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Describe the ways managers use boundary-spanning




Describe the ways managers use boundary-spanning roles and why they use them.;250 words or more based on the info in the attached document.;Attachment Preview;boundary spanning.doc;Boundary-Spanning Roles;The ability of functional managers to gain access to the information they need;to improve value-chain management is critical. The history of business is littered;with numerous once-great companies whose managers did not recognize;and adapt their value chains to respond to, significant changes taking place in;the competitive environment. Examples include Digital Equipment, a former;leading computer maker now defunct because its CEO believed that personal;computers are just toys, and Eastern Airlines and Pan-Am, which were unable;to survive because of their high operating costs in a competitive airline industry.;History is also marked by companies whose managers made the wrong valuechain;choices because they misinterpreted the competitive environment. Examples;include Motorola managers who invested more than $3 billion in the;Iridium satellite project that was abandoned in 2000 and the managers of thousands;of dot-coms who underestimated the costs involved with delivering online;products and services reliably to customers.;Managers can learn to perceive, interpret, and appreciate better the competitive;environments by practicing boundary spanninginteracting with individuals;and groups outside the organization to obtain valuable information from;the environment.34 Managers who engage in boundary-spanning activities seek;ways not only to respond to forces in the environment but also to directly influence;and manage the perceptions of suppliers and customers in that environment;to increase their organizations access to resources.;To understand how boundary spanning works, see Figure 9.9. A functional;manager in a boundary-spanning role in organization X establishes a personal;or virtual link with a manager in a boundary-spanning role in organization Y.;The two managers communicate and share information that helps both of;them understand the changing forces and conditions in the environment.;These managers then share this information with other functional managers in;their respective organizations so that all managers become better informed;about events outside their own organizations boundaries. As a result, the managers;in both organizations can make value-chain decisions that lead to higher performing;operating systems.;For an example of a manager performing a boundary-spanning role, consider;the situation of a purchasing manager for Taco Bell. The purchasing manager is;charged with finding the lowest-cost supplier of low-fat cheese and sour cream.;To perform this task, the manager could write to major food companies and ask;for price quotes. Or the manager could phone food company managers personally;develop informal yet professional relationships with them, and, over time;learn from them which food companies are active in the low-fat-food area and;what they envision for the future. By developing such relationships, the purchasing;manager will be able to provide Taco Bell with valuable information that;will allow its purchasing department to make well-informed choices. This flow;of information from the environment may, in turn, allow marketing to develop;more effective sales campaigns or allow product development to develop better looking;and better-tasting tacos. Note that personal communication is often necessary;to supplement the information provided by IT.;What would happen if managers in all of an organizations functions performed;boundary-spanning roles? The richness of the information available to;managers throughout the organization probably would lead to an increase in;the quality of managers decision making and planning, enabling them to produce;goods and services that customers prefer or to create advertising campaigns;that attract new customers.;Searching for and collecting information to understand how changing trends;and forces in the environment are affecting a companys operating system is an;important boundary-spanning activity. Many organizations employ functional;experts whose only job is to scan professional journals, trade association publications;and newspapers to identify changes in technology, government regulations;fashion trends, and so on, that will affect the way their organization;operates. However, merely collecting information is not enough for the boundary spanning;manager. He or she must interpret what the information means and;then practice gatekeeping, deciding what information to allow into the organization;and what information to keep out. The nature of the information that the;gatekeeper chooses to pass on to other managers will influence the decisions;they make. Thus, accurate information processing is vital, and utilizing information;technology can obviously help here.


Paper#33457 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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