A change agent is the individual inside or outside the organization who tries to modify the existing organizational situation (Certo & Certo, 2009). Special skills are required for a change agent to be effective. It must have the ability to determine how a change should be made, the skill to solve change-related problems and facility in using behavioral science tools to influence people appropriately during the change process (Certo & Certo).
Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc. avail the consulting services of John Clements Consultant Inc. to be its change agent during its re-organization and change from mass production to lean production system. The company made a deliberate effort to alter the behavior of its employees, managers, departments and the whole company to the concept of Just-In-Time manufacturing through the assistance of the consultancy firm. A collaborative process has been performed for a period of time from planning to actual implementation; understanding the system, providing trainings from its top level of management to its production workers to its support groups and administrative personnel, putting into action the new process, evaluating the new system, giving and receiving feedback regarding the new change and administering corrective actions. All these were performed due to the joint effort between the company and the consultancy firm thus the migration to Just-In-Time manufacturing had been successful.
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All change agents are managers but not all managers are change agents. Change agents always need the ability to get all people affected by the project involved, to ensure their support and commitment (Recklies, 2001). This requires a high competency as the basis for acceptance as well as soft skills, which are often summarized as emotional intelligence (Recklies). Not all managers may have the all the qualities and specialized skills that change agents posses. However, due to these specialized skills and qualities that change agents and leaders have, they become successful managers.
Effect of Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy is a management system characterized by detailed procedures and rules, a clearly outlined organizational hierarchy, and impersonal relationships among organization members (Certo & Certo, 2009). The characteristics of a bureaucratic management are ideally advantageous if properly applied by the organization. By combining the hierarchy and division of labor, the organization can restrict the harmful forms of authorities which may lead to unfair circumstances for employees. Bureaucracy legitimizes the authority within an organization (OPpaper, n.d.). Labor division makes the organization fairer for employees. Structured hierarchy helps to determine origin of a problem from a simple task to major factors affecting the business and to implement the possible actions needed. It deters generalization of a specific issue and gives the sense of responsibility and accountability based on the hierarchy of the organization. Bureaucracy's impersonal relationship among organization members creates the objectivity in the organization. Being objective develops fairness in the business conduct of the company to its employees. Subjective evaluation is discouraged by this management theory. The organization is to be treated equally and fairly on the basis of formal and structural rules and detailed procedures of the organization.
If bureaucracy has its advantages, it also has its own faults. One of the well-known criticism is bureaucratic organization reduces the flexibility and active efficiency of the organization (OPpaper, n.d.). Having a large volume of detailed rulings and procedures, the increase of unnecessary labor and chain of command became overlapping or decentralized in a bureaucratic environment, it losses the efficiency of the firm. The Philippine government has been notorious for its corrupt bureaucratic environment. The objectivity in the Philippine government has been lost because government employees, especially in the local and provincial environment, were hired through familiarity. Positions were formed to accommodate relatives of government leaders. In April 2010, an estimated 3.2M is working for the government, which is almost 9% of the total employed persons in the Philippines (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, n.d.). Having this large number of employees working in the government, effectiveness and efficiency in providing the services to the country declined. The number of personnel has grown while the delivery of government services continues to deteriorate and Filipinos' dissatisfaction to the government performance had not changed. In 2001, The Philippine nation has lost faith in the government since the reason for running for government is no longer about true service to the public but of self interest and profit making. The government has different agencies to perform its particular services for the public however several of these government agencies have leaders who can be generalized as corrupt. Government officials and ordinary government employees were accused of accepting mostly monetary favors to disregard rules of the government. Countless court cases were filed to officers who used to serve the public, including presidents but most turned into cold case due to bureaucracy gone wrong. In the previous administration, the President had a control over the entire bureaucracy and budget instead of truly autonomous local as well as regional governments (Aquino, 2009). Authorities were bypassed for personal gain; agencies deny being responsible for wrong actions and blame other agencies for the wrong doing because division of labor and hierarchy has been disregarded. Numerous laws and policies of the Philippines have different interpretation by different political leaders thus the loophole of the bureaucratic government of the country.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Re-engineering the Philippine bureaucracy has always been in the agenda of every Philippine administration but seems like none has been successful in streamlining the government. During the political campaign of the new president of the country, one of the visions of President Aquino is to resurrect the structure of governance as instruments of social justice (Aquino, 2009). Bureaucracy has been considered as the fourth branch of governance. As described in its platform, it is the super Jumbo jet, so colossal that when piloted by the morally unfit, technically decrepit, leadership incompetent could dehumanized and crashed the nation into poverty then turmoil (Aquino). Hope was restored by this new government and faith has been placed to the Philippine government due to this new idealism brought by President Noynoy Aquino.
Communication Inside the Virtual Office
A virtual office is a work arrangement that extends beyond the structure and boundaries of the traditional office arrangement (Certo & Certo, 2009). Virtual office is a product of modern organization. With the influx of latest technology, companies prefer virtual office set up mostly due to the reduction of cost to the company. Also, having a mobile office, employees tend to be more flexible and flexibility results to more efficient and effective employees.
Business globalization has been the focus of companies and with the advent of latest technologies and equipment, companies in the US can strike a deal with Japanese companies. Communication has become easier with the usage of video conferences, electronic mails, thus an employee doesn't need to fly all the way to the other half of the globe to make business. He can do this wherever he may be, in the office, in the car, or in his own home.
Constant communication needs to be done by Managers and employees to be able to succeed in a virtual office setup. With the advent of virtual office, managers lost the personal contact and interaction with the employees which is present in a traditional office set up due to its proximity. To have an effective communication on a virtual office, manager should be able to implement a common and standard communication to its employees to ensure that the organization is going to the same direction. Video and face-to-face conferencing is the most ideal way to communicate with employees. When possible, managers should be able to include this in the organization despite of its mobility. This will give the employees a sense of the progress of the project and will always bring back their focus to the company's goal. Establishing a code of conduct such as email acknowledgement is a great tool that a manager can use to ensure that employees receive the emails by their acknowledgement and managers become aware that messages has been delivered and accepted by the recipient. Another practical suggestion is to establish a communication center in the company web site (Rolfes, n.d.). Extra effort needs to be given in this specialized modern organization to overcome communication barriers between managers and employees.
Relationship of job analysis, job description and job specification
Recruitment is one of the most painstaking responsibilities of the Human Resource Department. Choosing the right candidate to become part of a department and an asset to the organization, HR should have knowledge of the job requirement to be able to screen qualified applicants. Job analysis is a technique commonly used to gain an understanding of what a task entails which is the job description and the type of individual who should be hired to perform that task known as job specification (Certo & Certo, 2009).
International Plant Services (IPS), as a labor contracting company, that provides specialized skilled workers and engineers to its clients, analysis of the job requirement is the heart of its operations. The success of the company lies in being able to provide the right employees to its clients. It cannot assign tig welders to a client that requests for aluminum welders.
As IPS selects the qualified workers to be assigned to its clients, MBC Human Resources also does the same. MBC is the company that supplies the labor workforce to IPS including its Filipino office staff. In 2006, IPS requested from MBC to provide a Filipino Accounting Manager to be based in the US. The job would entail overseeing the whole accounting functions of the company and provide financial reports to the President and CFO of the company. The Accounting Manager position will plan, direct and manage the daily operations of the department to ensure prompt and efficient production of financial statements and related reports and coordinating work between the Accounting Department and other departments. The position ascertains that all assets of the company are properly accounted for and that policies and procedures are followed and recommends changes. Another part of its duties is to ensure compliance to the accounting standards and reportorial requirements in the US and Philippines tax laws.
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To be able to perform the duties as the Accounting Manager of the company, the qualified applicant must be a CPA in the Philippines while having a broad knowledge of GAAP and US tax rulings. The person should have 5+ years of work experience as a manager and had worked with Big 4 Assurance Firm. Ability to speak in Filipino is preferred.
Management Planning In Economic Recession
Today's business news is focused on the country's double dip economic recession. Unemployment rate increases and companies are in the brink of bankruptcy if not have closed entirely their business since they could not survive the economic downturn that the country is experiencing. IPS has begun to feel the effect of the recession with the loss of its clients and its skilled workers. IPS is struggling to survive in this economic depression. Planning is an important key for the company to survive. IPS needs to step back and analyze the organization to stay afloat and keep its business running.
Planning is critical in the field of management because this will be the framework of the company. Planning provides the direction where the company would lead. A well-formulated plan needs to be put in place and company needs to adhere to this plan in order for the organization to succeed. IPS's goal has been to penetrate the local market with the usage of skilled non-US workers and be one of the sought after labor contracting company to be utilized in the world market. However, with the present economy, the Company needs to re-align its goal and focus to more immediate issues and act on it.