Emerging Management Issues and Challenges
The business environment since a couple of decades has witnessed a radical change mainly due to rapid development in transportation and communication network, innovation of new knowledge, globalization of business, a combination of multi-cultured professionals and so on. Therefore, managers must be able to adjust to the new emerging challenges. The following are the major challenges for the management:
The introduction of the network in transportation, communication, and economic interdependency has tied the people of the world together and causing the globe to shrink. Any quality product or service produced in one part of a country can easily reach all parts of the world without any restriction or barriers. Especially, multinational companies are global players in business not only to survive but also to run proper business operation. Globalization brings the concept of keen competition among the entrepreneurs of the world. Therefore, present managers have to work by considering the global perspective. They must be innovative and adjustable according to the changing environment.
Development of Environmentalism
Environmental issues are major issues in management these days. These issues involve deforestation, global warming, depletion of ozone layer, toxic waste, and pollution of land, air, and water. These environmental issues may not be a matter of interest to an enterprise, especially in developing countries like Nepal. But, these matters draw the attention of different social, business and political institutions. The mainstream of politicians and social activists around the world have picked up the environmental banners.
The green movement has spread in Europe, North America and other parts of the world to maintain the environmental ecology. Therefore, the present managers have the challenge to develop creative ways to make a profit without harming the environment in the process of production.
Quality and Productivity
Quality and productivity are also emerging issues of the business world in the present scenario. In the past, many managers assumed that they could increase output only by decreasing quality. However, present managers have come to the conclusion that such an assumption is almost always wrong. They have recognized that quality and productivity are inter-related to each other. The introduction of quality enhancement program provides broadly three positive results to the management. Firstly, the number of defects will be decreased causing the low return of defects from customers. Secondly, when the number of defects goes down, the involvement of resources to rework on the defectives will decrease resulting in minimized wastage of resources. Thirdly, when employees become responsible for maintaining quality, it reduces the need for quality inspectors as a result of which efficiency and effectiveness of the organization will improve. The maximization of productivity ultimately minimizes per unit cost of output.
Ethics and Responsibility
Ethics and social responsibility have become growing concerns for managers today. Ethics is an individual's personal beliefs about what constitute right and wrong. It is developed through family, experience, personal values and morals, and situational factors. The most vital ethical concern of modern managers is to know how an organization treats employees, how employees treat the organization and also how the organization treats other economic agents like customers, competitors, suppliers, unions etc. It is a part of the managerial function to use leadership, culture, training, codes and guidelines to help employees and other economic agents to maintain ethical behavior, which is ever changing.
Although the concept of social responsibility has developed from the entrepreneurial era, more stress is being given in present times. Social responsibility is the set of obligations that an organization has to fulfill towards the society.
Workforce diversity is an increasing trend in the organization because of change in population dimension. There are several dimensions of diversification; however, the important ones are age, gender, ethnicity. The overall age of the workforce is increasing. Similarly, more women are also getting involved in the workplace. the diversification in the workforce can affect an organization differently. From one angle, it can be the source of cost advantage, the source of resource acquisition, marketing, creativity, problem solving and system of flexibility. From another angle, it could be a source of conflict in an organization.
Innovation and Change
The innovation of new knowledge to fulfill the expectations of stakeholders is increasing day by day. It has become a fact of everyday life for everyone in business operation. At present, management change is a critical challenge to the competitors, customers, employees, suppliers, and lenders. It is an important responsibility of managers to handle such change in a scientific and practical way. They have to improve the quality of products and service to fulfill the changing need of customers. Besides, managers can use a variety of tools to harmonize the working environment of the organization like an implementation of the reward system, development of entrepreneurship, and organization culture.
Empowerment of Employees
Employees are the major element of the internal environment of an organization. When managers and employees embrace the same values and have the same goals, it becomes convenient to achieve organizational objectives. To maintain the mutual relation between managers and employees, it is essential to delegate the decision-making authority to subordinate level of employees, which is a challenging task. At present, employees have become more powerful due to decentralized authority and labor unions affiliated to political parties. This has been a serious problem for many organizations. The top level managers have to delegate authority to subordinates not only to work related decision but also to maintain full control over the work perform. The employees are in-charge of their work and can perform their work themselves according to their convenience.
In this competitive environment, knowledge has become power. The society expects new ideas, new things, and creativity in product or service from any organization. To fulfill such social expectations, the manager has to accumulate knowledge and ideas from all members involved in the organization. A model manager must be flexible to manage knowledge and should also consider the situational factor.
Today, technological development is an ever growing process. Technological development tends to increase the aspirations and expectations of customers, investors, competitors, employees and other stakeholders of an organization. It develops the concept of the competitive environment among the producers and suppliers. Modern means of communication should be used to transform information with customers.
The most important challenge of the managers is to identify and predict the ever developing new technology. The management of technology is a newly emerged aspect in the field of management. It is the responsibility of the managers to keep pace with the changes in technology and grab the opportunity to make the business success. They have to modify products and services on the basis of the changing needs of customers.
Innovation of modern communication and transportation system has tied the multi-cultured people together. They work together to meet their common and professional objectives even if they have different traditions, values, social attitudes, religious belief and living approach. The involvement of cross-cultural professionals in organizations is continuously increasing. Management is effective only when it is able to maintain coordination among multi-cultural professionals.
In the context of Nepal, political instability, powerful labor unions affiliated with political parties, rising public expectations and lack of skilled manpower due to brain drain are the major challenges for managers. Many Nepalese business organizations are operating in measurable conditions today because of the above challenge in recent years. After the country entered in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Nepalese export has been significantly declining and imports have been rising. This is a serious problem for the country's economy. In this context, Nepalese managers need to overcome the above challenges and the government needs to play the role of a facilitator.
(Podyal, S.R., Pradhan G.M. and Bhandari, K.P. (2011). Principles of Management. Kathmandu: Asmita Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd.)