January 4, 2009
Dr. Patrick Arnwine
The COO of Smith & Falmouth (S&F), in the Leadership in Action simulation was faced with the challenge of leading an assemblage of obstinate employees to accomplish the organizations goals. What??™s best for the organization should take precedence over all other issues. Focus is necessary for all employees to work towards whatever the organizations goals are. This discussion will address the present cultures in S&F and will make a suggestion for restructuring the e-tailing portion that would advance the culture while empowering the employees.
According to Edgar Schein, organizational culture is the deepest and strongest aspect of organization life. The culture has three cognitive levels which one can measure. The first level is where the organizational attributes that can be seen, felt and heard by the uninitiated observer ??“ this level includes ??“ behavior, colors, furnishings, recognition. The attributes can be measured by observation of anyone that meets the culture. The next level is about the professed culture of the organization members ??“ this level includes ??“ slogans, flyers, lists, statements. One can measure there by interviews and reading papers of the organization. The last and deepest level is where lays the organizations tacit assumptions ??“ these elements are unseen, subconscious, the unspoken rules of the organization. To find out those tacit assumptions, one needs to discover the in-depth of the organization by deep observation and interpretation of an expert. Sheins model gives an opportunity to measure these levels and to compare the links between them. If the links are strong then there is a strong organizational culture (Schein, 1993).
As the COO of S&F, the intention of this paper is to restructure the division of employees with their individual strengths to influence, create new interactive, collaborative, and synergistic divisions of employees and meet the goals of the organization. There are 3 milestones that are to be accomplished within the next nine months; streamline online operations, increase the reach of the online sales channel, and make S & F a more profitable business unit (University of Phoenix, 2009).
According to the website UniversalTeacherPublication.com, there are several strategies for restructuring:
Networking which is the process of breaking companies into smaller independent business units for significant improvement in productivity and flexibility. This strategy is predominant in South Korea, where big companies like Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo are breaking themselves up into smaller units. These organizations convert their managers into entrepreneurs.
Virtual Corporation where the company takes steps to turn itself inside out. Rather than having managers and staff sitting inside in their offices moving papers from the in basket to the out basket, a virtual corporation kicks the employees outside sending them to work in customer??™s offices and plants determining what the customer needs and wants, then reshaping the corporate products and services to the customer??™s exact needs. This is a futuristic concept wherein companies will be edgeless, adaptable and perpetually changing.
Verticalization refers to regrouping of management functions for particular functions for a particular product range to achieve higher accountability and transparency. Siemens in 1990 moved from a ???function-oriented??? structure to a vertical ???entrepreneur-oriented??? structure embracing size business and three support divisions.
Delayering-Flat organization is to remove the layers of senior and middle management.
Business Process Re-engineering method is the fundamental reconsideration and radical redesign of organizational processes in order to achieve drastic improvement of current performance in cost, service and speed. Value creation for the customer is the leading factor for business process re-engineering and information technology often plays an important enabling role (Universal teacher publication, n.d.).
Currently, the COO??™s ally is Brian Kervor the Logistics Manager. The plan of action at the beginning of the year is to create a vision for the teams and state expectations from individuals. The COO will also install a performance management system to identify and reward performers. Finally, the COO will set clear goals for each individual and for each team. The plan of action needs to be more effective for the teams to be influenced by the COO. As of now, the COO is still trying to overcome the resistance of the Logistics Manager. In order to get the decisions implemented on time and achieve the CEO Irene??™s targets, the COO needs to concentrate on influencing the teams and the functional heads (University of Phoenix, n.d.).
By mid-year, the COO chose James Argyle the Project Manager as his ally. The plan of action is to identify employee competencies and gaps, offer training to fill gaps and redesign job roles to augment skills. Also, the COO will establish productivity measures comparable with industry figures. Finally, he will call for a team meeting; taking inputs on achieving goals set by Irene and establish a common goal for all teams. By aligning himself with James, the COO was successful in influencing the web development team, logistics team and the functional heads. As of now, they will enthusiastically implement all of my decisions and work towards Irene??™s targets (University of Phoenix, n.d.).
Schein, Edgar (1993), Shafritz, Jay and Ott, Steven J, eds. 2001. Fort Worth; Harcourt
Universal teacher publication. (n.d.). Strategies for organizational restructuring.
University of Phoenix. (n.d.). Human relations and organizational behavior. Retrieved
Yukl, G. (2006) Leadership in organizations (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson