Business Activities and Organizational Success

Introduction

Current business trends that have come up as a result of technological changes and globalization have forced managers to upgrade their management and leadership skills to achieve success in today’s volatile commercial and noncommercial environment(Wheelen& Hunger 372-78). Business activities can now be done over the internet or at arm’s length Consequently, managers are required to use contemporary leadership techniques to marshal their workforce like soldiers to achieve organizational success.

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If organizational leaders do not decide to operate synergistically by incorporating their subordinates in the decision-making process, their efforts are most likely to suffer setbacks which will injure the corporate mission of the organizations that they lead (Alimo & Alban 68-69). Without good leadership, then organizational members may fail to achieve much and the organization will most likely become chaotic and disorganized because of conflict and as a result not achieve its strategic goals. Super-leaders prefer to use more contemporary/modern leadership techniques usually use a holistic approach that enables managers to plan, control, organize staff and lead various activities within the various functional areas of the organization with the help of other subordinates (Mumford, Marks et. al 114).

Unlike in the past where managers and organizational leaders prefer to hold on to all powers and authority and use more autocratic/bureaucratic leadership styles, today’s volatile business environment is full of skilled teams and employees who are key to organizational success, this fact has prompted super leaders to engage the entire organization into the leadership and decision-making process (Spreitzer& Quinn 43). Organizational success crucially depends on how good managers can stimulate effective leadership by making effective decisions while at the same time empowering organizational members at an individual level or as teams using superhero leadership techniques. If organizational leaders decide to hold on to power and disallow organizational members from participating, then it is most likely that employees will be demotivated.

The inter-relationship between effective leadership, effective decision-making, self-managing teams, devolution of decision making and the success of organizations

Effective leaders are transformational leaders who aim at not only leadership for the sake of leading but rather transfer some of their leadership traits to their subordinates so that in the future subordinates can be able to understand what is expected of them and achieve a lot even in the absence of their leader ( Linstead & Lilley 562-563). Jack Welch Former CEO General Electric is one such leader who will be remembered for successfully using transformational leadership techniques which enabled the employees of General Electric to develop a culture while working together in teams and becoming part of the decision making process. During his tenure, Jack Welch was considered a superhero type of leader.

Due to the large and conglomerate nature of his organization, it was very important to move away from a bureaucratic method of leadership and incorporate lower levels of employees in the decision making and leadership process within the organization (Koontz & Weihrich 84). Therefore as the C.E.O, he made sure that his organization’s recruitment system through the human resource management recruited then best managers to lead in various functional areas and at the same time develop the best programs to empower employees to have full knowledge of operations and the overall direction of the company ( Wageman 48-49). This enabled the organization to successfully develop a culture of empowered employees that paved way for a transformational leadership style that called from the participation of employees in the entire management and decision-making process, and this is what made General electric one of the best organizations (Manz & Sims 72).

Current day managers who are quite effective in the art of leadership do not insist so much on procedures and processes but are now dependent on their subordinates when it comes to making final decisions (Elloy & Randolph 266). The role played by integration, participation, and talent of subordinates is hence very important because it also acts as a force of motivating employees and encouraging them to grow into better staff members and super leaders who often allow their subordinates to excel by engaging them in the decision-making process and letting them lead in some instances (Wheelen & Hunger 278).

Organizational members are hence more likely to fully utilize their talents to the maximum if they are given a chance to work in self-managed groups which enable them to interact and participate at a peer to peer level. When experts of a particular discipline come together and brainstorm, they will most likely come up with the best ideas through brainstorming and also develop numerous alternatives that usually form part of the final decision (Mumford, Marks et. al 108-111).

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Subordinates are very talented and even in some instances have more knowledge than their leaders/managers of the organizations that they serve this hence makes it necessary for leadership to incorporate them into the decision making process. Effective leadership usually takes into account the opinions of subordinates and incorporates their opinions into the decision making process (Quigley, Narda, et al 68). When a group of employees come together and all work towards the same goal by dedicating their mental capabilities, experience, and talent, they ultimately become a very important part of the final decision making process and success of the organization (Ehsan, & Nauman 642-646).

Contemporary leaders who are considered super leaders have chosen to step away from old school management models such as McGregor’s x & y theory and theories of other scholars such as the Hawthorne when the need arises, which if followed in this current age that is characterized by highly volatile business and organizational environments, they are most likely to fail organizations and institutions (Zawacki& Norman 34). Organizations like Google, Apple Inc., and Microsoft have understood this and are now appreciating the role that is played by devolution of the decision making process to organizational teams and individual employees by those in leadership and that is why they are performing better than their rivals. Classical and old methods of management that are more centralized and bureaucratic are therefore more likely to lead to slower decision making processes which eventually compromise on the quality of decisions that are to be made by organizational leaders.

Autonomy and freedom have, therefore, become a key source of motivation within the workforce and employees who are given such freedom are more likely to go out of their way to give their best (Neck, Moorhead & West 543). The strict use of processes and procedures may often make work custom and lead to dissatisfaction and once employees are dissatisfied, then their motivational levels will plummet and output will hence be affected.

Effective leadership is the kind of leadership that increases the level of output within organizations by effectively making the best decisions after involving self-managed teams (Koontz & Weihrich 90-95). Boeing is another example of an organization that has stimulated effective decision making and leadership by using self-managed teams who played a very big role in ensuring that the company was profitable by changing the way it constructed its airplanes(Quigley, Narda, et al 70-72).

When the management and leadership in Boeing adopted a transformational leadership structure that made self-managed groups part of the decision-making process, the development of Boeing787 Dreamliner was more successful as compared to the manufacture of A380 belonging to Airbus which was delayed, its budget surpassed the expected budget and it also runs into trouble due to the use of a different approach that did not devolve power and encourage the use of self-managed teams. In this case, by using self-managed groups, Boeing tapped into the power of mass collaboration and participation by calling for each self-managed team to take full responsibility for each of the aircraft components and hence develop defect-free components that were accurate and according to specification.

These teams were expected by management/leadership to work together in the process of design, testing, and review to develop components of Boeing787. By adopting the use of self Managed teams and devolving the decision making to these groups, Boeing was able to witness a decline in costs and the assembly time of Boeing787 went along faster enabling the plane to be finished in schedule (Wheelen & Hunger 318). By handing over power and the decision-making process to these teams, each team successfully concentrated on making valuable decisions concerning aircraft components because the team members were experts in their fields and additionally none of the100 teams wanted to fail and inconvenience the others. It is believed that if Boeing decided to follow the same path that Airbus had followed when constructing A380 then the development of Boeing787 would have not been a smooth one.

Advantages and disadvantages of effective leadership, effective decision-making, self-managing teams together with devolved decision-making systems in organizations

In a real sense, there are very few disadvantages of organizations forming self-managed teams but in some cases, individuals who are lazy and in effect may opt to hide their inefficiencies behind their group but share in all the glory when group ideas succeed(Wageman 55). The fact that credit for success is shared equally among the group means that some sense of dissatisfaction will in some cases arise when the shining star(s) of the group fell that they are the source of all the good ideas and decisions but no direct credit or acknowledgment is handed to them(Spreitzer & Quinn 41-43).

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Additionally working in groups reduces the level of individual/self-achievement of individuals this is because when individuals learn new ideas on their own are more likely to grow in talent and experience(Neck & West 338). Thirdly organizations which tend to over depend on devolution of power to self-managed teams often despise managers and organizational leaders if they are not part of the group, due to the high level of skill and independence of these groups, together with minimal supervision and good results makes group members perceive administrative leaders as weaklings who lack technical know-how of how organizational processed are carried out(Ehsan & Nauman 643)

Among advantages of devolving decision making within the organization and allowing employees to work in self-managed teams is that the quality of output within organizations is more likely to rise because employees are divided into groups according to their expertise thereby allowing them to work with higher levels of motivation which ensures that they dedicate more time to ensure that the quality of work that they do is very high. Organizations that allow employees to work in self-managed teams are more likely to work with a moreincreasedcustomer orientation, organizations like Apple Inc. and Google usually design their processes according to the needs of the customer in mind (Alimo & Alban 68). Leadership structures that are autocratic and do not devolve power to make decisions to self-managed teams are more likely to be less in touch with the needs and desires of customers.

The failure of Airbus while manufacturing A380 is a classic example of how ineffective leadership and management can be in organizations if employees who have the necessary expertise are not allowed to work and make decisions that are considered critical especially in complex industrial processes like that of manufacturing Airplanes( Koontz & Weihrich 157). Since the Boeing leadership was well aware of the various hurdles that Airbus had faced in the process of manufacturing airplanes, the organization was able to increase their production rates and Shortendelivery timeframes when manufacturing the Boing787.

Contemporary management techniques that allow organizational personnel/employees to participate and engage themselves in decision making and even work in self-managed teams usually contribute a lot towards establishing more flexible organizations. Flexible organizations are capable of responding faster to changes within its environment (Alper & Tjosvold 74) especially when it comes to reacting to competitor actions, the dynamic behavior of consumers; hence flexible organizations are capable of setting up more dependable and accurate mechanisms of adapting to change (Abernethy & van Lent 16).

When employees work together as teams and are allowed by the leadership to participate in the process of decision making, they end up being highly motivated. Higher levels of employee motivation ensure lower rates of employee turnover and absenteeism levels within the organizations(Quigley, Narda, et al 72). A motivated workforce is very good in the sense that employees will certainly enjoy working and carrying on their duties which will be fun for them hence positively influencing their output.

Transformational leadership that allows employees to interact with leadership/management and participate in the decision-making process stimulates organizational development, giving the workforce a chance to develop themselves and grow into better employees and decision-makers within their functional areas. Because employees also work in self-managed groups, high motivation levels ensure that employees’ output levels are optimized making good use of human resources within the organization(Ehsan, & Nauman 643). When human resources are effectively distributed within the organization, then the organization can save costs because duplication of roles will be easily eliminated and resources saved within the organization.

Conclusion

Leading is another rational and technical task that requires managers to involve their entire organization in the process of making decisions within the organization. Leading can be done in various ways but the best way of leading should not be by coercing individuals to streamline themselves with a leader’s opinion but rather follow a participatory leadership style. Super leader type of leadership should be carried out by managers through inspiration, communication and participation leaders, and should furthermore acknowledge the important role that self-managed teams play in an organization especially when it comes to decision making. Self-managed teams give an organization’s experts a real chance to come together and share their opinions to display their talent peer to peer and come up with the best ideas and the best decisions. Managers should hence pay more attention to developing effective leadership techniques that will allow their organizations, especially through self-managed teams, to form a basis through which all organizational members can be incorporated in the process of decision making within organizations.

Works Cited

Abernethy, Bouwens, & Laurence van Lent.Leadership and control system design. Management Accounting Research, 21, 2-16, 2010.Print.

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Alimo, Metcalfe & Alban, Metcalfe.Leadership: the time for a new direction. Leadership, 1(1), 51-71, 2005.Print.

Alper, Law & Tjosvold, Dean. Independence and controversy in group decision making: antecedents to effective self-managing teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 74(1), 33-52, 1998. Print.

Ehsan, Mansur, & Nauman, Shazia. Patterns of empowerment and leadership style in project environment. International Journal of Project Management, 28, 638-649, 2010.Print.

Elloy, David. & Randolph, Allan.The effect of superleader behavior on autonomous work groups in government operated railway service. Public Personnel Management, 26(2), 257-270, 1997. Print.

Koontz, Harold & Weihrich, Heinz.Essence of Management an International Perspective. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill.2009.Print.

Linstead, Fulop, & Lilley Simon.“Management and Organization – a critical text” (2nd ed.).New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp. 562 – 563, 2009. Print.

Manz, Charles. & Sims, Henry.Superleadership: beyond the myth of heroic leadership. Organizational Dynamic, 19(4), 18-35, 1991.Print.

Mumford, Marks et al. Leadership skills and the group performance: Situational demands, behavioral requirements, and planning. The Leadership Quarterly.Vol16(1), 97-120, 2005. Print.

Neck, Moorhead, & West, Michael. The tendency toward defective decision making within self-managing teams: the relevance of groupthink for the 21st century. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Vol. 73(2/3), 327-351,1998.Print.

Quigley, Narda et al. Group decision process and incrementalism in organizational decision making.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.Vol. 92, 67-79, 2003.Print.

Spreitzer, Gretchen. & Quinn, Robert. The road to empowerment: seven questions every leader should consider. Organizational Dynamic.Vol. 26(2), 37-49, 1997. Print.

Wageman, Ruth. “Critical Success Factors for Creating Superb Self-Managed Teams.In Organisation Dynamics”.Vol 26.Issue 1. pp. 49 – 60,1997.Print.

Wheelen, Thomas. & Hunger David.Strategic Management and Business Policy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.2002.Print.

Zawacki, Robert & Norman, Allan. “Successful Self-Directed Teams and Planned Change: A Lot in Common”. In OD Practitioner.Vol 3.Pp. 33 – 38, 1994.Print.

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