Management styles


The authour

The book

Management styles assessed according to management and communication approaches
Lessons from the future

Knowledge management

The importance of communication

Communication amongst staff

The roles of leadership

Communication with staff

The contributions of the book to management practices

Other components


Management is a complex process with many underlying structures and facets. The following assignment will be based on the book Who moved my cheese. This book highlights various principles that a manager can incorporate into an organisation.
Who moved my cheese will be analysed and compared against existing management principles. It will also be investigated if any additional information or management skills can be obtained
Once all the information has been reviewed a conclusion will be deduced as to weather who moved my cheese reinforces existing management principles and if it has made a significant contribution to management principles in general or not.

The author
Johnson (1999:2) illustrates that Dr Spencer Johnson, M. D., is a world renowned author who writes motivational books which enable people to change their outlooks on life. By doing this people have achieved goals in their jobs, and improved their all round state of mind.
He has achieved medical clerkships at the Harvard medical school as well as the Mayo Clinic. His qualifications also include an M.D. degree from the royal College of Surgeons and a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Spencer Johnson has managed the following responsibilities throughout his life: He has been given the task of medical director of Communications for a company called Medtronic, who are the inventors of pacemakers. He was given the title of research physician at The Institute of Inter-Disciplinary Studies. He was also employed as a consultant for The Centre for the Study of the Person, the School of Medicine and the University of California.
Some of the other books which he has written are: The precious present, Yes or No; the popular Value tales children’s books; the perennial gift favourite; The One Minute $ales person, The One Minute Mother, The One Minute Father, The One Minute Teacher and One Minute For Yourself. His books have featured on Larry King Live, Time Magazine, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and United Press International. They have also been published in over in forty-one languages all over the world.

The book
Who moved my cheese was inspired by Dr Spencer Johnson during a problematic period of his life. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters that live in a “Maze” and look for “cheese” to nourish them and make them happy.
The simple story reveals profound truths about change. The purpose of the book is to teach it’s readers to embrace change of any kind. By being motivated towards adapting and taking a proactive role, a person can be prepared to face any unforseen occurrence of events which life may present them with.
Many critics saw Who moved my cheese in a negative light and thought it to be an insult to their intelligence. However Dr Spencer Johnson feels that it is not the content of the story of who moved my cheese but rather how you interpret and apply it to your own situation which creates value and meaning.
The story assisted Dr Spencer Johnson in dealing with a difficult change in his life. It showed him how to accept his changing situation and how to adapt to accommodate change. People close to him noticed his positive change and ambitious outlook on life irrespective of his circumstances. Eventually some of the people around him began to adopt the same mindset.
Twenty Years later the book was eventually published in 1999. It soon claimed the status of number one international best seller. According to Time magazine (1999:12) it has been known as the book which changed the way the world looks at change. With more than twelve million copies sold in thirty seven countries, Who Moved My Cheese remains to make a big difference in many lives

Management styles assessed according to management and communication approaches
According to Littlejohn (2005:22) the second world view portrays how reality is individually constructed. This is portrayed in who moved my cheese as it suggests that every person is in control of their own destiny and when a person is faced with a situation they can determine what the result will be. Who moved my cheese also notes that when someone is faced with a problem they should not over analyse the situation. This is emphasised in a sense versus nonsense approach to management. Management should make fair and objective decisions and not act on impulse.
When trying to build an organisation it is recommended to stick to core competencies and to be persistent. This was illustrated by Haw one of the little people in the book. He saw the problem and returned to his previous task of systematically searching the maize for cheese all day every day. This is the action that initially allowed him to achieve his goals, and by doing what he was best at he eventually became successful.
By applying a just in time strategy Haw remained fluid flexible and disposable. When he felt down he envisioned all the new cheese he was going to find. When he found small remainders of cheese he did not settle for them, but only used them as self motivation to inspire himself try harder to achieve what he set out to do.
The debate about work questions if we are slaves of our own creation. It investigates if organisational structures create fulfilment or anxiety. It criticises how there is an ever increasing divide between the rich and poor, and how the middle class is beginning to disappear. Who moved my cheese tells the story of how Hem and Haw found cheese and lived an upper class life until they ran out of cheese and were living lower class lives. Hem tried to determine what happened to the cheese and was scared of the unknown and decided to stay where he was in case the cheese returned. Haw set out to find more cheese knowing that he could either have a lot of cheese or nothing at all.
Although the working culture may enforce strict rules, rules are put in place to retain order and structure and through this success can be achieved. After looking at his situation Haw attempted to find more cheese and eventually reaped the rewards. He realised that, movement in a new direction helps you find more cheese. The book contradicts the idea of a divide between classes as both Hem and Haw had an equal opportunity to fulfil their goal, but only Haw got it right through self motivation and following a strict routine, and by achieving success his routine became more liberating.

Lessons from the future
This section will discuss various management aspects it will also determine if who moved my cheese reinforces these principles or not.
Lessons from the future illustrate how the new economy is about information and ideas, and what you do with what you know. Johnson (1999:30) illustrates that in Who moved my cheese, movement in a new direction finds new cheese and imagining yourself enjoying new cheese leads you to it. In other words by utilising new information new opportunities can be found and by envisioning success your goals can become a reality.
Chaos describes taking risks to be safer than doing nothing at all. This is reinforced through Haw stating in Johnson (1999:32) that it is safer in the maze than to remain in a cheeseless situation. It should be noted that real freedom is represented through uncertainty whilst certainty leaves little room for freedom of choice or innovation. Who moved my cheese supports this claim as it is noted by Johnson (1999:36) that Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese and if you don’t change you can become extinct. Therefore by being flexible in your actions it is possible to adapt to a situation in a competitive environment. When trying to differentiate yourself from other competitors the entire global resource base should be used. Sniff, Scurry and Haw all searched the entire maze to find cheese and through a process of elimination Sniff and Scurry managed to find cheese through using an explicit type of recorded knowledge that was reused. Haw ventured into unknown areas and by exposing himself to as many new options as he possibly could he eventually found the cheese he was looking for. This is a form of tacit knowledge as he used judgement and experience to assist him in making decisions, as he was searching the maze in the past and found cheese. This knowledge motivated him to go on searching the maze once again.

Knowledge management:
Knowledge management entails the creating body of tolls, modus operandi, means and values, through which organisations can obtain, create, calculate, distribute and provide a return on their intellectual property.
It involves combining of innovations, procedures and human beings. It searches for the data and information sorting ability of information technology and the creative and innovative abilities of people.
Knowledge management seeks out ideas, variations and opinions. It is very trusting as opposed to commanding and confidence is required. It gives vision and embraces diversity of knowledge sources. Who moved my cheese points this out by illustrating in Johnson (1999:36) that, change happens, Anticipate change, monitor change, Adapt to change, Change and enjoy change. With the correct amount of knowledge change can be predicted, and then action can be taken to embrace change. Change can be controlled by factoring it into activities so that the organisation transforms to better meet its surroundings needs. This shows that change is an integral part of any organisations and with knowledge management change can have positive results.
In order to be successful tasks and roles should be assigned for knowledge management. Incentives and rewards for involvement should also be incorporated. Godin (2007:65) explains how Google has become the biggest, most world renown and up to date search engine. Their staff are showered with incentives, they have: pool tables, bean bags, relaxation rooms and are allowed to wear casual clothing to work. Each employee is allowed to take an occasional day off without having to give a reason for absenteeism. Because of this their staff all give 110% and Google will remain the number one search engine world wide. This was evident in Who moved my cheese when Haw had a vision of discovering new cheese and being able to indulge in all of them. This accompanied with all the samples of cheese he discovered along his journey inspired him to keep on trying. This shows that managers should always motivate their staff. Incentives and motivational speech can assist in creating positive mindsets and direct people to goal orientated work.
However work should not be structured in a corporate portal. This single point of access for pooling, interaction and distribution of organisational knowledge reflect the way people think. The resources are not integrated and information is predominantly supply driven. This is beneficial as it supports multi project workers, increases virtual interaction, offers a clear understanding of each process and directs the work towards the worker. Johnson (1999:42) explains that old beliefs do not lead to new cheese and that in order to be successful it is of vital importance to be open to change. This concept is reiterated in Branson (2007:57). He explains that his organisational structure is flat and avoids a conventional hierarchy. He encourages all staff members to relay any new ideas, values or constructive criticisms they may have. This information is constantly used to alter and improve the virgin empire. By doing this virgin ensures that they remain flexible and can easily adapt to change. Godin (2007:28) explains in meatball sundae that smart organisations are investing time and energy into transforming their assets according to changes in the market. They use new marketing to dig deep and redefine what they actually do. So by constantly being aware of the markets demands they are always receptive to transformation in order to be able to adapt to new trends.
The new economy entails: the creation of wealth in society through the application of information to productivity and modernism rather than providing labour and funds. This has created a new set of economics in which intangible resources such as information and knowledge provide equal amounts or even more value construction than tangible assets. The new economy has given rise to the apposition of traditional assumptions about leadership an organisational effectiveness. Haw knew that he had learned some valuable knowledge about moving from his friends the mice, Sniff and Scurry. Instead of overanalyse or overcomplicate a situation, they rather just kept life simple. When the status of their situation had changed and the cheese had been moved, they changed and moved with the cheese. Haw realised that without adapting quickly it would not even be necessary to adapt at all as he would just be left behind. Through keeping his shoes around his neck Haw was always ready to adapt, this also ensured that he was able to move quickly when necessary.

The importance of communication
Hawkins & Best (2007:36) shows that consumers no longer respond to stimuli such as advertising and products presented by marketers in isolation, instead they respond to marketing stimuli and the situation at the same time. In order to understand the consumer behaviour, one should have an in depth knowledge about the consumer. Knowledge of primary stimulus objects such as a product or advertisement that the consumer is responding to is also essential, and an in depth knowledge about the situation in which the response is occurring is required. According to Tustin & Martins (2005:26) situational influence consists of all the factors which are specific to a place and time. These aspects do not trail from knowledge or stable characteristics of the consumer. The stimulus has an effect on current behaviour and the situation can be monitored through consumption responses.
Hawkins et al (2007:32) shows that it is important to determine what consumers needs are through asking questions. This information should be gathered to determine any common trends amongst consumers. Next new approaches to serving consumers should be evaluated. It should then be determined where consumers are purchasing your product from, and how frequently this occurs. Next their product perception should be known. Finally information should be obtained so that the overall situation can be adjusted if necessary.
If Hem and Haw are seen as an organisation who seeks cheese, their situation can be analysed in the following way: by identifying the problem, Haw realised that they no longer had any cheese. Through information processing, Haw unlike Hem came to terms with the fact that the cheese was finished and he would have to find a new supply of cheese in order to survive. An alternative evaluation was conducted, Haw weighed up the pros and cons of his situation and deduced that it was new type of cheese which he desired and nothing else would satisfy his need. Next the information obtained was put into action, and Haw decided to begin the search for new cheese. The first cheese Haw obtained was insufficient and unsatisfactory so he continued his pursuit for more cheese. From this Hem’s outlook on cheese was that is essential for his survival. Hem used the information he had obtained to assist him in the future. After obtaining another large supply of cheese Haw realised how far he had come. Through this he learned to not become lazy and thus always be ready to have to search for more cheese again.

Communication amongst staff
Communication can alter perceptions in both a positive and negative ways. Hem convinced Haw to remain at station c where they found their cheese supply which had run out. Hem tried to persuade Haw that it was comfortable in cheese station c and the cheese wasn’t finished but had been hidden away. Haw believed Hem and decided to stay until he realised that his situation wasn’t improving. Then Haw decided to follow the method which Sniff and Scurry had communicated to them. By putting their shoes on everyday and continually searching they managed to find a suitable supply of cheese. Fortunately for Haw he decided to follow the latter example which made him successful.

The roles of leadership
Leadership in the new economy depicts leadership to have three roles. An interpersonal role, this entails being able to talk to each other in an equal manor and for a manager to not be condescending when talking to staff. Haw attempted to use motivational words and inspiration to get Hem to leave the maze. He communicated this to Hem by drawing pictures of cheese on the walls of cheese station c and writing inspirational messages inside the cheese pictures.
Through an informational role, by using information in a positive manor, weaknesses can be turned into strengths. If Hem and Haw had constantly checked their cheese on a daily basis they would have noticed that it was running low and could have quickly formulated a plan. This would have prevented them from running out of cheese. Therefore after finding more cheese Haw realised how far he had travelled since being with Hem in cheese station c. He knew it would be easy to slip back into his old comfortable, lazy routine. So to avoid disappointment he inspected his cheese in cheese station N everyday. This ensured there was sufficient cheese and that it was in a good condition.
The decision role involves taking an active stance in order to avoid stagnating. After running out of cheese at cheese station c and realising that staying there would not solve their problem. Haw began to understand the difference between activity and productivity. By doing the same activity everyday Hem and Haw still didn’t have any cheese, but by making a decision to work productively to find more cheese Haw found exactly what he was looking for.

Communication with staff
Branson (2007:11) explains the power of communicating positive messages. Whenever his staff members come to him with a query on new ventures or ideas, he will always answer with a yes, never a no and carefully listen to what they have to say. He believes that a seemingly impossible challenge can be tackled, but by saying no upfront it is like admitting defeat before even beginning.

The contributions of the book to management practices
This book illustrates that managers should not be scared of change as it is a continual part of the modern organisation. Change should be monitored to ensure that the correct changes have been made. Managers should implement change quickly, by doing this they can be the first to have a unique concept which will assist them in gaining a competitive advantage. Without change organisational survival is questionable, change involves consistent hard work in order to reap its benefits. Who moved my cheese explains that change should be enjoyed. The adventure of finding new cheese should be savoured and its taste should be enjoyed.
If a manager wishes to increase their share in the market, they cannot stick to the same repetitive actions. To be able to successfully gain a market share, new innovative concepts have to be implemented and management might even have to alter their actions. Dr Spencer Johnson explains that Old beliefs do not lead to new cheese.
An aspect which who moved my cheese has neglected to mention is relationship selling. In order to be successful in retaining customers, good customer service is required. Johnston & Marshall (2005:56) entails having a customer approach to doing business. This makes the customer the centre of everything occurring both inside and outside the organisation. Without customers there are no sales, no profits and no business which renders no reason for change.

Other components
Some of the other crucial aspects of management principles which are not addressed will be discussed below.
Johnston et al (2005:21) discusses partner relationships. These are not mentioned in Who moved my cheese and could very well be utilised to assist the characters in the book. Johnston et al (2005:21) explains that partner relationships are a form of networking which involves strategic alliances. People from separate groups, teams or companies combining forces so they can utilise all their skills and resources, this allows them to be more productive and to complete tasks in a shorter time frame. If Hem and Haw had decided to join forces with Sniff and Scurry they could have worked together in teams to search the maze for cheese. By doing this they would have been able to divide the maze into areas and in pairs search for cheese. This would have allowed them to cover more ground in shorter time and it would have also ensured that through communicating with each other that one team would not search the same area that the other team had already searched.
Communication is the key element to ensuring that change will be effective. Without managers having the ability to articulate information, staff may become confused and not know how to implement change. Relationship marketing explains that good communication skills need to be learned. Most people are poor communicators. It’s not that they don’t try, but without proper training and practice it’s difficult to listen or communicate effectively. If Haw had learned communication skills he may have been able to get Hem to be more receptive to his inspirational message that he wrote and convinced him to accept change.
Who moved my cheese is an oversimplification of management strategies. Some of these complex structures cannot be reduced to such basic terms. It fails to address the importance of team work and the integral part which communication plays in an organisation.
However it should be noted that without the fundamental groundings in place the more intricate management strategies would not be able to function. It gives the reader a positive outlook on how to handle change and turn a bad situation into a good one. It is highly motivational and inspires persistence. Being able to change involves being objective, taking the correct course of action and not acting on impulse. By being able to obtain these skills one would also improve their communication skills. But it should be noted that in order to learn complex communication skills the more basic fundamental skills have to initially be understood and implemented for progression to take place.

Source List
Branson, R. (2006). Screw it let’s do it. London: Virgin books.

Burke, N. (2005). Changing the way you look at change. Time magazine, 5(12). London: TIME publications.

Godin, S. (2007). Meatball sundae. USA: Piatkus books.

Hawkins, J. & Best, C. (2007). Consumer behaviour. New York: publisher.

Johnson, S. (1999). Who moved my cheese. United Kingdom: Vermilion.

Johnston, M. & Marshall, G. (2005). Relationship selling and sales management. New York: McGraw-hill companies.

Littlejohn, S.W. & Foss, K.A. (2005). Theories of human communication. Belmont USA: Lyn Uhl.

Tustin, L. & Martins, N. (2005). Marketing research in practice. University of South Africa: Publisher.

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Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...