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MGT 301 Chapter 1

Virgnia Rometty CEO of IBM, believes that her success is due in part to her ability to take risks
TRUE
Exceptional managers have a gift that can’t be taught
FALSE
Management includes integrating the work of people through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the organization’s resources
TRUE
To be efficient in management means to use resources wisely and cost effectively
TRUE
Efficiency and effectiveness are terms used interchangeably and equivalently in management
FALSE
Automated telephone systems are typically both very effective and very efficient
FALSE
An effective manager has a multiplier effect on the organization, meaning his or her influence is multiplied beyond the results achievable by just one person.
TRUE
John Hammergren’s compensationof $145 million in 2010 as CEO of health care technology firm McKesson is typical for CEOs in North America today.
FALSE
Studying management is likely to help you once you are in a manager role, but is unlikely to be beneficial before then.
FALSE
One of the payoffs of studying management is an improved understanding of how to deal with organizations as a customer
TRUE
One of the rewards of being a manager is that you can build a catalog of successful products or services.
TRUE
If you enjoy mentoring and helping others grow, management is a great job.
TRUE
Most people prefer to have a combination of a high level skill and low level of challenge while at work
FALSE
Organizations can gain a competitive advantage by matching their competition in terms of quality, responsiveness, and efficiency.
FALSE
The decline in revenue in the newspaper industry is due to a sharp drop in the number of people reading American newspapers.
FALSE
When managing for competitive advantage, the first “law” of business is “take care of the shareholders”
FALSE
Taking care of the customer applies equally well to nonprofit and for-profit businesses
TRUE
In business, innovation is defined as finding ways to deliver new or better goods or services.
TRUE
Whereas generations ago organizations rewarded employees for their efficiency, today the emphasis is on length of service.
FALSE
Despite continued immigration, the proportion of racial or ethnic groups in the United States is expected to be stable well into the next century.
FALSE
When he or she does not speak the local language, a manager should rely on gestures and symbols since their consistency of meaning provides a form of universal communication throughout the world.
FALSE
The internet is a global network of independently operating but interconnected computers, linking hundreds of thousands of smaller networks around the world.
TRUE
The buying and selling of goods or services over computer networks is known as e-exchange.
FALSE (e-commerce)
One reason e-business is so important is that the Internet dramatically lowers the cost of communication.
TRUE
Text messages and documents transmitted over a computer network are called cyber-messages.
FALSE
Project management software allows managers to plan and schedule the people, costs, and resources to complete a project on time.
TRUE
A problem typically associated with interconnected databases on the Internet is the potential to overwhelm employees with too much information
TRUE
One advantage of e-business is that organizations and teams are no longer as bound by time zones and locations.
TRUE
Viral staffing is the term used to describe working from home or remote locations using a variety of information technologies.
FALSE
Meetings that are connected via telecommuting use video and audio links along with computers to let people in different locations see, hear, and talk with one another
FALSE
Collaborative computing involves using state-of-the-art computer software and hardware to help people work better together.
TRUE
Integration management is the implementation of systems and practices to increase the sharing of knowledge and information throughout an organization.
FALSE
In recent years, white-collar crime in the United States has become very rare.
FALSE
The Josephson Institute suggests a TEAM (Teach, Enforce, Advocate, Model) approach for parents to encourage good financial habits in children.
FALSE
Unsustainable business practices have resulted from an often accepted but untrue notion that natural resources are limitless.
TRUE
Having to attend too many meetings or feeling a lack of respect are typical reasons that some people don’t find being a manager fulfilling.
TRUE
One’s experience in management remains very insulated from the company’s culture.
FALSE
The “management process” is sometimes called the “four management functions”
TRUE
When Barnett, a college administrator, is determining which of several degree programs his campus will offer, he is involved in the management function of controlling.
FALSE
Organizing is the arranging of tasks, people, and other resources to accomplish work.
TRUE
When Carla revises the waitstaff schedule at her restaurant to have more personnel available during the newly busy breakfast rush, she is engaging in organizing.
TRUE
When Shannon reviews and determines that she has four underperforming salespeople with whom she will need to talk, she is performing the controlling managerial function.
TRUE
When a manager is motivating others to work hard and achieve the organization’s goals, she is engaged in the management function of leading.
TRUE
Tucker recently attended a dinner for the new CEO. He came away feeling very excited and anxious to do his part to help the company achieve its goals. In this instance, the CEO was performing the management function known as planning.
FALSE
According to Peter Drucker, “knowledge workers” have very little technical skill.
FALSE
The traditional organizational model is often represented by a funnel shape.
FALSE
There are managers at three levels of an organization: top, middle, and first-line.
TRUE
First-line managers make long term decisions about the overall direction of the organization and establish the objectives, policies, and strategies for it.
FALSE
Mingjin is a branch manager in Albuquerque who reports to the CEO in Denver and to whom three other managers at her facility report, so she would be termed a middle manager.
TRUE
A first-line manager directs the daily tasks of non managerial personnel.
TRUE
A vice president of production is a general manager
FALSE
A general manager typically oversees several departments within an organization.
TRUE
The main purpose of a nonprofit organization is to offer services to some clients.
TRUE
According to Mintzberg’s research, managers rely more on verbal than on written communication because of the time it takes to accomplish the latter.
TRUE
Since the 1960s research conducted by Mintzberg, the typical general manager has reduced her work week to the traditional 40 hours.
FALSE
Most managers require lengthy, uninterrupted periods during the regular workday to accomplish their work and make themselves unavailable to subordinates to create them.
FALSE
Time and task management are major challenges for every manager.
TRUE
According to Mintzberg, the three broad types of managerial roles include interpersonal,analytical, and critical.
FALSE
Good executive functioning includes heavy multitasking and answering every e-mail nearly instantly.
FALSE
The monitor function is an example of the informational roles often played by managers.
TRUE
In interpersonal managerial roles, a manager acts as entrepreneur, disturbance handler, or negotiator.
FALSE
Entrepreneurship means taking risks to try to create a new enterprise.
TRUE
Two types of entrepreneurs include the extrapreneur and the intrapreneur.
FALSE
Successful companies have been called “gazelles” because of a characteristic they possess, namely an acute sensitivity to danger in the environment.
FALSE
Entrepreneurs typically have a much higher need for achievement and a stronger belief in personal control of destiny than do typical managers.
FALSE
Opportunity entrepreneurs are those who start their own business out of a burning desire rather than because they lost a job.
TRUE
Researcher Robert Katz determined that through duration and experience managers acquire technical, conceptual, and human skills.
TRUE
Having require technical skills is most important among top managers at the highest level of leadership levels.
FALSE
Human skills become less critical as one’s career progresses, and are least important for top managers.
FALSE
One way to think of ______ is “the art of getting things done through people.”

A. supervision

B. motivation

C. management

D. leadership

E. strategy

C. management
The pursuit of organizational goals efficiently and effectively by integrating the work of people through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the organization’s resources is called

A. employment.

B. career planning.

C. competitive advantage.

D. management.

E. strategic planning.

D. management
A group of people who work together to achieve some specific purpose is/are called

A. managers.

B. a collaboration.

C. a team.

D. an organization.

E. a community.

D. an organization
Tracy, a manager at a busy warehouse, was slow to hire new employees, preferring instead to encourage improvements from his current staff. He carefully watched his other costs too, performing equipment maintenance on a regular basis to improve its lifespan. Tracy would best be described as a(n) _____ manager.

A. efficient

B. ethical

C. innovative

D. effective

E. micro

A. efficient
To be ______ as a manager means to make the right decisions and successfully carry them out to achieve goals.

A. productive

B. ethical

C. efficient

D. effective

E. innovative

D. effective
The _________ effect states that a manager’s influence on the organization has implications far beyond the results that can be achieved by one person acting alone.

A. proliferation

B. multiplier

C. managerial

D. halo

E. additive

B. multiplier
According to a Fortune article, the scarcest, most valuable resource in business is not financial capital but

A. renewable resources.

B. government support.

C. highly innovative technology.

D. a young workforce.

E. skilled, effective managers.

E. skilled, effective managers
Which of the following is the most likely payoff of studying management as a discipline?

A. You will understand how to brand your organization.

B. You will understand how to relate to and interact with your supervisors and co-workers.

C. You will understand how to manage your family and close friends more effectively.

D. You will understand how to deal with the media in a crisis.

E. You will understand how to advance your career without guilt.

B. You will understand how to relate and interact with your supervisors and co-workers.
Which of the following is not a reward for practicing management?

A. You can build a catalog of successful products or services.

B. You and your employees can experience a sense of accomplishment.

C. You can stretch your abilities and magnify your range.

D. You can be rewarded with money and status for your efforts.

E. You can become exempt from many of society’s ethical standards.

E. You can become exempt from many of society’s ethical standards.
Which of the following is one of the seven primary challenges facing managers today?

A. Maintaining good records of what worked in the past.

B. Dealing with a stubbornly static and immobile environment.

C. Staying ahead of competitors through corporate espionage.

D. Managing to achieve one’s own happiness and life goals.

E. Collaborating with competitors.

D. Managing to achieve one’s own happiness and life goals.
Petra is a new manager for a household products company, after getting a promotion from an administrative job that she found boring. But now she frequently experiences ______, like when she had to explain the new product her team is developing to the CEO and several board members. As psychologist Csikzentmihalyi predicts, her ideal state would be an emotional zone between that and boredom.

A. overload

B. anxiety

C. immodesty

D. fear

E. pressure

B. anxiety
The ability of an organization to outperform others by producing goods or services more effectively than its competitors is called its

A. competitive advantage.

B. quality.

C. efficiency.

D. innovation.

E. effectiveness.

A. competitive advantage.
Which of the following is not an area in which an organization must stay ahead of its competitors to achieve competitive advantage?

A. Environmental action

B. Being responsive to customers

C. Innovation

D. Quality

E. Efficiency

A. Environmental action
Which of the following is the most likely reason for the decline in fortunes of American newspapers, and their inability to exploit their competitive advantage?

A. A poorer standard for news-gathering.

B. Relying too heavily on advertising, rather than customer subscriptions, for revenue.

C. Decline in newspaper readership over the last 70 years.

D. Preference of customers for getting news in a nonverbal format.

E. An increase in salaries and material costs within the industry.

B. Relying too heavily on advertising, rather than customer subscriptions, for revenue.
In seeking competitive advantage, the first law of business is to

A. take care of your shareholders.

B. take care of your stakeholders.

C. take care of the customer.

D. take care of the environment.

E. take care of your employees.

C. take care of the customer.
Finding ways to deliver new or better goods or services is called

A. advancement.

B. streamlining.

C. innovation.

D. efficiency.

E. quality control.

C. innovation
Customers are likely to put up with poor-quality products only if your organization is

A. underperforming in innovation.

B. using computerized customer service.

C. the only one of its kind.

D. in a very competitive industry.

E. lacking strong environmental policies.

C. the only one of its kind.
By mid-century, the percentage of Hispanics (of any race) in the U.S. population is expected to ______, and the percentage of non-Hispanic whites is expected to ______.

A. stay the same; increase

B. double; decrease

C. decrease; increase

D. double; increase slightly

E. stay the same; decrease

B. double; decrease
The concept of a “flat” world means

A. employees are learning to suppress negative emotion in the workplace.

B. corporations are developing a preference for a new, flatter organizational structure.

C. a recession now slows the economies of most nations simultaneously.

D. globalization has leveled the playing field for emerging economies.

E. businesspeople are now more conservative in their approach to investment.

D. globalization has leveled the playing field for emerging economies.
Though many advantages have been linked to e-business, studies show that employees are less productive when dealing with excessive ______ volume.

A. videoconferencing

B. meeting

C. e-mail

D. telecommuting

E. collaborative computing

C. e-mail
Paul has been tasked with creating a new microsite on his engineering company’s intranet. The site will house company-approved design procedures and efficiency strategies for all employees. Creating the design microsite is a form of

A. strategy management.

B. e-management.

C. project management.

D. knowledge management.

E. morale management.

D. knowledge management.
As a sales manager, you would have to decide how much leeway to give your subordinates in giving gifts to prospective clients in foreign countries. This is an example of the challenge of managing for

A. your own happiness.

B. globalization.

C. ethical standards.

D. sustainability.

E. diversity.

C. ethical standards.
Economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is known as

A. environmentalism.

B. globalization.

C. ethics.

D. the bottom line.

E. sustainability.

E. sustainability.
The company’s culture most directly affects

A. the number of competitors a firm has.

B. the number of products a company makes.

C. the amount charged for the firm’s products or services.

D. the manager’s happiness.

E. the education of the workforce.

D. the manager’s happiness.
Which of the following is one of the four principal functions of management, also known as the management process?

A. Organizing

B. Scheduling

C. Motivating

D. Executing

E. Monitoring

A. Organizing
Setting goals and deciding how to achieve them is called

A. controlling.

B. managing.

C. planning.

D. organizing.

E. leading.

C. planning.
When a manager at a software company is determining whether to hire more full-time programmers or possibly more temporary ones, he is engaged in

A. planning.

B. organizing.

C. managing.

D. leading.

E. controlling.

B. organizing.
Because the various groups that help a manager reach company goals often have different needs and wants, resolving conflicts is an essential part of which management function?

A. Planning

B. Clarifying

C. Organizing

D. Controlling

E. Leading

E. Leading
A general manager at a department store is giving an important presentation to several departments to engage the whole staff in a new customer retention effort beginning this month. This is an example of

A. planning.

B. organizing.

C. leading.

D. controlling.

E. marketing.

C. leading.
Monitoring performance and taking corrective action as needed is called

A. improvising.

B. planning.

C. organizing.

D. improving.

E. controlling.

E. controlling.
Aziz immediately halted production at his facility after seeing a report indicating the last batch had a high level of product defects, and restarted work only when the problem was discovered and fixed. Aziz is engaged in which management function?

A. Repairing

B. Organizing

C. Monitoring

D. Controlling

E. Executing

D. Controlling
Management theorist Peter Drucker compared the workplace of the future to a

A. pyramid.

B. symphony orchestra.

C. flattened oval.

D. chess game.

E. warship.

B. symphony orchestra.
Tonya is a structural engineer who works for a large international firm. She designs the concrete and steel structures that support even the largest and most complex buildings. Because of her high level of technical skills, Tonya is best referred to as a

A. knowledge worker.

B. blue-collar worker.

C. self-managed worker.

D. first-line worker.

E. first-line manager.

A. knowledge worker.
In the traditional management pyramid, managers are classified into ______ levels.

A. two

B. three

C. four

D. five

E. six

B. three
A senior vice president is an example of what level of manager?

A. first-line

B. top

C. leadership

D. middle

E. merit

B. top
Managers who are future oriented, dealing with uncertain, highly competitive conditions, and who stay alert to long-run opportunities and problems are most likely to be

A. first-line managers.

B. functional managers.

C. middle managers.

D. general managers.

E. top managers.

E. top managers.
Managers who implement the policies and plans determined at the highest levels and coordinate the activities of lowest-level managers are called

A. executional managers.

B. first-line managers.

C. middle managers.

D. functional managers.

E. general managers.

C. middle managers.
Derrick is a clinic director running a downtown Chicago facility for a large nonprofit health organization. He receives most of his strategic direction from the organization and supervises several department managers in his workplace. Derrick is a

A. first-line manager.

B. middle manager.

C. tactical manager.

D. functional manager.

E. coordination manager.

B. middle manager.
Managers who make short-term operating decisions and direct the daily tasks of the nonmanagerial employees are called

A. first-line managers.

B. middle managers.

C. general managers.

D. functional managers.

E. initial managers.

A. first-line managers.
Angelina is a shift supervisor for a successful supermarket chain, directing the work of as many as eight other cashiers. She is a(n)

A. directional manager.

B. middle manager.

C. first-line manager.

D. general manager.

E. area manager.

C. first-line manager.
A ______ manager is responsible for just one organizational activity.

A. specialist

B. first-line

C. singular

D. functional

E. top-level

D. functional
The United Way and Nature Conservancy are examples of which type of organization?

A. For-profit

B. Nonprofit

C. Administrative

D. Mutual-benefit

E. Aid-based

B. Nonprofit
Which type of nonprofit organization offers services to all clients within its jurisdiction?

A. Administrative

B. Mutual-benefit

C. Aid-based

D. Authority

E. Commonwealth

E. Commonwealth
Abbie recently joined a professional organization for certified public accountants, and was happy that her firm offered to pay the dues. This type of group is an example of a(n) ______ organization.

A. for-profit

B. nonprofit

C. administrative

D. mutual-benefit

E. aid-based

D. mutual-benefit
The primary measure of success of a nonprofit organization is typically

A. the total revenue.

B. ROI.

C. the effectiveness of the services delivered.

D. the market share.

E. the number of services available.

C. the effectiveness of the services delivered.
Which of the following statements about a manager’s worklife is not among the findings of management scholar Henry Mintzberg?

A. Managers work long hours.

B. Most managerial tasks require lengthy periods of time for completion.

C. Managers rely more on verbal than on written communication.

D. Managers work at an intense pace.

E. Managers’ work is characterized by variety.

B. Most managerial tasks require lengthy periods of time for completion.
According to Mintzberg’s work, which of the following is one of the three broad types of roles that managers play?

A. Analytical

B. Professional

C. Interdependent

D. Disciplinary

E. Interpersonal

E. Interpersonal
Which of the following is an example of a decisional role that managers play?

A. Figurehead

B. Spokesperson

C. Resource allocator

D. Liaison

E. Monitor

C. Resource allocator
In a ______ role, you should be constantly alert for useful information, whether gathered from newspaper stories about the competition or discovered in conversations with subordinates.

A. figurehead

B. negotiator

C. spokesperson

D. monitor

E. disseminator

D. monitor
Matthew, the president of a diesel engine research firm, was welcoming potential partners from a large automobile corporation in Europe. Before handing them off to his technical counterpart, he gave them an extensive tour of his laboratory and field-testing operations as part of which managerial role?

A. Figurehead

B. Analytical

C. Monitor

D. Visionary

E. Disseminator

A. Figurehead
After a large chemical fire, Eric took responsibility publicly for the failure of his employees to follow workplace safety standards, and indicated that several of them had been placed on leave. Here, Eric was acting in a ______ role.

A. leadership

B. negotiator

C. liaison

D. authority

E. entrepreneur

A. leadership
Two different project teams recently submitted proposals for very promising ideas, but the budget will not allow both to go forward this year. Amanda is making the tough decisions about which should be the focus this time, as a part of her ______ role.

A. leadership

B. disseminator

C. resource allocator

D. negotiator

E. entrepreneur

C. resource allocator
Colin takes notes at executive council meetings and prepares summaries to present to middle managers and supervisors at a monthly meeting. This task is part of a(n) _______ role.

A. disseminator

B. entrepreneur

C. monitor

D. leadership

E. visionary

A. disseminator
Jocelyn’s staff is upset because they normally receive their paychecks or direct deposits on Fridays and occasionally on Thursdays if there is a holiday. Tomorrow is Friday, July 4, and the bank did not process payments today as expected, so Jocelyn is on the phone trying to get the situation resolved as part of which managerial role?

A. Disturbance handler

B. Monitor

C. Spokesperson

D. Negotiator

E. Resource allocator

A. Disturbance handler
Chemka is speaking at a press conference to discuss the company’s plans to close three underperforming branches after several years and several rounds of changes in trying to keep them open. Chemka is performing the _______ role.

A. disseminator

B. monitor

C. liaison

D. spokesperson

E. figurehead

D. spokesperson
To inspire innovation, Jinyuan encourages his employees to devote one afternoon a month to work on pet projects, just to spend time in the lab experimenting and thinking freely. He is acting in the ______ role.

A. entrepreneur

B. disturbance handler

C. resource allocator

D. negotiator

E. liaison

A. entrepreneur
Armed with a stack of market research, Jalen, a marketing department manager, is in the research and development manager’s office attempting to convince him to eliminate two features his engineers plan to add to a product, and replace them with two others based on customer preference. Jalen is operating in the ______ role.

A. entrepreneur

B. resource allocator

C. disturbance handler

D. negotiator

E. liaison

D. negotiator
Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, founders of Yelp, a website with reviews of businesses, created a new type of business that did not exist before their efforts. They would best be described as

A. business developers.

B. inventors.

C. sole proprietors.

D. entrepreneurs.

E. intrapreneurs.

D. entrepreneurs.
_________ means taking risks to try to create a new enterprise.

A. Entrepreneurship

B. Incorporation

C. Franchising

D. Joint venturing

E. Acquisition

A. Entrepreneurship
The defining difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur is that the latter

A. is the person responsible for funding the former with a startup investment.

B. is working on multiple opportunities simultaneously.

C. works within an existing organization, using its resources to exploit an opportunity.

D. usually runs a small business.

E. works in a team setting to develop an idea to fruition.

C. works within an existing organization, using its resources to exploit an opportunity.
The development of Google News by Google employees experimenting with ways to facilitate browsing news from several sources is an example of

A. business intelligence.

B. intrapreneurship.

C. business invention.

D. corporate design.

E. entrepreneurship.

B. intrapreneurship.
The belief that you control your own destiny is called

A. internal locus of control.

B. entrepreneurship.

C. intrapreneurship.

D. power centering.

E. manifest destiny.

A. internal locus of control.
Research has shown that all of the following are characteristics of an entrepreneur except which?

A. self-confident

B. highly experienced

C. belief in personal control of destiny

D. high energy level and action orientation

E. high tolerance for ambiguity

B. highly experienced
Which of the following is more characteristic of an entrepreneur than a manager?

A. High need for achievement

B. External locus of control

C. Belief in personal control of destiny

D. Motivated by organizational rewards

E. Tolerance for risk

E. Tolerance for risk
After her divorce, Jillian had to go back to work. While she interviewed to return to her previous accounting profession, she began a custom wedding invitation business. Jillian would best be described as a(n)

A. motivated entrepreneur.

B. necessity entrepreneur.

C. opportunity entrepreneur.

D. performance entrepreneur.

E. chance entrepreneur.

B. necessity entrepreneur.
According to researcher Robert Katz, which of the following is one of three principal skills acquired by experienced managers?

A. Intuitive

B. Evaluative

C. Human

D. Comprehensive

E. Coordination

C. Human
______ skills consist of the job-specific knowledge needed to perform well in a specialized field.

A. Technical

B. Action

C. Conceptual

D. Physical

E. Human

A. Technical
Marie recently became a managing partner at her law firm. Though her job has changed, she still needs to have the necessary ______ skills to advise and review the contracts of the real estate attorneys that she manages.

A. performance

B. technical

C. conceptual

D. human

E. physical

B. technical
The ability to think analytically is associated with ______ skills.

A. comprehension

B. conceptual

C. human

D. abstract

E. intuitive

B. conceptual
Despite the appeal of the opportunity, Samantha decided to delay taking her product to foreign markets because she felt that her current personnel did not have enough international experience. She was exhibiting ______ skills.

A. comparative

B. human

C. intangible

D. conceptual

E. intuitive

D. conceptual
Conceptual skills are particularly important for ______ managers.

A. first-line

B. functional

C. top

D. middle

E. general

C. top
______ skills consist of the ability to work well in cooperation with other people to get things done.

A. Support

B. Conceptual

C. Personal

D. Intuitive

E. Human

E. Human
Tyler has coffee with one of his direct reports almost daily. He does this to inquire in an informal way about progress on the job, and to provide coaching and support, as well as appropriate congratulations for special efforts. Tyler is exhibiting which type of managerial skill?

A. Cohesion

B. Conceptual

C. Intuitive

D. Engagement

E. Human

E. Human
Human skills are important for ________ managers.

A. top

B. functional

C. first-line

D. middle

E. all levels of

E. all levels of
Which of the following is not a chief skill companies seek in top managers today?

A. The ability to motivate and engage others.

B. The ability to communicate.

C. Work experience outside the United States.

D. High energy levels to meet the demands of global travel and a 24/7 world.

E. The ability to give a wide range of orders authoritatively.

E. The ability to give a wide range of orders authoritatively.
Studying management can be helpful even before you become a manager. List at least three of the rewards of studying management.
(1) You will understand how to deal with organizations from the outside. It helps to understand how organizations work and how the people in them make decisions. (2) You will understand how to relate to your supervisors. Since most of us work in organizations and most of us have bosses, studying management will enable you to understand the pressures managers deal with and how they will best respond to you. (3) You will understand how to interact with co-workers. Studying management can give you the understanding of teams and teamwork, cultural differences, conflict and stress, and negotiation and communication skills that will help you get along with fellow employees. (4) You will understand how to manage yourself in the workplace. Management courses give you the opportunity to realize insights about yourself—your personality, emotions, values, perceptions, needs, and goals. We help you build your skills in areas such as self-management, listening, handling change, managing stress, avoiding groupthink, and coping with organizational politics.
What is competitive advantage? Explain the importance of each of the four areas in which an organization must stay ahead of its competitors.
Competitive advantage is the ability of an organization to produce goods or services more effectively than competitors do, thus outperforming them. This means an organization must stay ahead in four areas: customer responsiveness, innovation, quality, and efficiency.

Being responsive to customers. The first law of business is: Take care of the customer. Without customers—buyers, clients, consumers, shoppers, users, patrons, guests, investors, or whatever they’re called—sooner or later there will be no organization.

Innovation is finding ways to deliver new or better goods or services.

Quality. If your organization is the only one of its kind, customers may put up with products or services that are less than stellar. However, if you are not a unique organization, which is more likely, customers will begin to buy from the company with better quality for the same price.

Efficiency. In today’s organizations, the emphasis is on efficiency: Companies strive to produce goods or services as quickly as possible using as few employees (and raw materials) as possible.

One of the challenges for managers is managing personal happiness and life goals. Explain why this is a challenge for managers. Discuss how you think these ideas apply to you in the future.
Every person must consider whether his job (managerial or otherwise) helps him or her reach his or her own happiness and goals. Many managers find the job of management to be unfulfilling—they often feel they have to give up too much of their personal lives because of the long hours or travel, or they don’t enjoy the constant activity that management entails. Also, many managers feel caught in the middle between upper levels of management and their employees. The student should offer an example of how this may or may not affect her in the future.
Identify and describe the four managerial functions. Give a specific example of each.
Planning is setting goals and deciding how to achieve them. Organizing is arranging tasks, people, and other resources to accomplish the work. Leading is motivating, directing, and otherwise influencing people to work hard to achieve the goals. Controlling is monitoring performance, comparing it to goals, and taking corrective action as needed. The student should give an example of each.
List the three levels of management in the traditional pyramid. Give an example of a task that a manager at each level might perform.
Managers may be classified into three levels: top, middle, and first-line.

Top managers make long-term decisions about the overall direction of the organization and establish the objectives, policies, and strategies for it. They need to pay a lot of attention to the environment outside the organization, being alert for long-run opportunities and problems and devising strategies for dealing with them. Thus, executives at this level must be future oriented, dealing with uncertain, highly competitive conditions.

Middle managers implement the policies and plans of the top managers above them and supervise and coordinate the activities of the first-line managers below them.

Following the plans of middle and top managers, first-line managers make short-term operating decisions, directing the daily tasks of nonmanagerial personnel.

List Mintzberg’s findings about the nature of managerial work.
A manager relies more on verbal than on written communication.
A manager works long hours at an intense pace.
A manager’s work is characterized by fragmentation, brevity, and variety.
List the characteristics that most entrepreneurs have.
The characteristics that most entrepreneurs have include: high need for achievement, belief in personal control of destiny, high energy level and action orientation, high tolerance for ambiguity, and self-confidence and tolerance for risk.
Define the three types of principal skills that managers need according to Robert Katz. At which level of management is each skill most important?
Technical skills consist of job-specific knowledge needed to perform well in a specialized field. Having the requisite technical skills seems to be most important at the lower levels of management—that is, among first-line managers.

Conceptual skills consist of the ability to think analytically, to visualize an organization as a whole and understand how the parts work together. Conceptual skills are particularly important for top managers, who must deal with problems that are ambiguous but that could have far-reaching consequences.

Human skills are the ability to work well with others to get things done. These skills—the ability to motivate, to inspire trust, to communicate with others—are necessary for managers of all levels.

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