Chapter 1 – Schermerhorn – Summary
1. What are the challenges of working in the new economy?
Today’s turbulent environment challenges everyone to understand and embrace continuous
change and developments in a new information-driven and global economy.
Work in the new economy is increasingly knowledge based, and people, with their
capacity to bring valuable intellectual capital to the workplace, are the ultimate
foundation of organizational performance.
The forces of globalization are bringing increased interdependencies among nations and
economies, as customer markets and resource flows create intense business
Ever-present developments in information technology and the continued expansion of
the Internet are reshaping organizations, changing the nature of work, and increasing
the value of knowledge workers.
Organizations must value the talents and capabilities of a workforce whose members
are increasingly diverse with respect to gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
able-bodiedness, and lifestyles.
Society has high expectations for organizations and their members to perform with
commitment to high ethical standards and in socially responsible ways, including
protection of the natural environment and human rights.
Careers in the new economy require great personal initiative to build and maintain skill
“portfolios” that are always up to date and valuable to employers challenged by the
intense competition and the information age.
2. What are the organizations like in the new workplace?
Organizations are collections of people working together to achieve a common purpose.
As open systems, organizations interact with their environments in the process of
transforming resource inputs into product outputs.
Productivity is a measure of the quantity and quality of work performance, with
resource costs taken into account.
High-performing organizations are both effective, in terms of goal accomplishments,
and efficient, in terms of resource utilization.
Organizations today emphasize total quality management in a context of technology
utilization, empowerment and teamwork, and concern for work-life balance, among
3. Who are managers and what do they do?
Managers directly support and facilitate the work efforts of other people in
Top managers scan the environment, create vision, and emphasize long-term
performance goals; middle managers coordinate activities in large departments or
divisions; team leaders and supervisors support performance at the team or work-unit
level. Functional managers work in specific areas such as finance or marketing; general
managers are responsible for larger multifunctional units; administrators are managers
in public or non-profit organizations.
Managers are held accountable for performance results that the manager depends on
other people to accomplish.
The upside-down pyramid view of organization shows operation workers at the top
serving customer needs while being support from by various levels of management.
The changing nature of managerial work emphasizes being good at “coaching” and
“supporting” others, rather than simply “directing” and “order-giving.”
4. What is the management process?
The management process consists of the four functions of planning, organizing, leading,