Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
Read this section for an overview of management. We will look at this section in more detail as we delve deeper into the process of management.
After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer these questions:
- What is the role of management?
- What are the four types of planning?
- What are the primary functions of managers in organizing activities?
- How do leadership styles influence a corporate culture?
- How do organizations control activities?
- What roles do managers take on in different organizational settings?
- What set of managerial skills is necessary for managerial success?
- What trends will affect management in the future?
Exploring Business Careers
You might ask, "How does one come to work in the world of online costume
retail?" A passion for holiday make-believe and dress-up? A keen eye
for business potential? The drive to capitalize on a competitive
advantage? If you're Jalem Getz, the answer is: all of these. Getz is
the founder of BuyCostumes.com, an online costume and accessories
retailer and, most recently, founder of Wantable, Inc.
As with most businesses, BuyCostumes.com and Wantable, Inc., are the
result of careful planning. BuyCostumes.com was a response to what Getz
saw as inherent flaws of resource allocation with the business model of
brick-and-mortar costume retailers. "As a brick-and-mortar business, we
were the gypsies of retail, which caused scale problems since we started
over every year. Because we only were in a mall four or five months a
year, locations we had one year often were rented the next. So we had to
find new stores to rent each year. Then we had to find management to
run the stores, and train employees to staff them. We also had to
shuffle the inventory around each year to stock them. It's almost
impossible to grow a business like that". By turning to the internet,
however, Getz was able to bypass all of those issues. The virtual
"space" was available year-round, and inventory and staff were
centralized in a single warehouse location.
Getz grew BuyCostumes.com to a multimillion-dollar business before
selling it, with a staff of about 600 employees during its peak season.
Before Getz sold the business, it carried over 10,000 Halloween items
and had upwards of 20 million visitors each holiday season. In one year,
it shipped over 1 million costumes across the world, including 45
countries outside the United States. "We say that our goal is to ensure
that anytime anyone buys a costume anywhere in the world, it will be
from BuyCostumes.com. And, although to some extent we're kidding, we're
also very serious".
To keep track of all this action, Getz mixed ideals of a strong work
ethic, a willingness to take risks, and an interest in having fun while
making a profit. Given the size of the company, BuyCostumes.com
organized its management to help keep the company focused on the
corporate goal of continued growth. For Getz, his role in the management
hierarchy was to "hire excellent people who have similar goals and who
are motivated the same way I am and then put them in a position where
they can succeed". Beyond that? "Inspect what you expect". This maxim is
a concise way to say that, although he does not believe in constantly
watching over his employees' shoulders, he does believe in periodically
checking in with them to ensure that both he and they are on the same
page. By considering the process of management a conversation between
himself and his employees, he exhibits a strong participative leadership
Getz will joke that he wishes he could say that he spent his childhood
dreaming of the day he could work with costumes. The truth, though, is
that he saw an opportunity, grabbed it, and hasn't let go since. And
sometimes, especially during Halloween, truth can be even more
satisfying than fiction.
After selling BuyCostumes.com, Getz experimented with other digital
start-ups but quickly realized he worked best with retail. In 2012, he
launched Wantable, Inc., an online personal shopping service. In its
first four years, Getz led the company to exceed 28,000% annual revenue
growth and to hire more than 100 employees. It became profitable in 2016
and looked to double its income the following year.
Today's companies rely on managers to guide daily operations using
human, technological, financial, and other resources to create a
competitive advantage. For many beginning business students, being in
"management" is an attractive but somewhat vague future goal. This
vagueness is due in part to an incomplete understanding of what managers
do and how they contribute to organizational success or failure. This
chapter introduces the basic functions of management and the skills
managers need to drive an organization toward its goals. We will also
discuss how leadership styles influence a corporate culture and
highlight the trends that are shaping the future role of managers.
Source: Rice University, https://openstax.org/books/introduction-business/pages/6-introduction
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