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The organisations of the present day context can be observed as highly focused on developing business strategies which can facilitate the achievement of substantial benefits from the business market. According to the modern trend of competitive business environment, organisations seek to possess effective control of their business performances ensuring higher productivity and sustainability in the business market. The organisations have thereby attempted to render greater interests in order to control their internal business activities and obtain advantageous competitive benefits identified in the external environment of the business. Moreover, it can be observed that the modern business organisations are highly focused on evaluating a range of useful mechanistic processes in order to enhance their power of controlling and obtaining greater competitive advantages in the global market (Stahl & Voigt, 2006).
Emphasising upon the current day context of the business environment, this essay will intend to critically discuss upon the reasons owing to which organizations seek to obtain control on its various operational dimensions. With this aim, the essay will take into account the identification as well as the evaluation of a wide range of mechanistic and cultural perspectives which is further expected to reveal certain crucial reasons behind organizations seeking control. In order to obtain a critical understanding of the current day scenario, the various aspects associated with the accomplishment of the organizational goal, i.e. to seek control in different situations, will be evaluated. Additionally, to provide the discussion with firm evidences, the illustration of Marks & Spencer plc (M&S) strategies will be taken into account.
According to Jensen (2003), human communication is recognised as a transmission method, through which the conversation conveys one location to another and is possible only when the messages are transferred from a mechanistic perspective. It is in this context that analysts who adopt mechanistic perspective believe that the concepts of communications are causally associated. Specifically, the mechanistic perspective in the communication process involves a linear relationship between the communicator and the channels through which the message is delivered (Jansen, 2003). Moreover, Sarokin (2013) has also mentioned that a mechanistic perspective model possesses the capacity of understanding any complex system through the investigation of its particular characteristics as well as the interrelation persisting between the variables. The model is usually integrated with physical aspects where the system elements are identified as real and visible. With reference to the notion of mechanistic models, it can be observed as based on elements which are incorporated in a discrete manner that cannot be physically observed (Sarokin, 2013).
Attainment of effective control by the organisation can be regarded as an imperative practice for the management to overcome challenges in terms of conflicts within its different processes which can be identified as a common phenomenon in the current day context. With this concern, Aula & Siira (2010) mentioned that the mechanistic model play a significant role in order to effectively control the organisational processes. The mechanistic model in the communication process involves effective conflict management components which have been examined to be considerably beneficial for an organisation to address and resolve various communication gaps among the workforces. The mechanistic communication formation, especially exists within the Conflict Management System (CMS), which plays an imperative role to resolve challenges identified in terms of conflict of interests, differing viewpoints and similar other issues during the obtainment of control by the organisation (Aula & Siira, 2010).
When analysing the cultural perspectives to identify the reasons behind organisations seeking control, , it has often been observed that such viewpoints exist in correspondence with the psychological aspects including values, attitudes, beliefs as well as ideas which emphasizes particularly upon the cultural practices of a particular community or society. These cultural practices can be identified as involving certain primary characteristics such as people orientation, team orientation as well as outcome orientation among others. Based on this context, Alvesson (1995) stated that the organisations of present day context tend to be highly interested in adopting cultural variations within the business process owing to the fact that such strategic considerations significantly assists in clearly identifying the customers' needs and buying behaviour belonging from different cultures (Alvesson, 1995).
Moreover, the cultural perspectives also concentrate upon the efficient management of a mix of individuals belonging to diverse backgrounds in terms of age, race, gender and linguistic skills among others. These factors can be further regarded as quite imperative for an organisation to achieve competitive success in the global business practice gaining better control on the performances of its workforce. Contextually, limitations and challenges arising due to underestimated human dimension in the business process can be considered as one of the major concerns of the modern organisations which are often examined to obstruct the efficient achievement of competitive advantages. Based on these assumptions and understandings, the cultural perspective model considers the existing organisational management structure and its internal culture in the business process as two most crucial factors to build an effective working environment specifying the employees with respect to their roles and responsibilities within the organisation. In addition, it has also been recognised that the cultural aspects are the key elements when it comes to enhancing the control level of the organisation (Alvesson, 1995).
Furthermore, Stahl & Voigt (2006) affirmed that the intercultural communication can be determined as the most efficient method for the organisation in terms of controlling its entire process as well as workforces comprising of employees belonging to different cultures. The intercultural communication within the organisation is also regarded as a crucial facet in relation to the attainment of increasing control by the organisations facilitating enhanced flow of information between their employees along with increased productivity of the organisation (Stahl & Voigt, 2006).
Usefulness of Understanding the Reasons behind Organisation Seeking Control
In the recent day context, the management control system has rapidly evolved with time and with the revolution of the environment as well as the circumstances in which the organisations practice their business operations. In this context, the organisational control can be recognised as one of the major tools which intend to render benefits particularly when the organisation is focused on the effective implementation of its strategy for the attainment of the determined goal. A good and well-built control mechanism of an organisation can facilitate the firm to obtain a better control of its cost elements, productivity drivers, employee performances and quality of products and/or services. The significance of organisational control and its various benefits can be categorised as greater management control, improve cost as well as productivity control and superior ability to manage complexity as well as uncertainty. Notably, from a mechanistic perspective, all these variables can be identified as imperative elements for the organisation in order to achieve the intended competitive advantages (Web Books Publishing, n.d.).
Greater Management Control
Obtaining adequate managerial control is widely regarded as an imperative practice for the organisation to build a better control process throughout its operational functions. The management control clearly defines the overall processes including how the workforces of the organisation tend to perform their tasks for the successful accomplishment of the organisational objectives. Management control can also be recognised as the process by which the organisation assures to effectively and efficiently use the resources in order to accomplish the overall objectives of the organisation. Moreover, an effective management control system of an organisation also intends to provide an effective support to the entire process, by motivating employees to make decisions which may facilitate the organisation to achieve its objectives successfully. Furthermore, an effective practice of management control further attempts to facilitate the organisation to effectively address various issues concerning productivity, cost as well as quality of services and thereby ensures to achieve long-run sustainability in the business market (Simons, 1990). For instance, the strategies practiced by M&S primarily aim at obtaining an effective control of its management while performing its global business operations in varied cultural contexts. With this concern, the management system of the organisation largely focuses on performing effective communication processes to interact directly with its employees. In this regard the organisation focuses on operating through democratically selected 'works councils' and 'Different Business Involvement Groups' across its global operating regions (Marks & Spencer, 2012). According to the business control process of M&S it can be identified that the organisation carefully controls its costs related to its capital investments in different processes of its global business operations (Marks & Spencer plc, 2013).
Improve Cost as well as Productivity Control
An efficient organisational control can deliver an imperative support to the organisation's processes in order to manage a sustainable productivity level as well as costs of the organisation. The organisational cost can be managed through a proper budgeting process where the managers attempt to justify the actual cost of expenses with the forecasted cost of the products or services. In the similar context, the productivity of the organisation can also be managed by evaluating the performance level of each individual in terms of producing products and/or services. With this concern, M&S tends to practice strategies ensuring a well-built control of costs concerning the operational and maintenance related efficiencies in its entire organisational process. Moreover, the management of the organisation also strives to maintain a balance of its staffing, occupancy level as well as distribution costs incurred in its regular business operations (Web Books Publishing, n.d.).
Superior Ability to Control Complexity and Uncertainty
The organisational control also assists substantial support for the management to control complexities and possible uncertainties within the organisational performances. It is in this context that a well-built control system of the organisation can be efficient for the organisation to stay focused on its strategy and also to provide beneficial assistance for the organisation to recognise all the possible constraints which may hinder the overall performance of the organisation (Web Books Publishing, n.d.).
Summary of Key Theoretical Issues
Although organisational control plays an imperative role for the organisation to achieve substantial benefits and competitive advantage, Fredrick Winslow Taylor has argued that different difficulties lay in this context, which can hinder the practice of organisational control. According to the description of Taylor in the context of 'Principles of Scientific Management', it has been found that in particular, three major reasons restrict the workers to protect their interests to deliberately perform within the organisation. These three reasons can be identified as misleading notion, imperfect systems of management and incompetent rule-of-thumb method (National Humanities Center, 2005).
Apart from Taylor's model, Weber's Ideal Bureaucracy Model also provides a comprehensive theoretical framework to the aspect of control seeking behaviour deciphered by modern day organisations. In this context, the Weber's Ideal Bureaucracy Model recognised six major principles to affect the control seeking behaviour of organisations which are as follows.
Formal Hierarchy of Organisational Structure
Management by Rule
Promoting Functional Speciality
An up-focused or in-focused mission
Employment Based upon the Technical Capabilities
Source: (IITK, n.d.)
Advantages, Problems and Pitfalls of Mechanistic and Cultural Perspectives
In organisations which seek to minimise cost and maximise the level of efficiency, the mechanistic structure can be advantageous. The advantage of mechanistic perspectives can be apparently observed when the organisational environment is in a stable position (Web Book Publishing, n.d.). In contrast, the mechanistic structures of organisational control are considerably centralised and formalised where the communication is likely to pursue formal ways and employees of the organisation are provided with particular job descriptions defining their roles as well as responsibilities. The organisations that follow a mechanistic structure fundamentally possess a rigid organisational formation where changes are refused to be accepted, which further limits its access and scope for creativity and innovation. According to the increasing competitiveness of the global business environment, creativity and innovativeness play major roles for the organisations to achieve competitive success. Therefore, the mechanistic structure of the organisation tends to considerably restrict the adoption of changes required for developing better control (Web Books Publishing, n.d.).
From the perspective of the cultural dimension, it can be regarded as an important consideration for the organisation to attain continuous benefits in terms operating business performance in a global context. The major advantage of culture in the organisation can be identified in various ways such as, increased productivity, motivated employees, effective recognition and understanding of consumer needs and desires. Additionally, it also attempts to improve the quality as well as the performance of each individual in the organisation. An effective practice of maintaining cultural differences can further be expected to facilitate the organisation towards the achievement of competitive advantages through the recognition of the market demand and accordingly, rewarding it with substantial ability to resolve different operational as well as managerial issues identified in the ongoing mechanistic process (Madu, n.d.).
According to the present competitive business world, the organisations seek to invest an extended amount of wealth and business efforts on controlling and managing the business processes in order to transform the business activities as more competitive in the market. According to the present day context, taking greater control of the organisation's internal and external environment can be considered as one of the primary functions for the modern day management in order to attain a long-term sustainability in the business market. It is in this context that the organisational control of the business processes, activities as well as resources are closely harmonized and directed towards the accomplishment of the organisational objectives and goals with the virtues of better control. It is worth mentioning in this context that a well-built control system of an organisation provides effective support to enhance its management control system. The management control system of an organisation is not only intended to monitor the process of strategic implementation, but is also designed to motivate the overall mechanism to address various future uncertainties which might affect its performances in the short-run as well as in the long-run. Moreover, an effective control system of organisation also tends to ensure the minimisation of the cost and maximisation of the overall productivity. Hence, it can be affirmed that a well-build control system of the organisation further facilitates to develop the quality of both organisational processes and its products and services.