May 31, 2012

Management Theory and Practice - Bulletin Board - May 2012

Engineering and Management News  -  Knowledge@Wharton  - HBR Blogs

Cost Accounting Introduction - Updated

Risk Manager's job is to quantify the risk and when the project is approved by management with the quantified risk, the project managers is allowed to fail and the failure is well tolerated by the organized.
Permission to fail - HBR blog post by Aaron Brown 30 May 2012

Innovation Projects need to be supported by Executives who can say Yes without Permission
Vijay Govind Rajan and Mark Sebell in HBR blogs
29 May 202

Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything
Tony Schwartz
HBR Blogs August 2010


Marketing Management - Online Book
updated with more entries

Managing Risky Behavior
HBR Insight Center

Leaders Make or Break Employee Engagement


Lecture Transcripts of Financial Accounting Course

Professor Larry Tomassini

Professor provides transcripts for all his courses and additionally video lectures and audio lectures.

Management Videos

What are strategies?
_____________________________ _____________________________
Integrity - What  is it?

_____________________________ _____________________________
Electronic Records Management
UC Berkeley Even April 2012
______________________________ _______________________________

Five Employee Management Strategies To Start Using ASAP


Management Theory - Literature Review Papers

Strategic Issue Management Theory
Peter Kunnas

May 30, 2012

Decision Making


Decision making is the actual selection from among alternatives of a course of action.
Decision making is involved in various functions of management. Hence, it is a step in planning. Planning occurs in managing organizations or in personal life whenever choices are made in order to gain a goal in the face of such limitations as time, money, and the desires of other people. The steps involved in planning are:
1. Being aware of opportunity
2. Establishing objectives
3. Premising
4. Determining alternative courses of action
5. Evaluating alternative courses
6. Selecting a course
7. Formulating derivative plans

Developing Alternatives

Planning comes into picture whenever a goal is to be attained. Choice of goal itself is a planning problem. If we assume that there is a goal to be achieved, the next step in the planning is to develop planning premises. Premises are planning assumptions, the future setting in which planning takes place. We can term them as the environment of plans in operation. Premises include forecast data of a factual nature, applicable basic policies, and existing company plans.
Developing alternative courses of action is taken as the first step in decision making. Managers have to develop alternative courses for any decision to be made. A sound adage for the manager is that, if there seems to be only one way of doing a thing, that way is probably wrong. More rationally, a planning priniciple called principle of alternatives can be specified. In every course of action, alternatives exist, nd effective planning involves a search for the alternative representing the best path to a desired goal.
The ability to develop alternatives is often as important as making a right decision among alternatives. Ingenuity, research, and perspicacity are required to make sure that the best alternatives are considered before a course of action is selected.

Principle of Limiting Factor

Chester Barnard has written, "the analysis required for decision is in effect a search for the "strategic factors."

Stategic factors and limiting factors are synonyms but Barnard suggests that we use the term limiting factor for physical things and when personal or organizational action is the element, we should use the term strategic factor. When we want to achieve some goals of system, we examine its parts or factors. Strategic factors or limiting factors are those parts or factors which if changed would accomplish the desired purpose if other factors or parts remain unchanged. The principle of limiting factor says, if in developing alternatives, the more an individual can recognize and solve for those factors that are limiting or critical to the attainment of a desired goal, the more effectively and efficiently he can select the most favorable alternative.
Discovery of limiting factor lies at the basis of selection from alternatives and hence of planning.
Process of Evaluation
After a reasonable number of alternatives have been developed, the next step in decision making is evaluating these alternatives. In most decisions, there are certain tangible factors to be assessed in terms of dollars, man-hours, machines hours, units of output, rates of return on investment, or some other quantitative unit. There are other factors that can be hardly quantified. However, both the tangible and intangible factors must be weighed in deciding upon a course of action.

Basis for Selection Among Alternatives

Business Research and Analysis
Operations Research

Evaluating the Decision's Importance

Size or length of commitment: If a decision commits the enterprise to heavy expenditure of funds it should be subjected to suitable attention at top management level.
Flexibility:Decisions involving inflexible courses of action need attention.
Certainty of goals and premises: Production decisions based on order backlog are more routine in comparision to made to stock decisions.
Quantifiability of variables: If variable can be quantified decision making is more routine.
Human impact: Where the human impact of a decision if great, its importance is high.
 Rationality in Decision Making

Economics is a subject that is developed under the assumption that people take rational decisions. When is a person thinking or deciding rationally? A rational decision making implies that the decision maker has a clear understanding of all alternative courses of action by which the goal sought can be reached under existing circumstances and limitations. The decision maker also must have the knowledge to analyze the alternatives in light of the goal sought with a desire to find out the best solution that effectively and efficiently satisfies the goal achievement.

Herbert Simon proposed that managers may not achieve complete rationality in many decisions. It is difficult to recognize all alternatives to reach a goal and also it may not be possible to analyze all alternatives. Hence managers resort to satisficing and find solutions that appear satisfactory to them and their associates in the circumstances.

Creativity and Innovation

Developing alternatives and finding novel ways that are profitable alternatives requires creative thinking. Weihrich and Koontz explain creative thinking as four step process.

1. Unconscious scanning
Allowing the mind to think over the problem and do its process without a conscious effort.

2. Intuition
Intuition is an answer to the problem that is thrown up by the mind. This is the output of the unconscious scanning effort.

3. Insight
Insight also an idea that comes up during investigations to solve a problem. They are to be captured immediately on paper to make us of them later.

4. Logical formulation or verification
Intuition as well as insight is to be tested through logic or experiment. The logical verification is done first by the person himself and then by inviting critiques from others.


Video Lecture - Presentation - Making Great Decision


Updated 29.5.2012
Original knol - 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 188

Financial Management - An Overview

Financial Management - An Overview

Financial Management - An Overview

Financial management revision article series


Financial Management - The Scope

Financial management is concerned with monitoring financial markets, approving financial investment projects in the organization, procuring the finance from the market to finance the project, and conforming to the contracts signed with the providers of finance.
Thus the important activities are
1. Monitoring financial markets to understand the desires of the providers of finance
2. Investment decisions within the company
3. Financing decisions - From whom to procure funds?
4. Dividend decisions - Conforming to the contracts.

Evolution of Corporate Finance Area or Subject

The early phase of corporate finance subject had  focus on episodic events in the life cycle of a corporation. The typical and popular book of this phase is the book, The Financial Policy of Corporations by Arthur S. Dewing, Professor of Finance at Harvard University (published in 1918). The book had a descriptive and institutional material regarding formation of company, issuance of capital, major expansion, merger, reorganisation, and liquidation.
In the early 40s a transition occurred and along with the external focus related to major events, greater emphasis was placed on the day-to-day internal activities of financial management in the area of funds requirement analysis, planning, and control. A representative work of this phase is Essays on Business Finance by Wilford J . Eiteman et al. (published in 1953).
The modern phase began in mid-fifties with application of economic theory and quantitative methods of analysis. Financial decision making has become analytical and quantitative and financial decision making activity has become dominant.

Goals of Financial Management

Financial theory, rests on the premise that the objective of the firm should be to maximize the value of the firm to its equity shareholders.
This value is could be equal to the market price of shares in stock market with good liquidity. But financial managers may have to calculate the discounted value of expected future cash flows and compare with the market price. In case of discrepancies they may have to communicate to the financial markets their point of view.

Basic Considerations of Financial management: Risk and Return

In the context of evaluating an investment proposal, from the point of view of finance function, risk and return are the relevant dimensions. Higher return from a proposed project increases market value and higher risk decreases market value.

Financial Decisions in a Firm

While a formally specified person performs the financial market monitoring and procurement of finance functions, the investment decisions and performance of investments are in the hands of operating executives. Finance sense has to be there in each and every employee of an organization to make an organization financially viable and successful.
The marketing persons who do market research provide estimates of market size, revenue generation which form the basis of project proposals.
The engineers, who select location for the plant, equipment shape the investment decision of the firm by providing various alternatives.
The purchase managers actions influence the level of inventories.
The sales managers' assessments determine the receivables policy.
Department managers actually plan and control expenditures.
Thus many activities that are a part of financial function are performed by operating executives. But there are many tasks of finance function that can be done by specialist financial officers. Traditionally, the financial officers are grouped into controller's office and treasurer's office.
The treasurer's office is responsible for
Obtaining finance
Banking relationship
Cash management
Credit administration
Controller's office is responsible for
Financial accounting
Internal auditing
Management accounting and control



Prasanna Chandra, Financial Management, 5th Ed.,  Tata McGraw Hill, 2001
Brealey and Myers, Corporate Finance, Fifth Edition, Prentice Hall India, 2001


 Video Lecture on Introduction to  Financial Management

__________ __________

May 8, 2012

Management Theory and Practice - Bulletin Board - April 2012

May 2012
How to engage your customers and employees?

April 2012

Leadership Issues

How to become better leader by improving Big Five Personality Traits

Relational intelligence for managers

Supply Chain Themes

1980s - JIT
90s Outsourcing
2001 to 10 Internet
2010s - What is the theme? Sustainability or Supplier Innovation?

Increasing Supplier Driven Innovation

Sustainability Ideas for Supply Chain Managers

What the current supply chain strategic issues?
Supply chain issues become value chain issues.

Supply Chain Cost Reduction Potential - How to identify it?

Supply Chain Key outputs are now Six
Cost, Responsiveness, Security, Sustainability, Resilience and Innovation

Greeting Transportation in the supply chain