Let’s Get Real:
Meet the Manager
Caliber Group Tucson, AZ
You’ll be hearing more from this real manager throughout the chapter. I am an account director for Caliber Group, a full-service marketing/PR firm. My main responsibility is to work with our clients to determine what type of marketing or public relations they need to create better brand awareness and increase sales for their business.
BEST PART OF MY JOB:
Working with a large, diverse group of businesses that each have their own unique competitive environment, products or services to sell, and management style.
Constraints and Challenges for the Global Manager
Contrast the actions of managers according to the omnipotent and symbolic views. page 72
Describe the constraints and challenges facing managers in today’s external environment. page 74
Discuss the characteristics and importance of organizational culture. page 79
Describe current issues in organizational culture. page 86
WORST PART OF MY JOB:
Budgets. In business, as in life, there are always budget limitations that we have to work within and still accomplish our goals.
BEST MANAGEMENT ADVICE EVER RECEIVED:
From my first boss—handle each piece of paper once. In the age of electronic correspondence you can relate this to e-mails as well. Basically the idea is to try to handle everything the first time around, so as not to waste time and energy. It’s a hard mantra to practice but it’s worthwhile if you can do it, at least most of the time.
A Manager’s Dilemma
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks left Emirates, like all other airlines, facing one of the most severe crises in its history. In addition to 9/11, the airline industry was also affected by the war in Iraq, a weak global economy, and the outbreak of SARS—all in rapid succession. The industry had net losses of $31 billion between 2001 and 2003, and a number of previously successful carriers faced bankruptcy. Many resorted to emergency state loans, scaled down growth forecasts, and launched major cost-cutting programs. Emirates, under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, continued its business without any of these drastic measures even though customer numbers and profitability were declining. Sheikh Ahmed e-mailed all of his employees telling them that they were all part of a family and as head of that family he wanted to assure them that their wellbeing was of paramount concern. He extended the invitation to prove that Emirates was the best multinational team in the business and asked everyone to show respect to one another so that they could emerge as an even stronger team. Furthermore, Emirates did not reduce its workforce by even a single employee and continued to grow during a tough economic climate. As Emirates continues to grow, how can managers ensure that its culture continues?1
What Would You Do?
Here’s a company that recognizes how important culture is! Emirates has created a culture where employees are treated with respect and are viewed as a core strategic asset. In the year prior to April 2004, despite a crippling surge in oil prices that further threatened the industry, Emirates carried 10.4 million passengers, an increase of 2 million from the previous year and profits rose 74 percent. Undoubtedly, its employees and the culture they work in played a key role. In this chapter, we’re going to look at culture and other important aspects of management’s context. We’ll examine the challenges in the external environment and discuss the characteristics of organizational culture. But before we address these topics, we first need to look at two perspectives on how much impact managers actually have on an organization’s success or failure.
LEARNING OUTCOME Contrast the actions of managers according to the omnipotent and symbolic views.