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what do you think Jamika is doing right? What is she doing wrong? What would you do to turn the situation around?

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Leading as a General Manager



Module 1 DQ 1 

Chapter 2 of the textbook suggests that the four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Are these all-encompassing, or do you think that there are other functions that should be included? Why or why not?

Module 1 DQ 2 

Read the "Smart Style Salons" case in chapter 1 of the textbook. Jamika Westbrook is the salon manager of Smart Style Salon. Her salon is suffering due to the declining economy. She is worried about budget cuts as well as career opportunities that may be missed as a result of the downturn. After reading the case in its entirety, what do you think Jamika is doing right? What is she doing wrong? What would you do to turn the situation around?


Successful organizations have efficient managers whose contributions and whose efficiency enables the organization to survive challenges and outperform competitors. The skills and tactics of managers enable them to solve day to day issues and conflicts. The tasks accounted to them are many such as: align strategies, plan, organize, delegate, contribute, educate, lead, mentor and manage. According to Daft (2013) a manager’s function is defined in four tasks which in fact sums up the roles and responsibilities involved in a managerial position and they are: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. These responsibilities are not limited to managers in certain organization or certain level but to all who are entrusted to perform as a manger in any organization whether business, charitable, religious, or voluntary. The roles and responsibilities of a manger in a nutshell are vast and a manager’s functions branches out further within these four primary tasks to meet the required objective. The task of planning requires manager to analyze, evaluate and set goals for the future of the organization and in that role he aligns task and resources to meet the goal (Daft, 2013). In their role as a planner and controller they act as a negotiator with competitors, suppliers, and employees. A manager sets goals for the team and the individuals, organizes activities and functions for the team. They motivate team members constantly and as a communicator they interrelate and communicate internally and externally. The manager evaluates individual and team performances, coaches, mentors, inspires and develops employees. A manager is an efficient leader who organizes, plans the vision and inspires team members to achieve the vision.

Daft, R. L. (2013). New era of management (11th ed). Cengage learning.

Boundless.com. (n.d). Roles of a manger in an evolving organization. Retrieved on 9/15/15


LDR 620 Lecture notes 

Foundations of Management


Why study management in a leadership program? Is management an art or a science? Lines between leadership and management blur in the modern organization. Those that occupy the position of General Manager (GM) in today`s organizations must have both management skills and leadership skills to be successful. Those that lead an organization must also be able to manage the organization, so in this course, no distinction will be made between leadership and management.

While there are some who question the necessity of studying management, there is no doubt that the foundational management theories provide an insight into the challenges of their time and thus bear relevance today. Management is not static; it is ever evolving, as are people who manage and are managed. Leaders with an understanding of the management theories that have built the modern workplace are better able to adapt those ideas to new challenges.

Defining Management

"Management is not an exact science, but rather is a mix of art, scientific methodology, intuition, investigation, and, most of all, experimentation" (Miller and Vaughan, 2001). Miller and Vaughan convincingly describe how the foundational work of management theory of Lyndall, Urwick, and Follett is still relevant. For example, Urwick recognized the strength of transformational leadership and its superior results, as compared to transactional leadership, and adeptly identified the critical success factors for planning. Follett identified empowerment in the workplace long before it became a contemporary buzzword popularized by organizations such as Nordstrom and Ritz-Carlton. In fact, Miller and Vaughan (2001) point out that a popular anecdote used by modern management guru Stephen Covey is actually Follettian.

According to Schein (1996), the ability to create new organizational forms and processes, to innovate in both the technical and organizational arenas, is crucial to remaining competitive in an increasingly turbulent world. [However,] this kind of organizational learning requires not only the invention of new forms but also their adoption and diffusion to the other relevant parts of the organization and to other organizations in a given industry (para.4).

Schein`s view, as illustrated above, is that new management theory must also adapt to an evolving world. However, his contention is that few truly innovative ideas mature and endure. However, Whitley (1989) states that due to the high level of differentiation in the requirements of the modern workplace, the development of managerial skills must parallel the level of organizational complexity. If we look at a modern concept such as chaos theory, Dee Hock, as cited by Durrance (1997), states it "is a revolution in our understanding of the way the world works. Its revelations have overturned Newton`s law-abiding universe and replaced it with a world of infinite complexity, in which everything is connected in a vast and ever-evolving web." Hock rejects the idea that we are bound by Newtonian structures, and instead asserts that we are influenced by "an organizing pattern of the universe [that] is revealed to be an ever complex web of bifurcations and connections." Chaos theory clearly has no basis in foundational theory. It is an anathema to the pretext that all activities follow an orderly, linear progression.

Returning to the charge that there is an inherent lack of originality in the development of modern management theory, there is obviously some truth to it, as evidenced by the examples given. However, as we can see by something as revolutionary as chaos theory, there is certainly merit to the argument that there is also entirely new thinking. It is important to remember that even the foundational theories of Weber, Fayol, and Taylor were at one time new and revolutionary, and in the grand scheme of things, they are not that dated.

The Role of General Managers within Organizations

According to Blanchard (2007), "in high performing organizations, everyone`s energy is focused on not just one bottom line, but three bottom lines−being the provider of choice, the employer of choice, and the investment of choice. This triple bottom line is the right target and can make the difference between mediocrity and greatness" (p. 4).

In the end, the basic function of every organization is the same. An organization first acquires inputs from its environment, such as raw materials, human and financial resources, and information resources. The organization then adds value to those inputs by transforming them into a product or service needed by the marketplace. It is the responsibility of the GM to manage the transformation process in such a way to achieve the triple bottom line.

With this in mind, it is helpful to examine how effective GMs approach their jobs. According to Kotter (1999), effective GMs do not fit the stereotypical image of great thinkers sitting behind desks all day conjuring up great plans. Quite the contrary: effective GMs spend a lot of their time outside their offices, building networks of people who they think will help them achieve their agendas. In other words, GMs are very skilled at building up "favors," which they intend to "call in" at some point in the future. GMs also spend a majority of time with others, asking many questions and listening. In this way, they are gathering information that may be useful to them in executing their future agendas. Finally, GMs are very skilled at spotting and seizing opportunities in a seemingly chaotic stream of operating problems or decisions (Mintzberg, 2002, p. 57). In this way, they are able to achieve a very high level of efficiency, sufficient to cope with the demands of their jobs.

Systems Thinking

Peter Senge (1990) defines systems thinking as seeing interrelationships within an organization, seeing patterns for change (rather than just snapshots), and connecting the causes to the problems (p. 58). Systems thinking is an important and fundamental competency for GMs in today`s organizations. A GM cannot afford to focus on one part of the organization at the cost of the other parts. The GM must be able to make tough decisions that benefit the overall organization, even if one particular business unit or group is negatively impacted. The GM must also appreciate the connectedness of the different parts of the organization in order to achieve synergies arising from understanding how one part of an operation affects another.


The world of the GM is very complex. An effective GM understands the triple bottom line and develops strategies to achieve it. Successful GMs need to be systems thinkers who can seize opportunities to create synergies across their organizations and quickly get to the root causes of problems rather than only focusing on the symptoms. Strategy, synergy, systems thinking, and the triple bottom line are all important elements in the effective GM`s landscape.


Blanchard, K. (2007). Leading at a higher level. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Durrance, B. (1997). The evolutionary vision of Dee Hock: From chaos to chaords. Training and Development, 51(4), (pp. 24-32).

Kotter, J. (1999, March/April). What effective general managers really do. Harvard Business Review, 77(2), (p 145). Retrieved October 25, 2005 from EBSCOHost database. AN: 1613208.

Miller, T., and Vaughan, B. J. (2001, Winter). Messages from the management past: Classic writers and contemporary problems. S.A.M Advanced Management Journal, 66(1), 4.

Mintzberg, H., Lampel, J., Quinn, J. B., Ghoshal, S. (2002).The strategy process, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Schein, E. H. (1996, Fall). Three cultures of management: The key to organizational learning. Sloan Management Review, 38(1), 9.

Senge, P. (1990). Fifth discipline. In H. Mintzberg et al. The strategy process (p. 11). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Whitley, R. (1989, May). On the nature of managerial tasks and skills. Journal of Management Studies, 26(3), (p. 209).


Leading as a General Manager Name Course Instructor Date Module 1 DQ 1: management functions The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. They are crucial for the management success regardless of the line of business. The four functions are interrelated and the management focuses on the functions to achieve organizational vision. This is because goal setting, allocation resources, leading and controlling and organization’s activities are all common to the organizations. However, the other roles and responsibilities of the management emanate from the four functions, as the managers face more challenges in the workplace as they utilize effective communication and n


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