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Business Management Assignment: Reflective Report On Learning Experiences

Question

Task: Prepare a reflective report on business management assignment on the contemporary management capabilities.

Answer

Introduction
This reflective report on business management assignment consists of a summary regarding contemporary business management and the aspects associated with it. Management is considered crucial for a business for maintaining their operational processes and directing as well as controlling the employees towards achieving their organisational goals (Boone et al., 2019). Henceforth, it is considered essential for the business to formulate a concrete business plan, which includes a balance between hard skills and soft skills. Management is not merely limited to investment and making profits, but also about how to manage and run a business in compliance with ethics and with the aim of sustainability. By attending the classes, I have learned about various aspects that are associated with contemporary business management. I have formulated this report by reflecting on my experiences and learning outcomes from the semester. I have used Kolb’s reflective model for presenting forth my reflection through this business management assignment. I have drawn theories of leadership, communication skills, creativity, emotional intelligence, and work ethics and have applied them for critically analyzing a problem that I was confronted with.

The report on business management assignment aims to present a summary of learning experiences, which are presented as a reflective report. It includes what I have learned about others and what and I am the implications for future career prospects. The reflective report also incorporates management challenges, which I have witnessed, and what I would have done to address the problem. I have adopted a critical approach in analyzing the problems and have presented a conclusive and comprehensive synopsis. This typically highlights the different nuances in the problem.

Discussion
I would like to mention in this business management assignment that during this semester, I was able to gain and develop my understanding of the diverse range of skills, behaviour, and capabilities that are required for being a successful business manager. I was able to comprehend the different hard and soft skills, necessary in contemporary business management. To document my experience and the process of gaining knowledge, I have decided to employ Kolb’s reflective model. The reflective model presented by David Kolb is also referred to primarily as experiential learning. The primary reason for having chosen Kolb’s Experiential learning cycle in the context of this business management assignment is that this will help in assuring a more empirical approach in analyzing my experience, which would be verifiable by experience or observation rather than being dependent on pure logic or theory. Kolb essentially propounded that an individual effectively learns through his or her experience and discovery (Bartle, 2015). Since I found that Kolb is learning cycle essentially is based on the premises of accounting the experience of an individual, which is then considered, reviewed, evaluated and systematically analysed in four stages. The four stages, which are associated with the model, include concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation. I have discussed my experience and have drawn different theories in this business management assignment that I learned from my coursework to analyse and understand it.

Concrete experience
In the course of my education, I enlisted and began working in a medium-sized firm, where I was employed under the position of assistant to the HR. The firm was mainly concerned with the development and creation of websites, taking orders from clients, ascertaining their requirements and presenting their final output on the website. I noticed that there were several flaws within the organisational structure, which contributed to significant differences arising in the firm. The findings obtained from the study examined in this business management assignment illustrates that there was a lack of communication in the organisation, which had resulted in disputes, ranging from minor arguments among the employees and major tussles with the management.

This was having several repercussions on the productivity of the employees and their potential to perform was severely disrupted. There was a low retention rate in the organisation. The organisational structure was divisional, where the employees were divided into certain groups with each group specialising in one aspect of the creation of the website. The division of employees in the organization was done with keeping in consideration that it will help in making the organization achieve the objectives with higher output and greater efficacy.

The divisional organisational structure mentioned in the context of this business management assignment, I noticed, was based on a structure of prioritising extensive delegation, which helped in measuring the performance of each department more efficiently. This had the advantage that the managers could be held accountable for the productivity of their department. There was greater flexibility in adapting to the needs of the clients and there was greater coordination among the workers. However, the leadership style was autocratic with explicit individual control over the decision-making process. This was beneficial for the organization to an extent since the work involved meeting deadlines and was particularly stressful. The members were delegated with clear roles, assigned specifically and established deadlines. The leadership of the organization was modelled in a manner that the department head dictated the work processed and methods. The work was usually very rigidly divided and highly structured. Any communication with the management of the organization was carried out in a step-by-step manner, with the department leaders communicating it with the higher echelons of the organisation. The work ethic in the organization was also very disruptive. I found that there several employees from one or two departments had more relaxed rules as compared to the others, which harboured a rivalry among the departments. Similarly, there was no scope for critical thinking and creative inputs form the employees, and the organisational structure made it even more difficult for the employees to communicate with the management and take a more proactive stance in the business processes and management.

Reflective observation
The leadership in the organization was autocratic, but it helped the organization to an extent. I found that the work was particularly stressful and had stipulated deadlines for completion. The autocratic leadership, in this instance of business management assignment, was very successful in ensuring that the work is being delegated to the different departments seamlessly, achieving greater output in the process.

This helped the organization in meeting the requirements and achieving the stipulated deadlines and targets with comparative ease. The autocratic leadership helped in countering any inexperience in the organization and helped in enhancing the efficiency of the decision-making process. The autocratic leadership, however, was based on primarily one-way communication. The communication channels were divided which hindered any communication directly with the leader. I found that the autocratic leadership thrives in the workplace where there are formal hierarchies, as in my workplace. This helped in clearly defining the responsibilities and roles of each department and helped in establishing a routine work pattern in the workplace. There was a clean control line, which reduces any possibility of error. This also helped in giving them good short-term results. The organisation, as I found out, was prospering in their relatively shorter period of operation, drawing in a huge number of clients and effectively running in a seamless manner.

Since the industry required having hard skills, there was a greater emphasis on hard skills such as knowledge in different programming languages and skills in computer operations. The autocratic leadership in the organization helped in ensuring that the employees were divided into different departments, which focused on one particular aspect of their service. This divisional system helped in ensuring that the work was being done with comparatively lesser time than what it would have taken in an organization with a flat structure. With the leadership style, the inexperience and the newcomers were able to accommodate their responsibilities with comparative ease.

However, there were certain negative aspects discussed in the segments of business management assignment which associated with the business operation s as well. The communication was essentially one-way, which resulted in the employees not being able to communicate with the management and they were feeling undervalued and left out. I found that the lack of communication also resulted in interdepartmental disputes. There were tussles among the different employees, which hurt overall productivity. The autocratic leadership, as I found out, is leader dependent. This meant that there could be a lapse in the business operations if the leaders are gone, there is essentially no guarantee that the members will be working. The lack of emotional intelligence shown by the department heads fostered low employee satisfaction and henceforth reduced their engagement. This resulted in a low retention rate in the organisation.

The leadership styles effectively discouraged and stifled any ideas, which could benefit the organisation. I witnessed several employees who were knowledgeable and talented, felt UN motivated and underappreciated because of their ideas and opinions not being considered by the management. There was a situation of micro-management of the employees, and this coupled with the lack of proper communication resulted in conflicts and disputes. I found that there were certain members of the organization who were accustomed to being late in the office, and the department head showed favouritism in retaining these employees. This unethical favouritism further divided the employees and hampered the mutual coordination in the organisation. There was no attempt at encouraging cooperation and coordination among the employees, which was apparent in the various disputes which arose in the organisation.

Abstract conceptualisation
The business management assignment examines the words of Yahaya&Ebrahi, (2016) that the Autocratic leadership style is only effective when there is a leader present, unlike the transformational leadership style where the team members are self-motivated to do their task.

Had I been the manager in the firm, my first step would be to ensure that the organisational structure would be changed from divisional to flat organisational structure. As I have stated beforehand, the firm is essentially a medium-sized business, henceforth according toMaduenyi et al.,(2015), Changing the organisational structure would help in cutting down the costs with fewer layers in between the staff and the executive officials. This will result in fewer wages and comparatively, reduced fringe benefits to provide. There will be faster decision making in the process, with a direct communication line between the management and the staff. There will be less supervision and dominance, studies such as, have how that there is a reduction in the time spent in micromanaging the employees, and the employees function with greater productivity.

As per the analysis done in this business management assignment, I will adopt a democratic leadership style, particularly considering how the business is based on creative inputs from the employees and has to be adaptive and flexible according to the dynamics of the market. Even though, as stated by, democratic leadership could cause disharmony if the implementation is faulty. With multiple experiences, opinions, and feedback, there are still chances of getting no definite consensus. The process of decision-making is time-consuming, unlike Autocratic leadership, which could hamper productivity. However, democratic leadership will help in solving complex problems, building team-based relationships, making honesty and integrity in the workplace a top priority. This will help to create a space of equality and also contribute to high levels of job satisfaction.

As stated by Serrat (2017), it has been noted in this section of business management assignment that emotional intelligence is the capability to understand and perceive the emotions of others and self, to understand the signals and manage the emotions. I will have to ensure that the different employees are feeling comfortable approaching the executives grading their needs, concerns and question and the management level employees are more receptive to the emotions and supportive of the employees. Having a supportive leadership style endorses productive and respectful exchanges helps in empowering the employees.

Having a flat organization structure would help in making sure that the communication is conducted seamlessly. This will help in ensuring that the reporting structures, regulations, and the rules are also made less complicated. The study examined in the business management assignment illustrates that understanding the assignments and the expectations will be rendered easier, and as stated by, the conflicts in between the departments could be reduced with greater communication which will consequently aid in bringing forth a sense of mutual understanding and cooperation (Dwyer & Hopwood, 2019). There will be greater management flexibility with enhanced communication and the employees will be made to feel more responsible and empowered, which will help in making sure that they are feeling appreciated and valued in the organisation(Maduenyi et al., 2015).

The organisations in the modern business landscape operate in a highly competitive and global environment which highlights the importance of creativity. As the manager of the firm, I will have to ensure that creativity is much prioritised. I will focus on rewarding creativity. Rewarding creativity will help me highlight that the values of creativity discourse is approached in the organization and will provide a morale boost to the employees for pursuing the untested concepts and theories (Margerison, 2017) Hiring the right employees is also needed; the focus should be on getting a balance in between the hard and soft skills. I will focus on diversity for bringing in different perspectives, skill sets, and cultural backgrounds.

Considering workplace ethics, the manager must ensure that the employees are aware of what are the behaviours and practices, which are acceptable in the workplace. Any favouritism is not acceptable and henceforth as a manager, it will be my responsibility to ensure that every employee is treated in a just and equitable manner. I will conduct seminars and workshops highlighting the desired ethics in the workplace and be explicit grading the consequences.

What is the future implication explored in the context of business management assignment of the learning outcomes and reflection?
I have learned through my experience and would like to discuss here in the business management assignment that emotional intelligence helps in ensuring that the managerial decisions taken are effectively implemented and the employees are willing to comply with the orders. I have also mentioned in this business management assignment that I’ve learned that developing and maintaining an empowering leadership with the employees, being supportive and respectful helps in ensuring that the colleagues are felt appreciated (Burns, 2016). Appreciation, enthusiasm, respects along with validation and emotional support will help in gaining positive response from the employees. I have found that this will help make the team more productivity and value. Intrapersonal intelligence will have to be focused on ensuring that the management skills are developed (Margerison, 2017).

Regarding the leadership style, it is noted in this business management assignment that an organization must have the proper leadership style in the organisation, which will help in influencing others to work towards the objectives and goals of the organization with keenness, and confidence (Yahaya&Ebrahi, 2016). Democratic leadership helps in fostering passion improving the quantity and the quality of work done. It helps in improving the problem-solving skills of employees, allowing them to contribute to their knowledge and experience (Arnold et al., 2015). The managers will have to ensure that the power is not getting concentrated in particular hands, which will result in disharmony and could have negative repercussions.

I learned that communication plays an important role in the workplace. There needs to be greater focus and resources allocated to business communication. The managers will have to consider implementing innovative solutions to the business communication needs, for both downwards and upwards communication. I found that business communication is effective when the management and the employees interact for achieving the goals of the organisation. The communication is one way had several other implications too. There was a low retention rate for the organization and the employees were not satisfied. Henceforth the communication channels should be considered with the aim of improving the practices of an organization and reducing the errors.

It is imperative to establish certain behavioural policies in the organisation. This will help in establishing proper behaviour, ethics, specifying what is acceptable, and what is not. The readings used to prepare this business management assignment signifies that for an organization to survive in a globalised market space with fierce competition, having an ethical workspace helps in ensuring that the employee productivity is retained, with the corporate citizenry being provided with an equitable platform(Crane &Matten, 2016). Maintaining integrity is crucial for the future success of an organisation. Being forthright and host regarding behaviour will help in ensuring that the employees are willing to comply with the orders and will cultivate a culture of greater transparency (Parrott, 2014). The managers have to ensure that in future there is a written manual, which summarises the company policies and makes certain that the employees are aware of the consequences of not adhering to workplace ethics.

Creativity is necessitated for any business, which seeks to retain solvency in the market, creativity provides unique solutions to the problems faced by a firm. Creativity in the business is one of the primary steps which need to be prioritised by the management for ensuring business sustainability (Cook, 2016). The manager will have to consider creating an innovation team that will help in tapping me the creative energies for developing new processes, services or products in an organisation. Offering flexible arrangements will help in reducing employee burnouts and make them happier, productive and healthier. However, it has also been noted in this business management assignment that the manager will have to ensure that the employees are aware of their expectations and can coordinate with their employees.

Conclusion
This reflective report on business management assignment has summarised my learning and its practical implications by taking into consideration an example. I have found that contemporary business management requires a balance between hard and soft skills, achieving the balance is a requisite standard for ensuring that the business operations are running efficiently. I analysed various aspects of contemporary business management such as Leadership, Business Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Work Ethics, and Creativity. I have highlighted the need for these aspects in business withdrawing in relevant theories from research articles. My reflective report on business management assignment is built on my experience is drawn from my work at a Medium-sized firm, and I have employed the Kolb’s reflective model for analyzing my learning outcomes and the practical implications. I understood the various crucial aspects of business management, which will be of great help in developing my professional acumen and help me to focus on enhancing my knowledge and how to address certain situations with expertise.

Reference list
Arnold, K. A., Connelly, C. E., Walsh, M. M., & Martin Ginis, K. A. (2015). Business management assignment Leadership styles, emotion regulation, and burnout. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 20(4), 481.

Bartle, E. (2015). Experiential Learning: an overview.The University Of Queensland.Australia.

Boone, L. E., Kurtz, D. L., Khan, M. H., &Canzer, B. (2019). Contemporary business.John Wiley & Sons.

Burns, P. (2016). Entrepreneurship and small business. Palgrave Macmillan Limited.

Cook, P. J. (2016). Leading innovation, creativity and enterprise. Industrial and Commercial Training, 48(6), 294-299.

Crane, A., &Matten, D. (2016). Business management assignment Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. London: Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0199697311.

Dwyer, J., & Hopwood, N. (2019).The business communication handbook.Cengage AU.

Maduenyi, S., Oke, A. O., Fadeyi, O., &Ajagbe, A. M. (2015).Impact of organisational structure on organisational performance.

Margerison, C. (2017). Managerial Consulting Skills: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide. London: Routledge, ISBN-13: 978-1138733565.

Parrott, L. (2014). Values and ethics in social work practice. London: Learning Matters, ISBN-13: 978-0231161893.

Serrat, O. (2017). Understanding and developing emotional intelligence.Knowledge solutions (pp. 329-339).Springer, Singapore.

Yahaya, R., &Ebrahim, F. (2016).Leadership styles and organizational commitment: a literature review. Business management assignment Journal of Management Development, 35(2), 190-216.

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