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Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and services related to computing.It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.It rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems.In May 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in its largest acquisition to date. The company also produces a wide range of other software for desktops and servers, and is active in areas including internet search, the video game industry, the digital services market, and mobile phones. In June 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be entering the PC vendor market for the first time, with the launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet computer.
"Create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of Internet services across a world of devices."
"Microsoft's mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential."
2.1: Structure and culture:
Organization Structure of Microsoft:
Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975. The company develops computer software and technical solutions for consumers and businesses.The Microsoft Corporation is divided into five separate businesses: Client; Server and Tools; Online Services Business; Microsoft Business Division; and Entertainment and Devices Division. Each business operates independently focusing on specific concentrations within the division.The corporation employs nine board of directors, 18 executive leaders, and nine independent directors. Each leader is required to adhere to the Microsoft Standards of Business Conduct. In fiscal year 2009, the corporation held nine board meetings.The Microsoft Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs office maintains legal and company policy compliance and business integrity.
Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Today, the culture is influenced by the many groups of people that now make up the country.
Organizational culture may play out in many ways. To get a feel for an organization's culture, observe how employees interact with each other -- formally or informally. Microsoft notes the dress code and whether the organization has casual days. Also take into account work hours, whether options such as flex time and telecommuting are available and the organization's position about maintaining a work-life balance. Microsoft considers how conflict is addressed within the organization. Moreover, it assesses the organizational structure, how often senior managers interact with other organizational members and the degree of transparency by which the organization shares information.
Cooperative and individualistic orientations are shaped through dispositions and developmental experiences (Liebrand and McClintock, 1988). A person with a high disposition to cooperate places priority on associating with others for mutual benefit, gaining social approval, and working together with others toward a common end or purpose, while a person with a low disposition to cooperate places priority on maximizing his or her own welfare regardless of others' welfare (e.g., Argyle, 1991). A comparable construct at the organizational level is the extent to which organizational cultures emphasize individualistic or collectivistic values.
2.2: Leadership styles:
Control is basic to Gate's nature and his management practice. He has an obsession with detail and with checking up, as he is used to sign expenses for his right hand man - Steve Ballmer. He is trying to monopolize the World Wide Web software market and has had legal problems with the department of justice. Microsoft restricted the ability of its internet partners to deal with its rivals. Also he dislikes complaints.
Brightest talent: Gates paid special attention to recruit and retain the best talent in the software industry. Through a great number of potential recruits applied for jobs at Microsoft, Gates assumed that the best talent would never apply directly. Consequently, Microsoft's HR managers had to hunt for the best talent and offer them a job. He give autonomy to his managers, he delegates authority to managers to run their independent departments.
2.3: Corporate Social responsibility:
"CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders."
Approach to CSR in Microsoft:
Education and Digital Inclusion: to enable people, communities and nations to gain access to the technology tools, skills and innovation they need to realize their full potential.
Internet Safety and Policy Leadership: to partner with governments, industry leaders and others to address key societal challenges of information and communications technology, such as spam, security, privacy and children's online safety;
Responsible Business Practices: to ensure integrity and transparency in all of our business practices, and to provide a healthy and safe work environment for employees; and,
Economic Opportunity: to partner with governments and communities to help strengthen local economies, growth, competitiveness and innovation.
2.4: Ethical Practices:
All employees contribute to Microsoft's reputation; therefore, it is important that all employees adhere to ethical guidelines. Always follow these principles:
Regulatory Compliance: They are aware of and obey the laws and regulations that govern the global management of their business and apply to our jobs and for preventing, detecting, and reporting instances of non-compliance to a member of Microsoft management, Human Resources, Legal and Corporate Affairs, the Director of Compliance, or the Business Conduct Line.
International Business Activities: Microsoft acknowledges and respects the diverse cultures, customs, and business practices it encounters in the international marketplace. Microsoft will comply with both the applicable U.S. laws and regulations that govern its operations and local laws wherever it does business.
Bribery and Anti-Corruption: Microsoft prohibits corruption of government officials and the payments of bribes or kickbacks of any kind, whether in dealings with public officials or individuals in the private sector. Microsoft is committed to observing the standards of conduct set forth in the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the applicable anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws of the countries in which we operate.
Anti-Boycott Requirements: Microsoft complies with U.S. law that prohibits participation in international boycotts that are not sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Global Trade Organization also oversees Microsoft's Anti-Boycott compliance program.
Trade Controls: Microsoft is committed to maintaining compliance with all laws and regulations governing the import, use, export and re-export of its products, components, goods, services and technical data. Microsoft's Global Trade Organization oversees the regulations that are promulgated by the U.S. and certain foreign governments to restrict the import, use and export of certain technology and products, including certain computer software and technical goods and data.
Fair Competition and Antitrust: As a global business, we encounter laws and regulations designed to promote fair competition and encourage ethical and legal behaviour among competitors. Antitrust laws and fair competition laws generally prohibit any activity that restrains free trade and limits competition. They conduct their business in compliance with these laws.
2.5: Leadership styles:
The management and leadership styles analysed below, are approaches which are likely to be implemented byMicrosoft.
Blake and Mouton's Management Grid:
'The management grid identifies a range of management behaviours based on various ways that task-oriented and employee-orientated styles can interact with each other.'
In relation to Microsoft, the management of Bill Gates is using both taskand people oriented management styles, which has a high concern for production, efficiency as well as for people. By task oriented approach which takes in hand the needs of the task.
McGregor's Theory X and Y:
According to Douglas McGregor (1960) in developing theories X and Y, managers took two different views of their subordinates and conducted practices that would best suit their assumption of the workers.
Theory X managers, use directive approach to leadership and are very strict and controlling with their subordinates. Organisational goals already established and workers are pushed in a certain direction so that these goals can be fully achieved.
Theory Y managers will work together with subordinates, deciding work objectives and by developing strategies designed to achieve these goals. They will encourage team working and also delegate decision making when and where possible.
In relation to Microsoft, the Bill Gates management is focusing on boththeory X approach andtheory Y to manage all the employees.
2.6: Development of workforce:
Workforce development links staff learning and development to other human resource and business activities which includes strategic workforce planning.
Strategic workforce planning:
"Strategic workforce planning is the process of analysing and forecasting the talent an organization will need to achieve its strategic objectives."
It is a critical activity that helps identify, develop, and sustain necessary workforce skills while satisfying the career and lifestyle goals of employees. Workforce planning is fundamentally a business-focused strategic exercise that is best completed within the annual business and strategic planning processes.
Strategic workforce planning is different. Instead of focusing on short-term needs and reactive hiring, the emphasis is placed on matching strategic requirements with long-term talent trends, external market influences and proactive planning. Most importantly, it provides a critical link between strategy and human resources (HR) interests, helping to ensure that HR programs and services are truly relevant. Strategic workforce planning helps ensure that an organization has the right people - with the right skills in the right places at the right time and at the right price - to fulfil its mandate.
3.1: Organisational structure and its impact on people:
The effects of organizational structure on behaviour stem from several difference sources. The way the reporting relationships are structured defines who makes the decisions. How the work flow processes are planned affect who is involved and who is responsible for the ultimate product or service. Since employee rewards such as promotions and pay increases may be tied to performance, the organizational structure is realistically the controlling factor.
High Decisions; Low Morale:
If the organizational structure is designed for the senior managers to make the decisions, the credit for solutions and creative problem-solving remains at the top. Employees who are actually getting the work done may feel that this reporting structure is unfair. The lack of recognition at the employee level could result in low morale and lack of creative motivation.
Rigid Policies; Lax Performance:
Organizational structures that have rigid policies may result in lax performance. Employees want to know they are trusted and appreciated. If the policies are too rigid, it may send a negative message of distrust and suspicion. In return, employees may become lax in their quality of work and adopt attendance and tardiness issues.
Unfair Treatment; Decreased Loyalty:
When unfair treatment is perceived by employees, they may experience a decrease in loyalty. In addition, the act of being singled out for things that others are not required to do can possibly lead to lower self-esteem. Employees may begin to care less about their jobs and demonstrate a negative attitude. Some unfair situations could lead to self-termination or legal issues.
3.2: Organisational culture and its impact on workforce:
The term "organizational culture" commonly is used to refer to the nature or personality of an organization. A company may have a positive organizational culture, marked by open communication and trust in organizational leadership, or it may have a negative culture in which workers have little trust in their leaders. The effect of organizational change on employees often depends on the culture of the organization. Additionally, a negative organizational culture has the capability of hindering change, making necessary transitions more difficult for employees to bear.Organizations must change and adapt regularly to maintain pace with competitors in a quickly changing business environment. Change can occur because of a variety of internal and external factors, over which organizational leaders sometimes have very little or no control. For example, a business might be forced to change its practices because of changing rules and regulations or because of advancing technology. Fortunately, there are steps that organizational leaders can take to lessen the impact of change on employees.
3.3: Leadership styles:
A manager's leadership style creates the climate within which employees work and influences the attitude and performance of his team. A manager will have a preferred style, but this will not be appropriate in every situation. To be effective, managers must learn to adapt their leadership style to the circumstances and in response to the employees they manage. Here are the six leadership styles Goleman uncovered among the managers he studied, as well as a brief analysis of the effects of each style on the corporate climate:
The pacesetting leader expects and models excellence and self-direction. The pacesetting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled, and the leader needs quick results.
The authoritative leader mobilizes the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals, leaving the means up to each individual. The authoritative style works best when the team needs a new vision because circumstances have changed, or when explicit guidance is not required.
The affiliative leader works to create emotional bonds that bring a feeling of bonding and belonging to the organization.The affiliative style works best in times of stress, when teammates need to heal from a trauma, or when the team needs to rebuild trust.
The coaching leader develops people for the future.The coaching style works best when the leader wants to help teammates build lasting personal strengths that make them more successful overall.
The coercive leader demands immediate compliance.The coercive style is most effective in times of crisis, such as in a company turnaround or a takeover attempt, or during an actual emergency like a tornado or a fire.
The democratic leader builds consensus through participation.The democratic style is most effective when the leader needs the team to buy into or have ownership of a decision, plan, or goal, or if he or she is uncertain and needs fresh ideas from qualified teammates.
3.4: Benefits of flexible working practices to individuals and organisation:
Sholarios and Marks (2004), (as cited by Bratton & Gold, 2007, pg.149) suggested that in this highly competitive labour market, in order to attract and retain staff, work-life policies and procedures are a must for any organisation. Strategic Direction (2008) explained that organisations that take a strategic view of flexible working practises are more likely to succeed and flexible working should be viewed as a business tool which in turn allows employers to get more value from their best asset; the employee.
In contrast, Hall & Atkinson (2006) suggested that flexible working whether formal or informal, is merely another management control in disguise, as workers who feel empowered and valued in the workplace will produce a higher standard of work and allow workers to take on more responsibility. Whilst the empowerment moves the control from the manager to the employee, this often results in more pressure on the employee to perform. Professional bodies have asserted that flexible working can assist both organisations and workers in organising work more effectively and thus reducing stress at work.
3.5: Impact of ethical practices on motivation level of staff:
The ethical climate of an organization can have both positive and negative impacts on employee job satisfaction. Unethical workplace behaviours create chaos and impact the organization in a variety of ways.The list below gives you seven examples of unethical practices by employees and leaders.
Unfair behaviour towards employees.
Abuse of cell phones and internet.
Calling in sick when not sick.
Given credit that wasn't deserved.
Theft of time.
Leaders who sweep problems under the rug.
Motivation level impacts the organization on many levels. Low levels of job satisfaction lead to low motivation, decreased productivity and increased turnover. Dishonest management practices lead workers to be suspicious of their leaders. The most successful organizations include high ethical standards at all levels of the organization.
For any organization to have strong ethics they must understand the key points. The points below must be part of any ethics policy and procedures. You will then be on your way to buildingan ethical workplace.
5 key points that every Ethics policy must have:
Detailed and well defined in the form of a manual.
Provide training for new and current employees.
Use ethic policy for guidance.
Ability to learn from mistakes.
3.7: Use of CSR to motivate employees:
Employees are motivated by corporate social responsibility (CSR). The integration of social, environmental, and economic improvement through CSR makes workplaces sounder. Below are the some ways to motivate the workforce through CSR.
Let employees participatein all the social activities done outside the company.
Let employees' leadvolunteer and charity efforts in the local areas.
Recognize attitudeof the employees towards their job to raise the commitment and motivation level.
Encourage employee referralsto help retain and recruit talent.
Bring CSR inside the companyto develop employees inside the company through training and tuition.
A strong CSR program can be significant in motivating employees to not only keep going to work but also showing up with real purpose.
Every employee that the executive team acknowledges should get a handshake and personal thanks.
3.8: Management styles to deal with difference in behaviour:
Theory X and Theory Y have to do with the perceptions managers hold on their employees, not the way they generally behave. It is attitude not attributes.
In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. As a result of this, management believes that workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level.Theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employees' compliance. Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere.
In this theory, management assumes employees may be ambitious and self-motivated and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties.They possess the ability for creative problem solving, but their talents are underused in most organizations. Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation.
3.9: Motivation theories:
The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 - 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following:
Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control. Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks. Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity.
Elton Mayo (1880 - 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.
Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950's, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that the five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work are psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation.All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied.
As leaders and managers, understanding the main motivation theories provides a useful foundation to help them understand:
That employee motivation is individual and reflects the complex interplay of individual needs and individual views and decisions on what are the best actions to satisfy them.
The needs that drive employees and influence their motivation and behaviour.
How employees' expectations influence their motivation and behaviour.
The opportunities to influence intrinsic motivation.
The critical design elements of your organisation's extrinsic motivators (e.g. pay, rewards, goal setting, performance assessment processes etc.) and 'hygiene factors'.
3.10: Benefits of training and development to individuals and organisation:
Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees. This has an added benefit of making your company more attractive to prospective employees.
More motivated workers, which in turn tends to increase productivity and spur profits.
More effective and efficient use of workers' time as a result of higher skill levels, combined with a better understanding of the job function.
Employees who know they are competent, and therefore feel more confident. Self-assured, well-trained employees are important in the debt collection function.
An increase from employees in the number of ideas, recommendations and suggestions for improving performance, or processes and procedures.
Lower overall employee turnover and less absenteeism.
3.11: People management strategies used in organisations:
Here are some key strategic factors on the management of people to reinforce the importance of them to businesses.
1. Understanding the competitive advantage they can gain from employing good people.
2. Developing people management strategies, structures and practices that align with the overall business strategy.
3. Attracting, training and retaining key people through effective recruitment processes.
4. Active leadership from business owners and managers through clear organizational communication.
5. Effective recognition and reward systems, including performance reviews and feedback.
6. Essential human resource systems to meet legislative requirements regarding employing people to ensure the business will avoid expensive litigation and employment problems.
Conclusion and Recommendations:
In conclusion we can argue that the human resource aspect of any organisation can be seen as the greatest asset for an organisation. However neither the knowledge of this resource or knowledge about this resource should be seen as static, instead for organisational strategies to be effective they must be dynamic and adapt to be external changes in the environment as well as internal information concerning this human resource.Microsoft will go down in history as one of the most innovative companies that have changed the way people go about their daily lives. With technology comes innovation, and Microsoft has proven that it can be technological innovative with all of the great products that we have seen from them over the years.