Operation of the organizations
The Continuation stage is a transition from the Buildup stage to where there is deepened commitment to the relationship. In this stage, there is the existence of familiarity, predictability, and the reduction of cognitive and emotional tension (Perlman & Fehr 1987:32, quoted in Stern 1997). Through an historical commitment to quality services, building a good relationship with customers via direct personal selling, and meeting the demands of customers, the Dell Inc has succeeded in winning its customers commitment, making them to continue doing business with the organization.
This also applies to Microsoft and IBM through their various strategies of innovative product and maintenance of organizational culture and standard respectively. Presently, it would not be wrong to say in the relationship build up of the case studies have assumed this stage of Continuation; where its customers are familiar, committed, and emotionally tied to the organization’s services and products. For this stage “advertising strategy aims at keeping the customer satisfied, and one tactic is to highlight a firm’s record of dedication to the customer” (Stern, 1997).
The last stage in the relationship cycle is the Dissolution stage. In this stage, the relationship is broken apart, and there are experienced changes in pairing dynamics, personal characteristics, and needs of a partner, and situational stresses (Levinger 1983, cited in Stern 1997). The dissolution stage is one where the relationship between the customer and the organization is terminated. None of the organization has assumed this stage in their organization relationship build up.
Theoretizing Levin Classics theory, it can be said that IBM organization has the characteristics of unfreezing and maintaining its organizational culture to change, while Microsoft is an organization that maintains a steady change according to the trends and foreseen expectation and wants fro its customers. Dell computers have instilled and institutionalized the culture of tailoring its services to customers taste and economic consideration is put forward when its products are being manufactured. The product of Dell Inc is unique in the sense that they are configured in a fashion to meet the need and status of the customer.
The category of which each customer belongs is taken into cognizance when the organization’s products are being produced. For example, in their official web page you see personal computer made for student. These computers are packaged in portable fashion; notebooks are design to meet the financial capability of an average student. It is conspicuously display and alternated in the webpage http://www1. us. dell. com/content/default. aspx? c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=mn “Class is in session Go back to school with Dell” ,“Head of the Class Go back to school with excellence”.
This mode of production with consideration for the financial status of customer is a very vital way of creating a bond between the customer and the organization. Apart from the producing products to suit customer, the Dell Inc has further utilized its culture of selling directly to customer to tighten the bond between the organization and the customers. Personal selling is a very vital tool for relationship marketing. “In personal sales, factors such as characteristics of the customer and the sales person, pairing dynamics, and situational influences have been found to influence customer preferences.
These reflect the customers’ assessment of the costs/ benefits of entering, remaining, or leaving the relationship” (Stern, 1997). Customers are asked to make their orders directly, and shipment of this would be made directly to them, sometimes on a free cost basis. According to Karp (1998), “Dell has created success by selling its computer directly to customers and manufacturing them one at a time, as ordered with fiscal revenues for 1998 at $12. 3 billion- a 59% increase over the previous year- Dell is now ranked third in the PC industry worldwide. The company now sells $5 million in computer goods each day direct from its internet site”.
For Dell, its human resources are trained to cultivate that right attitude in relating with customers. In addition, the communication patterns flow from top to bottom. Microsoft has invested greatly in the training of its human resource through research and development institution the organization has established since 1991. Research to Microsoft is a vital tool for bringing about product innovation and balancing the academic model for product creation and development. The company becomes the first software organization to establish its computer-science research center.
According to Microsoft Corporation (2006), “ Microsoft recognizes that to create the foundation for future technology breakthroughs, it is necessary to maintain independence from product groups, which enables Microsoft Research to focus on long-term (10-15 years out) computer-science research and vision that is not bound by product cycles”. Microsoft, thus believes that a combination of invention and popularization makes a technology or product innovative, so today’s researchers must have the freedom to advance computer science and invent new technologies over the long term.
In Microsoft the principle, guiding human resource activities entails that he or she is adequately trained to meet the current trend in bringing about innovative insight in developing new products as a way of curving a niche over rivals. “Microsoft has gained important insights that are helping External Research & Programs refine its mission and develop new programs that will deepen relationships and strengthen the benefits to both parties” (ibid).
With the aid of collaboration relationship with academic institution the Microsoft, research institution is able to bring about the innovative creation and development of computer base product for it to gain competitive advantage over its rivals. In Microsoft, workers are adequately compensated as a way of motivating them to put in their best in the attainment of the organization’s goals. Furthermore, the Microsoft organization is able to develop its relationship with its customers and business partners through its own developed software for Customer Relationship Management.
“Microsoft test team used a sampling of Microsoft CRM customer deployments, collaborate interviews, and standard sales force automation use-cases provided by industry analysts” (Microsoft Corporation, 2004). The International Business Machine (IBM) has a policy on human resource recruitment where, it balances its workforce with new ones in such a way of having the right size of workforce at the right time. According to IBM Annual Report (2004), “The Company continues to invest in Global Services and Software, growth areas of the business, through a combination of hiring and acquisitions.
The company also continues to rebalance its workforce to improve IBM’s competitiveness in the marketplace and to withdraw from certain businesses, thereby offsetting some of the growth”. The organization’s carries out a policy and procedure for HR construct which makes its complementary workforce to an approximation of equivalent full-time employees hired under temporary, part-time, and limited-term employment arrangements to meet specific business needs in a flexible and cost-effective manner