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Organisational Change

This report has been written with the purpose to explore the triggers/causes of change currently evident at Hofford Distribution and to propose organisational changes, which can be implemented to overcome these areas. Over recent years, many organisations have undergone organisational change, from fine-tuning to corporate transformation, as they recognise the need to evolve to survive in today’s dynamic business environment and this organisation needs to undertake the change process.

Hofford Distribution delivers bread, rolls, sausage rolls, etc. to many stores, cafes and schools in and around the Northampton area and have set themselves an organisational goal to expand to a new geographical area sometime into the future. Before this goal can be realised, the current organisational systems must undergo change, so that they can operate effectively and efficiently. There is a strong need to change their ‘vertical communication’ within the organisation, in particular within the depot.

A proposed change would be to implement a depot manager, which, if supported by other ‘vertical communicative’ aids later analysed, would prevent many communication breakdowns. ‘Horizontal ‘interdepartmental’ communication’ is also functioning ineffectively, with remedial action available by introducing a number of motivational (and related teamwork) mechanisms. Overall employee motivation is at an overall low, leading to

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problems in the organisation including poor performance and absenteeism.

Organisational change including appraisal methods, employee surveys and recognition of staff should address this situation, creating a well-motivated working environment and generating good performance. When analysing the need to implement organisational change, it is vital to understand the background and history of the company, it’s employees, operational systems and changes made since it was first established, in order to appropriately implement change for future organisational success.

Hofford Distribution is an organisation based in central Northampton which delivers fresh and pre-packed bread, rolls of many variations, pasties, sausage rolls, fresh cream cakes and in some cases milk, to approximately 500 local shops, cafes and schools within and around the Northampton area. The company currently has it’s own bakery, on-site, which produces the uncut bread, most rolls, sausage rolls, pasties, and cream cakes, whilst pre-packed bread and rolls bought from Sunblest Ltd.

The organisation was originally established in 1984 under the name of Hofford and Lancaster Trading, with the 2 partners of the company, Steve Hofford and Bob Lancaster, deciding to set up this business of bread delivery. The company has changed hands over the years, Mr Lancaster took over the entire company, but shortly after went bankrupt and for the last 12 years Mr. Hofford has been the sole owner. In the beginning, the company was situated at a smaller site within Northampton, employing approximately 8 drivers and had no bakery.

The organisation has grown since then and at present, the company has moved to a larger depot, still in Northampton, with it’s own bakery producing fresh goods daily, and now employs approximately 22 drivers and 12 bakery staff, including another 3 cleaners. Hofford Distribution has a unique competitive advantage in Northampton, being the only distributor of cut and uncut bread combined (other companies exist which specialise solely in uncut or cut bread). Mr. Hofford (the Owner) wishes to gradually expand the business, possibly opening a new branch in another geographical area.

I feel that this company has great potential, however, before any expansion can take place, some structured organisational change must take occur. This will provide a more effective and efficient functioning of the organisation, with improved performance and adaptability to change. 3. Organisational change 3. 1 Causes/Triggers for Change and Desired Goals A trigger of change is defined by Huczynski and Buchanan (2001) as, “any ‘disorganizing pressure’ arising outside o inside the organisation, indicating the current arrangements, systems, procedures, rules and other aspects of organisation structure and process are no longer effective”.

The triggers of change must first be identified within an organisation before an effective organisational change can be implemented. 3. 1. 1 Communication Communication is, “to give successfully (thoughts, feelings, ideas or information) to others through speech, writing, bodily movements or signals” (Definition from the Cambridge Dictionaries Online). This communicative process consists of a sender encoding a message, sending it through a chosen medium and then being decoded by a receiver (in many cases feedback is given from the receiver to the original sender).

Communication may sound very simple when expressed in this way; however, there are many micro and macro barriers, which can hinder communication, making it ineffective, which can cause severe problems within an organization. Many theorists understand this importance and in a survey concerning organisational restructuring, Katherine Burke (1999) concluded that many companies do not pay adequate attention to the communication when planning ad implementing change, resulting in absenteeism, turnover, low productivity and efficiency and disputes.

I feel that communication within this organisation is not being carried out effectively and has been hindering the organisations overall productivity, morale and customer satisfaction. These difficulties are specifically evident in ‘vertical communication’ (top-down and bottom-up), particularly in the distribution department, and there is also ineffective ‘horizontal communication’ between the distribution and bakery departments.

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