Organisations

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A brief on Organisational Sustainability

Introduction:

Every organizations works for two main objectives which are not meant to set or to be stated into the companies’ mission or visions statement. These two main objectives are understandable and none of the organization can neglect the availability of these objectives. Actually every private or public sector organization works for these two aspects and these are sustainability and profitability. Both these elements are the ultimate objectives for corporate world and it has association with so many factors. Here in current scenario sustainability has been taken into special consideration. In order to ensure the sustainability there are various monitoring techniques related to organizational activities and strategies that determines the high level of sustainability within the organization. In current scenario the monitoring techniques has gained special priority (Bell and Morse 1999). Further the sustainability dimensions and specific areas which indicate towards the organization’s long terms sustainability has been explained in an articulated manner. At last the indicators for monitoring have also discussed within the study. The monitoring techniques are the alignment of company with the external environmental factors. These aspects can provide the level of sustainable competitive advantage for the company and future possibilities could also be identified.

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Company information:

Here the elected organization is Bendigo and Adelaide bank which come into existence in the year 2007 when the both the banks merge with each another. Currently the bank has divided their business in retail banking and wholesale banking. The retail banking is actually handled by the Bendigo bank all over the states and approximately the bank has 900 outlets and other facilities. On the contrary the Adelaide bank is active into the whole sale business that deals in providing the big mortgage loans and work as credit providers. The Bendigo is providing the banking services to the small and medium sector business. Moreover the wealth management also comes under the umbrella of Bendigo bank. The growth of this bank is based on their professional approach and after merger lots of differences has been experienced. The main aim behind this merger was to ensure that Bendigo and Adelaide bank must be connected to the large number of customers. Further the major objective revolves around developing sustainable growth and profitable business model (Klemmer, 2002). Thus here both profitability and sustainability has been covered directly by the bank within their vision statement. For the same purpose the organization has focused upon variety of parameters that allows them to achieve their objectives.

Sustainability dimensions:

There are various sustainability factors which are required to be followed by every organization. Here also the bank has followed these dimensions in an appropriate manner. Failure to these sustainability dimensions could harm the success of business at very large scale the major sustainability dimensions are social cultural environment, economic environment and environmental factors. These aspects cover the three major external factors and it provides the high level of relevance with sustainability of any organization.

Here the cited bank has done tremendous job in dealing with these three sustainability dimensions and gaining the competitive advantage. Most importantly it is clear that the social cultural factor includes the responsibility of an organization towards the society and maintaining the business by aligning with the cultural aspects. It directly deals with the company’s decision making process with relevance to the existing societal aspects of the Australia. It is something that can’t be neglected by the banks at any level. The sustainability dimensions has direct relevancy with the social cultural factors. It is essential to measure that how much society is benefitted form the business operations of any company. Here in current scenario It is acknowledgeable that the bank has set the vision to cater the maximum number of customers and delivering the quality banking services to them. The sustainable business position of any organization could be reflected within their mission and vision statement. The cited bank has definitely make alignment with those objectives so that they can definitely ensure their long term sustainability (Jacobs, 1998). They have provided huge level of employment as well which is another socio cultural issue. Skill development and enhancement chances have been provided to the staff. This kind of opportunity improves the well being of society and changes within the society could be noticed at very large scale. If bank has got success in providing the banking services to people’s life then definitely it provides its contribution to society.

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Ahead two major factors are environment and economic factors. In other terms it also could be related to the profit and planet related responsibilities. It is essential to mention that sustainability dimensions have direct relationship with the triple bottom pyramid and its related elements. It includes three major components which are people, planet and profit. Further it is also clear that the banks have to understand their responsibilities as more they fulfill their responsibility the sustainability dimensions could become stronger. Thus through planet factor the environmental issues could be taken into special consideration. Every enterprise needs to show their reverence towards the natural resources and environmental factors. In case of banks the paper must be avoided as the technology has become major source to store or disseminate the information. Further it is also clear that in current scenario the banks need to adopt some recycling techniques as well. Thus these aspects of triple bottom approach are the basis of sustainability dimensions. Another element of this approach is indicating towards the profit related element. It directly has its relevance with the economic aspects at very large scale. It is clear that in economic aspects the banks need to utilize their financial resources need to in such a way that they manage the operations for the long period of time. Their money could not be stuck within the market and the flow of money within the market among the customers should be perfect and appropriate. The economic factors deal with the currency fluctuations, providing the loans and advances to the customers and most importantly delivering such product which should be lucrative for both customers and banks (Berkes and Folke 1994). Thus in this way the social cultural factors and elements of triple bottom approach (economic as profit and environmental as planet) indicate towards the sustainability dimensions. These aspects are the responsibility of company and help on the ground of becoming the sustainable organization.

Sustainability area:

Here the selected area is environmental factor which indicates towards the responsibility of organization towards the planet. Now in further it could be segregated into three major elements; corporate social responsibility, business ethics and management of resources. However CSR has concrete relationship with the people related aspects but in planet it includes adopting such techniques which provide benefits to the planet or natural resources. In corporate social responsibility people try to educate people towards the proper utilization of natural resources and using them for maximum output. At the same juncture it is essential to mention that all the sustainability dimensions have some sort of integration with each another. Focusing on any aspect completely is something is impossible as the impact of one factor could be realized upon another factor. Thus the corporate social responsibility has leverage to ensure the genuine efforts of company towards the society in educating them for the protection of natural resources. Like wise the banks can urge their customers to use net banking or avoiding the receipts from customers so that the paper could be used at very small scale. It indirectly helps in saving the trees which is highly useful for the protection of environment. In this way this element could lead towards the sustainability factors. Further the managem3ent of resources is another factor lie into the category of environment element into the sustainability dimensions. The banks need to ensure that the resources which have high level of usage should be used properly (Bosch , 2002). The same element is the paper and using the technological aspects. There is need of practicing the small components that can help on the ground of protecting the environment. The paper usage must be negligible in the era of technology. It just helps in protecting the trees as mentioned above and above all the environment could become healthier and safer for society people. Here also the integration of one element could be realized upon others. The sustainability area of environmental factors is highly considerable and must be prioritized. Another area of concern within the same sustainability dimension is the saving the electricity or water at work premises. The bank taken into this study should focus on both the aspects. It is their duty to ensure that the electronic fittings must have their appropriate usage and it should not be burden over the environment (Connor and Dovers , 2004). The electricity must be used as it is required to done the work. Further saving the water is another responsibility comes under the management of natural resources. It is very common practices that should come under the sustainability dimensions. It has been declared in various environmental conferences and summits that when organizations will save water and electricity at their workplace the sustainability could be ensured at very large scale. It can contribute towards the success of business towards the long term sustainability of business operations. Positive impact could be put down at the mindset of people and benchmark could also set in front of various other organizations and society. Business ethics is very broad category which actually caters all these aspects within the organization. Business ethics is very wide periphery which also involves the sustainability dimensions for the purpose of environmental factors. It includes adopting such business practices that lead towards the safety of environment and it is business ethics that banks should follow with dedicated approach (Bossel, 1999).

Monitoring indicator:

In order to monitor the alignment of bank with the environmental sustainability dimensions there is need of relying upon highly effective and reliable monitoring indicators. Here in current scenario the banks can make use of auditing plan as indicators to monitor the level of environmental sustainability. Through auditing the organization can get information about actual scenario and loopholes could be identified very easily. The most important element of auditing is that it provides the basic information about the problems and issues that have been faced by the organization. In cited bank the adherence towards the environment aspects should be taken very seriously. It can help in gaining the long term sustainability and profitability could also increase. Through auditing the alignment of internal policies could be established with the external policies. It is essential that the set benchmarks at the external level should be followed in appropriate manner. The industry standards related to the environment protection could be identified and balance between the actual external policies and scenario in internal environment. The workplace must have warning or slogans related to make people responsible towards the safety of electricity and water consumptions. These are natural resources and must be prioritized with an aim of protecting the environment and ensuring the sustainability (Dale and Beyeler, 2001).

Further the main aim of monitoring indicators is to focus on identifying the issues and challenges as well. The auditing process can increase the familiarity with the opportunities related to bringing the improvement within the environmental business practices. The banks can select the option of using the solar panels or technology which seems to be costly but have positive impact at the environment. The greenery could be promoted at workplace by making the innovative workplace. The construction or infrastructure could be developed on the basis of green house development. Thus these are certain environment related favorable business aspects that have been suggested by the environmentalists. Thus it become clear that the organization have leverage to set the audit in both internal as well as external environment. First the monitoring technique must be based upon the identification of proper alliance of internal legal policies with the external legal policies related to environmental protection (Hezri and Dovers, 2006). Second factor is that the company should identify the set of instructions provided by external parties for saving the environment. The parties like environmentalist, government and scientists etc. the Bank can follow the instructions of these external parties and align with their suggestions. The monitoring indicators like auditing can provide the appropriate results on the ground of identifying the fact that how much bank is following these aspects and what are the scopes of improvement in near future. The major benefit of auditing is that the resources used for the environment protection could be identified and could be easily installed within the business operations (Faucheux S. and O’Connor, 1998). Thus it become clear that the companies should do the auditing with two perspectives one is related to understand the responsibility and maturity level of staff people and other one should be based upon the responsibility of higher authorities.

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Conclusion:

Thus on the basis of above report it can be concluded that the sustainability is very demanding component of today’s business organizations. The sustainability could never be achieved with one element. There is need of focusing upon the group of activities or external factors. Here the role of social environment, economic factors and environmental elements has become clear with respect to ensuring the sustainability. Further the detailed description about the environmental sustainability area also provides knowledge about business ethics, corporate social responsibility and managing the environmental or natural resources. At last the knowledge of study is wide with the perspective of using the auditing technique for the purpose of monitoring the relevance of an organization with the sustainability dimensions.


This essay is an example of a student's work

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This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

References

Bell S. and Morse S., 1999, Sustainability Indicators. Measuring the immeasurable. Earthscan London.

Berkes F. and Folke C., 1994, ‘Investing in cultural capital for sustainable use of natural capital’, Bejier Reprint Series N°22, 128-149. 

Bosch G., 2002, ‘Indicators of sustainable employment’, In: Bartelmus P. (ed.) (2002), Unveiling wealth. On money, quality of life and sustainability. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht, Boston, London. 

Bossel H., 1999, ‘Indicators for Sustainable development : theory, method, applications. A report to the Balaton Group’, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, Canada

Connor R. and Dovers S., 2004, Institutional Change for Sustainable Development. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK. 

Dale V. and Beyeler S., 2001, ‘Challenges in the development and use of ecological indicators’, Ecological Indicators 1 : 3-10.

Faucheux S. and O’Connor M., 1998, Valuation for Sustainable Development: methods and policy indicators. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. 

Hezri, A. A. and Dovers, S. R., 2006, ‘Sustainability indicators, policy, governance: issues for ecological economics’, Ecological Economics 60 (2006) 86-99. 

Jacobs M., 1998, ‘Sustainable development as a Contested Concept’, In: Dobson A. eds (1998), Fairness and Futurity. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 

Klemmer P., 2002, ‘Economic, ecological and social indicators’, In: Bartelmus P. (2002), Unveiling wealth. On money, quality of life and sustainability. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht, Boston, London. 

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A brief on Organisational Structure and Change- Essay Example

Organisations

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A brief on Organisational Structure and Change

Introduction

            In the present business era, it is very important for the management to give proper focus on the culture of the organisation as the uprising global culture can affect a company and its workers both in positive and negative manner. Thus, it significantly impact the change initiatives which the company needs to adopt. Whatever the change may be, it has been always found that people find reasons to oppose the change. Most of the employees generally have negative thoughts about the change even if it is for good reasons (Maguire, 2003). The present work analyzes organisation structure and change in relation to the “The Body Shop”, which is one of the largest players in the cosmetic industry with 1200 products and 2500 franchised stores in 61 nations of the globe. The report focuses on managing conflicts, power, politics; designing organisational structure and evaluating business organisation in a daily changing global environment.

Business organisation in a changing global environment

            The future of any organisation is significantly influenced by the technological, social and economic challenges happening in the current business scenario. These challenges not only affect the business environment, but also the players operating in it. Factors such as emerging markets like India, China, Brazil, etc. impacts the production and sales of a company, demographic factors and consumer behaviour impacts the service or product portfolio of the company (Chang, 2005). Therefore, it is essential for the organisations to consider these changes in order to converts these challenges and threats into opportunities on the basis of its strengths.

            Global environment and economy plays important role in change management and forces companies to make changes within the organisation. These changes can be proved either positive or negative for the firm. In changing environment it is essential for The Body Shop to force certain changes which have been overlooked in the past. This will result in higher employee morale, enhanced performance and ultimately increase in profit levels. The way in which The Body Shop will respond to the changes in the economy and market will have its impact on the company’s success and sustainability (Naoum, 2001). To achieve these, The Body Shop has to focus on factors mentioned below:

Mentality

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            Mentality and attitude of the organisation largely depends on its leaders and their leadership styles. For achieving smooth transitions within The Body Shop, it is essential for it to clearly define its commitments and goals. The processes of the company must be such that it can easily adopt itself with the changing demand in the market. Its leaders must remain calm and composed during the pressure situations. Now a day’s people are inclining more towards natural cosmetic products and are ready to buy them on premium prices. Thus, it is essential for the leader to think creatively so that they can serve both customers and its employees in better manner (Kinney, 2008). Gradually and gradually The Body Shop is expanding its business boundaries, therefore to benefit from it, it is necessary to have long term vision and that must be effectively communicated to the employees so that they can better understand the need for change and put the change into action.

Markets                

            The Body Shop operates in many counties, therefore, it can benefit from the advanced technologies, trade agreements and transportation which provides newer opportunities to its products (Standish and Standish, 2000). To further meet the ever growing demands of its natural products, it must develop expansion strategies so that it can exploit opportunities by opening more stores, creating ad campaign and to make use of local resources in order to remain competitive in different markets.

Mergers

            IT is not possible for The Body Shop to meet the demand of customers in different parts of the world. To overcome from this problem, the best solution available with The Body Shop is to go for mergers and alliances (Standish and Standish, 2000). For developing global network, joint ventures and acquisitions can significantly help the company in solidifying its position in various countries.

Management

            The Body Shop is functioning in various locations around the world, therefore, it is essential for its management to develop new skills and have clear communication between all the levels. New techniques must be developed in relation to hiring, pay scale and employee benefits.

            It is very important for the organisation to involve its employees in practicing change. The Body Shop understands this. There are around 10034 directly employed workers and around 21000 workers are The Body Shop At Home Consultants or are employed by the franchisees. Therefore, it was very difficult for the company to manage myriad of employees. In this regards the organisation motivates its workers and make them feel that they are integral part of their firm and for this purpose various kinds of training is provided by the company. In addition to this, the company applies Vroom’s Expectancy Theory to keep the employees motivated. The company has launched a spot reward scheme in which it rewards the worker immediately after his performance (Hoffmann, 2012). Apart from this, the company also practice the Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory to keep its people motivated.

            In 2006 the firm was takeover by French cosmetics giant L'Oreal for $ 1 million. Since then the organisation structure of the company is not clear. In such situations, many of its supporters threaten to boycott the company. Thus, presently it is the biggest problem of the company. The company needs to react face to face with the change, but the management is showing resistance towards the change. After the death of its founder Anita Roddick, company needs to come up with new strategies to keep its employees motivated. On the other hand, if the company does not take some immediate serious steps towards these issues, there are higher chances that these issues will become incurable for The Body Shop (Hoffmann, 2012).

            To attain global presence, The Body Shop becomes a part of L’Oreal and because of this the company has to face many challenges. Firstly, it has to step down from the stock market, secondly, there was challenge related to values as values of The Body Shop is entirely different from that of L’Oreal. Later on the comment by the CEO Jean Paul showed that L’Oreal do supports the value of The Body Shop (Kortmann, 2012). Third challenge it has to face was change in management. Although, the entire board was not changed yet the company has to work under the management of L’Oreal. To overcome from this challenge, the organisation followed Lewin’s three steps model for change, initiating with unfreezing step. In this step, the company provided training to all of its employees so that they can effectively participate in the company’s activities and can handle the change. The second stage of the mode is the movement step. In this stage all the employees and employers adopts to the proposed changes in the organisation. The last step of the model is the refreezing stage, in this stage the proposed change has been establish in the company and the workers works as per the new situation (Kortmann, 2012). Thus, The Body Shop precisely implemented the Lewin’s model for change in their organisation which significantly helped the company and its employees in managing change.

Managing conflicts, power, politics

            The image of The Body Shop is that of caring company that gives proper attention towards environment protection. In addition to this, it helps indigenous people and prevents animals from suffering. All these can be cemented from the fact that the company is involved manufacturing of only natural and herbal products which delivers little to no harm to the environment, animals and nature. However, it is not exactly the case. Like operations of other multinational organisations, operations of The Body Shop also have their ill impact on the environment and the nature (Baligh, 2006). Operations of the company have plight on indigenous peoples and animals. In addition to this, authorities have found that most of their products are far from the standards set by the panel. This has created conflicts between the management and the authorities. The company has global presence and its main motto is to enhance the value of its shareholders. Since its products are placed in premium range, only about 20 per cent of the world total population consumes its 80 per cent of the products. Apart from this, mass production of different products, its packaging, transportation to different parts of the world has resulted in faster consumption of natural resources. The rate of consumption is much faster than the time taken by these resources to renew. Thus, there are conflicts between the socialists and the management of the company. Socialist believes that if it continuous, than there will be disastrous impact on the ecology (Gibson, 2010). Thus, if The Body Shop needs to attain sustainability, it has to resolve this conflict as soon as possible. In this regards company does not have to reject consumerism, rather it need to create a sustainable and stable world so that local community have full control over the resources and the resources can be distributed sparingly and equally. The management needs to improve the quality of life of each individual.

            The Body Shop claims that all of its products are 100 per cent natural and herbal, but like other big cosmetic companies, The Body Shop also make use of synthetic colours, non renewable petrochemicals, preservatives and fragrances. This has also created disputes between the management and customers. Many time, due to harmful chemical and artificial colours and fragrances, many of its customers had adverse effects on their skins (Takahara and Mesarovic, 2003). Some of its products are prepared from hazardous non renewable uranium which cannot be disposed off safely. Such chemicals have badly impacted the lives of many of the workers working in the factories of The Body Shop. This has also raised conflicts between the labour union and the management. Labour union demands safe working environment at the work place and have requested the management to ban the use of harmful and hazardous raw material and chemicals. However, since the motive of the management is just to increase its profit levels and to enhance the shareholder values, no strict action has been taken till date regarding use of such chemicals. This has created lot of dissatisfaction among the workers and has resulted in decline in their efficiency levels. All these activities and events have significantly impacted the overall performance of The Body Shop.

            Unhygienic working environment is not only the sole reason behind the conflicts between the management and the labour union. There are several other issues also that acts as fuel in igniting frequent conflicts. The most important among all the reasons is the issue of low wages. Government has set certain standards regarding the daily or monthly wages of the workers, but The Body Shop does not follow those policies at all (Mantere and et. al., 2007). Wages given to its workers are far less than the standard set by the government. The European government has defined certain decency threshold regarding minimum pay for the workers and all the organisations have to remain abide by them. However, in case of The Body Shop, the company opposes the trade union. The main reason behind the conflict is low labour cost. The company ensures that workers are not able to improve the working conditions at the workplace. Because of this there is no labour union in the company and even if any of the labour has to file certain complain, he or she has to follow a set procedure defined by the company which is strictly controlled by the organisation. Therefore the workers are isolated from each other and thus the collective bargaining power is very low among them (Mantere and et. al., 2007).

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            After the acquisition of The Body Shop by the L’Oreal, although there was no change in the management of the company, but the entire control was in the hands of the management of the L’Oreal. Many of the workers of The Body Shop were not keen for this merger as they were opposing the change. The main reason behind opposing the change is the cultural and value different between the two organisations. There was participative culture followed in The Body Shop, that is, all the worker of all the levels are involved in the decision making process. They were motivated to participate in the meetings and to present their views and ideas on the issues faced by the company. In this way, the company was able to motivate the people as the workers feel that they are the integral part of the company and given their hundred per cent for the development of the organisation (Luscher and et. al., 2006). Contrary to this, autocratic management style is followed at L’Oreal. It means worker or employees of all the orders are not allowed to participate in the meetings. They were not allowed to put up their views in the meetings and thus are neglected by the management. All the important decisions are taken by top management only and middle and lower level workers are ignored. Thus, the employees of The Body Shop were showing resistance for this change as they were not sure whether they will be able to work under autocratic management style. This also arise conflict between the management and the workers.

            Thus from the above discussion it can be said that there are various conflicts existing in the company. In the present competitive environment, to achieve sustainability in the market, it is essential for the company to overcome from all these conflicts. Firstly, the company need to reorganize all its operations. If it claims to manufacture 100 per cent natural and herbal products, then the company must ensure that all the process are natural and there is minimum degradation to the environment. In addition to this, management must also practice such activities which maintain the ecological balance in the nature (Luscher and et. al., 2006). Secondly, it is essential for the company to improve the working conditions of the employees. This will help them in eliminating the conflicts between the management and the employees and will indirectly increase the overall efficiency of the workers and that of the organisation. It must formulate wages policy as per the guideline set by the European government. If the government has set certain standards regarding minimum wages, the company must follow that. This will enhance the brand image of the company in the market and among the workers and they will also try to give their best shot. Lastly, to achieve harmony at the work place, it is essential for the management to involve all the workers in the decision making process. In this regards, practicing participative management activities will hugely benefit the organisation in motivating its employees (McCormick, 2007). Through these actives employees will also feel that they are the integral part of the company and thus will automatically put greater efforts to enhance the quality and productivity of the firm.

            To attain competitive edge over the industry peers or to expand business boundaries or to increase the profit levels of the companies, now a day’s organisations are taking help of power and politics. In other words it can be said that power and politics have become two of the strongest pillars required for running a business successfully. Same is the case with The Body Shop. The company is one of the biggest consumers of palm oil which is required for its flagship product, soap. Thus, the company is in contact with many suppliers of the palm oil (McCormick, 2007). Recently, the company pulled out its one of the suppliers on the ethical grounds. Its Colombian supplier kicked out 123 families from their land for the palm tree plantation. The supplier, because of its political connections and power burnt all the crops planted by the local families to develop huge plantation of palm tree. As soon as the management of The Body Shop came to know about this news, they pulled out the Colombian suppliers on the ethical grounds. This is because the cosmetic giant puts human values above a quick buck. This incident has not only enhanced the brand image of the company in the market but also among its stakeholders and the company hugely benefitted from this (Kenny, 2009). Thus, from this it can be concluded that organisations must use power and politics into the business but not at the cost of human values. Companies must not misuse their power and political connections for its benefit only. It must focus on all the aspects before making any business decisions.

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Organisation Structure

            Organisation structure defines hierarchical arrangement of lines of power, rights and duties and communication of a company. Roles, responsibilities, power, etc. are determined and assigned on the basis of organisational structure. In addition to this, control and coordination and flow of information are also managed between different levels on the basis of structure of the organisation. Structure of the organisation is formulated as per the strategies and objectives of the company. There are basically two types of organisational structure, one is centralized structure and other is decentralized structure. In centralized organisational structure all the powers are in the hands of top management. Top management is the only party which have total control over the entire organisation and all the decisions are taken by them only. They have complete control over different departments and middle and lower level employees are not included in the decision making process (Lewis, 1994). Contrary to this, in decentralized organisational structure all the departments are included in the decision making process and power is distributed among all the levels. In addition to this different department have different degrees of independence. In other words it can be said that organisational structure acts as operating manual that tell people how all the employees of the organisation can work together for achieving common objectives. Members of the organisation are ace accepted on the basis of organisational structure, further, leadership and decision making are also dependent on the organisational structure (Lewis, 1994).

            It is very essential for the organisations to develop certain organisational structure. Firstly, organisational structure helps in providing clear guidelines to the employees of the companies that how they can proceed and thus helps in resolving disagreement. Secondly, it plays very significant role in binding the members of the company. That is, it provides certain identity and meaning to the employees and to the company as a whole. Organisational structure is inevitable for all the companies. Every company has to formulate certain structure so that management can have effective control over the resources (Mantere and et. al., 2007). It is essential for the company to define certain structure at the starting of the operations so that it does not crowd out the work. With time as the company grows organisation structure keeps on changing so that there can be complete control over the people.

            In the present case, The Body Shop uses Divisional Structure Agreement which is a basic approach of decentralized organisational structure. Under decentralization organisation structure, company can group people in three different ways, that is, on the basis of product or service on which they work, on the basis of geographical location in which they function or on the basis of sets of customers they serve. In all the operating regions around the world the company uses divisional structure (Baligh, 2006). Since the company has presence across the globe, the products of the company have to face different markets in different areas of the globe. For example, the company offers different hair and skin products in UK, Canada and in Asia; this is because of the diverse nature of the market and the customer behaviour. Most of the organisations often evolve from the functional design to the divisional design; this is because this organisational structure offers various benefits to the company. Since different market offers different kind of competition, it is mandatory for the companies to diversify its operations. This will enable them to remain competitive and to achieve sustainability in the market. Since the external environment is very complex and dynamic, and companies do not have any control on the elements which governs the eternal environment, therefore it becomes very necessary for them to diversify their operation (Standish and Standish, 2000). Thus, company needs to follow divisional organisational structure. Divisional organisational structure provides various benefits to The Body Shop as it emphasizes independence in the decision making process of the company.

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            Divisional organisational structure provides various benefits to The Body Shop. Firstly, it improves decision making of the company. Since, through this organisational structure company can delegate power to the division managers who have thorough knowledge of the local market. This organisational structure increases the accountability of the divisional manager and they are countable for their decisions. As the company operates in different part of the world, the performance of the divisional managers are assessed on the basis of overall performance of the division. If the division is performed well, it reflects the divisional managers is performing well, on the other hand, if the performance of the unit is not up to the mark, it reflects the inability of the manager to perform his or her duties well (Kinney, 2008). If this organisation structure has certain advantages, then it has some disadvantages also. The disadvantages come from basically decentralization of the organisational structure or the decentralization of the activities. Company is not able to achieve the economies of the scale because various functions of the companies such as marketing, accounting, control functions, human resource management, etc. are duplicated within different departments of the company. Another disadvantage of this organisational structure is that specialist of one division does not share information with the specialist of the other division. It shows that the autonomy provided to different departments acts as hurdle in achieving the overall goal and objectives of the companies (Maguire, 2003). Since every divisional head tries to outperform than it counterpart, it develops negative competition in the company and may result in lack of coordination and synchronization between the divisional heads of different departments. This organisational structure also proves to be disadvantageous for the employees of the company. If the product or service of the company are relocated to some another geographical location, in that case there are higher chances of joblessness for the workers (Chang, 2005). To overcome from the disadvantages of the divisional organisational structure, The Body Shop may adopt the matrix organisational structure. In such kind of structure there are two managers, first is the functional manager and other is product manager, that is, it maintains both product and functional specialist. The main responsibility of the functional manager is to conducts programs related to selection, training and development to different employees of different functional departments. Contrary to this, the product manager of the company is responsible for coordinating various activities of workers working in different workers of the various functional areas. To coordinate all the activities of different departments so that better product or service can be delivered to the customers. Therefore, in this organisational structure, the worker needs to report to two different managers (Naoum, 2001). The main benefit which The Body Shop can avail from the matrix structure is optimal utilization of the resources. Further the company can improve its lateral communication and can broaden its technical excellence. If the company practices this structure, it will have to keep two things in the mind, firstly, it must not impact the decision making process as the workers need to report to two different managers, and secondly, it should no result in conflicts between functional and product division (Naoum, 2001).

Conclusion

Thus, from the above discussion it can be concluded that it is very essential for the companies to adopt appropriate structure. The Body Shop is presently following divisional organisational structure which hinders its performance. To overcome from this it can switch to matrix organisational structure. Further, it is also essential for the companies to manage conflicts in the organisation between various stakeholders of the company. If the company is able to manage conflicts effectively, it will enable the firm to achieve success and sustainability. Finally, firms must develop such leaders and managers who can motivate the employees to practice change so that they can benefit from the opportunities. 

 

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References

Baligh, H. H. 2006. Organisation Structures: Theory and Design, Analysis and Prescription. Springer.

Chang, F. J. 2005. Business Process Management Systems: Strategy and Implementation. CRC Press.

Gibson, V. D. 2010. Determinants of organisational structure and process: technological versus cultural explanations concerning innovation management. Stanford University.

Hoffmann, A. E. 2012. Co-operative Workplace Dispute Resolution: Organisational Structure, Ownership, and Ideology. Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Kenny, K. 2009. Heeding the stains: Lacan and organisational change. Journal of Organisational Change Management. 22(2). pp.214–228.

Kinney, P. D. 2008. Organisational Structure in Community Colleges: Past, Present and Future. ProQuest.

Kortmann, S. 2012. The Relationship between Organisational Structure and Organisational Ambidexterity: A Comparison between Manufacturing and Service Firms. Springer.

Lewis, S. D. 1994. Organisational Change: Relationship between Reactions, Behaviour and Organisational Performance. Journal of Organisational Change Management. 7(5). pp.41–55.

Luscher, S. L.  and et. al. 2006. The social construction of organisational change paradoxes. Journal of Organisational Change Management. 19(4). pp.491 –502.

Maguire, R. E. 2003. Organisational Structure in American Police Agencies: Context, Complexity, and Control. SUNY Press.

Mantere, S.  and et. al. 2007. Music as a metaphor for organisational change. Journal of Organisational Change Management. 20(3). pp.447–459.

McCormick, W. D. 2007. Dramaturgical analysis of organisational change and conflict. Journal of Organisational Change Management. 20(5). pp.685–699.

Naoum, S. 2001. People and Organisational Management in Construction. Thomas Telford.

Standish, D. C. and Standish, R. R. 2000. Organisational Structure and Apostasy. Hartland Publications.

Takahara, Y. and Mesarovic, D. M. 2003. Organisation Structure: Cybernetic Systems Foundation: Cybernetic Systems Foundation. Springer.

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A brief about Organisational Learning- Essay Example

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A brief on Organisational Learning

Organizational learning refers to a state whereby an organisation attempts to understand the recent changes and acquire information on the recent trends and changes within the market. The business entity makes alignment with the environmental factor by gaining knowledge about them (Zepeda, 2011). It could be related to any field within the organization, whether it is internal environment or external environment. The definition of organizational learning suggests that when an organization improves its intellect about market situation or business environment in which they are operating on the regular basis, then the learning curve of business entity goes upward which determines the organizational learning. Organizational learning is not just an activity, it is a complete process which must be followed on the regular basis. There are various aspects of an organization where the impact of organizational learning could be experienced. Organisational learning is beneficial as it contributes to improving the market position and more importantly, it allows organisations gain competitive advantage (Pedler, Boydell and Burgoyne YEAR:6; Senge 1990:7) According to Senge, over the long run, superior performance depends on superior learning. (Senge 1990: 7)  There are two reasons which foster the concentration towards proper and continuous organizational learning (Lifelong learning, 2013). One is the sustainability and other is profitability. If a business entity is committed to getting long term sustainability along with high profitability, then regular improvement within the business operations is required.

 

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This essay examines the significance of organizational learning to workplace practices.  It further illustrates the contribution of organisational learning using examples from two areas -  strategy and knowledge management. Both these elements have huge importance in the era of globalization. Without gaining an adequate amount of consideration to these aspects it is not possible to improve the strategic position of the company.  Strategy is of high priority in each and every department of organisations. The strategy could be considered the highest version of planning (Lifelong learning, 2013). If a company is focusing on planning, then it suggests that they are simply focused on the completion of work in a proper manner. However, if the concentration is towards the strategy, then the company is ready to deal with uncertain challenges or they have alternate strategy or path to accomplish the work in case of any unexpected challenges. The strategy provides the leading edge to the company and allows them to continue their business operations even in adverse situation. It is essential to explain that the strategic management is based upon the decision making process (Heaney, 2004).  Therefore, if the decision making aspect of any organization is effective, then the strategies could be designed in most suitable and effective manner. Further, for the purpose of result oriented decision making process, there is a huge requirement of organizational learning. The strategy formulation process and organizational learning have a direct relationship with each other. For instance, if an organization comes to know, through market research, that they can enter into new market with their existing product range, then they can develop the strategy to enter into the market. The strategy could be based upon the outcomes of market research. It might include the design of the product along with its pricing. Further the promotional aspects and place strategy could also put into a frame.  As through market research they can learn about the demand and supply situation, the position of competitors, etc. (Werbach, 2009). It can help them to take concrete decision and business could be commenced.  

At the same juncture the strategy could be formulated to deal with risk aspects in relation to market entry decisions. An organization can learn about the available risks through risk assessment process and to eradicate the risks the strategy could be formulated. The impact of organizational learning is huge within the different areas of the organization. It is clear that strategic management has become integral part of all other management activities as the dynamism and uncertainties has been increased tremendously. Once the organization learns then, they perceive something from that learning and act towards it properly (Hunger and Wheelen, 2000). If it is an opportunity then it should be taken as an advantage or if it is related to risk or threat, then risk measurement techniques could also come into existence.

 

An additional significance of organizational learning is that the mode of entry could be decided through the learning process. The decision about mode of entry could be done if an organization has vast knowledge about new entry alternatives. They can check the compatibility of all the alternatives as per their objectives and nature of business. In the above mentioned example, it becomes clear that the company not only gets access to commence their business in overseas market, but also they get knowledge about the best possible option to continue their investment (Cole, 2003). It can help them in attaining the both sustainability ad profitability. Thus, it could be argued that in the formulation of organisation strategies, there is a huge requirement of improving the learning curve about new management practices and models to be implemented. It is just a one part of the strategy which is related to expansion and diversification.

Other than this, there are various areas where the need of strategy formulation is required (Hunger and Wheelen, 2000). Finance management, marketing, operations, supply chain, etc. these all are areas where strategic management has its impact and organizational learning process provides the firm decision making. Every stage of strategy making process should be linked to learning of the company. Without proper information and data the decision should not be reached at the final stage.

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As mentioned above that strategy and planning both are different; strategy comes into existence when planning fails. Strategy is highly significant because it gives an adequate amount of consideration to the visionary approach (Azmi, 2010). The strategy provides the distinctive identity and concreteness to the operations of the company. The benefits of strategic management could not be availed if the organizational learning process is poor and unstructured. The research and development department of any organization is also a part of organizational learning. This is because the foremost source of learning is the research and development department. The department conducts research in various areas, particularly for product development and passes on the information to the operations team. In most of the technology related firms they try to be innovative by conducting research into new technologies and its implications (Blumentritt, 2006). Likewise, surveys conducted internally or by consultancy firms can also provide a useful piece of information about the changing trends of the market so that companies can make strategic decisions. For example,  the mindset and satisfaction level of employees could be identified (Blumentritt, 2006) which can help in strategic human resource decision making.

 

The learnings, related to financial department, could be easily enhanced through past sales figures, data, economic situations in past and current situation so that future financial situation could be predicted and strategic financial management could become stronger. Thus indicating that strategic management could be applied anywhere, whether it is human resource or financial department or related to marketing.  Further, a strategic decision like merger and acquisition, joint venture, etc. could also handle effectively.

It could be argued that organizational learning is not only beneficial for rapid growth and development of organization, but it has a huge contribution in gaining the market leadership. In addition, management experts and research scholars have cited that organizational learning is a element of strategic management. According to Griffin (2002), where the learning curve is upward or concrete, stronger strategies could be designed.  This implies that if companies concentrate on learning, they are likely to make better decisions which allow for competitive advantage to be gained.

 

 

The second dimension where the role of organizational learning has been significant is in the area of Knowledge Management as organizations are continuously seeking to improve their knowledge acqusition and management.  Learning and knowledge are interlinked; if an organisation has a good learning curve, then the ratio of knowledge would be high and immense ((Jeffs, 2008).. Knowledge management is defined as the storage, dissemination and retrieving the information and knowledge as per the situation demands (Jeffs., 2008). Organizational learning contributes in the management of knowledge as it can help in identifying the new technologies and new ways which can help in collecting and storing the information. Learning is something which organizations come to know, related to any area of business or market of operation. However, in knowledge management the company tries to store and collect only that information which is related to their business, market and customers (Tseng, 2010).  So in organizational learning the business entity can understand that in which manner they can collect the knowledge and how they can store the data or figures in well organized manner. It could be challenging at very large scale as knowledge management has become very wide dimensions of businesses now days.

 

 

There should be a proper balance between what company learns and what they already know? The best example to understand this relationship is the legal aspects or legal environment. For instance till now the company was aware with some old rules and regulations and legal norms. It was their knowledge about the existing law (Tseng, 2010). But now some of the legal aspects related to trade and business within the industry have been changed now it is their learning which could replace the previous knowledge or familiarity with the past legal terms. Thus, in this way organizational learning contributes in identifying the new things and keep on updating the knowledge level. Thereby indicating that Knowledge Management is dependent upon the organizational learning. If the learning is not updated and upward, then the stored information will be of no use after some point of time. Ahead in order to fulfil the main objectives of knowledge management (gathering the updated knowledge aout market and customers) the contribution of learning process (it foster to review the market on the regular basis.) could be high. For instance till now the company using world’s best software to store the information. But now some kind of errors related to data theft or outdated applications, etc. has been noticed within the system or information storage system. The company comes to know about this problem so the business entity could be in a position to bring change with immediate effect (Murthy, 2012). They can install new technology that can store the information in most secure and reliable manner. Same wise if the communication pattern till now was different and now the information dissemination source has been updated completely as new source of media has been introduced within the market. The example is that e-mail system has replaced the fax and other communication technologies. Thus, in this way the learning could be helpful in storage and dissemination of information.

 

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The spectrum of knowledge management is very wide as companies deal into wide areas and they have a huge knowledge related to their business, market and customer. Social networking sites, cloud computing and Big Data etc. these are certain new technologies that could be helpful with the perspective of collecting the knowledge. The collection of information is something which affects the decision making process in different areas and assessing the risk and available opportunities. It is another objective of knowledge management that could be improved immensely through proper organizational learning. New and innovative ideas of knowledge management could be implemented within the organization. Thus storage, collection and dissemination of information could be done with ease and comfort if an organization has made proper alignment with the new dimensions of organizational learning (Thomson and Hecker, 2000).

 

 

Organizational learning is related to each and every area of organization  and it could be successful only if every person associated with the company is giving their best to learn something that can contribute into the organizational success. The learning of managers or higher authorities is not sufficient to support the vision and mission of the company. The contribution of lower level staff is equally required. For instance, if the employees in the marketing department  come to know that with the help of new product the customers could be attracted easily (Thomson and Hecker, 2000). But in same decision making the role of sale people could also be significant as they spent their most of the time assessing the products or services of its competitors or other brands. The learning of sales people can provide a useful piece of information to the marketing manager and the product could be developed accordingly. Therefore, if learning is incorporated into the culture of a company, it could yield long term results for the business entity. The organizational culture should be built in such a way where every individual should be dedicated and committed to learn something which in return develops the competency and productivity of an organization (Ubeda and et. al., 2013). Leaders also play a crucial role in influencing the people in developing a learning attitude as they can set the example and benchmark for their followers.  In short it could mention that the learning attitude of individuals sets the platform for organizational learning

 

In summary, organizational learning is a process that is beneficial to organisations if followed by every individual associated with an organisation. Ahead the difference between the planning process and strategic planning process also become clear.  In indicates the visionary approach of a company as it provides the solution for adverse working environment organization it is explaining that the planning process is just related to the fulfilment of short term goals whereas strategic process has direct relevancy with the fulfilment of long term goals and it represents the visionary approach(Ubeda and et. al., 2013). The main contribution of organizational learning is that it encourages organisations and employees to continuously seek to aquire and manage knowledge, as a result, continuous improvement become possible which could have positive impacts on the market position of an organisation and its competitive advantage. Overall, the importance of organizational learning within the strategic management and knowledge management has also become clear Further, this essay has helped in assessing the various techniques to improve the learning in both individual level and for the organization (it  is a part of conclusion so i just found it after the construction of report).  Organizational culture, leaders learning attitude can foster the learning habit within the individuals and organization can learn through market research techniques. Thus, these aspects should be considered while focusing upon the organizational learning process.


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References:

Azmi, F. T. 2010. Strategic human resource management: scale development and validation. Philippine Management Review. 17. pp.80-102.

Blumentritt, T. 2006. Integrating strategic management and budgeting. Journal of Business Strategy. 27(6). pp.73–79.

Cole, A. G. 2003. Strategic Management. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Griffin, P. C. 2002. Strategic planning for the internal marketing and communication of facilities management. Journal of Facilities Management. 1(3). pp.237–246.

Heaney, L. 2004. Leading professional development: a case study. International Journal of Educational Management. 18(1). pp.37–48.

Hunger, J. and Wheelen, T. 2000. Strategic management. Prentice Hall.

Jeffs, C. 2008. Strategic Management. SAGE.

Lifelong learning. 2013. [Online]. Available through: <http://radiographics.rsna.org/content/29/2/613.full>. [Accessed on 27th March 2015].

Murthy, V. 2012. Integrating corporate sustainability and strategy for business performance. World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development.  8(1). pp.5–17.

Thomson, K. and Hecker, L. 2000. Value-adding communication: Innovation in employee communication and internal marketing. Journal of Communication Management. 5(1). pp.48–58.

Tseng, S. 2010. The correlation between organizational culture and knowledge conversion on corporate performance.  Journal of Knowledge Management.14(2). pp.269–284.

Ubeda, E. J. and et. al., 2013. Communication in new technology based-firms. Management Decision. 51(3). pp.615–628.

Werbach, A. 2009. Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto. Harvard Business Press.

Zepeda, J. S. 2011. Professional Development: What Works. 2nd ed. Eye On Education.

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