Managing People and Organization
Part A: Individual Element
Selection of Scenario:
The scenario that has been chosen for this assignment is the one that I faced as a manager in my previous organization. I worked as the Marketing Manager in one of the leading consumer durable companies for the last 2 years. There I had to manage a team of Marketing and Sales Executives. During my tenure as the Marketing Manager there were various challenges that my team and I had to face from time to time regarding the meeting of targets within the stipulated deadlines. It is extremely important for an organization to reach the objectives on time so that the business functions are carried out as per the desired objectives and the business does not suffer from lack of fluidity of funds and other resources. In this report I would reflect upon a situation which I faced when our team was lagging behind the monthly target on the sale of the consumer durables. Some of the other teams had achieved their monthly targets or were very close to achieving it. But, our team had to undertake a large volume of sales in order to achieve the monthly target. The company norms required that we need to achieve the monthly sales or else we would be allowed to make it up in the quarter. So, basically we had to sale the volume for 3 months in just 2 months’ time as we missed our targets in the first month. We were only able to achieve 55% of the monthly target. This situation was a big blow for our team and most of the subordinates started to feel depressed and anxious as to whether we could turn it around in the next 2 months.
This was a critically sensitive juncture where I had to play the role of a mentor to make my team members come out of feeling in despair and at the same time design some quick solutions so that we can turn around the sales of our department and match up with the other teams. The Marketing Director made an announcement in the meantime that the team that is able to achieve 150% of the quarterly target will be rewarded with a trip to Indonesia. This was a big motivation for me and my team. So, I used brainstorming approach to look for quick strategies and after doing a bit of self-analysis and search over the internet on development of ideas on motivating and planning effective strategies, I came across the P-O-L-C Management Framework which is a theory in the Principles of Management (Carpenter, Bauer and Erdogan, 2010). I learnt about it and then implemented the framework in the corporate scenario with the objective of achieving the quarterly target of 150% achievement that would not only give us the reward, more importantly improve team morale and make the other teams respect us and most importantly we needed to prove that our team was capable enough in achieving targets. The details of the implementation of the P-O-L-C Framework along with the final outcomes on the objectives have been discussed in this report (The Saylor Foundation, n.d.).
Application of POLC to Scenario:
At first, the essence of the P-O-L-C Framework needs to be established in the light of management theory. It is evident that the manager in an organization has to perform the major tasks of facing various challenges and coming out with creative problem-solving approaches such that the situation can be taken under control and the subordinates can be led in the right direction so that the challenging situation is successfully overcome in the end (Lamond, 2004). The Principles of Management have since long portrayed the benefits of the Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling in enabling the managers take prudent strategies and implement them successfully in critical situations. In the case that has been referred to in this report, I have implemented the framework with the expectation that it turns out to be a success in pulling my team out of the abyss and drive them in the chosen direction where success is achieved in the climax. In the light of the P-O-L-C Framework, the managerial strategies those I have undertook to improve the scenario of my team are discussed as follows:
Planning- In the planning phase, I analysed the exact reasons for our poor performance. I reflected upon the individual performances of my team members from the performance appraisal reports of each one of them. From there, I found that some of my team members took leaves for many days from work, some were not making the required number of customer visits per day and several other issues. Therefore, I was able to understand the many of my team members took a casual approach for the next quarter as our performance in the past quarter was the best in the department. I also conducted a self-appraisal to find out my own strengths and weaknesses in leadership. I discovered that I also did not hold the required number of meetings with my team members per month which might be one of the reasons for this undesirable performance of my team. So, I planned strategies for myself and my team.
Organizing- In this phase the actions were delegated to each of my team members based on what each one of them needed to do on a routine basis to enhance their performance leading up to the quarter. This stage consisted of allocating the right task to the right person depending upon individual skills and capabilities. I delegated the task of making the regular customer visits to those who had high communication skills and professional attitude. I assigned the task of compiling the daily sales reports of each of the team members to those who were not quite dynamic and outspoken but were honest and meticulous. I started to conduct regular mentoring sessions for half an hour every day before the day’s work began officially.
Leading- This was the most crucial phase where I started to lead from the front and showed each of my team members on how to make sales calls and fix appointments. I personally visited the clients with some of them those lacked the confidence to face customers directly. I conducted individual appraisal sessions daily with them and undertook constructive criticism such that they learn their mistakes instantaneously.
Controlling- This was the last phase of the model where I had to control the activities of each of the team members through strict monitoring and supervision (Moriarty and Ramos, n.a.). I had set Key Performance Indicators or KPIs for each of them and matched their individual actual daily output with that of the daily expected output. On findings gaps I immediately notified them and worked with them to resolve the issues.
Evaluation of Process & Alternatives:
After the implementation of the P-O-L-C framework, I found that my team members were showing signs of improvement as within a week of implementation I could observe that my team was showing signs of being more sincere, diligent and meticulous with their daily works both at the office and on the field (Mintzberg, 1973). The tasks those have been delegated to each one of them were being observed sincerely by them. Whenever, there was occasional lag in the performance of any of my members, I immediately intervened and mentored them to lift their spirits up and provide them with confidence by sharing some light incidents and discussing some motivating quotes. The implemented strategies bore fruit as in that month our team was able to enhance the productivity from a mere 55% to 75%. Therefore, it was evident that the planned strategy was working fine for me and my team. As, the confidence of our team grew further, there was much better coordination and teamwork among the members. Every person stuck to own tasks and communicated well with each other by taking up their own responsibilities. They were showing signs of high motivation and confidence and the number of sales call we made by the end of the second month exceeded our target by more than 30%. More sales calls and customer visits started to produce results in the form of more sales closures and we were showing signs of positivity and the target of 150% achievement started to look feasible from impossible.
The last month leading up to the end of the quarter had arrived and right from the first day of the month, all of us were working harder in terms of making additional sales calls and visiting as many customers as possible. We had to work for additional hours after the official working hours were over. The team members were so much dedicated and motivated that they even started to make sales calls after reaching their homes. They were extremely determined to achieve the target which was posed as a challenge to us and which we needed to accept and achieve as a matter of pride and respect. Finally, the last week of the quarter had arrived and we had almost achieved 110% of our quarterly target owing to the combined effort of the team where each and every member gave more than their hundred per cent to strive for the target set to us as a challenge. In the last 7 days, my team members including myself were feeling extremely confident that we could achieve the rest in a week’s time. We started visiting the dealers and the individual customers where we offered them something extra in terms of gift vouchers or immediate cash backs which we paid from our own pockets just to please the customers and close the sales. The efforts paid off when before the last day of the month, we found that our team has achieved 152% of the quarterly target. It was a big moment for us and we were extremely overwhelmed when my team was awarded with the award of best team of the quarter and to add to it we were rewarded with the trip to Indonesia. It was the most memorable achievement for me till date as a manager and it proved that honesty, sincerity and perseverance can enable a manager become an impeccable leader who will succeed in leading his team to success amidst any challenge thrown to him.
Part B: Group Element
This report reflects upon two theories on management from the article titled ‘Evolution of Management Thinking’. The discussion is based primarily in the key concepts of the theories including their strengths and limitations. The two chosen management theories for the purpose of this report are Scientific Management Theory and Learning Organization Theory. After the analysis of these two theories, two organizations observing each theory have been chosen for a detailed analysis. The organization where Scientific Management Theory is observed is Ford Motor Company. The other where Learning Organization Theory is followed is Apple Inc. Both the organizations have been observing respective management theories for the purpose of conducting their daily business functions and have evidently achieved success in their respective domains. The ways in which both the selected organizations have achieved success in their respective industries by applying the theories of management has been briefly portrayed in this narrative.
The two selected theories on management are discussed briefly as follows:
Brief Description of the Theories:
Scientific Management Theory: The Scientific Management Theory has been developed by Frederick W. Taylor as a part of his seminal work known as Principles of Scientific Management in the year 1911. The aim of the theory was to propose scientific changes in the management process for improving the productivity of labour. The theory propounded replacement of traditional and rigid management decisions with management procedures those are much more precise such as implementation of rewards systems to motivate employees (BCC Online, n.d.). This theory is advantageous in resulting in enhanced production as it focuses on quick and continuous improvements business operations. One of the disadvantages of this theory is that it needs huge capital investment.
Learning Organization Theory: The Learning Organization Theory proposes that in an organization every employee and management personnel should try to identify problems arising within the firm and take efforts to solve them. There should be a continuous process of experimentation, efforts to change, improve and enhance employee productivity. The theory is focused more on the problem solving rather than achieving efficiency. The organization must understand the specific needs of the customers and other stakeholders (Eze, 2017). Some of the advantages of this theory are that it helps in enriching leadership capacity and achieving organizational transformation.
The Scientific Management Theory is observed at Ford Motor Company since decades. It was around the same time when Taylor started to develop his Scientific Management Theory and Henry Ford experimented with various models of his car until he came up with Model T which is considered to be the most successful model, the production of which began in the year 1908. The scientific management principle helped in enhancing the labour productivity and designing the assembly line for car production in the most effective manner that resulted in the optimum utilization of resources and achieve cost minimization which enabled the cars to be sold at affordable prices to the consumers. The observation of the scientific management theory made it possible for Ford to manufacture more than 15 million models of the car in the period between 1908 and 1927 (Saylor, 2013).
At Apple Inc. the management under Steve Jobs has been observing the Learning Organization Theory for the purpose of managing and controlling the various operations of the business. Learning organization concept rests on continuous learning and adapting with the changing demands of the customers in terms of their tastes and preferences for the products and services (Hannan, n.d.). It is evident from the achievements of Apple that it has been learning and continuously developing organization. The company has always indulged in adaptive learning that has enabled the brand to hold on to the leading position in the global markets for many years together. Even today, though many rival brands such as Samsung, Microsoft and others have come up with similar products, yet Apple holds its authentic image and brand value among the rivals and has its own group of trusted customers those will not buy other products than those from Apple.
On a concluding note to this report it can be said that organizations need to undertake specific strategies from time to time in order to grow and compete with the competitors in the market. The several management theories have been developed by many eminent scholars and social theorists for offering frameworks to the different business establishments such that they can design their organizational and management structure accordingly so that the short and long-term objectives of the organizations are achieved from time to time. This paper has studied two organizations namely, Ford Motor Company and Apple Inc. The former is using the Scientific Management Theory and the latter is observing the Learning Organization Theory in their respective business processes.
After analysis of both the management theories, there can be some plausible recommendations to be observed by the modern organizations so that they achieve success in the long run along with sustainability. The recommendations are enumerated as follows:
- The Scientific Management Theory proposes the use of modern concepts such as rewards and compensation based on productivity and therefore it should be implemented in manufacturing concerns where products are manufactured by using the assembly line.
- The Scientific Management Theory helps to reduce costs through optimum utilization of resources and therefore should be utilized by organizations for achieving economies of scale and such that products are offered at affordable prices to the customers.
- The Learning Organization Theory is an extremely dynamic and outgoing approach that enables a business concern to grow through continuous learning and therefore, it is most suitable in the context of modern organizations those need to learn about the changing demands and needs of the customers.
- The prime objective of Learning Organization Theory is to focus on the imbibing of the learning of the employees and management personnel, rather than the efficiency of each one of them and thereby, to ensure employee productivity there should be adequate monitoring strategies to support the learning process of the employees and various internal stakeholders of the business.
BCC Online (n.d.) 'Scientific Management ', Chapter 2: THE EVOLUTION OF MANAGEMENT THINKING.
Carpenter, M., Bauer, T. and Erdogan, B. (2010) 'The Principles of Management', Jupiterimages Corporation, p. n.a.
Eze, A.A. (2017) 'Management Practice in an Organization', Chapter 1, p. n.a.
Hannan, M. (n.d.) 'The Learning Organization ', ISACS, p. n.a.
Lamond, D. (2004) 'A Matter of Style: Reconciling Henri and Henry', Management Decision 42, no. 2, pp. 330-356.
Mintzberg, H. (1973) The Nature of Managerial Work , New York: Harper & Row.
Moriarty, C. and Ramos, J. (n.a.) 'PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT ', Chapter 2: History. Globalization and Values-Based Leadership, pp. 1-128.
Saylor (2013) 'Scientific Management Theory and the Ford Motor Company', Bus 208, pp. 1-4.
The Saylor Foundation (n.d.) 'The P-O-L-C Framework', Chapter 1: Introduction to Principles of Management, pp. 1-15.
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