How can BSW’s managers help the company maintain their competitive edge

Subject: Business    / Management

Week 2 discussion

Learning Activity 1

For businesses to succeed they must maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The key to doing this has changed over the last century as illustrated in our discussion in week one about the 21st century business environment and its challenges. In theme one, we take a closer look at the way managers create competitive edge in the 21st century organization.

You have been hired by Baltimore Spring Waters, Inc. (BSW) as a management consultant. The growing demand for bottled water in the face of worldwide supply shortages has management at BSW concerned about the future of the business. The company wants to remain competitive in price knowing that sourcing difficulties will make it harder to do.

The question posed to you is how can BSW’s managers help the company maintain their competitive edge? Using this week’s course material and the articles from last week on 21stcentury organizations, answer this question for BSW.

Learning Activity 2

A challenge for the manager in the 21st century is to merge the traditional functions of a manager with the new demands of workplace life. The change of value regarding human resources to the organization coupled with technology is shifting the design of organizations towards “boundaryless” and flat organizational structures. In this theme we examine Fayol’s five functions of management as well as the 14 lesser functions of management upon which most management models are based today and how they are bumping up against the constructs of 21st century management to create tension in the workplace.

Read the following articles on big business’ break with telecommuting and managing with technology at

Working from home alone is the real culprit

Working from home: how Yahoo, Best Buy and HP are making moves

The role of informational technology in virtual management theory

Examine the role of Fayol’s pillars of management and how they may conflict or conversely fit with contemporary organizations and management theories. Explain comprehensively why or how a manager might reconcile happily the two approaches to management.