Managers With Conceptual Skills
Managers with conceptual skills are able to see the organization as a whole, conceptualize about abstract and complex situations´ and to think strategically (Robbins & Coulter 2005). With reference to Forbes Magazine, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of marvel Facebook and one of the youngest billionaire yet, contributes the ability of vast conceptual skills. Zuckerberg has the ability to think critically and plan for long term. For example, he is able to see the potential of success by using the Internet to connect with people more effectively. Therefore, he created Facebook at 2004 and now it becomes the largest social networking site with millions of users worldwide. Moreover, Zuckerberg carries out his role as disturbance handler with the combination of conceptual skill to solve the difficulties. For instance, he received criticize from users when Facebook introduced new features and issues about privacy. However, Zuckerberg resolve these problems appropriately and continue to operate the company successfully. Although Zuckerberg made mistakes in decision making, most of the people believed that he have the potential to improve his conceptual skill and consequently bring Facebook to upper level of achievement.
As the CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg plays multiple roles in managing the organization. Directing, training, motivating and organizing subordinates, supervising their improvement, promoting and reassuring their development are the duties required from the role of leader (LMC 2008). As a leader, Zuckerberg is skilled in making clear decision and limiting unwanted debate. Employees are allowed to recommend various solutions and gain knowledge on possible problems solved by him. Employees are encouraged to argue with his thought on projects to find a better solution (Bosworth 2010). Zuckerberg plays a good leader role by adapting in the human skills and conceptual skills.
Next role that he is acting on is resource allocator, which carries the responsibility related to resources allocation of the organization among all concerned people or department. It involves budgeting, scheduling, allocation of duty to subordinates and authorization. From time to time, Zuckerberg has been scheduling for the ‘’f8 platform” which is the “like” button in Facebook. There is three f8 in total in which the first one occuring on May 24th, 2007, second one happening on July 23rd, 2008 and consequently the third one happening on April 21-22 in 2010. During this period, the active user had increase tremendously.
Figurehead role involves handling ceremonial and symbolic activities for the department or organization (Daft 2010). Mark Zuckerberg has successfully carried out the role of figurehead in Web 2.0 global social networking trend. For example, Zuckerberg discusses hiring the right people and challenges of an entrepreneur in the lectures on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students on October 26, 2005 (Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture 2005). Furthermore, Zuckerberg planned to set up a foundation with $100 million of Facebook’s closely held stock to the Newark Public Schools in New Jersey (Martinez & Fowler 2010). His philanthropic donation has helped to improve Facebook image. The figurehead role played by Zuckerberg has enabled him to get more attention than Google’s co-founder, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
In general Mark Zuckerberg use a great skill of conceptual skills and plays extensive character in all informational, interpersonal and decisional roles in the Facebook which allows and makes it to be the leading social media today.
The only thing that would not change in the world is: the world is kept on changing. The external organizational environment is the elements happen outside of its boundary and may affect the growth of the organization. Figure 1 shows that Facebook’s number of users is obviously more than its competitor, Twitter. Although Facebook currently rank as the top social networking sites, they still have to persist in innovating to hold on the honor.
From the dimension of legal-political, Facebook created an opportunity that encourages users to share information online for the purpose of communication and business transactions. Unfortunately, it is also a threat that causes Facebook confronts disputation on privacy issue once beacon is launched. Beacon is a platform which takes data from 44 web destinations and combined with Facebook’s internal information for the purpose of advertising. It allowed third parties site being posted on the wall of the users’ profile. It can also track everything people done online even they had logout from Facebook and despite who is using the computer. Regarding to this issue, many investigations have been carried out by security researcher “Wednesday”, Canadian privacy commissioner, Press coverage and European Commission. There is more than 100 million users’ personal information being used or spread out to the public without users’ authorization. This issue is not just about data leakage for user but also for developers and marketers who uses Facebook to operate their business. To pacify this issue, Facebook paid $9.5 million settlement to a class action lawsuit and it is being approved (Kravets 2010). Under the settlement, Facebook agreed to terminate Beaon platform started from November 2009. Facebook should provide a more user friendly privacy settings for the user to avoid the issue above to happen again.
For international and sociocultural dimension, Table 1(pg) indicates that the number of users in USA is surprisingly high and owns the first place in the ranking. Although China and India has the largest population in the world but India only owns the fifth place. However, Table 2 (pg) indicates that a month later, India is the leading country which owns the highest audience growth rate. Reason for China did not appear in the ranking is Facebook is being censored by China since 2009. Prediction made by Daft said that “China will overtake United State economy as number one by midcentury” (Daft 2010, p.66). Unfortunately, China banned Facebook bring down a lot registration in China Mainland population which is about 1,330,141,295 (CIA World Factbook, Jan 2011) and opportunities to generate profit. China government always being tight to the access of internet, information flow and media banned Facebook because of the fatal riots happen in western region of Xinjiang in province of China. Perhaps they believe that such an action will contain the reports or discussions of the riots or stop them from happening completely. Recent news reported that, Mark Zuckerberg still wanted to get connected to China and is now creating some localized version of site to fit China’s government and hope to launch it in China.
Therefore, every organization should be prepared to react to subtle environment shifts and adapt to various challenges environment that are increasingly dynamic. Facebook had tried their best to grapple with challenges like settlement of privacy issues and intervention with China. After conquering the challenges, Facebook is now one step nearer to its mission to connect the whole world.
Ravasi and Schultz (2006) define organisation culture as a set of shared mental assumptions that guide organisation understanding and action by defining appropriate behaviour for various situations.
In the past, hierarchy of management is vital for a corporate. However, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has created a relaxed, unstructured and open corporate culture that emphasizes more on equality (Boissonneau 2011). At Facebook, there are no cubicles, no walls, just mainly office furniture. This enables employees to work in a relaxed environment as they have more employee freedom with no standard work schedules. Furthermore, Facebook’s managers also practice this working environment. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, and even Zuckerberg himself has no office. They work among the employees in the open workspace that could enhance openness and problem solving process. Every Friday, Zuckerberg holds a public question-and-answer session for an hour for the entire organisation. The openness created by this session, according to Zuckerberg, encourages collaboration, team-work and an informal atmosphere and communication among organisation.
Facebook is ballooning into an empire, but it remains shabby, funky and slightly adorable. That is partly attributable to a workplace that combines playful start-up culture with muscular ambition and bite. “Facebook’s goal is to be viewed as a “hip geek culture” in order to attract the best talent” (Finch 2011). Zuckerberg is responsible for the foundations of this culture, creating a fun environment by knocking a gong when someone finishes a big coding project. Facebook even hired well-known graffiti artist David Choe to paint murals in its first offices. According to Yiannopoulos, there’s a block of Facebook’s meeting rooms named after inventors, with one given to Al Gore, who invented the internet (2011). Facebook uses adaptability culture to interpret and respond quickly to the high-risk decision-making and rapid alteration environment. Besides, Facebook adapts involvement culture that emphasizes employees’ needs and responses towards environment changes. Facebook is creating an intrinsically social culture, rather than enterprise software or geeky, engineer-driven algorithms. At Facebook, the employees can play video or table tennis games whenever they need to unwind on the job. This fun working environment has increased employees’ job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is the primary factor in intrinsic motivation. Therefore, due to the corporate culture recognized by Zuckerberg, Facebook employees are satisfied with their jobs and as a result do their jobs well and raise the productivity of Facebook.
Facebook’s slogan is “Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you”. This slogan explains slightly about the social platform. Facebook has taken a very practical standpoint on providing a social network by created a framework and are expecting users to do most of the work.
Facebook internal environment changes when Zuckerberg brought on Sheryl Sandberg, a respected executive from Google in March 2008. Besides, Zuckerberg is willing to take risks by hired Chris Cox, who was grad school dropout as Facebook HR manager. Organisational hierarchy was generally indicated through the price of suit. However, Zuckerberg has changed this culture by still wears T-shirts, jeans and Adidas flip-flops to work just as he did in 2004, when he co-founded Facebook at age 19 (Deneen 2011).
Mark Zuckerberg shows effectiveness as a cultural leader for Facebook by able and willing to take the risks in hiring the executives for the company and motivate employees to achieve Facebook’s goals by established a comfortable, amusing and unstructured corporate culture.
As time passed, many professions developed several management theories as a guide for manager to run the organization. There are Classical Perspective, which occurred during nineteenth and early twenty, Management Science Perspective, which emerged during World War Two, Recent Historical Trend which happen after the World War Two and Modern Management which combine all different theories. Today business world required different management thinking and theory to fits in different industries and achieve organisational goals (Sridhar n.d). Facebook is the new trend in twenty-first century, which manage and lead by the founder name Mark Zuckerberg.
Humanistic perspective was conducted by Mary Parker Follett and Chester Barnard. They believe that manager need to first value peoples’ feelings, needs, thoughts and social relations (Daft 2010). Mark Zuckerberg had this management thinking of creating a social network that allowed people all over the world to engage which each other and get updates even faster. Besides, Zuckerberg also adapting this theory to his employees by providing those free meals along the day, bottomless finger foods and unrestricted dry cleaning service. He allowed subordinates to express themselves, motivate them to have the same goals as the organisations goals by giving opinions on improvement of the organisation. He claims that an office is only a place to gather people to brain storming to generate profits and human are the most important resources for the organisation. Therefore, he design his headquarter with no wall between departments, and meeting rooms are located at the middle of work space separated by glass walls so everyone can see through the meetings.
Besides, a study under ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ of Abraham Maslow theories claims that people are influenced by several needs in pyramid order (Kendra n.d). Zuckerberg has fulfilled three levels of need for employees by providing employees free meals and considerable income to satisfied physical needs, allowing them to disclose their thoughts and opinions, appreciate them contribute many ideas and plans to run the business. This will increase employees’ esteem needs and belief that they are the proper source in helping make the world improve, and Zuckerberg will somehow challenge employees to meet certain goals (Bosworth 2010). This theory will increase organisation growth and acknowledges employees to fulfil their self-actualization needs. But, it required more psychological thinking from Zuckerberg, takes time for him to observe employees personalities and make organisation goals as part of their interest goals.
Learning organisation is a modern theory which allows people not afraid to make mistakes and hope they can learn from the mistakes. It allows managers to raise the capability to discover and grow (Senge 1990:3). When Facebook dealing with the mistakes they made in beacon, they understand that not all people like to disclose their thoughts to the public, certain privacy are required from them. Facebook has learnt from this mistake and change their privacy settings. But, they also face the challenge of missing certain trust and confidence from the user.
After Zuckerberg combining classical and modern theory, facebook will be creating a better competitive advantage to adapt into today rapid change world. Facebook will be more effective and efficient after adapting with all the theory, although Zuckerberg face a certain weight of challenges.