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Critical Issue Facing Management Today

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The most critical issue facing management today: managing change in an age of uncertainty

I believe the single greatest challenge facing management today is the sheer pace of change in the contemporary world. We now live in a world that is seeing once-secure jobs disappear at the same time as outsourcing, downsizing, industry evolution, and shifts in global economic power are occurring at a dizzying pace. With this in mind, I believe that the greatest challenge will be managing this change via creating horizontal learning environments in which knowledge and responsibility are readily shared; hierarchy is relaxed; decision-making is decentralized; and face-to-face communication, collaborative ventures and team projects take the center of the stage (Daft, 2009, p.93). If managers cannot manage the shift to a true learning environment, then there will be many grave challenges ahead that will result in tragedy for teetering businesses.

As noted above, the global economy is in a period of violent flux: economic power is moving to Asia after having been concentrated in the west for the past few hundred years; downsizing and outsourcing of jobs is occurring at a robust clip, thereby forcing employees to learn new skills all the time; and businesses are facing increased international competition from foreign entities that have lower production and labour costs but comparable human capital. In this age, management must be able to skillfully create a business culture that embraces change and that is flexible and adaptive. The only way for this to occur, as Daft (2009) reports, is for the organization to embrace a sharing and collaborative environment where all parties are encouraged to contribute ideas and encouraged to leverage their complementary talents so as to make the organization stronger and more vigorous. Horizontal information sharing is now a buzz-word or, more accurately, a new stylish concept that implores organizations to share information laterally in such a way that everyone is involved. When everyone is involved, and when organizations are intimately connected to one another in a sharing atmosphere, the possibility that organizations will be asynchronous or lack coordination becomes greatly reduced (Daft, 2009, p.100). All in all, I truly believe that management today faces its greatest challenge in fostering the development of sharing communities within organizations - not least of all because creating such an internal culture necessitates doing away with old jurisdictional "turfs" and a sense that some things should be looked after by some parties without outside interference from others. Clearly, changing attitudes will be one of the big things that will complicate the institution of learning, sharing, and partnering culture.

As discussed above, organizations need to be suppler than in the past because the world is a very much more dynamic and ever-changing



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