In any firm the role of a manager is very critical in the long run performance of the business. The effectiveness and efficiency of a manager in his work is what determines the survival chances of an organization in the market (Scribid.com, 2011). The management thus needs to incorporate financial, communication, information, human resource and material skills in the running of a business (McGinnis 2008, p. 38). A manager therefore needs to have a mixture of both technical and interpersonal skills. This ensures that there is a smooth flow of things in the organization (Gitman and McDaniel 2008, p. 169). Some of the interpersonal skills that a manager needs to have are leadership, motivation, communication and team spirit. If these qualities are applied efficiently then the organization will develop a good organizational behavior and structure (Nandra and Bordem 2009, p. 192)
Organizational behavior is a wide portion of management which is involved in the role of people through their acts in organizations (Miner 2007, p.3). Managers use a mix of theories and knowledge in organization behavior to achieve effective running of operations within an organization. The early theories of management were more concerned with changing the work structure of employees and improvement of their pay rates and also concentrated on describing what managers should do to improve their leadership roles and skills (Hannagnan 2007, p. 19).
These theories thus concentrated on producing a good working environment for employees and better pay rates for the work done. The pay rates varied depending on the level of employment of a specific employee, the number of hours worked (including overtime) and the rate at which each employee met deadlines. To motivate employees, management paid at an extra rate jobs which were completed before deadlines and also for those jobs which were perfectly done. This made the employees to work at a faster rate and produce high quality products.
The theories which are being used currently are a bit different. They mainly concentrate on improving human relations and motivation. These two theories concentrate much on involving the running and management of the organization. The early theories were advanced by managers who had been successful in their careers. The second sets of theories were presented by experts who put a lot of emphasis on research in the running and management of organizations (Swamidass and Newell 2007, p. 508). They realized that there is a need for improvement on employee motivation, interpersonal skills, leadership style and efficient use of resources. The third and final sets of theories were advanced by social scientists. These theories were an improvement or advancement of the theories which were advanced by the academicians (Swamidass and Newell 2007, p. 510).
This paper focuses on the organization management and behavior of two firms; Watsons Engines Components and H&M Consulting. Both these firms are involved in manufacture and engineering of machinery. Although they are involved in the same operations the two companies have different management systems. Watsons Engine and Components uses an old fashioned system of management which is hierarchical while H&M Consulting uses a management system which is based on bureaucracy.
Organization design and structure
Organizational structure is a framework which an organization uses to run its operations (Wether and Chandler 2006, p. 75). It entails the ways and means through which an organization arranges its authority lines, communication, roles, duties and responsibilities of individuals and departments and how all these are incorporated into a single unit. The table below shows an example of an organization structure (Fontaine 2007, p.6).
Different organizations choose different organizational structures. The choice of an organization structure depends on the goals and objectives which the organization wants to achieve in the short run and in the long run (Sign 2009, p. 335). Generally there are two forms of organization structures. There is a centralized form of organization structure and a decentralized form of organization structure (Sign 2009, p. 335).
In centralized organization structure, all the power of the organization is concentrated on the top managerial levels. Due to the amount of power they have, the top management level exercises tight control over the affair of all the divisions or the departments which are constituted in the organization. On the other hand, power in decentralized organization structure is distributed among all the departments or divisions of the organization who work in unity to achieve the goals and objectives of the firm (Sign 2009, p. 336). Watsons Engine Components uses a centralized organization structure while H&M Consulting uses a decentralized form of organization structure.
Watson is an independent company located in the north east of England. The organization structure of Watson Company is old fashioned and hierarchical in nature which minimizes the influence of the employees in the running of the organization. They therefore do not feel as part and parcel of the organization. All of the decisions are made at the top level. The manager, Mr. Gordon Watson rarely visits the operation floor leaving this responsibility to the operations manager.
Below the operation manager is the production manager, a young enthusiastic man who has had a bright career in companies based in Germany and England. Despite the efforts he has put across in his position to ensure that the company’s operation are efficient, he feels like the company need to incorporate the use of information technology in its running. The company thus needs to adapt and use new technology in the production and manufacturing of its products so as to keep up with the pace of other companies. However, the management has not put up any effort to implement his ideas.
Considering the information above, Watson Company does not involve the workers at lower levels in decision making nor do they utilize their ideas and innovation. The current theories on management postulate that it is the workers at the low levels who have first hand information about the internal and external matters which affect the affairs of a company. They are therefore the best people to make decisions for the company (Fontane 2007, p. 7). Watson Company however does not consider this fact. The flow of information in this company is one way; from top managerial level to the bottom.
This is not good for the company because there are high chances that the information will be distorted as it moves from one level to another. On the other hand, the voice of the people at the lower levels is not heard. These people do not feel free to talk about their problems to their superiors. In the end their performance becomes poor which pulls down the production of the company (Huselid 2005, p. 645). It is the combination of these factors that has made it difficult for Watson Company to achieve consumer satisfaction in the current competitive.
H&M Consulting on the other hand was started in 1989 when two business companies merged up. It is a company that deals with management, engineering and consultancy in development. It is currently operational in over 120 countries in the globe employing a total of 13000 people in those countries who have diverse skills and expertise on different fields. All these people work in different departments which synchronize their operations to achieve the goals and objectives of the company. In this company, power is not centralized but distributed among the various departments of the organization.
This has resulted to a minimal hierarchy in the organization structure and improvement in the efficiency of operations in the organization. Information and communication in the company flows laterally. The workers in the company are also involved in decision making. The company also gives the workers a chance to come up with new ideas and innovations and implements those which it believes will improve its operations. The workers of H&M Consulting therefore are motivated and enjoy better working conditions unlike the workers of Watson Company. As a result, H&M Consulting usually achieve consumer satisfaction as a result of its efficient and effective organization structure.
Teams and Team Working
It is important for an organization to involve employees its affairs (Quick MBA, 2010). The best approach to do this is through the establishment of teams among the workers (Human Resources, 2011). Different teams perform different tasks which the organization is involved in. Through teamwork these different groups work together to ensure that the goals and objectives which have been set up by the organization. This gives different teams an opportunity to make decisions concerning their operations increasing their loyalty to the firm and at the same time it fosters ownership. The graph below shows some key components of a successful teamwork strategy (Hoegel and Gemuenden 2001, p. 439).
Watson Company does not embrace the concept of teamwork. The managerial staffs do not want to be involved with the lower level employees. The managerial staff themselves do not work together to achieve the goals and objectives of the company. They do not therefore act as good examples of role models for their staff (Mullins 2010, p. 31). At times the company receives orders which are difficult to accomplish. The situation is even made worse by the fact that there is no flexibility in the shop floor. Some workers are overburdened while some are do little work at the same time reducing the quality of the work.
This is because the company does not allow people to move from one department to another hence the staff are not multi-skilled. The operations manager has noted this problem and proposed that the shop floor should be made up teams composed of individuals who are skilled in different fields since the concept has been successful in similar companies. He also suggested that the communication among different departments should be improved. His suggestions have however not been taken seriously so far.
H&M Company is made of a network of teams who work together to ensure that the entire consumer needs are met. These teams work hand in hand with each other. The individuals who are in these teams are skilled in their relevant skills. The company also allows for the rotation of individuals from one department to the other thus workers develop even new skills while they work at the firm (Belbin 2010, p. 8).
IT is widely used in the operations of the company and has especially improved the communications between various departments in the organization. The company through its policy allows its workers to further their education and skills so as to improve the excellence of their work. The company is normally involved in a serious of projects all around the world. Each project is conducted by a specific team. On its completion, the team is disbanded and rearranged in preparation of a new project. H&M Consulting therefore encourages teams and team working, a factor which has contributed greatly to the success of the company over the years (Das and Teng 2009, p. 764).
Leadership and Management
Leadership is the role played by an individual or a group of individuals in motivating and giving directions other members of staff so that they can achieve the goals and objectives which have been set by the organization (Weick, 2005 p. 412). In both companies the element of leadership has been displayed very strongly. However, in Watson Company, poor leadership is being exercised. This is because all the decisions are made at the top level of management. There is also lack of trust between the management and union leaders making it difficult for the management to take actions on workers who breach the rules and regulations of the company.
On the other hand, H&M Consultancy has got a relatively better leadership model. Power in the organization has been distributed to all the departments which make up the organization. This makes it easy to manage workers since they are actively involved in the management of the organization (Nicolini 2000, p. 787). The flow of information and the communication sequence is in both directions thus there is a minimal chance that the information might become distorted (Wei,2002 p. 75). As a result of its efficient leadership and management, the company has been successful over the years in the market.
In management organization culture is the attitude, beliefs, psychology and behavior which an organization believes is best suited to follow so as to accomplish its goals (Schein, 2005 p. 44). It is through this culture that an organization develops the means through which it deals with the members of staff, stakeholders and other interested parties in general (Black 2003, p. 68). In Watson Company, the chief managerial position is normally held by a member of the founding family. There is delegation of duties from the top to the bottom ranks. However, there is lack of team spirit and trust in the organization leading to the lack of unity. It is only the top most staff who has the ability to interact with customers (Weber 2008).
In H&M Consulting, things are somehow different. The leadership system of the company is based on bureaucracy thus every worker has got a say in the management (Cameron and Quinn, p. 16). The firm’s embraces team work among all its members. The company normally states that it is owned by its workers who work hard to ensure that the goals and objectives are met. All the level of staff have a chance to interact with the consumers, thus it is easier for them to meet the consumer expectations. This ensures that consumer satisfaction is always achieved by the company (Sopow, 2007 p. 26).
Different companies have got different organization behavior and management strategies. The choice of these strategies is mainly dependant on the stipulated goals and objectives which a firm want to achieve in the short run and in the long run. However, a company or an organization should have an organization strategy which is dynamic in nature. This helps the company to keep up with the changes that are always taking place in the world of management. An organization should therefore develop effective and efficient organization structures, ensure that there are teams and the ideology of team work is functional in the organization, a strong leadership and management style and ensure that it has a good organization culture. This will ensure that the company survives in the industry for a long time.
Organization structures determine the powers and duties of individuals and how they are delegated and coordinated in the organization. The organization structure also influences the means through which information moves from one level of the organization to another. Watson Company had an organization structure which is old fashioned which has impacted negatively in its operations. All of its other components of management are also managed in an old fashioned manner which makes it hard for the company to cope up with the present needs of the market. As a result, the company takes much more time to complete orders than usual. In other instances the company cannot meet the needs of its customers due to lack of technology and competent staff. The company should therefore try and improve its management strategies.
H&M consulting has been a relatively successful company. This can be attributed to the fact that it uses a management strategy which is up to date. The company has got a decentralized form of leadership, embraces team work and team spirit, involves all level of staff in decision making and uses the latest technology in the manufacture and production of its products. Their employees therefore are motivated and feel as part and parcel of the organization. This makes them to have a good working condition. All these factors have made the companys production line to be very efficient. The company therefore meets all the requirements of its customers and does so in good time. As a result, consumer satisfaction is thus achieved by the company. That is why H&M Consulting has been a successful company over the years.
To improve the operations of a firm, companies have to develop strategies that improve the working conditions of workers, motivate them and ensure that the consumer needs and expectations are met. This can only be achieved by the company developing up to date organization behavior and management strategies. In doing so there will be trust between the management and the employees, power will be distributed to all divisions and departments of the organization and all levels of employees will be involved in decision making.
The world is always dynamic and the market is being flooded with companies which offer more or less the same quality of services if not better. This increases the level of competition in the market. For a given company to have a better competitive advantage in the market, it should employ individuals of diverse skills and professions. These individuals should be put up into different teams where their collective expertise will ensure that the goals and objective of the organization are achieved. There should also be proper organization of these teams. In doing so all the employees will be motivated to participate in the processes of the organization so that they achieve a common goal in the end.
Employees at all levels should also be involved in the process of decision making. In certain circumstances it is the employees at the lower levels who understand well the internal and external needs of a company. A company should also give room for its employees to advance in their profession and skills therefore it should incorporate means through which these objectives can be achieved. Companies should also come up with a forum through which employees can come up with brilliant ideas and innovations which could be used to improve its operations.
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