CURRENT ISSUES IN MANAGEMENT
Current Issues in Management
Many companies are starting to monitor and manage key indicators. Substantial evidences prove that addressing such issues can directly cut cost and save money. As such, these can evaluate the application of management theory and how company are putting those in practices specifically those that can have impact on the company’s reputation.
1) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The corporate social responsibility concerns the social environment and a changed social contract. Many argued that organizations must consider the societal impact of their decisions and actions. Furthermore, the organizations must act to protect and improve the welfare of the general public. The organizations must aim not only on organizational effectiveness but on existence to address the needs of society (, 2003, ).
According to (1985), the social contract follows the obligation between the organization and the individuals, groups and other organizations, government and the society as a whole. These are set of written and unwritten rules and assumptions in a corporate manner. Such obligations discuss behaviour patterns among various elements of society.
The obligation to individual includes equitable wages, salaries and remuneration packages and suitable working conditions. In return of these obligations, the duties and responsibilities must be carried-out by the employees. The obligations to groups and other organizations require the company to compete within acceptable means. In effect, the competition must be carried-out with respect to mutual rights and obligations of trading partners and other businesses and companies. The most notable feature of governmental obligations of organizations is the existence of mutually beneficial exchange evident through tax payments and implementation of health and safety standards. Societal obligations deals with law-abiding activities of the organization like the consumer group (, 1985, ).
The underlying issues, however, are the changing values of government, business, education, religion, work force and society. Over the past 50 years, the government tended to get more powerful, more oppressive and more righteous. Many social ills are needed to be rectified and be improved upon. Businesses do have responsibility to society and likewise the society has some responsibilities to the corporate world. These obligations include: setting clear and consistent rules, keeping economically- and technically-feasible rules, making proactive rules and striving at goal-setting rules (as cited in ., 1989, ).
If the government will honestly implement and adhered to by the government and industries, there might be a possibility of a much effective relationship. As to all of this are ‘considerable talk and lip service’, the cooperation between business and government will be a big challenge.
The continuous foreign and domestic takeovers, imbalance between export and import, the high value of dollar and inflation changes the pace of the business sector and it affects the consumer behaviour and the society. However, it can be minimize through involvement of the worker-business to hep increase productivity.
The knowledge in history, geography classics and government are poorly integrated in the educational systems. Aside from this, other areas such as morals, social concepts and values and how business works reached the bottom level in recent years. Some universities and educational institutions are somewhat neglecting their purpose of educating the minds of the people.
Through judicial rulings, the work ethic and ethical-moral standards are not prospering under religious principles. The government are not realizing the impact of this on business and societal processes.
“Labor will be more demanding upon management in the future without a large influx and unless industry is able to expand rapidly”, said . (1989, ). He relates that the rapid growth of the 20-44-year-od age groups and the small growth of the population in the 1-9-year-old bracket will create serious managerial problems 10 to 20 years.
The stakeholders demand on businesses to grant their desires more than what they really need and deserve perceives the society’s need and demands from the business sector. Immediate changes over a relatively short period will do no good to the company and eventually to the society (., 1989).
2) Business Ethics
Some major corporation faced scandals and unethical acts which lead to public distrust in one time or another. The word ethics means character or customs. As such, the organization’s codes and by-laws must convey moral integrity and values in serving the public to avoid misgivings and scepticism. However, other organizations are concern with the greater specificity, usefulness and consistency of ethics (, 2003, ).
Ethical behaviour deals with the morally-acceptable and commonly-held values which are consistent to personal perception of values. In an organization, many would question the rightfulness of different acts such as: Is it ethical to do personal business on company time? Is it unethical to ask someone to do a certain job that might not be good for their career progress? (, 2003).
Thus, we can define business ethics as perception of right or wrong in the behaviour and practices of the business. It is divided into two as normative business ethics and descriptive business ethics. A growing misconception is the difference of the two.
In business context and practices, the normative business ethics deal with establishing ethical from unethical. It concerns with “what ought to be” and “what ought not to be”. Descriptive business ethics, in contrast, is the comparison and contrasts of different moral codes, systems, beliefs, practices and values. It is learning about real occurrences in business organizations, managers, and specific industries regarding behaviour, actions, decisions, policies and practices (, 2003).
The distinction between the two perspectives must be clarified once and for all. So that the prevalence of a particular practice of a certain organization that is perceived to be true and acceptable by other organizations won’t be justified rather be corrected. Aside from this, questionable deeds of organizations will be addressed on individual, organizational, industry, societal and international levels (, 2003, ).
Another management challenge is the ‘teachability’ of business ethics and the ‘learnability’ of the employees in accordance with their personal perception and values regarding business ethics. According to , business institutions “cannot taught students something as fundamental as moral principles and ethical values as a kind of professional add-ons” (2006). What is the sense of putting ethical components on standard curriculum? What is the theoretical extent in comparison to business reality of such teachings would be?
The impact of such observation points toward the relative interconnection between business schools, business theories and business realities. The ability to impart morality and inculcate virtue to future mangers is their job. In reality, business ethics is viewed by many, including and ten , as “sentimental common sense or a set of excuses for being unpleasant, at best window dressing and at worst a calculated lie” (as cited in , 2006).
In ’s point of view, business ethics can be taught and learned, but the choice on what they ought to do (2007) lies in the hands of the company and employees. There is an urgent need of a workplace revival and education and training in ethics and professionalism is the key.
The CEO and the senior management must consider the ethical dilemmas in the workplace. A well-written and well-communicated acceptable code can help but it is impossible to regulate non-existence of unethical behaviour. The bottom line is there is no legal requirement to behave ethically (, 2007). The challenge herein is the approach to disseminate the information about codes and to avoid concentration in a certain management level. It must be from top to bottom. If not, the result would be clogging on “continuous professional development, an open workplace culture and a clear and explicit code” (, 2007).
3) Corporate Governance
The concepts of firm and the interests it govern contribute to the understanding of the issues faced by the corporate governance. Since the term governance implies the exercise of authority, corporate governance, then, is the study of the allocation and exercise of such authority (, 2004).
The challenge, by and large, is the extent of authority-intervention on managerial matters and how it can affect the prevalent activities of firms and organizations. Another issue to deal with is the dispersed structure of organizational ownership (, 2004).
The separation of the equity holder and the management creates problems, according to Blair, such as: 1) the management efficiency means having enough courage to take risks, make strategic decisions and take advantage of investment opportunities and the management cannot submit every decision to shareholders affirmation; 2) the control-rights of shareholders with large total of shares has a power that must be restrained; 3) the commitment of time and resources of investors in monitoring the affairs of the organization; and 4) the reliability and accuracy of information-needs by the investors/shareholders (as cited in , 2004, ).
The power and position of both parties must be guarded to avoid abuse and taking unfair advantages over one another. The primary goal of the organization as a whole is somewhat overlooked the more as the location of authority is becoming more blurry.
The three elements that contribute to the efficiency and inefficiency of the corporate governance is the existence of strong public sector governance including a network of corporate law and securities legislation, strong internal governance practices and independent auditors who are neutral and objective-driven (, 2002).
The corporate governance deals with the role of financial performance, chief executive, top management, shareholders and board of directors. Herewith, the management threat is the responsiveness taken by each. A more balanced and responsive corporate governance system will eventually be the challenge. Since in a competitive environment, the authorities must intervene according to their position and power if the management failed to respond to economic changes and challenges ( and , 1998, ).
Another aspect to explore regarding corporate governance is the implications of globalization. The scale and scope of international business activities have significant effects on the international scene. Usually, corporate governance is practiced within individual companies and its focus is normally internal (, 2002). The readiness of such companies to engage in international economy might alter the prevalent cultures and practices of the company. points out that the critical aspect is the increasing potential damage once the company involved itself in the international economy (2002).
4) Quality of Work Life and Quality Circles
The quality of work life (QWL) is essential for continuous attraction of future employees and retention of current employees. The QWL is a comprehensive company-wide program which aims at the improvement of employee satisfaction, strengthening of workplace learning and helping employees to have a better change- and transition-management ( and , 2006, ).
Regardless of position or status in a company, many employees are experiencing dissatisfaction towards work. This conforms to the complexity of problems as it is very difficult to isolate and identify all aspects that contribute to affect the QWL. The issues confronting the management are employer behaviour and the lives of employees before, after and during work.
QWL is a very dynamic and multidimensional concept. It is oftenly viewed as a movement, a set of organizational interventions and a type of work life by the employees. It includes concerns of job security, job sustainability, reward systems, training and career advancements opportunities and participation in decision-making ( and , 2006, ).
and (1993) define QWL as the workplace strategies, operations and environment. It promotes and maintains employee satisfaction, improve work conditions and organizational effectiveness. The consequence to be faced by the management is the incorporation of QWL in policies, procedures, leadership style and operations. Broadly speaking, the identification of elements of QWL may be organization- and context-specific. The duty of the management. therefore, is to determine such elements which affect the efficiency and quality of work life of the employees.
The creation of quality circles in shop-floor level involves the attempt to engage employees on collective quality improvement. The small groups are consistently given advice and take decisions on immediate work procedures. , , and argue that the effectiveness of such process is poorly carried-out. When, the employees realized that they really have little real influence on the organization, the employee will start to feel indifferent. Since the organizations are purely hierarchical and the principles are centralized, the process appears as an instrument for manipulating the employee opinion (1998, ).
If this is the case, the management must struggle at inculcating the sense of involvement among employees in decision-making. Another area of concern is the motivation scheme and its significant benefits directly to the employees of the organization.
Some organizations thrive at grouping of employees who meet regularly to tackle improvements within the workforce of a certain organization (, , and , 1998, ). The idea is the how effective a small group in voicing their concern regarding the work and their environment. Another thing to consider is the reflection of opinion of the group compared to the whole work force. Such issues regarding the quality work of life and quality circles may appear to be very broad but still they are waiting for recognition and immediate solutions.
5) Workforce Treatment and Workforce Discrimination
The work treatment and the work discrimination per se have three dimensions: the formal vs. informal, potential vs. encountered and the perceived vs. real. These dimensions transcends across all status, race, gender, and etc.
describes work discrimination as “unfair and negative treatment of workers or job applicants based on personal attributes that are irrelevant to job performance” (2001). The nature of work is very multifaceted as it can be experienced in pre- during and post-levels of work.
The framework of formal discrimination is based on institutional policies and decisions regarding hiring, firing promotion, salary deductions and job assignments. In contrast, the informal discrimination deals with interpersonal dynamics and work atmosphere such as verbal and non-verbal harassments, lack of respect, hostility and prejudice ( and , 1984).
The second dimension involves the potential and encountered discriminations. The former deals with actual discrimination in sexual orientation disclosures, for example. The latter refers to encountered discriminatory practices. However, the distinction between the two is subjectivity and objectivity viewed from neutral terms (, 2001).
The third dimension is derived from the concept occupational opportunity structures of (1980): the ideal, real and perceived discriminations. In ideal, there is no discrimination. The comparison between perceived and real discriminations varies from perception of individuals. The neutral situation may be interpreted and misinterpreted as a discriminatory practice where in fact, the situation is just a result of misconception/misperception.
Generally, transparency is critical in corporate accounting and statements. The companies must practice publicizing in order to gain and regain the confidence of shareholders and consumers in all aspects of business. The benefit of the people around and within the company is the avoidance of misleading informations and false announcements (, 2001).
The management, as policymakers, must clearly provide the people truthfulness regarding their operations and activities. In effect, the credibility of the corporate governance will be respected by the employees and the consumers.
The continuum of economic growth includes a transparent corporate governance structure. The interaction, without this, can lead to financial deficiency. In this regard, the financial transparency and the corporate governance system are the key factors to encourage investors and to create a sustainable business (, 2007).
According to (2005), transparency scares business. The switch to a more open accounting can be daunting said , vice-president of Delta Private Equity Partners. The management struggles at the significant cost in paying consultations regarding elimination of shady schemes. The profits will be cut and may erode business competitiveness. Not all entrepreneurs, in addition, are interested in legalizing their financials.