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Management theories as seen in Mitra, M. (2010) ‘Only companies that think beyond the shopfloor will survive: Shoji Shiba’, The Economic Times, 26 June 2010, This article is about an interview with Shoji Shiba, it indicates changes which managers are facing in Indian industry. Meanwhile, this article shows several different cases and practices of management theories in the following areas: managerial functions, types and levels of management, managerial roles and skills, and challenges for management in a global environment, especially ideas about building a competitive advantage.
Managerial functions Shoji Shiba indicates that managers in Indian industry today conscious that there are significant changes in the environment of manufacturing. Thus, they began pay more attention to cooperate themselves with these changes, including global changes, suppliers, customers and partners, instead of only production itself. According to the management theories (Waddell et al. p 9-11), this is part of planning function.
More specifically, when managers realise the changes around the manufacturing, they began to redesign and plan the goals they actually pursue, and then deciding how to align themselves to other organizations to achieve the goals. This also relates to the organising function. Because managers should group organisational members into different work teams according to different kinds of job they do and different relationships in the entire manufacturing chain they responsible for: suppliers, customers, upstream and downstream partners.
In these experts of the interview, leading function and controlling function are not directly involved. Levels and types of managers Over the last five years, Indian manufacturing sector witnessed a significant growth from “shopfloor improvements to new manufacturing processes to R&D and new product development”. It can be seen that different types and levels of managers have been involved, which from first-line managers to middle managers to top managers. This idea is also mentioned again in the end of the excerpts when Shoji Shiba talked about the BIG M style of management.
Shoji Shiba emphasized that BIG M style is “what the senior manager need to do” and “cannot be brought about by a shopfloor supervisor”. It can be known that the senior manager means the top manager who always make decisions and plan goals in an organisation. And the shopfloor supervisor, by definition, means the first-line manager, who responsible for the daily supervision in a basic unit of an organisation (Waddell et al. p 13-14). Managerial roles and skills ChotuKool of Godrej gives a successful case about entrepreneurial role.
ChotuKool, a refrigerator which is sold for $69 was co-designed with village women for rural India (Surresh). Shoji Shiba showed it as a good example of “focus on Bottom of Pyramid”. According to management theories, ChotuKool is an innovative good and it also get new customers in the rural India (Waddell et al. p17). Another decisional role this article involved is negotiator. “The VSME programme” is focused on achieving “win-win” goals with customers and suppliers. This required the managers to work with other organisations to decide a common goal (Waddell et al. 17).
Additionally, as Shoji Shiba believes, “change is the only constant”. This need the senior managers notice the changes and analysis the effects they will cause to the organisations—it is an informational role of monitor (Waddell et al. p17). Challenges for management in a global environment Shoji Shiba noticed the changes and gave the reasons of changes in Indian industry. One of the reasons he gave is “Globalisation”. As the reason, Indian manufacturing sector now is in a global environment.
At the meantime, globalisation brings “significant impact on some of the Indian companies”, like “TechNova Imagine System”. This relates to the theory of building a competitive advantage. There are four areas about competitive advantage: managers “learn to interview customers and listen to their voice” is part of increasing responsiveness to customers (Waddell et al. p 24), companies use VMAP tool and VLFM Concepts to “reduce inventory and save space and time” are ideas about increasing efficiency and increasing speed, flexibility and innovation (Waddell et al. 23-24).
There are no good cases about increasing quality. Advantages and disadvantages of the thinking presented in this article Firetly,this article shows changes in Indian industry and gives good example of managers to handle these changes, which also clearly explains the managerial functions, managerial roles and competitive advantages. However, the whole article shows various changes in the external environment of the organisation, it does not give ideas about changes in the internal environment, such as the behaviour of no-managirial employees and groups.
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