New Opportunities for Managers



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New Opportunities for Managers



As we have seen, business organizations are undergoing a revolution in structure. The tasks and responsibilities expected of managers within these organizations also are changing, as they diverse groups of employees, create flexible work teams, assume broader spans of control, and encourage entrepreneurship. In some cases, downsizing has eliminated many managers’ jobs. While traditional supervisory and middle-management positions might be getting scarce, other opportunities will be available for those with good management skills. Some middle managers leave large corporations for smaller firms. Another option is to become a contract manager, someone on a temporary appointment. Temporary management is a fast-growing area in the United States and Europe, where a manager may contract with an employer to work for a specified period of time.

An increasing number of managers decide to start their own companies. In fact the number of people who start their own businesses after losing their jobs has tripled since 1987. For managers, as for all employees, it is important to remain flexible and develop new skills. Consider Rod Loechr, an engineer who worked for CAE-Link Corp. for 33 years. When the firm closed, 54-year-old Loechr’s job went with it. Before long, he had found an even better-paying job as an engineer manager for the other company. Loechr ascribes (приписывать) his success to his willingness to learn new software and update his skills. “Taking classes helped me get the position I’m in” he says.

(Based on: Kurtz D., Boone L., Boone and Kurtz Business)

 

III. Read and translate the following texts and be ready for their discussion on the basis of active vocabulary, key terms quiz, review and discussion questions.

LEADERSHIP

Leadership,is the most visible component of a manger’s responsibilities, is the act of motivating or causing others to perform activities designed to achieve specific objectives. Because of the importance of effective leadership in organizational success, it is not surprising that there is a great deal of research into the characteristics of a good leader. Great leaders do not all share the same qualities, but three traits are often mentioned: empathy (the ability to place oneself in another’s position), self-awareness, and objectivity in dealing with others.

Leadership research focuses on different styles of leadership and circumstances under which each style might prove successful. This approach to leadership is known as the contingency theory. It argues that management should adjust its leadership style in accordance with the situation at hand.

Leadership Styles

Leadership involves the exercise of power - the ability of one person to influence the behavior of another. This power may result from one or more sources. Leaders secure some power from their position in the organization. As managers, they are responsible for directing the activities of their subordinates. In other cases, their power comes from their exercise and experience: first-line supervisors who were once expert carpenters are likely to be respected by their crew of carpenters. Other leaders secure power from the force of their personalities. Followers of such charismatic leaders may grant them power because they want to please them or become more like them.

The way in which a leader uses available power to lead others referred to as a leader style. A continuum of leadership styles exists, within which we can identify three basic styles. At one end of the continuum are autocratic leaders, who make decisions on their own without consulting others. The autocratic leader reaches a decision, communicates it to subordinates, and requires them to implement it. Democratic leaders, the second involve their subordinates in making decisions. A democratic sales manager, for example, allows sales personnel to participate in setting sales quotas, while an autocratic sales manager simply assigns quotas for each salesperson. The most democratic style of leadership belongs to free-rein leaders, who believe in minimal supervision and leave most decisions to their subordinates.



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