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Contemporary Workforce and Management Challenges

Approaches to management in the history of work

Henri Fayol, a French mining engineer, is considered one of the most prominent pioneers of modern concepts of management (Witzel 2011, P. 10). One of his notable contributions in management is the concepts of Fayolism theory. In this theory, Fayol postulated that there exist six functions of management and 14 principles of management. These functions comprise of forecasting, controlling, coordinating, commanding, organizing, and forecasting. His 14 principles of an organization comprised of several rules that thriving organizations should adopt. In the history of management, the term administration is attributed to Fayol. His 14 principles made planners realize that some management principles were very vital for effective management and the overall success of an organization.

Fundamentals of the contemporary workforce

Competitive advantage is a theory that proposes that organizations should practice strategies that result in the production of superior products for sell at higher prices in the market (Esty & Winston 2006, p. 2). Through this concept, organizations can be able to outweigh their competitors hence generate higher revenues. Competitive advantage can be attained by a business organization when it obtains or comes up with features that allow it to outweigh its rivals. These features might include natural resources, skilled employees, and new technologies. For contemporary organizations, competitive advantages allow them to stay ahead of their competitors by producing quality products and selling them at a lower price. Through this approach, contemporary organizations can survive and gain prominence in the markets.

An overview of human resource management

The success of each organization is attributed to its leaders and employees. As such, people make huge differences in an organization (Robbins & Coulter 2005, p. 23). Through people’s effort, an organization move forward or slow down. An organization’s problems, misunderstandings, poor productivity, and low morale result from people’s differences in an organization. Equally, an organization’s value can be determined by evaluating its expertise and the outputs of these individuals. Based on the above statements, human resource managers should acknowledge that people in an organization do contribute to the differences that exist between organizations. Since human contributions are strategic factors in determining an organization’s success, human resource managers should develop clear guidelines on how to address issues affecting people in their organizations.

International management and globalisation

Globalization has presented business organizations with greater challenges. Unlike before, organizations have to make appropriate choices to be able to compete favourably with other international organizations. For managers, working in a global economy has presented numerous challenges. These challenges include language barriers, cultural differences, trust and understanding, time zone challenges, and work practices (McFarlin 2011, p. 12). Notably, the language barrier is the greatest challenge to international management. Though top international organization executives are fluent in several languages, it is a fact that they cannot speak the languages of some of their employees. Another major challenge faced by managers is cultural differences. As an international organization executive, one is required to get used to several cultures and appreciate the differences that exist between these cultures.

Motivation and rewards theories

In an organization, job satisfaction, performance, and design determine the level of employees’ motivation (Hagedorn, 2000 p. 1). Based on this concept, organizations should aim at increasing these factors to increase motivation among the employees. Sociologists assert that enthusiasm, optimism, and feelings of satisfaction can help an organization to flourish. Currently, organizations are facing challenges in motivating their employees. The standards in which job performance, design, and satisfaction are measured are dynamic and vary from one organization to the other. The link between these factors can be portrayed through employees’ commitment. Therefore, organizations’ executives should employ several approaches to ensure that job design and performance are tailored towards motivating the employees.


Esty, D. C., & Winston, A. S 2006. Green to gold: how smart companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage. Yale University Press. New Haven Conn.

Hagedorn, L. S 2000. What contributes to job satisfaction among faculty and staff. Jossey-Bass Publishers. San Francisco, Calif.

McFarlin, D. B 2011. International management strategic opportunities and cultural challenges. Routledge. New York.

Robbins, S. P., & Coulter, M. K 2005. Management. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Witzel, M 2011. A history of management thought. Routledge. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon.

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