Briscoes Homeware is part of the Briscoes Group Limited which was established in 1781 in Wolverhapton, England and sturdily expanded into the British Colonies including Australia and New Zealand. The first Briscoes store and warehouse was established in Dunedin in 1862. It was in 2001 when Briscoes Homeware became listed as a public company on the New Zealand Exchange Limited under the Briscoe Group of Companies. Briscoes Homeware stores generally employ between 15 to 25 employees for their smaller branches and 25 to 40 employees for their larger branches. They are best known for selling a vast assortment of homeware and home accessories which are exclusively imported by the company and sell at incredibly reasonable and sometimes significantly discounted prices. They offer an array of products that meet all the requirements of a complete home ranging from bathroom accessories, kitchenware, laundry and outdoor outfits and electrical appliances. Catering to the mass middle-market New Zealander's who are in search of value for their money without compromising quality.
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With this in mind, the company strives together to accomplish their mission of keeping the company on top through customer satisfaction. Popularly known for their brand's slogan "You'll never buy better" through the company's 'Price Promise' of matching and beating by 10% any price for a stocked item found at another retailer, making Briscoes Homeware on of the must-go stores to in their respective right.
The following aspects of the organisation's management were investigated and analysed, and these conclusions were drawn:
Type and size of organisation
The type of organisation and purpose
The size of the organisation
Definition of Structure
Type of Organisation structure
Elements in devising organisation structure
Formal and informal organization
Board of Directors
New Entrants - Potential New Competitors
Planning and control systems, processes and strategies
Team structures and dynamics
Determination of team membership and leadership
Determination of team roles
Monitoring of individual performance
Monitoring of team performance
Type of Leadership
2.1 Type and size of organisation
Type of Organisation and Purpose
Organisations are interconnected range of individuals and groups attempted to achieve common goals through differentiated function and coordination (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Managing an organization is a tedious task. According to Crainer (2003) management is not based on theories but is active. It entails accomplishing objectives and attaining results through working and developing people.
Managing an organisation varies, depending on its size and type. Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is a franchise of the Briscoes Company Group that is run and owned by a single proprietor. A sole proprietorship type of business is the structure with the least amount of legal requirements. The owner has sole responsibility for the operations and finances of the business where the owner assumes unlimited risk for both profits and losses (The Score Association Seacoast Chapter, 2011).
Upholding the vision of the Briscoes Company group of keeping the company on top through customer satisfaction, the main purpose of the organisation is profit based. The main activity of the organization is the selling of a wide variety of home ware and home accessories imported and sold at reasonable prices. They are also supporting a charity, "CURE KIDS," where they are seriously passionate about.
Size of the Organization
Briscoes Home ware in Manukau presently has 27 employees which includes the operations manager and the different department managers making the business a small-sized one. According to an article published by the New Zealand Parliamentary Library, a small business may be defined as those businesses with less than 100 employees and medium-sized organisations are those with less than 500 employees (Morrison, 1999).
Type of Organization and Purpose
As we have previously stated, Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is owned by a sole trader. As a sole trader, he has the exclusive responsibility for the operations and finance of the business. However, being a franchise of the Briscoes Company Ltd., he is also making sure that he is upholding the goals and objectives of the said company aside from his own. According to Kumar (2012) being a sole trading company has its mix of advantages and disadvantages, and some of them are:
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Easy Formation - it is relatively easy to put a sole proprietorship business. There are no legal formalities and an entrepreneur with the initiative and right amount of capital can simply set up this form of business.
Direct Motivation - Since the owner of the business owns all, he therefore risks all as well. This is a good motivator for the entrepreneur to put his heart and soul, his everything into the business to ensure that it will make profit.
Better control - as the owner, the entrepreneur is responsible for all the decision making that may affect the business. He makes out the plan and executes it as well giving him better control over the business which later on would lead to efficiency.
Promptness in decision making - Since the decision making is done only by the entrepreneur, coming up with it will be fairly quick. By doing so, the capitalist can take advantage of any better opportunities that may arise due to quick decision making.
Limited resources - Since the entrepreneur mainly finances from his own savings or from financial institutions, this makes his resources limited which is the major drawback of this form of business.
Unlimited liability - In a sole trading business, all the profits goes to the owner of the company, at the same time, all the liabilities as well giving the entrepreneur unlimited liability. The private properties of the owner are utilized to pay off debts in cases where the business fails or is bankrupt.
Uncertainty of continuity - In the event of the death of the proprietor, continuity of the business is uncertain because it is unlikely that his successor may possess the business expertise like that of his predecessor.
Having enumerated some advantages and disadvantages of a sole trader type of business ownership, we have come to the conclusion that in the case of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau, the advantages of sole proprietorship has definitely outweighed its disadvantages.
Size of the Organisation
The group decided to analyze the size of the organisation in relation to span of control because we believe that one of the factors that may contribute to the success of an organisation is its size and the span of control the managers have on their staff. Span of control refers to the number of staff who account directly to a given supervisor or manager (Mullins L. J., 2005). We believe that the size of an organisation decides the chain of command necessary in managing it. More managers are needed to control the productivity of a business if the organisation increases its size which in turn will add more layers to the management hierarchy. An alternative for the organisation will be to increase their span of control to attain the same objective. Furthermore, this analysis also explains why employee job satisfaction decreases as the size of the organisation grows because hierarchical growth diminish staff empowerment while larger span of control makes the manager unproductive and the team situation disorganized (Gupta, 2010).
As a conclusion, we believe that Briscoes Homeware in Manukau has an effective span of control over the present number of employees that they have. To support our conclusion is the fact that the company has been staffed with the same employees for the past couple of years proving of the efficiency and effectiveness of the management in relation to its size.
2.2 Organisation Structure
Structure is the blueprint of relationships among positions in the business and among constituents of the organisation. It makes feasible the purpose of the development of management and generates a framework of order and authority through which the organisation can plan, organize, direct and control (Mullins, 2005).
Organisations may be formal, informal or both. Formalization is the official and specified structure and systems in decision making, communication, and control in an organisation through lines of authority, unity of command and span of control. Informal organisations on the other hand are the means by which things have been customarily been done in an organisation that influences communication, decision making and control (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Briscoes follows proper and formal criteria to report any issues to the upper management. If the issues are employee related or regarding new stock, then their first approach is to the department manager who tries to resolve the issue the best way possible. If certain issues cannot be dealt with by lower management that is the time they will contact the area manager either in person or through electronic mail. Similarly, this step by step of reporting is done either to get information up to the managing director or down to the lower management.
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The usual way of describing an organisation is through an organisational chart. It shows the structure of the organisation including the position title of each manager giving emphasis on who reports to whom. The organisation chart also shows the chain of command between the top of the organization and the lower management, a way to represent the hierarchy of authority in an organisation (Dessler, 2004). The hierarchy of authority in an organisation may either be tall or flat. A tall structure has multiple layers and a narrow span of control while a flat structure has a wider span of control and fewer layers. Although there are a variety of structures that exist, there are six structures that represent the most common forms, and they are: Functional structure, Product structure, Divisional structure, Customer structure, Geographic/ Regional Structure, and the Matrix Structure (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Figure 1. is an illustration of the organisational chart of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau. They are following the divisional type of structure. The organisation is headed by the Owner and directly under him is the Operations Manager. The Operations Manager is responsible for the over-all managing of the business and directly reports to the owner of the business. Directly under him are three managers, one for each of the departments of the organiSation, the Finance Department, the Human Resources Department and the Store Operations Department. The Finance Department and Human Resources Department have designated staff working for them. However, the Store Operations Department has five departments under his supervision, each having their own supervisor and staff. According to the store manager, employees work within their departments under the supervision of their respective department supervisors. Nevertheless, he still encourages each and every staff to help the other departments by getting more involved in their work which can increase their knowledge about the various products of the company.
FINANCE DEPARTMENT MANAGER
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER
BEDROOM AND BATHROOM DEPT. SUPERVISOR
KITCHENWARE DEPT. SUPERVISOR
ELECTRICAL DEPT. SUPERVISOR
BAGS AND LUGGAGE DEPT. SUPERVISOR
DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT DEPT. SUPERVISOR
The external environment largely affects the appropriateness of a tall or flat organisation. Although tall and formal organisations tend to be slower in responding to changes in the business environment and in making decisions, they tend to be best fitted to stable external environments (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005). At present, the external environment of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is stable. Throughout the years, they were able to establish themselves in the community to which they are still serving now. As a result, the tall organisation structure and formal organisation has been effective for the company. The roles of the employees are clearly defined as well as the levels of authority. Every employee is aware of what is to be done and who has to be informed. The lines of communication are clear and concise because of the way the management exchanges information with their employees and back. All the managers, supervisors and staff are well aware as to whom they need to report to and how to handle conflicts in the company, may it be employee or customer related alike.
We have also discussed that the organization is employing a formal type of organization. Formalization in an organization may inhibit staff innovation, creativity and change, as some of its disadvantages (Inkson & Kolb, 2002). According to the same author, however, most organizations prefer formalization in the company because they are afraid of the disorder and confusion that might result if each member of the company were allowed to go about things in his or her own way. Having enumerated the above advantages and disadvantages of a formal organization, we believe that their choice of implementing formalization is beneficial for the organization.
2.3 Environmental Factors
According to the systems theory, organisations are 'open systems' subjected to environmental influences, their understanding of the environment and their ability to adjust to fit that environment (Inkson & Kolb, 2002). These environmental factors are subdivided further into the internal and external factors.
Age, gender and the presence of various ethnicities in an organisation are some of the factors that may affect the internal environment of an organisation. Diverse cultural beliefs may or may not have an effect on the overall performance of the organisation. However, it is one of the issues that management needs to address to maintain a harmonious working environment for all the staff of the organisation.
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is composed of a mix of different ethnicities, age and gender. Despite this reality, the manager stated that they have overcome these differences and are all working together to achieve the organiation's goals and objectives.
The organisational culture is the norms, universal guide of behavior, shared values, and beliefs that members have in common (Koontz, Weirich, & Aryasri, 2008). The same authors also stated that organisation culture lays down the conduct for the company and establishes implied rules for the way people should conduct themselves.
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is part of the Briscoes Company Limited group. They are following the code of conduct set by the Briscoes Group of Companies. According to their code of conduct, it mirrors the Group's acknowledgment that its reputation is an indispensable element of the Group's success (Briscoe Group, 2002).
The proprietor of a business has legal rights to company's assets. When assessing the relationship between the external and internal environment, the structure and nature of ownership is critical (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Briscoes Homeware in Manukua is owned by a sole trader. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to meet and interview the owner personally. However, when we asked the manager if how the owner oversees the activities of the business, he stated that the manager is not always physically present and that they coordinate and update him through electronic mail only.
Board of Directors
It is the Board of Directors who represents the interests of shareholders in a company. They have the responsibility of managing the overall business but typically do not run the company (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Being owned by a sole trader, the company that we undertook in this study does not have any Board of Director/s. On the other hand, Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is a franchise of the Briscoe Group of Companies. The aforementioned group has their Board of Directors. Any change in the general goals and objectives of the whole Briscoe Group of Companies, as well as changes in policies and regulations that the Board of Directors would want to be implemented, affects the franchises as well. As a franchise, they are bound to uphold and follow whatever changes are needed to be done and keep themselves in line and on the same direction as to where the Briscoe Group of Companies envisions themselves to be in.
Ethics and Social Responsibility
We believe that the success of any organisation is well depended upon the community it serves. Nowadays, many organisations are getting more involved with their community, better known as Corporate Social Responsibility. In the book of (Cannon, 1994), he stated that in corporate social responsibility, there exists an implied or unequivocal contract between the business and the community in which it manage. The community is looking forward to the wealth, supply markets, employment, innovation and the sufficient surplus the organization will make to uphold its activities and improve its competitiveness while contributing to the preservation of the community which it operates. On the other hand, the business is expecting the society to offer the business an environment where the business can expand and flourish.
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is supporting the Cure Kids Foundation. The Briscoe Group of Companies has been partners with them for 150 years now. The main intention of the cure kids foundation is to discover treatment for the life-threatening sickness that affect many of our young children by raising funds for vital medical research (Cure Kids, 2012). Basically, they fund the research to develop the treatment through their partners.
These are the explanatory factors of people in the society such as level of education, average age, financial status, birth rate, literacy rate, and so on (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Mr. Perry is well aware of the demographics of the area surrounding the business. Manukau being composed of a mix of various cultural backgrounds and ethnicity, he stated that Briscoes Homeware in Manukau has the stronghold of customers in South Auckland.
According to (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005), there are three main categories of economic forces:
Current Economic Conditions - these are the economic conditions that exist in a country in a short term. Examples of which are the current level of inflation and level of unemployment.
Economic Cycles - The current conditions of the economy does not essentially predict future conditions of the economy, however, economic activity is not stationary.
Structural changes - these are the changes that influence the dynamics of economic activity now and into the future significantly.
Recession had already happened once, according to Mr. Perry, and believes that it can occur again. The strategy they did before was to offer cheaper prices to their customers to adapt to the current needs of their clientele and at the same time they did not hire more staff but instead encouraged the present employees to work hard together to achieve the company goals.
The rules and regulations implanted by the government have significant impact on organisations. They can create both challenges and prospects for the business.
At present, the organization is following all the import and export policies imposed by the New Zealand government in relation to their business. Because a lot of their products are being imported from Australia and China, they are required by law to follow certain health and safety precautions as well. He also said that last year's increase in GST did not only affect their company but affected all the company's in New Zealand as well. It is also believed that in the coming years ahead, import duties will be increased, which he thinks will definitely affect the prices of some of their products.
New Entrants - Potential New Competitors
The emergence of new competitors brings about more customer choices which in turn lead to lower profit margins for the business.
K-Mart and Bunning's are their biggest competitors at the moment. However, in a couple of months MITRE 10 is opening in the same area as they are. According to the manager, their strategy will still be the same, following the company policy of offering the cheapest price and if a customer finds a similar product in a competitors store with a lesser amount, Briscoes will beat that price by 10%, a strategy that has worked well for them for the past couple of years.
It is essential to keep in mind that organisations are like living organisms which are evolving continuously (Mullins L. J., 2005). With evolution comes change. We strongly believe that for an organisation to keep up with the demands of change, first, the organisation should have a sound internal environment.
Every organization is comprised of individual members having unique characteristics. Factors such as age, gender, and the different ethnicities of the employees in the organization plays a role in how they will work as a team to achieve the goals of the business. It is vital that the members of the organization look beyond their differences and work hand in hand to achieve their goals.
In accordance with the information that the manager has shared to us, we believe that the company has already overcome these challenges. The staff members themselves have set aside those diversities, working as a team empowered by the core values and beliefs of the organization. We, therefore, conclude that the internal environment of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau, with respect to the employee factor, is an asset for the organization.
Organisational practices are significantly affected by organizational culture (Mullins L. J., 2005). According to the same author, organizational culture can be an influential means for developing performance and the key to successful leadership and organizational growth.
As we browsed through the code of conduct being followed by the organization, it is evident that the company has a set of standards expected from their employees and each member is required to abide by it like what the manager has stated. We believe that the current culture employed by the staff is working excellently for the organization. They have a strong organizational culture in which their core principles are strongly held and extensively shared (Robbins, Judge, & Sanghi, 2009). Every member of the organization is well aware of the acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the organization. We have come to the conclusion that the code of conduct aforementioned has brought direction and unity for the business, making the organizational practices of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau, something that the staff should be proud in taking part of. Having a strong organizational culture, like they do, holds up the business mutually and are endowed with suitable standards for what the employees should say and do (Robbins, Judge, & Sanghi, 2009).
The composition and nature of ownership is significant when evaluating the correlation between the external and internal environment (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is owned by a sole trader who is exclusively shaping the general objectives of the company. As the owner foresees the direction he wants his company to pursue, every decision that he will make will largely affect the internal environment of the business.
It is for this reason, we believe, that an owner should actively take part in the day to day operations of the business to make him well aware of what is happening on every aspect of his business. It is evident, based on our research that the owner of the business is not actively overseeing the operations on a more personal level. What we would like to suggest for the owner is to be present and actively take part in the day to day operations of the business. We believe by doing so, he will be able to determine firsthand what is ensuing in his business and this would definitely facilitate in the future decision that he will be partaking.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of every organization does not run the company directly but are responsible for managing the overall business. The decision that they formulate, however, affects the whole of the organization.
Being owned by a sole trader, Briscoes Homeware in Manukau, does not have a set Board of Directors. They are, however, a franchise of the Briscoe Group of Companies who has a set of Board of Directors. As a franchise, they are as well, directly affected by any changes that the Board of Directors of the whole Briscoe Group of Companies desires to implement. They are obliged to abide by these changes. Since the set Board of Directors is not really running the business, they are not fully aware of what their franchise really needs and want. They base their decisions on a holistic view. This type of decision making, we believe, serves as a disadvantage for Briscoes Homeware in Manukau. What we would like to suggest to the company is for them to broaden their horizons and keep an open mind when the time comes for them to adapt to the changes and do their best in upholding the mission and vision of the company to ensure their success in the industry.
Ethics and social Responsibility
Well handled ethical behavior and corporate social responsibility can have significant, affirmative consequences for employees, clientele, shareholders and communities. In contrast, poor managerial ethics and corporate social responsibility can produce harmful publicity which in turn may hurt a company's stock price and devastate shareholder value (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
With this in mind, we would like to acclaim the organisation for taking part in supporting the CURE KIDS charity. Their support for the said charity has proven the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility in an organisation. Simply put, if you care enough for the community you serve, they will care for you as well.
The demographics of the external environment of a business illustrate the change in the composition of the population. Business opportunities are bound to change as the population surrounding the business changes (Inkson & Kolb, 2002).
At present, a lot of migrants from various countries all over the world are coming to live in New Zealand. These people come from different cultures with unique tastes, likes and dislikes. Although Mr. Perry claims that they have the stronghold of the customers of South Auckland, we would like to recommend to the business to be up to date with the current demographic changes in their external environment. We strongly believe that by doing so, they will learn more about the varying changes in the needs and wants of their ever changing clientele which would benefit the organisation in the future. Awareness of what their evolving customer's needs and wants would help them plan and strategize better to be able to achieve their mission of keeping the company on top.
Statistics shows that in the June 2012 quarter, the unemployment rate in New Zealand rose slightly from 6.7% in March quarter to 6.8% at present (Trading Economics, 2012). This slight increase to unemployment rate will definitely have an effect to the organisation. Customers will be more meticulous in their purchase preferences due to their limited funds.
We believe the success of the organisation will largely depend on the company's marketing strategy, promotional advances and quality of customer service. With this in mind we would like to recommend to the company to continue to offer the best competitive prices in the market. By doing so, we deem, would be a way to adapt to the slight increase in unemployment rate and at the same time be a way to attract potential customers. We also surmise that if you pair off competitive prices and exceptional customer service would be an excellent way of maintaining a life-long relationship with their valued customers.
The manager claims that the increase in GST from 12.5% to 15% in October of 2010 did not affect their organisation. However, our group would like to contradict his statement. We believe that the increase in GST affected not just their organisation but all organisations as well. A survey was conducted by an accounting software business MYOB of 1000 households on their insight regarding the GST increase, of which 300 respondents were also business owners. The results of the survey showed that 80 per cent of the respondents expected businesses to suffer from the increase of GST as consumers are downgrading their spending and 60 per cent of them anticipate that the 2.5 per cent GST rise will have a significant impact on household spending (NZ Herald, 2010).
New Entrants - Potential New Competitor
According to the manager, their biggest competitors are K-Mart and Bunnings. However Mitre 10 will soon be opening in the same area as well. He also claims that they have the stronghold of customers in South Auckland.
Again, we would like to disagree with his statement. To support our position is a report stating that in 2011, The Warehouse Group Ltd. Remained the leading non-grocery retailer even though their value share continued to decline (Euromonitor, 2012).
With the impending entry of yet another competitor, we think that the company should try to re-evaluate their strategy in getting a stronghold of the customers in South Auckland. The emergence of a new competitor will definitely affect their company. For this reason we believe that they should come up with new means of getting the share market favorably through their side by implementing better marketing strategies through offering their clients better promotions and excellent customer service.
For managers to be effective, scanning the environment relentlessly to scrutinize changes is vital. What we would like to recommend to the organization in general is for them to conduct a thorough environmental scan. The basic components of environmental scanning are as follows (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005):
Defining what type of information the manager should scan for, and where and how the manager plans to acquire the information.
Recognizing what information is appropriate to the organization.
Analysing the potential and most important issues.
Determining the impact and the appropriate response.
As a conclusion, we would like to suggest to the organization to conduct an extensive environmental scan. We deem it to be beneficial to the organization because by doing so, they will be updated with the recent changes in their internal and external environment which would aid them in addressing relevant issues to the organization, enable them to plan and formulate appropriate strategies to conquer any barriers in their environment that might hinder the success of the organization.
2.4 Planning and control systems, processes and strategies
Planning is centered on the future of the organisation, a decision-making procedure that will help the company in achieving their goals (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005). There are three types of plans, strategic plans, tactical plans, and operational plans. The manager is in charge of ascertaining that these plans are implemented through control by supervising the activities of the organization and making sure that the plans are implemented according to the standards set by the organization. If any deviation is observed, corrective measures are undertaken to make certain that the organization is heading towards its specified goals and objectives.
Strategic planning is centered on the over-all long-term plans to achieve the goals of the organisation where they focus on both the demands of the external environment and the availability of internal resources to aid in realizing their goals. This type of planning is the responsibility of top management (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Translating the strategic plans into specific goals is what we call tactical plans. These plans are formulated for the specific parts of the organization by the middle management (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
Organisational plans on the other hand are the ways to implement the tactical plans. These are the actions that lower management need to focus on to execute the strategic plans of the organisation (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
As what have been previously stated, Briscoes in Manukau is owned by a sole trader, wherein the overall plans and goals of the organisation are managed by the top management. Tactical planning is done by the middle management, where the finance manager, hr manager and store manager work hand in hand to translate the plans of upper management into more specific goals. Going down further is the responsibility of lower management. These are the plans made by the supervisors of the various departments on ways to implement the tactical plans laid out by middle management, communicating them to the staff for implementation.
On the other hand, every plan of an organisation needs a certain amount of control to make certain that the plans are carried out the way management intends them to be. Control processes help demarcate indiosyncratic behaviours and keep the members of the organisation conformant to the coherent plans of the organisation (Mullins L. J., 2005).
The following information contains information based on our interview with the manager regarding the present planning and control systems in the company.
Small business operators often ignore the importance of financial planning. It is through financial planning that the organization is able to plan, evaluate and control the business which is important for the growth and survival of the organization (Hamilton & English, 1997).
The organisation opted to set up a separate finance department, solely responsible for the financial activities of the organization. All the staff members have fixed rosters which are recorded by the operations manager and reported to the finance department. The department in return provides the wages on time and calculates any incurred bonus on the salaries as well.
Human Resource Department
The management of human resources entails all management choices and practices that directly influence the staff who work for the organization (Mullins L. J., 2005). It is the management role dedicated to acquire, train, evaluate and compensate employees (Dessler, 2004).
Briscoes Homeware in Maukau has a Human Resource Department who is responsible for the hiring of new employees as well as handling employee-related matters. However, for the past years, the manager pointed out that they have low employee turnover, most of their staff have been with the company for many years. But in cases where they need to hire an employee, the HR Department is responsible for the initial screening of the applicants. If the applicants pass the initial screening, it is then the job of the Operations Manager and Store Manager to do the final interview and eventually come to a decision on who to hire.
The skill of a manager to communicate successfully to the members of the organization is powerfully connected to managerial and organizational success (Inkson & Kolb, 2002).
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau does not have a specific department that is responsible for information management. However, according to Mr. Perry, what they do to disseminate information is through meeting with the staff on a daily basis before the start of the shift and communicates with them through electronic mail as well.
A brief meeting is conducted every day before the start of their shift. In this meeting, the store manager concisely communicate the important matters that the whole team needs to be aware of, stressing their goals and objectives and at the same time discuss issues relevant to the business. For further information that needs to be shared with the employees, an electronic mail is likewise sent to them and the employees in return are required to respond to them. According to the manager, sending the staff an email is the best way to inform their employees especially those who are on holiday about updates or relevant issues that needs to be addressed immediately. There have been issues of employees not responding to the electronic messages sent to them. In these cases, where a certain employee does not take action after being instructed to do so will be given a written reprimand to comply.
To be able to explain further the day to day operations of the organisation, we have made an illustration with the aid of a flow chart, the daily activities of the company.
LOOK FOR DEPARTMENT
SELECT PRODUCTS NO
STAFF MEMBER HELPS YES
WAIT FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNTS NO
SELECT PRODUCTS YES
PROCEED TO CHECKOUT AND PAY
HAVE A NICE DAY !!
After the staff attends the daily meeting with the managers and is informed of the strategies to be undertaken to achieve the goals and objectives of the business, they go on the floor and attend to the customers who come in the store. As a customer arrives, the client will then be looking for the certain department to which they are interested of buying a product. Alongside, they will be looking for certain promotions if there are any. If they find whatever it is they need, they will go straight to the checkout counter to purchase their product of choice. However, some of them will probably be needing assistance from the members of the organisation where a staff member will be ready to assist them the best way possible. There will be other clients who will not be satisfied and will therefore decide to leave the store and maybe come back another time. On the other hand, satisfied customers, through the aid of the staff members, will be able to come across their desired product and would afterwards proceed to the checkout counter and pay for their purchase.
Planning entails making tomorrow's decisions today. It gives the organisation the luxury of deciding ahead of time what they are going to do and at the same time helps the organization anticipate possible spoilers of their plan (Dessler, 2004).
The group has chosen to analyze each department of the organization in relation to their planning and control systems. Stating observations and conclusions which we deem appropriate for the specific department we are analyzing.
Financial management activities come from approaches which are set by top management and from decisions made at the tactical level. These conclusions are affected by all the diverse functional areas in the organization (Hamilton, Garner, Black, & Jackson, 1995).
The organization opted to create a separate department, solely in charge of the financial activities of the business. We strongly believe that this choice is working well for the organization. By having this department, they are able to focus better in planning, evaluating and controlling the financial aspects of the business. This provides order and direction for the company and shows the effectiveness of the planning and control systems of the said department.
Human Resource Department
All managers need to get the right people into the right place at the right time and help them maximize their performance and future potential. Organisations that get the right people are the companies that are likely to be around in the future (Mullins L. J., 2005).
Every member of the organization has their own reason for choosing to stay with the company they are working with. However, we strongly believe that the Human Resource Department of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is successful. Evidenced by their low employee turn-over, we have come to the conclusion that the Human Resource Department together with their upper management, was able to employ the right people, place them appropriately in the organization where they are able to perform well and helped their employees maximize their talents and future potentials. Through effective planning and forecasting, they were able to determine what type of employee they want the company to be working for them and by doing so was able to make the right decision.
In our findings, we have discussed information management in relation to communication. According to Inkson (2002) the capability of the managers to communicate successfully is powerfully linked with managerial and organizational success.
There are abundant opportunities for effective and productive communication in the organizational context which can equally present many barriers that may hinder with the communication process of the organisation. (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005). According to the same author, these barriers are:
This type of barrier occurs with either the sender or the receiver who is both responsible for ensuring precise communication on both ways.
Organizational barriers are those that interfere with the communication among individuals or groups who are within the organization, with two different organizations or between the whole organization.
Culture and communication are strongly interrelated. Human communication only occurs within the context of culture and at the same time, culture ceases to exist without communication
Having aforementioned the said barriers, we will now be discussing ways to improve communication in the organization which can as well be related to the management of information systems. These can be done by (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005):
Improving listening skills by being more open minded, developing empathy, listening actively and observing nonverbal cues.
Improving sending skills through simplifying the language used, improving writing skills, and having a better understanding of your audience.
With this in mind, we would like to acclaim the organisation for the way they are presently handling the said system given the fact that they do not have a formal department that handles information management. Based on the information that they have divulged, we believe that the direction of communication in the organisation is effective and efficient. Every member of the organisation is up to date with the plans of the business through their daily meetings. It is also through these meetings that they are informed of previous setbacks encountered and are at the same time informed of various approaches on what to do if the same incident arises.
The planning and control systems on the store operation side are as well commendable. The whole organisation is well informed of the plans of the organisation through their daily meetings and is able to implement them effectively once they go on the floor. Each and every member of the organization is attentive to the needs and wants of their clients. Their knowledge of the products that the company is selling is extensive.
2.5 Team Structures and dynamics
It is in the nature of humans to be socially inclined. As social beings, people associate with groups who are interacting amongst themselves seeking similar goals (Inkson & Kolb, 2002). It is imperative to discern the motivation behind joining a group for this will determine the success rate of goal achievement. The size of the group also plays a vital role in establishing how well the group functions.
All teams are groups. A team is a group of people who hold themselves communally responsible towards achieving a common purpose, set of performance goals and approach (Dessler, 2004). They are intentionally planned and created by the management as a component of the formal structure of the organisation in accomplishing the definite goals and objectives of the institution.
However, in every formal organisation there exists an informal one. It is the relationship of the group on a personal level. These groups are founded to satisfy the psychological and social needs of the members of the organisation.
We have discussed what are teams and the existence of formal and informal organizations. We will now be tackling how groups or teams are formed. There are four main stages of group development and relationships, a more popular model by Tuckman (Mullins L. J., 2005).
Stage 1: Forming - this is the preliminary construction of the group and these individuals are brought together and have, provisionally, recognized the purpose of the group, its terms of reference and composition.
Stage 2: Storming - in this stage, the group gets to know each other better. They exchange views where eventually disagreements may arise. If this stage is successful, it may lead to reforms that would be beneficial for the group.
Stage 3: Norming - In this stage, the group starts to establish guidelines and standards. This is important in creating the need for the members to cooperate for them to plan, agree to standards of performance and fulfill the group purpose.
Stage 4: Performing - This is the stage when the group concentrates on the accomplishment of the group's purpose and performance of the common task becomes more effective.
Briscoes Homeware in Manukau follows a team structure where every team is assigned for the different departments of the organisation. For the past few years they have a permanent staff working efficiently for them. Before the start of the day, they start with a short meeting to discuss the previous day's work, if there are any issues or concerns to be raised. Afterwards, the store manager will be updating the employees of what is to be done for the day, focusing on the objectives that they need to achieve, giving emphasis on individual and team goals.
With regard to individual and team performance and evaluation, they are assessed through monthly sales checks and through cctv cameras as well. The cctv cameras enables the manager to keep an eye on the staff members while they are working on the floor, determining who is actually working from those just idling around. It is the manager's responsibility to motivate his staff through appreciation if they are performing well, giving those rewards and recognitions for a job well done. Teaching and guiding them on how to focus more on the customers by advising them to think like the customer to be able to serve them the best way possible.
Employees are given incentives when they achieve the targeted number of sales for the year and an annual feast is also organized by the company during the Christmas season, giving them time to interact with each other on a more social level.
Briscoes Homeware has a permanent staff working for them for the past years. We believe this is proof of the organisation's cohesiveness in terms of their teams. Employees and management alike would not have remained in the company and retained their employees respectively, if they do not believe in the abilities and capabilities of each other and in the organisation as well.
Group cohesiveness plays an important role in the performance of an individual and subsequently, the whole team itself. It is the extent of interpersonal attractiveness within a group who shares an agreement about their goals and objectives and is working together towards that goal (Dessler, 2004).
Furthermore, having a spirit of cooperation where members of a group work well together as a connected team is fundamental to have an effective group/ team. This may be supported when members of a group/ team exhibit (Mullins L. J., 2005, p. 533). :
1) a belief in shared aims and objectives
2) a sense of commitment to the group
3) acceptance of group values and norms
4) a feeling of mutual trust and dependency
5) full participation by all staff members and decision-making by consensus
6) a free flow of information and communication
7) the open expression of feelings and disagreements
8) the resolution of conflict by the members themselves
9) a lower level of staff turnover, absenteeism, accidents, errors and complaints
In relation with the aforementioned above, we strongly believe that the members of the organization of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau is cooperating well with each other and is whole-heartedly employing the spirit of unity within their teams and the whole of the organization.
Two heads are always better than one. When teams work well, the outcome for the team and the organization is better than if individuals work alone, a term known as synergy (Barnett & O'Rourke, 2006). This is best exemplified by the fact that although the organisation is already grouped into teams, the manager still encourages each staff member to go beyond his jurisdiction and make themselves more involved not just with their own team but with the other teams as well.
As a conclusion, we strongly commend the teams of Briscoes Homeware in Manukau for setting an excellent standard of teamwork for the organisation which enables the company to strive despite the various barriers they have encountered.
Leadership means influencing others to work willingly toward achieving the firm's objectives (Dessler, 2004). Every organisation needs a leader that would direct and guide the organization towards the achievement of their objective. There are three broad classifications of leadership style : the authoritarian (or autocratic style); the democratic style; and the laissez-faire (genuine) style (Mullins L. J., 2005).
The Authoritarian style is when the leader has all the power and generally does all the decision-making for the organisation (Mullins L. J., 2005).
In the Democratic style of leadership, the focus of power is on the group as a whole. The group members are involved in the decision-making of the organisation (Mullins L. J., 2005).
The Laisses-faire style is when the members of the group make the decisions which the manager usually does. The manager passes the focus of power to the members of the group to allow them freedom of action but is however, readily available if help is needed (Mullins L. J., 2005).
When we asked Mr. Perry what type of leader does he think he is, he told us that he sees himself more of a trainer or a coach. He leads his team through motivation and training them every step of the way. Allowing his staff to be responsible in making decisions that are within the context of their role in the organiation but at the same time he is always available for his staff if they need help with anything as well.
Like the old cliché goes, "Change is inevitable." It happens whether we like to or not. What is important is how we manage these changes. In the context of an organisation, the change agent, who is usually the manager who is leading the change, needs to answer three basic questions (Dessler, 2004)?
1) What are the factors acting upon me that require change?
2) What is it that needs to be changed?
3) What specific techniques to be done to implement the change?
According to Mr. Perry, the changes, may it be planed or unplanned, that the organisation encounters in relation to the staff that are directly under his supervision is reported to him accordingly. Necessary steps are undertaken to address the changes. However, in relation to the changes in the external factors that are affecting the whole of the organisation, it is then the responsibility of upper management to address these changes and take essential actions to deal with the change. There has been no significant crisis that the company has encountered. The usual crisis that they encountered was unsatisfied and angry customers and some employee-related disputes which the organisation dealt with accordingly.
Motivation is a set of forces that energize, direct and sustain behavior (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005, p. 448). There are three fundamental groups of variables that determine motivations in the work setting are: the characteristic of the individual, the job and the work situation.
The individual characteristics are the source of the motivation. These are what the employees bring to the work site, the needs the attitudes and the goals of the members of the organization. The second and third categories are the external forces of motivation. These comprise the level of direct feedback the employee receives by his performance of the task, the workload, the variations and scope of the task and the extent of discretion the person is allowed in meeting the necessities of the job (Hitt, Black, & Porer, 2005).
According to Mr. Perry, as the store manager, he is responsible for motivating his staff. He does so by getting involved in every department that is under him. He teaches his team on how to focus on the customers by thinking like one, by doing so, they will be able to address the specific needs and wants of their customers.
Delegation is the assignment of authority from upper management to lower management (Dessler, 2004).
The organisation has clear delegation of authority from the upper management managers to the supervisors and the staff who are assigned to various departments of the business. Every member of the organisation is assigned to a certain department where they work with their team to achieve the goals of the organisation.
There are various approaches to leadership, however, we find it more relevant to discuss about the Functional (or Group) Approach in relation to the results of our findings. A general theory on the functional approach is associated with John Adair's ideas on action-centred leadership. It is stressed that in this type of leadership, the leader needs to meet three areas of need within the workgroup: the task needs, the team maintenance needs and the individual needs (Adair, 1984). It is symbolized by three overlapping circles, indicating that the action of a leader in any one area of need will in turn have an effect on one or both of the other areas of need. It is believed that by being able to address these three key areas, will the leader be an effective one. The three areas of need are (Mullins L. J., 2005):
The task needs involve planning the work, allocating the resources, defining group tasks, achieving the objectives of the work group and organization of duties and responsibilities, controlling quality, and checking the performance of the staff.
Team Maintenance Needs
The team maintenance needs on the other hand involves maintaining the morale and building team spirit, appointment of sub-leaders, training the group, setting the standards and maintaining discipline in the group, cohesiveness of the group as a working unit and maintaining systems of communication within the group.
Individual needs of the group involves attending to personal problems, meeting the individual needs of the group, training the individual staff members, giving recognition and status and reconciling conflicts between individual and group needs.
Based on this approach, we have come to the conclusion that the manager is using this type of approach for his staff members. He tries his best to meet the needs of every single aspect of this approach. He adequately meets the needs of each group and by doing so makes him an effective leader for the organization.
According to Inkson (2002), initiating a new order of things is more complicated to carry out, more treacherous to handle and is filled with doubt when it comes to success.
It is evident that the existing teams in Briscoes Homeware in Manukau are solid and united. What we would like to suggest to the manager in terms of leadership is for him to facilitate more team building activities for his staff. We believe that group identity and processes will be more effective by facilitating worthwhile team building activities. No matter how solid and united their group may be at present, we deem it more beneficial for the organization in the future to conduct such activities that would further strengthen the existing relationship of the staff and management.
According to George (2003), it is the mission that motivates and not the dollars. It is only through wisdom of intention that companies can become conscious of their potential. There is power to a Mission-Driven organization where employee motivation is an essential ingredient. It is when employees believe in the purpose of the work and becomes part of creating something worthwhile that a company realizes its full potential (George, 2003), through the guidance of a great leader. The statement of this author is in line with Herzberg's two-factor theory. This theory states that motivation can be divided into two distinct categories: hygiene factors and motivators (Inkson & Kolb, 2002). According to Inkson (2002), Hygiene Factors are mostly connected with the workplace atmosphere and prevent worker disappointment. This factor states that factors such as working conditions, fringe benefits, company policies and pay are factors that employees tend to complain about but when changed do not really motivate the staff (Inkson & Kolb, 2002). The motivation factors on the other hand such as recognition, achievement, work nature, work growth and challenge are factors that affect the levels of motivation of employees (Inkson & Kolb, 2002).
We believe the manager, as a leader, is effective in motivating his employees. This conclusion is based upon his statement during our interview on how he motivates his staff on a day to day basis. In line with Herzberg's two factor theory of motivation, he is employing the motivation factors to influence his staff to perform better in order to achieve the over-all goals and objectives of the organization.
The path-goal theory states that it is the job of the leader to assist his staff in attaining the goals of the organisation and to provide the appropriate path and/ or support to guarantee that their goals are well-suited with the overall objectives of the group or organization (Robbins, Judge, & Sanghi, 2009).
We believe that the manager is focusing his style of management to this theory. He has stated that he sees himself as a trainer or coach. And we believe as well, that his style of management has worked well for the organization. The way he motivates and delegates tasks to his staff and his involvement with the store operations is exemplary.