Category Archives: General

GyanDoz: reliving rechristened

Hello Friends,

Over a year on wordpress, and looking at the site numbers it is really amazing, I was off the web for almost 6 months, now back.

Will be starting all over again on a new site with a new name and whole lot of things.

GyanDoz: All the Gyan (Knowledge) will not only cover Management topics but also current affairs, personal finance, general knowledge,, etc..the aim of the new blog is to impart knowledge at a common place.

Please feel free to check my new blog (although still 2 blogs old)

http://gyandoz.blog.com/

Thanks,

Mubina Munshi

 

Advertisements

Twenty Thirteen: Resolutions

Resolutions for Twenty Thirteen

1. More Notes Covering Many More Subjects

This year I will try and cover more subjects of MBA studies to reach out to all the students, to fulfil my goal of notes under one roof, and enable my followers to concentrate on their projects, assignments and career building activities. Leaving notes to this blog

2. Advertising and Marketing of my Blog, which I didn’t do last year.

My blog achieved 25k hits in six months of 2012 with absolute negligible promotions, which for me  is a big achievement. 2013 will be the year of promoting by blog big time via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to get more students to make my blog a bigger success.

3. Customized eBooks (containing Topics as requested by YOU)

Mid you 2013, I will start publishing eBooks on which the work has already begun, the distinct feature will be customized notes. You’ll can request the topics you’ll want on the eBook and the same will be complied and mail to you.

This is still in progress, however this is something for premium readers the logistics are still being worked on.

4. Buying a dedicated domain for relivingmbadays

By Last quarter of  2013 I aim to move to a dedicate domain for my blog, it will still be on wordpress hosted domain, as I have become a fan of wordpress, it really offers great services.

M.K.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Introduction to International Business

Political boundaries of nations, states or regions are no longer the fetters for business in the global economic paradigm. There is a paradigm shift in the way businesses are done now. A product is seldom completely produced in one country nor consumed in the same country. On the other hand, its design, fabrication, assembling, stamping, etc… are done in different countries and then marketed world over. Thus production and consumption are globally spread for most products. That is the international aspect of business we are concerned with. Available data suggest that Multinational Companies (MNCs) or Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are vastly responsible for the growth of cross-border or international production and marketing.

 

Economics, trade and finance know no national borders. By their nature these are not confinable through man-made fetters for long time. Economics, trade and finance are truly international, multinational, global and transnational. We see the continents of the world and some nations are divided by waters. But, beneath the depths of even the deepest Pacific Ocean, land mass unifies continents and nations. So, geographical divisions based on political aspects are man-made. But the nature unifies. And this applies to global economy, of which global trade and global finance are integral parts

 

 

The beverages you drink might be produced in India, but with the collaboration of a USA company. The perfume you apply might have been produced in France. The television you watch might have been produced with the Japanese technology.

 

Most of you have the experience of browsing Internet and visiting different web sites, knowing the products and services offered by various companies across the globe. Some of you might have the experience of ‘even ordering and buying the products through Internet. This process gives you the opportunity of transacting in the international business arena without visiting or knowing the various countries and companies across the globe.

 

You get all these even without visiting or knowing the country of the company where they are produced. All these activities have become a reality due to the operations and activities of international business.

 

Thus, international business is the process of focusing on the resources of the globe and objectives of the organizations on global business opportunities and threats.

 

International business is a term used to collectively describe the operations of firms with interests in several countries. Simply, it is business beyond national or continental borders by firms. You hear very often terms such as International competition, Multinational corporation, Transnational deals, Globalization, Multi-domestic business models, Worldwide sales, dynamics of Global Market place and so on daily. All these capture one or other issues concerning international business. You know international business is the most competitive with mounting uncertainties. Success in international business requires more business acumen than managing a domestic firm. Of course opportunities abound in the borderless world. So also the threats wield an intimidating future.

 

Firms must be able to reap the opportunities while ably negotiating with the attending threats. Firms must not only deal with general business functions and values, but also understand and work from a global perspective that adds multiple variables such as divergent geo-political dynamics, multi-cultural nuances, volatile-financial conditions, different time zones, and vast spatial distance issues to the international business management equation. Deftness and foresightedness are much needed for doing business across the globe.

Evolution of International Business

The business across the borders of the countries had been carried on since times immemorial. But, the business had been limited to the international trade until the recent past. The post-World War If period witnessed an unexpected expansion of national companies into international or multinational companies. The post 1990s period has given greater fillip to international business.

 

In fact, the term international business was not in existence before two decades. The term international business has emerged from the term international marketing, which in turn, emerged from the term ‘export marketing’.

 

International Trade to International Marketing: Originally, the producers used to export their products to the nearby countries and gradually extended the exports to faroff countries. Gradually, the companies extended the operations beyond trade. For example, India used to export raw cotton, raw jute and iron ore during the early 1900s. The massive industrialization in the country enabled us to export jute products, cotton garments and steel during 1960s.

 

India, during 1980s could create markets for its products, in addition to mere exporting. The export marketing efforts include creation of demand for Indian products like textiles, electronics, leather products, tea, coffee etc., arranging for appropriate distribution channels, attractive package, product development, pricing etc. This process is true not only with India, but also with almost all developed and developing economies.

 

International Marketing to International Business: The multinational companies which were producing the products in their home countries and marketing them in various foreign countries before 1980s, started locating their plants and other manufacturing facilities in foreign/host countries. Later, they started producing in one foreign country and marketing in other foreign countries. For example, UniLever established its subsidiary company in India, i.e., Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL). HLL produces its products in India and markets them in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc. Thus, the scope of the international trade is expanded into international marketing and international marketing is expanded into international business.

Mistakes Managers Make

Another way to understand what it takes to be a manager is to look at the mistakes managers make. In other words, we can learn just as much from what managers shouldn’t do as from what they should do. Exhibit 1.6 lists the top 10 mistakes managers make.

Several studies of U.S. and British managers have compared “arrivers,” or managers who made it all the way to the top of their companies, with “derailers,” managers who were successful early in their careers but were knocked off the fast track by the time they reached the middle to upper levels of management. 77 The researchers found that there were only a few differences between arrivers and derailers. For the most part, both groups were talented and both groups had weaknesses. But what distinguished derailers from arrivers was that derailers possessed two or more “fatal flaws” with respect to the way that they managed people! Although arrivers were by no means perfect, they usually had no more than one fatal flaw or had found ways to minimize the effects of their flaws on the people with whom they worked.

The number one mistake made by derailers was that they were insensitive to others by virtue of their abrasive, intimidating, and bullying management style. The authors of one study described a manager who walked into his subordinate’s office and interrupted a meeting by saying, “I need to see you.” When the subordinate tried to explain that he was not available because he was in the middle of a meeting, the manager barked, “I don’t give a damn. I said I wanted to see you now.”78 Not surprisingly, only 25 percent of derailers were rated by others as being good with people, compared to 75 percent of arrivers.

Even the U.S. Army recognizes that insensitivity to others is a serious problem. All officers who have been promoted to the rank of general are sent to the Brigadier General Training Conference, known informally in the Army as the “charm school.” The basic goal of this training is simple: to encourage new generals to get in touch with and lose their “inner jerk.” Lt. Col. Howard Olsen, who runs the training, tells the officers, “Each and every one of you has something that makes you a jerk. Some of you have more than one. I know. I’ve talked to you.”

The second mistake was that derailers were often cold, aloof, or arrogant. Although this sounds like insensitivity to others, it has more to do with derailed managers being so smart, so expert in their areas of knowledge, that they treated others with contempt because they weren’t experts, too. For example, the telecommunications company SBC

called in an industrial psychologist to counsel its vice president of human resources because she had “been blamed for ruffling too many feathers at the company.”80 Interviews with the vice president’s coworkers and subordinates revealed that they thought she was brilliant, was “smarter and faster than other people,” “generates a lot of ideas,” and “loves to deal with complex issues.” Unfortunately, these smarts were accompanied by a cold, aloof, and arrogant management style. The people she worked with complained that she does “too much too fast,” treats coworkers with “disdain,” “impairs teamwork,” “doesn’t always show her warm side,” and has “burned too many bridges.”

The third and fourth mistakes made by the derailers, betraying a trust and being overly ambitious, reflect a lack of concern for coworkers and subordinates. Betraying a trust doesn’t mean being dishonest. Instead, it means making others look bad by not doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it. That mistake, in itself, is not fatal because managers and their workers aren’t machines. Tasks go undone in every company every single business day. There’s always too much to do and not enough time, people, money, or resources to do it. The fatal betrayal of trust is failing to inform others when things will not be done on time. This failure to admit mistakes, quickly inform others of the mistakes, take responsibility for the mistakes, and then fix them without blaming others clearly distinguished the behavior of derailers from arrivers.

The fourth mistake, as mentioned above, was being overly political and ambitious. Managers who always have their eye on their next job rarely establish more than superficial relationships with peers and coworkers. In their haste to gain credit for successes that would be noticed by upper management, they make the fatal mistake of treating people as though they don’t matter.

The fatal mistakes of being unable to delegate, build a team, and staff effectively indicate that many derailed managers were unable to make the most basic transition to managerial work: to quit being hands-on doers and get work done through others. Two things go wrong when managers make these mistakes. First, when managers meddle in decisions that their subordinates should be making—when they can’t stop being doers—they alienate the people who work for them. Second, because they are trying to do their subordinates’ jobs in addition to their own, managers who fail to delegate will not have enough time to do much of anything well. Jo DeMars, president of DeMars & Associates, experienced both problems by closely micromanaging every detail at the company she founded. Although this worked when the company was small, it became a source of stress as the company grew. Employee Natalie Fleury said of DeMars, “She’d delegate but she’d still want control.” As a result, her staffers became so reluctant to make their own decisions that they asked DeMars to approve almost everything. Soon, DeMars admits, “I found myself getting so wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks that I couldn’t be strategic. . . . If someone came in with a wrinkled shirt, I’d think, ‘Well, this “business casual” just doesn’t work, and I’ve got to find another solution.’ A lot of it was making mountains of molehills, and when you do that, you suddenly have a mountain range in your life.” In the end, employee morale suffered, and DeMars’s health deteriorated from the stress of trying to do too much.

Source: M. W. McCall, Jr. & M. M. Lombardo, “What Makes a Top Executive?” Psychology

Today, February 1983, 26–31.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor (1908–1964), a professor at MIT, used a human relations perspective to compare the assumptions leaders make about employees. He called them Theory X and Theory Y without any connotation of being “good or bad”. The nature of people has been expressed in two sets of assumptions developed by Douglas McGregor.

He believed that two basic kinds of managers exist. One type, the Theory X manager, has a negative view of employees and assumes that they are lazy, untrustworthy, and incapable of assuming responsibility. On the other hand, the Theory Y manager assumes that employees are not only trustworthy and capable of assuming responsibility, but also have high levels of motivation.

Assumptions of Theory X

  1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he or she can.
  2. People need to be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to put forward adequate effort toward the organization’s ends.
  3. The average person prefers to be directed, wants to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all.

Assumptions of Theory Y

  1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as in play or rest—the typical human being does not inherently dislike work.
  2. External control and threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward a company’s goals. A person will exercise self-direction and self-control in the pursuit of the objective to which he is committed.
  3. The average person learns, under the right conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.
  4. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
  5. The intellectual potential of most people is only partially utilized in most organizations.

These two sets of assumptions are fundamentally different theory x is pessimistic, static and rigid. Theory y is optimistic, dynamic and flexible with an emphasis on self-directions. There is little doubt that each set of assumption will affect managerial functions and activities of managers.

McGregor’ theories are useful for analysis as well as for the selection of an adequate intervention.

Source:

Adapted from D. McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960

http://finntrack.co.uk/leadership/competence/motiv_7.html

Common Management Myths

Some employees have a hard time describing exactly what their managers do on a typical day. Because managers aren’t always seen doing tangible hands-on work, such as writing a computer program, editing a book, or selling a product, sometimes employees think they do nothing but sit and wait for problems to arise. But that misconception is just one of several myths that are very different from the many realities of management. The following examples discuss not only the most common myths about managers but also the realities.

 

Levels of Management

All business organizations irrespective of their size have many managerial positions in their structure. These positions are created through the process of delegation of authority from top to lower levels. Each position is marked with authority and responsibility to perform specific role and task. These managerial positions lying in the chain of command may be classified into various level of management. They are:

Top Level Management

It is the highest level in the managerial hierarchy and the ultimate source of authority in the organization is associated with it. Top level managers are accountable to owners and all stakeholders of the organization and responsible for overall management of the organization. Top managers are responsible for developing employees’ commitment to and ownership of the company’s performance. are responsible for creating a positive organizational culture through language and action. Top managers impart company values, strategies, and lessons through what they do and say to others, both inside and outside the company. They are responsible for monitoring their business environments. This means that top managers must closely monitor customer needs, competitors’ moves, and long-term business, economic, and social trends.

Major functions of the top level management are:

  1. To make corporate plans for the entire organization
  2. To decide upon matters which are vital for survival like profitability and growth of the organization
  3. To allocate resources for various projects and departments
  4. To set goals
  5. To design structure of the organization
  6. To frame policies
  7. To provide leadership
  8. To exercise control
  9. To direct middle and lower levels of management

Middle Level Management

Some of the managerial positions are created at the middle level of management in order to fill the gap which exists between functional and operational level. They are also a link between the top and the lower level managers. They are responsible for achieving departmental goals. They are responsible for setting objectives consistent with top management’s goals and for planning and implementing subunit strategies for achieving those objectives.

The important functions of middle level managers are:

  1. To prepare departmental plans within framework of corporate plans given by the top level management
  2. To establish departmental goals
  3. To decide about means of achieving these goals
  4. To monitor level managers by coordinating their activities

Lower Level Management

The lowest point in the hierarchy is represented by lower level management. They are in touch with core group of workers such as operators. They issue orders and instructions to them, educate and train them and supervise their activities. Supervisors are known as the backbone of the organization as they are responsible for getting work accomplished at operational level. The important functions of lower level management are:

  1. To get things done by core group of workers at operational level
  2. To prepare plans for their activities
  3. To issue orders and instructions
  4. To guide and assist workers
  5. To motivate workers

Level and Roles

Team leaders

A fourth kind and a relatively new kind of management job developed as companies shifted to self-managing teams, which by definition, have no formal supervisor. Team leaders play a very different role because in this new structure, teams now perform nearly all of the functions performed by Lower level manager under traditional hierarchies. Instead of directing individuals’ work, team leaders facilitate team activities toward goal accomplishment.

Team leaders fulfill the following responsibilities:

  1. Responsible for facilitating team performance
  2. Responsible for managing external relationships
  3. Responsible for internal team relationship