Strengths and Weaknesses of Bureaucracy
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Published: Tue, 11 Jul 2017
The advent of 21st century, the global economy has dramatically undergone changes. Developed and emerging economies are converging to one gigantic global economy; this has directly impacted the businesses compelling organisations around the world to competitive at the international level. The protection shield enjoyed by the organisations behind a closed economy earlier under the cloak of the government restricting entry for foreign players are getting slimmer each year. Consequently, organisations have to compete in their home country against MNC with vast resources, and search for opportunities elsewhere.
However, there are numerous other factors which have influenced organisation world – wide to reconsider their strategies in the wake of the changing global business dynamics. Free trade area agreements, creation of trading blocs such as the European Union, South East Asian countries (ASEAN) and other similar existing and ones which are still under consideration have immensely pressurized companies, and exposed them to the competition. The competitive and comparative advantages enjoyed by these organisations earlier are now threatened by the new foreign entrants. As a result to survive and grow in the 21st century most organisations either adapted or withered away to the changing conditions. The ones which survived the strong wave of forced adaption have learned their lessons that change is a constant factor in the global business environment, and being reflexive and adaptive is the only way out.
Technological innovation is another aspect that has influenced change in the organisation. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace warranting organisation to absorb the changes at the same speed. Other influential factors : Intensity of international competition; presence of key competitors in all key international markets; internationalization of product standards; stronger push by international bodies such as the world Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) increasing level of international trade between countries ; increase in Intra-firm trade ; Technological intensity. At the organizational level, there is continuous pressure to perform in the new business economy; factors such as availability of scarce resources, Value Added Activities, presences of Propriety Technologies, Management Skills , Marketing Skills, creation of strong brand equities, Production know-how , achieving economies of scale , productive capability and presence of low labour costs centres(India , Chain and etc.) and many others.
1.b Strengths and Weaknesses of bureaucratic organizations:
BUREAUCRATIC organizations functions well and are suitable for environments which are stable in nature and involve routine tasks and minimal technological changes. A Bureaucratic organisational structure is often centralized; they have a clear, well defined vertical hierarchy of command, authority and chain of control. Productivity and efficiency are achieved through standardization of processes. Emphasis is given to specialization of processes and is most often formalized. As a result of these factors, the tasks in a bureaucratic organisation often results in rigidly defined jobs, process , applications of technology leaving very less or often no space for creativeness or innovative inputs into the system. Since every tasks, process are predetermined and predictable by strict standard operating procedures, the system resemble a machine (Max weber, 1978, cited in Beetham, 1996).
According to Max Weber (1978), Strengths and Weakness of a bureaucratic organisation are as follows:
- Strict rules and regulation regarding work , behaviour and employee code of conduct
- Impersonal orientation
- specific sphere of competence
- Continuity in uniformity of operations
- Less impact of any changes to the organizational structure or management
- Rational allocation of tasks
- Division of labor based on various specialized functions
- Membership constitutes a career
- Promotions are usually based on experience and technical knowledge and competence
- qualifications tested
- limited discretion of officers
- legally based tenure
- Educational and technical qualifies are tested periodically
- Prescribed chain of authority and legal compliances
- Very less or often no space for creativeness or innovative inputs into the system
- Highly rigid decision making system. Participation is based on defined authority
- There is a severe lack of empathy or rationality.
- The origination is highly regulated by set rules and regulations.
- Productivity and efficiency are achieved through standardization of processes
- Rigidly defined jobs, process , applications of technology
- Slow reaction to unexpected crisis
- Bureaucratic organizational step up is not suitable for industry or companies which are under great pressure to perform and compete in the market.
- Neglecting group thinking and initiatives
1. c Alternative forms of organizational development:
Organisation development is a planned intervention. The primary intention of OD is to improve the current organisational functions to create a strong foundation for strengthens; work towards reducing weakness ; address threats arising due to various factors influencing the business – internally or externally; to mitigate risk or at least reduce the exposure or damage, and all these ultimately results to reflect the changing business environment. There are multitudes of intervening areas within the organisation warranting intervention on regular bases, and also at times of contingencies or unexpected crisis. Organisation intending for a higher level of changes often adopt a full range of interventions. This would also include aspects such as the transformation of employee behaviour and attitudes to towards their roles & responsibilities and in general, towards the organisational boarder objectives. On the other hand, partial attempt in change management would result in organisational level failures. Subsequently, operating policies, personal policies, management structures and organisational skills sets would fall short of it expectations. Typically, organization development programs will implement multiple interventions simultaneously. There are various methods / types of organization development interventions considered for change management: structural interventions, third party peace-making interventions, Intergroup team building interventions, process consultation interventions, forced field analysis – Kurt Lewin, Team interventions, and process consultation interventions.
Structural Interventions: It is also known as techno structural interventions and mainly focuses on changes in tasks, organisational structure, technological processes, quality circles, TQM, restructuring and work/job design.
Intergroup team building interventions: These interventions advocate in the improvement of intergroup relations between work teams, facilitate effective communication. The steps involved are: OD practitioner meets the group leaders and study their requirements. Groups meet separately and encourage noting down about perceptions, related problems, attitude towards each other. This also involves group anticipating each other’s expectations. This process helps in improving interaction between individuals and groups; find solution to unresolved problems; and minimize the communication gap.
Team Building interventions: These interventions are focused on improving team & organizational processes, Task accomplishment, Problem diagnosis and establishing strong team relationships. The process involves analysing the purpose of team’s existence, objectives and team preparation for task accomplishment.
Human Resources management interventions: involves employee performance and assessment management, employee wellness and reward systems, organisational diversity management and many others.
Third party peace-making Interventions: various methods and techniques are used , such as the confrontation technique, Insist on exploring possible solutions, Efforts to overcome negative feeling, solving interpersonal conflict Differentiation phase – understand differences of perspectives , Integration phase – sharing of positive feelings and thoughts.
Other intervention areas are team building, self-designing organizations, facilitating, organizational restructuring, conflict management, training, coaching, and organizational transformation, cultural change and strategic management.
Key Stakeholders in My Chosen Organisation
My chosen organisation for Change Management Process is a local grocery supermarket located in Bangalore, India. It was founded in the year 2001. Initially the retail store supplied only stationery and foods items; however, over the years, more products were added to their portfolio. Today, the retail store – known as Naveen Supermarket has range of products such as house hold goods, food items, electronic items among other products commonly found in general grocery stores. Naveen Supermarket has about 20 to 25 employee working in different shifts around the clock. The employees are divided into three main sections, the first group manages the supermarket floor, the second group is engaged with the stock management, and the third group manages telephone orders and delivery system. The supermarket store is situated in a convenient location, surrounded by huge residential complex, transportation points and also major educational and business institutions. Since its inception as a small retail store in 2001, it has now grown into a busy 24 / 7 store serving over 5000 customers every week.
From the last few years, world economy has seen a dramatic change in its location. While Naveen supermarket experienced exponential growth, it also faces increasing competition from new entrants especially, large supermarkets, transforming the market into highly competitive business. The usual old ways of attracting and retaining customers have been found ineffective, and consequently, the supermarket is seriously planning to have a major overhaul in the organisational structure, and also business functions to reflect the changing conditions in the market. Change in demographic profile of the surrounding population has also mandated changes including the product portfolio to accommodate multi-cultural food products, different age group especially increasing student and higher working class population.
Apart from this, the management of the supermarket is also envisioning of opening similar stores in other locations in Bangalore. Bangalore is known as the second silicon valley of the world, and emerging as one of the major metropolitan city in India, consequently, today the city has adapted a culture similar to other major cities around world attributed by fast moving busy life style.
A study done by Davies (2001), point out that food customers in UK are not interested to cook food in their kitchen. The quote of Davies stated: “Food manufactures should address the need of this fast moving, time starved generation. This can be done by making branded and own label products that fits the changing lifestyle of new era family.” Speed is required while preparing food as there is no time to cook. Healthy and convenient food is in demand. The similar trend is rising in India as well. So Naveen Supermarket has the tremendous opportunities to expand their chain across India.
Analysis of the type of Change Company is initiating
The organization is going to have recent development of the operational change consists of the operational modifications will change the techniques of on-going operations of the company, like the automation of the various operational processes. The operational changes would help Naveen supermarket in improvement in supply chain management practices, increase in revenue, improvement in quality of service and products by applying Total quality management and Kaizen systems for continuous improvements. The main aim of implementing to have cost-cut in long run and achieve competitive edge in the higher competitive market conditions. The change proposed for the automation of transaction and operational activity will also lead to quick decision making and helps in the analysis of current situation.
Now, these four different types of changes as per consultant David A. Nadler and management professor Michael L. Tushman together developed an instructive topology of organization change as shown in the diagram shown below. (Kreitner, 2007)
Four types of organization change topology
Based on this model shown in above table, the company is doing Re-creational change. The change is reactive in the sense the company is growing and wants to optimize the operational activities by taking advantage of automation and changing strategic vision of company.
Changes Appropriate for Naveen supermarket.
1. Provide quality in its product and services focusing on improve personalized dispositions; improve the order placing and delivery mechanism including online platform.
2. Aggressively market by introducing various promotional offer to match other competitors especially MNC.
3. Control operating costs thereby saving could be too transferred to the customer as increased services or price reduction, and thus building a strong competitive advantage over the time.
4. Recruit professionals in the field retail management, so as represent a fair mix of talents in the organisation representing wide background.
2. B Analysis of models for stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder engagement models and its analysis/application:
Stakeholder Analysis and Stakeholder Management are the important aspects of Change Management Process to garner support for change in the organization. This technique can be used to identify the key areas of change, and affected persons in the implementation of the change. Stakeholders are an important asset to the organisation, and therefore it’s imperative to consult the stakeholder prior to the implementation of change to achieve the desired outcome. Disagreement or partial commitment would jeopardize the entire undertaking, eventually, resulting in unwanted conflicts and disagreement. The stakeholder analysis tool would assist Naveen Supermarket to comprehend and gain an early support from the stakeholders especially the influential ones. This requires that the management educate the stakeholder on the transpiring conditions that the business is surrounded with, which lead to the decision of undertaking change management in the organisation. The stakeholders should clearly be explained about the consequences of both options – considering and not considering change in the short and long run. Winning the support of the influential stakeholders, and eventually others is the key to the successful implementation of change.
The key stakeholders of Naveen Supermarket are:
Community (General Public)
The following questions can provide an understating about the key stakeholder’s thoughts:
What is expectation in terms of monetary or emotional? Optimistic or destructive?
What is the key inspirational aspect of the project to them?
What facts are they looking for?
What is the most effective way to communicate the message to them?
What steps are required in the management of their objections and opposition?
Creating a platform for effective communication with the stakeholders would yield their exact thoughts and feelings of the project, and would enable how much of the support it can gather eventually. In case of objections, what step needs to be taken to turn around the objections into constructive support need to consider?
This process can start with establishing an effective communication system, tailoring the information or message to suit the end receivers. Organise training programs, consult and include the stakeholders according to the proportion of their interests in the new development.
Stakeholder mapping is a powerful tool allows a quickly analysis of the stakeholders’ impact, and how to improve the support system. (SVQ, 2007).
Stakeholder mapping matrix (Mayers&Vermeulen, 2003)
A- Key Players
B- Keep Satisfied
C- Keep Informed
D- Minimal Effort
High Interest Low
High power, highly interested Stakeholders: These key players should be actively engaged in the project and more efforts should be put to satisfy their curiosity and requirements in the project.
High power, less interested Stakeholders: Keep them interested however avoid over indulgence.
Low power, highly interested Stakeholders: These players should be kept informed regularly about the developments of the project. Though they constitute low in the power play matrix, their collective number or size has immense influence on the project.
Low power, less interested Stakeholders: They don’t have direct impact; however, they form the part of the entire system and therefore would require their inclusion in a constructive manner.
3A Change models appropriate for my chosen organisation.
CHANGE MANAGEMENT MODELS
There are many models of change management such as Learning organization approach (LOA), Hope and Hope theory of competition in the third wave, the Kaizen approach to improve the quality of service, Business process re-engineering (BPR), de-layering, downsizing etc.
Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)
BPR is one of the important steps prior to the implementation of ERP in an organisation. Basically BPR is the fundamental reconsideration of the organisational processes and involves radical thinking. It helps the organisational to improve various business operations dramatically so as to achieve excellence in customer services, reduce operating costs, and transform itself into a global competitor.
BPR according to Hammer and Champy (1993), “… the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.” The greatest approach to implement change is to understand that change is the only constant in the dynamic business environment and embracing it is the key to survival and future growth. BPR is a methodical training process to enable companies to conduct feasibility evaluation for managing vibrant change. (Erpwire, 2010)
John Kotter’s 8 step change model
Kotter (2002) describes a methodical process to change management. Kotter suggests that for change to be successful, at least 3 /4 of the company’s management need to embrace the change factor positively.
The Kotter’s 8 step change model illustrated with a diagram in the context the supermarket.Identify short priorities and set achievable objectives
Focus on accomplished and future milestones.
Strengthen the importance of fruitful change via employment, promotion, and intertwine change into the organisational culture.
Construct the regulatory team
Repeatedly and robustly with the stakeholders
Establish a simple vision and strategy within the team.
Inspire people to move
Allow positive feedback and tons of backing from leaders – reward and recognize improvement and accomplishments.
8. Make change stick
7. Build on the change
6. Create the short-term wins
3. Create visualization for change
2. Construct the regulatory team
1. Increase urgency
4. Communicate the Vision
5. Remove Obstacles
Kotter’s 8 step change model
Kotter’s 8 step Change model, Source: www.Leadershiphub.com
3.b Implementation of change model in my chosen organisation
In my opinion, Kotter’s model would the purpose of implementing the change management to achieve desirable results for Naveen Supermarket.
According the model followings steps need to be undertaken:
Create the sense of Urgency – Step One
Sense of urgency should be created among the stakeholders especially ones with most influence on the Naveen supermarket’s business. This would include the shareholder’s primarily, employees, customer and other as deemed fit into the system for the change management.
Form a Powerful Coalition – Step Two
Naveen supermarket must create effective leadership platform to implement and monitor change in the organisation. This requires coalition and support with key employees who can initiate and control and monitor the change process through its life.
Create a Vision for Change – Step Three
To get employee and other stakeholders participating actively, Naveen supermarket should have clear and transparent, comprehendible vision about the change and its implications. Otherwise the enthusiasm would fade slowly from the epicentre of the core activities of the change management as it moves away and as time pass by. This would require that the leader regularly reinstate the vision to the employee to keep them altered of its progress and active involvement.
Communicate the Vision – Step Four
Naveen supermarket should communicate the vision to the participants effectively through various channels such as media, training programs, organisational announcements. The more the emphasis on the key points in the vision the better the influence of it on the stakeholders. The vision should be comprehensive, cover every operations of the business that need change, influence and motivate the employee to be part of the change management.
Remove Obstacles – Step Five
There are likely chances of obstacles crippling into the implementation process very often. However, the organisation should remained focused on the key action plans, closely monitor, get regular feedback and undertake any necessary actions required to adjust to the changing factors of the environment. Obstacles can come from internal source or external. Naveen supermarket should take speedy actions to restore the plan on its due course of execution. Obstacles that can be removed should be eliminated, others which tend to remain and deeply rooted must be accommodated without actually diluting the vision or jeopardizing the actions plans.
Create Short-term Wins – Step Six
The Naveen Supermarket store must identify tasks, which can be accomplished easily. The results achieved would encourage further involvement and motivate others to join the effort whole- heartedly. Proper compensation and reward system should be built in the change management process. Employee who contributed considerably should be recognized and rewarded accordingly, thereby, setting an example of the personal benefits from its involvement. Short term achievement should be communicated effectively to the stakeholders to keep them interested.
Build on the Change – Step Seven
This is one of the important steps. Naveen supermarket should build on the change, evaluate every winning factor and leverage on it. Failures should be identified and corrective steps need to be taken, so as to avoid similar failures in the future. Success got at this stage should not be assumed as the final victory rather, it must enable deep thinking, and serve as input to the next stage of change management after all change management is a continuous process.
Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture – Step Eight
In a long and continuous effort of change management, the process should eventually be observed into the main stream culture of the organisation. For changes to be a part and parcel of the organisational culture, the leaders should regularly alert and create awareness about the existence of the change management that is deeply rooted in every organisational activity. The perception of change management should become an inseparable part of the organisational culture in a long run; this in turn would create a platform and facilitate any major undertaking in the future.
Desirable Outcomes of Change Program
The change management would eventually yield desirable outcome if it is undertaken constructively and effectively throughout its various implementation phase by the Naveen supermarket management. The three key areas of noticeable changes are:
The operational changes would help Naveen supermarket to improve various business operations. The changes should result in considerable improvement in the near future in the online orders and delivery mechanism which it is planning to launch very soon, floor management, supply chain management practices, improvement in quality of service and products , employee performance, reduction in operating cost resulting in increased revenue generation.
Changes in the areas will give clear vision and direction to all the stakeholders of Naveen Supermarket. In a long run it will create value and ethos that is conducive for achieving growth and increase performance.
Key values and ethics in business operations created along during the process of the changes would be imbibed into the organisational culture. It would serve as motivation and sense of purpose for the employees and other stakeholders to achieve and contribute to the organisational goals. The success achieved would drive home a message that, organisation to survive and grown in the highly competitive business environment mandates change, and the stakeholder, especially, the employee are the agents and catalyst to the change management process. In a long run the process would reflect that organisational culture is based on change management philosophy for success.
The change in organization generally also brings several issues. To make the change process a success it requires a lot of effort from the change leader. The change management model chosen by company needs to be thoroughly monitored and implemented. It is also measure and controls the success of the change process. Changes often result in individuals taking on greater responsibilities, retraining, performing new tasks and developing new skills and new ways of working. Individuals are taken out of the comfort zone they have operated in for some time. The anxiety and stress that can be caused if the process is not well managed will manifest itself in resistance to change. Greater degree of consultation and worker participation, both in the development of the strategic vision and the implementation of change, should increase ownership, thus reducing anxiety and stress that often drives resistance to change. Failure in most change processes can be traced back to poor communications and failure to appreciate the amount of retraining that is required.
To conclude, I found that the scope of change is too wide and I would suggest that company should bring changes in different phases such as first of all bring the change of automation of some operational activity and later on when this change is successful implement other change.
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