These descriptions fit in with leadership concepts because they all comprise the body of skills required of a leader. Leadership is a concept that in execution is more inspirational than functional. In fact, the functional managers of the organization are responsible for that aspect of operations. The role of the leader is not to provide the means to achieve the organization’s objectives but to provide the desire. We turn to our leaders when we ourselves require guidance. This means that leaders must be consistent, such that the guidance they give to one is the guidance they give to all. Leaders must also be self-assured – their calm in the face of crisis will disseminate throughout the organization. We expect of our leaders that they be superior to us in their wisdom and judgment. They should be competent enough to handle situations we cannot.
A leader also needs to inspire a shared vision. Within any organization, each group or unit is bound by . The organization is one of those, but so is the leader. Leaders therefore are in the unique position to inspire a shared vision throughout the entire organization. Functional units can only do this within the narrow confines of their structure. Therefore, the leader’s unique position demands a level of inspiration and excellence that is not expected of those who are not leaders. Thus, these terms have become indelibly associated with leadership concepts.
Q2. I agree with the statement. Every employee is an actor within the organization. Thus, the actions of all employees contribute to the organization’s outputs. Because of this contribution, each employee has a role in controlling work activities. The control may not, in some cases, be formal control, but there will always be a degree of informal control. That said, formal control for every employee is becoming more common, as employees are increasingly invited to play a participatory role in the design of their work flow. This concept originated with the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).
The notion that only managers play a role in controlling work activities is based on two false ideas. One is the antiquated notion of totalitarian management. Modern management does not follow this style, as it is often not consistent with organizational objectives. The is that the manager can control the employee at all times. In practice, managers merely provide instruction and guidance with respect to work activities. Employees often devise their own ways of , and it would be near impossible for management to control this. Thus, employees do exert some control over work activities.
Q3. Operations management can be applied to any managerial function.
Operations management techniques are based around analysis of processes. Control is merely one aspect of the role, even within the operations setting. In fact, operations management also consists of process design, workflow management, inventory management and a host of related fields. The fundamental principles that in their roles are easily transferred to any aspect of the company where a process can be designed, or where outputs can be measured. Human resources managers, for example, use processes flow principles to in all settings, not just production. The cost controlling aspect of operations management applies to all areas of the organization, from sales to the accounting department. Indeed, we have seen that TQM principles, which extend operations management far beyond mere control, can be applied outside of the factory into the service sector, such as at Disney World.
Operations management is about more than just control. The principles are the same in any area of the company – there is work that must be done; there are finite resources; and there are production specs. Any organization can and should apply operations management beyond control.