ACT College – Arlington General Education and Management

ACT College – Arlington General Education and Management




KD 1

Organizations that fail to innovate find themselves in a situation where they have to restructure themselves to stay afloat.

Choose 1 of the companies listed below. Use the provided articles to support your understanding of the company’s situation.

View Article(s)
Circuit City
View Article(s)
Toys R Us
View Article(s)

Based on your chosen company, discuss how reorganization of its business structure would or would not have helped them meet new market challenges. In your response, address the following:

  • Specify at least 2 reasons why you think reorganizing was or was not necessary, and provide an explanation for each reason.
  • Suggest 2 strategies you think could have improved the company’s efforts to meet current market challenges and remain sustainable.

KD 2

In our last discussion, reflect on your experience in this course by addressing the following items in your response:

  • What skills do you feel you developed most in this course?
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Motivation
    • Diversity
    • Leadership
    • Decision-Making
  • How do you plan to continue growing your leadership and organizational behavior skills you identified above?

LW 1

Find a recent article or video describing the competition between two or more businesses. Post a link to the article or video in the discussion thread and answer the following questions:


1. What are the competing businesses and what products do they sell?

2. Which company do you believe is winning the competition? Why?

LW 2

Step 1: Research

Search online and find 1-3 articles that discuss the competition between Target and Walmart. For each article:

  • Provide a link to the article.
  • Identify which aspects of the article will be helpful as you conduct your SWOT analysis.

Step 2: Strengths

Based on your own experiences shopping at Target and Walmart and the research you conducted:

  • Identify 1-2 strengths Target has in comparison to Walmart. For each strength, explain your rationale.

Step 3: Weaknesses

Based on your own experiences shopping at Target and Walmart and the research you conducted:

  • Identify 1-2 weaknesses Target has in comparison to Walmart. For each weakness, explain your rationale.

Step 4: Opportunities

Based on your own experiences shopping at Target and Walmart and the research you conducted:

  • Identify 1-2 possible opportunities Target has to be more competitive with Walmart. For each opportunity, explain your rationale.

Step 5: Threats

Based on your own experiences shopping at Target and Walmart and the research you conducted:

  • Identify 1-2 possible threats that might diminish Target’s competitiveness with Walmart. For each threat, explain your rationale.

Step 6: Who Will Come Out Ahead?

Based on your SWOT analysis, do think that Target or Walmart is better positioned over the long term to come out ahead? Why?

Step 7: Real-World Application

Conduct a SWOT analysis for your company and one of its biggest competitors using the methodology outlined in Steps 1-6.



Looking at the manager’s role relative to their group really makes you think about how you interact with other people and if you are being effective in those interactions. The two views of leadership that I took away from the reading were leadership traits versus leadership behavior. These two views of leadership feed into all the contemporary leadership theories we have just reviewed in the class readings.

This is the classical nature versus nurture question – are effective leaders made (learned behaviors) or are they born (traits)? I think the correct answer is both. Many people have personality traits that make them a natural when it comes to leading others. Mix in some behavior-focused leadership training and these folks can be off-the-chart effective as leaders in organizations. On the flip side, there are people who do not seem to be able to lead, at least based on their personality. Think about the introverts (trait) that you know who would prefer to sit in their cube and write code versus deal with people. These folks can also learn how to be effective leaders, although it may be a more challenging learning experience for them.

There are many things in the unit 3 readings that stand out to me. It is difficult to choose one idea for this discussion thread! The textbook spends a lot of time stepping through the defining group properties: roles, norms, status, size, cohesiveness, and diversity.This really got my attention as it is good to know what makes your group a group when you are the manager and/or the leader of that group. As a project manager, many of these areas are a focus for me when planning and managing my project team. The team members have defined roles and responsibilities, the team has the “rules of engagement” defined and agreed upon. The roles and norms are easy to set up and manage to. It is the other areas that cause conflict and other issues. I like the idea of juggling all these pieces and parts of the group definition and using them to manage my project teams better.

Status, cohesiveness and diversity are where the “human nature factor” enters my projects and my project teams. The team size is usually not up to me and is out of my control. Of course, more people equal more complexity equals more people-related issues, at least in my experience. Status in a project team usually has to do with your power relative to other team members. Large teams usually have team managers reporting to the project manager, and these team managers have several team members reporting to them. Cohesiveness is an elusive beast. Some teams play well together and really get things done while others don’t seem to bond like they should. Diversity crosses into many areas. As a project manager, I want the right people with the right skills so we can get the project done. Other aspects of team diversity are not as important to me.

Understanding what makes a group a group or a team a team is important when you are responsible for managing that team and achieving a successful project outcome. If you are not paying attention to all of the aspects of your team, you can easily make poor decisions or not solve problems as well as you could. That is why the idea of the defining group properties is important to all managers and leaders out there. After all, you are not a leader if your team is not following your lead!


The perspective of leaders and managers in an Organizations

An organization is a system with the phenomenon of its own, and weight of tradition and inertia in favor of the tried and proven method of doing things and against the taking of risks and striking out in new directions. Organizations promote succession to power through the development of managers instead of individual leaders (Freifeld, & Desmidt, 2013). Managers are individual who plans, organizes, and controls organizational activities, and leaders use power to influence the thoughts and actions of another individual that can result in personal risks.

The risk of power includes the inability to achieve desirable results, ignore ways an individual can get energy, risk of losing self-control in an attempt to get ability (Zaleznik, 2004). Managers carry out organizational functions and direct those under as well as can terminate the appointment of those under if they do not perform to expectation on task. Leaders operate without relying upon coercive power and individual go along with them because of the rightness of actions and words and managers operate with a sense of power but lose control which means other methods of getting the job done are not working (Freifeld, & Desmidt, 2013).

Managers have a good intention that can be used the time to time but become a problem if used as a standard phenomenon. Leaders double power through others, build authority over time by acting in a consistent, predictable, reliable form and build trust in an organization, more strength in which case trust built through knowledge and experience. For instance, if my experience with you demonstrates an interaction between words and actions the bring about (Zaleznik, 2004). Trust.

Managers adopt impersonal attitudes towards goals as indicated in the organization’ s history and culture and Leaders putt concerns on others and well-being of the organization before self-interest and opportunity to make a positive difference, commit to a strategy, broad perspective, self-confidence, and lead.

The various forms of perspectives of leadership include but are not limited to Leadership traits, leadership behavior, emotional intelligence, and thinking styles, leadership as scientific management, leadership as excellent management, values leadership, trust cultural leadership, and spiritual leadership (Gragnon, 2012).

The scientific management, where same leadership thing as management concentrates on the mechanism to let individual do work as expected of the leader. And separate control from the employees and values leadership build behavior with shared values through setting values and teaching to subordinates through articulated vision leading to enhance products and service, mutual growth, and self-determination, values leadership, trust cultural leadership, and spiritual leadership (Zaleznik, 2004). The leadership perspective model based on leadership theories and behavior theories concentrate on leaders that work as a team in decision making that will courage the subordinates support (Gragnon, 2012).

The autocratic leaders decide without receiving a contribution from the groups but only suitable for an immediate decision. The Democratic leaders will allow the team to contribute to the daily choice of the organization and work well when team decision is required, motivated but might be difficult with many different perspectives and ideas. Laissez-faire leaders do not interfere usually allow individual within the team. However, it would affect the performance of an organization and are essential at various times as best leaders choose the right part for each situation as well as many different behavioral methods. Inferior behavior methods would create a bad environment for decision making, failure of leadership, and the organization


Many times I have felt like I was the “parent” for my project team or for my organizational group. The main driver for this feeling was that some of my staff members were behaving in a less-than-mature way and I had to deal with them in much the same way I dealt with my daughter when she was younger and living at home. This link between power and authority starts with the manager but extends to the people they are managing as well. To me, the more mature people in organizations tend to behave in a logical and rational fashion and can recognize when to use power and authority and when to step back and just let something go. It is easy to delegate to and manage my grown ups; managing the immature “adult children” in the workplace is where the challenges begin and too much emotion gets added to the organizational mix.

Maturity and its opposite side, immaturity, feed right into the use of power and authority relative to a person’s role and level within an organization. Typically, the folks at the top of the organization chart tend to have the most power and authority over the business and the people who work there. We can only hope that they have learned how to manage and lead effectively by the time they attain that level within the organization, and that those lessons learned temper their use of power. Reminds me of my mother telling me that wisdom comes with age and experience, but only if you choose to learn from those experiences and change your ways as needed. I think this holds true in the workplace as well. In my experience, the people who wield their power poorly when they are at a senior level in the organization tend to be less mature and less self-aware of how their actions and words impact other people around them.

The organization cannot demand a certain level of maturity from its people. It can set rules and guidelines for conduct and behavior at work to help its managers navigate these waters. Organizations can also use their Human Resources Department as the place to go with questions or concerns in these areas. However, in the end, people can always choose how they behave, and some folks may choose to behave poorly.

I currently volunteer in a local non-profit women’s club and just recently transitioned out of my president’s role to be a regular member again. Many of these nonprofit organizations are not run in a crisp, business-like manner. They tend to be very collaborative and might focus on the members and their needs versus the other aspects of doing business and turning a profit. As a board member and leader for this non-profit organization, I found that more laissez faire attitude very difficult to deal with. When I looked at the organization’s balance sheet, I saw wasted money and inefficiency that could have been turned into “profit” and made for a larger charitable donation. When I saw immature members who ignored their responsibilities in one realm of the organization in order to enjoy the social aspects of the organization, it set my hair on fire since these people were ignoring the organization’s mission and reason for existing. I had to cool my jets in my former leadership role and be less of “Susan the business woman” and more of “Susan the consensus builder and collaborator

When I think about power relative to mature people and less mature people, an historical figure comes to mind: General George Custer. At the battle of the Little Bighorn, he asked for help but did not receive it. As a result, he and all of his men were killed. In his article, Elliott points out that the “… controversies surrounding Custer and his fate persist because the fight between the Seventh Cavalry and the village of Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho was, as all military conflicts surely are, a political contest over competing visions of power.” By many accounts, Custer was immature as a leader, considered a hot head and was not well liked. It isn’t hard to imagine his peers declining to come to his assistance. Don’t know why that story came to mind, but there you have it.


Work Manager do to Facilitate Effective Organizational Life

A manager is a person or an individual who occupies a role and who has authority over people in an organization and only an application of management. Managers’ control, but as of today, we can manage ourselves, and at a point, we do not need to have a formal managerial role or even to maintain people. Previously, the function of management as distinct from the part of the manager has become everyone’s responsibility and in recent time organizations assigned specific roles to employees that concentrate on tasks that put power in the hands of managers who governed employees by planning, organizing, and controlling the affairs of the organization. Management exceeds what manager do to get work done through employees but today employees’ engagement, especially concerning innovation knowledge workers, cannot become a reality until we changed the mindset from the previous assumption of the manage ( Robins, & Judge, 2017).

In the digital world organization, employees need to manage as self-managing teams use sophisticated systems to assist them in managing work, and precise performance measure. Therefore, it is possible for employees to manage their affairs and other personal resources without occupying a formal managerial role and without controlling people. The manager engages in thinking and managing of the organization-as-person where head thinks, and the hands and an employee being hired hands but the notion those employees as unthinking hands is unsustainable in an era of empowerment and employee’s engagement ( McCrimmon, 2010).

The managers can serve as investors, customers, sports coaches, and partners. Managers allocate resources to have good turnover profit and effectiveness depends on the use of resources; knowledge worker wants their voice to hear as allocation negotiated not decided by one person. The employees in status changes being hired hands to be a self-employed individual providing services and can be proactive and able to identify the needs of manager.

Employees can suggest a deal to manage the organization, contribute ideas for improvements to managers, and do it can transform to be a customer instead of the employee. The power vested in managers to manage the employees should be utilized maturely not be too strict and out of binding in term of authority and ability to recognize when to use power instead of pleading that will encourage and motivate the employees to work more effectively and productive way. The mature employees can easily understand in an organization as they move toward logical and rational behavior as the manager use power and authority as well as when to appropriately set back on no go area about the employees ( McCrimmon, 2010).

The power and influence may be due for immature managers to understand that the employees are part of the progress of the organization and they need to listen to their voices to know the state of their mind toward the organization. The manager needs to develop skills of the leadership of self-awareness, set priorities, and social awareness and relationship management, be a source of empathy, trust to team members. Collaboration as a role model for working together and communicate effectively with employees one-to-one as well as critical thinking to understand and enhance effectiveness transforms the understanding into meaningful goals and objectives.

Some of the challenges management of an organization faced in dealing with the incongruence of needs of mature individuals and organizations that treats employees as being immature individuals includes job dissatisfaction even though as matured individuals organizations still sometimes treat their employees as immature individuals that will demands to change of mindset and rules which might create challenges for managers. The power and strict authority within the corridor of the management can cause employees to lose confidence and trust in the manager, which can lead to job dissatisfaction and turnover of employees. It can cause counterproductive work behavior of substance abuse, stealing at work, absenteeism and undue socializing ( Robins, & Judge, 2017).

Others include mind the skill as knowledge and power is a challenge facing managers, high employees’ turnover deals with how to keep top talent from leaving the organization because they leave the knowledge, expertise and awesomeness goes with them. The barrier to creating innovative teams at the workplace would depend on nurturing creative teams, which might lead to employee loyalty and happier customer satisfaction. Employee engagement is productive, creative, and less likely cause employees to leave.

The structures and rules are part of an organization that provides employees expectation and determines job satisfaction as well as limit the way employees think about their manager because no assess on a personal level or one-to-one ( Robins, & Judge, 2017). Therefore, structure and rules should be engaged on in such a way that would provide the opportunity to develop and allow being part of the voice or decision making, make suggestions on certain things that can promote the productivity and image of the organization. The manager should pay attention to employees’ job satisfaction, as the determinant of performance, turnover absenteeism and withdrawal behaviors, measure employee’s job attitude objectively and at regular intervals to determine the reaction to work, raise employee’s satisfaction, evaluate the working interest and the intrinsic of the job.