This report provides the analysis of the interview answers given by Gabriel Richards, the founder and the CEO of Endertech. The purpose of this report is to relate the information provided by Richards to the theoretical concepts of company management, in particular, the four functions of managers, business ethics, and organizational culture. In addition, the role of the manager qualities in relation to managerial success is evaluated. Several key theoretic concepts are supported by peer-reviewed scholarly papers.
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There is no denying that managers play a pivotal role in any company’s success. Gabriel Richards, the founder, and the manager of Los Angeles based Endertech company, offered his insight into what does the job of a manager entails.
Endertech is a web design and software development company that specializes in Internet-related services such as e-commerce, content management, social network development, and hosting (Full Service Web Design & Software Development, n.d.). The company’s core team consists of 17 people who occupy administrative, marketing, and software development positions in the company’s office in Torrance, Los Angeles.
In addition to the local team of multidisciplinary talents, the company employs specialist subcontractors who perform some of the work. Endertech was founded in 2000 and started small by developing local business websites. Over the next few years, the company built several successful e-commerce websites and expanded its product offering to include the services it offers today.
Just as Endertech has changed in the last 16 years, the industry has changed, too. What used to be a niche service is now a big and attractive business area with many small and big agencies competing for the clients’ attention. Today, the web design and software development industry requires a company’s top management to successfully realize several roles: be a web development expert, efficiently plan and organize the work of the team locally and coordinate the work of the contractors, as well as monitor and improve business performance.
According to the management functions theory, there are four main functions performed by a manager: planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling (Caroll & Gillen, 1987). Based on the responses to the first two interview questions, Richards’ responsibilities can be divided into the four primordial managerial functions as follows:
- Planning: Richards has to make sure that his team meets clients’ deadlines. This requires both planning as well as organizational skills, as well as the knowledge of the process of web development. As the CEO of the company, Richards plans efficient operations strategy in order to achieve certain strategic or competitive priorities.
- Organizing: As a founder of the company, Richards was responsible for the company’s current structure as well as the allocation of responsibilities between the members of his team. Richards also works with other managers to envision and update a set of policies and plans which coordinate operational goals. The structure of Endertech allows the company to operate
- Motivating: Richards has to work with his team to ensure their needs are met, and motivate them to improve business performance. Richards motivates his team to create the best customer value and achieve competitive advantage.
- Controlling: Richards supervises the performance of his team and has the final say in the tasks realization process. He establishes quality performance objectives as well as service quality objectives. In addition, he provides guidance to the realization of the company’s projects.
Today, Richards is the CEO of Endertech, which means that he overlooks the overall direction of Endertech, monitors the company’s performance and business environment, and motivates employees. The job of a manager is people-intensive, and according to the founder of Endertech, the most challenging aspect of his work as a manager is employee motivation. Motivation in relation to the business environment is defined as “predisposition to behave in a purposeful manner to achieve specific, unmet needs and the will to achieve, and the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal organizational goals” (Williams, 2013, par. 5).
Richards reckons it is also the most rewarding aspect of the job. He likes mentoring young professionals and motivates his team members by setting personal goals and helping them achieve them. Richards respects his team members’ opinions and adopts a participative leadership style, which implies the need for every team member to have a say in order for them to feel valued and motivate them to do better at their job. Such a working environment allows for a constant exchange of ideas between all the employees. The founder of Endertech notes that such an organizational culture is beneficial for both the employees and the organization as a whole. Control systems established in the company include outlining targets and deadlines for individual team members and reviewing their performance.
It is important to note that although Richards’ started his own business due to his desire to operate his own company, he says he started his own business to create jobs and give back to the community. In relation to business ethics, he claims that being responsible and ethical to his clients is his number one priority. The company’s mission is to provide best-value services for the price, and Richards’ team mostly works with long-term clients, which means they are being very open about what can realistically be achieved in the time given and offers support during all stages of the project.
The founder of Endertech notes that the main difference between an average manager and a top-performing manager lies in the skills and knowledge. He associates such traits as leadership qualities and perceptions management with successful management performance. Leadership traits typically include ambition, leadership motivation, honesty, and integrity (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991, p. 48). Managing perceptions is usually understood as the individual ability to influence other’s perceptions of their actions (Russel, 2001).
Although Richards studied philosophy at the University of California, he always was a tech enthusiast. While at the university, he gained relevant knowledge by operating the database and website of the university admission program. During the same time, he created his first content management system using MySQL and PERL, and this experience was invaluable when he founded his company ((More Than) 15 Years of Endertech, n.d.). Now Richards is not only a manager but also an expert web developer who specializes in database administration using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
What started as a small company in the Richards’ garage, has turned into a successful business with dozens of active clients and a multidisciplinary team of more than 20 people. The most helpful part of the interview was the description of skills and knowledge which contribute to the success of a manager. The top management’s decision to expand its product offering while maintaining the quality of its services allowed the company to secure clients in a competitive industry of web and software development for more than a decade.
(More Than) 15 Years of Endertech. (n.d.). Web.
Carroll, S., & Gillen, D. (1987). Are the Classical Management Functions Useful in Describing Managerial Work? Academy of Management Review, 12(1), 38-51. Web.
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Full-Service Web Design & Software Development. (n.d.). Web.
Kirkpatrick, S., & Locke, E. (1991). Leadership: do traits matter? Academy of Management Executive, 5(2), 48-60. Web.
Russell, J. (2001). Are You Managing Perceptions? Leadership and Management in Engineering, 1(2), 2-2. Web.
Williams, R. (2013). Wired for Success. Web.