In addition to job knowledge managers should also possess knowledge of various jobs, products, markets, finances, creditors, of the organization etc. The techniques imparting organizational knowledge are job rotation and multiple management.
The transferring of executives from job to Job and from department to department in a systematic manner is called job rotation. The idea behind this is to give them the required diversified skills and a broader outlook, which are very important at upper management levels. The management should provide a variety of job experiences for those adjudged to have the potential for higher ranks before they are promoted. Job rotation increases the inter-departmental cooperation and reduces the monotony of the work.
Multiple management is a system in which permanent advisory committees of managers study problems of the company and makes recommendations to higher management. It is also called junior board of executives. These committees discuss the actual problems and different alternative solutions after which the decisions are taken. Multiple management technique offer several advantages: it helps board members to gain first hand experience in various important aspects of business it becomes easy to spot people with talent, juniors get a chance to improve their problem solving skills, and more importantly it is an inexpensive way of training a good number of executives to do things on their own and develop fast.
In addition to job knowledge and organizational knowledge managers should possess general knowledge, as the external environment interacts with and influences the business. The general knowledge includes the knowledge about the economic conditions of the country and the world in general, in respect to major areas such as price, GNP per capita income, various other industries, other sectors of the economy, political conditions, social factors etc. General knowledge can be acquired through special courses, special meetings and specific readings.
1) Special courses: Special courses – like the workshops or executive development programs organized by the institutes, universities and colleges – help the trainees to acquire general knowledge.
2) Special meetings: Special meetings organized in Consumers’ Forums, Voluntary Organizations etc., help the trainees develop their general knowledge
3) Specific readings: Specific articles published by various journals, specific portions of important books are provided to the trainees to improve their general knowledge.
An understudy is a person who is in training to assume at a future time, the full responsibility of the position currently held by his superior. This method supplies the organization a person with as much competence as the superior to fill his post which may fall vacant because of promotion, retirement, and transfer. An understudy is usually chosen by the head of particular department. The head will then teach him what his entire job involves. The superior involves him in decision making by discussing the daily operating problems as well.
Understudy assignments help the superior to lighten his workload by delegating some portion of his work to a designated person. The understudy in turn, gets an opportunity to learn the superior’s job and get ready for challenging roles at a later date. It is beneficial from the organization’s point of view also as it will not be at the receiving end when an executive suddenly leaves his job. On the negative side, the designation of a person as an understudy may spark off jealousy and rivalry among competing subordinates. Since the understudy has been specially picked up others who are left out in the race may get a feeling that competition for promotions is over. This would affect the motivation level of both the one who is designated (who tends to breathe easy, take the assignment for granted and even relax for a while) and the other personnel (who tends to carry the bitter feelings for a long, long time). The whole exercise would be beneficial only when trainees get a real opportunity to deal with challenging or interesting assignments (instead of performing paper shuffling chores).