The reoccurring research question is how should programs be approached to provide value, in other words how can organizations leverage the strategic value while recognizing and acknowledging the organizational context. How can we, as manager, help the organizations we work for build a business case that brings forward the value of these efforts from an employee engagement perspective?
Question 1. The reoccurring research question is how should programs be approached to provide value, in other words how can organizations leverage the strategic value while recognizing and acknowledging the organizational context. How can we, as manager, help the organizations we work for build a business case that brings forward the value of these efforts from an employee engagement perspective? Question 2. Many companies say that their employees are their most valuable asset, but not all of them live up to this blanket statement. One of the best ways to measure their accuracy is to look at their actual corporate culture and see if it lives up to this or if they are just words. Flamholtz and Randle say that corporate culture is not just an asset but a strategic asset that give corporate advantage, and can be the core of a business model.(Flamholtz, E. & Randle, Y, 2012) Culture is the values, beliefs and norms that influence how employees behave. While some negative cultures can provide short term advantages, such as bonuses for cut throat behavior, long term advantage comes from positive corporate cultures. Positive cultures create strategic assets when they create competitive advantages and are sustainable. Starbucks can credit this when people say “let’s go to Starbucks” verses “let’s go get coffee.” (Flamholtz, E. & Randle, Y, 2012) Successfully using culture as a competitive advantage often involves utilizing the same products that competitors do but having employees who enjoy their jobs, often that feeling can be felt by consumers. Examples are Starbucks who have access to the same beans their
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competitors do, and South West Airlines who fly the same Boeing planes as other airlines. Culture gaps are when corporations say they value the employees but surveys show employees do not feel embraced by the sentiment, and that the organization is not consistent with the stated culture (Flamholtz, E. & Randle, Y, 2012). An example of this is in March, for Corrections Pride month, for one month corrections staff has posters telling them how they are appreciated, but for the other 11 months of the year rarely ever hear a word of encouragement. How can organizations maximize and synchronize the performance goals of the organization with those of the individual performer? Question 3. When creating a strategy for a company, there are 10 basic managerial tasks that are needed no matter what the situation (Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble, & Strickland, 2015, p. 288). Two of these tasks are staffing the organization with managers and employees capable of executing the strategy well, and instill a corporate culture that promotes good strategy execution. Staffing Ensuring the correct staff is in place will both help a struggling company improve and help a good company become better. As Clark (2013) points out, many businesses place top leaders in struggling departments to help improve their performance, and when a school district decided to use this model, almost all of the 24 low-performing participating schools were turned around proving that this strategy is a good one (pp. 26-27). If one were to put mediocre managers and employees into positions that need to improve, then improvement cannot be expected to happen. In addition, while staffing may be an expensive thing to do, one could argue that the benefits in the long run are well worth the effort of finding top talent to put into the positions the organization needs to improve. Culture According to Thompson, et al., 2015), “corporate culture refers to the shared values, ingrained attitudes, and company traditions that determine norms of behavior, accepted work practices, and styles of operating” (p. 343). If a manager or employee does not fit with the culture, then they will most likely hinder the organization’s effort to implement a strategic plan. Another point to make about organizational culture is when a strategic plan requires a cultural change. Keuning (2008) states that when a strategic plan requires cultural change, management must be alive to the fact that they need to look for ways to encourage staff to adjust their values and beliefs (as cited in Mwangu, Olyao, & Simuyu, 2015, p. 200). Ensuring the organizational culture is taken into account when creating a strategic plan, will help ensure that the strategic plan is implemented the way the organizations wants and will not cause problems with the culture and the employees. What analysis will likely show the leadership team where deficiencies exist that may hinder their strategic efforts? Question 4. A key to Amazon’s corporate strategy is arguably their continued investment in data resources. As described in our text Amazon has utilized its expertise in data management not only to grow their own e-commerce efforts, but to also aid third party companies in their sales. Amazon may have had a advantage in this realm due to their initial inception as an online corporation. Often retailers find themselves working backwards in this arena, where they began in brick and mortar storefronts and moved on line. This demonstrates that they may not have had the initial motives to store and use customer data to build their market share, they simply wanted to offer customers another means to buy their product. What in your opinion is the drawback in Amazon’s approach(s)? Question 5. One of the first elements of Amazon’s corporate strategy discussed in the case study is that of utilizing big data. Amazon realized that storing information about its customers and building a database of it could help them market products in an individualized way creating more sales. Another element discussed is aiding other companies with big data by allowing partner sites to use its big data while maintaining their independent identity as a smaller store. Doing this, Amazon charged its partners a fixed fee as well as commission. Departing from the case study, and expanding on the information given, one of the key strategies for the company was around developing a core culture for employees and that they have key leadership principles that are followed and used in everything the company does. In addition, she mentioned that the single most important thing anyone from Amazon would tell you is that in everything they do, the customer experience is their number one priority. Getting in on the online retailer industry early seems to have been Amazon’s biggest key in being successful. Developing both a culture in which the employees are motivated to make the customers happy, and a place where customers can easily find any number of products they are searching for and get them delivered quickly are also keys to their strategy execution. By following the 5 components of the Big Data Process, Amazon ensures that any information they share with other companies is accurate and validated so that when the other company uses it, they are satisfied with the partnership they have created with Amazon. If Amazon weren’t as careful with the information collected, other companies would not want to partner with them, and this would not be a successful strategy for Amazon. Other than Amazon’s ability to get into the e-commerce business early. What else do you think enabled Amazon to focus on their ability to provide excellent customer service and a significant product base from the internet sales perspective? The attached document is reference for questions 6-8 Question 6. In reference to the current environment at Tucker Knox it would be very difficult for an internal practitioner to have any significant impact due to Howards scope of influence and his ability to use others within the company to achieve his self serving goals. With so much influence centralized in Howards sphere it would be difficult to make any real change without support from both Larry and Jack. CEO Larry Henderson has worked closely with Howard and likes his aggressive management style. Howard already has many responsibilities and more to come with developing and overseeing the new department. But it seems Howards focus was about keeping rivals like Matt Jackson in check rather than overseeing his responsibilities as the director of manufacture engineering. Another point of friction is Howards inability to accept change and his dawdling nature to delegate or relinquish authority. According to Andersson (2015) change is associated with terms like force and friction, often times groups or individual fear change due to the unknown or the thought of losing status or influence. In an attempt to limit Howards influence Jake Donaldson splits Howards machine design team into two teams and assigned Matt Jackson, Howard’s rival to manage the new team. Due to Howards assertive nature rather than staying focused on his responsibilities and filling the empty management positions of the teams he oversees. Howard employs Ed to help develop and present information in order to reunite his machine design team. In the end again Howard is successful in achieving his self serving goals. Although the plan that Howard and Ed present is persuasive the split of the team was still in its infancy and with more time the split may have been beneficial to the company. What are other assessments into the organization’s strengths and weaknesses that move past the internalization focus that achieve positive managerial leadership? Question 7. In reference to the Case Study Problems A. Macro Tucker has certain management that wants to ensure their working environment is ideal based on who they strategically place in their circle. They also have staff that uses place staff I certain positions that may not be qualified as a means of a way to get them to do what they wanted. B. Micro Larry is not stepping up and recognizing the team for their value and hard work when positions are being changed thus pushing some key players to the back such as Ed. ll. Causes The company appears to doing well and they have future plans that will continue to make the business thrive. Although they may appear to work well together it seems to be more from manipulation rather than earned effort. III. Systems Affected Ultimately the restructuring and some of the decisions that were made will cause them to lose someone or others that have played key roles in the company by slighting their efforts or position for others that can be molded to their liking. IV. Alternatives The changes are good but the way it was done especially reassigning Ed to a department and once he was finished building it up advising him he had to find another job within the company or else was not a good business move. V. Recommendations I understand that there are members of the team that are stronger in certain areas than other yet collectively they could complement each other. Where one lacked in an area and as the other they could train in each area so that they could have the dream team. It may work best for some to be able to have those that will jump when they say jump but it seems some in certain positions are using them for their benefit. They should do cross training with everyone so that in the event someone is needed they have available staff rather than rely on a specific person. So do you think that there is an underlying lack of motivation here not only in the employees but also in the management? Do you think that a lack of motivation could be a problem? What are the defining variables that could be causing it? Could it be that everyone’s own desires and organizational silos of management influence their perception and analyses of problem areas? Question 8. Tucker Knox Corporation’s organizational goal is to maintain their sales volume at number one. In addition, the organization’s CEO (Larry Henderson) has set three objects as follows: to compete globally, to maintain/build successful U.S. and global facilities, and to ensure their corporate office remains financially able to operate in the United States as opposed to abroad. One big factor that has stood in their way is the fact that proprietary parts are what make each organization manufacturing automotive breaking systems successful. As a result, costs can be prohibitive. To alleviate this factor, Howard Watson, Director of Manufacturing Engineering, proposed a department specifically to deal with the proprietary aspect of the system. Howard went on to collaborate with Larry Henderson (CEO) to design said department. Ed Leonard was brought own gradually (progressing step by step) by Howard to manage this department. Early in Ed’s tenure, Jack Donaldson (Howard’s direct boss) split up Howard’s team in order to lessen his authority. Howard used Ed’s knowledge and experience to counter this move, which placed Ed in an awkward position with upper management, specifically Jack Donaldson who would likely take over as CEO upon Larry Henderson’s retirement. Nevertheless, the result being Ed Leonard, a profitable member, looking to leave the organization. How did this come about, Ed contemplated in the case. First of all, The CEO appears to be a collaborative individual and effective leader. In addition, Howard Watson appears to a collaborative leader as well; however, in placing Ed in an awkward position he has jeopardized the organization as Ed is now seriously contemplating resigning. Jack Donaldson played the most damaging role in this scenario however by not collaborating with Howard on the decision to break up the department. Decisions such as this should be made only after getting input from all involved. What are if any, the underlying lack of motivation here not only in the employees but also in the management? Do you think that a lack of motivation could be a problem?