Topics in Management

1. Imagine that a company is entering foreign markets for the first time with a new product. Explain how that company would act and react using the “calm waters” metaphor and the “white water rapids” metaphor. Under what conditions would each be successful?

2. You have an employee that appears willing to do whatever is necessary to rise to the top of the organization. She also continually dominates team discussions and according to many who work with her appears to think quite a bit of her own talents. What personality forces are at work and how might they impact organizational goals? As her manager, how do you harness her efforts for the company’s good?

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3. Would a self-managed, cross-functional, or problem-solving team be best for dealing with i) a crisis, ii) researching the next generation product, or iii) developing the five-year strategy for a School of Business? Explain each.

4. My boss believes that, “money talks and everything else walks.” She constantly states that “praising an employee’s work, listening to their concerns, and making them feel like they are part of a team that has accomplished something positive is useless without money.” How would you respond to her statements based on the concept of Equity Theory? Also, how would you respond to her based on the concepts of the Two-Factor Theory? Explain why you agree or disagree with her statements.

5. What are the primary differences between Contingency Theories of leadership and the concept of the Managerial Grid? Which theory applies to leadership in the military, civil service, and a cutting-edge small technology firm? Explain.

1. Imagine that a company is entering foreign markets for the first time with a new product. Explain how that company would act and react using the “calm waters” metaphor and the “white water rapids” metaphor. Under what conditions would each be successful?

The white water rapids metaphor suggests unpredictable and uncertain environment. In order to sail through such conditions, the firm has to be prepared to face the unexpected by adopting a flexible strategy that can be quickly modified or adapted to changing circumstances, as well as possess a solid risk management plan to fall back upon in crisis or tough situations.

For example, let us take the case of a company entering into India in a highly uncertain market or market with uncertain future conditions. In such a market, the company should be prepared to adapt to changes in the external market conditions, such as changing competition, changing laws and regulations or customer preferences. Their strategy should be flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions due to changing forces such as competition, customer preferences, etc.

The calm waters metaphor suggests that in order to enter an environment similar to calm sea water, the organization would need to put emphasis on factors that drive market away from the status quo and work on declining factors that restrict such move from the existing equilibrium. The two approaches can be combined to achieve the new change and then, the the organization need to refreeze the situation. The entry of the firm in the market would cause a disruption in the market. The organization would need to work on forces that would move consumers away from their current status quo, as well as simultaneously work on stopping forces that would prevent them from moving towards the new change. The calm waters market would be predictable, unlike the white water rapids, and thus, the firm can make planned strategy for making inroads into the new market on the basis of expected “storm” or disruptions due to this new product launch by the organization.


2. You have an employee that appears willing to do whatever is necessary to rise to the top of the organization. She also continually dominates team …

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