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Organizations use different methods of control to ensure their operations run efficiently. Most often than not, mechanisms of control and change in any organization rests on the organizational structure. An organizational structure dictates how specific tasks in the organization will be executed grouped and coordinated. Most organizations develop their organizational structures on specific key elements of operations. The fundamental bases of control and change often rests on specialization, departmentalization, hierarchy of command, spheres of power, centralization and decentralization of control and the ability to formalize operations (Robbins, 2007b).
Methods of Control and Current Departmental and Organizational Cultures
Methods of Control
Gene One uses departmentalization as a control mechanism to its operations. This system was developed from the principle of specialization whereby specialists were grouped together to coordinate their functions at various departmental levels. In essence, specific jobs were grouped together to form a department. At Gene One, departments are grouped in terms of the respective functions they undertake. Departmentalization is common in most companies and is indeed adopted by most organizations (Robbins, 2007b).
Departmentalization as a method of control is quite effective because tasks are segregated into various levels of specialization. Each of the department is strategically integrated to compliment the work of each other. Before a given task is submitted to another department, it must be approved at the departmental level. The departmental manager is often entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring quality at the departmental level. This method of control is quite effective because areas of inconsistencies can be easily traced back to their places of origin. Errors can therefore be rectified on time. However, departmentalization can also prove disadvantageous especially when functions are highly integrated, because the errors of one department can extensively affect the operations of the entire company. Due to the level of departmentalization in the organization, specific cultures develop from different departments.
Departmental cultures eventually constitute the organizational culture. Vividly, an organizational culture gives the company the direction to follow. In essence, organizational cultures show new and existing employees how operations are normally undertaken in the company. In addition, organizational and departmental cultures give the company a sense of stability because employees often follow a systematic method of undertaking operations in the organization. However, certain scholars have indentified that strong organizational cultures can potentially inhibit the organization or company from embracing change. Nonetheless, it has been proved across business circles that organizational cultures have an effect on the attitudes and behaviors of employees (Robbins, 2007a).
Organizational cultures stipulate a given set of meanings that are shared throughout the organization. These shared meanings are often different and is the distinguishing attribute between one organization and the other. Some experts observe that organizational culture is in close examination, a set of specific characteristics that constitute an organization's values. Some organizations often have similar cultures but quite often, many differ. Organizational cultures take a lot of time to build and develop. Equally, changing specific cultures in an organization takes the same effort and time in development; sometimes even more.
Gene One has an organizational culture specifically based on innovation and risk taking. Many employees are therefore encouraged to take high risks in coming up with new technologies to improve the company's operations. In the same regard, Gene One has been able to develop sporadically over the past few years because of this organizational culture. The company's breakthrough technologies in preventing diseases in tomatoes and potatoes have been achieved through the adoption of its innovative and risk taking culture. This is currently the hallmark to Gene One's success.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that the innovation and risk taking culture has steered Gene One to new heights. In the same regard, its is important to note that there is room for more growth and the organization can still adopt new strategies that would induce a new culture, set to steer the company into higher success levels. Indeed, the technological world is changing and so is the business environment. In this regard, it is important to note that an organization can outlive a culture or essentially, a culture can become redundant over a given period of time. Competition is also strong in the Bio technology sector and evidently, Gene One needs to contemplate inducing a new culture that would be aligned with the company's growth prospects in coming years. There is therefore a need to induce a stronger culture that would have a stronger but positive impact on employee's attitudes and behaviors.
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According to existing empirical studies, a good organizational culture needs to be undefined. In other words, it need not have any form of boundaries. Adopting a good organizational culture would also lead to increased effectiveness in the organization if boundaries are undefined (Robbins, 2007b). Gene One should not blanketly support a culture of innovation and risk taking in the organization without considering the specifics of the innovative approach.
It would be beneficial if the company concentrated or emphasized on empowering its employees so that they are essentially motivated to undertake research on innovative approaches to operations. It would be fruitless for the organization if it supported an innovative culture and never gave the employees enough logistical support. The company should therefore create forums that exemplify ground-breaking technology from employees. Increasing the profile of such events would also motivate employees the more. Facilities and finances should also be availed to employees at all times.
Gene One should also induce a team orientation approach to the current innovative culture. It would be more beneficial for the company if its innovative employees could back up each other's work. This will initiate the exchange of ideas and will ultimately lead to a save up of time when employees assist each other. A group initiative will also lead to an efficient evaluation of risks, such that obvious risks can be avoided. Coordination will also increase throughout the organization if team members are oriented with the company's innovative and risk taking culture.
Gene One should also have a clear direction that it needs to follow to ensure its innovative approaches are steered towards attainment of the company's goals. The intent for the company should also be clear enough for all employees at all levels. This initiative will spearhead innovation towards a specific direction which will be known by all employees. The organization will also benefit from selection of the best innovations because many of its employees will be focused on achieving the company's goals, simultaneously.
In close relation to having a clear direction and intent, the company should posses a strong and recognizable vision that guides all employees in the organization. Each employee should be feeling part of the vision and every person should be accommodated in it. The vision should be able to capture the entire goals of the organization, such that all operations underway in the organization can be broken down into achievable components that constitute the innovative approaches employees will be undertaking. Partially, employees should be focused on devising new ways on how the company can quickly and efficiently attain its goals through innovation. The vision should therefore be able to capture all objectives of undertaking innovative approaches. In essence, this strategy will give the culture of innovation and risk taking a much clear purpose and direction.
Management Practices to be Adopted
Effective management practices need to be adopted to ensure the organization improves its culture and empowers its employees. The above strategies advanced to improve Gene One's culture can effectively be entrenched in the organization through adoption of relevant managerial practices. However, it should be understood that changing an organization's culture is not easy. Due to the complexity of changing an organizational culture, some scholars have assumed that cultures cannot be changed. However, this is a misconception (Robbins, 2007a).
Gene One can effectively change or improve its culture through leadership as a primary strategy. If the organization can identify good leaders to spearhead the cultural changes, the organization would be well on its way towards effective change of culture. In this respect, the company needs to internally evaluate its employees to come up with the best candidate to spearhead these changes. However, if it fails in this approach, the company needs to hire an individual who has the capability of leading other employees in adopting a change of culture. The prospective leader should be enthusiastic, charismatic, lovable and knowledgeable on the task (Yukl, 2006).
To empower the employees, the management should not only provide them with new facilities or increase financial allocation to innovative projects; management should also change the structural design in the organization to give employees more control. Management should consider reducing rules and regulations that limit employee's participation or creativity. Employees are bound to be better innovators if they are given more control in their projects. Through the adoption of team orientation approach, management should also align this initiative with a cross-functional team approach to increase coordination in innovative projects. Unfortunate scenarios are observed when an employee cannot progress to another level of innovation because he/she needs to consult or seek the approval of someone else. Changing the structural design of the organization will therefore reduce the likelihood of such occurrences.
Implications of the Cultural Changes
The above changes are bound to have certain implications in the organization. Some of the recommendations are bound to have resource implications, while others are bound to have administrative implications. For instance, allocating more finances and availing more facilities to empower the employees is bound to have serious resource implications on management. Hiring new leaders to spearhead cultural changes is also going to increase the financial burden on the company. The company therefore needs to seek more sources of funds for the greater good of the organization through effecting change. Better yet, the organization could allocate a part of its IPO revenues in financing these changes. Administratively, the organization needs to cede more authority to its employees to give them more control on their projects. The duties and responsibilities of some of the company's key managers will therefore have to be withdrawn to empower employees. This may eventually change the leadership and organizational structures in the long run.
Effecting change in the organization is not an easy task. Management should lead at the forefront in adopting changes that are beneficial to the organization in the long run. Change is important because of the changing business landscape in the global world. The bio tech industry is especially experiencing competitive pressures due to rapidly changing technologies. Gene One therefore needs to effectively change its organizational culture to boost efficiency in the organization. Empowering the employees will generally sum up the approach the organization needs to implement. This should be done tactfully through observance of the above strategies.