Alpha Teach Yourself Management Skills in 24 Hours

Alpha Teach Yourself Management Skills in 24 Hours

by Patricia Buhler



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780028641430
Publisher: Alpha Books
Publication date: 05/17/2001
Series: Alpha Teach Yourself Series
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 7.36(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Patricia Buhler is an adjunct professor at Goldey-Beacom College and a consultant with Buhler Business Consultants specializing in management issues.

She is a contributing editor for Supervision magazine, writing a bi-monthly column titled "Managing in the New Millennium."

She has been working in or with business for over 25 years. Author of over 100 published articles, she has also delivered numerous seminars across a wide variety of management topics.

She holds a doctorate in business administration and an MBA in management. Dr. Buhler received the Excellence in Teaching Award, twice received the Goldey-Beacom College Marketing-Management Role Model Award, was acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to consulting in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women 2000, and was named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 1999.

Dr. Buhler has also been active in her community. She works with her local Chamber of Commerce and has served on the boards of local colleges, assisting in the development of business curriculum offerings.

Dr. Buhler resides with her husband, daughter, and son in Newark, Delaware.

Read an Excerpt

Hour 3: The Global Environment

Chapter Summary

Lesson Plan:

In this hour you will learn about ...
  • Working in a global economy.
  • Dimensions of culture.
  • Differences among cultures.
  • Multicultural workforces.
  • Roles of expatriate managers.
  • Learning in a global environment.
' Today's environment for organizations is the world. No longer can American businesses think only in terms of what happens within the confines of the American borders. The world in which you operate is a global economy where countries are interconnected.

American companies are not as globally competitive as they once were. The competition from around the world has increased and the rules of the game have changed. The importance of tapping into profits overseas has, however, become even more critical to the success of firms. Increasing numbers of firms are expanding beyond do-mestic markets. Some companies have even been pushed into the global arena for their very survival.

The world today has been called "borderless" and "boundaryless." National boundaries are no longer important when conducting business. It is no longer easy to tell what products are made in the United States.

It is hard to determine the country where goods are manufactured with Hondas manufactured in the United States and Chevrolets manufactured in South America. Even those companies with American sounding names are foreign owned. Falling trade barriers and the creation of trade alliances make it easier to move goods across borders now.

Even consumer tastes are converging. More people across the globe want to eat the same fast food, drink the same soda, drive the same cars, and wear the same jeans.

The rise in global product standards also reflects this interconnectedness. Global quality standards (such as ISO 9000 set by the Geneva-based International Standards Organization) continue to be created to assist in the smooth operation of international business.

When Mexico, Canada, and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (known as NAFTA), a $6 trillion consumer market was united.

International trade has increased as the cost of transporting goods across borders has decreased. Improvements in communication have improved chances to trade globally. Trade barriers and restrictions have been reduced across the globe. And developing countries have sought partnerships and opportunities with companies from more developed nations.

Competing in the international arena has really become more of a necessity for most organizations. The stakes are now higher with international business comprising approximately one third of the profits in American corporations. The real growth potential for companies going forward is represented in the global arena. Some business writers have suggested that the choice for companies today is to "globalize or perish."

Technological advances have played a major role in shaping this global village. Events that occur today really are "heard around the world." And today they are heard almost instantaneously thanks to electronic communication.

Working in a Global Economy

Globalization isn't just an issue for larger companies in corporate America. Every business (including the "Mom and Pop" operations) must compete in the international arena. The level of involvement and the intensity in the global arena may vary. For smaller organizations, it may mean the need to stave off global competitors. Even if you work for a small, domestic firm, you must be prepared to compete with a foreign firm operating just across the street.

Being a part of this global economy means thinking with a broader perspective. This global mind-set recognizes the interdependence of the world's countries.

Just a Minute
Working in a global economy means increasing your awareness of differences among cultures. Harmony is critical in the Japanese culture. Vague discussions often are the result, in order to save face. Americans have difficulty dealing with this vagueness. For example, a Japanese counterpart often will refrain from directly voicing disagreement with you while your American counterpart may have few reservations about open disagreement.

Globalization usually begins with exporting. Companies maintain operations in their home country while sending goods across borders. Then a move is made to more extensive global operations.

MNC is the acronym used for multinational corporations. These are companies that conduct business outside of their home borders. They operate in several countries and have a truly global mindset� especially when designing strategy. A general rule of thumb is that at least 20 percent of their sales are generated from operations outside the home country.

Today there are over 35,000 multinational corporations around the globe. This number continues to grow. As the number of foreign affiliates of these multinational corporations grows, the need for managers to take foreign assignments will similarly grow.

Just a Minute
The impact of international trade is critical, accounting for about 20 percent of the jobs in America.

Companies are also using licensing agreements to build a global presence. A licensing agreement occurs when the company collects money for allowing another company to manufacture its goods (or in the case of a service firm, to market its service) or use its name. More international strategic alliances are also being created. Companies partner with other firms to the benefit of each. Firms can especially improve the learning curve in a new country by partnering with a local firm.

Identifying the Impact on Management

Beginning in the 1980s, there has been more interest in global management as America's global competitiveness began to diminish. The loss of global competitiveness can be seen especially in the world banking community. The world's top 10 largest banks include fewer U.S. banks now than ever before.

More firms have recognized the importance of global leadership. Companies don't just need financial resources to expand; they also must have human resources as well.

Whether your company is a MNC or a company operating exclusively in the domestic arena you are still impacted by this global environment. You are likely to find yourself accepting an international assignment�responsible for a workforce from another culture. Or at the very least, you will be working with people from other cultures. These people can be superiors, subordinates, or peers.

As a manager, you must view this globalization as an opportunity to be taken advantage of�not as a threat to be avoided. You can expect to be offered more overseas assignments yourself and expect to offer more to your employees in this global economy. Almost one half of American firms surveyed are expected to increase the number of managers they are placing in expatriate assignments.

This globalization requires new ways of thinking. As a manager, you need expanded competencies. You need to understand that differences exist. You may, therefore, need to be flexible, re-think some of your practices, and accommodate others' cultures.

While nearly all the resources of American businesses flow across national borders, people (the human resources of organizations) are one of the critical components that you must manage from a number of perspectives. You are also responsible for developing an international workforce. This is at the heart of the success of global competitiveness.

The name "cosmopolitan" manager has been used as the preferred terminology over global manager in some circles. Cosmopolitan is strictly defined as "belonging to the world." Whichever term is used, the impact is the same. To increase your marketability today, you must know about the world and the people in it.

The manager who exhibits cultural sensitivity and strong intercultural communication skills is in demand today�both in and outside America.

MNCs based in the United States employ over 100 million workers in other countries.

Monitoring trends in the external environment no longer means just keeping tabs on what is happening in the United States. Now you must monitor global trends as well. This means being familiar with the political and legal environments of various countries, socio-cultural trends, economic conditions, and technological environments. This also includes watching for changing preferences of consumers across the world because new consumers are being developed each day.

The Multicultural Workforce

People are moving across borders more extensively and freely now. Some of this movement is to take advantage of employment opportunities. People are more accessible the world over now. Highly skilled people have left some of the developing countries to accept employment in some of the more developed countries. This has created concern for "brain drain" in those countries.

The people of a country share a set of values. But this doesn't mean that only one culture is found in a country. The United States is a good example of this. The United States is multicultural; there is no one culture, but rather many cultures represented. The multicultural aspect is often referred to today as a mosaic to better reflect the nature of the issue.

The Expatriate Manager

A global presence is required for success in many organizations today. And, this requires managers who can effectively operate overseas and are comfortable working in cultures other than their own. Cultural competencies have become critical.

U.S. multinationals are estimated to send 100,000 Americans abroad each year at a corporate investment of $1 million over four years. These managers who are sent overseas to a foreign facility are known as expatriate managers. It is increasingly likely that you will take an overseas assignment at some point in your career�whether with your current employer or a future employer.

Multinationals have three choices when filling an overseas assignment. They can select parent country nationals (known as expatriates), host country nationals (referred to as locals), or third country nationals.

Transferring a German employee to a position in Australia in a Brazilian firm is an example of a third country national. An expatriate is more likely to be used when a foreign operation is newly established or when operations are established in undeveloped countries.

While you may think that the use of expatriate managers is a relatively new concept, it is not. Even before multinational corporations existed, the leaders of large empires used expatriate managers to oversee regions long distances away.

The use of expatriate management positions helps businesses become more successful. Organizations need to learn more about other cultures and their values to operate more effectively in the global arena.

Foreign assignments provide you with the international expertise that has become vital. The global world demands cross-cultural leaders in business.

The cost of failed assignments by expatriate managers has been estimated to exceed $2 billion annually to American businesses.

A recent survey conducted by the National Industrial Conference Board revealed that staffing overseas positions was the second most serious consideration for top executives of multinational corporations. It has become even more important as there have been more profits at stake overseas.

Understanding Culture

Culture is defined as a society's shared beliefs and ways of doing things. Your own culture determines how you manage as well as how you view others. You look at others through your own cultural lens. It is important to understand just what that lens is. Before you begin learning about other cultures, you must first understand your own.

Learning about other cultures requires that you be able to overcome ethnocentrism and parochialism. Ethnocentrism is the belief that your culture's ways are the only ways. Parochialism is the belief that your culture's ways are the best ways. You can't be cosmopolitan with either of these beliefs. These are the attitudes that have led to the term "the ugly American" abroad. Even more importantly, these views can cost your company profits.

As technology brings the world closer together, you are forced to deal with cultural differences on a magnified scale. An understanding of cross-cultural differences is critical today.

Just a Minute
The culture in Saudi Arabia tends to value the spoken word. People make their point in conversation very slowly so they can enjoy the spoken word. This is in contrast to American businesspeople who tend to prefer getting to the point quickly.

Hofstede's Dimensions of Culture

Geert Hofstede was a Dutch researcher who created a framework for understanding cultural differences based on his study in 1980 of a multinational corporation that was doing business in 40 different countries. Hofstede's dimensions of culture help you gain insight into the differences among cultures. Based on averages in these cultures, he identified five cultural dimensions...

Table of Contents



Hour 1. What Is Management?

Learning the New Rules of the Game. Defining Effective Management. Understanding Effective vs. Efficient. The Changing Role of Management. Studying the Functions of Management. Putting It Together. Analyzing Your Skills. Making the Transition to Management. Hour's Up!

Hour 2. Management in the New Workplace.

Management's Environment. Trends Impacting Management. Changing Expectations. Organizational Learning. Competencies for Management Today. Hour's Up!

Hour 3. The Global Environment.

Working in a Global Economy. Identifying the Impact on Management. Understanding Culture Avoiding Cultural Blunders. Learning in a Global Environment. Doing Business Internationally: Some Management Tips. Hour's Up!

Hour 4. Managerial Decision-Making.

The Rational Decision-Making Model. How to Make High-Quality Decisions. The Bounded Rationality Model of Decision-Making. Types of Decisions. Tools for Decision-Makers. Escalation: A Special Problem in Decision-Making. Creativity and Innovation. Blocks to Creative Problem-Solving. How to Encourage Creativity. The Characteristics of Creative Organizations. Successful Decision-Makers. Hour's Up!


Hour 5. Financials.

Financial Statements. Basic Organizational Forms. Financial Ratios. Budgeting. Open-Book Management. Hour's Up!

Hour 6. Project Management.

Phases for Projects. Phase I: Planning. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Resource Requirements. Why Plans Fail. Phase II: Scheduling. Phase III: Controlling. The People Involved. Closure for the Project. Hour's Up!

Hour 7. The Basics of Process Development.

Quality. Productivity. Continuous Process Improvement Process Reengineering. Job Design. Design Choices. Change. Hour's Up!

Hour 8. Relationship Management.

Perception. Trust in Every Relationship. Stakeholders. Customers. Independent Contractors, Outsourcing, and Alternative Workers. Managing Your Boss. Developing Subordinates. The Marginal Employee. Tips for All Relationships. Hour's Up!

Hour 9. Managing Conflict.

Identifying Conflict in Organizations. Conflict Management: Getting to Win-Win. Being Successful in Conflict Management. Hour's Up!


Hour 10. Managing People.

Workplace Diversity. The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce. How to Manage Diversity. Diversity Training. People with Disabilities. A Special Challenge: Sexual Harassment. How to Avoid Managing Ineffectively. Hour's Up!

Hour 11. Motivation.

Learning from Motivation Theories. Using Goal Setting to Increase Individual Motivation and Performance. Determining the Role of Money in Motivating. Hour's Up!

Hour 12. Managing Performance.

Reviewing the Performance Appraisal. Reinforcing Employee Behavior. Rewarding Employees. Hour's Up!

Hour 13. Career Development: Your Responsibility.

Career Development Today. Benefits to the Organization. Traditional Stages of Career Development. Contemporary Approaches. Alternative Career Tracks. Steps to Effective Career Management. Management Development. Signs of Trouble in Your Career. Tips to Effectively Manage Your Career. Hour's Up!

Hour 14. Groups.

Advantages to Groups. Disadvantages of Groups. Stages of Group Development. Types of Groups (Formal vs. Informal). Norms. Group Decision-Making. The Role of Technology. A Special Challenge: Groupthink. Hour's Up!

Hour 15. Teamwork.

Distinguishing Between Groups and Teams. Understanding Teams Today. Recognizing Characteristics of High-Performance Teams. Understanding Team Building. Creative Teams. Managing Teams. Addressing Special Human Resource Problems in Teams. Hour's Up!


Hour 16. Organizational and Structural Design.

Defining Organizational Design. Understanding What Influences Design. Making Structural Decisions. Managing in Different Structures. Hour's Up!

Hour 17. Organizational Culture.

What Is Culture? Internal Integration and External Adaptation. Culture and Performance. Strong Organizational Cultures. Aspects of Culture. A Typology of Culture. Your Role in Building and Reinforcing Cultures. When Two Cultures Merge. Hour's Up!

Hour 18. Organizational Politics and Power.

Power and Influence. The Bases of Power. How to Build a Power Base. A Paradigm Shift: Empowerment of the Workforce. How to Manage Upward Influence. Organizational Politics. Political Alliances. General Tips to Politics. Hour's Up!

Hour 19. The New Leadership.

The Roles of Leadership and Management. The Leadership Research: How We Got to This Point Contemporary Views of Leadership. Transactional Leadership. Transformational Leadership. Charismatic Leadership. The Flip Side of Leadership: Followership. How to Lead Self-Managed Teams. Hour's Up!

Hour 20. Organizational Communication.

The Communication Process. Barriers to Communication. Nonverbal Communication. Active Listening. Directions of Organizational Communication Flow. The Role of Technology in Communication Today. Hour's Up!


Hour 21. Stress.

What Is Stress? Stressors. Individual Consequences of Stress. Personality: Type A and Type B. Organizational Consequences of Stress. Stress Management. How to Recognize Stress in Others. Tips for Effective Managers. Hour's Up!

Hour 22. Facilitating Meetings.

Different Types of Meetings. Premeeting Planning. The Meeting Itself. The Minutes. Postmeeting Planning. Your Role as Facilitator. Special Challenges: Managing Individuals Who Inhibit Meeting Success. Hour's Up!

Hour 23. Interviewing.

The Recruitment Process. The Selection Process. The Effective Interview. Potentially Dangerous Questions. Tips for Conducting the Effective Interview. Hour's Up!

Hour 24. Gaining an Edge: Business Etiquette.

Why Business Etiquette Is Once Again Important. Business Basics. Meeting Etiquette. Business Gifts. Business Correspondence. Netiquette. General Etiquette Do's and Don'ts. Creating a Positive Image. A Parting Tip to Better Manners: Gossip. Hour's Up!

Appendix A. Twenty-Minute Recap.

Appendix B. Glossary and Recommended Readings.

Appendix C. Answers to Hour's Up Quizzes.


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