Organizational Change: Food Processing Sector Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Organizational Change for Food Processing Sector.

Answer:

Introduction:

Meatpack is one of the recognized organizations operating in the food-processing sector of Australia. Although the organization primarily conducts family-owned business, the organization has been emerging successful. The founder cum CEO of the company, Derek Bison intends to improve the economic prospects of the organization, with a vision of transforming the company into a 1 million dollar company by the end of 2020, and thus has accordingly adopted organizational change strategy. Hence, the purpose of this report is to critically analyze as well as evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented strategies as far as Meatpack is concerned.

Discussion:

Desired Choice of the Management System and the Justification of the Same:

The organizational success of a company largely relies on the effective administration as well as management of its employees, and the management style adopted by the managers of an organization always differs from that being used by the managers of a second organization. The management approach of a manager is generally divided into two types- the “hands on approach style” and the “hands off approach style” . The hands on management style usually is defined as a managerial style, where the manager gets directly involved with the daily activities of the employees, participate in each of their decisions, recommend changes if necessary and motivates them for the successful accomplishment as well. In case of this form of style, the managers are not only expected to monitor the performance of the employees on a regular basis, but also engage themselves in the professional decisions of each of his subordinates. On the other hand the hands off managerial style is one, where the leader offers greater freedom to the employees, and the managers measure the performance of the employees at the end of periodical intervals, by looking at the percentage of the goals being achieved by each team (Lloyd and Payne 2014). In this situation, the manager does not require to offer moral support to the employees, and has sufficient confidence in the skills and expertise of the employees, who can handle their tasks in a self-sufficient way.

It is important to note here that the hands-off management approach is suitable for an organization, that has already established itself as a highly recognized company, and the employees, working there can be trusted to carry their work without minimal managerial intervention. As far as Meatpack is concerned, it is important to note that the organization is still on its way to become successful, and consequently it is advised that the organization adopts the hands-on approach (Benfari 2013). First of all, it is important to note that the structure of the organization is not well-organized as the members of the senior strategy team are still quite unsure regarding the job roles they are being assigned with, or whom to report to their duties. Hence, a systematic supervision is required for the time being, instead of letting the administrative works in the hands of junior managers. Besides, it has been observed that the organization also has been recruiting employees based on employee recommendation, and thus the skills and expertise of many of the employees are questionable, and cannot be trusted upon. Since, Meatpack operates in the field of food-processing industry, the task of each day matters, and consequently direct supervision and active involvement of the manager is advised. Presently, it has been observed that the senior managers such as the CFO had also got some confusion with the management decisions, and started questioning and expressing doubts over the effectiveness of the same (Sallis 2014). For example, the CFO has been dubious if the decentralization of the support teams would be of any benefit, and hence through the adoption of the hands-on approach only, will Bison be able to communicate the benefits of the vision and formulated strategies of the organization (Haslam 2014).

Since Bison does not consider himself fit to regularly deal and interact with a huge number of employees, it is advised that he divides the tasks into various sections, and assigns one or two administrative heads, such as departmental managers or team leads, for managing, supervising as well as reporting the team work back to Bison each day. It should be noted that since Meatpack is not involving creative activities, but rather mechanical activities, the daily targets must be achieved and regularly supervised by the manager. Hence, the adoption of the hands on style is advised (Donaldson et al. 2013 ). With the help of the hands on style, it will be possible for Bison to offer continual support and motivation necessary for the respective team members to ensure that the subordinates working under them are achieving the target at the end of each day.

It is also equally important to observe here that the organization has recently been undergoing change in the organizational culture, and hence the job roles of the employees, or their attitudes towards the work, will be expected to change. Hence, it is highly important that the organization adopts the hands on approach, as the managers will necessarily need to engage themselves with the existent employees, communicate the new culture, its purpose , scope and benefits, so that the new strategy can be implemented (Moreau et al. 2015). Since some changes have been made in the administration system of the organization, it is recommended that the hands on style is adopted as it can help in guiding the employees to achieve their tasks, or else the employees might feel discouraged or intimidated by new job responsibilities, and might end up losing focus and direction.

Senior Leadership Change Evaluation:

It has been noted that for ensuring organizational improvement in Meatpack, Bison has also introduced senior leadership change programs that intends to change the managerial approach in a considerable way. However, it is important to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the senior leadership changes.

Effectiveness of the Senior Leadership Changes:

Effectiveness of the Training Sessions Plan:

First of all, Bison introduced training programs within the organization, so that the managers can be well-trained in handling the day-day activities. The executive training sessions have been largely beneficial for the senior managers, who are expected to benefit from the same. It should be observed here that if Meatpack is to adopt hands on managerial approach, it will need to ensure that the senior managers, being the representatives of each administrative unit, must be able to command, supervise and above all lead the subordinates (Goetsch and Davies 2015). Consequently, these training sessions must be largely beneficial in upgrading the leadership skills and executive skills of the senior managers. Any organization usually runs based on the strategic choices and modes o operation deemed fit by the senior managers of the organizations, and hence it becomes imperative that the managers are being enrolled in senior leadership courses that can help in addressing the unique strategic leadership needs of the senior leaders (Day et al. 2014). Hence, the implementation of these leadership programs has been highly effective. Since the organization intends to introduce a horizontal organizational structure in place of the previously prevalent hierarchical structure, the senior managers should be trained and groomed anew regarding the new responsibilities they are expected to assume (Kaminski et al. 2015).

Effectiveness of the Introduction of a Horizontal Organizational Structure:

Another major change introduced in the senior leadership level, is that the organization has introduced the horizontal method of administration that has replaced the old hierarchical system of administration. However, this shift from a more organized and formal system of management to an informal, friendly way of administration has its own challenges, and the same is being observed here (Ashkenas et al. 2015). The senior managers have been habituated in reporting their day to day activities to the CEO of the organization because of the so far prevalent hierarchical system of administration. However, owing to the introduction of the vertical system of administration, the senior managers are finding themselves amidst utter confusion, unable to understand to whom they should report and to whom exactly are they accountable. Any kind of drastic change in the organizational structure of a company must be accompanied by a clear flow of communication from the upper management layer to the subordinates that probably did not happen. The senior managers as well as the subordinate employees working under them are utterly confused with the new structure, and due to lack of effective communication, many of them have expressed their discontent with the new system (Neubert et al. 2014). It should be important to note that as and when any change is being proposed in the organizational structure or culture of any company, the employees should be informed regarding its scope, failing which there can be chaos as is the case here (Guadulape et al. 2013). Besides, although the adoption of the horizontal structure of administration is expected to offer greater autonomy and freedom to the individual employees, the decentralized system may not be desirable as lack of control is likely to lead the organization to chaos and confusion. The managerial leaders are also likely to encounter challenges as they have to change their leadership styles, moving from the authoritarian style of leadership to peer-like leadership style (Fonseca et al. 2015).

Steps to Influence Change in Future:

The management authority has imposed change on the employees however the introduction of change has not been accompanied by a clear flow of communication. Hence, it is imperative that Bison does communicate to the employees the scope and benefits of the change, in order to engage them more actively. The management authority must organize meetings and interactive sessions with the employees and the senior managers should communicate the nature and purpose of the change to the employees. Besides, being the CEO Bison should communicate to the senior managers, explaining their duties, changed obligations and daily tasks, so that they can communicate the same to the subordinates. It is highly important that Bison also asks the subordinates what they think about the changes in the organizational structure and organizational culture, and listen to any recommendation, suggestion or advice. The employee motivation theory upholds that it is important to engage and involve the attention of the employees in every new decision the organization undertakes, as the employees will feel valued (Cameron and Green 2015). A happy workforce is always more productive and happiness comes from active engagement. It has been challenging for the senior managers to move from the hierarchical style of administration to horizontal style, and hence the senior leaders should also be trained to adopt themselves to the peer-like leadership style. Above all, a regular evaluation of the changes strategies is also recommended. There is no point in introducing changes, if the impact of the changes is left unsupervised. At the end of each periodical interval, Bison should identify as well as resolve critical change issues arising, if any, and should offer innovative strategies to combat with the same.

Effectiveness of the Flatter Structure at Meatpack:

The organizational structure of an organization is usually of three types- tall, mid-sized or flat. A flat management structure is defined as an organizational structure in which the administrative roles of the middle managers are being eliminated, making the higher level management authority responsible for dealing with the staffs and the clients. As a result, the flat organizational structure is most effective in case of new start-up organizations that do eliminate the excess layer of management (Ashuri and Illan 2016).

As far as Meatpack is concerned, it should be noted that the installation of the flat organizational structure has not been free of challenges and limitations. However, the chief advantage of the flat system of administration has been the fact that there is little or no managerial intervention in the decision-making process of the organization. Consequently, the employees can work with greater freedom and autonomy. There is lesser chance of red tape owing to the absence of bureaucratic process of administration (Clegg et al. 2016). Since the organization hires employees from diverse ethnic backgrounds and cultural groups, excessive intervention of managers might lead to disagreement, conflict of ideas, or even biased attitude. While initially, the hierarchical organizational structure led to aggressive behavior of the leaders, the adoption of a flat structure has helped in embracing a constructive culture, where each employee believes in co-coordinating with his colleagues to accomplish integrated success. While earlier, the middle managers believed in exercising their power and authority over the subordinates, imposing unthinkable workload on the employees, and in turn used to get misunderstood by the employees, a more inclusive organizational culture is being created via flat structure. The senior leaders are now able to lead and guide, rather than command the subordinates. This has helped in improving the relation among the employees, ultimately leading to low turnover rates within the organization. The organization has also introduced the Rockfellar Habits that promote the habit of setting strategic goals as well as getting feedback from the senior managers regarding the accomplishment of the goals. Besides, the best part of the new organizational culture is a coordinated approach, whereby the workers of the morning shift can work in collaboration with the workers of the day shift. Since unlike the hierarchical system, communication among different departments do not get scattered or loose in case of flat structure, a more systematically organized way of accomplishing the tasks has been made possible.

Challenges of the Changed Culture:

However, the limitation of the flat structure is that the organization has not been well acquainted with this form of structure and consequently in absence of proper communication, the senior managers are undergoing much confusion regarding their job roles. For example, the CFO and the COO of Meatpack despite having a positive attitude towards the changed culture, are of the opinion that the CEO Bison should set examples of the duties and job roles expected of them (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2015). Due to the absence of a specific boss, the employees are getting confused as to who they should report their works to, and ultimately this is leading to confusion as well as power struggles. The organization should have assumed a responsibility of coming up and clearly explaining the job roles assigned to each employee. Besides, there are some employees who have been working in the organization for 10 or 15 years, and as such, these employees are inclined to resist the cultural change imposed overnight. The organization should have communicated the purpose of the change, and should offer rewards and incentives to the employees adapting and performing best under the changed culture (Hogan and Coote 2014).

Conclusion:

To conclude, it must be remembered that the introduction of change in Meatpack has been a successful one, and yet it could have been much better had the management authority communicated the scope, purpose and benefits of the change. The change might not be acceptable to the old employees of the organization, and thus involving and engaging the attention of the employees with the help of effective communication, should the change must be introduced.

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