Management is a process of attaining organization goals by effectively and efficiently planning, organizing, leading and controlling the organization’s human, physical, financial and information resources. While technology means applying specialized knowledge or expertise applicable to the situation or context.
The verdict shows that systematic weaknesses that are hampering the ability of many firms to adapt to a changing international business environment. In particular, there are six weaknesses: outdated strategies; neglect of human resources; failures of cooperation; technological weaknesses in development and production; government and industry working at cross-purposes; and short time horizons. Thus a company needs to improve their technology in solving those weaknesses. In other word, it means the integration of technology in their manufacturing and marketing strategies and to link them to organizational changes that promote teamwork, training and continuous learning. In generally depressed domestic apparel industry, firms such as the Model Garment Company and Levi Strauss ; Company are succeeding by investing heavily in information technologies that allow them to fill orders very rapidly and reduce inventory levels.
In virtually all successful firms, the trend is toward greater functional integration and lesser organizational stratification, both of which promote quicker product development and increased responsiveness to changing markets. In particular, most successful firms emphasize simultaneous improvements in quality, cost, and speed of commercialization. Whereas others firms often trade off one dimension of performance against another, only the best companies have mad significant improvement in all three. Therefore they need to adopt new way of thinking about human resources, new ways of organizing their systems of production and new approaches to the management of technology. As Prince Philip said
Related the management of new ideas to these issues. First, the need to identify the current and future environment in which a company exists. Second, the need to study competition, which imposes restraints and permits opportunities. Third, understanding customer needs and, he added, public attitudes. He gave nuclear power as an example of the gap that can exist between need and acceptability. Next, he argued the audience to be aware of the availability of new materials and new technology. (p. 321)
The impact of improved technology on management can be generally divided into six categories, strategy, technology, cooperation and coordination, hierarchy, rapid pace and investment.
The American industry of the 1950’s and 1960’s pursued flexibility by hiring and firing workers who had limited skills rather than by relying on mutliskilled workers. Worker responsibility and input progressively narrowed, and management tended to treat workers as a cost to be controlled, not as an asset to be developed. Even in firms offering organized training programs, in-plant training is usually short and highly focused on transmitting specific narrow skills for immediate application.
After the improving of technology, firm should manage itself as institutions, where – through education and training – employees can develop breadth and flexibility in their skills and acquire a willingness to learn new skill of the improved technology over the long term. In other words, management should allows greater employee involvement and responsibility in order to absorb new production technologies. Companies will no longer be able to treat employees as a cost of controlled in a big impersonal machine. If people are asked to give maximum effort and to accept uncertainty and rapid change, they must fully participate in the enterprise rather than expendable commodities.
For completing successfully in a world that is becoming more international and competitive, firms must expand their outlook beyond their boundaries by improving its technology. Management on gaining knowledge of other languages, cultures, market customs, tastes, legal systems, and regulations should be introduced; they will need to develop a new set of international sensitivities and improve our technology. As we expect the rapid pace of technological change to continue. Particularly rapid progress seems likely in information technology, materials science and engineering, biotechnology. Information technology has already permeated nearly every facet of the production of goods and delivery of services, and we expect it to affect the business environment in a number of ways in the future.
For the widespread failure of management on improved technology of cooperation within and among companies, many firms’ communication and coordination among departments often inhibited by steep hierarchical (we will discuss it later) ladders and organizational wall. For example, product-design groups often neglect manufacturing considerations, making it harder to come up with a manufacturing process. Moreover, the failure of communication and the missing chance to work with its customers and suppliers. An improving in technology on cooperation and coordination is now needed immediately to cope with those problems listed above. A management on more vertical and horizontal linkage among company are needed. Vertical linkages can be conduits not only for raw materials and finished products but also for technological innovations and other departments that enhance productivity.
More horizontal linkages of cooperating relations between firms in the same industry segment has led to a huge of joint projects in such areas as the setting of common standards and industrial research an development. On other hand, management on developing closer ties to their customers should also be introduced. These ties enable companies to pick up more detailed signals from the market and this to respond to different segments of demand. They also increase the likelihood of rapid response to shifts in the market. Even high-volume manufacturers have combined a continuing emphasis on economics of scale with a new flexibility, reflected in shorter production runs, faster product introductions and greater sensitivity to the diverse needs of customers. Management on developing closer and more tightly coordination relation with suppliers were also observed among the best-practice forms. In some cases, better management on coordination with suppliers has been achieved through the coercive power of market domination, in others by new forms of cooperation and negotiation. No matter how it comes about, coordination with external firms is crucial in cutting inventories (and thereby costs), in speeding up the flow of products and in reducing defects.
The fourth element is hierarchy. This should be a linkage with the coordination and communication. After improving the technology, lacking of these elements – coordination and communication – in result from the steep hierarchy. Thus a management on flattening steep organizational hierarchy, goes hand in hand with dismantling functional barriers, is introduced. A flatter hierarchy generally enhances organizational flexibility. To this end, steep organizational hierarchies, with their rigidity and compartmentalization, should be replaced with substantially flatter organizational structures that provide incentives for communication and cooperation among different corporate departments. Companies should put less emphasis on legalistic and often adversarial contractual agreements; they should promote business relations based on mutual trust, common goals, and the prospect of continuing transactions over the long turn. In leaner, less hierarchical organizations the number of job categories at each level is reduced, and the responsibilities associated with particular jobs are broadened. Therefore management must also accept workers and their representatives as legitimate partners in the innovation process. Both individual and group efforts need recognition and reward.
Some of the responsibility for the persistent failure to convert improved technologies quickly into viable, high-quality products lies in the American system of engineering education, which has deemphasized on the management of product realization and process engineering. So a management of comparative study of industry research and development either within or without nation should be come up with regularly and frequently after the improving of technology. As Edwin Mansfield of the University of Pennsylvania found that
US companies are still devoting only a third of their research and development expenditures to the improvement of process technology; the other two thirds is allocated to the development of new and improved products. In Japan those proportions in research and development expenditures are reversed. (p.295)
After all the management of improved technology is fully operated in a complete manner. The company needs to manage its investment – more heavily in its future. This means investment not only in tangible factories and machinery but also in research and, above all, in human capital. At the macroeconomic level, as noted earlier, bringing the budget closer into balance should take high priority. Finally, corporate management and financial institutions must work together to develop indicators that better reflect how well companies are do short-term financial measures such as quarterly earnings. New measures might include indicators of quality, productivity, product-development time, and time to market.
Implementing these imperatives will not be easy. In many cases, fundamental changes in attitude will be necessary. Just accepting the need for a sense of common purpose – a shared notional goal – may require the biggest attitudinal change of all. The commission believes that if industry, government, and the educational system in a country unite in steadfast pursuit of these basic imperatives the next generation will live in a nation moving into the 21st century with the same dynamism and strength that made it a world leader a generation ago.
Charles Perrow, Organizational Analysis, 1970, Tavistock Publications
D.S. Pugh, Organization Theory, 1971, Penguin Book Business Management
Jane Herny and David Walker, Managing innovation,1991, SAGE Publications 50