This week you will complete a search of literature relating to your initial problem statement for scholarly practice and key questions posed.
Using the topic from your initial problem statement and the questions you posed last week, search the Online Library for articles related to your topic. Focus only on full-text scholarly or peer-reviewed articles or dissertations from databases of scholarly journals such as EBSCO, Ingenta Connect and SAGE Journals Online, and be sure to note the number of results or hits that you get. Finally, narrow or broaden your results so that you have approximately 15 viable sources.(journal articles)
Use these resources to create a literature map like that presented in this week’s journal article. You may also create a traditional outline. In addition to creating the outline or map, address the following
• What are the trends in the literature?
• What aspects of the topic have been researched?
• What aspects of the topic need to be researched further, according to the articles?
Initial Problem Statement
Over recent years, my most valued senior manager who is extremely well respected in the organization continually challenges my position as the managing director with regard to my policies, decisions and strategies of managing the organization. It is imperative that a solution to the problem is reached in the near future as the management team is developing divided loyalties between, which are now impacting on my ability to be fully operational in my duties as the head of the organization. As the organization in in the process expanding its national footprint, it is unable to absorb both conflict in senior management and the strains of national expansion without a dip in service levels.
To move forward on this issue I require to have an understanding of the actions and behaviour of the senior manager and the and primarily the motivating factors and rationale for her inducing such conflict. Coupled to this I need to be clear on the affect this conflict has on the surrounding staff, how visible it is in the environment and what steps I might take to deal with the situation with dignity in a respectful manner while still maintaining my management style in adding value to the organization. In support of the above statement I believe that the employees of the organisation would be at ease at the thought of a compromise been met and a harmony reinstated in the management of the organization. As being a founder member of the organization and always putting the interests of the organization first I accept that there is no easy solution to this problem.
For me to come to terms with the magnitude of the problem and to institute an effective strategy in finding a compatible solution to the issue at hand could, have a debilitating effect on my current and future position in the organization if not handled in the correct manner. As the senior manager started in the organization as junior from school around fifteen years ago and I have formed strong personal ties with her friends and family who look up to me in many ways, I am under huge peer pressure to handle this situation in the appropriate manner as there is an emotional connotation attached to my every action.
Respecting that myself as the managing director, being the overall head of the organization is responsible for making the major decisions, I am occasionally placed in the precarious situation where senior managers may disagree with my decisions eliciting a conflict (Baker, 2004). It is expected of me that he interests of the organization are always placed before personal needs and aspirations. I also am under no misconception that if conflict between us is not tamed, it will create friction at the top management level leaving the employees left in the precarious position of “no man’s land” on which camp to support which can only result in employee divided loyalties.
The problem issue identified can cause some of the major undoing of an organization, as conflicting management styles are enough to bring down the entire organization (Hirsch, 2003). The remedy to such problem may include the re-structuring of management in a way that more emphasis is attached to the implementation of company policy which is unanimously supported by top management. Revans (1998) stated that “responsible action is, in itself, an effective learning process”, which exemplifies the fact that to move forward positively, constructive measures need to be taken and we should learn from these situations. The solving of top management issues will allay the possibilities of mixed signals been sent through the divisions and inherently affecting the morale of the employees who should not be compelled to choose between the conflicting parties.
Conclusively, to be at the top of things, all the senior managers should work as a team as this will not only strengthen management, but all employees and the lower level management will be strongly support the decisions reached by senior management. There is great benefit for both myself and for the organization in finding an amiable solution to the problem as it can only foster organizational relationships in general, which would intern instill a new level of respect for management and allow me to build on my relationships with my management team and staff in the future.
Several questions arise from my problem as follows: As a manager, how is it possible to promote co-existence within the management to enhance coordinated efforts within the organization? How can the organization address staff needs while at the same time maintaining the organization’s objectives? Which is the best strategy to ensure shareholder satisfaction in order to promote continuity?
In order to answer these questions, literature can help me greatly through providing valuable information that various authors have researched on management strategy. This will essentially translate into better knowledge and capacity to make imperative decisions on behalf of the organization (Oliver, 2012). Answering these questions through literature constitutes of learning, which according to Fenwick (2003) greatly empowers learners. This empowerment occurs through capacity building, characterized by mastery of one’s work; facilitation; advocacy, which encompasses better ability to advocate for one’s needs; illumination or engagement in self-assessment and applying knowledge; and liberation, which basically promotes power of self-determination (Fenwick, 2003). Accordingly, literature will play a great role in enhancing my knowledge, confidence and capability to make more strategic decisions on behalf of my organization.
Question setting in research, learning and action is of great importance as it assures that problems are addressed amicably through creative strategies to assure positive outcome. In research and learning, question setting helps to define the problem and thus effectively search for possible answers. According to Marquardt (2007), questions help individuals to think critically and analytically, create clarity, challenge assumptions, encourage breakthrough thinking and create ownership of solutions. Question setting thereby promotes better solutions through greater understanding of underlying problems and elimination of narrow minded thinking; thus improving research in a significant manner.
Question setting in action particularly in management promotes better decision making through encouraging contribution. Marquardt (2007) notes that in the contemporary world and considering the rapid change in environmental factors, a leader may not know enough to effectively guide subordinates on what to do. Instead, asking questions will enhance efficiency through allowing employees to provide answers to their problems. Asking the right questions helps people in finding the best solutions, promoting creativity and increased self-confidence to handle future challenges. In Torbert (1999), the author envisions the four categories of learning (visioning, strategizing, performing and assessing) and forms a model of learning known as “Enactment and single-, double-, and triple-loop learning across the four territories of experience”. In the visioning and strategizing categories, questioning or inquiry is very important as it guides the participants on where problems exist and possible ways of resolving them. Question setting therefore emerges as a very important action in the organization setting.
Questions for research, learning and actions developed through my problematization are as follows: What actions are required to improve management capability in order to promote shareholder satisfaction? How can managers’ differences in perspectives be consolidated to promote more focused decision making while reducing conflicts?
Searching for possible sources of literature will be guided by the questions stated above because they dictate the intended purpose of research. Through analyzing the key phrases and ideas as portrayed in the questions, it is possible to select sources that will amicably answer these questions (Oliver, 2012). Collaboration with facilitators will help identify the most suitable sources of literature. The role of facilitators in action learning problem analysis includes problem analysis and data collection (Fenwick, 2002). This means that facilitators will play a significant role in searching for possible sources of literature. Given that action learning calls for collaboration within a group in order to address a particular problem or dilemma in the organization, the facilitators will play a great role in data collection.
• Fenwick, T. J. (2002). Emancipatory potential of action learning: a critical analysis. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16 (6), 619 – 632.
• Marquardt, M. J. (2007). The power of great questions. T+D, 61(2), 92-93.
• Oliver, P. (2012). Succeeding with Your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students. New York: McGraw-Hill International
• Torbert, W. R. (1999). The Distinctive Questions Developmental Action Inquiry Asks. Management Learning 1999 30 (2): 189-206.