reinforcing desired behaviors in newcomers. f. Organizational culture is also created and reinforced through a variety of symbols. 29. What are they key differences between high and low context cultures? How do they affect mana
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