Q1. Chapter 7: Mass Customization
Mass customization has emerged as one of the most important business concepts today, due to its emphasis on the recognition of the target audiences in growing brands or businesses. It refers to the changes that a business makes on its products or services in order to satisfy the needs of a specific consumer group (Daft, 2016). Essentially, mass customization combines flexibility and personalization of bespoke manufacturing at lower unit costs.
While mass customization has been used extensively in the production of goods, its application in the service industry has been very limited (Daft, 2016). Nonetheless, service firms need t utilize this business strategy as well in order to achieve higher levels of competitiveness as well as being in a position to be responsive to changes in the needs and preferences of customers in the contemporary business environment.
As new technologies continue to emerge and newer ways of thinking about business strategies come up, customers will continue to take a high priority in the development of brands and businesses. Therefore, for service firms, adopting mass customization will give the businesses an upper hand when responding to customer needs and preferences as well as ensuring continued business growth and profitability. Mass customization enables the service firms to provide clients with anything they need, anywhere, anytime, and in the way they need it (Daft, 2016).
Q2. Chapter 7: Superior Management
It is true that management is mostly based on the experiences that one gains by handling different tasks. However, teaching management in schools is necessary in the contemporary business environment. A combination of ones experiences with the education they receive in management can certainly propel one top greater height in management. The purpose of teaching management through textbooks is not to make the managers work or role analyzable by any means, but rather to appreciate the fact that there are many methods that other managers have used in dealing with certain situations (Daft, 2016). This helps to bring together a core body of management theories that can help a top level manager in making certain critical decisions.
In general, it is beneficial for managers to learn management in schools as this will enrich their knowledge and give them diverse approaches of handling different roles in their work. However, the management classes based on textbooks do not replace the experiences that managers acquire, but only complement such experience in making top managers better and more effective in their duties (Daft, 2016).
Q3. Chapter 8: Technology
Definitely yes! The possibilities that come with new technologies are immeasurable. As advancements in information communication and technology continue to emerge, managers have become more accustomed to using other forms of communication that need not necessarily be face to face. Communication is a very essential aspect of management as it helps to build the relationship between employees and the management team (Daft, 2016). Moreover, managers also realize that in the contemporary business environment, information and ideas move very rapidly from one person to the other, almost instantly regardless of ones geographical location. Thus, the managers must also be up-to-date with the developments in technology in order to not be left behind with new developments in their industries and businesses (Daft, 2016).
New technologies such as emails, video conferencing, text messages, instant messaging, group chats, and social media have all enhanced communication between employees and their managers. However these forms of communication do not require face to face interactions between the parties communicating (Daft, 2016). Therefore, managers can leverage these and more technologies to improve on their communication strategies by ensuring they relay information instantly and get infant feedback from their employees regardless of the distance separating them.
Q4. Chapter 9: Business Magazine
Bureaucracies have been at the help of the business environment for several years. They have proved to be the strongest and most effective approaches of structuring organizations to date. Bureaucracies revolve around sets of rules, procedures, division of labor, specialization, organizational hierarchy, and effective communication at all levels of governance Denning, 2011).
However, in as much as this model has many advantages, it also has its demerits, such as institutionalizing business decision making, time consumption, and making it difficult to process certain decisions. Therefore, some of the emerging companies have found alterative business models that do away with bureaucracies. For example, Salesforce, Apple, and Amazon are among the three leading organizations that have achieved massive success without relying on bureaucracies (Hamel, 2014).
These organizations have achieved these through a wide range of strategies, for example, they have changed the mindset of their top management to ensure that managers are only responsible for managing the results of the task-oriented teams they lead (Hamel, 2014). The companies also put more emphasis on customer services by investing in consumer research to know what the customers want and modeling their products based o these preferences.
Q5. Chapter 9: No Growth Philosophy
Yes, the no growth philosophy should be taught in schools. The main objective of organizations is to maintain sustainable growth and profitability. However, an analysis of some of the leading companies in different industries today indicates that most of them have stagnated while others are regressing. According to Daft (2016) organizations go through a life-cycle involving several stages or phases including birth, growth, and death. The success of any company is based on its growth rate. For managers, it s necessary to knowhow o manage companies that are in regression or those that are not experiencing sustainable growth (Daft, 2016). This makes it essential for them to understand the no growth philosophy as it will equip them with skills for leading organizations at their worst stages in their life cycles.
Conversely, some organizations may deliberately use a no growth philosophy to remain relevant in the industry. Therefore, by teaching and learning the no growth philosophy in schools, students will comprehend the different perspective of business growth and decline and comprehend how each of them functions in business (Daft, 2016). The economic meltdown experienced in 2007 made it necessary for organizations to downsize. As a result, this put more emphasis on institutions to teach the no growth philosophy in order to develop future managers who will be capable of making crucial decisions in difficult times such as during a recession.
Q6. Biblical Worldview
A worldview can be defined as a set of principles, beliefs, or values that help one to understand the world. Therefore, a biblical worldview refers to a Judeo-Christian perspective of understanding the world, which is based on the Bible. The biblical worldview can be applied in business in various ways (Wong & Rae, 2011). The bible teaches that Christians are the body of Christ, of which Christ himself is the head. Thus all Christians depend on each other for spiritual growth. Each Christian has a specific role to play in the church, just like each part of the body has a role to play (Goheen & Bartholomew, 2008). This concept forms the basis for a systems approach in understanding organizational behavior. An organization is a system, which is like an organism that has many different parts that all work together to achieve a common objective. The different departments or units n an organization are lie the different parts of a body, with each of them playing a special role to help the whole body achieve success (Wong & Rae, 2011). This is reminiscent of the role each Christian plays in the church to help grow the church.
Furthermore, the New Testament contains numerous accounts of the life of Jesus, his leadership and teaching to his disciples and followers as well as his constant conflicts with the law and his opposition (Wong & Rae, 2011). There are several business lessons that can be learned from these accounts, which can be applied in business contexts to help organizations achieve sustainable growth. For example, the leadership style of Jesus is based n humility, empowering others, and compassion. Business leaders can learn from this to create strong succession plans, just like Jesus prepared his disciples to continue with his work after he had left the earth (Goheen & Bartholomew, 2008).
Daft, R. L. (2016). Organization theory & design (12th Ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning
Denning, S. (2011, December 5). The MIX: Busting Bureaucracy with Radical Management Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/12/05/the-mix-busting-bureaucracy-with-radical-management/#70ec8eaea14c
Goheen, M. W., & Bartholomew, C. G. (2008). Living at the crossroads: An introduction to Christian worldview. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic.
Hamel, G. (2014). The next tech revolution: Busting bureaucracy. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://fortune.com/2014/03/10/the-next-tech-revolution-busting-bureaucracy/
Wong, K. L., & Rae, S. B. (2011). Business for the common good: A Christian vision for the marketplace. InterVarsity Press.