Report on the Current State of Telecommunications Industry in Great Britain

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For the purpose of the assignment, the telecommunication industry was chosen from the services industry from Great Britain. Vodafone Group plc (LSE: VOD, NASDAQ: VOD), being a British multinational mobile network operator headquartered in Newbury, England has established prominent state within the business world. Vodafone is the world's largest mobile telecommunication network company, based on revenue, and has a market value of about £71.2 billion (November 2009). A multinational corporation (MNC) or transnational corporation (TNC), also called multinational enterprise (MNE), is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation. The first modern multinational corporation is generally thought to be the East India Company. It currently has operations in 31 countries and partner networks in a further 40 countries. It is the world's second largest mobile phone operator behind China Mobile and over Telefónica based on subscribers, with over 427 million subscribers in 31 markets across 5 continents as of 2009. In the UK, its home ground, Vodafone has badly underperformed in the last few years due to brisk change in administration. It has slipped from first to third largest telecom operator generating a revenue of £4.9 billion from its 18.7 million customers in 2008-09. As of March 31, 2009 (2009 -03-31)[update], the company employs more than 79,000 people worldwide. The name Vodafone comes from voice data fone, chosen by the company to "reflect the provision of voice and data services over mobile phones". (BBC, 2009)

Vodafone has been working and operating within many countries and have created several opportunities of working with local companies. February 2010, Vodafone announced that it is bringing M-PESA, one of the world's most successful mobile money transfer services, to South Africa, to be deployed by its subsidiary, Vodacom South Africa and its South African banking partner. With approximately 26 million people in South Africa without official bank accounts, M-PESA will enable millions of mobile phone subscribers who have access to a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account, to send and receive money via their mobile phones. The M-PESA service was developed by Vodafone and has already been deployed by Safaricom in Kenya, Vodacom in Tanzania and Roshan in Afghanistan (branded M-Paisa). More than 11 million registered customers now rely on their mobile phones for money transfer, airtime top-up and bill payments.

[update]There are several factors that influence the working of multinational companies such as market imperfections and international powers. For the company under consideration, the market imperfections are the possibility of not knowing the local laws, local customers or businesses. The international power factors could be tax exemption, market withdrawal, lobbying , patents and government powers.

The SECI model (the acronym stands for Socialization, Externalization, Combination, Internalization) was first proposed in 1991 (Nonaka 1991), though was refined and expanded for a broader audience in the popular book The Knowledge Creating Company (Nonaka & Takeuchi 1995). The SECI model met with broad acceptance, especially among management practitioners, due to its intuitive logic and clear delineation of knowledge types between tacit and explicit

knowledge-utilising this knowledge delineation first espoused in management theory by

Polanyi (1958). The model also embodied an interaction dynamic by which knowledge is

transferred in a spiral process, allowing the knowledge value to be enhanced through

exchange between individuals and groups within the organisation. The core behavioural assumption in the model is that knowledge creating companies continually encourage the flow of knowledge between individuals and staff groups to improve both tacit and explicit knowledge stocks. The critical knowledge management assumption of the SECI process is that knowledge is created and improved as it flows through different levels of the organisation and between individuals and groups. Thus, knowledge value is created through synergies between knowledge holders (both individual and group) within a supportive and developmental organisational context.

Figure 1(The Key Elements of the SECI Model , In the above diagram, the I, G, and O symbols represent individuals) group and organization

In 1998 a third, more challenging, cultural assumption was added to the SECI discussion.

Nonaka and Konno (1998) introduced the Japanese concept of Ba, a philosophical construct

rooted in Japanese society that relates to the physical, relational and spiritual elements of

'place', or perhaps more expansively 'context'.

In the strategic management and organisational theory literatures, organisations are

increasingly conceptualised in terms of their knowledge and capabilities (Poppo & Zenger

1998), and less in terms of their physical and financial assets. Further, organisational alliances

that draw together firms are being viewed as conduits for information and knowledge flows

between organisations (Grant & Baden-Fuller 2004).

Figure 2 (Summary of SECI Implementation across Organisations)

Knowledge Management plan:

Knowledge in organizations is assumed to be widely distributed and embedded in social and cognitive structures of its participants. Effectiveness of human resource management knowledge and systems in global organizations contributes significantly to sustaining competitiveness (Evans, Pucik & Barsoux, 2002). Knowledge may assume many forms, and its quality is revealed in the range of capabilities that the organization possesses as a result of this knowledge. Nonaka (1994, p. 15) described knowledge as a multidimensional construct with multi-layered meanings.

Earlier, human resource management systems were concerned with the management of data and information relevant to routine decision-making to enhance organizational functioning, it is useful to differentiate among the concepts of data, information, and knowledge. Data is generally thought of as a set of discrete objective facts about events. In organizational contexts, data is most accurately described as structured records of current or past transactions. When a human resource manager reports the distribution of salaried personnel in different divisions of a company, it tells nothing about the significance of this distribution in the actual context of the organization, the industry in which the organization operates, and its strategic implications for enhancing competitiveness.

Tacit knowledge is inherently hard to process and diffuse in global organizations. In the case of human resource management knowledge, the share of tacit knowledge can be rather high, in our opinion. Tacit knowledge is also uniquely rooted in the historical and cultural context of the organization. Nonaka (1994) noted that understanding the significance of tacit knowledge requires effective processing of both cognitive and technical elements. Cognitive

elements are focused on mental models (Johnson-Laird, 1983) in which individuals create approximate models of the world by focusing on appropriate cognitive Schemas and analogies. These mental models may include paradigms, beliefs, and viewpoints that constitute the frames of reference that individuals utilize to perceive and define their world. The technical element of tacit knowledge, on the other hand, consists of specific and focused information, such as expertise, blueprints, and other technological details. It is a cognitive

component of tacit knowledge that refers to an individual's or group's image of social reality and expectations (Nonaka, 1994). In contrast, explicit knowledge is primarily concerned with issues that are relevant in the present and that can be easily conveyed in codified forms, such

as human resource policies and procedures. Tacit knowledge involves the process of continuous knowing and is analogue in character, whereas explicit knowledge is discrete or digital. It can be stored in various archives in the headquarters, ranging from libraries to databases, and can be accessed quickly without much distortion. Managing human resource knowledge in global organizations invariably involves the flow of both tacit and explicit knowledge. Furthermore, because subsidiaries of global organizations are located in dissimilar cultures, the role of cultural differences in the effective processing of knowledge containing both tacit and explicit components becomes crucial. A framework proposed by

Nonaka (1994) is useful in understanding the flow of knowledge when such flows involve continuous conversion of tacit to explicit knowledge and explicit to tacit knowledge.

Transnational companies always focus on the various factors that will help in generating better results over the long term as well as short term. It includes strategic intents for knowledge creation, emphasis on innovation, tangible and administrative support for innovation. It also includes research and development systems, the sophistication of management information systems, quality and competence of technical and administrative staff, and Administrative. Management system also emphasis on heritage or historical knowledge creation, the values and practices of founders and senior managers (leadership legacy and organizational culture), the nature of organizational communication and quality of professional interactions.

The Knowledge Management System describes a system that helps in managing knowledge with in organizations for supporting tasks such as creation, capture, storage and propagation of information. It could be comprised of a part (neither necessary nor sufficient) of a Knowledge Management initiative within telecom based company.

The Knowledge Management system enables employees to have ready access to the institutional documented base of facts, information sources and solutions. A typical claim justifying the creation of a KM system might run something like this: an engineer could know the mobile applications can help in transferring money to other countries without any security concerns. Sharing these information's widely could lead to more valuable money transfer plan leading to ideas for new or improved equipment. Following factors incorporate management system such as

Purpose: the Knowledge Management Sytem depends upon explicit knowledge management objectives towards collaboration, effective practice and team work.

Context: Knowledge is information that is significantly well thought-out, accumulated and embedded in a framework of creation and application.

Processes: Knowledge Management System are always developed to sustain and extend knowledge-intensive processes, tasks or projects of e.g., designing, construction, identification, capturing, acquirement, variety, valuation, organization, linking, structuring, formalization, evolution, accessing, visualization, transfer, distribution, retention, maintenance, refinement, revision, retrieval and last but not least the application of knowledge, also called the knowledge life cycle (KLC).

Participants: KMS designs are held to reflect that knowledge is developed collectively and that the "distribution" of knowledge leads to its continuous change, reconstruction and application in different contexts, by different participants with differing backgrounds and experiences. Although this is not necessarily the case. Employees can engage in recreation the roles of active, involved participants in knowledge networks and communities fostered by Knowledge Management System.

Instruments: KMS support KM instruments, e.g., the capture, creation and sharing of the codifiable aspects of practice, skill management systems, collaborative filtering and handling of interests used to hook up people, the creation and fostering of communities or knowledge networks, the creation of corporate knowledge directories, taxonomies or ontologies, expertise locators.

KM systems are being used within many transnational organizations with many success stories. The advantages claimed by the KM systems are:

Sharing valuable institutional information throughout organizational hierarchy: Knowledge and information sharing are regarded as means to use resources more effectively in order to reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage (cf. Chuang, 2004; Johannessen and Olsen, 2003; Ringel-Bickelmaier, 2000; North, 2005). As a common feature, all international organizations work within the restraint of a tight regular budget that needs to be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. Almost all international organizations have accordingly installed controlling systems or redefined their tasks as business cases. It includes creating plans such as helping in identifying, create, capture and share knowledge systematically in order to assist working smarter rather than harder. Modern strategies for improved reputation advertising capabilities and getting resource returns for further enhance development agenda; Widened pool of targeted knowledge makes organizational learning more strategic as Efficiency gains though improved results.

Through the systematic system, the companies can avoid re-discovering the wheel, reducing outmoded work as well as committing same mistake again and again. It helps the businesses to improve the cost, time spent as well the better risk management.

May lessen new employee's training time.

After the employee leaves, retention of Intellectual Property if knowledge can be codified.

Management Development plan

Management Development is the process by which managers learn and improve their expertise not only to benefit themselves but also their employing organisations.

There are various approaches to management development programmes such as follow.


Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, the Oxford School of Coaching.

Mentoring is a technique for allowing the transmission of knowledge, skills and experience in a supportive and challenging environment much like coaching. The same skills of inquiring, listening, clarifying, reframing and many of the same models are used. Mentoring can also work as a way of inducting employees, as a form of employee's development across departments and as a means of simple skills transfer. However, mentoring relationships can be much more long term, for example in a sequence planning scenario a regional finance director might be mentored by a group level counterpart where they might learn the basics of dealing with the boardroom, presenting to analysts, challenging departmental budgets, etc all in a supportive environment. This is particularly productive when there is a gender or ethnic dimension to the relationship. An effective mentoring liaison is a learning opportunity for both parties. Mentoring relationships work best when they move beyond the directive approach of a senior colleague telling it how it is, to one where both learn from each other.


Although there is a lack of agreement among coaching professionals about precise definitions,in this service company, Coaching as developing a person's skills and knowledge so that their job performance improves, hopefully leading to the achievement of organisational objectives. It targets high performance and improvement at work, although it may also have an impact on an individual's private life. It usually lasts for a short period and focuses on specific skills and goals.

There are some generally agreed characteristics of coaching in organisations:

It is essentially a non-directive form of development.

Coaching assumes that the individual is psychologically well and does not require a clinical intervention.

It provides people with feedback on both their strong point and their weaknesses.

It is a skilled activity which should be delivered by trained people.

It focuses on improving presentation and developing individuals' skills.

Personal issues may be discussed but the emphasis is on performance at work.

Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals.

Job rotation

Job design technique in which employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. In Vodafone the objective is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and to cross-train them.

Job rotation is a great way to discover your strength and interest in different areas of the Vodafone.

On the job training

This will be for the assistants who join fresh to help managers. A mapping procedure will be followed by the HR, to place the new assistant with a manager that has expertise in the field that the assistant aspires to enhance his/her skills. This will help reduce the training cost of the company and help the fresher become confident and be integral to the company

Business Workflow Analysis

In Vodafone company the  workflows is to diagram the way that a company works in an easy-to-read format. This chart allows managers to assess the way the company is performing and determine how productive its methods are. Flaws in the process where time or resources are wasted can often be identified quickly in format of a workflow. These issues can then be addressed by preparing a new, more efficient business workflow to demonstrate the changes that need to be made.

Upward feedback

In leadership development and management development, upward feedback (also known as manager feedback and subordinate appraisal) is a structured process of delivering feedback from subordinates to managers, intended to identify ways to increase management effectiveness and enhance organizational performance. 

Supervisory training

This training provides an opportunity to learn about the transition to leadership so that new managers and supervisors can be more successful in their new role. For more experienced managers and supervisors, the training offers an opportunity to reflect on the style they have adopted in performing their duties, and it shows where they can make improvements. This is particularly true for those who have come up through the ranks over the years and now face a very different workforce, workload, and set of community expectations. This training is intended to help you better understand your role and provide strategies to enhance your effectiveness as a leader.

Action learning

Many management qualifications now have an action learning element. Action Learning recognises that individuals learn best from experience, so that process is structured. Action Learning sets allow individuals to try out different approaches to solving issues and problems.

Such human resource management data say nothing about whether this distribution is useful, or whether it should be modified to reflect future changes in the labour market. All organizations need this data, and some industries in the global arena are heavily dependent upon it, with banks, insurance companies, and utilities serving as clear examples. Accurate record keeping is at the heart of the administrative systems of these organizations, and effective data management is essential to their success. There was a myth, until the field of knowledge management blossomed recently, that more data aids in effective decision-making. Davenport and Prusak's (1998) argument was that, whereas more data might be useful, it is information and, particularly, the quality of knowledge that is inherent in this data, when the data is contextualized, that clearly enhances decision-making effectiveness.

Information is data that makes a difference. The word "inform" originally meant, "to give shape to," and information is meant to shape the recipient and to make some significant difference in his or her ability to develop appropriate insights into a phenomenon. Strictly speaking, it is the receiver and not the sender who decides whether a body of data containing some messages is really information; that is, something that truly informs him or her (Davenport & Prusak, 1998). Unlike data, information has meaning, but the receiver is uniquely responsible for deciphering the amount of meaning that may be inherent in a body of data. A memo of human resource data that does not concern the reader may be considered information by the sender, but has a high possibility of being judged to be "noise" or meaningless data by the recipient.

Information is created in organizations through hard and soft networks. A hard network is composed of a visible and definite infrastructure, such as computers, the Internet, satellite dishes, and electronic mailboxes. The messages that these networks deliver include email, traditional mail, and Intemet-related transmissions. In contrast, soft networks are much less formal and are often hidden. They also could be ad hoc in character, such as when a vice president of the company receives a copy of an article marked "FYI" from the president Knowledge Management about new practices in hiring in the global labour market. Quantitative measures of human resource information management include connectivity and transactions, for example, the number of email accounts or Lotus Notes users that exist in the entire system, and how many messages they receive during a given period.


The SECI models help the business to improve the business turnout through traditional strategies such as emotional and regional factors. The Vodafone are employing all theses strategies in order to strengthen their roots within those communities through the theses money transfer campaigns and employing people from those countries to introduce the desired factors within Knowledge system. Also thorough the management development schemes, Vodafone are getting the best out of them by educating and empowering them with the modern techniques.