Discovering Possibilities in Personnel Management in an Environment of Challenges

Vladimiras Gražulis, Jonas Jagminas

Abstract


One of the main characteristics of modern day economic activity is the increasing number of companies with employees, producible goods and services provided that are constantly crossing national borders. The internationalization of activity of organizations over the past 15 years is concurrent with the globalization of management processes. Companies with fewer than 20 employees are becoming increasingly active in this process and their influence on the economic and social results of nations are at a constant growth. In this respect, it can justifiably be said that an organization’s successful practice is mostly predicated by their managers’ preparation to get involved in the processes of the times, when one of the main aspects of their activity becomes the ability to involve human resources in the changes that time has wrought and to effectively organize the activity of their employees. This is of prime significance to Lithuanian organizations, because studies conducted in the field of human resources illustrate that most organization leaders have insufficient competence to involve their personnel in change while also actively integrating in the processes of current times themselves. Remarks made by European Union (EU) experts that Lithuania should pay more attention to investment to immaterial assets, remain relevant to this day. The first section of the article outlines the viewpoint of Lithuanian and foreign management professionals on management theories and characteristics of practice in an environment of new challenges, and the portrait of a manager in the world of the present. K Adams (1996) notes that managers operating in an international environment have little to do with manager activity solely based on the national characteristics of their country. It is acknowledged in the article that globalization of management necessitates pursuit of reconciliation of internal and external environments and demands for constant changes within its organizations. Accordingly, managers have to initiate change and pursue managing the destiny of the organization itself, i.e. be „proactive“. In addition, managers are responsible for maintaining the balance of „collective“ and „personal“ domains; therefore their activity should be based on „reactivity“. The author of the article consents with a remark made by J.M. Kouzes and B. Z. Posner (2003), that optimal results cannot be reached by maintaining the standing situation, therefore, the main condition for the survival of organizations in the environment of management globalization and increasing competition becomes not so much the decision whether to accept or reject change, but the decision how to participate in change as well as when and how to implement reforms in one’s organization. The author presents his vision on the variables that influence the world of a modern manager by summarizing the manager’s universe of the recent decades and by utilizing Harvard Professor M. Porter’s (1990) theoretical „Diamond“ model on competitive advantages. The second section of the article covers the topicalities of current day management practice. The stereotype of the chrestomathic organization manager that formed in the West (which poorly evaluates the situational world of a manager, therefore insufficiently considers circumstances, under which, managers differently plan, organize and motivate) has taken deep roots in Lithuanian management study programs. However, by focusing most attention on developing their business, managers pay little attention to the competence of their employees and improving their skills. It is noted in the article, that the viewpoint of an organization as a living system is not progressing enough in Lithuania. This section presents results of empirical research conducted by the author, which confirm the statements made by various professionals that many managers in Lithuania are still not sufficiently oriented towards the rapidly changing world of the manager due to gaps in knowledge of management theory. In the third section of the article identifies the causes for the situation at hand - the poor quality of management studies, because most viewpoints presented in textbooks still invoke the concept of a simple and unchanging manager’s world; textbook information is not tied with practice and the main focus during classes falls on dictation, which results in chaotic teaching. This section presents the author’s viewpoint on studies of management in the circumstances of change, with their main quality being the ability to motivate students to cultivate personal skills - to get initial experience in independent interest on the theoretical provisions of management; to get to know one’s personal qualities; to prepare for participation in change and to become aware of other of one’s merits and demerits. It is acknowledged in the article that effective teaching of management is impossible if students do not accept the study methodology proposed by the lecturer and the latter fails to compose a common team with students. Conclusions of the conducted research are presented at the end of the article.

Keywords


the world of manager; changes; the studies of management/personnel management; the excel studies

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603