BUS 209 Abraham Lincoln University Fundamentals of Management Questions

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AY 2019/2020, Summer Semester
Course Code Course Name Assignment given on
BUS209/3209 Fundamentals of Management 18th June 2020
Date of Submission Instructor Name Semester
18th July 2020 IHSAN ASHIQ Summer 2020
Student ID Student Name Major
Remark: Students are advised to read all instructions before writing the assignment.
Learning outcomes to be covered by this assignment:
Explain Fundamental concepts of management, complete in depth understanding of the Roles,
skill and capabilities required for traditional as well as contemporary management practices
Explain different aspects of management functions including the importance of Basic function of
Management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Identify the best practices which are
been used in today’s modern era.
The principles learned in this course will allow the students to use empirical investigative skills
by producing an in-depth analysis of a management situation usually presented through case
studies, resulting in recommendations for a program of action.
Scope of the Assignment
This assignment aims to help in developing independent & collaborative learning skills. Students
are expected to work in groups for completing the assignment applying conceptual, analytical
and problem solving skills. Student can complete the assignment by using online /library
Plagiarism Policy [Ref: Assessment Policy Ref: MC/ASSP/v1]
Plagiarism includes, and not limited to, submitting a report/presentation/ dissertation/ term
paper/research paper or any other work to be graded which includes the production of other
author(s) without properly acknowledging the original author(s) of the work, or use the work of
other person (paid or un paid) and submitting it to be its own work to claim grades or any other
credit. The college is using a text matching detection software, text similarity above 20% is not
acceptable and deemed plagiarism.
Please check with your course instructor for further orientation and information about plagiarism
practice avoidance.
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Submission Instructions
▪ Use A4 size paper, Times New Roman 12 font size with single line spacing in text.
▪ Use first page of assignment as cover page to submit your work
▪ Contents: Answer should include relevant concept from chapters.
▪ Submit soft copy of assignment through TURNITIN and E-Learning (Moodle).
▪ Late submission is subject to maximum deduction of 01mark per delayed day and
approval from HoD.
▪ Plagiarized work shall not be considered to award any marks
▪ Similarity ratio more than 20% marks as 0.
▪ To submit assignment on TURNITIN, please use following Key & ID
CLASS ID: 25265872
Enrollment Key: BUS209
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS. (All cases are 5 Marks each) (3 × 5 = 15 Marks)
• CASE # 1 (Managing without Managers)
• CASE # 2 (China Company)
• CASE # 3 (Crisis Planning at Livestrong Foundation)
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CASE # 1 (Managing without Managers)
Just Music, a European commercial music service, is synonymous with dramatically changing
the way consumers access and use music on a day-to-day basis. They have succeeded in moving
consumers away from buying music and, instead, moving them towards a model of renting the
music they enjoy for a monthly fee. The European music giant, launched in 2008, was developed
into the business we know today by European entrepreneur Paul Moon, who was inspired to
create a service that would be easier and more convenient for customers to use than the nowillegal file sharing websites that were popular at the time.
Like many technology companies, Just Music has a flat organizational structure as opposed to
complex hierarchies of management. For Managing Without Managers companies like Just
Music it is imperative that they can work in a fast-moving way that allows changes in content to
get to the customer as quickly as possible. In order to work as efficiently as possible Just Music
have adopted a management and organizational structure based upon squads, chapters, tribes,
and guilds. Although you won’t find theory talking about organizational tribes or chapters, it
does provide a useful way for Just Music to organize their staff and reporting structures in an
industry where many are trying to remove mangers entirely.
‘Squads’ are the building blocks of organizational structure at Just Music. These small teams
work in a way that is similar to a small startup business. These squads sit together in one shared
space in order to work as effectively as possible on one long term mission; usually improving a
specific area or part of the Just Music experience. Squads do not have a manager and instead
work together to ensure the overall problem is solved. Each squad does however have a ‘Product
Owner’, and it is their job to ensure that work is prioritized across the whole squad. Within each
squad you will find employees with different skills that can contribute towards the squad
achieving their goal.
‘Tribes’ are groups of squads that work in similar areas. This means that all the squads who are
working on web-based services are part of the same tribe; and squads who work on the mobile
Just Music application will be part of a different tribe. Each tribe, like the individual squads, is
able to work autonomously with very little traditional management taking place. Within the Just
Music offices the multiple squads that make up each tribe sit close together to allow
collaboration between squads as needed, however the ethos of Just Music aims to discourage
squads and tribes being dependent on one another so that change can happen as quickly as
possible, something that is incredibly important in the ever changing technology markets.
In order to be able to manage the staff and structure throughout the organization Just Music
utilizes what they term ‘Chapters’. These chapters are collections of people who have similar
skills but who work in various squads; for example, a chapter may be comprised of all of the
programmers in the various squads within one tribe. It is within these chapters that we see more
of a link to traditional management theory with clearer lines of management and responsibility
for staff members, their development, pay and progression. The only time people tend to work
outside their tribe is when taking part in ‘Guild’ activities. The guilds are cross tribe groups of
people who have similar interests but again do not have any formal management, and are instead
autonomous and self-managed, working on projects or problems that interest them.
As a fast-moving technology company, it is of course essential for Just Music to be able to react,
change, and adapt their online content quickly. In approaching management in a nontraditional
manner, they have allowed individuals to be more creative whilst still meeting the overall goals
of the business. There are however potential difficulties with adopting this more relaxed attitude
to management, as there is an overall lack of control and there are opportunities for the freedom
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offered to staff to be misused. The increase in technology companies such as Just Music is
changing the landscape of management, with many trying to avoid traditional management
practices altogether. Just Music is somewhat unique in its field as they have recognized the need
for management within the organization, however they have attempted to find a unique way of
balancing the need for freedom and creativity in the workforce whilst still undertaking basic
management activities. As Just Music grows, they may need to reflect upon their approach to
Case # 1- Discussion Questions
1. Who undertakes management at Just Music?
2. How could Just Music manage poor performing individuals or teams? Do you think this
is a problem at Just Music? Why or why not?
3. Are there any similarities to traditional management at Just Music?
4. Do you think that this approach to management would be effective within another
CASE # 2 (China Company)
What could be more self-explanatory about corporate values than naming your business “China
Company?” Zhong and Wang are Chinese characters for loyalty, dedication, and prosperity. It
certainly worked out for the Liaoning Province–based Chinese aluminum developer and
Founded in 1993, it had total assets of US$3.9 billion. In 2014, the company’s revenue was
around 16 billion RMB ($2.5 billion). The company is the largest producer of extruded
aluminum in Asia and the second largest in the world, with its product being used in many
industries—from rail carriages to power plants. From the outset the business sought to be
sustainable, prosperous, and contribute to society.
The aluminum industry is highly competitive, and China Company is not only interested in value
creation, but also in encouraging its customers to expand their businesses. The company is
looking to expand their operations in Europe and the U.S., with Lu Changqing, the executive
director and vice president saying, “We’re actively seeking cooperation in Europe and the U.S.,
including potential acquisitions.”
Employee contribution and a commitment to excellence have been key to the company’s success.
Certain elements— like responsible corporate citizenship and operation management with
integrity—are built into corporate values. The trick was transforming a corporate slogan into a
corporate reality. In 2012 the Chinese government certified China Company as a “State
Accredited Enterprise Technology Centre.
China Company was recognized not only for its technology, leadership, and strategy, but also for
the fact that its management practices were inspirational to other companies in China. Li Beibei,
the director of public affairs of China Company, believed the award showed that the company’s
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achievements went beyond its production and technology. It was recognized for its innovative
business culture, management practices, and broad vision.
The company’s single principal shareholder, Liu Zhongtian—a self-made billionaire, who
according to Forbes had a net worth of US$3.2 billion as of May 2015—said the company’s
rapid growth has been a result of “perseverance and determination.”
As a result of its long-held desire for the business to become a world-class international
producer, the company has initiated a shift toward high-end, high-value-added products. The
business has expanded not only by increasing its production capabilities, but also through
horizontal expansion. This expansion has allowed it greater dominance in the domestic Chinese
market, as well as the export market.
China Company’s core values are fivefold. First, it tries to add value and grow alongside its
customers; second, it develops its own talent, particularly in relation to innovation, teamwork,
and pursuit of excellence. Third, China Company wants to create sustainable earnings growth
and reward investors and shareholders. The fourth core value is to be a responsible corporate
citizen and to do business with integrity, which includes supporting charities and community
events. Finally, it is to establish a business that is trusted by customers and to retain and develop
key employees to push the business forward into the future. The company also professes a
“customers first” philosophy. Employee training focuses on responding to customer
requirements and changing market needs in order to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.
The aluminum business had to position itself carefully, responding to the demands of the
external environment. Rather than react to environmental issues, organizations like China
Company have taken immediate steps to cut down on energy use and reduce waste. Globally, the
industry can boast that aluminum is the most commonly recycled metal in the world. Clearly,
this approach permeates enterprises such as China Company as part of its overall commitment to
social responsibility.
China Company is committed to the lifelong learning and career development of the employees,
helping each person to effectively combine their talent development goals with corporate
development. The company conducted operational and theoretical skill training for specialized
operational personnel; they also worked with local government bodies to offer Pre-appointment
Bridge-up Training,” a training program for laid-off workers to help develop their professional
skills and operation capabilities. Training programs were organized with a total participation of
27,470 individuals, with all staff members having enrolled. To acknowledge the achievements of
the employees, China Company awarded titles of “May Day” medal and “Workers’ Vanguard”
for excellent performance.
As a member of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, China Company continues to have great access
to potential investment. The company is ranked first among the major Chinese aluminum
companies and continues to expand. In retaining its core values of commitment, diligence,
responsibility, and innovation, the business has become a major developer and manufacturer of
high-quality aluminum products in the world, and at the same time reflects thoughtful response
to demands from the external environment.
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Case # 2- Discussion Questions
1. What are China Company’s corporate values? How do you think these values influence
the way employees do their work?
2. Using the company’s corporate values, describe the organizational culture. In which areas
would you say that the company’s culture is very high (or typical)? Explain.
3. How is China Company’s corporate culture maintained?
4. “The right culture with the right values will always produce the best organizational
performance.” What do you think of this statement? Do you agree? Why or why not?
CASE # 3 (Crisis Planning at Livestrong Foundation)
In 1996, Lance Armstrong, the now-disgraced pro cyclist, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Only 25 years old when he found out he had cancer, Armstrong chose to focus on being a
survivor, not a victim. During his personal battle with cancer, he soon realized there was a
critical lack of resources for individuals facing this disease. He decided to start a foundation
devoted to helping others manage their lives on the cancer journey. Since 1998, the Livestrong
Foundation has served millions of people affected by cancer. But in October 2012, everything
turned upside down for the organization. That’s when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its
report that “concluded once and for all that Lance Armstrong, the cancer charity’s founder and
chairman, was guilty of doping during his legendary cycling career.”
Doug Ulman, CEO and president of the Livestrong Foundation at the time, said he remembers
that day clearly. In fact, he had anticipated for months that this day would come. As good
friends, Ulman had believed Armstrong’s statements of innocence over the years. But now,
“there was no more hiding.” After the news broke, Ulman called a meeting of every one of the
foundation’s 100-person staff, all squeezing into the foundation’s boardroom. There, shoulder to
shoulder and crammed together, the suspicions and tingling uncertainties all of a sudden became
all too real. When Ulman announced that the organization could no longer “defend” its founder,
it was a defining, watershed moment. Livestrong, the once highflying charity which had raised
half a billion dollars over the years, was now facing a crisis—maybe even a life-or death crisis—
of its own. Now, Livestrong would be operating in “life without Lance” mode.
Although it might be tempting to write off Livestrong as a hopeless case, Ulman and the rest of
Livestrong’s staff have worked hard to keep the foundation viable and focused on its purpose.
It’s not to ignore the challenges facing the Crisis Planning at Livestrong Foundation
organization, because those challenges are significant. But in managing through the crisis,
Ulman had to keep staff morale up and make plans to transform and distance itself from Mr.
Armstrong. One piece of advice he received from a crisis communications firm was to take the
opportunity to get the foundation’s message out. Like many of the cancer sufferers it helps,
Livestrong wanted to come out on the other side stronger than ever. It’s not been easy. The
foundation has lost some of its biggest sponsors, including Nike and RadioShack. Revenues fell
in 2012 and 2013. But in addition to his “crisis management” responsibilities, Ulman has been
formulating plans and strategies. He says, “It’s so ironic—we are in the business of survivorship,
that’s what we do. Now we find ourselves dealing with the same circumstances in a totally
different place.”
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A new phase in Livestrong’s history began in early 2015. The foundation’s Board of Directors
announced a new president and CEO, Chandini Portteus. She comes to Livestrong from Susan G.
Komen, the most widely known, largest, and best funded breast cancer organization in the
United States. With her extensive knowledge and skills in fundraising, global programming, and
advocacy, Livestrong has an individual well-versed in the challenges of leading this organization
into the future.
Case # 3- Discussion Questions
1. Could an organization even plan for this type of situation? If yes, how? If not, why not?
2. How would goals be useful in this type of situation? What types of goals might be
3. What types of plans will be useful to Livestrong? Explain why you think these plans
would be important.
4. What lessons about planning can managers learn from what Livestrong has endured?
Google doesn’t do anything halfway. So when it decided to “build a better boss,” it did what it
does best: look at data.42 Using data from performance reviews, feedback surveys, and
supporting papers turned in for individuals being nominated for top-manager awards, Google
tried to find what a great boss is and does. The project, dubbed Project Oxygen, examined some
100 variables and ultimately identified eight characteristics or habits of Google’s most effective
managers. Here are the “big eight”:
• Provide an unambiguous vision of the future;
• Help individuals to reach their long-term work goals;
• Express interest in employees’ well-being;
• Ensure you have the necessary technical abilities to support employee efforts;
• Display effective communication skills, especially listening;
• Provide coaching support when needed;
• Focus on being productive and on end results; and
• Avoid over-managing; let your team be responsible.
At first glance, you’re probably thinking that these eight attributes seem pretty simplistic and
obvious and you may be wondering why Google spent all this time and effort to uncover these.
Even Google’s vice president for people operations, Laszlo Bock, said, “My first reaction was,
that’s it?” Another writer described it as “reading like a whiteboard gag from an episode of The
Office.” But, as the old saying goes, there was more to this list than meets the eye.
When Bock and his team began looking closer and rank ordering the eight items by importance,
Project Oxygen got interesting—a lot more interesting! And to understand this, you must
understand something about Google’s approach to management since its founding in 1999. Plain
and simple, managers were encouraged to “leave people alone. Let the engineers do their stuff. If
they become stuck, they’ll ask their bosses, whose deep technical expertise propelled them to
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management in the first place.” It’s not hard to see what Google wanted its managers to be—
outstanding technical specialists. Mr. Bock explains, “In the Google context, we’d always
believed that to be a manager, particularly on the engineering side, you need to be as deep or
deeper a technical expert than the people who work for you.” However, Project Oxygen revealed
that technical expertise was ranked number eight (very last) on the list. So, here’s the complete
list from most important to least important, along with what each characteristic entails:
• Provide coaching support when needed (provide specific feedback and have regular one-onone meetings with employees; offer solutions tailored to each employee’s strengths)
• Avoid over-managing; let your team be responsible (give employees space to tackle
problems themselves, but be available to offer advice)
• Express interest in employees’ well-being (make new team members feel welcome and get
to know your employees as people)
• Focus on being productive and on end results (focus on helping the team achieve its goals
by prioritizing work and getting rid of obstacles)
• Display good communication skills, especially listening (learn to listen and to share
information; encourage open dialogue and pay attention to the team’s concerns)
• Help individuals to reach their long-term work goals (notice employees’ efforts so they can
see how their hard work is furthering their careers; appreciate employees’ efforts and make
that appreciation known)
• Provide an unambiguous vision of the future (lead the team but keep everyone involved in
developing and working toward the team’s vision)
• Ensure you have the necessary technical abilities to support employee efforts (understand
the challenges facing the team and be able to help team members solve problems)
Now, managers at Google aren’t just encouraged to be great managers, they know what being a
great manager involves. And the company is doing its part, as well. Using the list, Google started
training managers, as well as providing individual coaching and performance review sessions.
You can say that Project Oxygen breathed new life into Google’s managers. Bock says the
company’s efforts paid off quickly. “We were able to have a statistically significant
improvement in manager quality for 75 percent of our worst-performing managers.”
Case # 4- Discussion Questions
1. Describe the findings of Project Oxygen using the functions approach, Mintzberg’s roles
approach, and the skills approach.
2. Are you surprised at what Google found out about “building a better boss?” Explain your
3. What’s the difference between encouraging managers to be great managers and knowing
what being a great manager involves?
4. What could other companies learn from Google’s experiences?
5. Would you want to work for a company like Google? Why or why not?


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