BOH4M – Grade 12 Business Leadership – The Dynamic New Workplace

Chapter 1: The Dynamic New Workplace


  • A highly competitive global economy driven by innovation and technology has created unprecedented opportunities and uncertainties in the workplace
  • High performing companies gain extraordinary results by having high performance expectations and offering supportive work environments


Working in the New Economy



  • Intellectual capital: The collective brainpower or shared knowledge of a workforce that can be used to create value. A knowledge worker is someone whose knowledge is a critical asset to employers. People are the ultimate foundations of organizational performance


  • Globalization: The worldwide interdependence of resource flows, product markets, and business competition that characterize the new economy. National boundaries of world business have largely disappeared


  • Technology: Continuing transformation of the modern workplace through the Internet and World Wide Web, computers and information technology. Increasing demand for knowledge workers with the skills to fully utilize technology


  • Diversity: Changing demographics are making the workforce increasingly diverse and multicultural. Differences among workers in gender, race, age, ethnic cultures, able-bodiedness, religious affiliation and sexual orientation offer both challenges and opportunities for employers. Diversity biascan still be a limiting factor for women and minorities in work settings through:
    • Prejudice:  the display of negative, irrational attitudes
    • Discrimination: denying full benefits of organizational membership
    • Glass ceiling effect: invisible barrier limiting advancement



  • Ethics:Society is becoming strict in its expectation that organizations and their leadership at all levels conduct their affairs according to high ethical and socially responsible standards, such as the protection of:
    • The natural environment
    • Consumers through product safety and fair practices
    • All aspects of human rights including employment policies and practices, compensation and benefits equity, privacy issues, freedom from sexual harassment, job security and health and safety
  • Corporate governance is the role that a company’s board of directors has to hold management accountable for ethical and socially responsible behaviour


  • Careers: Typical career won’t be uniformly full-time and limited to a single employer. People must be prepared to prosper as full-time workers, contract workers and part-time workers, and must make sure that their skills are portable and of current value


Organizations in the New Workplace


  • Organization: A collection of people working together to achieve a common purpose. Purpose of any organization is to provide useful goods and/or services that return value to society and satisfy customer needs
  • Organizations are systems composed of interrelated parts that function together to achieve a common purpose. They are open systems that interact with their environment in the continual process of transforming resource inputs (people, money, materials etc.) into product outputs (finished goods and/or services)
  • Feedback from the environment tells an organization how well it is meeting needs of customers and society
  • For an organization to perform well, resources must be well utilized and customers well served
  • Value creation is an important notion for organizations. Occurs when an organization through its operations adds value to the original cost of resource inputs 
  • When value-added occurs, businesses earn a profit and non-profit organizations add wealth to society
  • Organizations utilize a variety of measures to gauge overall organizational performance including:
    • Productivity: The quantity and quality of work performance, with resource utilization taken into account
    • Performance effectiveness: A measure of task output or goal accomplishment
    • Performance efficiency: A measure of the resource cost associated with goal accomplishment such as cost of labour


  • Changing nature of organizations set an important context in the study of management
  • Trends in the new workplace include:
    • Belief in human capital
    • Demise of “command-and-control”
    • Emphasis on teamwork
    • Pre-eminence of technology
    • Embrace of networking
    • Less tolerance for hierarchy, more informality, and more attention to performance
    • Concern for work-life balance
    • Focus on speed


  • Total quality management (TQM) is managing with an organization-wide commitment to continuous improvement, product quality and customer satisfaction


Managers in the New Workplace


  • Manager: person in an organization who is responsible for the work performance of one or more other persons
  • Key responsibility is to help other people achieve high performance
  • Managers in high-performing organizations operate with a commitment to treating people as their most important strategic asset (critical human capital)







  • Levels of management:
  • Top managers – Guide performance of the organization as a whole or one of its major parts
  • Middle managers – Oversee work of large departments or divisions
  • Team leader or supervisor – In charge of a small work group comprised of non-managerial workers


  • Types of managers:
    • Line managers – Responsible for work activities that directly contribute to an organization’s outputs
    • Staff managers – Use technical expertise to advise and support line workers
    • Functional managers – Responsible for a single area of activity
    • General managers – Responsible for more complex units that include many functional areas
    • Administrators – Work in public or non-profit organizations


  • Accountability is the requirement to show performance results to one’s immediate supervisor
  • Effective managers fulfill performance accountability while helping others to achieve high performance outcomes and experience satisfaction in their work
  • Quality of Work Life (QWL): An indicator of the overall quality of human experiences in the workplace, including such things as fair pay, safe working conditions, opportunities to learn and use new skills, and room to grow and progress in a career


  • An emphasis on customers increasingly drives managerial work
  • Requires new thinking such as viewing the organization as an upside-down pyramid where:
    • Operating workers are at the top just below customers they serve
    • Supported in their work efforts by managers located at the bottom
  • Emphasizes notion that people are the organization’s most important asset
  • Best managers are known more for supporting and helping than for directing and order-giving



The Management Process


  • The process/function of management:
    1. Planning – Setting objectives and determining what actions should be taken to accomplish them
    2. Organizing – Assigning tasks, allocating resources, and arranging activities to implement plans
    3. Leading – Arousing enthusiasm and directing efforts toward organizational goals
    4. Controlling – Measuring work performance, comparing results to objectives, and taking corrective action as needed


  • Ten managerial roles (Mintzberg)

Three broad role types:

        1. Interpersonal roles – Interactions with persons inside and outside the work unit (figurehead, leader, liaison)
        2. Informational roles – Giving, receiving and analyzing of information (monitor, disseminator, spokesperson)
        3. Decisional roles – Using information to make decisions in order to solve problems and address opportunities (entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, negotiator)


  • Managerial work is busy, demanding and stressful.
  • Managers work long hours at an intense pace, work at fragmented and varied tasks with many communication media, and accomplish their work largely through interpersonal relationships
  • Day-to-day flow of events and interactions that good managers must master include:
    • Agenda Setting: Development of action priorities for their jobs that include goals and plans that span long and short time frames
    • Networking: Process of building and maintaining positive relationships with people whose help may be needed to implement one’s work agenda





Managerial Learning


  • Change is a way of life and it demands new organizational and individual responses
  • Premium is placed on commitment to learning. Formal learning in the classroom, as well as lifelong learning: Process of continually learning from daily experiences and opportunities
  • Skill: The ability to translate knowledge into action that results in desired performance
  • Essential managerial skills include (Katz):
    • Technical skill – Ability to use a special proficiency or expertise in one’s work
    • Human skill – Ability to work well in cooperation with others, also referred to as emotional intelligence 
    • Conceptual skill – Ability to think critically and analytically and solve complex problems
  • Business and management educators are increasingly interested in helping people acquire these essential skills and develop specific managerial competencies: Skill-based capabilities that contribute to high performance in a management job (communication, teamwork, self-management, leadership, critical thinking, and professionalism)