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Information technology is probably the most dynamic sector in any economy. What is new and essential today may not be important the following day. Various new technologies are discovered each and every day. Moreover, due to the dynamic nature of the business environment, requirements of each business entity keep on changing now and again.
As a result, information technology companies are faced by a trick scenario of ensuring that they improve their services as time goes by. If creativity is not part of the vision of an information technology firm, then there is no need of the firm being in business.
Customers need to get the latest technology and a firm that is able to come up with new technologies takes all businesses. Consequently, the managerial strategies used in information technology firm are very crucial.
Special Requirements of Information Technology Firms
The dynamic nature of human needs makes the world of technology to change rapidly. In this regard, information technology companies will have to enhance their skills so as to meet the changing needs. Consequently, innovation is crucial for any company that deals with information technology.
To meet this criterion, firms need to find ways of encouraging ingenuity among their employees. For example, though critics argue that Google has been lagging behind in terms of innovation, the fact is that Google comes up with new ideas every so often (Morden, 2007).
Self driving cars, Google glass, Google maps, Android just to name but a few are among the most influential innovations by Google which are as a result of employees being encouraged to be creative (Sutherland 2012). It is also important to note that Google comes up with innovations on issues that affect many people in society.
Moreover, information technology firms should be keen on ensuring that their products can be used on various devices that are commonly used, this include phones and other electronic gadgets. Innovativeness also helps in boosting confidence of consumers thus increasing its market control.
Therefore, an information technology firm needs to manifest itself as a market leader in the information technology sector. On the other hand, information technology companies have to invest in other projects that are not among their core business but which are of important value to people. This may include research on alternative sources of energy (Ledel & Stoll 2013). Using its innovativeness in various projects that benefit the common person boosts it ranking among people.
Different Managerial Styles
There are different managerial styles that can be applied by managers. To begin with, there are those managers who dictate what they want to be done in the organization. These types of managers tend to think that they know everything and there is nothing that any person can tell them. If an employee does not do what these managers say they are bound to be in trouble with the manager.
To these managers, threat and discipline is the method to ensure that employees agree with them. The manager set rules and expects employees to follow them to the latter (Grembergen, 2004). The method has various disadvantages one of them being that it does not allow employee learning to take place.
Moreover, it makes employees feel intimidated. Employees will work only when the manager is around to oversee them, otherwise they will stop working. Nevertheless, it is the most appropriate method during crisis. Another type of management that is mostly applied is the authoritative strategy. This is managerial strategy where the manager acts as a director while employees complete their tasks individually (Morden, 2007).
Managers practicing this type of marketing strategy are likely to use performance evaluation as a means of motivating employees to enhance their output. However, these managers are known to be firm but a little flexible. It is the best managerial system to use when the job in question needs clear guidelines and employees are knowledgeable of their roles (Chew & Gottschalk, 2009).
Nevertheless if employees are new and they do not know the procedure well, this type of managerial system will most likely lead to losses. Some managers are known to be highly flexible and allow each member of the team to contribute in any decision that is made. Before a decision is made, all members of the concerned department should agree.
Rewards are part of this managerial strategy with good performers being rewarded. It builds a sense of belonging by allowing all employees to make inputs thus motivating them to work hard. Many people like to work in an environment where they are treated as part of the organization and not as outsiders (Grembergen, 2004). The benefit of this management style is that it encourages team work.
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On the same note, work cannot stop when a manager is not present since members are used to work on their own. However, in times of crisis this system is not effective. Additionally, it cannot be the best strategy to use in case of implementing a new idea.
Another management strategy is the coaching style. Here, the manager works hard to ensure that employees develop their talent areas. The manager aims at discovering the gifts of each employee and maximize on the same (Ledel & Stoll, 2013). The management style provides a lot of opportunities for career development which highly motivates employees.
On the same note, self development as well as training of employees is allowed under this management strategy. On the other hand, the management style’s success depends on the expertise of the manager and will therefore not work in cases where managers are not well trained.
Applicability to Information Technology Firms
After discussing the various types of management strategies available, it is high time we discuss which of the strategies is applicable for information technology firms. It has been highlighted that information technology firms require high degree of ingenuity in order to meet the changing human needs. As a result, mechanical management style will not be applicable.
Employees need flexible management regulations so that they can feel safe to try any new idea that they come up with. It should be the role of employees to determine the best way to execute their duties (Sutherland, 2012). Arguably, ingenuity is highly dependent on the easiness with which one can execute his or her duties. It is, therefore, clear that democracy is vital as it regards management in information technology firms.
Dictatorial type of management will require that each employee only does what the managers say and this will kill the morale of creativity (Case, 2007). It should be noted that attitude of employees determines their behavior at work and by extension their degree of ingenuity.
Another factor that boosts performance in many information technology firms is the way their personnel is recruited and handled. The recruitment is done in a vigorous way that ensures only best talents are brought into the company. While it is a norm in other companies that recruitment is strictly an exercise of top management and other employees, especially junior ones have no role; information technology companies should be different.
Each employee should be given an opportunity of evaluating and giving his or her comments regarding a new employee. A system should be in place which allows all employees to comment about any employee that is about to be recruited (Sutherland 2012). As a result, the possibility of getting the best employees is high thus enhancing efficiency of the company.
Moreover, it is a well known fact that when employees are allowed to contribute to various issues, their satisfaction is enhanced which enhances their productivity. Employees cannot optimally contribute to an organization if they feel that they are not valued. In this regard, involvement of employees in the process of evaluating a new employee boosts their morale though they are not part of the final interview panel.
On the same note, employees working in a relaxed environment enhance their creativity adding to the company’s innovativeness (Stewart, 2013). The fact that all employees are encouraged to be innovative and come up with new ideas enhances their willingness to work for a company thus reducing labor turnover rate.
In addition, all employees at the firm should be paid according to their performance. Performance evaluation is supposed to be impartial and just. Justice and equal treatment of all employees should be the slogan. Moreover, extraordinary performance requires equitable reward whether on personal or group basis. In this way the loyalty of employees is enhanced while at the same time their output is increased.
Employees are able to access free services which are also of high quality. Leaves and offs should also be very accommodative. On the same note, there should be a lot of other recreational facilities to increase satisfaction of employees (Stewart 2013). This will in the end increase the probability of employees coming up with new ideas and products for their customers.
Most of the employees in Information technology firms are in the technical sector. As a matter of fact, technical people work best when they are only guided and left to carry out the duties on their own. In this regard, a mixture of participative and coaching leadership strategies is the best way of managing the technical staff. However, technical department is not the only department in information technology firms.
There are other departments which include the financial departments (Ledel & Stoll, 2013). Some of these departments require everything to be done in a particular order and deviation from these will lead to losses to the firm. Managers of these departments need a strict manager who will ensure that all protocols are followed to the latter. Consequently, the leadership style that should be applied in any information technology firms should depend on departmental needs and requirements.
Strategic Human Resource Management
Any given strategy that is chosen by a firm should take into consideration the effects it may have on the operations of the firm after implementation. In this light, the relationship between the organizational culture and structure is very essential in ensuring that smooth running of the company is not affected whenever a new strategy is introduced (Case, 2007).
It should be noted that for the intended strategy to be effectively realized during implementation, the environment in which the firm is operating should be given serious attention. On top, strategies, structure and culture are so much entangled that a change in one requires the others also to be changed so as to avoid friction in the operations of the firms.
Consequently, though a strategy is developed at a specific point in time, its implementation goes on continuously to ensure that it catches up with the changes in structure and culture (Morden, 2007). For multinational companies, differences in national culture are very essential and must always be put into consideration whenever any strategy is introduced.
However, company structure must be maintained when both culture and strategy are being addressed in order to ensure that company goals are achieved. Job satisfaction plays an important role in ensuring that service offered to customers are of high quality. Any firm should therefore ensure that employee satisfaction is achieved through motivation, which is part of its organizational culture (Chew & Gottschalk, 2009).
This is achieved through special focus on the health and welfare of the employees as well as protection from unexpected life styles after being employed. Since culture plays an important role in any firm’s activities, any firm should not try to force an organizational structure of one region to another region.
As a result, implementation of an organizational structure that is compatible with local cultures is essential. Additionally, firms should employ democratic type of management where employees also give their ideas concerning what should be done besides them being allowed to make some decisions as a team (Grembergen, 2004).
This enables the firm to motivate employees as well as enhancing employee empowerment. On top, this management style enables the implementation of any strategy to be achieved easily since it builds a sense of belonging among the employees besides fostering the organizational culture.
To any firm, labor is the most priced input as it actually determines the running of the day-to-day activities of a firm. Firms should invest a great deal on matters affecting its employees and their welfare while they are working with them. Employees’ satisfaction is paramount.
Consequently, everything should be done to ensure that the employees are comfortable (Stewart, 2013) Employees will be willing to work in a firm where they feel that their needs are given serious attention and they will want to stay longer in these firms.
Once employees have been hired into a firm, a relationship is established whereby the hierarchy of needs satisfaction is the guide. Employees should be built and groomed continuously through inside trainings and other workshops. On top of that employees also need to be given incentives like rewards and benefits to improve their attitude towards their responsibilities therefore increasing their probability of stay with an organization (Sutherland, 2012).
Arguably, promotions should be given depending on the performance of a person and other more measurable factors, which makes the process open and transparent. This not only motivates employees to deliver to their maximum, but also satisfies them that their efforts will not go to waste thus encouraging them to continue working for the company.
Health of employees should be paramount to management, as well as the change in lifestyle due to joining the workforce of the organization. Moreover, besides employees having to individually strive to attain their laid down goals, they should be encouraged to work as a team for better results (Morden, 2007).
Their suggestions to the management about what they feel should be done should be taken into consideration whenever decisions are made. This helps in creating a sense of belonging among the employees which is an important factor in retaining employee.
Every human resource manager wants to have people who can help the company to move forward. Big companies especially multinational firms face a lot of challenges when it comes to recruitment and selection. In some countries, strict adherence to company values is paramount. However, in other countries, professional qualification is crucial (Case, 2007).
Human resource managers have also to change their age requirements depending on the country they are operating given that different cultures give emphasis to different age sets. Employees need to be continuously trained so that they can develop their skills and improve their performance. It is the initiative of human resource managers to determine who will go for training and when.
While some people will be comfortable with mechanical training schedules where management has the final say on who will be trained, others like to be trained on their own initiative. Consequently, human resource managers are usually faced with the challenge of determining which procedure to use (Stewart, 2013). It is important to note that the problem is complicated by the fact that people from different cultural backgrounds work in the same branch yet they demand different treatment.
Most importantly, human resource management is about managing people in a given institutional setting. However, geographical dispersion means that people from different cultural and religious backgrounds are employed in the same organization (Lendel & Stoll, 2013).
In addition, these people usually have different moral and ethical behaviors. Human resource managers are expected to treat all employees without discrimination while at the same time religious and cultural backgrounds should be given consideration. Managing these people is a daunting task for managers of both international and local firms.
Information technology is changing very first and a firm cannot afford to be static. As a result, many firms are doing all they can to ensure that they develop new products before the others. However, the problem is that nowadays technological leaking is very high. If a firm does not guard its technology properly, the information will leak to the competitor who will produce the product very fast.
On the same note, globalization has led to increased demands for information technology. Products that were anciently designed for one region only are now used in the globe. In this regard, employees are coming from different cultural backgrounds (Chew & Gottschalk, 2009). Managers are expected to guide all these employees to enhance their creativity while at the same time respecting their cultural background.
Similarly, expectations of people are changing each and every day. It is, therefore, tricky for managers for they have to ensure new products are produced each day. If a firm is not able to come up with products to meet consumers’ needs, the blame is placed on managers.
Management strategies determine to a larger extent the success of any firm. Therefore, each firm should ensure that the management strategy that is being used is acceptable by everybody in the firm. For the case of information technology firms, they have different requirements for each department. Technical departments which are arguably the most vital department require democratic managerial strategy.
It, therefore, goes without saying that participative managerial style is the most effective for the technical team. As a result having one managerial style for the whole firm will not work. Each department should have a managerial strategy as per the needs of the department.
Case, G. (2007). Service Management Strategies That Work: Guidance for Executives. Hogeweg: Van Haren Publishing.
Chew, E. K. & Gottschalk, P. (2009). Information Technology Strategy and Management: Best Practices. Hershey: IGI Global.
Grembergen, W. V. (2004). Strategies for Information Technology Governance. Hershey: Idea Group Inc.
Ledel, J. & Stoll, J. (2013). Spotify CEO: eating Google’s lunch and loving it. The Wall Street Journal, 43(2), B7.
Morden, T. (2007). Principles of Strategic Management. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing.
Stewart, J. B. (2013, March 15). Looking for a lesson in Google’s perks. The new York Times. Web.
Sutherland, A. (2012). The story of Google. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.