Report on Developing an Evidence Base for Recommendations

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Management

Document 1

The management is looking at whether to concentrate on delivering quality services to its customers and let the customers define them in terms of best quality providers. The issue is whether this alone will be sufficient in helping this company attain its bottom line and sustain this even into the unforeseen future, (Berkema, et. al, pg 922) Problem statement This therefore presents the new research question for this company; How can Aurecon best position itself through quality assurance to win the largest market share and command the best profits now and years to come? It is the role of the management to look deeply into this management issue and provide lasting strategic solutions through effective decision making and also by researching into the prevailing market trends to help them come up with best solutions to respond to these challenges. This report will be looking to provide solutions on the management challenge that is facing Aurecon and also try to provide the possible solutions and recommendations to what should be done for this company to attain its desired ends at the same time remaining viable in the market. Literature Review In this current edge in business environment managers are faced with the challenge of measuring success and also the inability to determine expansion or increase in performance effectiveness and among the employees and productivity. Research shows that managers have invested in baseline surveys and also performance evaluation measurement tools as well as balance score card among many other tools to measure performance and also evaluate the way to success for their organizations but the most challenging bit is when it comes to measuring both individual and organizational performance.

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Challenge also being in the definition of good performance and how to best evaluate this performance in the organizations they work for. Performance is a subject of so many factors and therefore it is impacted by so many other variables and tracing the basic route to performance and also at the same attributing success or good performance to that specific factor (s) for success in then the biggest challenge for organizations, (Berkema, et. al, pg 922) In an effort to optimize and maximize on the available resource within organizations, the Human resource managers have invested in human capacity buildings and also training programs to bring out the best out of their employees because human capital forms central part in determining organizations productivity. In the turbulent business environment and every organization geared towards innovation as well as product diversification businesses are left with no option but to follow suit and invest in research and development in order to keep pace with the changing business trends.

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Every organization wants to operate as a brand and position itself as a superior brand in the eyes of the customers but the forces of the business environment are always the deterring factors in attaining this success. The political environment, economic environment the ecological environment, the legal environment have influenced business operations and is a major concern to the management since these factors are not constant but keep on changing day in day out. New legislations in the global business operations and new tariffs are imposed to regulate and some other to bar certain businesses in the global climate, (Jurevicius, pg 87) With the instability in the economic environment and the changing inflation rates highly influence the decisions by the management as far as profitability is concerned. Not forgetting changing consumer preferences and also increased awareness by consumers due to availability and easy access of information in all the platforms.

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This is a challenge to organizations because they are dealing with very informed customers today, both individual and industrial customers who know what they need, what they expect, where, when and how. The second part in introducing change should be trying or attempting different frameworks in a real life situation to see if the change is implementable, (McGechie, et. al, 62) This can involve trying different theories in real life situation to see the suitability and if the change will be adopted. This process starts with establishing if there is need for change through (unfreezing) then introducing an intervention ( moving) here the rubber meets the road and a testing is done to see the applicability of the change in a real life situation. This Action Research Model works in consistence with the Lewins Model.

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Lewins model is meant to respond to the planned changes but not responding to unplanned situations or plans. This theory also helps employees into integrating the organization behavior into their normal way of life and this enhances the changes of change acceptability and adoption with ease. The major weakness in this model is; this model demands time for effective implementation and this resource factor is always limited in organizations. It also lacks validity and thus its application is not verified or justifiable. Then also it gives a general outlook to the organizations and thus it’s not very particular to the organizations specific needs and the management challenge in implementing change the best way, (Cameron, et. al, pg 25) The shields model has a major strength in being able to help organizations adjust to changes and also recover or reinstating the organization to its initial planned strategies since it helps in rediscovering the lost or the failed change, it can serve in implementing the alternative courses of action since it provides an easy avenue for employees to accept change.

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In this case it has been useful in reinforcing change in organizations, (Moore, pg 55) The seven elements of this framework are classified into two; Hard elements and Soft elements. Hard elements can be easily influenced by the organization management since they can be identified easily and also they can be easily defined. The organization has control over these hard elements. They include the organization Strategy, Structure and also the system. While the soft elements include; the organization shared values, style, staff and skills. They are the super ordinate goals or the core values of the organization. The shared values of any organization give the employees unity of purpose in working together to realize the desired ends as a team. The style of leadership in play in organizations plays a key role in determining the success of the organization.

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The management team forms the vision bearer of the organization and therefore the leadership style adopted dictates the heights an organization can scale in success. T he staff: or the employee of the organization forms the internal customers of the organization. It only takes special skill by the management to unlock the challenges presented by the VUCA business environment to attain success. Business managers should employ managerial agility and also swiftness in response and effective decision making on the key success factors, (Moore, pg 55) A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals a concurrence to the effect the VUCA elements are subjecting businesses to. BCG reveals that the paradigm rapid shifts in the businesses today require leadership to change business management models to Adaptive. This is because any organization can only survive thus VUCA environment by Adapting is strategies and approach to success.

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Adaptive organizations will be able to anticipate changes in the business environment in advance and also be in a position to benefit from adaptive advantage over the rivals. It is also one a keys success strategy through product differentiation and operating at the lowest cost thus rendering competition insignificant. This framework operates on four elements; Raise, Reduce, Eliminate and Create. It seeks to answer the questions on what factors should be raised above the industry standards, reducing competition with the rivals, eliminating the old fashioned factors in the industry and creating new product offerings that the market has never offered, (Chan $ Renee, pg 26) Criticisms of PESTEL PESTEL forms the backbone of the external environmental factors influencing business operations. These factors are; Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Ecological, and Legal environment. They are uncontrollable to the business but it is wise for the organization to be able to have contingent plans and strategies to counter their adverse effect on business operations, (Fleisher $ Babette, pg 113) Another tool that can be used for environmental scanning apart from PESTEL is the Porters five Forces.

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In the same note, Aurecon should also consider reducing or eliminating the bureaucracy in their organizational structure by empowering people to make decisions as it should be and also by ensuring communication flows smoothly and in a faster way from the top management to the subordinates and vice versa. The other success strategy Aurecon should embrace is comparing two organizational charts; One being the anticipated dream chart and the other one the actual chart in action. The management should be able to shift some employees from the actual chart to the anticipated chart or even shift some responsibilities from the actual chart to the dream chart which bears the real image of where the organization wants to be in future. By doing so it will paint the image of success in the mind s of employees and high chances are that they will be motivated to work towards this desired goal.

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This can further be achieved through trainings and also capacity building exercises for motivation purposes. The stakeholder participates in achieving of these goals and thus it’s important they are notified of what the values and the norms of the organization are. This would be possible through effective communication, (Lawrence, pg 8) The Human Resource affairs should be clear to the stakeholders because they are the bosses to the organization, any issue in the HR department and the employees affect the stakeholders directly. This also implies that the organization behavior which should be built around the organization culture should also be in line with the strategies the organization has in place, (Lawrence, pg 8) VUCA is a short form for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This phrase is used in organizations as a short cut to eliminate or avoid the hard work in strategy and planning.

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This is a short form approach to organizations difficult tasks that needs a combination of strategies all together to make the ends meet. Barkema, Harry G. Joel AC Baum, and Elizabeth A. Mannix. Management challenges in a new time.  Academy of Management Journal 45.  Strategic and competitive analysis: methods and techniques for analyzing business competition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Moore, Dale L.  The experience of strategic thinking in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment. Diss. Lawrence, Kirk. Developing leaders in a VUCA environment.  UNC Executive Development (2013): 1-15. Jurevicius, Ovidijus. McKinsey 7S model. Therefore the assumption on the PESTEL that these factors are constant leaves a research gap into the entire issue, (Moore, pg 55) PESTEL gives a general view into the whole issue on the external environment influencing business operations.

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This is unlike VUCA which gives four aspects of drawing conclusion on the external environment at large. This means that the reliability of information from PESTEL is in question. The other gap posed by PESTEL is the fact that it gives results from a narrowed scope. Unlike the McKinsey 7-S model which gives a wider scope into the organizations elements of teams and the entire project at large.

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