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The Tucker Company Issues

Analysis of Tucker Company Case Study

This reflective journal evaluates a number of issues associated with Tucker Company. A brief description of the issues facing the firm, the major stakeholders, and the prevailing problems are analysed. The journal also assesses the key management theories coupled with what the firm should have done in order to deal with the situation faced. Finally, a summary on the lessons learnt and how the case studies have contributed to personal development are illustrated.

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Since its inception, Tucker Company operations were based on three main divisions, which include the utility turbine, military jet engine, and commercial jet engine. The three divisions had their own accounting, engineering, and manufacturing departments. In an effort to implement change in the organisation, the firm’s president announced the need to reorganise the existing structure by integrating three main divisions. The three departments would represent the firm’s core product lines.

A new vice president, who would report directly to the president, would lead each department. Mr. Harnett was of the opinion that the three departments would greatly enhance the firm’s performance by identifying areas characterised by operational inefficiencies. Subsequently, the firm would be in a position to adjust such areas. The decision to reorganise its operations arose from the identification of the diversity of its products. The reorganisation process was the responsibility of by the firm’s president, Mr. Harnett.

Despite his intention to transform the firm’s operations, Mr. Harnett did not involve all employees in making the decision regarding the firm’s reorganisation process. Mr. Harnett communicated the decision to reorganise the firm’s structure through a memo, which is an ineffective method of communicating a major organisational change. Additionally, Mr. Harnett announced that each of the established divisions would operate independently, which means that the three departments would harmonise their accounting, manufacturing, and engineering departments. However, some divisions would operate interdependently.

Key theories

Organisational development and change management

One of the most notable theories in the case study is organisational development. Huo, Moynihan, and Ingraham (2003) define organisational development as the process of continuous evaluation, planning, and implementation of diverse aspects with the objective of expanding an organisation’s workforce. The core objective is to improve the performance of an organisation, hence benefiting both employees and other external stakeholders. Organisational development is mainly concerned with change and dealing with organisational problems. Lewis, Goodman, Fandt, and Michlitsch (2007) further argue that organisational development enables an organisation to achieve its goals through increased productivity, profitability, and improved employee morale.

Firms should integrate organisational development as one of their strategic management practices. Khann (2007) argues that organisational development enables an organisation to align its operations with changes emanating from external and internal changes. Organisations are facing numerous challenges emanating from the intense competition, technological development, high rate of employee turnover, and economic changes (Lussier 2012).

Effective implementation of organisational development does not only focus on the organisation, but also on employees. One of the ways through which this goal is attained is through the integration of an effective reward management system. For example, organisational development focuses on both monetary and non-monetary rewards. In a bid to attain optimal organisational development, it is imperative for an organisation’s management team to be effective in its change management. French (2011) argues that change management is one of the most important elements that organisational leaders should consider in their strategic management processes.

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There are diverse change models that organisational leaders can consider in their quest to implement change. These models include the Lewin’s planned change model, the action research model, and the positive change model. These change models underscore the importance of understanding the prevailing organisational problem. The Lewin change model differs from the action research and the positive model by the degree to which employees are involved in the change process.

The Lewin change model advocates for minimal employee involvement in the change process while the action research and the positive research model advocate for extensive employee involvement. The Lewin change model asserts that the change process is comprised of a number of steps, which include unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. The unfreezing process entails communicating to the internal stakeholders in order to prepare them for the intended change. During the unfreezing stage, the organisational leader should develop a compelling message in order to explain the need to implement the desired change.

In his desire to reorganise the firm’s operation, Mr. Harnett did not undertake effective unfreezing. The firm’s president communicated the need to re-organise the firm’s operations through a memo, which is an ineffective method of communicating change. Furthermore, the firm’s president did not seek the employees’ opinions. Cummings and Worley (2009) contend that failure to incorporate employees in the change management process may lead to resistance.

Adekola (2011) argues that it is imperative for an organisation’s management team to develop a comprehensive communication plan in the process of implementing change. The plan should outline the purpose of the intended change together with how it will benefit both employees and the organisation. Moreover, diverse forms of communication should be integrated into implementing change. Organisational managers should ensure that communication on the intended change is undertaken continuously. This aspect will contribute to the achievement of a high level of employee commitment in undertaking the various change process.

Previous studies show that most employees resist organisational change, which emanates from the view that change leads to uncertainty regarding the security of tenure. In a bid to reorganise its operations successfully, Tucker Company should have considered nurturing a culture of change. One of the ways through which this goal can be achieved is by integrating optimal leadership. Mr. Harnett intended to reorganise the organisation individually. Subsequently, most employees perceived his decision to implement change as a way of his self-advancement rather than a way of enhancing the organisation’s performance.

The firm’s president should have considered assigning some responsibilities associated with the change process to some employees. This move would have played a significant role in ensuring that employees own the change process. Furthermore, employees would have responded positively to the intended change. In a recap, assigning responsibilities to some employees would have empowered them and in order to attain this goal, Tucker Company should have considered assigning responsibilities to employees. Furthermore, the firm should have ensured a high level of collaboration amongst employees in different levels of management.

DGL International

This reflective journal evaluates the issues faced by DGL International. The journal begins by providing a brief description of the firm and the major stakeholders coupled with analysing the prevailing problems. Furthermore, the journal assesses the key management theories coupled with what the firm’s management team should have done in order to deal with the existing situation.

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DGL International operates in the manufacturing industry. The firm specialises in the manufacture of refinery equipment. The firm’s technical service division was characterised by low productivity over a long duration. Despite this aspect, the division’s workforce included highly qualified and educated engineers. Moreover, the firm’s management team ensured that employees were compensated fairly and equitably. In an effort to improve its performance, DGL International outsourced the services of John Terrill, who was charged with the responsibility of improving the division’s performance.

Prior to joining the firm technical service division, the firm’s employees were also required to submit a daily report explaining their operations to the firm’s headquarters. Upon joining the firm, Terrill ordered employees to submit the reports to his office rather than the firm’s headquarters. The firm’s employees adhered to the management’s requirements and submitted the reports daily. However, the organisation’s management team did not assess the reports.

In addition to the above issues, the technical service division was characterised by poor job description. Subsequently, most employees were dissatisfied with their job. For example, the process of writing report consumed a substantial amount of the engineers’ time. This example shows that employees were not actively engaged in the firm’s operations. The case study also shows that the technical division was characterised by poor leadership. Despite the significance of the technical services division in the firm’s quest to achieve competitive advantage, the case study shows that DGL International was characterised by poor leadership.

Key theories

Job design theories

The case illustrates a gap with regard to the firm’s job design. Employees within the technical services division experienced poor job designs, which entailed low productivity. Furthermore, the department’s employees were required to undertake activities, which were not part of their job description.

For example, employees were required to write a report daily on their performance, which consumed a substantial amount of their time. Daft (2008, p.34) asserts that views ‘on how to design jobs in organisations have changed remarkably over the years’. Organisations have an obligation to ensure that the various jobs are designed effectively. Diverse job design theories have been formulated. Such theories outline how organisational leaders can enhance employee satisfaction by improving how jobs are designed.

The two factor theory

One of the job design theories, which have been formulated, includes the two-factor theory, which was formulated by Fredrick Herzberg. The theory postulates that the level of employee satisfaction is subject to two main aspects, which include the working environment and the job (Krajewski, Malhotra, & Ritzman 2012). Subsequently, the theory underscores the importance of effective job designs.

Moreover, the two-factor theory emphasises the importance of integrating effective motivator factors and hygiene in promoting the level of job satisfaction (Saiyadain 2003). According to Schermerhorn (2011), the hygiene factors relate to various job characteristics such as the base wage or salary and the prevailing working conditions. On the other hand, the motivating factors are inherent in the job content.

Examples of motivator factors that organisational leaders can consider include job responsibility, job recognition, employee achievement, and advancements (Campion & Thayer 2008). The two-factor theory emphasises the importance of investing in job enrichment in an organisation’s efforts to promote job satisfaction. One of the major limitations of this theory is that there is no standard method of measuring the ‘hygiene factors’, but it depends on the supervisors’ opinion (Hellermann 2006).

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One of the major limitations of the two-factor theory entails the fact that it focuses on the employees’ work instead of nature of the job (Bustillo & Macias 2005). Consequently, it is imperative for organisational HR managers to be concerned with how to improve the working environment.

Psychological empowerment theory

Hacker (2003) asserts that the psychological empowerment theory emphasises the importance of intrinsic task motivation. However, this goal can only be achieved by focusing on three main aspects, which include the level of employee competence, level of self-determination, and job meaning (Lussier & Kimball 2009). Moreover, the theory argues that the meaning attached to a particular job influences the extent to which employees are satisfied (Hacker 2003).

The theory further emphasises the importance of nurturing competence amongst employees in order to promote the effectiveness and efficiency with which tasks are executed. The self-determination element emphasises the importance of providing employees with a certain degree of autonomy in the process of executing their duties (Rauner, Maclean, & Boreham 2008).

The Oldham’s Job Characteristic theory

This theory asserts that the nature of a task in a particular job is directly correlated with the nature of job satisfaction amongst employees. Monotonous jobs decrease the level of employee satisfaction, and hence their productivity (Zabihi, Khanzadeh & Alipoor 2012). The case study shows that the level of satisfaction amongst employees within the technical services division in DGL International is unappealing (Lumley, Coetzee, Tladinyane, & Ferreira 2011).

Subsequently, it is imperative for HR managers to take into account the various job characteristics, which include task significance, autonomy in conducting tasks, skill variety, task significance, and task identity (Slack, Chambers, & Johnson 2010). HR should ensure that the various jobs in the organisation contribute to intrinsic motivation amongst employees. One of the main reasons, which explain the low productivity within the technical services division in DGL international relates to the lack of intrinsic motivation amongst the engineers. Moreover, the engineers were assigned tasks that had no significance to their line of duty.

Solution

In order to deal with the aforementioned situation, DGL International management should have considered integrating various work design approaches, which would lead to a high level of customer satisfaction. Some of the approaches that DGL’s HR managers should focus on include job enlargement and job enrichment. Rauner, Maclean, and Boreham (2008, p.188) define job enrichment to include ‘the process through which managers provide sufficient autonomy to employees in the course of executing their duties’.

Subsequently, job enrichment increases the level of job satisfaction by giving employees autonomy with regard to planning, executing, and controlling their duties and responsibilities. The DGL’s managers restrained employees by requiring them to report to the top management on their daily operations, hence lowering their morale.

Summative assessment

This section illustrates the level of personal development achieved throughout the course. The section also illustrates how I would have dealt with the situations faced by Tucker Company, DGL International, and other situations, which might arise in the future.

The case studies have improved my understanding on the importance of implementing change in an organisation’s operations. Currently, organisations are operating in an environment characterised by diverse changes originating from external and internal business environment. Some of these changes relate to the high rate of globalisation and technological advancement. In a bid to survive in such an environment, I have appreciated the significance of ensuring that the organisation’s operations are continuously adjusted. This move might require reorganisation of the entire or part of the organisational structure.

However, resistance from employees may hinder the process of implementing change. Some employees may perceive the process of reorganisation as a threat to their jobs. Employees may view the change process as a way of rendering them redundant. The case studies have led to a greater understanding of the importance of incorporating employees in the change process.

One of the aspects that I will be concerned with in my future managerial career relates to understanding the employees’ needs and expectations. This understanding will aid in minimising the level of resistance amongst employees. Understanding the employees’ needs and expectations will enhance my ability to implement the desired change successfully (Hernon & Altman 2010).

Through the course, I have gained sufficient knowledge on the significance of ensuring a high level of collaboration between the top and the lower levels of management. The case study involving Tucker Company shows that Mr. Harnett, the firm’s president, failed to reorganise the organisation structure successfully due to his failure to collaborate with employees.

In addition to resistance to the desired change, employees may respond to the intended change by leaving the organisation. This trend might lead to a high employee turnover. Subsequently, an organisation may experience loss of vital human capital. Employees may be demoralised, hence leading to a reduction in the level of their productivity, which culminates in reduction in the firm’s level of profitability.

The course has caused a greater appreciation on the significance of nurturing optimal leadership skills. In my future role as a major, I will be in a position to incorporate all employees in the change process. This move will enhance my ability to alleviate anxiety amongst employees, which is associated with change. In the process of executing my managerial duties, I will be in a position to develop a greater understanding of the causes of employee resistance. Therefore, I will be well positioned to alleviate the situation before it deteriorates.

The course has also led to a greater appreciation on the importance of nurturing effective conflict management skills. An analysis of DGL International shows existence of a conflict between employees in the Technical Services division and the top management. The source of conflict between the two parties is that the top management does not treat the engineers accordingly despite paying them well. A closer evaluation of the case shows that employees were not in good terms due to poor treatment by the top management. Moreover, employees were assigned tasks, which were not challenging, hence decreasing their probability of progressing through their career path.

In a bid to deal with such situations, I will focus on nurturing a good working relationship with employees in the lower level of management. Subsequently, I will be in a position to develop an enabling environment for working. For example, employees will be in a position to collaborate with each other, hence improving the degree of information and knowledge sharing. Consequently, the firm’s performance will improve remarkably.

One of the ways through which I will minimise the employees’ conflict is by incorporating effective internal communication. The success of an organisation is dependent on the various departments. Subsequently, it is critical for the various organisational departments to operate interdependently. In its effort to reorganise its operation, Tucker Company intended the new departments to operate independently.

However, such a strategy would affect the firm’s long-term performance adversely. For example, some jobs would be duplicated, hence increasing the cost of operation. Promoting internal communication will ensure that all the various internal stakeholders are integrated into the change process. In the Tucker’s case study, Mr. Harnett intended to reorganise the firm individually, which would have led to intensive employees’ conflict. Subsequently, the case study has underscored the importance of implementing an effective interpersonal communication.

In executing my managerial duties, I will ensure that employees are fully engaged in the change process. In a bid to achieve this goal, I will conduct dialogue continuously with the employees in order to understand their perception and opinion regarding the intended change. Moreover, I will ensure that a high degree of trust is nurtured between the bottom and the top levels of management. Over the past few years, I have nurtured optimal interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Through my interpersonal skills, I will be in a position to communicate and compel my followers to accept the intended organisational change. Subsequently, I will be capable of minimising the level of resistance amongst employees. On the other hand, my teamwork skills will lead to the development of a high level of organisational development. This aspect arises from the view that I will be able to ensure that employees are committed to executing their duties and responsibilities. Moreover, employees will own the various organisational projects.

Reference List

Adekola, B 2011, ‘Career planning and career management as correlates for career development and job satisfaction; a case study of Nigerian bank employees’, Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 1-13.

Bustillo, R & Macias, F 2005, ‘Job satisfaction as an indicator of the quality of work’, Journal of Socio-Economics, vol. 34 no. 2, pp. 656-673.

Campion, M & Thayer, P 2008, Job design; approaches, outcomes and trade offers, Cengage, London.

Cummings, T & Worley, C 2009, Organisational development and change, Cengage Learning, Mason.

Daft, R 2008, New era of management, Thompson, Ohio.

French, R 2011, Organisational behaviour, Wiley, Hoboken.

Hacker, W 2003, ‘Action regulation theory; a practical tool for the design of modern work processes’, European Journal of Work Organisational Psychology, vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 105-130.

Hellermann, R 2006, Capacity options for revenue management; theory and application in the air cargo industry, Springer, New York.

Hernon, P & Altman, E 2010, Assessing service quality: satisfying the expectations of library customers, American Library Association, Chicago.

Huo, Y, Moynihan, D & Ingraham, P 2003, ‘Capacity management’, American Review of Public Administration, vol. 33 no. 3, pp. 295-315.

Khann, R 2007, Production and operations management, Prentice Hall, New Delhi.

Krajewski, L, Malhotra, M & Ritzman, L 2012, Operations management, Cengage, New York.

Lewis, P, Goodman, S, Fandt, P & Michlitsch, J 2007, Management; challenges for tomorrow’s leaders, Southwestern.

Lumley, E, Coetzee, M, Tladinyane, R & Ferreira, N 2011, ‘Exploring the job satisfaction and organisational commitment of employees in the information technology environment’, Southern African Business Review, vol. 15 no. 1, pp.100-118.

Lussier, R 2012, Management fundamentals; concepts, applications, skill development, South Western, Ohio.

Lussier, R & Kimball, D 2009, Applied sport management skills, Human Kinetics, Champaign.

Rauner, F, Maclean, R & Boreham, N 2008, Handbook of technical and vocational educational and training research, Springer, New York.

Saiyadain, M 2003, Organisational behaviour, Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi.

Schermerhorn, J 2011, Organisational behaviour, John Wiley, New Jersey.

Slack, N, Chambers, S & Johnson, R 2010, Operation management, Prentice Hall, New York.

Zabihi, M, Khanzadeh, E & Alipoor, B 2012, ‘Job characteristics model of Hackman and Oldham in public and private sector in Iran’, International Journal of Innovative Ideas, vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 4-12.

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