Learning Activity #2 – Theme 2

Learning Activity #2 – Theme 2

A challenge for the manager in the 21st century is to merge the traditional functions of a manager with the new demands of workplace life. The change of value regarding human resources to the organization coupled with technology is shifting the design of organizations toward “boundaryless” or a flat organizational structure.  In this theme we examine Fayol’s Five Functions of management as well as the 14 lesser functions of management upon which most management roles are based today, and how they are bumping up against the constructs of new 21st century management theory and technology to create tension in the workplace.

In a recent conversation at lunch West and Gordon were once again facing off over the idea of changing the Production Department to include a new people- centric theory of management.  Gordon would like to see staff be given time to do paperwork at home or to be given a computer center space where they can log in their weekly statistics, requests, and general paperwork during set work hours.  This would allow less overtime and make workers happier and potentially prevent a government citation for overtime.  West replied, “Fayol would tell you that employees need strong task and time-centered management.  Workers can do tasks on their own time if they do not get the work done on ours.  Fayol would have no patience for human resource theory.  It doesn’t belong in a production line.  It may be okay for Google but not here.”

  • Is West correct?
  • Do today’s management theories not work for the manufacturing business?  Explain how Gordon should reply to West. Be sure to explain Fayol’s Five Functions of Management and how these functions have been expanded over the years to include staffing.  
  • Also discuss how technology has changed the workplace to allow for worker preferences and flexibility.
  • Why would Google be okay with new theory and technology and not Biotech (difference between the service and manufacturing purpose of business)?

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