Xerox Corporation: Organization Development

Introduction

Xerox Corporation is a leading manufacturer of different printers, photocopiers, and multifunction systems. The American multinational also offers consulting services. The firm also “engineers and produces various elements of personal computing such as the computer mouse and desktop metaphor GUI” (Seipp, Kinsella and Lindberg 229). Xerox is currently the leading provider of quality document services.

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Xerox also owns Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), thus making it successful. Affiliated Computer Services makes it easier for Xerox to provide the best HR services and support to different customers. The firm also embraces the power of research and development (R&D) in order to produce powerful products. However, some issues, such as poor accounting practices, continued competition, and declining global markets, have been affecting its business performance. This paper presents a powerful organizational development (OD) that can address the above challenges and make Xerox a leading competitor in its industry. The targeted solution uses powerful OD concepts in order to make the firm successful.

The Diagnostic Process

Analysis of Xerox Corporation

It is agreeable that Xerox Corporation “provides quality products to many customers in different parts of the glove” (McCauley et al. 642). The “firm has various strengths that make it a leader in document outsourcing services” (Seipp, Kinsella, and Lindberg 224). The company has its headquarters in Connecticut, Norwalk. The firm has over 147,000 employees in different countries across the globe. The firm operates in many countries across the globe. This strategy has made it a leading competitor in the document management (DM) industry. Xerox also offers powerful technology and expertise to a wide range of customers. These services make it easier for different customers to operate smoothly and achieve their potentials.

Xerox’s customers include “resellers, distributors, and graphic communication enterprises” (Seipp et al. 229). This company operates two key unique units. These “include Document Technology and Services” (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom 536). These units share product, manufacturing, and technology platforms in order to achieve the targeted outcomes. The company has numerous competitors, thus affecting its business performance. Some of these competitors include Computer Sciences Corporation, Dell, IBM, Canon, Lexmark, and Accenture. It is appropriate to understand the major challenges and opportunities associated with Xerox Corporation.

Challenges

Xerox Corporation has several strengths that make it successful. For instance, the firm has invested heavily in Research and Development (R&D) in order to address the changing needs of its customers. The “company designs powerful products that feature both technological and environmental benefits” (McCauley et al. 642). The company also offers the best environmental solutions for every customer. However, the firm encounters several challenges that affect its business strategy.

To begin with, the firm operates in a very competitive environment. The world has also been embracing modern technologies, thus forcing the firm to adjust accordingly. These “market dynamics have been putting increasing pressure on the company’s business strategy” (Scott 3). The company is always expected to identify new innovative features and designs in order to achieve its potentials. The issue of environmental conservation is critical in different industries. The issue of feature advancement (FA) is another challenge for Xerox Corporation. Many companies are “required to become carbon neutral” (Jargosch and Jurich, 51). That being the case, Xerox must invest a lot in R&D in order to develop environmentally-friendly products. This approach is relevant to making the firm more competitive and successful.

The global economy is also experiencing numerous downturns. These unpredictable economic patterns are forcing the firm to realign its business operations. These changes might also affect the bargaining power of many customers. This development can eventually make the company less profitable. The presence of different environmental commitments affects many firms in this industry. The firm is also experiencing numerous financial constraints. The company “is required to allocate more funds for development, design, and innovation in order to remain competitive” (Scott 5). The issue of recycling should also be put into consideration whenever producing various products and services.

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Opportunities

On the other hand, Xerox Corporation boasts of many opportunities that can make it successful. Many customers and business partners believe that Xerox is an innovative company. The firm uses the best quality management practices in order to achieve its potentials. The company’s corporate brand attracts many customers across the globe. This fact explains why Xerox is the leading producer and marketer of copiers, fax machines, and printers. The company has also been “marketing a wide range of software, document equipment, and services” (Seipp et al. 223). The company also markets recycled papers to its customers. These opportunities make it easier for Xerox to achieve its business potentials.

The firm has the potential to sustain its competitive edge. The firm’s R&D strategy can focus on the environmental issues affecting this industry. This approach will make it easier for the firm to offer quality products and services to its customers. The company has also been supporting more companies in order to address their environmental needs (Jargosch and Jurich 54). For instance, Xerox’s products promote the concept of environmental protection. The strategy explains why more companies will be ready to collaborate with Xerox Corporation in the future. Xerox has also acquired new companies such as ACS. This situation explains why the firm will be able to support the needs of more clients in the future.

Socio-technical Systems Analysis

Xerox Corporation can address the above challenges using the best organizational development (OD) practices. Organizational development is “a powerful approach that empowers different groups and teams in order to embrace new ways of doing things” (Daft, 43). Xerox is facing much competition from different companies. The firm is also unable to deal effectively with different economic and financial constraints. Many customers require environmentally-friendly products. A powerful marketing strategy is also required in order to make Xerox a leading player in the industry. That being the case, Xerox must develop new processes and structures in order to achieve the targeted outcomes. The important thing is to develop this organization.

The best solution towards dealing with the above challenges is the implementation of Six Sigma. Xerox is currently marketing a wide range of products to many customers. However, the company is facing numerous obstacles that affect its business outcomes. The existing environmental requirements are also affecting its business performance. The Six Sigma strategy can present numerous opportunities. This strategy seeks to remove different errors in an attempt to get the targeted outcomes (Daft 67). Xerox will be able to reduce business costs, maximize profits, satisfy more customers, and increase its competitiveness.

This solution borrows numerous concepts from Organization Development (OD). The first concept is action research. This process embraces the use of research to understand the problems affecting the firm. This concept is critical because it makes it easier for managers to address existing problems. The use of research at Xerox can “identify the best guidelines for effective practice” (Seipp et al. 229). The other concept is group dynamics. This concept focuses on different behaviors that can promote the best practices. This practice is critical because Xerox Corporation is characterized by many employees and groups. These two approaches will make it easier for Xerox to achieve their potentials.

The other powerful concept is a change agent. Every organizational development strategy should have a competent change agent. This person should possess the required behavioral skills. He or she should be aware of the best decision-making processes. The individual should use various intervention skills in order to support targeted practices. The OD approach will treat Xerox as a total system. This “strategy will focus on all the cliques, values, individuals, norms, and products that make the firm” (McCauley et al. 635). The change agent “will promote the best ideas in order to improve the company’s capacity to handle its functions and relationships” (Daft 73).

Action Plans, Strategies, and Techniques

A number of actions will make this strategy successful. Kurt Lewin’s model of change can be used to support Xerox’s goals. The three steps include “unfreezing, changing, and refreezing” (Daft 87). This change model has the potential to introduce powerful practices that can make Xerox a competitive player in its industry. Action research should also be used to gather the required data and information. This practice will make it easier for targeted managers to embrace the power of action planning. The second stage will ensure every employee understands the company’s vision. The leaders and managers will encourage more employees to solve every problem affecting the company.

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Xerox Incorporation should also use the best Six Design Drivers (SDDs) in order to deal with its organizational challenges. The SDDs presented below will make it possible for the company’s managers to leverage every activity. The firm’s functions will focus on the best outcomes. This OD strategy will support the most appropriate practices. It will also produce powerful teams that can achieve the targeted goals (Daft 89). These SDDs will be part of the proposed OD solution.

Fig 1: The Six Design Drivers.

Management Attention The firm’s CEO and managers should recruit competent team leaders.
Leveraged Resources Xerox should also improve the competitiveness and quality of its products. Such products will be able to attract more customers.
Coordination and Integration The firm should also form new organizational teams. Modern research and development (R&D) strategies will also address the company’s problems.
Specialization Xerox Corporation should have specialized roles for different employees.
Accountability and Control Every employee at the firm should become accountable. Organizational leaders should manage every practice effectively.
Learning and Motivation A powerful motivation strategy will ensure every employee is innovative.

The above change model will introduce new behaviors such as effective communication, interpersonal cooperation, and trust. These positive behaviors will make it easier for Xerox to achieve its potentials. A proper planning approach will ensure the proposed change is implemented effectively (Tripon and Dodu 4). This change will also create a powerful environment whereby every employee focuses on the best outcomes. The final stage is refreezing, whereby the implemented change becomes part of the firm. The approach will improve the company’s performance and effectiveness.

Intervention Evaluation and Disengagement Plans

The important goal is to make Xerox Corporation successful. The firm will be able to produce innovative products. The workers at Xerox will produce quality products using the best R&D techniques. Every employee will also focus on the best practices. The marketing team will consider the changing needs of different global customers. The firm will also reduce their budgets. The creation of a collaborative team will address the financial constraints affecting the company. The R&D team will also develop quality products that can address the needs of different consumers (Tripon and Dodu 6). New practices such as problem-solving and decision-making will become common in this company.

Several players should be part of the proposed solution. A change agent is required in order to implement the proposed Six Sigma. This change agent will identify the best behaviors that can address the existing interpersonal problems. The HR manager will also be required to address the challenges affecting different employees (Jargosch and Jurich 65). The employees should be encouraged to form different teams. The CEO and managers will also be part of this new change. These individuals should create the best environment for growth. Every client and customer should be involved in this process. Such individuals will present powerful skills and suggestions that can make Xerox successful.

Conclusion

The above solution will present many solutions and benefits to the firm. For instance, Xerox will acquire new business processes that can be improved and controlled. The firm will promote continuous efforts that can produce the best results. The top-level managers will focus on quality improvement. The employees will always be committed in order to get the best outcomes (Scott 7). New teams will emerge depending on the targeted organizational functions. Basically, the above OD approaches will present powerful strategies that can make it possible for Xerox to achieve every organizational goal.

Works Cited

Chesbrough, Henry and Richard Rosenbloom. “The Role of the Business Model in Capturing Value from Innovation: Evidence from Xerox Corporation’s Technology Spin-off Companies.” Industrial and Corporate Change 11.3 (2002): 529-555. Print.

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Daft, Richard. Organization Theory and Design. New York, NY: Cengage Brain, 2012. Print.

Jargosch, Reiner, and Joseph Jurich. Xerox Corporation Patent Landscape Analysis. New York: IPGenix LLC, 2014. Print.

McCauley, Cynthia, Wilfred Drath, Charles Palus, Patricia O’Connor and Becca Baker. “The use of constructive-developmental theory to advance the understanding of leadership.” The Leadership Quarterly 17.1 (2006): 634-653. Print.

Scott, Brenda. “Organization Development Primer: Theory and Practice of Large Group Interventions.” IRC 1.1 (2009): 1-8. Print.

Seipp, Edward, Sean Kinsella and Deborah Lindberg. “Xerox, Inc.” Issues in Accounting Education 26.1 (2011): 219-240. Print.

Tripon, Ciprian and Marius Dodu 2012, Change Management and Organization Development. Web.

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