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Lean Manufacturing Management

Organizations are created to pursue a goal or objective. This may be to design, manufacture and sell automobiles, or medicines, or communications devices. The organization is created when two things occur. First, a decision is made about what business or objective to pursue. Among all the opportunities one is selected as having the potential for greater reward than the others. Secondly, the task exceeds the capabilities of a few people requiring groups to work together in some unified way. A strategy, stated or in­ferred, is imposed on those doing the work.

The concept of organization or enterprise describes mul­tiple groups working together in an integrated way to productively, and competitively achieve the chosen pur­pose. The complexity is that each individual has a different level of inclusion in the work of the enterprise. Some have a great passion for the organization's work. This is not restricted to missionary organizations with a social cause as their purpose. Many people are very dedicated to the goals of their organization. Others may have less dedica­tion but are still valued members. The varying involve­ment, or more specifically the varying importance of one's work in one's life, creates conflict among individuals when they come together to achieve a common goal. The concept of partial inclusion requires that the enterprise produc­tively achieve its objectives with people of varying passion for the work.

The enterprise concept includes many dimensions, the chosen objectives or purpose, the nature of the people's involvement and their skills and motivation, the work forms of tasks and individuals, groups, teams, functions and the stakeholders of customers, investors, suppliers and the community. Enterprises may have clear identities such as a corporation, a government, or a charity, or they may be groups formed to bring about social change or fiscal reform. At some stage in their evolution, the enterprise will face opportunities that compete for their attention. In addition, the required tasks will exceed the capabilities of single individuals. These dilemmas create the need for an integrated perspective of the work. This perspective is the concept of an enterprise.

Individuals must have an appreciation for the environment in which the enterprise operates. For example, what issues are involved in doing business in a foreign country? What impact will the host country's laws and culture have on the organization? How do you negotiate a new labor contract in light of a significant decline in sales? Are the organization's actions deemed environmentally respon­sible by the local communities? What impact will the trade agreements have on the enterprise? Are the needs of the stakeholders (employees, owners, financial institutions, etc.) being addressed? An individual must be able to identify the pros and cons of various alternatives and make choices that best meet the needs of each segment of its environment.

An organization is a dynamic entity that changes, grows and develops over time. As an organization evolves through its development process, plans must be put in place that will not only suit the organization of today but will anticipate the future organization and position it for success in the world of tomorrow. Individuals working in organizations must be able to anticipate future problems and position their organizations for success during different
stages of their growth. This is not an easy task. Anticipating the future requires a considerable amount of introspection and analysis. As the organization develops, it faces many changes. Organizations create new products, abandon old ones, change key management personnel, relocate
facilities, acquire new technologies, develop strategic alliances with outside organizations, increase market share, lose major customers, acquire new ones, implement new systems, etc. Each of these changes requires careful
analysis to determine its long-term impact on the enterprise.

To be Continued


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