The collapse of the financial markets, touching off reverberations in the real economy in the last months of 2008 has inevitably been described as the “worst economic catastrophe” since the great depression of the 1930s. To this effect, many observers have raised several questions such as; which parties had a hand in the creation of the financial and emerging economic crisis? Who is to blame; people, systems or processes? Can the crisis be attributed to the actions or inactions of certain parties? Was there collusion between Wall Street executives and regulators? While these questions may never subside, the global financial downturn was a clear exposition of defective managerial prudence and decision-making unevenly dispersed across financial institutions, agencies, government bodies and investors.
Peter Drucker, in a famous Wall Street Journal article, “what do managers do,” explained that the fundamentals of any effective management lies in the degree of uprightness of doing five basic tasks; setting objectives, organizing and planning, motivation and communication, performance measurement and people management. In this light, we could deduce that the measure of managerial effectiveness of any successful enterprise is in its ability to; employ remarkable people with great skills and integrity, make use of the best accounting policies that reflect economic reality, engage excellent information chan...
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..., one could also argue that it is only a matter of time before this disaster is forgotten and managers in their greed driven pursuit of wealth begin to look for innovative ways to take advantage of future opportunities. To this effect, organisations should learn and adopt more effective strategies to tackle future occurrences. They should aim to gain stability by creating an external monitor to assess the corporate health of their organisation from a holistic point of view. Effective risk management measures should also be put in place to mitigate the risk of inherent in the opportunity and advantage seeking behaviour of the twenty first century business environment. Those at the helm of affairs should also employ skilled manpower with the highest level of employee integrity and ensure a well-structured long-term incentive structure for both principals and agents.
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