Every organization needs a standardising mechanism in order to improve or enhance its competitiveness and give legitimacy to management authority. It is therefore vital for every organization to discover the best practices and structures through scientific methods that makes the single “best practice” solution for the organization’s management; the structuring of a company helps it to codify organizations as machines and people as parts of that machine according to the scientific theory.
Cisco Corporation is one of the major industrial players in the United States which has been playing a major role in the information communication sector (O’Brien, 2005). It has also been giving necessary services and solutions to computer users in whole country and in the world (O’Brien, 2005). In such a business corporation, there has always been need for the company to come up with organizational measures to enable it to run smoothly and to be able to make great profits.
This calls for the adoption of organizational attributes and theories which promote the nature and performance of the business (Jeffrey & Bratton, 2001, p. 42). According Jeffrey and Bratton (2001), “The organizational theory ensures that a company adopts an effective organizational approach and also incorporate a business plan can keep the company or the firm on its track and when drafting the business plan for the business, there is also the great importance to effectively come up with outline of the business which shall be able to define the company’s business.”
In such a case, an organization like Cisco Corporation has to effectively determine all the major duties that have to be performed and at the same time governing the manner in which they have to be done or performed (Carpenter, Lazonick and O’Sullivan, 2003). It is also important for such a corporation to have a well-stated Mission and Vision whenever doing its business.
The above is something important because it makes it possible to push the company or business in the right direction. In this paper, there shall be the analysis of the organizational business structure and how it has been able to adopt a number of organizational theories, concepts and models which promote the realization of the goals of the organization (Nilsson, 2006). Also, there shall be the brief review and recommendations that are possible to enhance improvement in the business operations.
In general, this module shall competently provide an informative overview of Cisco Corporation in which all the relevant characteristics of the corporation such as industry, location, age, size and business shall be analyzed. There shall also be a keen description of the organizational structure in the corporation with the application of the relevant concepts and theories which are necessary.
Also, an analysis of the organizational goals at Cisco Corporation shall be described and competently expressed. This shall also be adopted in giving the mission and vision statements of Cisco Corporation, and the strategic pans and objectives which have been put in place within the corporation’s business. The paper shall also identify and describe the organizational contingencies at Cisco Corporation. Finally, the study shall analyze some of the possible approaches and recommendations that can be put in place towards improvement in this organization in the long run.
Overview of Management Theories
Conventional management theory can be viewed in two distinct perspectives which were formulated dictated by the kind of ideas and problems which they were to address. One of the perspectives was the administrative theory, which came up as a result of concerns by American and European managers and scholars who were concerned with reformation of the management and nature of the total organization.
The kind of problems which administrative theory was formulated was to address the technical performance of organizations. The second perspective was the scientific management theory which was formulated principally by the American intellects and managers which lays emphasis on problems found in the human resources management cycles (Koppell, 2008). Other theories such as the bureaucratic theory, system theory, Bureaucratic management theory, Contingency, Chaos theory and so on were later on formulated.
Administrative theory lays more emphasis on the organization in totality and it proposes some principles for development that managers can employ in enhancing the outcome of the activities they partake (Koppell, 2008). Some of the drivers of this theory includes; Max Weber, Henri Fayol and Barnard Chester (Shafritz, 1998; Fayol, 1917).
The theory acknowledges the distribution of authority as being one of the important aspects of an organization (King, 2009.). The theory however stipulates that the source of authority is not entitled in the person who institutes the orders but it goes forward and stipulates that the authority resides in the junior staffs that have a choice of either accepting or rejecting the directives given by the seniors.
Scientific Management Theory
This theory was formulated in the year 1890 and it was formed due to ever increasing expansion of organizations and the increasing sophistication of the industries. The United States where this theory was formulated was highly giving credit to scientific and technical initiatives, such as measurement and specification of products, activities and the intended results. The theory laid emphasis on the careful specification and measurement of all the practices and tasks of an organization. Some of its stipulations includes; employees to be rewarded & punished and tasks to be standardized as much as possible. This kind of practice seemed to work well for the organizations that had mechanized activities and assembly lines.
Bureaucratic Management Theory
This theory reigned from the years 1930 to 1950. It was formulated by Weber Max who disapproved the scientific management theory with this theory. Weber in this theory laid emphasis on dividing organizations into distinct hierarchies, forming strong lines of managerial control and authority. Weber in this theory stipulated that organizations that had a vision of sustainability should develop detailed and comprehensive standards of operation for all its tasks that are done routinely.
This theory stipulates that in when a manager formulates a decision he or she must integrate in the decision all aspects that currently affect the organization at that particular time. The theory promoted a participative leadership style by managers.
This particular theory has had a great impact on management science as a discipline and as a practice. According to it systems are defined as collection of parts which are working in unison to realizing one specific goal (Laursen and Foss, 2003).
Systems always have a shared feedback mechanism. It’s up to recent times that this theory has been employed by several organizations because of the challenges these organizations were facing while employing the other theories (Laursen and Foss, 2003). This theory has seen educators, writers and consultants to be part of the management as they are brought on board to help managers to take a look at their organization from a broader way. This theory has let in new perspectives which have helped managers to be able to interpret the events and patterns in their organizations.
Informative Overview of the Cisco Corporation
According to Laura & Torrington, (2005, p. 37), “Cisco Corporation is one of the multinational companies which have been running very many outlets around the entire world and Cisco Corporation is known to employ more than 60 thousand employees in all its branches and has as well been able to maintain revenues of over 36.5 billion dollars in annual basis.” The headquarters of Cisco Corporation are situated at California, United States (Carpenter, Lazonick and O’Sullivan, 2003).
The Corporation has been known to be one of the leading designers and distributors of equipments for both communications and networking uses. Its business has as well been involving the installation of the networking devices which it as well supplied. Within the very first of the quarter of the ongoing current year, Cisco Corporation is known to have been able to obtain about 13.6 billion US Dollars which had been achieved from the sale of different networking equipments and services (Dunning, 2004, p. 12). Most of the main profits which are made at Cisco Corporation have usually been obtained from maintaining network equipments and all other services given in the countries in which its services have been provided.
This organization has been engaged in true business in which there is management operations aimed in making sure that the necessary profits are realized in the business. The industry is that of computer and networking services which has been of great relevance for the past few years not only in the country, but elsewhere in which it has been offering its services. Having its headquarters in California, United States, Cisco Corporation has been having very many branches spread in very many parts of the world. Such branches of the company have been able to offer similar services in all parts of the world in which they have been on operation (O’Brien, 2005).
This gives the automatic translation that Cisco Corporation is one of the biggest companies in the history of the world (David & Darnien, 2010, p. 31). Experts have noted the development such a company to a grand size is something which has greatly been attributed to the nature of global business today, and the need in which more and more organizations have been in the need of computers and similar connections which can promote performance and realization of profits (Debra and Clerk, 2008; Castellani and Zanfei, 2002).
The ongoing demand of the products of this corporation have been seeing developing from a small industrial player to a very big organization which has been able to develop to an international level. This has as well given the company the necessary capability in being able to compete effectively with some of the giant organizations which are engaged in similar business (Koppell, 2008).
Having noted that business is such big in terms of size, this has made it possible to realize growth due to spreading to different parts of the globe. During the past two decades, the company has been able to grow at a very high speed thus being on top of its business in the United States and far beyond. In terms of age, Yates (2006) asserts that, “Cisco corporation has been in its positive business for about thirty years now, although it was begun some forty years ago as small merchandise business dealing with electronics.”
Golembiewski (2001) also says that, “The great technological breakthrough in the later years of the previous century is known to have been the major leading factor which saw the corporation being able to develop very fast and elevating itself to an international standard.” For instance, the increasing need for computer-oriented performances within all institutional and organizational performance and operations has been the main advantage which has been noted for Cisco Corporation and related business such as Apple Corporation which has been in a similar kind of business (Golembiewski , 2001).
Technological advancements have thus been able to elevate the functions of these two organizations. Looking at all these relevant characteristics which have just been described in this section, it has to be agreed that Cisco Corporation has been a great industrial player in the business and thus being able to achieve the best practice in its operations (Castellani and Zanfei, 2002). This has in the long run been increasing gains and profits for the organization (Golembiewski, 2000).
Description of Cisco’s Organizational Structure
Different concepts have always been adopted in determining the worth and performance of a given organizational structure. At Cisco Corporation, an effective organizational structure has been adopted which has been the determining factor to the success of its business. Cisco Corporation is one of the major firms within the United States and beyond which have been known to have an effective and a properly designed or coordinated organizational structure.
According to the greatest of business experts today, the occurrence of a decently laid organizational structure and other organizational aspects or concepts within any given business shall be effective and play a grand role in making sure that all the set goals have been met within the targeted periods of time (Pitts, Hicklin, Hawes and Melton, 2010).
Cisco Corporation as a reputable organization has always had been having its management focused on the maintenance of a positive business atmosphere and culture within all of its operations and business involvements. The organization employs system theory, the company by use of this theory it has set a well coordinating and comprehensive system of management and practice which is able to derive a good feedback mechanism (Laursen and Foss, 2003).
The company has a well instituted learning culture which as a system which sees many consultants and educators coming on board to train and teach its work force on new strategies and technology which are aimed at maintaining that company ahead of times (Yates, 2006).
The company also hosts strategic planning forums which involve senior management and experts with an aim of maintaining a clear winning system that is able to let in new perspectives which have an aim of helping the company to interpret the events and patterns in their organization.
Cisco’s management structure also apart from using system theory it employs Administrative management theory, Bureaucratic management theory and contingency Theory, to run its business and manage its human resources (Fayol, 1917). The company focuses on the organizational principles which it uses to coordinate the internal workings of its business. There is rationale and well defined division of work which is one of the fourteen principles noted by Fayol (Fayol, 1917).
The division of work has helped the company to make its workers to specialize in work thereby increasing the company’s output by making its employees more efficient which has led to a good outcome in terms of both profits and enjoyment of work by the workers. The corporation ahs also adopted the principle of entrusting its managers wit authority which is also one of the fourteen principles of Fayol (Fayol, 1917).
Managers have been given the powers to give orders which enable them to be responsible. There is a culture of discipline in Cisco and each employee respects and obeys the regulations that govern Cisco, the discipline in the company has led to effective leadership which has therefore enhanced understanding between workers and the management which has in totality natured a good organizational culture and prosperity of the corporation. One other principle stipulated by Foyol that Cisco employs is the Unity of command which entails that every junior member of Cisco receives directions and orders from only 1 superior (Parker, 2000).
The other principles enacted in Cisco’s management includes; Subordination of individual interests to the general interest, Workers are paid a fair wage for their work, Centralisation which entails the extent to which the subordinates are involved in making the company’s decisions, scalar chain which has to do with the chain of command from top management to the bottom, principle of Order which stipulates that, materials and people should be in the right place at the right time, Equity which has to enable the managers to be kind and fair to their subjects, Stability of tenure of personnel, Employees are allowed to originate and implement plans, and lastly the organization thrives at promoting team spirit which is aimed at creating unity and harmony amongst the workers (Parker, 2000).
In this corporation, there has been the great need of making sure that all the key issues which have been identified within the business have been effectively addressed within the management of the organization. There has also been the holding forum which has been done in maintaining the business culture (Perkinson, 2002).
Organizational structure has also been able to help Cisco Corporation realize its goals. Such planning has been put in place in the organization as a way of maximizing the profits. Some of the major organizational aspects have which have been in play within the company’s operations, and after the technological adoptions have been able to see better profits realized (Yates, 2006). Since then, it shall be worth noting that the company and its overall management have keenly been aimed at seeing the corporation growing throughout the years it shall be in the business operation (Armstrong, 2006).
Organizational structure has been adopted to describe and establish pieces of command within the organization. This has been making it possible to have positive employee-mentorship within Cisco Corporation. With the adoption of decision making strategies and encouragement of employee and all people participation in different organizational structures, this corporation has been able to play a level ground (Kerstin and Geipel, 2010).
The above has been noted to be one of the major tricks which have been responsible for the organization’s positive performance. After the historical establishment of the company some years ago, Cisco Corporation had been having a positive organizational structure in its business. This has since then been engaged making sure that everything within the organization has done and established in a very transparent manner through effective communication, ensuring that there is ultimate customer satisfaction, and communication and Cisco products have earned loyalty to customers and the Products have a global good reputation which enhances the corporations sales.
Other approaches which have led to greater benefits at Cisco Corporation include the empowerment of the employees and stakeholders, and also ensuring there is business integrity and also frugality within the organizational operations this in itself has acted as a motivating factor to the corporation’s employees who have developed ownership of the company (Kerstin and Geipel, 2010). At the top of the organization we have the Chief Executive Officer whose job has been in overseeing all business operations so as to make sure that everything has been done appropriately. they are on track. Work culture at Cisco Corporation has been done effectively by making sure that it has been designed in a way such that all players have the necessary freedom and as well there has been fun within the working environment (Witte and Jaap, 2000).
Cisco Corporation: Organizational Goals
In order to achieve goals within a business, there is the necessity of having a true business which defines the goals and missions of the business (Konrad & Pushkala, 2006, p. 43). Cisco Corporation has been having varied business operations aimed at targeting more and more customers and clients. One of the outstanding businesses within the company’s operations has been known as the SMB customers.
This is an approach which has been put in place in order to make sure that all the players within this organization have been keen in engaging in profitable business which serves Cisco right. All forms of groups and marketing teams have been aligned as a way of promoting the operations.
This has been the main factor which has been leading to the development of the company and the realization of profits. With these options in the business, it has been possible for Cisco Corporation to achieve its profits (Marquis, 2007, p. 54). Without statement of goals, it cannot be possible to have effective business which leads to growth and development of the business. Such goals have to be defined within the limits of missions, visions, and objectives, which have as well been defined at Cisco Corporation.
To begin with, Cisco Corporation’s mission has been an outlining factor which has been leading the company to its new level of business. The mission here has been in shaping the global future when it comes to internet connections and communications by effectively creation unprecedented opportunities as well as values for all their customers, all investors, all employees and even the other partners across the world (Mike, 2004, p. 32).
From this kind of a mission, the corporation has been in a position of engaging in a positive business which sees an increase of profits. Cisco Corporation has been a fortune in itself with over one hundred trans-national operations carried around the entire globe. There have also been a number of strategies which have been adopted at Cisco Corporation in the business (Maryann, 2004, p. 55). Such strategies have been able to comprise of an extensive and intensive networking of all business partners running in all parts of the world (Sernau, 2007.). Cisco Corporation has been creating a platform, which is very dynamic and thus helping in the empowerment of all stakeholders (Michie and Sheehan, 2003).
The vision of Cisco Corporation is to deliver the necessary services to the world which effectively addresses all problems of networking and communication, and by so doing be able to achieve a developed world through internet connection which comes with fast and reliable communication (Sernau, 2007.). This vision has been the driving force for Cisco Corporation so that it can be able to achieve its goals which matter the most to the future performance of the organization.
With such an understanding in the name of a vision statement, the employees and other stakeholders in the corporation have been able to work hard with the goals and determinations as part of the vision which promotes performance. This has been effectively put in place in order to ensure that the classical goals and targets of the business have been effectively realized within the stipulated time periods. In order to ensure that the missions and visions of Cisco Corporation have been met from time to time, the management of the corporation has been ensuring that there are reviews of the mission and vision, and also the encouragement of employees in order to ensure all goals shall be realized (Riccucci, 2002, p. 65).
Cisco Corporation: Strategic Plans
Cisco Corporation as one of the reputable companies has been conducting a number of business as well as marketing strategies which come up with strategic plans aimed at future performances so that they can be better and worth for the business. Since this corporation has been purely involved in business operations, the major strategic plans which have been put in place involve realization of a larger customer base and at the same time be able to increase their sales (Morbarak, 2005, p. 32).
This has over the past five years or so been aimed at increasing the company’s sales and at the very time being in a position of formulating major marketing strategies which are applicable and can help reach all the customers around the world in which the corporation has been delivering its services. The marketing strategy for the corporation has been very powerful thus giving the customers the necessary needs and solutions to all their internet connections (Pearn, 1998, p. 43).
This strategic plan has been characterized by use of free software and maintenance of systems for troubleshooting (O’Brien, 2005). The integration of suitable mission, a vision and the goals within the organization’s plan have been major aspects within the strategic plan for the business operations.
Within the business, the strategic plan has been done by incorporating all stakeholders and engaging in appropriate decisions which promote performance (Prasad, 1997, p. 32). This has been done by analysis the strengths of the business, addressing the weaknesses, measuring the amounts of resources at disposal, and then coming up with adequate strategic missions which ensures better performance. Such strategies have been long term thus making it possible for the corporation to realize its goals within the stipulated time period. Effective communication has also been emphasized as a key element towards realization of the necessary profits. Basically, it should be noted that, it is through proper coordination and employment of such long term strategic plans that the corporation has been able to emerge on top of its business operations.
Cisco Corporation: Organizational Contingencies
The need for organizational contingencies is something very necessary because it ensures that a given business has been able to achieve better performances and business goals within the shortest time possible. Some of the major organizational contingencies which have been able to produce better results for Cisco Corporation have been able to include all the aspects with technological orientations within the organizational activities and at the same time being able to lead all public relations in the best manner possible (Riccucci, 2002, p. 65).
As has always been the proposition of business experts, organizational contingencies tend to be suitable factors which have the capability of moderating the effects within the organizational characteristics which help in determining the performance of some organization like Cisco Corporation. Whether the particular organizational level characteristic is about to result on high rate performance shall entirely be dependent on the absolute level within all the contingency factors.
In this organization, there has been a fit between all level of the contingency as well as with the levels with its organizational characteristics. While that has been competently been addressed at Cisco, all the other things have resulted being equal and in that case it has been possible to effectively achieve superior performance and similar results (Pitts and Lei, 2006). In the event there had been some form of misfit within the performances of the contingencies and organizational characteristics, then definitely the performance within the organization shall be suffering. An organizational contingency will only be best understood only when there is no occurrence of a misfit.
To the organization, there has been the great preview of the organizational size, the technological approach, and implementation of appropriate strategies (Yates, 2006). The business environment within this organization has been greatly emphasized as another very important contingency element which can play such a big role for the organization.
Fitness between organizational structure and organizational goals and contingency factors
At Cisco Corporation, there has been a fit between organizational structure and organizational goals and other contingency factors. Within the organization, there has been the appropriate integration of external goals, structures and contingencies which have been all under the common umbrella of what is known as ‘organizational environment’ which has been able to produce such a fit.
The organizational characteristics within the corporation have been able to frequently imply some of the dimensions within the organizational structure hence making it possible to achieve the goals. Some of the organizational structures which are necessary are formalization, effective centralization, and as well a structural type which works well for the corporation such as bureaucratic structures and structural design which act as alternatives. At Cisco, organizational performances have been able to effectively cover a wider range of some measures which include standard financials and other goal-oriented measures like efficiency or profitability. All these have been able to bring about fitness at Cisco Corporation.
Conclusion: Recommendations for Improvement
Cisco Corporation has been one of today’s most respected corporations in the history of the world because it has the highest degree of business culture as well as ethics (Witte and Jaap, 2000). Generally, this organization has been able to create highly rated performance when it comes to organizational effectiveness (Michie and Sheehan, 2003). The creation of more and more new groups can be a good approach which can enable handling of the key problems which have been faced within the company and its eventual operations.
Also, there should be the presence of a dynamic and diverse workforce which can effectively ensure that this company is able to perform better within all its key operations because different ideas shall end up being brought together from people with development experience backgrounds thus improving its performance drastically. Another important thing that can lead to a great deal effectiveness at the Cisco Corporation shall be in the use of newer forms of technology and software engineering thus being able to come up with better and intelligent soft wares as well devices which can enhance all means communication and internet connection thus increasing the customer base for the company (Carpenter, Lazonick and O’Sullivan, 2003).
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