What are the main features of rational organisation and what are its strengths and weaknesses? To what extent would you recommend rational organisation design as the way forward for junction hotel?
This essay will take an in depth analysis of the rational organisation design and evaluate the affects that it will implement on Junction Hotel, if they decide to run their organisation according to the rational theory. This will entail a detailed look into theorists such as Frederick Taylor who supported the rational approach and also a look into the opposing views from Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne experiments.
Rational organisational design is the process of choosing and implementing a structural configuration for an organisation this is further developed in other forms such as Bureaucracy, McDonaldisation and Scientific management. Bureaucracy is organizational structure, procedures and regulations in order to manage activity; bureaucracy is used in organisation such as Marks & Spencers, Apple and Nottingham Trent University. McDonaldisation is when organisations become standardised and focus upon efficiency and predictability, it is extremely efficient and allows workers to perform their tasks quickly with minimal effort required. Scientific management is an approach to help improve labour productivity; it divides work into simplistic, repetitive tasks.
Rational design is based upon the idea of increasing efficiency this is both beneficial for the business as well as consumers, by increasing the efficiency of Junction Hotel they will be able to maximise service and gain overall control of the business structure. Junction Hotel has a lack of structure, disorganisation in the chain of command and unequal distribution in responsibility which limits the hotel and puts them behind their competitors.
As the hotel industry is changing it is important that Junction hotel adopt a more bureaucratic approach and change their traditional style to a more efficient and simpler operation as this will help cut down the time to do tasks and reduce staff costs, however this will effect the social and human factors of the hotel which is a growing concern for manager Jill Scott as she believes this will de-motivate and demoralise the staff. Also by adopting this more structured approach Junction Hotel will risk losing their unique and up market advantage however it will allow them to gain a stronger foundation to compete with hotel chains such as Travelodge and Premier Travel Inn.
In the extract titled The McDonaldisation of society (Ritzer,G 2008, p.57) states that “efficient workers can perform their tasks more rapidly and easily. Mangers and owners gain because more work gets done, more customers are served and greater profits are earned.” By adopting this particular approach Junction Hotel can use the 4 aspects of McDonaldisation: Efficiency, Calculability, Predictability and Control therefore by making the hotel calculable its makes the business controllable thus giving the mangers more control over the organisation. Ritzer (1996) a bureaucracy is a large-scale organisation…People have certain responsibilities and must act in accord with rules, written regulations and means of compulsion exercised by those who occupy higher-level positions.
By implementing bureaucratic tools such as scheduled time tables Junction Hotel will be able to monitor and improve productivity and efficiency as (Ritzer 2008, p.57) states that increasing efficiency is behind just-in-time production, faster service, streamlined operations and tight schedules everywhere. Also in addition if Junction Hotel reorganises their organisational chart it will help reinforce efficiency and control as staff will have clear managerial figures to report to (Morgan 2006, p.18) precisely defined jobs organized in a hierarchical manner thorough, precisely defined lines of command of communication.
For example by allowing Graham Effingham to have both control over the kitchen and waiting staff it will implement a more rationalized approach and increase efficiency, furthermore by also allowing Jill Harvey and Meg Mortimer to share managerial position it will not only help distribute responsibility evenly but also gain more control over the staff and help reduce red tape within the organisation as (Morgan 2006, p.21) states Job responsibilities interlock so that they complement each other as perfectly as possible and are linked together through the scalar chain of command expressed in the classical dictum “one man, one boss.”
However by Junction Hotel adopting these methods of rules and regulations to improve the organisational structure it will have an affect on the social and human aspects of the business by diminishing the creativity and spirit of the staff which Weber called disenchantment. (Morgan 2006, p.17) states the bureaucratic approach had the potential to routines and mechanizes almost every aspect of human life eroding the human spirit and capacity for spontaneous action. The bureaucratic approach is similar to another method known as scientific management which again divides work up into simpler tasks and has massive increases in efficiency, uniformity and predictability. The advantages of this approach include increased operating efficiency, low-skill and low-cost labour, minimal training requirements and controlled production quantity (Ray French 2008, p.207). However this method lacks challenge and would de-motivate workers.
Junction Hotel would face many benefits by choosing to adopt the rational organisational design it would provide higher efficiency for mass production and cut costs for the hotel, aid human productivity and potential, increase control and allow tasks to be managed more efficiently, quickly and rapidly thus increasing customer service and profit. Also other organisations such as my space have adopted this design to gain control of the business and increase effectiveness within the organisation The Times (2009) announced the staffing cuts as part of a plan to restructure itself into a “more innovative, efficient and entrepreneurial business” However there are leading concerns and negative affects on humans that outweigh the strengths of the approach.
By increasing efficiency the hotel is choosing the optimum means to a given end (Ritzer 2008, p.57) but arguably ignores the social factors such as teamwork, creativity and culture as it dehumanizes workers and reduces them to robots as it removes responsibility, lacks innovation and has a lack of integration “even the most casual smile, greeting, comment or suggestion by sales assistant is often programmed” (Morgan 2006). Upon taking the rational design junction Hotel would face weaknesses such as lack of job structure and negative attitudes from de-motivated and unchallenged staff, employees could lose opportunities for personal growth as they would spend much time on a days work which they neither value nor enjoy and the hotel would lose out on creative and intelligent contributions this would lead to poor efficiency and as a result this would reflect in reduced staff performance.
However when implementing a rational approach for Junction Hotel it is important that jobs a properly clarified this could be done by having work manuals that clearly define job roles and responsibilities’. In addition to this Junction Hotel could implement a work scheme that allow staff to gain incentives and help develop personal growth within the organisation. This would highly motivate staff and allow creativity to flow throughout the business thus making a productive workforce. Theorist Elton mayo was involved in human relations and believed people should be treated as part of a team he was key part in the Hawthorne studies and showed that in numerous ways social groups can motivate employees.
Teamwork is seen as an essential requirement for organisational success not only does it bring social benefits for employees but also potentially increase productivity as it gives workers a higher sense of commitment. “They had been made to feel important, to feel wanted. They had a sense of togetherness and they were consulted…When they were treated like human beings, anything was possible, even working in moonlight” (Donkin,R 2001, p.173). Therefore by taking into consideration more of the human and social aspects Junction Hotel could produce a happier and more quality service. However the disadvantages of this more social approach are that teams can be harder to manage and productivity can be slowed.
As managers of Junction Hotel it is vital that there is good understanding of how teams and groups work as it is an important factor. Schein (1987) suggest anyone attempting to bring about changes in a team/group which is well established must take the elements of that team’s culture and norms into account and attempt to maintain them or facilitate the teams to understand how culture and norms blocking potential beneficial change. This would benefit Junction Hotel as employees would have a sense of belonging and commitment to the company this would increase productivity and raise high moral with in the organisation as culture sets behaviour and the way we think. Junction hotel could achieve this by changing or implementing a new mission statement this would make employees work harder because they would have set values and also bring harmony into the working environment. Furthermore as Junction Hotel are looking to make changes it is important that employees have a high sense of commitment as (Coghlan,D 1994, p.20) states the chances of change seem to be increased when a groups members have a strong sense of belonging to the same group.
From the research and evidence gathered there are many strengths as well as weaknesses for Junction hotel to adopt the rational organisation design. Due to changes in hotel industry and market trends it has been hard for the Hotel to compete with competitors such as Travelodge and Premiere Inn who use efficient and standardized means to enhance productivity. Even though rational design has an affect on human and social factors, it is important that Junction Hotel adopt a more effective and organised approached. Junction hotel should consider rational design so that they have a more bureaucratic structure allowing them to have efficient workers, higher means of productivity and streamlined operations.
However it is important that Junction Hotel do not neglect the social and human factors as this also helps contribute to productivity and quality, this is important because Junction Hotel will need keep their competitive advantage to separate them from their competitors “note that value engineering is not just about delivering the cheap and cheerful…it’s about delivering the best customer experience for a given cost where the saving is bigger that the reduction in value for the customer”. (Davis, Evan 2009)
• COGHLAN, D (1994) ‘Managing organizational change through groups and teams, ‘Leadership and Organization Development Journal 15(2): 18-23 • DAVIS, Evan (2009), Value Engineering, BBC,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/evandavis/2007/05/value_engineering.html [accessed 6th November 2009]
• DONKIN, R (2001) Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Evolution of Work London: Texere. (Ch. 11- Western Electric Discovers Motivation). • HARVEY, Mike, (2009) MySpace to shed 30% of its US workforce, The Times Online, 16 June • MORGAN, G (2006) Images of Organisation London: Sage (Ch.2- ‘Mechanization Takes Command’) • Ray French (2008) Organizational