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Management Strategies Essay

Organization management is a complex process which involves a number of aspects, parties and strategies that in one way or another have some implications on an organization. In our contemporary business environment, organization changes are inevitable to any organization which seeks to survive in such environment. Changes in an organization may include changing the structure, changing physical setting, or changing people. Changes in structure involve altering the authority relations, job design, coordination mechanism and other structural variables.

Changing technology entails modifications in the way operations are carried out methods and equipment used. Physical setting changes involve changing the physical layout and workspace. Changing people encompass changing employee attitudes, expectations, skills, perceptions and behavior. Change can be aimed at improving quality of products and services offered by an organization, skills of the employees, and change relationships in the organizations (Robbins et al 2008) XY Ltd. is a company involved in production of various electronic equipments ranging from televisions, radios, amplifiers and phones.

Following stiff competition in production of these electronics, technological developments which were being employed by key players and need for cutting cost, the management of this company decided to institute some changes that will enable this company to have a competitive

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advantage. The main goals of the proposed changes were: improve employee skills, improve quality of the company’s products, employ new technology in production process, change the physical layout of work place and change the coordination mechanisms.

Some workers were to undergo training so as to be trained on the new technology, be assigned to different teams (comprising of untrained employees) as leaders. The work place layout was also to be changed to ensure that teams operations were to succeed. The management also had to seek for financier of these changes as huge amount of capital was needed. The change was also to see employment of new workers who were expertise in new technology. These new employees were to be of key importance in instituting the changes involving new technology.

Some of these expertises were to be placed in managerial positions so as to ensure all objectives of the changes intended were accomplished. To ensure success of these changes the management had to raise enough funds. The best way was though the public offer of some of the unissued stock. The company also had to open new plants that would focus on production of certain electronics components as required by the new technology. To ensure success of these plants, the newly employed expertises were to head these plants with assistance from newly trained company employees.

Teams were also to be established, assigned specific duty and also had a leader. Team leaders were to report to plant managers, and also be appointed from the newly trained employees. The plant managers were then supposed to report to the top middle level management which then had to brief the top management on the progress. These changes were not an easy process for it involved various stakeholders; management, employees, stockholders, and the investors. Part II 1. Critical analysis of leadership approaches which were employed during this scenario.

Leadership is ‘the ability to group towards the achievements of goals’ (Robbins et al 2008). Plant managers were to be helped by the team leaders whom were drawn from the newly trained employees of the company. Teams leader were delegated the authority to assign responsibilities to group members so as to achieve groups set objectives. The expertise set the objectives for each group and they frequently visited group members to see the progress. Regular meeting with all employees were made to brief them of the expectations.

During this meeting, employees, opinions were sought so as to make the necessary arrangement. This made the employees to feel part of the process and foster more cooperation with the group leaders. This was an inspirational leadership approach which emphasized on vision and change, charisma, attribution, and transformation. Attribution help followers observe the behaviors of the leader and be transformed to achieve the set goals. However, this approach may overdepend on leader’s skills and ignore other ideas with the followers.

(Parry 2001; Wood etal 2010 p 402-3). Group leaders spent most of the time with the members as during plant operations so as to oversee all process assigned to the group. The group leaders were also supposed to report any need by the workers so as to ensure the success of the new changes. Such strategy ensured workers were guided at all time and inspired by these leaders. Both transactional and transformational leadership approach were also employed. Promise of promotion to the leader of the group which was to be the best is a transaction approach of leadership.

It motivates followers to workhard but on the other hand it may discourage those whose progress is not going as per expectations. The group leaders were to instruct the members on what was expected of them so as to achieve the desired changes. On the other hand, the group leaders who had already gone through training were expected to empower the group members with the skills so as they may become part of the change process. Plant managers did only intervened when groups did not meet the expectations. This leadership approach has undesirable reinforcement modes which includes correction, negative feedback, and criticism.

This may worsen the groups’ leaders’ motivation to workhard with group members in achieving the desired results. On the other hand, it allows for more freedom to the followers. (Burns 1978 p3; Yukl 2006) 2. Management strategies which were utilized in managing the change and their effectiveness. To manage these changes it called for employment of various management strategies. First, the management had to ensure opinions of key stakeholders in this process of change were factored in the whole process. Management also took advantage of the stockholders meetings so as to sell these ideas to them.

These stakeholders are key player to the success of the company. Convincing them to support a certain change in the company was very important and eliminated unnecessary conflicts between them and the management. Stockholders were important sponsor of the whole process. Employees’ opinions were sought in their meeting with the management so as to ensure that they were for changes. Any objection by the employees may be very detrimental to the change process. Thus, ensuring their ideas are encompassed in the change plan ensured the management of employees support and success of the plan.

(Dunphy, Griffiths & Benn 2003; Anderson, & Ackerman 2001) To ensure better understanding of the change that was to be instituted, well experienced expertises in the desired technology were employed. These expertise were of great important in advising the management on the necessary work layout changes, necessary equipments to be bought, estimation of the budget, number of workers to be involved in the process and any other key issue related to such change. The management also trained some of its employees so as to ensure more human skills that will see the success of the change.

Such workers were of great importance as they were the link between the newly employed expertises and the group members. They were close to group members and also reported the progress to the plant managers. It would be challenging for the newly employed expertise to work with the employees in absence of these group leaders. Team work was also another strategy employed by the management of XY Ltd. Teams which were to do certain tasks were identified with each having its owns goals which were collectively to lead to the success of the change process. The management also established relations that suited the working of the teams.

Each team had a leader who was supposed to report to the plant manager. The plant managers on the other hand were to report to the middle management which then briefed the top management on the progress of the change process. Involvement of all stakeholders, training employees, hiring experienced expertises and ensuring team work were the strategies employed by XY Ltd management to manage change process. 3. Powers and politics issues which emerged and which could have emerged during the change process. Power is the ability to mobilize resources to get things done.

Distribution of power to ensure everyone is working to the same directions is very important. The success of any power is greatly determined by the consideration of others views. Legitimacy of power also greatly determines success of any one who holds it. (Kanter 1997 p66). Some power had to be given to employees who had expertise in the new desired technology. Thus expertises were placed as plant managers so as to oversee the implementation of the change. The newly trained employees were to lead specific groups as they already had knowledge of the new technology to be employed during the change process.

The group’s leaders were expected to follow directions from the plant managers who were more experienced in the new technology. On the other hand, the plant managers were accountable to the middle management which was also accountable to the top management. Authority conferred on the group leaders was limited to their responsibilities as well as the experience they had from the training. They had to regularly consult the expertises when making decision which they were not sure about so as to avoid mistakes during the production process.

To ensure success of the change process it was imperative to ensure support of the stakeholders. This was a process of gaining power. Stakeholders are an important source of power in an organization. Their support ensures that all objectives sets by the management are achieved. Empowerment of all individuals involved in change process was also an important issue to handle. Opinions of the workers in regular meeting was sought, some employees were trained and then given responsibility to lead various groups. These groups’ leaders acted as a link between the other employees and the newly employed expertise.

Briefing the top management about the progress of the change process was an important power issue. Top management is the highest authority in an organization and therefore its reference is very important in an organization. All plant managers ware supposed to report to the middle management which is very important in aligning all functions of the organization. (Wood etal p 376) The management ensured that it obtained support from the stockholders and workers by consulting them about their views so as they may feel to be part of the whole process of change.

Through such action, the management was able to convince the stockholders to finance the change. Workers were also convinced to embrace changes and be obedient to the new employed expertise as well as their team leaders. 4. Conflict management process and associated stages which emerged or could have emerged during the change process. To manage conflict, the XY Ltd company management had to define anticipate conflicts, understand the source of conflict and involve all the necessary stakeholders in solving these conflicts. Thus, negotiation with all key stakeholders in the change process was inevitable.

The conflicts as far as tasks of the expertises and group leaders involved negotiation that enabled a clear definition of tasks and roles of the two parties. Experience gained as the changes was being established also enabled to solve this conflict. The management also introduced opinion boxes which were placed in various positions so that the workers may put their written opinions about the whole issue of the change. These opinions were collected on weekly basis by the management. Emerging issues were noted and negotiations with the necessary parties were made.

Although such opinions box may be used by malicious employees to put their misleading opinions, it was a good way of having the voice of all employees so as to solve the problem at hand. This approach is also better than face to face negotiations as the employees could have been reluctant to give some opinions which they thought could not be taken positively by the concerned parties. The workers, group leaders and the expertise were mostly involved in these negotiations. Some group’s leaders complained of coercion from the expertise. Some workers also felt that employing new expertise to be plants managers was unfair.

They proposed that the trained workers should be made the plant managers. Negotiation process where the workers were promised on promotion once the change process was complete was important to ensure the negative attitude towards the change process was changed for better. More collaboration between the expertise and the group leaders was also emphasized so as to ensure success of the change process. Solving this issue involved having the opinions from the group leaders of the way forward, and clearly defining the expertise and the group leader’s tasks and roles so as to avoid further conflicts.

(Hede 1990) Major stockholders also initially felt that issue of unissued stock to the public could threaten their control over the company. This conflict was to be settled down though finding a compromise to this problem. Right issue was the compromise. It was also agreed that if insufficient funds was collected from the right issue then, the remaining unissued stock was supposed to be issued. Such approach could take time, but ensure the shareholders interests were encompassed. 5. Role of organizations culture and design in change process.

Culture of an organization entail shared expectations, beliefs, values and assumptions. Organization culture is derived from the past experience of an organization. It is what has to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to problem at hand. (O’Reilly 1989, p. 12; Schein 2004) One of the core values to XY Ltd Company was to produce high quality products which will meet the needs of its customer in the best way than its competitors. It was emphasized that all employees should adhere to this culture. This was a clear culture which was also a drive to the change.

Employing new technology was meant to improve the company products and offer super quality products to the market. This culture influenced the employees’ attitude towards change. Having known it as one of the core values of the company, employees were more ready to take advises from the group leaders and the expertise so as to gain the new skills and knowledge about the new technology that could ensure high quality products. The company also had programs that rewarded excellent performance from employees. Such culture greatly influenced hard work and diligence in the change process.

However, this organization did not have culture of checking on poor performers which could greatly affect the quality of its products. It was also expected that all subordinates should respect and obey their leaders which also helped to coordinate and control the change process. However, this organization culture to first consider their employees for managerial positions had a negative effect on the change process. New expertises were to be plants manager and this was at first objected by the employees who claimed that the trained employees should be placed on those positions.

It delayed the change process in one way or another. Organizational design also played also had a great influence in the XY Ltd change process. The organization was divided into various functions; finance, accounting, production and marketing departments. All this departments had to provide necessary support for effective change. Authority was decentralized among this department and each department had to be accountable to all its outcomes and coordinate with other departments so as to ensure desired performance. Most of changes were occurring in production department.

Groups formed part of the production department. However, middle management should also have played a big role in ensuring that production department was fully supported by other departments. (Robbins et al 2008; Clegg, Comberger, & Pitsis, 2008) Part III Conclusion Changes in an organization are inevitable and imperative for organization development. Both external and internal environment determine the type of changes the organization should embrace so as to remain competitive and up to the expectations of all stakeholders.

Organizational changes may vary from structural changes which include altering the authority relations, job design, coordination mechanism and other structural variables: change in technology which entails modifications in the way operations are carried out, methods and equipment used: physical setting change which entails changing the physical layout and workspace: changing people which involves changing employee attitudes, expectations, skills, perceptions and behavior. Establishing changes in an organization is not a simple task. It requires a strong management strategy.

It requires well planned strategy, and desirable leadership that will ensure changes are effectively entrenched in organization activities. Involvement of key stakeholders is very important in ensuring that a company succeeds in the change process. Negotiations, compromise and influence of the followers’ decisions is also very crucial in ensuring that change is supported by all and resistance is eliminated. A transformational leadership approach should be employed as it will considers all players opinions are factored in, vision are set, intellectual reasoning is employed and all people are going in the same direction.

Management by exception should only beused when there is no other option. Power and politics issues are inevitable in the change process. Authority, roles and reporting relationships should be well defined to avoid any conflicts among those involved in the change process. Support from all stakeholders should be sought before launching of change process so as all people may be moving in the same direction. Change should be planned in such a way that every party involved in the process feels to be part of the change and should give the best to ensure its success.

Culture in an organization may necessitate or act as a barrier to change process. Thus, the leadership should anticipate this and take the necessary actions. Where change in culture is necessary, then it should be communicated to all people involved in the change process. Organization culture suitable to the change process should be emphasized to ensure successful change process. Norms, values and slogans which are suitable for the change process should be utilized to ensure cooperation in the change process.

Organization design is another aspect which in one way or another determines the success of the change process. Organization departments, their interactions and cooperation have a great impact on the change process. Good cooperation of these departments ensures the success of the change process. Conflict management is also another important aspect of change management. Usually conflicts in roles, ideas and opinions, interests and so on will occur in the change process. Those managing changes should be ready to solve such conflicts.

Negotiation is an important tool during conflict management. Accommodation of other party ideas, seeking for a compromise, collaborating and giving voice to all key stakeholders opinions are some of the best approaches to solving conflicts. References Anderson, D. , & Ackerman, L 2001. Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. John Wiley and Sons. San Francisco, CA. P22 Clegg, S. , Comberger, M & Pitsis, T 2008, Managing and Organizations 2nd Ed, SAGE. London. Dunphy, C., Griffiths, A & Benn, S 2003.

Organisational changes for Corporate Sustainability: A guide for leaders and Change agents of the Future. Routledge. London. Hede, AJ 1990, Understanding and managing conflict in organisatios, Corporate Management, Vol, 42, No. 1 p 39-43. Kanter, RM 1997, Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management, Boston, Harvard Business School Press. O’Reilly, C 1989, Corporations, Culture, and commitment: motivation and social control in organizations, California Management Review, Summer, pp9-25.

Parry, K 2001, Could Leadership Theory be Generalised? , in Wiesner, R & Millett, B(eds), Management and organizational behavior: contemporary challenges and future directions. John Wiley and Sons, Brisbane. Robbins, SP, Judge, TA, Millet, B & Waters-Marsh, T 2008, Organisational Behavior, Pearson Education. Schein, EH 2004, Organizational culture and leadership, John Wiley and Sons Wood, J, Zeffane, R, Fromholtz, M, Wiesner, R & Creed, A 2010, Organisational behaviour, 2nd Australasian edn, John Wiley & Sons Austaralia, Milton, Qld.

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