Questions and Answers to Help You Prepare For Your Management Exam
In this sample, we guide you on how to answer your management exams. We ensure that you have enough reflective questions and answers that show what to expect in your exams. Besides guiding you on how to do your management exam, we also help you score better grades in the same. We offer assistance in all topics in management. Therefore, even if you need business process management exam help, you will get professional help from us.
What Are The Main Goals That Companies Can Set For Their Managers And The General Staff?
There is a simile with an explorer who knows where he wants to get to, and has the choice of several alternative routes that will take him there (just as the company has the choice of various strategies), one of which is better than the others. He will want to make sure that he is on the right track and will identify landmarks that he has to pass by a certain time: on day two he should have reached a range of mountains, by day three he must cross a wide river, day eight will see him on the edge of a desert which will take him 2 days to cross. In a similar way the company will have to predetermine the points it should pass by various key dates.
So a goal might be:
- A percentage share of a defined market (or segment of market).
- A ratio such as return on sales. An absolute figure for sales.
- A minimum figure for customer complaints.
- A maximum figure for hours lost in industrial disputes.
- An accounting figure such as a liquidity ratio.
- Employment figures.
- Number of resignations as a percentage of total employees (the idea being to keep below this figure).
- The ratio of training grants to be obtained against contributions to industrial training board.
- A value for operational profit improvement.
Another type of goal is a time-table. What so often happens when a plan is written is that there are missing pieces of information: a strategy may have tonbe evaluated in a test market; a special study may be needed of the benefits of relocating a plant: the list is endless, because the process of planning forces managers to find these gaps in their knowledge. In this type of problem, the goal would be the date by which the missing data are to be obtained, and the name of the person charged with carrying out the task. It goes without saying that results can be easily measured.
What emerges is a network of targets of varying degrees of importance which with the profit targets form a model of the company over the time span of the plan.
How Can Standards Of Performance Be Used As A Motivating Factor To Employees?
Over a shorter period, say for the first year of the plan and related to the more detailed annual plan and budgetary control system, it is possible to develop a concept of personal standards to measure the performance of the lower management levels, and certain other employees such as salesmen. The system described here has certain similarities with "management by objectives", but is not as comprehensive, nor does it require the participation of all of the people for whom standards are being set. If a more detailed system of standards is required, this can be found in Humble's Improving Business Results (McGraw Hill, 1968) which explains the concept of management by objectives. In my opinion the system of profit targets, secondary objectives and goals is fully compatible with Humble's method.
Standards of performance are really a logical development from the concept of goals. They can be used as a method of motivating a wide range of employees who are not directly responsible for the achievement of the goals, but whose personal performance will influence the company's success or failure. Not only do they motivate, but they provide a management tool which can be used to judge the success or failure of a person in his job. They provide an early warning system for when things are going wrong, and they can spotlight the area in which the failure is occurring. Standards can be set for much shorter intervals of time than goals: there may, for example, be a monthly standard.
As with goals, performance standards must be for something which the company intends to measure, and which it can in fact measure. The standards can be established for any sector of the company, and should be set for the key areas.
They make most sense when they are directly related to the annual plan of a cost centre or profit centre. At this level it is possible to calculate the standards so that the contribution of each to the budget of the centre is taken into account. For example, for a salesman the following types of standards might be set which, in the judgement of the manager of the profit centre, must be fulfilled if the centre is to achieve its planned results:
- Total sales required.
- Sales standard for particular products.
- Number of new customers to be obtained.
- Customers call frequency.
- Minimum sales level to which small customers are to be upgraded.
- Maximum number of customer complaints.
- An average cost per customer call.
For a warehouse manager it might be possible to set for the operations under his control:
- Maximum number of hours overtime to be worked.
- Man-hour standards for various tasks.
- Standards for maximum amount of wastage or breakage.
- A standard for stock loss.
- Cost standards for various sections of his operation.
- Maximum number of employees on strength at any one time.
- Weight tolerance for repacking and packing operations.
- Frequency scales are to be checked.
It is important to make standards realistic. If the business has a seasonal pattern, the standards set must follow that pattern. For example, in the motor car spares business there is a peak sales period in summer and a small peak Christmas. It would be sensible for sales performance standards to be constructed to this pattern (as indeed the monthly budget should): simple division of annual sales by twelve would produce no worthwhile standards.
It is, of course, a prerequisite that job descriptions are issued in writing to those persons who are set standards of performance. They must be in no confusion over what their duties are.
Explain the Total Concept of Objectives in Management
This total concept of objectives is a comprehensive and meaningful one. It is a little untidy in that some types of objectives are decided very early in the planning process, while others only fall into place as plans are completed. The merit of it is that all the parts do fall into place, and that there is a relationship between the standard of performance set a salesman and the total corporate profit target. It is right that this connection should be emphasised, because if the salesman (or personnel man, or production supervisor, or any other such person) does not do his job properly, the chances of reaching the profit target may be reduced. The total concept also has the merit of answering the criticisms of other types of objective which have been raised at various points in this chapter. It is a flexible system. Above all, it gives all levels of management a means of control, which is so important in making sure that all planning does lead to meaningful action.