Define the Manager Terrain

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MGT B240

Unit 2
Defining the manager’s terrain

110

Course team (2009 version) Developer: Designer: Coordinator: Member: Dr Kenneth Chao, OUHK Delian Gaskell, OUHK Dr Alex Mak, OUHK Dr Peng Wei, OUHK

Course team (previous version) Developer (original version): Adapter: Production ETPU Publishing Team Brian Barrett, OUHK Victor Haines, Consultant, OUHK

Copyright © The Open University of Hong Kong, 1990, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Revised April 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form by any means without permission in writing from the President, The Open University of Hong Kong. Sale of this material is prohibited. The Open University of Hong Kong 30 Good Shepherd Street Ho Man Tin, Kowloon Hong Kong

Contents
Overview Introduction The manager: Omnipotent or symbolic? The organization’s culture What is organizational culture? The relationship between culture and management practices Strong vs. weak cultures Summary

1 3 4 6
6 7 8 10

The environment
Defining the environment The specific environment The general environment Summary

12
12 12 15 18

Managing in a global environment
Managing in a foreign environment The changing global environment The legal-political and economic environments The cultural environment Summary

20
20 20 24 25 28

Social responsibility and managerial ethics
What is social responsibility? Managerial ethics Toward improving ethical behaviour Business ethics in Hong Kong and other countries Summary

30
31 34 40 43 48

The decision-making process and limits to rationality
The decision-making process The rational decision maker Limits to rationality Bounded rationality The role of intuition Summary

50
50 56 56 60 61 61

Problems and decisions
Summary

64
66

Analysing decision alternatives
Decision-making styles, biases and errors Summary

68
70 71

Group decision making
Summary

73
75

Unit summary Suggested answers to the self-test questions Suggested answers to the case study questions References

79 81 84 85

Unit 2

1

Overview
Unit 2 is a survey of the terrain of managers. It provides you with a general understanding of the constraints and conditions facing managers when they perform their functions. Together with Unit 1 it provides a general introduction to the field of management and forms the foundation for your understanding of management. This unit is divided into ten sections. The first section is an analysis of the omnipotent vs. the symbolic view of managers. This clarifies the extent to which managers should be responsible for the performance of their organizations. The second section discusses concepts in organizational culture and how organizational culture is an internal constraint influencing managers’ action. The third and fourth sections take a wider perspective and examine organizations within the context of their environment. The third section discusses general and specific environments as external constraints on managerial actions. The fourth section deals with the global environment and the major concerns about managing in a foreign environment. The fifth section deals with the issue of social responsibility and managerial ethics. It provides you with an understanding of the concepts and arguments involved and a brief comparison between business ethics of managers in Hong Kong and the United States. The last few sections cover important topics and concepts about decision making — the essence of the manager’s job. The sixth section deals with the decision-making process from the viewpoint that managers have to compromise between the ideal of rational decision-making and limits imposed by reality. The seventh section distinguishes between wellstructured problems and ill-structured problems and the corresponding type of decisions that can be used to solve them. The eighth section differentiates certainty, risk and uncertainty decision conditions. The...
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