Office Management – Assessment 1

Levels of Decision Making Overview Strategic decision making is when decisions are made to determine the long term direction of an organisation at the highest level within the organisation. According to Gregory Hamel (Hamel, G. 2008) (Small business, 2012) Strategic decision making is an on-going process that involves creating strategies to achieve goals and altering strategies based on observed outcomes. Operational decision making is a short term decision made within an organisation which involves the day to day running of the organisation. These short term decisions are usually made by the office manager.
According to Npower (Business Case Studies) Often these decisions are administrative in nature and can be implemented quickly and tend to carry a little risk and are smaller scale, but are never the less important choices that people have to make to fulfil their role. Strategic Decision Implementing that laptops are to be used by partners while out of the office would be a strategic decision. There are lots of problems with the partners being out of the office and with the use of laptops as communication tools this will provide a direct link between the office staff and the partners.
I believe that this is a strategic decision as with the right planning and overseeing the development this could really be a step forward for Classic Interiors because work can be exchanged between partners and the office and messages can be passed on effectively meaning that there won’t be a build-up of work or office staff with no work and communication between everyone will be made a lot easier. Operational Decision Stipulating a lunch time for each staff member would be an organisational decision. The current system for lunch time is not convenient as the employees get to decide when they go as long as one of them is in the office.

I believe this is an operational decision because if affects the day to day running of the organisation. If the administrators were set a lunch hour each they would have to stick to it and get used to working alongside the time set. Role of Office Manager Operational Planning Process As the office manager my role in establishing a new routine for lunch hour would be to organise a meeting to communicate the proposed changes with administrators and gain their views. Then I would create a plan to put forward to the administrators and partners.
When a decision has been reached and the new plan is put into action I would have to oversee the progress of the plan gathering feedback at every opportunity. Issues There is increased frustration between partners and administrators due to the partners carrying out task they believe the administrators could be doing which would free up more time for the partners. The solution to this would be to for all administrators to be trained how to use the specialist interior design software, this would enable them to alleviate the work load from the partners and feel more involved in the design side of their work.
This would likely be time consuming to train the administrators but the overall outcome would be beneficial to the company. The relationship between partners and the administrators is suffering due to the partners being out of the office as communication is often via short telephone messages and emails which has led to information being mis-communicated. The solution would be to introduce the use of PDA’s (Personal digital Assistants) for partners to be able to communicate with administrators.
This would enable the administrators to contact the partners if a problem arises while carrying out work so that no mistakes are made and also they would be able to check their diaries to make appointments without the chance of double booking. Instant messaging could also help with communication as they are received instantly and can be replied to in seconds. Financial Planning and Budgetary Control Financial Planning According to Jim Priebe (ehow) A financial plan is like a blue print. It is a description of what you want to achieve and the tools you need to achieve it.
Financial planning is the process of asking questions to ensure that you manage your risk against unexpected events. Managers need to be able to exercise control over the organisation that they manage to make sure that financial plans are being achieved both for the long term and the short term. Benefits of financial planning are: 1 Reducing the risk of a financial crisis. 2 Allows you to understand how each financial decision made affects other areas of finance. Barriers of financial planning are: 1 It can be time consuming 2 Can be costly as will involve accountants. Budgetary Control
Budgetary control is precise control of an organisations operations through establishment of standards and targets concerning income and expenditure. Continuous monitoring is required to be effective. Benefits of budgetary control are: 1 Coordinates activities across departments. 2 Provides a record of organisational activities. Barriers of budgetary control are: 1 Budgets can demotivate staff. 2 May cause competition for resources. Effective Delegation Delegation is the distribution of tasks by the office manager. Giving responsibilities to employees to carry out the work but the work will remain liable to the office manager.
When delegation is carried out properly very good results and high productivity can be achieved. The Process of Delegation Delegation can be very difficult. The process of delegation is: 1 Define the task 2 Select the Individual 3 Explain what must be achieved (clear instructions) 4 Discuss requirement to completion 5 Agree a deadline 6 Be there for support 7 Always give feedback Benefits Time management would be a benefit of delegation as this would allow partners to delegate work so that they have a more manageable work load.
Delegating tasks will motivate staff and increase productivity. Barriers Forcing someone to do a task that they don’t want to or are not capable of would be a barrier, this can be seen in the case study when Izzy asked one of the administrators to just follow what had been done before. This lead to the administrator getting upset and Izzy feeling unable to approach anyone else. This could have been avoided by management setting out a procedure for staff to follow and allocating the task to someone suitable.
Confusion about who is ultimately responsible for tasks is a barrier to effective delegation, this can be seen in the case study as partners are frustrated because they believe that administration is responsible for some of their tasks. This can be corrected by training administrators to make the delegation process easier. Leadership Models I think Tomi uses democratic leadership. As Tomi involves the staff in the decision making process of meeting times and encouraged staff to offer their opinions which made the administrators feel like what they said mattered.
I believe Izzi uses Autocratic Leadership. When Izzi was in charge she would decide the times of meetings even when it was inconvenient to the others meaning work started to suffer which she then thought they could not manage and devised a new procedure which is hopeless but Izzi cannot see this. Staff find it difficult to communicate with her. Autocratic Leadership works where there is no need for input on the decisions and Democratic leadership works when a leader seeks help and guidance from staff to make decisions.
Democratic leadership The impact of this leadership style is that it gives staff a voice and they are able to communicate better with management. Democratic leadership style encourages better cooperation and motivates staff because they feel well informed in everything that affects their work. Autocratic Leadership The impact of this leadership style is that it fails to motivate staff and they feel forced to do things managements way although It is not always the best way and staff become stressed being pushed.
Autocratic leadership style encourages no communication between staff and management as management make all the decisions based on what they feel is best for the organisation. References Hamel, G. (2008) ‘What is strategic Decision Making’ http://smallbusiness. chron. com/strategic-decision-making-23782. html Npower. ‘Developing people through decision making’ http://businesscasestudies. co. uk/npower/developing-people-through-decision-making/tactical-decisions. html Priebe, J. ‘What is the purpose of Financial Planning’ http://www. ehow. com/info_7755005_purpose-financial-plan. html

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