Flight Plans

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Flight Plans

1. Using the four functions as your guide, what challenges would Jeff Bourk face in managing the Branson Airport?

 While managers are called upon to perform all the basic functions of management, planning, organizing, leading and controlling, most top managers and CEO’s focus on planning.  While Jeff wears many management hats, his biggest job is setting the strategy and mission of the airport. According to the case introduction, the building of the nation’s first privately built airport took a lot of time to plan and there were many arrangements, i.e. the contract with the city that laid the foundation for future success.

2. Again, using the four functions as your guide, do you think the managerial challenges Jeff Bourk faced when getting the airport up and running are different from what he faces now in actually overseeing the airport’s operation? Explain.

As organizations move from the planning stage toward implementation, the other functions of management become important. Organizing employees to build the airport and then running the day to day operations i.e. scheduling employees, maintaining security, dealing with HR issues, takes much of a manager’s time.  Leading will also become more important as motivation of airport employees needs to be sustained.  Finally, control mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that the operations of the airport run smoothly and safety regulations are followed.

3. What management roles would Jeff Bourk be playing as he (a) negotiates new contracts with potential airlines, (b) works with the airport employees in providing a high level of customer service to arriving and departing passengers, and (c) resolves the contractual issues with the city of Branson? Be specific and explain your choices.

According to managerial functions, managers will perform many roles in the course of their duties.  Evaluating this question in parts according to Mintzberg’s roles (a) is a liaison and/or negotiator role, (b) is a leader and/or disturbance handler role, (c) is a negotiator, liaison, and/or disturbance handler role. 

4. What skills would be most important to a manager like Jeff Bourk? Explain your choices.

Top managers rely greatly on conceptual and human skills to perform their job.  While CEO’s may have relied upon their technical skills early in their career, their role as organizational leader dictates that they focus on establishing the goals and strategies of their organization.  As a CEO, Jeff’s main concern is the big picture (i.e. how to fund the venture, establishing contracts with airlines, and gaining community support.)  CEO’s can’t and should not be required to know all the technical details of the organization (i.e. the specific construction skills necessary to build airport buildings, food preparation, and baggage handling). Human relations skills are important at all levels, something that would be necessary when dealing with city officials and employee disputes.

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