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MGMT7250 Evidence Based Management | Information about FAT

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Questions:

Tasks

Choose a real Australian organization. The organization may be in any industry, and it may be large or small. It may be in the public, private or not-for-profit sector. At the beginning of the presentation, you should indicate to the rest of the class which organization you have chosen, and give a background on what the organization does.

Choose a management issue. You can choose any issue from Rynes et al. or another one with your tutor's permission. Examples of practices include:

  • Are open-plan offices effective in improving employee performance?
  • Should social media be banned in the workplace?
  • Are effective leaders born, or can they be trained?

  • What are the best methods for making hiring decisions?
  • Is it better to set specific goals or to tell people to "do your best"?
  • When a company must downsize its workforce, is it more profitable to downsize via targeted cuts or a hiring freeze?
  • Most people over-evaluate how well they perform on the job?

Answers:

Introduction

During the contemporary period, it can be observed that organisations operate in dynamic environments which means that change is inevitable as they strive to keep pace with the changes that may be taking that can also impact on their operations (Schultz, 2007). Whether planned or emergent, change in the organisation cannot be avoided. This notion has been supported by Briody et al (2012) who state that organization continually engage in change processes with the hope of becoming more productive, efficient, and effective in their operations to attain the desired goals and objectives. As such, this report outlines the strategy that can be adopted to turn around the performance of the FAT group in 12 to 18 months. The two KPIs that will be measured against the success of the initiative within the anticipated 12 months are staff engagement and customer satisfaction which are currently below internal and external benchmarks. The report addresses how the issues of change management, staff motivation and teamwork can be harnessed in the operations of the organization to ensure that they improve its performance. It starts by outlining the background information about the case study which will be followed by a detailed discussion of how the above mentioned concepts can be implemented to turn around the group’s performance. The last part of the report will outline the recommendations that need to be adopted in order to make the change initiative of this magnitude a success.

Background information about FAT

After the recent merging of Facilities Management previously comprised of (30 staff), Acquisitions (45 staff) and Transport services (22 staff), the new group call FAT has been formed as part of the Corporate services Area of the organization. The FAT group has a very important role to support the entire organization to achieve its strategic goals and vision. However, the coexistence of the merged departments under this new arrangement is threatened by the conflicts that exist especially among the managers and other members of staff. So bad are the conflicts such that some members of staff from other departments are no longer speaking with each other. Members of different team members are also negatively affected as they are demoralized due to lack of capability to adapt to change as well as to learn new things that can improve their operations.  Some members have problems related to dealing with certain situations and some even avoid conflicts but this is not the solution. In actual fact, this element of denial is a cause of concern since it impacts on the performance of the team members as well as their cohesion. The leadership qualities displayed by some of the leaders are questionable and some are autocratic in the dispensation of their duties and this created negative relations with their followers. The whole situation obtaining in the FAT group has led to a generally weak customer service.  These issues need to be addressed as a matter of urgency such that positive change can be witnessed within the next 12 to 18 months.

Change management

Change is a process that is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisations operations but it is often characterised by resistance (Schultz, 2007). There are many factors that cause resistance to change among staff members within the organization and in the case of FAT Group, resistance to change is apparent as exemplified by cases of conflicts as well as misunderstandings witnessed after change was implemented. In order to overcome this challenge, it is important for the leaders to adopt change management which refers to the planning, coordinating, organizing and directing of different processes through which change is implemented in the organization while the leadership aims to influence as well as to motivate the employees to share the same vision of the envisaged change (Spicker, 2012). In order for this initiative to be a success, it is imperative for the leaders to properly plan and coordinate it. This can be possible through the utilization of the theory of transformational leadership in the implementation of change. According to this theory, leaders who articulate the vision, foster group goals as well as provide individualized support are capable of changing the basic values , attitudes and beliefs of the followers such that they can be willing to perform beyond the standard expectations of the organization (Voet, 2014). This will significantly help the FAT group to turn around its operations within the set period since it would be in a position to positively influence the followers to share the same vision.

The other issue is that in most cases, the organizational members often encounter different cultural obstacles in their bid to get as close as possible an ideal culture that can be acceptable to all the members (Briody et al, 2012). Similarly, this is the case with the FAT Group which has encountered quite a number of challenges with regard to creating an acceptable culture within the group. In order to overcome this, it is imperative for the managers to act as change agents. Gakere et al (2013) state that change agents are primarily concerned with promoting new values and flexible culture within the organization that is acceptable to all the members. Public service organizations were for instance previously viewed as the domain of bureaucratic stability but mergers entail the destruction and re-construction of organisational culture (Gekere, 2013).  Like in the case of FAT Group, bureaucracy no longer has room hence the need for the managers to act as change agents to promote new values that can be acceptable to all members of staff. This can be possible through communicating the vision as well as the values for the organization. According to Noora (2013), organizational change is a communicative action plan and this can help all the members to understand what is expected of them after the successful implementation of the change initiative. Communication in this case will help the members to create mutual understanding towards the goals and objectives that should be achieved from implementing change.   

Staff motivation

It is widely believed that if the needs of the employees are taken care of, then the needs of the shareholders will be satisfied in the long run (Klein, 2012). This can be possible if the members of staff are motivated such that they can derive job satisfaction from different tasks assigned to them. Thus, the motivational approach posits that jobs can be designed to stimulate employee motivation and increase job satisfaction (Jackson and Schuler, 2010). In this particular case, the Hackman-Oldham theory is the most ideal framework that can be adopted to increase staff motivation. This theory states that there are three psychological states that are required to create high levels of job satisfaction in the workplace which include the following: Experienced meaningfulness referring to whether the workers perceive their work as valuable; experienced responsibility referring to whether the workers personally feel responsible for their work and knowledge of the results through feedback (Schuler and Jackson, 2010). These psychological states significantly motivate the employees since they are in a position to feel that they are treated as important to the organization instead of mere workers. These factors also go along with giving the employees autonomy to have the freedom and independence to schedule their work in ways they see fit.  The other method that can be used by the FAT group to motivate the members is to use the strategy of job rotation. This is very important since it helps to reduce the chances of boredom and monotony among the members since they will not be entitled to perform the same task over and over again.  

The other important aspect that should be taken into consideration by the FAT Group pertains to involvement of the members within the group in the decision making process. According to Robbins (2000) when the employees are involved in the decision making process, there are likely chances that they will share the same vision with the leaders. This also helps to significantly lower the chances of conflicts among the members within the group. Consensus is often reached before decisions are made when all the members are involved in the process. Therefore, it may not be possible for the same members to oppose what they have previously agreed on and this is advantageous to the leaders since it make it easy to manage and control the group.  Conflicts can be counterproductive if they are left unresolved and this is the main reason why they should be avoided whenever possible. Involvement of the members of group in the decision making process can also help to create a sense of belonging among them to it since they can identify with it. This also helps to create a sense of collective responsibility among them such that the challenges facing FAT can be addressed within the stipulated period of about 12 to 18 months.   

Team work

Teamwork is significantly given priority in organisations that are concerned about attainment of their goals through innovation since it enhances knowledge sharing (Hu and Randel, 2014). Knowledge sharing among team members is a basic component that can promote learning and creation of new ideas that can improve the operations of the organization. The other important aspect about teamwork is synergy of ideas where the members belonging to that group can put together their ideas towards the attainment of specific desired goals. Combined effort of all team members is greater than individual effort and there are high chances that the desired goals can be achieved. Teamwork also encourages interaction among the members such that they can pull their efforts towards the same direction which is beneficial to the organization as a whole. It is thus important for FTA Group to promote knowledge sharing among all the members so that they can work towards the attainment of the same goals within the organization.

In order for change to be effective in the organization, collaboration among team members is a virtue (Robbins, 2000). When the team members collaborate, they share different ideas that can help to improve their skills and knowledge. This in turn helps to improve the overall performance of the organization as a whole. Through collaboration, it can be seen that problem solving within the organization can be simplified as the team members can easily exchange ideas that can help to come up with shared solutions. A problem that is shared among different people is likely to be solved with relative ease compared to a situation where individualism is given priority. Collaboration can also be very effective in solving different cultural problems that can be encountered within the group. For instance, the cultural problem is described and insights are offered about the best approach to address the particular problem (Briody et al, 2012). Consensus is likely to be reached among the team members such that they can be in a position to reach mutual agreement about the right course of action that can be taken. This is very important since it helps to reduce the chances of conflicts among the members of the team.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be observed that change in the operations of the organization is inevitable due to the fact that they operate in a dynamic environment which constantly changes. Therefore, in order to keep pace with the changes taking place in the environment in which they operate, enlightened firms should adopt change as illustrated by the case of FAT Group highlighted above. However, change is characterised by resistance hence a holistic approach is required in order to overcome this challenge. In order for the envisaged change by the FAT Group to be effective, the leaders should utilise the strategies of change management, motivation as well as team work to positively influence the members of staff to share the same vision with them. The following recommendations can help the leaders of the FAT Group to achieve their overall goals and objectives of implementing change in their operations.

Recommendations

A critical analysis of the case of the FAT group shows that the major challenge bedeviling the group after implementing the change initiative pertains to the aspect of conflicts among members from different departments that have been merged. Therefore, it is recommended that the leadership within the group should adopt the following strategies in order to be in a position to turn around the fortunes of the organisation.

References

Briody, E et al 2012. “A story's impact on organizational-culture change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 25 Issue 1 pp. 67 – 87.

Klein, GD 2012. “Creating cultures that lead to success: Lincoln Electric, Southwest Airlines, and SAS Institute”  Organizational Dynamics Vol 42, Pp 32-43.

Gakere,E, et al 2013. "Managers as change agents", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 Issue 4 pp. 748 – 764.

Hu, L & Randel, AE 2014. “Knowledge Sharing in Teams: Social Capital, Extrinsic Incentives, and Team Innovation.” Group & Organization Management, Vol. 39 Issue 2, Pp. 213–243.

Jackson, SE & Schuler, RS 2010. Managing Human resources: A Partnership perspective. 7th Edition.  Boston: South Western College Publishing.

Lee, SKJ & Yu, K 2004."Corporate culture and organizational performance", Journal of

Managerial Psychology, Vol. 19 Issue 4 pp. 340-359.

McFillen, JM et al 2013. “Organisational Diagnosis: An Evidenced-based Approach.” Journal of Change Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, Pp. 223–246.

Noora J 2013. "Organizational change as practice: A critical analysis", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 Issue 6, pp. 1003-1019.

Rafferty AE et al., 2013. “Change Readiness: A Multilevel Review”. Journal of Management Vol. 39 No. 1, Pp. 110-135.

Rafferty, A E, & Restubog, SLD 2010. The impact of change process and context on change reactions and turnover during a merger. Journal of Management, Volume 36: 1309-1338.

Rashid, ZA, Sambasivan, M & Rahman, AA 2004,"The influence of organizational culture on attitudes toward organizational change", Leadership & Organization Development Journal,

Vol. 25 Issue 2 pp. 161-179.

Robbins, SP 2000. Organizational Behavior, 9th Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Schultz, R 2007. Human resources management. JB: Prentice Hall.

Spicker, P 2012. “Leadership: Perniciously vague concept. International Journal of Public Sector Management, Volume 25, Issue 1, Pp. 34–47.

Swanepoel, G 2000. Perspectives in human resources management. CT: Pearson.

Voet, J 2014. “The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure.” European Management Journal Volume 32, Pp. 373–382.

Walinga, J. 2008. Toward a theory of change readiness: The roles of appraisal, focus, and perceived control. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Volume 44, Pp. 315-347.

Weiner, B. J. 2009. A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, Vol 4,Pp. 67-75.

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