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This paper presents an analysis of the Coca-Cola Company in the global market for carbonated drinks. It is organised to unveil the factors that have not only brought great success to the company but also allowed the company to remain atop in the industry. The first part is a discussion on the nature of the company's leadership and the roles it plays to ensure the company achieves its objectives. The nature of the organisational structure and culture are a significant part of the administration, and these have also been discussed. The final section examines the motivation strategies the company employs and how this has brought its success.
The Role of Leadership within Coca-Cola Coca-Cola is one of the most known companies globally. It is a market leader for carbonated drinks, and it has remained in this position for years. With the changing business environment, and just like any other player in this industry, the company has continuously adopted differing leadership and organisational structure to ensure that its management style remains relevant and helps it to attain its strategic goals. Notably, also, Coca-Cola acknowledges that regional consumers have varying needs and therefore a part of its leadership is localised to ensure that it meets with customers from the lowest level.
The company's corporate segment of leadership is responsible for making the overall and strategic decisions of the entire company (Cook, 2008). This segment is the pillar that has made Coca-Cola a world giant for decades. Besides, this segment is responsible for providing all the required support to the regional portion of leadership. Twelve Executive Company Officers head the corporate office, and they meet regularly to set strategic goals and make strategic decisions that shape the identity of the Coca-Cola brand.
Before the approval of a strategic decision is arrived at by this leadership, it is undertaken through several stages. First, the committee assesses a proposed decision in comparison to the company's position in the market. Here the leadership is responsible for seeing the company in the eyes of the competitors and considers to the immediate factors in the external environment. The Coca-Cola administration is focused on ensuring that the company remains the leader even with upcoming competition. If a decision meets these two requirements, this top leadership communicates to the regional leadership, and together they work to coordinate and integrate all the functions both centrally and locally so that the implementation is smooth (Cook, 2008).
Next, functional and departmental leaders are coordinated to the process of allocating critical resources and then the implementation process is undertaken. Strategic decisions are uniformly implemented across the company in all of its five regions; this eases the process of decision assessment, review, and evaluation which is the last stage. During the examination, the regional leaders are responsible for the feedback which must detail how the decision has affected the company’s interaction with the consumer. Other roles of the leadership include communication. It is responsible for ensuring that the stakeholders acquire all the relevant information they require to execute their duties in ways that align with the strategic goals.
These roles can be identified with Mintzberg’s roles of management which are categorized into three. These are decisional roles such as resource allocation across all Coca-Cola regional offices, informational as observed above. The leaders in the head office communicate the decision made to the regional leaders. The informational role entails such responsibilities as dissemination of information. The third category is interpersonal; this is executed through the representative leadership that the twelve executive leaders. They are they are the figureheads for the company globally (Mintzberg, 1989).
The Impact of the Organisational Structure on Organisational Transition As noted above, the Coca-Cola concurrently utilises two levels of management leadership and so are the strategic goals. That is, there is the global level that oversees all the company's operations, and there is the local level that helps in the execution of action plans regionally (Locke and Latham, 2004). Notably, while the global management is compact and unique depending on the company’s strategic direction, the regional management must be flexible to accommodate local market factor. The five regions where Coca-Cola operates are North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe and Eurasia and Africa.
Organisational transitioning entails making strategic changes that will redefine such factors as the direction of power, accountability, and responsibilities, decision-making process, production and marketing objectives and new products or services. Kotter acknowledges these steps, and in his work, he highlighted that there are about eight progressive steps that result in this transition. Some of the elements of Kotter's work include changing the current strategies, goals, vision, initiating new approaches to organizational aspects such as culture and creating a sense of urgency and consolidating these changes to achieve the transition (Kotter, 1995). Making a strategic change automatically changes the company's goals and if properly undertaken can lead the firm to a new level. Notably also, due to the ever-changing global business environment, an inappropriate transition can cause irreversible harm (Gill, 2007). The secret to making viable changes is to regularly study the market and the external environment and then make gradual changes as the need arise. While this is easy and comprehensible for organizations with simple organisational structures, for a company like Coca-Cola, it can be mind-blowing and to a greater extent even incomprehensible.
It is important to note that Coca-Cola, which is existing in its third century has had uncountable transitions to suit changing business factors. Even for simple changes such as changing the packaging can be expensive and hard to implement considering that it must ensure that the entire world is excited about the new experience. As such, it is evident that the company’s structure has been a key factor to facilitate coordination and integration as remarkable changes are made. It is important to note that the transitioning process involves some steps that must be progressively undertaken. For instance, the first step is to identify the need for change. Next, a transition team is created which must be accurately represented to ensure that every suggested step to change is properly reviewed (Locke and Latham, 2004). Laying down the development plan and implementing it is the most critical part and which can only be properly done with the help of a well-coordinated organisational structure.
The organisational structure used by Coca-Cola constitutes centralisation and localisation. It coordinates the five strategic business units (SBUs) with the head office segment. The structure is such that it accommodates regional factors when implementing change. That is since the SBUs are geographically separated, resources are not equally distributed but rather the company relies on such factors as regional market development, consumption patterns, tastes, and preferences. Apart from the internal local structure, it is important also to note that Coca-Cola incorporates an external group of bottling partners. They are a part of the structure when transitions are being implemented.
The Impact of Organisational Culture on Organisational Transition Being a global organisation, Coca-Cola is among the companies that deal with numerous regional cultures. To smoothly execute its operations and achieve its strategic comprehensive and regional goals, the company is thus required to adopt a culture that is accommodating and inclusive. Notably, also, the company's culture is crucial to ensuring smooth transitions. To analyse the impact of Coca Cola's workplace culture on change implementation, it is important to define organisational culture and also look into details, the company’s culture.
A corporate culture describes the immediate personality exhibited by the way a company initiates and maintains interpersonal relationships that are crucial to achieving the strategic goals. It describes the way the leadership and the staff will behave when subjected to particular situations that affect the way they work or execute their duties. Although invisible, this force has an immeasurable influence on the members' perception about what the organisation does. Further, it moulds and determines their reaction to change (Aguilera et al., 2007). It is a composition of shared values, assumptions and beliefs that shape the behaviour of the stakeholders. They are bound to observe pre-set guidelines and boundaries which limit or permit them to act in a certain way.
Some of the elements of an organisational culture include innovation, precision, drive to achieve, collaboration and teamwork, stability and aggressiveness. These elements identify with Schein's three levels of organisational culture considering that they are the values, surface aspects, and assumption that guide how operations are run in the company. Schein observed that the organizational culture is created through these through levels and the ultimate impact is to establish values of a company (Schein, 1996). For instance, the organisation with an innovative culture has a risk-oriented workforce that injects an extra effort to let in a transition on the way things are done to achieve better results (Milne, Orbell, and Sheeran, 2002). Coca-Cola is one of the global companies that has survived due to its shared innovative culture. Right from the head office, all the stakeholders are driven by innovation. As such, the regular transition is a part of the company's daily operations. The Coca-Cola bottling is one of the areas that numerous changes have been executed throughout its life. The marketing department also exhibits innovate initiatives that are used to increase brand awareness (Aguilera et al., 2007). Currently, the company is using the "taste the feeling" campaign slogan.
Another element of the Coca-Cola company culture that impacts the various transitions it has had is collaboration and teamwork. It is amazing how this globally operated company has not lost its market position. It existed before the modern, sophisticated technology environments and today, it has embraced technology to every aspect of its operations. Coordinating the central and the local management levels is one of the most challenging factors that the company has completely overcome. Collaboration between the regional leadership, bottling partners, regional retailers and the central management has indeed enabled Coca-Cola to change to achieve its goals.
Employees Motivation and Team Building Coca-Cola recognizes that its employees are a significant part of its success as such, just like any other company, it employees necessary strategies to ensure that its employees are highly motivated. Being a global giant business player, the company is among those with the highest number of staff. Currently, it has approximately 700,000 employees who work internationally and locally. The company values the role these employees play and as such has established practices used for employee motivations. Notably, the greatest factor to understanding the concept of motivation and the role it plays in organisations is the appreciation of the simplicity and complexity of the human resource.
Various scholars have come up with theories of workplace motivations. For instance, in his work, Taylor invented the theory X and theory Y concept. He noted that managers could be put into two categories, X and Y, depending on their attitude towards the workers. By understanding the type of employees, a manager can thus decide the most appropriate motivation strategy to adopt (Taylor, 2000). The type X managers believe that human beings have an inherent dislike to work and therefore they need supervision, control, and direction to perform. These managers, therefore, rely on strict rules that control the way the employees are expected to behave. Failure to meet the expectation results to tough punishments (Locke and Latham, 2004). Financial reward is the most used means of motivation. The Y managers, on the contrary, believe that although people dislike work, they are likely to be motivated if their jobs are satisfying. As such, allowing the employees to contribute to decision making actively can increase job satisfaction and therefore motivate them to work.
Another theory of motivation is the hygiene and motivation theory by Fredric Herzberg. These two factors incorporate what Herzberg considers essential to improving employee satisfaction at work. The hygiene factors include the nature of the working environment as pertains to administration policies, supervision, salary, job security and interpersonal relations (Herzber, 2011). While these factors do not necessarily motivate the employees, if they are absent, then the employee feel dissatisfied and may not perform well. The motivating factors that come along include recognition, increased responsibilities, achievements, growth, and interest in the task. This theory observes that the working environment has a significant impact on individuals: the creation of work groups can help create the motivators.
It is simple to provide the hygienic factors to individuals but to facilitate the motivators adequately; the employees need to be in working groups. These give a person a sense of belonging and collective attitudes, opinions and goals that help them to attain achievements and to take up more responsibilities. This theory can sufficiently enable a company like Coca-Cola which not only believes in individual efforts but also accounts for team building. When in a team, the management can create a working environment that has a positive impact on the morale of the group. Resultantly, working groups can take more responsibilities and achieve more. Following these theories, it is essential that companies like Coca-Cola define their motivation strategies that make the employee want to identify with the company. The theory Y is one of the strategies that Coca-Cola uses. The employees are considered a part of the organisation and are involved in every step of the transition.
Also, Coca-Cola can achieve high levels of employees' motivation through team building. The company believes in communication, employee development, and energised working environments. Team building is one of the cheapest ways to facilitate better communication and to create the right attitudes. Employee empowerment and development is also efficiently provided through groups. Teams share ideas, and they create a sense of belonging. At the Coca-Cola Company, employees are given interactive hours where they share drinks and gym activities. Innovation and loyalty are built through these coordinated interactions. Then the ultimate result is that employees improve their skills and abilities.
Attributes of the team that contributes to the Coca-Cola success As noted above, team building is one of the greatest motivation strategy used by the Coca-Cola Company. Also, teamwork is a part of the company's organisational culture. This practice is used in the entire structure, that is, at the management level and for employees. The company notes that teams form the engine that brings the kind of innovation exhibited in all the operations of the company. It fuels growth and is the primary factor for the numerous achievements. As dictated by the type of organisational structure, collaborations are both global and regional. The management role of marketing is the most performed role using teamwork. These teams are created using the Tuckman’s model of team creation. The leadership sees the international and regional groups integrate and pursue common goals. Tuckman identified that this process takes three processes which are formation, normalization, storming and harmonising to perform (Tuckman, 1977).
In spite of these differences, the company adopts the same marketing strategies and campaign. To achieve this, teamwork is employed in research and development, product design and sales promotion. It is achieved through coordinated local, regional and international meetings. Each of these levels is represented by a team that has an adequate understanding of the product and the nature of consumption for the regions they represent. One peculiar attribute of these team members is the zeal to achieve. The team members are achievement oriented. Increased consumption motivates them. Another attribute is that they are risk oriented and have the drive to share ideas that will result in innovative production formulas, blends, and production technologies (Noe, et al. 2006). Generally, with the kind of performance the company has in the carbonated drinks industry, it is certain that it has a globally remarkable administration.
Another attribute of the team that has helped Coca-Cola to be at the current position is that the team members are aggressive and they pay attention to the least types of details. Precision is a critical factor for creating customer experiences; it involves recognizing the finest details that attract the consumers to the Coca-Cola brand. For instance, sharing a Coca-Cola drink is described to give a sense of connectivity to friends. The "taste the feeling" brand campaign slogan is believed to bring friends together. Attributing such emotional feelings to a product can only be achieved through critical analysis of what customers get from it. The aggressiveness that guides the management teams has helped the company to retain the culture to work hard and smart and to ensure that it stays ahead of all of its competitors in the industry.
The team is also motivated to meet the customer’s need in time and to offer the appropriate level of attention required. While the workforce is successful to providing the best product, it is important to note that this is not achievable unless there is the adequate inclusion of the customer in the company's goals and objectives. In the 21st century marketing, the consumer comes first (Hirst, Knippenberg and Zhou, 2009). Introducing a healthy relationship with the market and letting the customer know that he guides the decisions of the company is essential to continued market performance. Communication with the consumer forms a crucial part of Coca Cola’s marketing objectives. At this point, it is important also to recognise another player in the success of the company. The local bottling partners play a great role in ensuring that the customer gets the experience offered by Coca-Cola and the company successfully delivers. Change and development motivate the team. Coca-Cola invests in its employees regarding skills development, training and mentoring. The management takes a significant part in this by ensuring that the right skills are offered, and these changes drastically with the changing objectives and strategic goals of the company (Balmer and Gray, 2003). As such, the entire team that works for the company is change oriented and is willing to accommodate it as frequently as it comes and through this to ensure that the firm continues to grow. Lastly, the workforce team has a high sense of commitment. When working for a competitive company like Coca-Cola, employing an extra effort rather than the required is a part of the work culture. For the management team, this means more and regular meetings that can at time consume personal time. For instance, there are monthly functional heads meetings and weekly meeting departmental teams.
The Coca-Cola Company suits the perfect example of an organisation that is driven by change, good management, appropriate organisational structure and an inclusive culture. Having existed before the invention of the modern technology and being able to embrace it as it evolves to better the customer experience is one of the unique characteristics it exhibits and probably, what makes it retain its position. Based on the discussion presented in this paper, it is clear that the company receives a reward equivalent to the efforts and resources it invests. More particularly, the discussion unveils the company’s inclusive culture that creates value to all the stakeholders and as a result, serves as the pillar to its success.
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