Applied Management Theory

Choose two topics that we have discussed in this subject and write a reflection which answers the following questions:

What topic discussed in this subject you find most interesting?

In the subject, two of the most interesting topics for me were managerial decision making and organizational planning. In an organization, managerial skills are crucial for success, especially managerial decision making. Bridge & Dodds (2018) mentioned that leaders become successful based on the decisions they make and it is necessary for leaders to know when and how to decide properly. Before making a decision, one should identify a comprehensible strategy which contains a rule, directions and regulations. Moreover, manages are the key to solving organizational problems and managerial decision-making topic not only teaches students about decision making, but it also teaches them how to make sound decisions. The decision making process follows a predetermined path which includes steps like identifying the purpose of decision, gathering information, judging alternatives, brainstorming, evaluation, and selection of the best alternative. It also includes decision making process and modelling which consists of two basic models, namely, rational models and normative model (Huff, Milliken, Hodgkinson, Galavan & Sund, 2016).

While the rational model is based on cognitive judgments and facilitates the selection of the most sensible and logical alternative, the normative model considers constraints which can arise during decision making. According to the rational model, decision making is characterized by the following steps, while, normative model, on the other hand, suggests that decision making is characterized by limited information, judgment heuristics and satisfaction. In addition to these key concepts, managerial decision making also includes static and dynamic models, simulation techniques, operations research techniques, heuristic programming and group decision making (Forrest, Nicholls, Schimmel & Liu, 2019). The topic teaches us how to make rational and informed decisions with collaborating with others to build strong organizational focus and to reduce opportunity costs. It also mentions psychological style for making decisions which accounts for individual desires, needs and values to ascertain the most appropriate course of action.

Another topic, organizational planning is also some which I find interesting. Organizational planning refers to the continuous process of making process in an systematic manner with the greatest possible knowledge of the future; undertaking the organization of activities required to execute the plan; and to monitor the outcome of the plans through effective feedback (George, Walker & Monster, 2019). This systematic plan enables organizations to ascertain the orientation of business direction to determine where it wants to go, analyzing how to get there and to examine what should be done when change occurs. This process constitutes all activities that are utilized to focus on energy, setting priorities, and ensuring that stakeholders and employees are moving in the same direction and are working to attain a common goal.

According to Bryson (2018), organizational planning helps to uncover organizational approach which can enhance performance. Such planning begins when the senior members of the organization identify the short and long term objectives of the company. After determining the objectives, they are refined and essential strategies are formed to realize those objectives. This is an important aspect of business as it ensures that the employees and stakeholders understand and know the vision of the organization, and how they contribute to the same. Even though there are many ways to conduct organization planning, most of them fall under four key categories, namely, strategic, succession, financial, contingency. Every approach provides its own framework for organizational planning according to the size and nature of the business under question.

Write a personal reflection (with two or three supporting reasons) why you found this topic of great interest

I find both of the abovementioned topics truly fascinating as while decision making incorporates psychology, neurology, management, logic, philosophy, organizational behaviour and sociology to make decisions, organizational planning teaches me how to restructure an organization with goals to realize success.

Decision making for me is one of the most interesting topics as it deals with behavioural psychology which is also my favourite subject. It is really interesting to me how the psychological and behavioural idiosyncrasies of individuals affect their decision making, which in turn has the ability to determine the future. Even in an organizational context, in which the decision tend to follow predetermined frameworks and trends, the decision making gets quite complicated with numerous alternative. Untangling this complexity is what I find really interesting as it forces me to ponder about the distinct aspect of a singly decision while analyzing how it affects other aspects of the organization. Moreover, I have to do this while keeping my own biases and preconceived ideas in check. Also, considering the importance of sound decision making, I really like to study decision making theories and how they can be applied to real-world scenarios.

Organizational planning, on the other hand, is interesting to me mainly because it is referred to as the leading cause of business failure. But still, organizations do not plan effectively; they do not set a clear purpose with a business strategy (Nippa & Hertweck, 2017). For me, it is truly fascinating that even though the importance of effective organizational planning has become a maxim, organizations still do not actively engage in the same. Organizational planning sounds simple and is one of the simplest ways to provide focus and direction. However, organizations either neglect the concept entirely or execute it in a haphazard manner. This is why I studied organizational planning deeply to understand how it works and why, given its importance, it is not one of the first things organizations engage it. Apart from this, another aspect of these concepts which is interesting for me is that they are not simply rhetoric; both of them can be applied in the real-life scenarios to improve business performance and to ensure long term financial viability and sustainability of the business.

How do you think you could apply it in your present or future professional career?

Although both of these concepts are directed towards organizational managers and senior leaders, they are equally pertinent in case of my current profession of HR management. HR management is all about making decisions while focusing on the various needs of the organization and its workforce. Also, HR managers deal directly with people which further complicates the process as it is not easy to make sound decisions while taking wide-ranging needs and desires of each individual under consideration. The concept of decision making is really helpful for my professional practice as it enables me to compile and analyze data which can be used to develop, implement and measure the outcome of HR strategy. Moreover, the topic is especially useful for me because HR departments not only succeed in getting the right result; their ultimate aim is to mitigate risk (Manda & Wood, 2016). Considering the importance of employment-related decisions, and a lack of structured decision-making process in HR, a deep understanding of key decision making concepts enables me to analyze key problems within the organization, gather relevant information and to implement a robust HR management strategy within the workplace.

In addition to the broad HR strategy, decision-making tools will also help me in the core tasks of my department, such as recruitment and HR development by giving me an understanding of how to identify problems and giving me a structured approach to solving them. Now I can also expand my responsibilities by communicating with managers regarding organizational problems regarding my department and addressing them. Furthermore, it also gave me a new approach for formulating strategies i.e. gathering information from the party who will be affected. While previously HR strategies were based on a top-down approach, I can now change that and implement a bottom-up strategy according to organizational problems and needs of employees.

Similarly, organizational planning is also valuable for me to improve my professional competency. HR planning is a crucial part of the larger gamut of HR management which includes a systematic analysis of the needs of organizational human resource and formulating an effective HR policy. Organizational planning will be helpful for me as the understanding of the concept enables me to ensure that the HR policies which determine, among other things, recruitment and training of the human resources are aligned with the broader vision of the organization. Since human resources are what enable an organization to realize its vision, the importance of such an alignment of HR and organizational policies cannot be overstated. In this subject, I learned how organizations can form a vision to motivate and guide their future progress and workforce, and this concept will help me to ensure that the HR policies and activities follow the organizational vision and are effective in terms of motivating the workforce to do the same. As I already mentioned, I find both of these topics interesting mainly because of their applicability in real-life situations and daily practices of an organization. Therefore, both, managerial decision making and organizational planning will help me in my professional career by enabling me to makes better decisions and to ensure that such decisions contribute to organizational values. 

References for Applied Management Theory

Bridge, J., & Dodds, J. C. (2018). Managerial decision making. Routledge.

Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Forrest, J. Y. L., Nicholls, J., Schimmel, K., & Liu, S. (2019). Managerial Decision Making: A Holistic Approach. Springer Nature.

George, B., Walker, R. M., & Monster, J. (2019). Does Strategic Planning Improve Organizational Performance? A Meta‐Analysis. Public Administration Review79(6), 810-819.

Huff, A. S., Milliken, F. J., Hodgkinson, G. P., Galavan, R. J., & Sund, K. J. (2016). A Conversation on Uncertainty in Managerial and Organizational Cognition', Uncertainty and Strategic Decision Making (pp. 1-31). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Manda, R., & Wood, B. (2016). Human resource management.

Nippa, M., & Hertweck, F. (2017). Human Resource Management Decision Making Under the Spell of Favoritism: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence.

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