Masters Degree in International Management – Why You Should Get This Education

Many that may look to pursue their masters in this field are those that most likely have a career or wish to pursue a career in government, public affairs or foreign relations just to name a few. Those who wish to study abroad and or volunteer in the peace corps may seek to expand their careers along this path concurrent with their occupation.

A masters in this field has many avenues in which the person who is seeking to pursue it may further their career path. Students of this field can look forward to a degree of various outlooks in areas such as government, political affairs, the non profit, public and private sectors.

There are other career areas of preparation that makes careers such as international affairs, charitable services and other like areas quite suitable for this type of degree. This degree can help those that are looking to enter these fields either in the United States or abroad.

When looking to pursue your masters in international management, there are a few schools that you will have to research in order to find what best suits your current situation. There are the tradition brick and mortar schools where you can continue your studies in your local area.

There are also many online schools that provide a curriculum that can also match your availability. When looking into the online schools, it is best to find the school that has a good academic history and can provide you with further opportunities once your courses work is complete.

Some schools offer field work and abroad internships that can give you on hand experience in the international management area. Whether it is dealing with current political affairs, international journalism or an abroad work experience, this will be key in having the opportunity to have hands on field experience that can propel your career upon completion of your studies.

Repatriation Management – The Key to Retention

Despite ongoing concerns about high expatriate attrition rates companies do not seem to be paying a lot of attention to the repatriation phase. A similar observation can be made in HRM journals; whereas expatriation has been researched extensively during the last decades, repatriation has received scarce attention in literature. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to highlight the relevance of repatriation management in the earliest stages of expatriate management.

Recent research indicates that successful expatriation assignments rely on four elements: the selection of the candidates, pre-arrival preparation for both expatriate and family, the provided support and possibility to keep in touch with the home organization while on an expatriate assignment, and the repatriation arrangements after completion of the assignment (Baruch and Altman, 2002). That appropriate attention to repatriation arrangements is important follows out of various observations: (1) Valuable personnel frequently leave the organization relatively shortly after repatriation. Research findings from 2002 showed that about 50% of personnel left a financial services company within a few years following the return to their home country (Baruch & Altman, 2002). As well, it has been found that 30% to 40% of expatriates leave their companies within two years of repatriation compared to 5-10% of non-expatriate employees. (2) More than 30% of overseas assignments fail, resulting in similar premature return rates of expatriates. Expatriate failure rates are generally unrelated to aspects of functioning that were relevant in domestic organizational settings.

Although a lengthy discussion of underlying reasons for expatriate failure is unfortunately out of scope for this article, it can be argued that companies benefit from managing this repatriation process in order to exploit the knowledge and skills of returning expatriates. (3) High attrition rates have been found to be primarily related to organizations’ difficulties to effectively reposition their repatriated employees. This observation is a strong argument to stress repatriation management in HR departments. (4) Organizations may experience difficulties in finding candidates for expatriate positions when potential candidates see what will happen to expatriates once they return. (5) Ogberg, who coined the term ‘culture shock’ in 1960, also considered a reverse culture shock that expatriates experience when returning home. Proper preparation for this future shock may prepare expatriates for the transition to domestic work and family settings. (5) Research in 2005 showed that repatriation adjustment was the strongest predictor of intent to leave the organization (Lee & Liu, 2005).

Retention and career management, therefore, should be central to planning expatriate positions. Positions should be gradually more challenging in order to challenge valuable employees and be part of a long term career path. Long term career planning foresees in building on previous assignments; assigning repatriates unchallenging positions once back home may be regarded as an invitation to apply for positions elsewhere. Sound expatriate management will therefore consider repatriation arrangements as good practice.

In reality, however, organizations often seem to have forgotten who these expatriates are. HR departments fail to build on expatriates’ skills and experience because they do not know well what they have accomplished during the years. Expatriates experience frustration once their expatriate benefits and status will be lost upon repatriation. They will have to get used to ‘normal’ levels of pay and taxation again. Their children will have to attend national curriculum schools, private school tuition fees will not be covered upon return to the home country. Establishing a mutual understanding and a clear definition of successful repatriation could help repatriates establish correct expectations before returning home. A proper preparation towards the end of expatriate assignments may ease the transition and avoid costly turnover for the organization. An ongoing lack of attention to repatriation management will likely continue to fuel high attrition rates. The question is: do we really want valuable personnel to leave the organization after costly assignments abroad or should we take action?

Management Vs. Leadership – An Assessment of Interdependence

Abstract

Leadership and management have been the focus of study and attention since the dawn of time. Over time leadership and management have been seen as separate entities, but those times have past. It is this paper’s intent to prove that good management is incumbent upon the success and quality of the leadership that drives it, and by proxy, so too will poor leadership bring poor management that will lead to poor results, and decreased levels of success.

From the great minds in management theory: Fayol, Taylor, and Weber; homage being paid to Barnard and Mayo, as well as Maslow, Mintzberg, Drucker and Porter; to the great minds in leadership development: Jung, McClelland and Burnham, this paper intends to examine them all and bring them together as is required in this economy and these times.

Much time, effort, and money has been placed into the study of both management and leadership successes. Mintzberg and Drucker have done some of the best and most informative work at bringing management and leadership together; now, with the rising costs of overhead and decreasing profit margins, now is the time to connect the dots, once and for all.

Leadership and management have been the focus of study and attention since the dawn of time. Reference biblical scripture that questions the leadership decisions of King David and the managerial prowess of Moses and his exodus to the “Promised Lands” (Cohen, 2007); Plato helped us to manage the Republic while Machiavelli helped us to formulate our idea of what a Prince should represent (Klosko, 1995); Shakespeare questioned Hamlet’s decision making (Augustine & Adelman, 1999) and trumpeted Henry IV’s managerial effectiveness (Corrigan, 1999). John Stuart Mill gave us the “shining city upon a hill”, while Hegel taught us the “elements of the philosophy of right” and Marx taught us how to manage a people in his overly popularized (and oft misunderstood) manifestos (Klosko, 1995). Thomas Payne rewrote leadership to the basic levels of Common Sense, while Thomas Jefferson acknowledged that in the management of a people, you must remember that “all men are created equal” and that they maintain certain degree of”unalienable Rights”. Countless others have come to the surface over the span of time, all promoting a new or improved way to both manage and lead their people. (And hopefully yours, too, if you’re willing to pay for it.) However, through it all, one thing has remained constant; people are not autonomous entities that will respond the same to every situation. People are evolving, thinking, emotionally and socially aware of all that is around them; they are motivated through different methods and they are driven by differing levels of success (McClelland & Burnham, 1995). Over time, leadership and management have been seen as separate entities, but no more: it is, therefore, this paper’s intent to prove that good management is incumbent upon the success and quality of the leadership that drives it, and by proxy, so too will poor leadership bring poor management that will lead to poor results, and decreased levels of success. In today’s fast paced environments, management requires leadership; you cannot have one without the other and still attain the success that you desire.

Reference any management text or publication and you will inevitably come across the obligatory references to the great minds in management theory: Fayol – the first to recognize management as a “discipline” to be studied (Brunsson, 2008), Taylor’s scientific management of industrial work and workers (Safferstone, 2006), and Weber’s bureaucracy; homage must also be paid to Barnard, Kotter, Bennis, and Mayo, as well as Maslow, Mintzberg, Drucker, and Porter (Lamond, 2005). These great minds have helped to forge the way for the management field and helped to better management teams across the world. The world of “leadership study” carries quite the similar pedigree; ironically, it also carries many of the same names. It is, however, this author’s opinion that many of the additions to the pool of knowledge on leadership were not made known until the study of psychology was made more fashionable by the likes of Freud and Jung. Management, it appears, is a tool to better the bottom line and productivity, whereas leadership is one of those studies that is to be improved through the person’s ability to be in touch with their personality, traits, motives and effects on the human elements of productivity.

There appears be some coincidence in the timing of the juxtaposition of the terms “management” and “leadership” and the correlation to the fact that most literature post 1950 seems to cross pollinate the two phrases. It is quite possible that this, the historical time for post war boom, is where production was at record highs and management of production was not as key as the management of people Possibly drawn from a social recognition that people were not to be managed, but rather, they were to be valued members of the team, and therefore, to be led – it is speculative, but it appears evident that entering the 1960’s, most literature intertwines the “leaders” and the “managers” into the same professional classification.

Carl Jung (1923) posits that people carry specific traits and that those traits cannot be altered. However, much time effort and money has been placed into the study of both management and leadership traits, tendencies, styles, and successes. Why is this? One belief is that Jung only half analyzes the person and that more than your traits influence your leadership potential (de Charon, 2003). This affords the opportunity for you to learn skills necessary to become a better leader, even if that means understanding who you are and what your tendencies are, in order to counteract them. Jung’s work with personality traits has become the hallmark to virtually every professional development and personal development course on the market. Jung stipulates that every person has any combination of sixteen different personality types. By definition, knowing these personality types helps you to better negotiate your way through the situation in order to attain the maximum output desired (Anastasi, 1998).

Running in concert to Jung’s ideas are those of Henry Mintzberg. Mintzberg stipulates that much has changed since Fayol’s assessment in 1916; gone are the days when the “picture of a manager was a reflective planner, organizer, leader, and controller” (Pavett & Lau, 1983). Mintzberg breaks the manager’s job into ten roles, divided into three areas: interpersonal, informational, and decisional (2004):

Interpersonal Roles
Informational Roles
Decisional Roles
Figurehead
Monitor
Entrepreneur
Leader
Disseminator
Disturbance handler
Liaison
Spokesperson
Resource allocator
Negotiator
(Lussier & Achua, 2007).

Ironically, in today’s interpretation of a leader, one would be hard pressed to find a leader whom is unable to do all of the above, and then some. Mintzberg, in later publications, however, goes much further in his assessment of managers and their roles in the organization. In a collaborative effort with Jonathon Gosling, the two determine the five mindsets of a manager (2003). They break the five mindsets into:

1. Managing self: the reflective mindset; where the effective manager is able to reflect upon the history (current and aged) to create a better future moving forward.

2. Managing the organization: the analytical mindset; here referencing a tennis match, where the manager must be cognizant of the crowd and their reaction, but also focusing on the ball itself.

3. Managing context: the worldly mindset; thinking globally and looking for the unorthodox solution.

4. Managing relationships: the collaborative mindset; where the manager is able to engage the employees and moves beyond empowerment [which “implies that people who know the work best somehow receive the blessing of their managers to do it (Kibort, 2004)] into commitment.

5. Managing change: the action mindset; “imagine your organization as a chariot pulled by wild horses. These horses represent the emotions, aspirations, and motives of all the people in the organization. Holding a steady course requires just as much skill in steering around to a new direction” (Gosling & Mintzberg, 2003, p. 54-63).

Gosling and Mintzberg conclude with one very interesting point. They stipulate that, unlike Pavett & Lau (1983) that good managers are able to look beyond the desire to fix problems with simple reorganizations. In fact, they argue that hierarchy plays a very small role in the actual completion of tasks on the unit level and can only lead to more bureaucracy. Which leads one to ask the question: who is to complete those unit level tasks and solve those problems associated with people?

There is no definitive definition of what leadership is, as it appears to change form and focus for each individual study. For the purposes of this paper, however, the definition set forth by Lussier & Achua (2007) seems to fit best: “Leadership is the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change” (p.6). How do we compare leadership and management? The common misconception is that it is something that should be compared “straight up”, or “even Steven”. Obviously, there are natural leaders and persons in positions of social authority throughout every facility, and yes, it is incumbent upon the managers and leaders to empower those people to support the overall mission. Admittedly, some of these people may never become managers, but their role in the facility is of the utmost importance.

However, as managers are an industry specific entity, it is ridiculous to try and compare leadership to management outside of the constraint of the management role. Recognizing and accepting the constraint of the comparison, it must be acknowledged that in industry, you cannot have good leadership without good management; and in obvious juxtaposition, poor leadership leads to poor success rates for the management. It seems apparent that our management staffs should concentrate on growing employees into leaders, to eventually become managers; but if the managers themselves are not leaders yet, then much difficulties will soon befall upon that company. As Peter Drucker will tell you, it is imperative to build a strong management team, centered around strong leadership. In thinner times, gone are the days of two people for every position. Here are the days when a successful company is able to package good managerial skills into every leader, and good leadership skills into every manager. Failure to do so will result in failure to succeed.

“Drucker devotes considerable effort and space to defining the nature and role of management. This discussion also focuses on the nature and value of leadership in the organization. According to Drucker, leadership gives the organization meaning, defines and nurtures its central values, creates a sense of mission, and builds the systems and processes that lead to successful performance” (Wittmeyer, 2003).

References
Anastasi, Thomas (1998). Personality negotiating: conflict without casualty. Boston University,
Boston, MA: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Augustine, Norman & Adelman, Kenneth (1999). Shakespeare in charge: the bard’s guide to

leading and succeeding on the business stage. New York, NY: Hyperion
Brunsson, K. (2008). Some Effects of Fayolism. International Studies of Management &

Organization, 38(1), 30-47.
Cohen, Norman. (2007). Moses and the journey to leadership: Timeless lessons of effective

management from the Bible and today’s leaders. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights

Publishing.
Corrigan, Paul (1999). Shakespeare on management: leadership lessons for today’s managers.
Dover, NH: Kogan Page Limited.

de Charon, Linda. (2003). A transformational leadership development program: Jungian
psychological types in dynamic flux. Organization Development Journal, 21(3), 9-18.
Gosling, J., & Mintzberg, H. (2003, November). The Five Minds of a Manager. (cover story).
Harvard Business Review, 81(11), 54-63
Jung, Carl (1923) Psychology Types. New York, NY: Harcourt Press
Kibort, Phillip M (2004). Management vs. Leadership. Physician Executive, 30(6), 32-35.
Klosko, George (1995). History of political theory: an introduction. Volume II; modern political

theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group / Thomson Learning.
Lamond, David. (2005) On the value of management history: Absorbing the past to understand

the present and inform the future. Management Decision, incorporating the Journal of
Management History, 43, 10.
Lussier, Robert N. & Achua, Christopher F. (2007). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill

development, 3e. Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education.
McClelland D. & Burnham, D. H. (1995) Power is the great motivator. Harvard Business
Review, January, 81(1), p117-126.
Mintzberg, H. (2004, August). Leadership and management development: An afterword.

Academy of Management Executive, 18(3), 140-142.
Pavett, C., & Lau, A. (1983, March). Managerial work: The influence of hierarchical level and

functional specialty. Academy of Management Journal, 26(1), 170-177
Safferstone, Mark J. (2006). Organizational Leadership: Classic Works and Contemporary

Perspectives.
Wittmeyer, C. (2003, August). The Practice of Management: Timeless Views and Principles.

Academy of Management Executive, 17(3), 13-15

Kevin Vail is a graduate student at Norwich University’s School of Graduate Studies, in pursuit of his Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership.

The success he receives in this program is predicated on a highly intensive curriculum, that uses his experiences from military, education, and corporate training environments. Both academic research and personal experiences have led to a wide understanding of leadership styles, traits, and opportunities for development.

How to Be the Best New Manager – A Simple Management Training Guide

Management positions come with surprisingly little guidance. Whether you were promoted internally or brought in from outside, you were probably expected to hit the ground running, toward the vaguest of goals. As a result of observation from my work experience at a popular pizzeria in the food industry, I have observed, reflected and decided that new manager’s need proper training in order to get their daily tasks done efficiently and effectively. It was observed that employees were promoted to management positions based on the length of time working within the organization and not based on managerial qualifications. Pfeifer et al. (2013) in their article states that promotions are important from the point of view of both employer and employee. Employees benefit from promotions by monetary gains and higher reputation, and employers can use promotions to make efficient job assignments. On the one hand, training might increase individual productivity by teaching skills and knowledge that are important to fulfill tasks at higher job levels. On the other hand, training can serve as a screening device without increasing individual productivity, i.e., the firm learns about abilities and skills of workers and can promote the best fitting (i.e., the most productive) worker to the next job in the hierarchy. The following are key points to consider for businesses as a result of my research.

Pre-shift meeting with staff

Hosting a pre-shift meeting with staff gives them information about what to expect during their shift in terms of the preparation that needs to be done. This is the best time for managers to express to the employees what their expectations of them are and what goals need to be accomplished by the end of the shift. In the article titled (Make the Most of Meetings, 2009), the author gives five simple tips on how to make a pre-shift meeting productive. The first tip is to set an agenda. This will let employees know what to expect, especially if the meetings are held at a regular time every day. Then it is suggested that managers make the meeting goal- oriented, which allows the managers to examine immediate challenges and determine the best way to meet them. Allowing everyone on the team to have an input will keep the employees useful, involved and motivated. It is important to get feedback from the team and ask for advice when making decisions. And lastly, remind the team of the vision you have for the organization and incorporate it into the weekly goals.

Proactive vs. reactive management

Being prepared before the busy period is very important especially in the food industry. After meeting with the staff, it will make it easier for them to prepare for the day as they now have an idea of what the day will be like. Reacting to the busy period will slow down productivity while being proactive makes the organization run more smoothly. Larson et al. (1986) posits in their article that a proactive manager takes charge, initiates action, seeks out others and spends time planning and pursuing a logical, long term agenda. On the other hand, a reactive manager responds to the initiations and requests from others. They wait until the busy period hits and then they run around like a headless chicken, not knowing where to start to make the shift run smoothly. Their study reveals that more proactive managerial behaviors are better in smaller organizations. Proactive managers prevent chaos in the organization. This management style focuses on breaking down systems and processes so as to identify flaws and control issues before they get out of control.

Creating and maintaining a professional organizational culture

Organizational culture is the behavior of management and the meanings that employees attach to their actions. It is a pattern of collective behaviors that are taught to new organizational members and affects the way employees interact with each other and with stakeholders. A professional organizational culture is an important aspect in the success of most large companies. When managers and supervisors portray an image of professionalism on and off the job employees will be motivated to do the same. Ardiccvilli et al. (2012) found in their research that if organization leader’s actions are consistent and positive then overtime these values will be imparted onto the other employees and build their commitment to the organizations culture. Therefore, management does have an impact on the business culture and how the other employees behave within the organization. It is important that professional behavior is the norm within the organization whether the company is large or small. This culture can affect the productivity and profitability of the organization.

Conclusion

In summary, the article demonstrated that there are steps that new managers need to take in order to run successful business operations on a daily basis. Hosting a pre- shift meeting to make the staff aware of how the day will unfold is of top priority. Taking on a more proactive style of management will aid in a more productive day on the job. Creating and maintaining a professional culture within an organization is the best way for managers to lead by example within an organization. Prahalad (1983) suggests that managers should strive to build the strategic capabilities in the organization instead of looking for easy solutions. In order to operate in a decision making culture, managers must go beyond formal organization structure. The road is long and hard, but the journey is rewarding.

References

Ardichvili, A., Jondle, D., & Kowske, B. (2012). Minding the gap: exploring differences in perceptions of ethical business cultures among executives, mid-level managers and non-managers. Human Resource Development International, 15(3), 337-352. doi:10.1080/13678868.2012.687625

Larson, L. L., Bussom, R. S., Vicars, W., & Jauch, L. (1986). PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE MANAGER: IS THE DICHOTOMY REALISTIC?. Journal Of Management Studies, 23(4), 385-400.

Make the Most of Meetings. (2009). Journal of Accountancy, 207(3), 22.

Pfeifer, C., Janssen, S., Yang, P., & Backes-Gellner, U. (2013). EFFECTS OF TRAINING ON EMPLOYEE SUGGESTIONS AND PROMOTIONS: EVIDENCE FROM PERSONNEL RECORDS. Schmalenbach Business Review (SBR), 65(3), 270-287.

Prahalad, C. K. (1983). Developing Strategic Capability: An Agenda for Top Management. Human Resource Management, 22(3), 237-254.