Flattened organisational structure

Outline of new management theory and problems it will address. Scientific management was appropriate for its time, but not for a rapidly changing dynamic environment. This is why manufacturing organisations based on a high degree of division of labour are looking for alternatives. To most effectively improve efficiency and productivity the business needs to adopt the Behavioural theory of management to address the current problems and achieve the new business objectives that recognised as a result of the current management theory.

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Features of Behavioural Theory The behavioural theory of management focuses on the human needs and aspirations in a workplace. This theory recognises the importance of human behaviour in the success and failure of a business. This approach is very different from Classical-scientific theories, which regarded people as machines. Motivational techniques such as rewards are used as incentives to improve performance Under the behavioural theory the role of management moves away from the simple planning, organising and controlling aspects, towards new roles such as leading, communicating and motivating employees. All of which raise productivity and performance.

The behavioural theory gives staff opportunities to become multi-skilled and development of career paths. This style of management uses a participative/democratic style of leadership that recognises the need for employee input into decision-making. It is characterised by a flattened organisational structure and work teams. A flattened organisational structure involves removing layers of middle management creating a less hierarchal chain of command, resulting in a wider span of control.

Working Teams involve a group of people working together on a particular task. A contradiction to the classical-scientific theory of division of labour. Both characteristics lead to a two-way flow of information and communication within the business- this encourages employee participation. Due to staff having a greater accountability and responsibility for their work efficiency and productivity improve as well as business culture. Recommended management action and strategies to improve efficiency and productivity The need for change has been realise by both Sparks staff and management. Therefore there will most likely be no resistance to change. So the next step is to set achievable goals.

Imploring the following management actions and strategies at Sparks will effectively improve efficiency and productivity and create a clear profit centre The fact that head office becomes overstaffed and bureaucratic lead to the failure of Sparks to monitor its cost, thus making the fatal mistake of subconsciously assuming that reputation was a leading indicator of future performance, rather that visa versa. The problem of dowdy clothing, overpriced food, and ramshackle store design is a result of a lack of foresight which came about due to a one way communication (Top Down) system inherit in the classical theory.

Sparks ability to identify customer wants ahead of the pack losing momentum is an indicator of their movement from being a proactive business to a reactive one. In this case reacting too late to the changing market needs. The behavioural theory however, advocates a two way communication system, which provides needed feedback to management as well as short communication lines allowing for a direct link between customers/employees to decision makers. This is because the middle management that is rampant in a classical structure does not suffocate the flow of information. The required foresight can thus be gathered to be implemented more successfully.

The democratic leadership style, which contrasts the autocratic style of Richard King will increase worker morale and therefore increase efficiency and productivity, through the inclusion of staff in decision-making processes. It will also be an advantage to the business as staff will be able to provide their opinions that are unbiased by stakeholder responsibility or other factors. Thus, they will be able to raise issues such as creating a clear profit centre with simple management structures, fast decision making and addresses staff performance and motivation to improve employee relation needs. This strategy, flattening organisational structure, has been proved to increase efficiency and productivity.

A case study that can be looked at is NUMMI. The NUMMI plant experienced low performance and inefficiency. When new management arrived they abolished the classical-scientific theory of management an implored the behavioural theory. Creating self-manageable work teams thus flattening the organisational structure and effectively increased efficiency and productivity. The case study of NUMMI is very similar to that of Sparks. Since efficiency and productivity are directly related to outputs and inputs.

It can be said the strategy will have the same affect. Efficient use of resources at Spark may be achieved through downsizing. Reducing the size of labour force significantly while at the same time maintaining or increasing output. Increasing efficiency makes the business more competitive. Once the flattening has occurred the next strategy that must be used is the creation of work teams.  This evolutionary division of labour focuses a whole group of people to work together on a particular task, as it is too big for one person. It encourages common goals and sharing of human resources. This strategy leads to a higher productivity in a business as can be seen through Microsoft who implores this strategy. This leading software developer uses work groups to provide shared workload, common goals and support network. In the case of Sparks this strategy can be used to place emphasis on selling and marketing and create focus groups as suggested by staff.