Contemporary Issues and Challenges

Contemporary Issues

It is very evident that changing demographics have been sighted as main causes of greatest long term issues that constantly facing society and business. These changes in demographics have increasingly prompt to debates both in national and local level. Demographic issues on management constantly raise the concern of ensuring that it needs a broader societal approach. In this paper we are going to focus on main issues, whether negative and positive which are currently facing businesses over both medium and long term periods. It should be clear that older generation standards of poverty is not a major issue either socially, economically or physically in the day today. It have been noted that the right to development has constantly be denied, with the older working force perceived as the minority interest when the issue of organizational management is raised. Poverty and social exclusion still remain the major stumbling block towards the current realization that the ageing work force are human beings and are therefore protected by human rights or professional ethics in both developing and developed counties.

Rapid increase in population and demographic across the world has been known to factor out the various changes that are been associated to management issues.  Due to the increase of numbers in older people expected between the year 2006 all the way to 2030, has created the concern of trying to find out how this older generation can be incorporated into management system that are currently facing mismanagement and embezzlement of funds by the younger generation (Bartlett, 2003).

In bit to recognize the importance of talent which usually plays a very important part in the management issues both in societal level and during business activities (Kroll, 2003).  On   a certain survey there was an indication that there have been great focuses to hire older generation into organizational management positions since they tend to do an excellent job on these positions. Following a line of investigation, done for AARP, highlighted that there was greater need for employers to reflect on the full collected works on economic implications linked to the older generation of the workforce, taking into account both expenditure and yield factors.

It is important that we try to understand that growing old can no longer be termed as a national problem but also that problem which is widely affecting managements issues both in businesses and communities. The ageing societies are considered to be forces which have widely contributed to the growth of certain policies with the aim of doing away with inequality in gender. It has been noted that ageing continues to become relocated when it comes to trans-national agencies and in communities because of the growing trend in globalization (Parliamentary Assembly, 2009).

It is very evident that globalization has and is continuing to be a key factor when it comes to the issues of management both in societal and at business level. Globalization has been linked to have such an alarming stage defined in the social history especially when it is linked with population ageing (Bauman, 2000). With the raising tension between anxieties in individuals on issues of growing old, it has been important to formulate issues on management so as to capture global institutions. It is very important we first understand what globalization means; globalization is defined as that process which nation state are widely influenced by  transnational actors an example being the united nations in matters that regard to the shaping of this particular nations (Kinsella & Velkoff, 2001).

It has been noted that ageing continues to become relocated when it comes to trans-national agencies and in communities because of the growing trend in globalization. it is important that we try to understand that growing old can no longer be termed as a national problem but also that problem which is widely affecting managements issues both in businesses and communities. The ageing societies are considered to be forces which have widely contributed to the growth of certain policies with the aim of doing away with inequality in gender.

Bartlett (2003) asserts that it is very evident with the constant demographic transition, it has been seen that there greater needs to incorporate new age structure within management of our communities and businesses.  It has been a major concern that we are able to do away with stigma and stereotypes normally issued out to the ageing population. For instance, in European nations some public service thought of paying an individual for being young within the working station. Most of developed countries have seen that it is important that they try to incorporate older generation on issue of management due to the fact that there are more experienced as compared to the younger generation.

It is very important to note that goals within the society and businesses can not be reached by without having a clear understanding of the kind of implication brought about by “society of all ages”.  When it comes to the issues of being role models, it has been noted that the older generation is largely been identified as positive role models as opposed to their younger generation counterparts.  In terms of public contribution to issues of management, the ageing population are known to handle this issue with great wisdom and a lot of knowledge.

Challenges in Management

The changing economic world is throwing new challenges to the managers. The management concepts and practices are shaping ‘tomorrow’s history’. A number of changes are taking place which are influencing the work of managers. Some of these changes are globalisation, total quality management, work force diversity, innovation and change, empowerment and teams, downsizing, contingent workers etc.


Most of the countries are opening their borders to foreign products as well as foreign producers. The companies of developed countries are entering foreign countries by opening manufacturing facilities there. The companies like Siemens, Remington, Singer, for instance, were selling their products in foreign markets during nineteenth century. The companies like Fiat, Unilever and Royal Dutch had become multinationals by 1920. Since 1960 multinational companies have become a common sight.

These companies first go to foreign countries just by exporting their products. The orders are fulfilled when received. In the second stage, companies make commitment to sell these products in foreign countries or have them made in foreign factories. It involves an active international involvement. The next stage is of pursuing international markets aggressively. Management can license or franchise to another firm the right to use its brand name, technology or product specifications.

Managements of global companies are adjusting their organisational structures as per the requirements of situations. The managers are being taught to be global in approach. Generally, the executives from concerned countries are given the responsibilities for running the subsidiaries.

Work Force Diversity:

The composition of work force is fast changing. Earlier work force consisted mainly of male persons who had to support a non-working wife and children. At present, women have joined almost every type of job. In some professions their number is exceeding that of men folk. In India women are entering education and medical professions in large number and are also cornering most of the office jobs. This is already there in America and other developed countries. Workers are now more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, age and other characteristics that reflect differences.

Some managers feel that diversity can be asset because it brings a broad range of viewpoints and problem solving skills to the company. It also gives a powerful competitive advantage. The managers will have to use diversity to their advantage. The diversity brings in different cultural values, different lifestyles, ethics etc. It was assumed earlier that persons coming from different backgrounds will assimilate themselves in the organisational culture. This is not happening at present.

The challenge for management is to make their organisations more accommodating to diverse groups of people addressing different lifestyles, family needs and work styles. Managers will have to shift their philosophy from treating everyone alike to recognizing difference and responding to those differences in ways that will ensure employee retention and greater productivity. Many companies such as Eastman, Kodak, Reebok, Ryder Systems, Baxter Healthcare have developed on-going diversity management programs.

Stimulating Innovation and Change:

The times are changing fast. Earlier the change was slow and managers were working in stable environment. The organisational world which existed in those companies who set up manufacturing facilities in foreign countries had to send technical experts at initial times. Normally, only a few persons come from the parent company and other managerial personnel are employed from the host country. The managements of multinational and transnational companies have to study the legal-political and cultural environment of the host country and device managerial practices and policies accordingly.

Total Quality Management:

There is a new awareness about quality in industry. The developed countries gave proper emphasis to the quality of gods produced. Underdeveloped and developing countries concentrated more on quantum of production than on quality of products. The goods produced by under-developed countries could not find a place in world markets due to their lower quality standards. India has suffered on this account due to its own policies.

Since independence the industrial policy statements have been restricting the scope for private entrepreneurs and major areas of growth were earmarked for public sector. The lack of competition from outside world brought a sense of complacency both in public and private sectors. The consumer has been buying whatever was offered to him since demand always exceeded supply.

Total quality management is the mobilisation of the whole organisation to achieve quality continuously, economically and in entirety. Quality cannot be improved through production process only. It is possible through an improvement in purchasing, marketing, after sale service and many other factors. Total quality can be achieved with the co-ordination of various aspects related to purchase, production, sales etc.

In Atkinson’s views, total quality is a strategic approach to producing the best product and service possible through constant innovation. Total quality control is an effort in which everyone and every function of the organisation participates.

Quality consciousness has now become an international phenomenon. All types of companies are adopting latest quality standards. The quality gurus namely Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, Dr. Genichi Jaguchi, Philip B. Crosby created quality consciousness among manufacturers and suggested better and improved ways for improving it. Total quality management has now become a wave and it is receiving due attention of producers as well as consumers. Every management has to take care of total quality management otherwise its products will not find place in present competitive world.

Empowerment and Teams:

The earlier thinking of Frederick Taylor where division of work was done in such a way that thinking process was assigned to managers while doing part was left for workers. The workers were supposed to do the repetitive work again and again this division of work may be valid during Taylor’s times but this is not valid at present. The workers at present are considered more knowledgeable and are relied to complete their work in a better way. Sometimes workers are considered to be performing better than even their managers.

Managers now recognise that they can often improve quality, productivity and employee commitment by redesigning jobs and letting individual workers and work teams make job- related decisions. This is called empowering employees. Many organisations have achieved better results by empowering employees and allowing them to plan and execute their work. Human resource theorists have been criticising over specialising of employees and stifling their capabilities. Hallmark, AT & T, Motorola have successfully tried this method.


The downsizing or reduction in force has been going on in the last some years. Every company is restructuring its organisation and laying off those employees who are no more required. About 85 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies have downsized their white collar force in recent years. Not only white collar jobs, blue collar jobs are also been reduced. Most of the commercial banks in India have offered VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) to their employees and employees in large number have accepted this offer.

Maruti Udyog has recently repeated its VRS and many employees have vacated their jobs voluntarily. Downsizing does not mean that work has been reduced in the organisation. In fact work has increased and reduced number of work force is doing up this work. Managerial layoffs create problems for the organisation.

Those who leave do not feel good and have resentment against the management, those who remain in service also become a worried lot. They are uncertain about their future and do not involve themselves whole heartedly in the work. The work productivity and quality may suffer until employees again feel secure about their jobs.

Contingent Workers:

Another trend in management practices is the use of contingent workers. These are part-time, temporary or freelance employees. Some labour experts contend that contingent workers make up 13 percent of the work force, while others say that the figure is as high as 30 per cent. The percentage of contingent workers is increasing every day. The companies have started downsizing their work force, some of these employees try to get part-time jobs to earn their living.

The corporations are also of the view that the employment of a contingent employee does not bring much of financial liabilities as compared to regular permanent employees. Managers have an additional responsibility to see that contingent workers are treated properly at work place. The managers have to keep the whole work force motivated and creatively involved in work.

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