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MGMT6060 Contemporary Management | HBR Case study Analysis

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In the contemporary management environment, mergers and acquisitions are hot topics; particularly as mergers and acquisitions are among the most commonly used strategies for growth. The pitfalls of mergers are well known and well-studied in the management literature.

Yet, there are some fundamental challenges that organisations keep stumbling over. One of them is integration. Preoccupation with due diligence and political factors surrounding merger negotiations too often leaves a crucial piece in the merger puzzle left till it is too late – integration of cultures and structures and people. It is well known today that poor results from mergers can so often be put down to people issues. 

In this major assessment you are asked to analyse the following case and answer the questions below using a business report format. Further detail on the format of the business report are provided below.

Using the knowledge that you have gained from the subject up to, and including, Topic 9, Managing people, answer the following questions.

  1. What conflicting values are at stake in the case? Identify and explain, using relevant management theory and concepts. Contextualise your answer with reference to literature on integration problems in mergers and acquisitions, with specific reference to people issues. 
  2. Critique the process that is being applied to work out the details of the integration, particularly with regard to structure and top management staffing using relevant management theory and concepts. Ground your answer in evidence regarding people and culture issues in merger integration studies.
  3. How would you recommend the conflicting values be resolved? 
  4. What process would you recommend that the two senior executives and their HR people follow to work out the details of integration in regard to the top structure? 
  5. Evaluate the usefulness of the management and organisational theories and practices from the subject that you have applied in analysing the case 

Answer:

Introduction

Management is an important aspect within the business issues. Adopting effective management techniques enhances the standards and quality of the business activities. Management, in the present competitive scenario, can be defined as the initiative towards attaining a higher position from the contemporaries (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon, 2016). Here, management refers to consistent evaluation, which possesses flexibility towards regulation and control of the business activities. This assignment peeks into the approach of the managers in terms of securing the market position.

Discussion

Conflicting values at stake

Merging of two different cultures is next to impossible within business. However, merging different cultures enhances the cultural diversity, which is accounted as one of the essential managerial functions. Organizational culture is one such aspect, which the managers need to cater. This is in terms of attracting large number of clients and customers. Selection of top level managers was one of the biggest obstacles. Conducting meetings proves appropriate in terms of mitigating the conflicts and misunderstandings (Currie, Gormley, Roche & Teague, 2017). Confusion of the staffs regarding their roles and responsibilities puts their employment at stake. These confusions puts Steves’ employment at stake.

Cultural differences between the managers destroys the core workplace values. This creates negative lessons for the employees. Herein, the Ethical Code of Conduct is negated, as the higher authorities are themselves violating the norms. This negation adversely affects the beliefs, attitude and behaviour of the employees towards the business aspects.

Hostile relationship between the Steve and Kasper puts the management of the workplace at stake. This indicates improper execution of the activities (Bratton & Gold, 2017). Internal conflicts between the managers destroys the integrity of the organizational structure. This destruction contradicts the aspects of Sebercientific Theory of Management. Especially, it contradicts the aspects of efficiency, productivity among others. The confusion created within the employees can be considered as a deviation towards the propositions of the Henry Fayol’s Administratitve Theory. This is because confusion creates chaos, compelling the staffs to deviate from the identified goals and objectives. Within the administration, culture occupies an important position. Careless attitude towards catering to the administration, degrades the personality of the managers (Shields et al., 2015).

Confusions within the staffs increases communication gap, which is one of the major issues in mergers and acquisition. These gaps create discrepancies in the structure. Improper dissemination of the messages results in the achievement of negative outcomes within the business activities, Aligning with the case study, the hostile communication between the managers puts the employees at confusion regarding carrying out the activities. This indicates one of the other challenges in the merger and acquisition is employee retention. Hostility among the managers creates negative vibes within the employees, making the retention difficult (Allen, Porter & Angle, 2015).  This approach contradicts the aspects of Elton Mayo’s Behavioural Theory of Management. Internal conflicts is against the characteristic features of a manager. Moreover, it puts their professionalism at stake.

Critical analysis of the work process

Trading off the positions to the new organizations seemed beneficial in terms of acquiring the mergers and acquisitions in a proper manner. The position considered here was the top level managers. One of the CEO’s insisted on leading the HR operations in the European markets. Strategizing globalization just after trading off new positions is inappropriate. This is because of training, which is needed in terms of making the new candidates aware of the internal and external environment. Steve’s nervousness is against the propositions of Behavioural Theory of Management (Saundry, Latreille & Ashman, 2016). This is because the managers need to be confident about the strategy, which they are using for conducting the marketing activities. Collapsing stock prices is the major drive behind this nervousness. In this sense, nervousness is obvious, however, the managers need to be conscious about the business conditions. This nervousness acts as a deviation from the Administrative Theory of Management. This is because the managers expose negligent approach towards managing the administration. The immediate outcome of this was employee turnover, which made the CEO surprise. This surprise is again a deviation of the aspects of Behavioral Theory of Management, as it is evident that falling stock prices would compel the employees to switch over (Mishra,  Chaudhary, Sharma & Mehendale, 2018).

9 to 5 mentality aligns with the essential characteristics of a workaholic. This also proves true in case of a manager. Consciousness towards complexities in the staffing decisions aligns with the behavioural tendencies of a manager. Concerns regarding retaining the key people aligns with the consideration that the employees are the prime stakeholders affecting the profit and loss of the company. Determination towards resolving the employee retention issues indicates strategic approach towards management of the key people. Typical examples of this is the plans regarding IQ tests on emotional intelligence (Baillien, Bollen, Euwema & De Witte, 2014). In all of these, the main aim was enhance the reputation. Conducting these tests was an attempt to influence the behaviour of the employees in terms of moulding into the requirements of the workplace. In spite of all the operations, the question regarding who is in charge of what activities, raises questions on the strategic approach of the personnel towards the execution of the business activities.

It is surely unwise of Steve to make the decisions now and later on try to modify them. On the contrary, this is actually the correct approach towards undertaking decisions. Implementing the decisions makes the personnel aware of the different approaches towards it. Gaining an insight into the approaches assists the personnel in undertaking decisions for the future courses of action (Gilin Oore, Leiter & LeBlanc, 2015). This approach aligns with the scientific theory of management, as it is the strategies, which enables the personnel to execute the decision-making process efficiently and effectively. However, time management is necessary in terms of averting the delays within the project related activities. Time is crucial in the business aspects. Negligence towards time means neglecting the needs of clients and the customers. Planning to solve the issues related to decisions later, indicates lackadaisical approach in terms of urgency within the business activities (Rahim, 2017).

One of the issues in the mergers and acquisition is that it does not create the expected value for the shareholders. Shareholders enhance the cultural diversity within the workplace. If value cannot be generated then the business and employment does not hold any significance. Timely strategies are beneficial in terms of preventing the instances of customer and employee turnover. Planning proves appropriate in terms of systematizing the activities according to the priorities and requirements. Planning and strategies are important aspects within the administration. Absence of shareholder value within merger and acquisition reflects improper approach towards maintenance and management of the key people (Bolman & Deal, 2017).

Communication plan, evaluation and selection process aligns with the components, which are needed in terms of gaining the appropriate labour. Communication plan can be considered as an attempt to mitigate the fears within the employees regarding confusions related to the execution of the tasks. Plans regarding appraisal seems beneficial for Steve in terms of assessing the competencies of the employees towards the allocated duties and responsibilities. Conducting personality tests aligns with the Behavioural Theory of Management. Consciousness of the managers towards conducting the personality tests reflects the initiatives towards preparing the employees for venturing into the path of leadership (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).

Resolutions to the conflicting issues

Planning is one of the major solutions towards resolving any conflicting issues. Within the plans, communication occupies a major portion, as discussions with the team members possesses flexibility to solve half to the problem. As a matter of specification, discussing the issues with the team members enhance the perspectives of the managers, enabling them to undertake effective decisions for the betterment of the organization. Involving the stakeholders and shareholders in the decision-making process seems fruitful in terms of gaining an insight into their opinions regarding the allocated duties and responsibilities. Sending the proposed decisions to the higher authorities would assist in carrying out the tasks efficiently and effectively. Moreover, it would avert any illegal instances.

Revisions to the plan is essential in terms of improving the standards and quality of the business activities. For doing the revisions, previous annual reports need to be considered. In this revision, the presence of the top level managers is necessary, as the operations would be conducted according to their instructions. However, if there are discrepancies in the structural hierarchy, the integrated structure of the operations would be disrupted. Therefore, the selection of the managers need to be properly executed for applying effective monitoring the operations. Failure to conduct strategic planning would result in a chaotic situation, where the employees would encounter confusion regarding their roles and responsibilities. Therefore, training needs to be conducted for briefing the employees about their duties.

Strategies need to be conducted for systematizing the activities according to the priorities. Inclusion of time management within the preparation of strategies would reflect consideration of Scientific Theory of Management. Developing goals and setting time limits for achieving the goals would avert the delays in completing the projects and delivering the orders to the clients and the customers. One of the obvious aspects in the workplace is conflicts, harassments, discrimination and misunderstanding. All these destroy the congenial workplace environment. Along with this, it also creates negative vibes within the employees regarding fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. The case study highlights the internal conflicts between the managers, which is itself against the workplace ethics that it does not generate positive vibes in case of the employees. Violating the norms is a distortion of the Behavioural Theory of Management. The managers need to encourage and motivate the employees, so that they can perform their duties in an efficient and effective manner.

One of the essential functions of a manager is to control the behaviour of the employees. In this control, they share their knowledge, experience and skills with the employees. This knowledge transfer seems beneficial in terms of mitigating the knowledge gaps. When conflicts occur, it is the prime responsibility of the managers to resolve them. Herein lays the appropriateness of Ethical Code of Conduct, which needs to be strongly implemented within the workplace. Statutory bodies need to be involved in the managing the workplace activities. This intervention would be an external assistance in maintaining the integrity of the workplace environment.

Recommendation for working out the integration details of the top level management structure

Centralization can be adopted in terms of undertaking effective decisions regarding top level management. For this, the top level managers need to be highly skilled, as the profit and loss of the organization depends on their decision. However, sometimes centralization leads to ineffective decision making, degrading the personality of the top level managers. Ineffective decision-making contradicts the propositions of theory of planned behaviour and reasoned actions. Reason and judgment are the two most important components of a managers’ behaviour.

Board of directors can indulge in meetings for deciding the current performance of the managers and their maintenance. Revisions would indicate innovations within the managerial posts. The decisions undertaken can be disseminated to the managers through the form of meetings. These meetings would reflect transparency in the business processes, assuring the managers that their values and opinions holds significance in the business operations. One to one discussion can be conducted with the managers for maintaining the privacy of their responses.

Formalization can also be adopted by the CEOs. This would assist the higher authorities in predicting the behaviour of the managers towards the allocated duties and responsibilities. The major drive behind this is the explicit representation of the policies, procedures and job descriptions. Dominance of this representation would act assistance in terms of controlling the behaviour of managers. Initiatives need to be taken by the CEOs towards making the policies and procedures clear to the managers, so that they can transmit it further to the employees. Adhering to the integrated process helps in the achievement of positive outcomes and would reduce the chance of conflicts, harassments, misunderstandings among others.

Scientific theory of management would reflect in the consideration of the different type of structures while planning the hierarchy. This would be dependent on the nature of operations and the flexibility of the personnel in handling the operations. Here, the role of the CEO is prime in terms of deciding which type of structure would be implemented in the workplace. Bureaucracy theory of management can be implemented in terms of assessing the effectiveness, appropriateness and feasibility of the decisions. This assessment is crucial for examining the bureaucratic structure and its effectiveness on the business operations.

Departmentalization would be effective for the CEO in terms of equal allocation of the resources and tasks among the staffs. The CEOs need to make planning about allotting the charge of specific departments to the managers. This allocation would result in the upgradation of the individual departmental units. If strategic planning is conducted, slowly and gradually it would result in the growth and development of the workplaces. The plans proposed need to be informed to the higher authorities for gaining their approval, which helps in preventing the illegal instances and scandals.

Records need to be maintained for the decisions undertaken for the top level management. Record keeping policies and procedures can be referred for proper execution of the managerial duties and responsibilities. These records would be beneficial in terms of revising the policies and practices in future.

Effectiveness of the managerial and organizational theories

Scientific theory of management proves beneficial in terms of exposing judgmental approach towards decision-making process. Along with this, the theory is appropriate in terms of developing appropriate strategies for executing the business activities according to the requirements. Consciousness towards executing the tasks according to the requirements is required from the higher authorities, which brings behavioural theory of management into the discussion. This consciousness can be considered as the reasoned action from the managers in terms of enhancing the efficiency of the business. However, internal conflicts between the CEO negates the aspects of scientific theory of management, theory of planned action and reasoned behaviour in the case study.

Bureaucratic theory of management reflects the actual management structure, which needs to prevail within the workplace. However, rationality within the bureaucratic decisions is necessary in terms of regulating the employee performance. Absence of rationality indicates immature behaviour, making the managers inappropriate amidst the workplace scenario. This aspect contradicts the behavioural theory of management. However, behavioural science is crucial for the managers in terms of disseminating the correct and the appropriate information to the employees. Internal conflicts degrade the personality of the managers, making them a mocking stuff before the employees. These conflicts destroy the congenial workplace environment. It is at this stage, administrative theory is needed in terms of maintaining the balance between the business operations. Meetings is one of the means, through which the higher authorities can assess the effectiveness of the plans towards managing the administration.

Conclusion

Internal conflicts between the managers degrades the congenial workplace environment. These conflicts also creates negative vibes among the employees regarding execution of the allocated duties and responsibilities. The case study is a typical exemplar of how the managers demotivate the employees. Negotiation means need to be adopted in terms of resolving the conflicts. Strategic planning is needed in terms of creating the personnel of the top level managers.

References and bibliography

Allen, R. W., Porter, L. W., & Angle, H. L. (2015). Organizational Dynamics and Intervention: Tools for Changing the Workplace: Tools for Changing the Workplace. Routledge.

Anderson, N., Poto?nik, K., & Zhou, J. (2014). Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of management, 40(5), 1297-1333.

Baillien, E., Bollen, K., Euwema, M., & De Witte, H. (2014). Conflicts and conflict management styles as precursors of workplace bullying: A two-wave longitudinal study. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(4), 511-524.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2017). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Currie, D., Gormley, T., Roche, B., & Teague, P. (2017). The management of workplace conflict: Contrasting pathways in the HRM literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(4), 492-509.

Dalton, M. (2017). Men who manage: Fusions of feeling and theory in administration. Routledge.

Dhar, R. L. (2015). Service quality and the training of employees: The mediating role of organizational commitment. Tourism Management, 46, 419-430.

Einarsen, S., Skogstad, A., Rørvik, E., Lande, Å. B., & Nielsen, M. B. (2018). Climate for conflict management, exposure to workplace bullying and work engagement: a moderated mediation analysis. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(3), 549-570.

Folger, J., Poole, M. S., & Stutman, R. K. (2017). Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations. Routledge.

Gilin Oore, D., Leiter, M. P., & LeBlanc, D. E. (2015). Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology/psychologie canadienne, 56(3), 301.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Greenberg, J. (2014). Behavior in Organizations: Global Edition. Pearson Higher Ed.

Mishra, A., Chaudhary, A., Sharma, H., & Mehendale, S. (2018). Impact of Conflict Management At Workplace: A Methodological and Thematic Review. Asian Journal of Management, 9(1), 853-858.

Rahim, M. A. (2017). Managing conflict in organizations. Routledge.

Saeed, T., Almas, S., Anis-ul-Haq, M., & Niazi, G. S. K. (2014). Leadership styles: relationship with conflict management styles. International Journal of Conflict Management, 25(3), 214-225.

Saundry, R., Latreille, P., & Ashman, I. (Eds.). (2016). Reframing Resolution: Innovation and Change in the Management of Workplace Conflict. Springer.

Shields, J., Brown, M., Kaine, S., Dolle-Samuel, C., North-Samardzic, A., McLean, P., ... & Plimmer, G. (2015). Managing employee performance & reward: Concepts, practices, strategies. Cambridge University Press.

Wilkinson, A., Redman, T., & Dundon, T. (2016). Contemporary human resource management: text and cases. Pearson Higher Ed.

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