UNDERSTANDING THE CHAPTER
1. What is an organization and why are managers important to an organization’s success? Answer – An organization is a systematic arrangement of people brought together to accomplish some specific purpose. All organizations share three common characteristics. 1) Every organization has a purpose and is made up of people who are grouped in some fashion. 2) No purpose or goal can be achieved by itself, therefore organizations have members. 3) All organizations develop a systematic structure that defines and limits the behavior of its members. Organization—an entity that has a distinct purpose, has people or members, and has a systematic structure. Managers direct the activities of other people in the organization. Customarily classified as top, middle, or first line, they supervise both operative employees and lower-level managers. First-line managers are responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of operative employees. Middle managers manage other managers and possibly some operative employees. They are responsible for translating the goals set by top management into specific details. Top managers are responsible for making decisions about the direction of the organization and establishing policies that affect all organizational members. 2. Are all effective organizations also efficient? Discuss. If you had to choose between being effective or being efficient, which one would you say is more important? Why? Answer – Management is the process of getting things done, effectively and efficiently, through and with other people. Effectiveness and efficiency deal with what we are doing and how we are doing it. Efficiency means doing the task right and refers to the relationship between inputs and outputs. Effectiveness means doing the right task, which translates into goal attainment. Efficiency and effectiveness are interrelated. It’s easier to be effective if one ignores efficiency. Good management is attaining goals (effectiveness) and doing so as efficiently as possible. Organizations can be efficient and yet not be effective. High efficiency is associated more typically with high effectiveness. Poor management is most often due to both inefficiency and ineffectiveness or to effectiveness achieved through inefficiency. To address the question of which is more important, maybe it depends. Doing the right tasks may keep a business in business—keep the doors open and meet payroll. Doing the wrong tasks may close the doors and send everyone home. Suppose you are the owner and manager of a CPA firm. Over the years, your organization has developed a long-term relationship with a number of customers who come to you each year to prepare their income tax return. If you chose to emphasize efficiency over effectiveness, what might happen? You might create an infrastructure that at least in the short run would be very efficient. Suppose you have one person handle a customer’s tax return preparation from start to finish (sounds like a silo). You could have your accountants specialize in the type of customers they work with so they could become even more efficient in completing the tax returns (we’ll talk about job specialization more in the history module and chapter five). You could create a compensation system where accountants who could document their ability to complete tax returns in less time were rewarded. Let’s come back to this concept in a minute. What if you chose to emphasize effectiveness over efficiency? Suppose that it is one of your organization’s goals to guarantee accurate preparation of income tax returns. You may decide to send all employees to training to learn the most up-to-date advice available regarding tax law. You may also see that all of your employees have training each year in any changes being implemented by the Internal Revenue Service. You might also create an infrastructure that would seem to be less efficient. For example, you might...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document