LEADERS – ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

LEADERS – ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Managers in today’s organizations face a rapidly changing and often unpredictable environment. Large-scale corporate restructuring, layoffs (or “downsizing”), and mergers and acquisitions mean that today’s manager must identify new ways to produce more with fewer workers and fewer organizational layers. Attempts to create more profitable, “lean and mean” organizations have resulted in an unexpected byproduct: a sharp decline in perceptions of loyalty between the employee and the organization. As a consequence, today’s managers are challenged to motivate employees who may feel less commitment to their organizations than was previously the norm. The processes and technologies used to accomplish work are also changing, requiring managers to change with them. Total Quality Management, for example, emphasizes employee involvement. It also requires managers to assist workers in learning how to take responsibility for their work, and it requires mangers to view workers from a new perspective, that of partners in the decision-making process rather than subordinates. In addition, the introduction of ever-changing technologies has influenced the speed at which information is available and the way in which employees work together. Wal-Mart, for example, holds weekly employee meetings via satellite communication, thereby ensuring that everyone in the company receives the same information at the same time. Moreover, the growing use of personal computers (PC) networks provides a new variety of ways to link organizations together. These new technologies mean that mangers, in many instances, must now oversee the work of employees with whom they rarely meet face to face. The composition of the workforce is changing as well. In the United States, for example, the number of women and minority group members entering the workforce and advancing within organizations continues to increase. This growing diversity in the workforce, if…


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