As a company that wants to grow, SPAR s Applied System Group (ASG) faces a few external and internal pressures urging the company to change in order to adapt to the new business environment. SPAR’s Applied Systems’ client base primarily consists of government-based agency, from Canada’s Department of National Defense to U.S’s Navy and Coast Guard. However due to shrinking budgets in the defense department of government-based agency, SPARs Applied Systems faces the external pressures of less sales due to lower demanded from its major clients. Along with decrease demand ASG also faces the problem of its heritage programs nearing competition, 70% of its revenues will be gone once these projects are completed. ASG also have the policy of cost plus when working on government projects, which meant if the project was delayed or went over budget ASG would have to eat the cost. Another external pressure that is forcing ASG to change is the company is technology focus rather than customer focus, with the increasing competitions in the market ASG is ill prepare for the external pressure of growing competitiveness in their field.
A major internal pressure ASG is experiencing has to do with their employees, although ASG’s employees are the most skilled in their field, the company itself did not know how to best direct their energy. The employees were comfortable working in their current environment, which means costs are not effectively allocated. With declining revenue it is critical for management to change the culture in order for the company to be more profitable. Along with the contract of cost plus it becomes clear that ASG needs to allocate their cost efficiently in order to generate profit. In conclusion none of this can be achieved without Stephen Miller. What Makes Stephen great leaders, when Stephen faced numerous challenges when he took on the role as the General Manager at ASG.? The problems that he faced were quite difficult to solve with a single solution, rather there were multiple alternatives.
The greatest challenge we believe that he faced was that ASG was competition in a decreasing market, which was Government aviation and defense industry. Majority of the company’s revenues came from government contracts that were soon to be ending. The entire government spending towards defense and space aviation was decreasing and ASG had to make the transition towards more consumer based. In regards to that single problem, Stephen faced a lot of internal and external pressures. Stephen had to change the corporate culture from focusing on being technology driven to customer based. There were two kind of leadership that we think Stephen used as the GM. First it was situational leadership because, that leadership is composed of both a directive and a supportive dimension, and each has to be applied appropriately in a given situation. He actively searched out the best and the most experienced candidates in their field of work or specialty.
Stephen then would guide them with both the directive and supportive dimensions until they were truly good what they did for ASG. The second leadership was the Path goal theory, the reason I saw that is because theory is about how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish designated goals. The reason why I say that is because, the company was moving in a new direction, and Stephen was trying to foster a new corporate culture. He was trying fostering team work, opening communication channels and acknowledging great performance from individuals. Stephen motivated his colleagues to believe in the new path that was set by first focusing on the employees. In addition Stephen was a transformation leader he used the Inspirational Motivation technique which fostered team spirit, motivation and provide meaning and challenge to his colleagues. The challenge that ASG faced, Stephen made every believe that was their personal problem.
Lastly how did he overcome the team leadership problem? Well what Stephen has singular responsibility for running a custom that will help the group accomplish efficacy. Well team leadership incorporates both internal and external situations. Stephen did that be choosing which methods would benefits his company the most. One of the best decision Stephen did was hire Ana Solari, but what were her challenges. “Anna Solari with an experience of 10-years, worked as Human Resources Consultant for two Different commercial high technology firms” (Rowe, 244). She is relatively new to Spar Applied system and her new job as a director is to create “departmental vision and strategy for 2000” (Rowe, 241). She began her work by gathering data from a population of 341 employees and named it “Baseline Audit”. She was excited with the challenge that well established company wants to focus more on commercially oriented aviation customers than government customers.
The Baseline Audit introduces several challenges to Anna and these are as follow: Anna finds that ASG functional departments operates in isolation and “upper management wanteda structure organized by process that functioned in integrated teams created for specific contracts”(Rowe, 245), So ASG improves its market share by providing products on time. Furthermore, Anna describes the corporate culture as “When I walked into was a very traditional, hierarchical organization with four or five layers of management.” (Rowe, 245) that she believe major hurdle in communication between upper management and general workers. As a result, accountability cannot be managed properly because it rests with those who possessed the “manager” title. Anna was surprise to know that work place appearance was detrimental “such as the color of the paint on the walls, poor ventilation, and questions about health and safety standards from workers.” (Rowe, 245) she wondered how the company will eliminate the next attempt of unionization, if management couldn’t motivate employees.
Recruitment and training is another area, where she feels ASG should look into so new ideas and performance can be improved. As she said “they broke out of the mold a little bit when they hired me.” (Rowe, 246) Since Applied System Group is technology base department, therefore, it prefers hiring from within because they believe experience is much better than new graduate. It also limits the involvement of Human Resource department that make sure whether the worker is fit for new role. Furthermore, if an employee needs critical training which is not available within the organization then ASG sends the worker outside to community college. This practice shows that department doesn’t have enough technical staff or expertise that trains employees. In regards to the new direction of ASG under Stephen Miller, what changes were needed? From our analysis, Stephen Miller determined that ASG was unable to compete in the commercial marketplace.
ASG products were marketed for government and military client and failed the ability to meet the requirement of new customers. Under the direction of Stephen miller, the changes that were needed in the HR department were (1) dramatically change the ASG culture from technology driven to market driven, (2) make possible for the division to make more money for at least six months in a row, (3) Design a global long-term strategy rather than short-term strategy to help ASG to create a culture that will allow more teamwork and open communication to increase both the flexibility and performance of the organization Anna clearly best approached to lead her HR department smoothly is using the transformational change framework. It involves an entire rethinking of how the company is structured and managed, and emphasize at eliminating the poor management skills to prevent the next unionization.
In such change, instead of conforming to procedures and practices, the company needs to restructure and redefines its practices and policies. Anna experienced culture at ASG was quite formal where major problem encountered in communication between upper management and general employees, equity, behavior shifts, overtime policies and sick leave, poor working condition and little face-to-face communication are the main hurdle for HR department run smoothly. Anna best approached to loosen up the company situation is by using the transformational change framework to restructure and redefines its practices and policies.
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