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Principles of Management (MGMT 130) Exam 1 Answer all questions. Compare and contrast the relative importance of the four characteristics that companies look for in managers as they rise through the management hierarchy. That is, describe the similarities and differences in these characteristics among lower, middle, and upper-level managers and explain the reasons for the differences. Top managers are responsible for (1) creating a context for change, (2) developing attitudes of commitment and ownership, (3) creating a positive organizational culture through words and actions, and (4) monitoring their company’s business environment. Of these four dimensions, which ones do you think can also be significantly impacted by the day-to-day actions of middle managers, first-line managers, and team leaders? Explain the rationale for your answer. Compare and contrast the managerial roles of liaison, spokesperson, and negotiator. Explain both the similarities that link these roles behaviorally and the differences Mintzberg draws between them. Describe environmental change and its relationship to punctuated equilibrium theory. Give an example of an industry whose environments are characterized by the punctuated equilibrium model in recent years. Identify and discuss the implications of changes in the political/legal component of the general environment facing organizations over the past decade. Give one example of a relevant recent change. What is the best way for companies to manage their legal responsibilities? Identify and explain the three-step process that managers use to make sense of changes in their external environments. Explain how environmental scanning contributes to organizational performance. Discuss the nature and value of integrity testing to management as a tool in encouraging ethical decision making in their organizations. What is social responsiveness? Identify the four strategies that can be used to respond to social responsibility problems. How do these strategies differ? Use the relationship between social responsibility and economic performance to explain why a company might choose one strategy over another in a given set of circumstances.
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FACE THE FUTURE Times don’t seem to be much better to be in the oil business. Sure, there have been some bumps in the road the past few years—the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and unstable prices and supply due to political situations. But there’s one piece of news that makes all those obstacles easier to deal with—profits are up, and not just a little bit either. Profits are positively soaring. Exxon announced that its earnings for the most recent quarter were up 69 percent from the previous year, to $10.65 billion. Royal Dutch Shell posted an increase of 30 percent to $6.29 billion, even while experiencing a 2.5 percent decrease in production, and Occidental Petroleum’s earnings jumped 46 percent to $1.55 billion. Times certainly seem to be great, but there are many executives in your company who are pushing for big changes. Sure, they argue, revenues and earnings and profits are sky-high right now. But what about the future? Consumers and governments around the world are growing more concerned about oil—about how it impacts the environment and about whether there will be enough to meet fuel demands. In response to these concerns, there has been much research and development dedicated to alternative fuel vehicles, from all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, to gas-electric hybrids like the Chevy Volt or hydrogen-powered cars like the Honda FCX Clarity. And consumers have responded quite favorably. In just four short months, GM sold over 2,000 Volts and Nissan sold over 1,000 Leafs. What’s even a more encouraging sign is that nearly 20,000 customers have already paid a deposit to be put on a waiting list for the Leaf, and almost 54,000 are on the Volt waiting list. The executives pushing for change point to these figures as a sign that the auto industry will soon experience a dramatic shift. They’re arguing that the age of the gasoline engine (along with gas stations and gas companies) will soon be over, replaced by a more environmentally friendly method of fueling cars. In their view, the company should act now, and quickly, to take advantage of this shift by investing in a nation-wide network of electric charging stations, where consumers recharge their all-electric or plug-in hybrid cars. That way, when gas-engine technology is eventually surpassed, your company will be in prime position to provide recharging infrastructure to the entire country. There are others in the company, however, who doubt that this is the right step to take. Although they recognize that gas engines may not last forever, they’re not convinced that it’s a technology in decline. They recognize as well that sales of electric cars and hybrids are on the rise, but these are still microscopic compared to the 11.5 million conventional cars sold in the United States or the 18 million sold in China last year. They are also concerned that all-electric cars are just one choice among many alternative fuels; there are also hydrogen-powered cars, natural gas–powered cars, biofuels, and who knows what else will be developed in the future. Their great worry is that the company will spend huge amounts of time and money to develop a recharging network only to have another alternative fuel rise as the dominant design. So what should the company do? Should it look the future right now, even as its earnings from oil are near record highs? Or should it stay the course? For this Management Team Decision, form a group with three or four other students and answer the questions below. Sources: Nevin Batiwalla, “Nissan’s Leaf Sales Spike in April,” Nashville Business Journal, May 3, 2011, accessed May 9, 2011, from www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/05/03/nissan-leaf-sales-spike.html; “China 2010 Auto Sales Reach 18 Million, Extend Lead,” Bloomberg Businessweek, January 10, 2011, accessed May 9, 2011, from www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-10/china-2010-auto-sales-reach-18-million-extend-lead-update1-.html; Craig Trudell “U.S. Auto Sales Probably Rose, Completed 2010 Rebound,” Bloomberg Businessweek, January 3, 2011, accessed May 9, 2011, from www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-03/u-s-auto-sales-may-match-2010-high-complete-first-annual-gain-in-5-years.html; GM Volt Wait List Data, accessed May 9, 2011, from http://gm-volt.com/wait-list-data/; Isabel Ordonez, “Exxon, Shell Profits Soar On Higher Oil Prices,” The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2011, accessed May 9, 2011, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704330404576291350999515650.html; “Sales Update: Nissan Leaf Hits 573, Chevy Volt at 493 in April,”Autoblog.com, May 3, 2011, accessed May 9, 2011, from www.autoblog.com/2011/05/03/sales-update-nissan-leaf-hits-573-chevy-volt-at-493-in-april/. Questions What is your recommendation for how the company should proceed? Should it take action on developing an alternative fuel network or wait until a dominant design arises What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a technology format before a dominant design arises? What steps could the company take to help ensure that electric engines become the dominant design?
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Principles of Management (MGMT 130) World Trade Organization (WTO) Assignment Go to wto.org Click on WTO and you (you don’t have to sign up for anything) Click INFORMATION FOR and scroll down to Students – click on this link The purpose of the students and young professionals page is to: ‘Explore this page to find out more about the work of the WTO, opportunities for students and young professionals, and how trade is relevant to you and your country.’ Explore the web site and address each: THE WTO… In Brief -state Transcribe – one sentence Understanding the WTO Name and summarize the 3 components that characterize what the WTO does 10 things the WTO can do Pick 2 things from the 10 Briefly describe the situation and what the WTO does to aid Click on What does your country trade? and answer Who are the U.S’s 5 primary trading partners? What are some of the opportunities for students and young professionals? Has the exploration of the WTO website improved your understanding of how trade is relevant to you and your country? If so, how? If not, what type of information would have?
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