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MGT 500 CLASS

Module 1: Assignment

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Start by reading and following these instructions:

  • Quickly skim the essay questions.
  • Read the required chapter(s) of the textbook. Some answers may require you to do additional research on the Internet or in other reference sources. Choose your sources carefully.
  • Consider the discussion and the any insights you gained from it.
  • Each essay should be between 500 to 1000 words unless otherwise noted and appropriately cited using APA format.
  • Produce the Essay Question submission in a single Microsoft Word or Open Office document containing your answer.  Be sure to cite your sources, use APA style as required, and check your spelling.

Assignments: Complete the following essay questions below and each essay question response should be approximately 800words supported with scholarly research from your textbook and outside internet sources excluding wiki sources with included direct quote and or paraphrased citations within all responses in combination with your analysis of the concepts along with any experience if applicable.

1.  Complete the Building Your Management Skills Portfolio Activity at the end of Chapter 1

2.  Complete the Building Your Management Skills Portfolio Activity at the end of Chapter 2 (Bugaboo Social Responsibility Issues).

Important Note: Be sure to review Avoid Plagiarism – Important to Review in the classroom as another reminder when preparing essay responses.

Management Skills Exercises

Learning activities in this section are aimed at helping you develop management skills.

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An IBM Success Story: Rodney Adkins

“An IBM Success Story: Rodney Adkins” (p. 2) and its related Challenge Case Summary were written to help you understand the management concepts contained in this chapter. Answer the following discussion questions about the introductory case to explore how fundamental management concepts can be applied to a company such as IBM.

  1. 1-4. How would you describe the significance of Rodney Adkins’s work as a manager? Who benefits from his abilities and efforts?
  2. 1-5. In terms of the contemporary view of management skill, which activities and skills do you see Adkins using in his career? How do you think he acquired those skills?

Jumping into the Restaurant Industry

Read the case and answer the questions that follow. Studying this case will help you better understand how concepts relating to the four functions of management can be applied in a company such as Skyline Chili.

Opening any kind of business requires a great deal of patience, dedication, and perseverance. Lynn Leach jumped into the world of restaurants with both feet when she decided to open her own quick service restaurant. Truthfully, the industry is filled with stories of people who dove in, got knocked down, but pulled themselves back up (Dempsey 2011).

In the small town of Wilmington, Ohio, Lynn opened a Skyline Chili franchise. The town of 12,000 people has embraced the location and Lynn’s friendly business practices built upon strong customer service and delicious offerings. Recently, Lynn celebrated the restaurant’s one-year anniversary. But getting started was no easy task. “I hadn’t worked in a restaurant since high school and here I was, opening a restaurant,” she said (Leach 2012).

Skyline Chili is a Southern Ohio–based restaurant chain that serves “Cincinnati style” chili. This rather unique blend of chili and seasonings is typically served over spaghetti and hot dogs and is a favorite in the Midwest. With over 100 stores, Lynn’s franchise is somewhat typical of their small-town locations.

Lynn calls her foray into the restaurant business as a “great learning experience.” Fortunately, she had a lot of support from Skyline’s corporate office. But, much of what needed to be done was driven by her. “My ultimate goal,” she said, “is to help people and make them feel good—people’s careers, our customers, and the community.”

First, she had to determine just how many employees she would need before ever opening the doors. “We did scores of interviews,” she said, “and hired some really good people.” However, she discovered during her first year of business that some who may have interviewed well were not necessarily the best employees. After turning over about half the staff, she now feels she has the right people in place. But every employee must be properly trained. They have to learn the menu, how to properly greet and serve the guest, handle their transaction at the cash register, and keep the entire restaurant fastidiously clean. In addition to hiring, she had to plan the marketing for the grand opening and order the initial inventory for the restaurant. “All this took a great deal of planning,” she said. “From a to z, we thought things through and how best to get them done.”

Once the operation was up and running, Lynn had to pay attention to her costs as well as her staff. From a cost standpoint, she discovered that there were some very efficient steps the restaurant could take to contain expenses. One idea implemented was to stop serving half-pint cartons of milk to children. It was found that more than half the carton would be wasted and thrown away. However, by serving a small amount in a glass, the restaurant wasted very little. To keep tabs on all the raw ingredients, Lynn conducts an inventory every Monday—literally counting every hot dog bun, cheese, chili, onions, etc. “It’s painstaking work, but highly necessary so we know what we have and what we don’t,” she said. “The Monday inventory is how we know what we need to order and when we need it.” Lynn is not alone in her approach. Successful restaurateurs understand that counting food costs down to the penny is critical. Restaurants should look at every shift of operation with a before, during, and after approach to not only monitor inventory costs, but also identify important best practices throughout the facility (Sullivan 2011).

For her team of servers, cooks, and cleaners, Lynn believes in creating a fun, yet productive atmosphere. “Positive feedback is important,” she said. “I’m not going to yell at an employee in front of everyone.” Instead, she counsels employees when performance is not up to par or the quality of work is suffering. “We do role-plays,” she said, “where we ask each other how you would like to be treated if you were the customer.” These role-plays demonstrate the proper way to engage with customers and provide a safe training ground to fine-tune the servers’ skills. For those employees who go above and beyond with their service—whether to customers or to coworkers—Lynn provides a gift card. “When an employee goes out of her way to serve the customer,” she said, “they should be rewarded.”

Everyone at Skyline Chili chips in where needed. There are always tasks that need to be done, and assigning those tasks are handled a number of different ways. Sometimes workers are scheduled to take on certain assignments, but in some cases, there might be an opportunity to trade tasks. “We sometimes have a lottery,” Lynn stated, “where some of the least popular tasks like cleaning the bathroom are drawn in lottery fashion.” Occasionally, the team will play a game where servers can assign tasks to each other—realizing that if one employee gives a difficult task to another, that employee may also get a least favorite job to do, too.

Now that Lynn’s first year of business is behind her, she can say with certainty that it has indeed been a learning experience. “I have to touch every facet of this business,” she said, “and you know what, I love it!”41

Questions 

  1. 1-6. How has Lynn used the four functions of management in building her business?
  2. 1-7. Discuss the use of organizational resources (human, monetary, raw materials, and capital) in the restaurant industry. What challenges would a restaurant manager or owner face with each one?
  3. 1-8. Which of Katz’s managerial skills (technical, human, and conceptual) does Lynn seem to use most often? Why?

Experiential Exercises

Assessing Inefficiency at Ryan Homes

Directions. Read the following scenario and then perform the listed activities. Your instructor may want you to perform the activities as an individual or within groups. Follow all of your instructor’s directions carefully.

Ryan Homes is a home-building company that has been in operation in more than 10 states in the northeastern part of the United States. The company has been in business since 1948 and has built major housing developments in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Your group, the newly established Ryan Homes Efficiency Team, is searching for ways to make your company more efficient. More specifically, you are to focus on making carpenters more efficient workers. In your company, the job of a carpenter is described as follows:

Carpenters are craftsmen who build things. The occupation rewards those who can combine precise detail work with strenuous manual labor. For Ryan, carpenters are involved with erecting and maintaining houses. Carpenters turn blueprints and plans into finished houses. Ryan’s carpenters work with supervisors and construction managers on the production of houses containing different materials, including fiberglass, drywall, plastic, and wood. Carpenters use saws, tape measures, drills, and sanders in their jobs. The job of a carpenter can entail long hours of physical labor in sometimes unpleasant circumstances. The injury rate among carpenters is above average. Some carpenters work indoors and are involved in maintenance and refinishing; others are involved in the creation of frame and infrastructure.

Your team is to list five possible ways that carpenters with Ryan Homes might be inefficient. In addition, assuming that each of your possible ways is a reality, suggest a corresponding action(s) the company might take to eliminate this inefficiency.

You and Your Career

From the discussion of compensation in this chapter, you might conclude that a person’s career progress can be gauged by his or her salary level; that is, the greater your salary, the more successful you are. Do you think a person’s salary is a valid measure of career progress? Why or why not? List three other factors that you should use as measures of your career progress. In your opinion, which is the most important factor in determining your progress? Why? How would you monitor changes in these factors as your career progresses?

Building Your Management Skills Portfolio

Your Management Skills Portfolio is a collection of activities specially designed to demonstrate your management knowledge and skill. Be sure to save your work. Taking your printed portfolio to an employment interview could be helpful in obtaining a job.

The portfolio activity for this chapter is Managing the Blind Pig Bar. Read the following about the Blind Pig and complete the activities that follow.

You have just been hired as the manager of the Blind Pig, a bar in Cleveland, Ohio.42 The Blind Pig has a local bar feel with downtown style, has 42 beers on tap, and offers games such as darts, foosball, and Silver Strike Bowling. Also available is a DJ to provide music and encourage dancing. Thursdays are Neighborhood & Industry Appreciation nights, with half-priced drinks for those living or working in the area.

Given your five years of managerial experience in a similar bar also in Cleveland, you know that managing a bar or club is a high-profile job. You also know that even with 12 employees, as manager you’ll sometimes have to do everything from carrying kegs of beer up flights of stairs to handling irate customers. Naturally, as manager, you’ll be responsible for smooth bar operations and bar profitability. You start your new job in two weeks.

To get a head start on managing the Blind Pig, you decide to develop a list of issues within the bar that you’ll check upon your arrival. You know that for your list to be useful, it must include issues related to bar planning, organizing, influencing, and controlling. Fill out the following form to indicate issues related to each management function you’ll check when you arrive at the Blind Pig.

Planning Issues to Inspect

Example: The Type of Scheduling System Used

  1. 1-9.
  2. 1-10
  3. 1-11.
  4. 1-12
  5. 1-13.

Organizing Issues to Inspect

  1. 1-14.
  2. 1-15.
  3. 1-16
  4. 1-17.
  5. 1-18.

Influencing Issues to Inspect

  1. 1-19.
  2. 1-20.
  3. 1-21.
  4. 1-22.
  5. 1-23.

Controlling Issues to Inspect

  1. 1-24.
  2. 1-25.
  3. 1-26.
  4. 1-27.
  5. 1-28.

Assuming you change the scheduling system used at the Blind Pig, explain how that change affects your organizing, influencing, and controlling activities.

Bugaboo Social Responsibility Issues)Management Skills Exercises

Learning activities in this section are aimed at helping you develop social responsibility skills.

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IKEA Builds on Its Commitment to the Environment

“IKEA Builds on Its Commitment to the Environment” (p. 25) and its related Challenge Case Summary were written to help you understand the management concepts contained in this chapter. Answer the following discussion questions about the introductory case to explore how fundamental management concepts can be applied to a company such as IKEA.

  1. 2-4. Do you think IKEA has a responsibility to support education and safety in the communities in which it does business? Explain.
  2. 2-5. Assuming IKEA has such a responsibility, in what instances would it be relatively easy for the company to be committed to living up to it?
  3. 2-6. Assuming IKEA has such a responsibility, in what instances would it be relatively difficult for the company to be committed to living up to it?

Solar-Powered Business Community

Read the case and answer the questions that follow. Studying this case will help you better understand how concepts relating to sustainability and corporate social responsibility can be applied in a company such as Reems Creek Renewable Energy Campus.

The power of the sun is readily harnessed by all types of businesses. There are restaurants that use solar power to operate their ovens. Some distribution centers use solar cells to light up the warehouse. And, certainly, manufacturers have been using solar panels to operate in a “green” manner while also cutting energy costs. Now, one enterprising developer wants to build an entire business park that will be the first solar-powered business in western North Carolina (Sandford 2012).

Russell Thomas, the driving force behind this project, envisions a 12.5-acre development that should be completed in late 2014. His 30 years of experience in project management and property development will be important for bringing this project to fruition. Tenants will include retailers, corporate offices, and warehouses. Visitors to the sprawling complex will be able to enjoy restaurants, shops, offices, and even lodging. “It’s about bringing socially conscious businesspeople together,” Thomas said (Sandford 2012). Located in Weaverville, North Carolina, the “campus” has a green mission to “feature, promote, and unite local and regional renewable energy oriented business vendors into a unique business alliance” (renewabilities.org). Weaverville is near Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

How unique is the Reems Creek Renewable Energy Campus as far as uniting tenants? One feature of the campus is a clever approach to the parking areas. Solar cells will not only help light the area at night and provide shade during the day but will also provide income for the tenants. Five of these parking areas are scattered throughout the campus and are integrated into the overall design of the park. This encourages buy-in from the tenants, as they are not only beneficiaries of the energy but also recipients of tangible dollars for their participation in the development.

Thomas sees the tenants as a full alliance working together and “marketing themselves as a highly trained, sustainable-minded eco-conscious community of professionals” (renewabilities.org). The sense of community is clear in Thomas’s vision for Reems Creek—a place to work, live, and share in a common, ecologically friendly environment. The campus goes beyond making use of solar power by also utilizing rainwater retention and recycling services. Running and nature trails surround the facility, while a wetlands preservation plan ensures that the natural environment is maintained in an appropriate manner. In short, it’s a venue where those businesses that want to operate in a truly green way can feel right at home.

In addition to providing work space to a wide variety of tenants, the campus is literally just that: a training and research facility. Those wishing to earn certifications and licensure in renewability and sustainability can attend classes held in one of the buildings. Everything from green renovation to energy efficiency will be covered in state-of-the-art classrooms. Also, major research projects focusing on solar energy and ecologically harmless wind power are planned. Through funding, work space, and consulting, researchers can pursue ever-more-sustainable opportunities at the site. According to the new development’s website, “Our philosophy of creating business through renewable education and skills training is based on providing future generations skilled and trained technical and entrepreneurial human capital to innovate, solve, manage, and administer sustainable infrastructure” (renewabilities.org). This philosophy is critical because it will foster a new generation of individuals dedicated to sustainable energies.

The facility is definitely an ambitious project, one requiring extensive planning that integrates the sustainable energy aspect into a place where people can feel comfortable and productive. The architecture of the buildings echoes a 1920s style while incorporating twenty-first-century green initiatives.

Furthermore, the objective is to produce a rich source of energy from highly sustainable methods like solar energy, wind, water retention, and so forth. There will be enough energy produced at the Reems Creek Campus that the facility will be its own utility company, which will save tenants money on energy costs and create less of a drain on existing infrastructures. Beginning in 1996, federal regulations permit such companies to exist to lower energy costs through increased competition. Thus, Reems Creek Renewable Energy Campus is truly a sustainable organization in many ways. According to Thomas, “You want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem” (Sandford 2012).68

Questions

  1. 2-7. Describe how the Reems Creek Renewable Energy Campus is engaging in corporate social responsibility.
  2. 2-8. What difficulties do you see in the years ahead for Russell Thomas and his Reems Creek Campus? How can those challenges be overcome?
  3. 2-9. On a scale of one to five (with five being the highest), rate the sustainability of the Reems Creek Campus. Why did you give it such a rating?

Experiential Exercises

The Environmental Impact Team

Directions. Read the following scenario and perform the listed activities. Your instructor may want you to perform the activities as an individual or within groups. Follow all of your instructor’s directions carefully.

You are the head of a major British newspaper, Guardian Unlimited, and have just completed a social audit of your organization’s business activities. Your company produces a progressive, enlightened newspaper and a website that regularly cover social responsibility topics. You conducted the social audit to make sure your company measures up to the high standards your editorials expect of other companies. In the past, your company has won several social responsibility awards in areas such as encouraging diversity, innovations in social reporting, and employee giving to social responsibility causes.

Based on the results of your audit, you have set a new social responsibility goal for your newspaper for the upcoming three-year period. This goal is simple: to persuade your readers to have a positive impact on the environment.

You have established a group called the Environmental Impact Team to help you outline how your new goal will be accomplished. You are presently meeting with this team for the first time. Lead your group in outlining plans, organization features, an influence system, and a control mechanism, all aimed at achieving this new goal.

You and Your Career

The preceding information implies that managers should communicate to other organization members the extent to which the organization will be involved in performing social responsibility activities. Could the lack of such communication hinder your career success as a manager? Explain. If you were the president of the school in which you are taking this management class, what would you say to professors and students regarding the overall position on social responsibility that you would like the school to embrace? What specific activities should be pursued that correspond to this position?

Building Your Management Skills Portfolio

Your Management Skills Portfolio is a collection of activities specially designed to demonstrate your management knowledge and skill. Be sure to save your work. Taking your printed portfolio to an employment interview could be helpful in obtaining a job.

The portfolio activity for this chapter is Identifying Corporate Social Responsibilities. Read the following about the Bugaboo Strollers Company and answer the questions that follow.

Bugaboo is the brainchild of Dutch designer Max Barenburg and his physician brother-in-law, Eduard Zanen. Together they wanted to invent a baby stroller that is functional, fashionable, appealing to both fathers and mothers, and able to function on different types of surfaces.

Their initial product was the Bugaboo Frog. Introduced in Holland in 1999 and named for its “frog-like” suspension wheels that “jump” over obstacles in its path, the Frog became the “must-have” stroller of celebrities and parents who wanted this elite stroller for their babies.

After years of customer feedback and further testing and development of the Frog, the pair realized that parents want more options and that different parents have different needs. In September of 2005, the pair introduced to the world the Bugaboo Cameleon, the Bugaboo Gecko, and the Bugaboo Bee strollers to offer customers more choices.

The management of a company such as Bugaboo must clearly keep in mind the responsibilities that it has to society as a result of its business operations. The following list shows the four categories in which companies commonly have social responsibilities because of their business operations. For each category, list the responsibilities to society that you believe Bugaboo has as a result of the products that it offers.

Planning Issues to Inspect

Category

Social Responsibilities Related to the Product Itself

Bugaboo’s Responsibilities to Society

  1. 2-10.
  2. 2-11.
  3. 2-12.
  4. 2-13.
  5. 2-14.

Social Responsibilities Related to Marketing Practices

  1. 2-15.
  2. 2-16.
  3. 2-17
  4. 2-18.
  5. 2-19.

Social Responsibilities Related to Corporate Philanthropy

  1. 2-20.
  2. 2-21.
  3. 2-22.
  4. 2-23.
  5. 2-24.

Social Responsibilities Related to Employees

  1. 2-25.
  2. 2-26.
  3. 2-27.
  4. 2-28.
  5. 2-29.