Managing a business and its employees is and art and a skill. In today's business environment, companies make millions one quarter and file for bankruptcy the next. The business climate is volatile at best. The challenges for a business and its managers are many indeed. Any business and the managers in that business today will have to deal with, technology, diversity and multicultural employees and customers, globalization, the economy, ethics of the organizations employees and clients, obtaining good leaders and managers, then finally training them and knowledge management. This paper will look at those challenges that a business must face on a day-to-day basis.
Technology innovations are changing the way companies are being managed and run. From giant companies like Wal-Mart to small businesses, all are affected by technology (Dessler, 2001). For example a company that sell clocks and plastic products has changed dramatically from the 1970's. In the 1980's they would have purchased a fax machine and got a 800 number. In the 1990's pressured by large customers, added electronic data interchange. Now half of the companies orders arrive via modem going straight into the company's computers. Errors in data entry and ordering have disappeared and costs have dropped (Dessler, 2001). A manger of customer service is doing a totally different job today than he or she did in the 1980's, and 1990's. Today the manager must be up todate on the technology used, understand it and in many cases be able to fix it, as well as manage his or her employees. The Internet has changed the way companies are managers and doing business. A company that takes advantage of the Internet and uses it as a functional tool to gain market share is making the most of the emerging technology. Many managers do not see the benefit or opportunity of having a sharp web site or even offering online ordering. Hence the Internet is not a value added service for their company. Because of the technological advances in today's businesses, managers must not only managers their employees and business, but manage the technology that goes with their businesses to be successful. Managers must be technologically advanced and fluent to grow their businesses. Diversity is a challenge that affects many businesses today as well. The world is becoming smaller and more people from different ethnical backgrounds are working in today's companies. Mangers will not have a team consisting of only of white males anymore to manage. Diversity at work cannot be avoided. Mangers will have to deal with how all the diverse groups of people interact and get along. Education is a big part of the process in having a productive diverse team (Schreiber, 1996). Many think that diversity is two sided, a blessing and a curse. Problems and challenges in the organization are attacked in a richer way with different perspective. On the other hand it is much harder to get a diverse team forming, norming and producing smoothly (Dessler, 2001). Managing diversity involves planning and implementing organizational systems and practices to manage people so that the potential advantages of diversity are maximized while its potential disadvantages are minimized (Dessler, 2001). Globalization is a new challenge that most managers of the past did not have to deal with. Globalization is an extension of the firms sales or manufacturing to a new market abroad (Dessler, 2001). And both selling and manufacturing create problems for managers. Problems that the managers did not have to deal with before globalization started. Globalization also means more competition. For example companies that did not create a threat in the past are suddenly selling at better prices, making more gross margin than three months ago. Managers have to react quickly and manage smarter in order to continue to be successful (Dessler, 2001).
Managers today must deal with a volatile...