Custom «Managing People with a Competitive Advantage» Essay Paper Sample

Managing People with a Competitive Advantage

Comparison between NUMMI and AES use of teams in organizations

Organizations can both be a social entity as well as an economical entity and thus a culture based on belief and trust should be cultivated in employees in order to stimulate them to produce positive results. One should aim at cultivating the value of quality rather than the quantity done in any given situation.

Comparison between NUMMI and AES use of teams in organizations

The concept behind using team work in organizations is a way to pool information and knowledge. It is also the best way to utilize given gifts and talents among the team players, to increase productivity and flexibility. It is a concept that ideally emphasizes on harmony, dissemination of information, and a balance in different personality types.

NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing  Inc.)

NUMMI is a merger between General Motors and Toyota but mainly the operations are under Toyota. Ideally, the endeavor between Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors was to produce small vehicles. In this case the TMC was to produce the car designs and do the investment which was a figure of $100 million. On the other hand General Motors was to build and market the vehicles upon completion. The basis in which team work is based on at NUMMI involves areas of basic structure of the internal organization, managerial hierarchy, and the mode in which the worker is involved. A close overview of employment relations in NUMMI shows that they have a well structured work- relation pyramid/ hierarchy (Noe & Hollenbeck, 2008). 

The first level of management consists of a production team which has around five to seven workers with a designated team leader. There are also quality circles mainly known as Problem Solving Circles. They ideally work as offline teams. Within NUMMI, workers are encouraged to master all jobs within their production team. This is known as multi functionality which basically allows flexibility and a greater understanding of processes by the worker. Multi-functionality involved workers rotating within the job field over time in order to broaden their skills. Concepts in Toyota Production System interwove together technical features to its technical and social dimensions.

Teams also underwent Kaizen which basically means continuous improvement hence reducing work times and increasing in quality instead. Another control used by the Toyota Production System related more to quality and could therefore signal abnormal conditions automatically, to sacrifice production in place of quality. Effective methods were incorporated by use of stop watches in which the least time consuming but efficient method was opted for. The hierarchy constituted of manager or group leader. They are responsible for the human resource management activities. They are also responsible for disciplinary, traditional and administrative functions.   They also share the responsibility of the persnnel together with the Human Resource manager. Fact -based management is widely used as middle layer managers and subordinates are also involved or called upon during meetings. NUMMI has put great emphasis upon team and individual suggestions. This suggestion principle is managed by a group leader/ manager who has less or light administrative support. It greatly has increased the workers participation.

In a conclusion on NUMMI, teams were greatly involved as they realized that teams are a great component in production. Other than that they minimized interdependence on work tasks and increased greatly on social interdependence. They also created a different task authority/ environment in which they emphasized on Kaizen other than the certainty that production work was routine and therefore the workers could be trained overnight. NUMMI created a different and total new social-political environment in which attributed to social gains and enhancing credibility. There were issues arising about making jobs individual for the sake of management. NUMMI realized that there was greater productivity under the right social conditions (Noe & Hollenbeck, 2008).

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Applied Energy Services (AES)

AES is a company that generates and distributes power and it believes in decentralizing decision making power and delegating authority. The founders of this company had in mind flexibility and complete bureaucratic freedom rather than being burdened with rules. It has no strategic planning methods and has done away with specialization further more having no centralized functioning staff. Business management development is not specified to any one in particular say executives but it’s mainly done by junior people. From an outside observer, the company looks in dismay. The truth of the matter is that they it has a very outstanding economical growth. In the previous five years, the total return of shareholders has been an incredible 513%. The main question to ponder is, ‘how they do it?’. A company that could be described as way out of control registers a supernormal share in returns. How do they do it? As clearly seen teams work best when people of different backgrounds are brought together each with his own capacity. AES has utilized this method in that every employee is highly valued and having no need to be controlled (O’Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000).

The great advantage of having someone who values what he or she does is that they help each other. This company greatly values giving their employees challenges with opportunities to learn different things. Unlike other companies where hiring may take a day or two, this company might take a week or month in order to get the right person. It consequently has a very low turnover. Budgeting is mainly not done by the managers but technicians who might do the financial analysis and obtain bids in order to see if they are economically viable. Budgeting is not seen as a constraint but rather it seen as a guideline. The people are often asked for their input but decision making mainly deepends with the high authority. There is also a high degree in delegation and the company over time has no more than five hierarchical levels. They believe that the more levels there are above you the more you won’t make the decisions yourself. They have also found it best to let their employees move to new jobs and holding them responsible as a major way to develop leaders and also encourage people to learn. It mainly deals with its employees in teams.

Task forces and committees handle decisions that would normally be handled by specialist groups. These committees and task forces generally consist of people who have voluntary offered themselves to take up the responsibility. The teams help in disseminating information and providing advice and support. AES resolves to handle all of it employees with equality. It therefore offered the people paid on hourly basis to move to salary basis. This put its people on a ground level as hourly based employees were paid overtime while those on salaries were not. The senior management spends time on the ground for a period of one week doing jobs within the plant. It gives them an insight of what really happens and in order to feel of what their juniors do. The backbone principle that holds AES together is the concept of belief and trust that has led to self managing teams of responsible people. The company has also undertaken a ‘whatever-it-takes’ approach in order to get the job done. This means that people cooperate in order to have the job done and to overcome challenges and barriers. Due to trust worthiness of the people, information is readily shared and the responsibility of making decisions is diversely spread. Though it might be thought that lack of involvement by higher authority will make one feel that his or her work and ideas are not important, in AES everyone has decision-maker and is thus held accountable for his or her decisions and actions. Team structures are built on people who are ready to ask for help from their juniors and peers (O’Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000).

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Whatever way we look at it, both companies have their own and ideal way of handling their employees. In both companies, they put value in their employees. Delegating jobs among them and making them feel that they are part and parcel of the organization. The fact that the company values your ideas and the effort one has put into work makes one work harder having the same goals and objectives as the company. There is an emphasis on quality and not quantity of the work done. When any employee is given the chance to work as if he or she owns the company, every worker will put their best foot forward in all that he or she does. While NUMMI places strategic ways to counter abnormal working conditions AES on the other hand emphasizes on responsibilities by the employee. Both companies have over the years registered increased productivity and its all because of the value the company holds of their employees. Team work is a very main, basic and key factor to the progress of any organization or company as depicted in the cases of NUMMI and AES.

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