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Corporate Managers

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The thought of applying critical success factors as a basis for identifying the information and knowledge needs of corporate managers was proposed by Daniel (1961) and Rockart (1979). The critical success factors idea is very straightforward: in any establishment, certain factors may be found to critical to the achievement of that establishment, in such a way that, if the related objectives are not attained, the firm will not succeed - possibly appallingly so (Huotari & Wilson, 1996).

The primary purpose of applying critical success factors approach was to examine the idea that the information and knowledge demanding areas of any firm can be recognized by using the critical success factors method within the value chain to indicate the significant areas and, in so doing, facilitate the recognition of organization’s information and knowledge needs (Huotari & Wilson, 1996). Organizational information needs can be defined as those corporate information needs that ought to be satisfied if the firm is to realize its strategic goals (RapidBy, 2009). The proposition is that those areas of any firms operations that were perceived to be of vital significance should be the areas in which much effort should be focused in order to make the information and knowledge systems effective (Huotari & Wilson, 2001).

Good practice suggests that organizational CSFs should be limited to about five- regardless of the organization’s size (David, 2009). This ensures better understanding of the company and the industry environment as a whole (David, 2009). It has been shown that critical success factors have five principal sources i.e. Strategy, Industry, Temporal, and Environmental (David, 2009). It is imperative to have a good understanding of these primary sources so as to apply them well. These primary factors are custom-made for individuals and companies depending in the uniqueness of each organization (David, 2009).

Open-ended, qualitative, interviews were carried out to make out the organization’s critical areas, associated information requirements and the application of these information and knowledge systems. Fifteen interviews were conducted at each of the level of the information system, Staff orientation and human resources, quality data and reporting, Research and development, production and quality assurance in general, and general management as means of support for all operations in this sector. In addition, Training and education, resources, co-operation, Communication to improve quality, efficiency and speed, Continuous improvement, decision making and planningwere initially perceived as critical. The critical areas of information needs, Research and development activity, and human resource issues were important for the company’s operations, product development and drug approval and performance of all activities in general.

SWOT analysis

Strengths

 

Weaknesses

 

  • Sensitivity to changing market needs
  • Innovative response to customer needs
  • Information system power
  • Promotion magnitude and impact
  • Insensitivity to cues for co-operation

Opportunities

 

Threats

 

  • Linkage of technology to market demand
  • Willingness to form inter company coalitions
  • Knowing when to shift resources from old to new products
  • Co-operative trade relations
  • Lack of product-line overlap
  • Large marketing resource budget
  • Patent protection

Each critical success factor should be quantifiable and related to a target objective (RapidBy, 2009). Primary measures that were listed include critical achievement levels such as number of business transactions per month or, in cases where detailed measurements were more complex, general goals were specified such as moving up in an organizations’ consumer service survey (RapidBy, 2009).

Critical Success Factors for __________________ Dated ____________

Critical Success Factor

Source of CSF

Primary Measures & Targets

information and knowledge

Strategy, Industry, Temporal,  Environmental [delete as appropriate]

 

 Quality data and reporting

Strategy, Industry, Temporal,  Environmental [delete as appropriate]

 

 Research and development

Strategy, Industry, Temporal,  Environmental [delete as appropriate]

 

 Staff Orientation and human resource

Strategy, Industry, Temporal,  Environmental [delete as appropriate]

 

 Role of the quality department

Strategy, Industry, Temporal,  Environmental [delete as appropriate]

 

Measuring, understanding and managing CFCs and the performance measures within them, is becoming more and more vital in ensuring the continued existence and future success of many organizations. It is the critical success factors which connect daily activities of the firm to its strategies (RapidBy, 2009).

To come up with the five critical success factors, the research first sought to know the firms Success Factors (David, 2009). During the course of the study, about thirty issues or more were argued as critical factors for the sustained wellbeing of the firm. The second phase of the study involved narrowing them down and the aligning them to daily activities of the firm’s strategy. Good practice suggests that organizational critical success factors should be limited to about five- regardless of the organization’s size (David, 2009). This ensures better understanding of the company and the industry environment as a whole. It has been shown that critical success factors have five principal sources i.e. Strategy, Industry, Temporal, and Environmental (David, 2009). It is imperative to have a good understanding of these primary sources so as to apply them well. These primary factors are custom-made for individuals and companies depending in the uniqueness of each organization (David, 2009).

In an attempt to formulate excellent critical success factors, one of the guiding principles was to build up critical success factors whose application results in apparent differences (RapidBy, 2009). The main impetus for the development of critical success factors was the credence that possibly measurable factors are more realizable- unlike factors which are immeasurable (RapidBy, 2009). Accordingly, it is imperative to formulate critical success factors which are possibly measurable or observable in one aspect or another in such a way that it will be easiier to concentrate on these issues. These factors don't have to be measurable quantitatively as this will confuse critical success factors and key performance indicators (KPI); however, writing Critical Success Factors in observable requisites will be excellent (RapidBy, 2009).

Another impetus was to formulate Critical Success Factors that have a momentous impact on the performance of the organization (RapidBy, 2009). By definition, Critical Success Factors are the "most significant" factors for individuals or organizations.   Nevertheless, outstanding care should be applied in identification these Critical Success Factors largely due to many possible qualitative approaches to this formulation with many possible choices for the potentially results and factors in question (RapidBy, 2009). To accurately have the expected impact as envisioned when Critical Success Factors were formulated, it is imperative to thus identify the actual Critical Success Factors, i.e. the factors which would have the prevalent impact on the performance of an organization or that of an individual (RapidBy, 2009).

One of the critical factors that study focused on was the role of theinformation and knowledge in the firm (RapidBy, 2009). This spot covered such areas as computerized Information System and infrastructure setting up competent in general, that enable the firm to achieve its intended performance in the functions of documentation, the speed of information storage, retrieves and dissemination, marketing, finance and personnel in particular, support in interactive Information System development, and cost-effectiveness in setting up the organization’s Information System (RapidBy, 2009).

Similarly, Quality data and reporting was referred as involving following critical areas: the correctness and proficiency of information processed and supplied by internal operations and planning departments in addition to the information processed for top administration decision making, the capacity to keep top administration updated on organization’s legislation, and the up-to-date and sufficiency quality of Information System resources to provide necessary information for administrative intelligence.

Merck & Co., Inc is committed to remaining at the forefront of research and development with a dedication to discovery. The organization’s scientists use the most advanced research and development tools available, including combinatorial chemistry, bioinformatics, genomics, pharmacogenomics, high-throughput screening, DNA techniques, recombinant and computerized molecular modeling (Merck, 2009). These resources enable the firm to stay at the front position in invention and innovation.  Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) is the Research division of Merck. With ten major research centers worldwide and approximately 10,000 employees, this research division is building upon a tradition of spinning cutting-edge science into new vaccines and medicines that truly advance health care (Merck, 2009). Research and development is continually expanding into an ever-budding number of therapeutic areas, including obesity, cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes, generating enormous discoveries (Merck, 2009).

Overall, Staff Orientation and human resource were perceived critical. The examination of the information needs of the human resource department and the speed of the human resource processes were vital to the performance of the overall, staff orientation and human resource activities. The speed of carrying out the human resource activities, high quality documentation, and the knowledge of human resource internal and external legislation were crucial for registration. Computer programming and data processing for improving the human resource service, improved service for the companies’ staff, and effective two-way information transfer and communication involving human resource department and the staff were crucial to the organization.

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