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External And Internal Factors

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Category: Business

Autor: anton 15 November 2010

Words: 1229 | Pages: 5

External and Internal Factors

“Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals” (Bateman-Schnell, 2003, p. 14). The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Internal and external factors such as rapid change, technology, and diversity impact the four functions of management. This paper will focus on these three factors and their impact on Verizon. The successful application of the four management functions when dealing with these factors, impact the success and failures of Verizon, as well as all other organizations.

Rapid change impacts the four functions of management. The atmosphere is less stressful when Verizon has the luxury of operating without rapid change influences. Goals are planned for the company for the year, which become high-level projects. The high-level projects dictate advertising and budgets for the year. The organizing function then kicks into the process. “Organizing is assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals” (Bateman-Schnell, 2003, p. 15). Project teams are assembled with the appropriate subject matter experts (SME) needed to successfully complete the project on time and within budget. Project managers then incorporate the leading function. These managers keep their teams stimulated to be high achievers by doing little things necessary to keep them motivated: giving praise often, rewarding milestone achievements with bonuses, planning activities to keep morale high. The controlling function is used next by following an established project plan. The project plan monitors every step of the project from beginning to end. The project plan tracks resources, tasks, milestones, problems, and solutions. This monitoring enables a manager to recognize potential problems and implement necessary changes to keep the project on track and successful.

The atmosphere becomes stressful when Verizon encounters rapid change from the competition. The carefully thought out plans for the near future are often put on hold to allow the company to deal with the latest threat from their competition. Projects already underway are often put on hold or altered in order to counteract the latest innovation by AT&T, Sprint, or Cingular. All of the organizing of budgets, resources, information, and project plans are prepared without the luxury of stress free planning. Quick decisions are made, but they are not always the correct ones: new SMEs may be needed for the project or the SMEs needed may not be available or may not exist. Project plans are created in a very short time frame that may or may not include all the tasks needed for success. Managers are challenged with motivating their teams to function well under unexpected stress and long hours. Managers often revert to micro-managing from controlling during times of rapid change. This situation can turn a well planned year into a year of chaos. A good example of this was when Verizon was faced with the internet access services. Initially, Verizon was able to sustain a reasonable profit from the sales of second lines used for residential internet access. Competition from cable companies arrived in the form of cable modems. This forced Verizon to adjust its broadband service rollout, resulting in an expedited delivery of DSL.

Technology has external and internal impact on Verizon’s business operations. Internally, tools used to plan have advanced tremendously, broadening the scope of planning while allowing for shorter intervals. Arranging meetings has gone from sending e-mails requesting attendance to checking everyone’s schedule from a shared calendar database. Organizing these meetings has gone from dependence on resource availability to selecting from a variety of meeting options such as teleconferencing, web share meetings, and conference calls. Technology has also impacted the means of leading a team. Projects are no longer initiated and supervised on site. Today, a manager has the ability to run a project remotely thanks to advances such as instant messaging, remote call forwarding, and wireless internet access. A project team leader can receive a call, go online for answers, and electronically forward documentation to the team from a remote location, or the comfort of his home. Perhaps the most effective impact technology has is how quickly results can be measured when monitoring the success of a project. Once a project is complete, tools such as shared databases allow each team member to monitor results real-time, and apply necessary changes.

Technology also impacts Verizon externally. Advancements in communication delivery by a competitor often cause a planned project to be altered. The popularity of Nextel’s walkie-talkie feature gave Verizon incentive to adjust focus its planned rollout of a similar service. Other competitive technological advances, such as broadband, drove Verizon to explore new ways to organize resources in order to meet the competitive challenge. To implement FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) using techs with no experience in fiber, a centralized support center was put in place. This negates the need for high level knowledge of fiber installation because the support center is available for assistance at any time. GPS, or Global Positioning System, allows field supervisors to lead a team of techs spread out of a large geographical area. The service also allows the supervisors to monitor the location of techs and their vehicles, whereas this used to be done by face to face visits with techs.

Diversity is defined as the condition or quality of being diverse, different, or varied; difference, unlikeness. (Oxford English Dictionary Online) The four functions of management, as displayed at Verizon, are all affected by diversity. Having a variety of employees with different cultural backgrounds allows for a broad base of ideas or concepts. Different cultural backgrounds will allow for different development of ideas. The assembly of these ideas will make for a better product or goal.

Externally, planning is also affected by diversity due to the variety in its customer base. Different customers want different services. Organizing is also affected by diversity. Having an assortment of employees from different cultural backgrounds affects organizing by being able to attract the best possible people for jobs at Verizon. Verizon’s well known diversity in its employee base reflects a company that readily accepts anyone despite cultural differences. Diversity affects leading as well. Managers must learn a variety of ways to stimulate high performance due to the assortment of employees. Cultural background plays a large role as to what makes people want to do the best job possible. Controlling is another management function affected by diversity. Monitoring progress and making necessary changes will happen no matter how diverse a company gets. A process may need to be altered because of a diversity issue. The only thing affected by diversity is the actual changes made.

Managers at Verizon use planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to continue to meet and surpass their organizational goals. The successful exercise of these functions is exhibited by the flourishing development and retention of Verizon employees, and Verizon’s international reputation (Can you hear me now?). The competition in the market is real and threatening Verizon constantly. Continued practice of these functions will be a key factor if Verizon is going to remain at the top of the market.

References

Bateman-Schnell (2003). Management: The New Competitive Landscape. [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved September 2, 2003 from University of Phoenix, Resource, MGT 330–Management: Theory, Practice, Application Web site: https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp

Oxford English Dictionary Online (2004) Oxford University Press 2004. Second Edition

http://80-dictionary.oed.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com

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