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The Manila branch: VBD Report Essay

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of this report is to discuss and analyse the significant rise in absenteeism at the Manila, Philippines branch. The Manila branch is significant to Moda as it is a major product manufacturer and distributor. The output of the branch is crucial to supplying demand for Moda’s products to the global market and therefore it is imperative that this issue is addressed directly to avoid further complications. Furthermore, it will examine the planning and controlling managerial functions that are currently in place at the Manila branch and provide recommendations in order to effectively address this issue.

2.0 Problem Defined

Moda is unable to function effectively without the input of a cohesive workplace. Significant levels of absence can have a substantial impact on the company’s productivity, finances and morale. It has already had a detrimental effect on the internal culture as employees are forced to work extensive hours in order cover the work for absent workmates. Additionally, a high standard of productive quality is unable to be maintained without an organised and stable workforce. It is essential that the organisation respond to this issue with urgency. Due to the nature of the issue at the Manila branch, this report will focus on the planning and controlling functions of management to ensure that the level of absenteeism and its resulting symptoms do not continue to increase.

3.0 Problem Analysis

This section will analyse the issue of absenteeism currently faced at the Manila branch in relation with two aspects of management. The planning and controlling functions will be discussed in accordance with the overall expectations and standards of the organisation.

3.1 Environmental Factors

Organisations must analyse the external environment in order to gather information about potential opportunities and threats for the business. The external environment exists outside the boundary of the organisation and differs significantly depending on the country or region. Organisations have no control over the external environment and must adapt their plans in order to function efficiently and effectively. The natural environment of Brisbane, Moda’s head office, differs significantly to that of the Manila branch. In order to address the high level of absenteeism, Moda must examine these differences and alter its strategies and control methods accordingly.

In Manila, extreme weather conditions pose a significant threat. Metro Manila has a predominantly tropical monsoon climate, characterised by a distinct dry season, and a lengthy and cooler wet season. Heavy monsoonal rain and typhoons are common from May through to December, paralyzing businesses and work in the Philippine capital. Inadequate infrastructure and excessive pollution causes extensive flooding in many parts of the city Leister, 2013). As a result, employees are displaced and unable to find transportation to their workplace.

This is a stark contrast to the climate and weather conditions in Brisbane. In Australia, weather conditions rarely affect working conditions or prohibit transportation. Consequently, planning for seasonal weather conditions is not necessary except in contingency and hypothetical planning. Lack of consideration for the Pilipino climate is most likely the cause of the high rate of absenteeism at the Manila branch.

3.2 Planning

Planning is considered the most basic function of management. According to Daft and Samson it can be defined as, “Selecting missions and objective as well as the actions to achieve them”. Planning begins with setting goals and looking ahead to determine future opportunities and threats for the organisation. By establishing a rational path to attain targets, planning bridges the gap from where an organisation stands at present to where it wants to go in the future.

The first step to strategic planning is developing an analysis and assessment in order to gain an understanding of the current external environment . The general environment has an indirect influence on the organisation. However, it must be understood and incorporated into organisational planning in order to identify any threats that may prevent the business from achieving its goals.

An organisation is unable to perform to its full potential and grow as a global competitor without an overriding direction . Moda’s purpose is clearly outlined in the company’s mission statement: “We deliver superior customer value by providing low-cost, quality garments to individuals globally”. The planning process begins at the top of the management hierarchy and therefore Moda’s mission sets the overall policies and standards for the organisation as a whole. Moda’s head office benefits from a strict leave policy, whereby a certain number of ‘days off’ are given to employees in the case of personal needs. As a result, Moda’s plans assume that all employees will be present throughout the year.

By analysing planning as a function of management, it is apparent that there is an underlying issue with the policies at the Manila branch. Although Moda’s strategic planning may be effective in Brisbane, it does not taken into consideration Manila’s different external environment. Perhaps an alternative plan should be looked at which effectively meets the needs of employees at the Manila branch in order to maintain the same standard of quality positive internal culture.

3.3 Controlling

Koonts & Weihrich define controlling as, “Measuring and correcting individual and organisational performance to ensure that events conform to plans”. In short, controlling facilitates the accomplishment of plans. The managerial functions of planning and controlling are largely interconnected whereby controlling carries the business towards its goals by measuring performance and correcting negative deviations.

One of the most important functions of control is ensuring that products meet the organisation’s quality standards. Quality control ensures that customers receive products that have been manufactured to specification. Moda has a strong feedback control process whereby a final inspection examines the quality of all of its products. This ensures that all products meet the high quality expectation indicated in Moda’s mission statement.

Furthermore, feedback control ensures that all aspects of management align with the organisation’s code of ethics. These policies stand as a guide to all levels of management in every Moda branch. Managers are responsible for taking active steps to ensure that the organisation stays on an ethical footing. However, globalisation increases the complexity of ethical issues for today’s management. In order to be effective, a control system must fit the organisation culture and also accommodate for different values and norms depending on the location.

This clearly highlights the importance of controlling as a function of management in order to monitor product quality and ensure that the standards and code of ethics are upheld throughout the organisation. A strong feedback control system is essential at the Manila branch to ensure that the high level of absenteeism does not create an unethical workplace. Control ensures that employees are not overworked and each division is able to function without a full team due to unreliable weather conditions

4.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, reanalyzing the planning and controlling managerial functions which are currently in place at Moda’s Manila branch will ensure that the business continues to meet its high quality and moral standards which are expected by the business, its employees and its consumers. The level of absenteeism caused by Manila’s unstable weather patterns cannot be reduced. However, active steps can be taken so that it does not continue to affect the work standard or culture of the organisation.

5.0 Recommendations

Moda must make improvements to the Manila branch in order to resolve the issue and avoid further complications. The following recommendations must be implemented to avoid further issues emerging from this branch: -Establish a long-term plan that is consistent with Manila’s natural environment in order to establish high quality standards without breaching the organisation’s ethics and standards. -Management must implement a more effective control process to ensure that the quality and ethical standard is maintained at the Manila branch.

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