Management and Education System
Assignment 1 – Management
Managers are responsible for groups of people who have an obligation of using other resources within specific systems of operation to achieve objectives of various organizations. In other words, managers are responsible for a group of tasks, and he uses the available human resources and other resources allocated to him or her to achieve them. For instance, an office project can have a project manager (McClain & Romaine, 2008). In this context, the main task of the project manager is to organize the available resources with the aim of completing a specific project. In restaurants, front-of-house managers assist patrons with their duties and supervise various hosts. It is apparent that organizations can have different forms of managers depending on the uniqueness of tasks at hand. Most departments in different companies have line managers. Line managers are responsible for designing policies, setting various organizational targets and making influential decisions for such companies. Such organizations also have staff managers. In most cases, they head revenue consumption departments. Such departments include accounting, human resources, and customer departments. Apparently, the functions of one manager are usually tied to the functions of other managers in an organization.
Management can be perceived as one of the important factors of production in an organization. In a broader sense, it aims at achieving specific goals of the establishment through proper organization and coordination of the related activities (McClain & Romaine, 2008). For instance, it entails organization and coordination of activities such as marketing and innovation among others. In a more specific term, it involves developing corporate policies, organization, planning, controlling and focusing resources towards achieving the results of the set policies. The size of management varies for different organizations or businesses depending on their sizes. In other words, smaller organizations can have management that is constituted by few people. Larger organizations may have larger management units. In larger organizations, policies are developed by the board of directors and the same is passed down by CEOs or senior managers depending on the organization’s structure. Therefore, the main responsibility of managers is to make decisions that can facilitate the progress of related organizations in one way or the other.
The universal perception of the organization is that it is a social unit that entails people who are defined by a common purpose of achieving a common goal. It is a structure of people who are managed with the aim of producing the intended results. The relationships between an organizational activities and its members are determined by the management structure adopted. The management structure of the organization is also responsible for sub-dividing and allocating responsibilities to the available people. In organizations, the implementation of strategies is implemented by people through clearly defined processes. Such processes are facilitated through the authority. The mandates of such authorities are decided of determined by the management structure of the organization. The open-system nature of organizations makes them have a direct relationship with the environment. In other words, they can be affected by the environment where they exist. They can also affect the same environments.
The Importance of Managers in the Success of an Organization
The overall management process of organizations is carried out through managers. In this context, the function of managers is to identify effective management strategies that will minimize the cost of operation while maximizing output. Effective management strategies can facilitate increased productivity in an organization. An organization is a system that operates systematically to produce specified results. Categories of organizations include corporate organizations, non-governmental organization, non-profit organizations, profit based organizations, governments and international organizations among others. The success of organizations relies on the balance between the inputs and outputs. A successful establishment is that which uses minimal inputs to achieve a relatively high output. All establishments have a primary goal of maximizing their preferred results using minimal input.
There are usually secondary objectives surrounding the primary goal in particular establishments. The secondary objectives contribute to the realization of companies’ goals. The discussion asserts that the importance of a manager in the success of an organization can be accessed on the basis of leadership style he or she uses. Leadership in the context of business refers to the ability of a manager to achieve high results through ensuring efficient operation and utilization of resources. In a general setting, leadership refers to the ability of an individual to guide a group of people towards achieving a particular goal. A purposeful leadership has two potential outcomes. Firstly, a purposeful leadership may lead to greater results for the business. Secondly, it may lead to the progress of the leader. Leadership when applied effectively, thus, is a powerful tool for serving both the business and a leader’s interests at once.
Organizational structure may be perceived as the arrangement of authority lines, communication processes and rights and duties in hierarchical form. Organizational structure determines the arrangement of authority and responsibilities in a given organization. The authorities of the organization are carried out through people in different management levels, such as managers and supervisors. Authority may be perceived as the power that is required by a leader to instigate and uphold actions. It may also be defined as the authority required by the leader of an organization to translate and maintain plans into realizable objectives. An organizational structure determines the allocation, control and coordination of responsibility and authority. An organizational structure also determines how information is passed from one level of management to another. There are different types of organizational structures such as matrix, divisional and functional structures among others. The common aspect among all the types of organizational structures is that they have a chain of command. The chain of command entails different levels of management with specific mandates.
One of the importance of an organizational structure is that it prevents the duplication of roles in an organization. For instance, Wall-Mart retail store has employees that have different responsibilities. There are cashiers, customer attendants, supervisors and store managers. In this context, customer attendants are aware that payments are made at the cashier’s desk once a commodity has been picked or selected from the shelf. Correspondingly, cashiers also know that it is not their responsibility to direct customers where products are located. Organizational structure is important because it can be used to identify the required levels of authority in an organization. Once the duties of workers have been established, executives determine the number of managers that would be needed to facilitate the execution of such duties. An organizational structure is important because it facilitates decision making. Everybody in the organization is aware of the level decision-making capacity bestowed upon them. For instance, a low-level worker cannot make decisions that are reserved for supervisors. It is also crucial for communication. From the moment, new employees join an organization; they know where their reports should go.Importantly, an organizational structure entails plans regarding resource utilization, timetable or the completion of duties. Such factors are important for the achievement of the goals of the organization.
An organizational Chart
Power is exercised at different management levels of the organization. An organization may consist of a number of managers with varying titles, responsibilities, and authority. They may also exist in different management hierarchies. The hierarchies consist of the top level management, middle level management, and low-level management. The top level manager controls the operations of the entire organization. They also develop policies and make decisions regarding the objectives of the organization. They also mobilize outside resources to be used to speed up organizational processes. They may consist of chief executive officers and board of directors. They may also consist of company president and vice-president. Middle-level managers oversee the implementation of organizational plans. They also mediate between the top level and low-level managers. They may consist of general managers, branch managers and heads of departments. Low-level managers may consist of supervisors and team leads who control and direct smaller groups of employees with the aim of achieving the goals of the organization. They also assign roles to such groups of employees. They maintain quality in the organizational procedures. They are responsible for channeling the concerns of employees up the hierarchy.
The Vision, Mission and Corporate Strategy of Wal-Mart Corporation
The vision statement of Wal-Mart encourages consumers to work together with the company to lower the cost of living. The statement asserts that working with the retail company will give everyone the opportunity to experience a lifestyle where the prices of quality commodities are low. This vision statement borders the mission statement of the company that emphasizes upon saving peoples’ money to enhance their living conditions. The vision and mission statement tends to relate to the plans that were laid in the beginning by the founder, Sam Walton. Wal-Mart started in 1962 by Sam Watson (Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2013). The three policies that guided the rapid growth of the companies through the century include; better service to customers, respect and working to achieve excellence. Wal-Mart is a company that deals in the retail of household and industrial commodities. Currently, the company has more than 10,000 trade divisions in 27 countries. Also, the company is operating 69 banners at the moment (Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2013).
The company tends to work in line with the corporate strategies developed and implemented by Sam Walton. The corporate strategy of the corporation is guided by the overall objective of improving the living standards of customers through reduced prices of commodities. The main business strategy at Wal-Mart involves retailing high-quality products at relatively cheaper prices compared to other retail stores (Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2013). This strategy tends to aim at consumers who exist in the middle and low-class. Arguably, the middle and lower-class individuals form the largest portion of the country’s population. The strategy ensures that products are sold at high rates while collecting small profits for every item. It would attract the majority of people who have limited financial resources to purchase commodities that are highly priced. The success and expansion of the organization can be attributed to this strategy.
The SWOT analysis tool is used to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of organizations. In other words, it used to determine the position of a company or enterprise in the market. They evaluate their strengths and opportunities and use the same to counter the threats that result from competition. They also use their strengths to cover their weaknesses in the market. In general, SWOT analysis is important because assesses an organization’s competitive ability in the market. For instance, for Wal-Mart to compete effectively against other retail stores such as Amazon and Costco, the executives have to know their weaknesses that can be exploited. The executives should also know how they can use the company’s strength against the weaknesses of the related competitors.
When talking about an organizational culture, factors such as expectations, values, experience and philosophies come into perspective. The uniqueness of an organization’s social and psychological environment is defined by such factors. They hold an organization together. They are often expressed in the inner workings and self-image of an organization. An organizational culture is an important element in competition because it determines how employees behave towards achieving set objectives. Cultural change can be achieved by leaders of the organization through modeling of the intended behavior and values. It may take time, but cultural change can enhance an organization’s performance. For instance, there are customers that come into retail stores to compare prices and quality of commodities. Such people end up not buying goods. Rather than waiting for customers to reach out to the attendants, they can be taught to be aggressive in a way that would convince potential customers to make purchases. In other circumstances, Employees can be encouraged to be innovative in their approaches.
Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2013). Ethical decision making in business: A managerial approach (9th ed., International student ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.
McClain, G. R., & Romaine, D. S. (2008). The Everything Managing People Book: Quick and Easy Ways to Build, Motivate, and Nurture a First-Rate Team. Avon: Adams Media.
Assignment 2 – Education
A Comparison between the Education System of United Kingdom and USA
Arguably, most of the world’s top learning institutions exist in the United States and United Kingdom. The excellence in the education system in both countries can be attributed to a long-standing tradition of quality, research-oriented learning as well as academic freedom. However, the education systems in both countries have opposing or different approaches. The first difference lies in the amount of time taken to complete a degree program. Degree programs in the United States take a relatively longperiod, compared to the United Kingdom. Specifically, a degree program in the United States takes a year longer than the United Kingdom. However, the amount of time is also dependent upon the program that students are undertaking. It also depends upon whether students can pursue Ph.D. programs upon the completion of the undergraduate program. In the United Kingdom, it is less likely to bypass the master’s program compared to the United States. The shorter learning durations in the United Kingdom can be attributed to the focus in such courses. In other words, courses in the UK are more focused than in USA (Ballantine and Spade, 2008).
Students in the United Kingdom are allowed to begin studying their preferred vocations at the beginning of their college education. The college education begins from the age of sixteen years. They are also exempted from taking general education classes such as art and history. Liberal arts education is available for students who prefer to study them. They are also meant for students who have not yet made up their minds regarding the vocational courses they want to pursue. In this context, it is easy to argue that the education system of the United Kingdom tends to focus on vocational studies. This trend is a sharp contrast to the educational system in the United States. For instance, liberal arts education is a compulsory study at the college level. The justification of broadening the education system in the USA is that it enables students to realize who they are and what they want to do in the community.
In comparison, the early specialization in the UK allows students to learn about specific concepts in their courses for a long time. It also allows them to become deeply involved in the system. However, its major setback is that most students may rush into certain disciplines only to realize later that they are not interested in them. The broad nature of the American education system allows students to understand various aspects regarding other disciplines. It also gives them the time to choose the vocations they would like to pursue as they specialize. However, the broader system of education does not allow students to delve deep into particular concepts. Consequently, research accompanying such studies can be shallow and poorly presented.
The education system of the United Kingdom uses a series of exams to assess their students. Such exams include GCEs, SATs, A-level, and university finals. In other words, students are assessed at the end of the term and school calendar year. Most professionals believe that the system is likely to encourage students to be lazy. For instance, students are more likely to study when the exam period approaches. Arguably, there is only a couple of in the assessment of the progress of students. The education system in the United States uses grade point average to assess their students. The grade point average (GPA) is a continuous assessment of related academic details. The GPA analysis is a continuous process that entails analyzing reading responses, homework, presentations and overall classroom performances (Ballantine & Spade, 2008)
In both cases, there are four stages of learning processes. However, they differ in terms of structuring and the ages of attendance. For instance, In the UK, the stages include primary school, secondary school, further education and higher education. The period of study in the primary section is between the ages of four and eleven. Most primary schools are mixed in nature while some have strong religion basis. Upon the completion of primary education at the age of eleven years, pupils graduate and join secondary schools. The secondary school system is comprehensive in nature. In other words, they do not operate a selective entrance system. At the 9th year of study, usually between ages 13 and 14, students choose the subjects they want to study over the remaining years. Secondary education ends in the 11th year of study, usually between ages 15 and 16. At this level, students have the option to continue or discontinue their education process. Students may wish to continue their participation in further education. Students in this level only study four subjects. Students who wish to gain specific knowledge enter the higher education level. These are students who wish to gain degrees or diplomas in specific areas.
The primary school education in the United States begins from the age of five and lasts until the age of 10 or 11 years depending on the progress of students. The last grade in the primary school education is the fifth grade. The secondary school level entails seven years and ends at the 12th grade. Students are expected to finish their secondary school education at the age of 17or 18 years depending on their progress. The next step is the undergraduate school that is meant for students who wish to a college or university. Students may take two or four years in the undergraduate school to attain associate or bachelor degrees respectively. Graduate school is meant for students who have attained a bachelor degree and may wish to study for the master’s degree.
Ballantine, J. H., & Spade, J. Z. (2008). Schools and society: A sociological approach to education. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press.