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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Schermerhorn - Summary n short responses.docx

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Dave Swanston

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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 competition.  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 other trends. 3. Who are managers and what do they do?  Managers directly support and facilitate the work efforts of other people in organizations.  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, and controlling.  Planning sets
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