Why Managers Still Matter Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

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But now that pendulum is apparently swinging the other way -to a system of loose networks, virtual businesses and peer to peer interactions. A supposed hallmark of the new market has become the decline of managerial authority. Consultants, management gurus and pundits have proclaimed that hierarchy is not in. Modern organizations including online retailer Zappos have come to side with flat hierarchies with power that was widely delegated.

And yet, given the demands of the current environment, writers Nicholai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein contend that managerial ability is still pertinent in situations where (1) conclusions are time-sensitive; (2) key knowledge is focused within the management team; and (3) there is demand for internal coordination. While it is true that many knowledge workers no longer desire a manager to direct them to tasks or track their day-to-day progress, the writers maintain that the purpose of managers and the definition of “authority”needs to change.

Managers need to move away from specifying procedures and processes in the aims they need individuals to meet or favor of defining the principles they need people to apply. In other words, the principal task for top management would be to define and enforce the organizational rules of the game. To be sure, processes for defining frameworks and rules can be nested and delegated. Indeed, when a company’s key assets are knowledge workers whose skills and behaviors are strenuous to assess objectively, companies will should depend on more subjective evaluations of performance, which managers must execute.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 01, 2014 PRODUCT #: SMR502-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE

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