Organizational Theory Final Paper Essay
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Due to the recent and anticipated changes the U.S. government has made and continues to make in procedures regarding contract awards, as well as external market pressures from the economic downturn, I submit this proposal as a new approach to the existing organizational structure.
Because talent and loyalty are at such a high premium in today’s workforce, I submit that the workforce be modified structurally rather than a full-scale reduction. This economic crisis will not last long and our current reaction and decisions will determine our longevity in the market.
So the main objective of this restructure will be to make the best and most beneficial use of our employees that are committed to moving forward and to continue to build goodwill with our employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers.
Changes in technology are not an issue for this particular proposal. The very nature of this company enhances flexibility in technological changes and even spear-heads changes in some aspects of industry.
There may be mild behavior changes needed, but only to coincide with structural changes. The structural changes should prove to be positively accepted, as underutilization and overutilization issues should be resolved.
The outcomes expected are:
* reduced costs by realigning talent to appropriate duties
* redefining merits for bonuses and certain benefits
* offering more flexible working conditions for higher performance
* creating diverse teams based on goals and projects
* redesign Marketing division, re-evaluate goals, re-evaluate performance
Forces Driving Change:
* Characteristics of workforce have changed
* The organizational structure of this company embraces military-like order. Modification of this approach is needed to empower team structure and welcome more civilian business approaches as “staff and middle management are better networked, more mobile, and smarter about their value and their options in the market.” (PWC)
* Labor supply has changed
* Much of the upper management and specialized employees are retired military, bringing them closer to a second retirement. While current conditions have delayed this trend it still exists. Competing companies aggressively recruit educated and experienced managers and industry specialists so we must create conditions that will foster satisfaction and loyalty. * Government contract allocation procedures have changed
* More attention and emphasis must be put on other areas of the company’s businesses for wealth building. Government contracting has adjusted rates and opened the door for smaller companies to compete for Defense and Aerospace teaming contracts. * Economic downturns have caused readjustments in businesses and education * The Business Services company needs to update and integrate new business-to-business consulting approaches, enhancing and adding to our strict Six Sigma training. * The Advanced Visualization Solutions division needs to develop their products to serve beyond educational facilities, as most facilities are not currently able to invest in state-of-the-art technology. These products need to be streamlined to bring the cost of production and cost to customers down.
* The Construction Company needs to focus on developing more domestic business. The international projects need to be managed by on-site managers via patriots or expatriate assignments. This will reduce expensive unplanned international travel as well as build goodwill with the natives of the country the project is based in. * The Marketing/Communications division has become obsolete, using old approaches of only upgrading the company website and only attending industry exhibitions and conferences. Marketing has become isolated from the energy that exists in the whole of the company, not working cooperatively or creatively with each subsidiary company. This is possibly due to absence of the sense of meaningfulness in the managers, thus lack of motivation.
* The Core Divisions need more cohesion in their performance. Due to the overlap of duties between HR, Contracting and Accounting, there must be less antagonism and more cooperation between the managers. The executives rely on authoritarian leadership and “job-scare” tactics to motivate operations of these departments, thus the managers isolate themselves into their own responsibilities by not sharing information or working as cohesive teams to resolve challenges. Obviously, most of these problems have their origin in the culture that has been created in the company.
While there are a few who remain loyal to the mission statement of the company and endeavor to sustain a family-like atmosphere, most managers and employees have become dissatisfied with not only the culture but with their own sense of meaning within the company. Thus, the owners and executives must be the first to revisit the mission statement and goals first set forth by the owners, create a more cohesive and safe culture and implement their own change of perspective. “Far too often, leaders ask everyone else to change, but in reality this usually isn’t possible until they first change themselves”. (De Smet, et al)
One of the strengths to having retired military personnel in leadership and production is their ability to follow orders and to learn quickly. Most of their experience in military life was often being given an order (goal) and some of the necessary resources (most of the time), but little knowledge on how to execute it. Much of our nation’s greatest technology has come from such situations. For example, John Shergill itemized 10 American technological advances accomplished during wartime. One of the most outstanding was the development of a virtual environment, or the internet. “Conceived and designed in the late 1970’s during the height of the cold war as a defense against nuclear war. The thought was that if vital government information could be stored in a virtual environment, it would be impossible to take out communications at one location. The effect of this advancement is obvious to anyone reading this”.
(Shergill) Necessity being the mother of invention was also observable when a young officer was given command over the technology department where he was deployed. Not only was the technology obsolete, but he had no idea how a computer worked. His order was to update and repair the system. Period. He quickly learned and implemented all he could and was successful in not only updating but enhancing new technology for that particular base.
Today, as a retired Navy colonel, he is a professor of Networking, computer software and hardware at an outstanding US college. So the ingenuity and problem solving skills that exists within the retired military community is priceless, but their instinctive command-and-control leadership styles have become outdated and ineffective in a civilian business world, especially with civilian employees. Six Sigma approaches have been attractive to the Business Solutions department because it continues to embrace the command-and-control management skills; focusing on optimal production and very little on optimizing producers.
Therefore I propose comprehensive and all-inclusive leadership-development training. I understand this may be especially opposed by our Business Services division, as these instructors consider themselves experts in the field of leadership. But it is vital that leaders stay ahead of trends in leadership especially if they train other leaders. Their expertise in traditional instruction of management mixed with the evolving principles will not only enhance, but possibly lead to more forward thinking and new approaches as they implement them. Again, it would be quite in character for the retired military leaders to take what they learn in this area and create even more valuable tactics and approaches that will enrich business leaders the world over. Thus creating a new benchmark for our company and creating a new competitive edge.
In the April 2012 online edition of McKinsey Quarterly, three experts in the field of leadership training wrote of their findings in making leadership training the heart of large organizational change. The authors described the situation of one global company as “While the need for operational change was clear—the performance of the company…was inconsistent and in many cases far below that of competitors in terms of efficiency, productivity, and cost—so too were the organizational obstacles. Drives for improvement, for example, carried a stigma of incompetence; current performance was considered “good enough”; conflict tended to be passive-aggressive or was avoided entirely; and…employees felt that they were treated as cogs and that their supervisors were enforcers.
The effect of all this on employees was disengagement, a lack of trust in senior management, and a pervasive fear of making mistakes—a worry reinforced by the company’s strong culture of safety and of risk aversion… (So) the senior team had to look beyond technical improvements and focus on helping the company’s leaders to master the personal behavioral changes needed to support the operational ones. To that end, the company mounted an intense, immersive, and individualized leadership program” (De Smet, et al). The authors note that the program took four months for each participant, and included two week-long training programs and ongoing coaching to integrate what they learn with their work experiences. In the span of three years the return on investment in the participants has been tenfold for each leader.
The program has increased the company’s income by almost $2 million, and the new leadership behavior has been crucial to the company’s success and is believed to have made the total organizational changes that were made more effective. So the development program I suggest needs to include: * Integrating leadership training with a BHG (big hairy goal). Without personalizing training it will be ineffective. Without an obtainable and desirable goal training will be a waste of time and effort. * Recognize the strengths and successes our company has and build on them. Bring in our strongest and most dedicated leaders (not necessarily formal managers) and train them in how to skillfully influence change by engaging everyone involved in the organization.
These leaders may need to be considered as new or replacing current ineffective management or at the very least as team/discussion leaders. They are the bridge between corporate office and employee satisfaction. Use our Company Philosophy, found in our Employee Handbook, to employ our Core Competencies to realize our Vision Statement. * Any change in our organization must be based on honesty. Every employee of our company possesses, or at one time possessed, an expectation of good from us. Being a part of this organization was highly esteemed in the community and upon hiring, the employees felt important and distinct in their field because of our decision to employ. After being employed for about 3 years, the most common feature of the dissatisfaction that begins to set in is the irregular dispersion of information and a feeling that Corporate is not being honest or forthright with them. While this may be a military “need-to-know” approach to employee management, it is no longer efficient, as our employees are no longer military and they expect inclusion.
The “leaks” and rumors that circulate on all of our job-sites and offices are much more damaging than the truth given from a trusted leader could ever be. * Common language and vocabulary used by leaders must be adopted. The language of a common vision is powerful, so leaders must be allowed to emerge and reassigned to influence the entire company. Success is contagious so the empowered managers will be able to empower employees. * Evaluate managers’ skills and interests and place them in the appropriate department. Technology can be learned, but it won’t be learned by a dissatisfied manager.
* Modify benefits. Currently all employees derive their motivation from our bonus plan. Employees have been willing to accept the absence of sick leave, the infrequency of pay raises, and the absence of certain benefits in favor of expecting the year-end bonus. The Employee Handbook indicates that bonuses are “discretionary profit-sharing and performance-based rewards provided to employees base on a review of the factors previously mentioned in addition to management’s recommendations” (Our Company Handbook, pg. 11). It should be noted that every employee has different needs and motivations for working with us. We should modify our benefit offering by allowing them to make the decision of whether they would rather have a raise, receive a bonus or an enhancement to their provided benefits.
* Subsidiary companies’ Business Development departments and company-wide Marketing/Communications must begin to work more cooperatively, beginning with information sharing and frequent interaction. Up to this point, these two departments have functioned exclusively of the other, relying only on each other for necessary information or for marketing tools for conventions/meetings. While BD has relied heavily on personal contacts networks, it must begin to utilize the principals and power of marketing. Marketing/Communications must begin to pursue the good of each BD department to enhance their efforts. The commitment to the structural changes, development of leaders and employee happiness must begin with the owners. It must also be an ongoing commitment, as sporadic attempts will only reinforce skepticism and heighten dissatisfaction. Leadership training must become a systemic process, not an event (Day, pg 8).