BUTOK is a small company located in Indonesia involved with the manufacturing of shoes. The Company has slightly over 100 employees who work in different departments. The top level management is occupied by two co-owners who are responsible with decision making. It has departmental managers, supervisors and junior employees. Various operations are involved in the day to day activities of the company. There is existence of various departments within the organisation. They include finance, technical, human resource, marketing, operations, production among others. These departments operate independently in order to bring about the best result possible. This is because there is an essence of specialisation and employees engage in what they are best with. As a result, the management needs to be competent in order to enhance coordination at all times. Failure to institute appropriate measures would result to company failure based on the nature of the business.
Currently, the organisation has adopted the mechanistic management structure. This type of structure is characterised by employees working separately on the assigned tasks. There is a chain of command being followed, which the top level managers use to communicate to the employees. The top level managers (co-owners) communicate the desired information to departmental managers, who in turn pass it to various supervisors in those departments, and then the supervisors are in direct contact with the junior employees. Decision making is maintained as high as possible in the chain. The company has strict operating standards that every employee is required to follow. Numerous documentations are involved in order to maintain these procedures. Using mechanistic management structure has some advantages as well as disadvantages to the organization. To begin with, this is the best structure for the organisation based on the fact that it is a manufacturing company. Among the benefits of the structure to the organisation is that it has the ability of holding tight control on employees and processes. Policies that are devised and implemented are also rarely deviated from. A distinctive chain of command ensures that delegation of activities in the organisation is executed with efficiency. The disadvantage that comes with this structure is that employees are not given any form of autonomy in their daily activities. This hinders aspects of innovation in some way (Dickersbach, 2011).
BUTOK has also adopted more of a classical management style. Under this approach, the management has made more use of the bureaucratic and administrative principles. The bureaucratic aspect enables the organisation in ensuring that there is centralisation of authority, specialisation of functions and formulation of procedures. These aspects help the management in co-ordination of the relevant departments involved. When the management has the autonomy of control, it is easier to implement the prescribed rules and regulations. Administrative principles on the other hand ensure that there is adherence to division of work, unity of direction, scalar chain and unity of command (Samson & Daft, 2012). Division of work ensures that employees specialise in what they are good at, something that brings out the best out of everyone. Having a unity of command and a scalar chain ensures that every junior staff knows who to report to at all times. It also ensures that each supervisor is responsible for the desired number of employees hence offering the best direction possible. All these work towards eliminating duplication of efforts and enhancing efficiency at the workplace. The major drawback in using classical management style in BUTOK is that the humanistic approach is not given any room. There is minimal consideration being taken on the needs of employees, and making the workplace a better environment for everyone. More energy is channelled in ensuring that various organisations’ objectives have been met.
When it comes to communication style, BUTOK uses the top down approach. Under this approach, communication comes from the top level management and is channelled to the junior employees through the established chain. Top level managers are usually in contact with the departmental managers, and they pass various instructions and information to them. This includes the policies that need to be implemented, procedures for executing various duties among others. Departmental managers channel this information to supervisors in the respective departments. The supervisors are in direct contact with employees, and hence act as the communication link. They pass the desired information to them, and oversee execution of their duties. This style works best for the organisation since there is a defined employee management structure in the organisation. It is possible to co-ordinate various communication links that have been established. Top-down management style also enables the management of BUTOK to control the flow of information. This ensures that every employment level has the necessary information that is required for a given task. There is reduction of risk that employees might focus on irrelevant details (Adewale, 2010). However, there is also a disadvantage that comes along with this approach. Top-down management style possesses the risk of orders or guidelines being lost during the translation or at times some critical details being left out. This will occur when a higher ranking authority fails to include them in the report. As a result, gaps in the project development might arise; especially where checks and balances systems are not instituted in the affected department (Walker, 2014).
In recent times, the organisation has started to take initiatives on issues associated with social responsibility and ethical ethos. This initiative was triggered by increased number of complaints from the public and increased employee turnover. Complaints from the public emanated from the fact that the company is polluting the environment through its waste disposal mechanisms and its failure to be involved in community development. After some deliberations, the company came up with strategies meant to deal with this problem in order to salvage the organisation’s image. Waste disposal has reduced significantly since the company invested in research and development in order to come up with production mechanisms that minimise waste generation. The company is even being involved in various community projects like charity events and sponsoring various sporting activities in the region. This has gone very well with the community, and they are showing their loyalty to the company’s products in return. Employees’ turnover on its part is being sited to be based on increased pressure at the workplace. From the survey conducted by the organisation, it was apparent that using the classical management style was the key reason why employees felt there is increased pressure. The management is faced with an ethical dilemma on whether to change and adopt the humanistic approach, which is more friendly to employees or combine both and come up with a hybrid system. The dilemma surfaces in that the current system has brought more success in terms of profit generation and brand recognition. The stockholders are happy with this. BUTOK is yet to make a decision on this issue. When making the decision, it is important that the management takes into consideration all the relevant stakeholders. It should not keep some stakeholders happy at the expense of others (Aras & Crowther, 2012). This might ruin the image of the company in the long-run.
Several leadership traits can be observed from BUTOK’s workplace environment. Among them is effective communication and delegation ability. These two aspects have been enabled by the management structure instituted in the organisation. Every level of authority knows who to communicate with and information to deliver. This makes it easy in tasks execution and enhances efficiency. Matters relating to delegation have already been stipulated based on the management hierarchical structure. This makes division of labour in the organisation effective since individuals being delegated various duties have been assessed and deemed appropriate to execute them. Commitment aspect also arises from the side of the management. They all have various duties that they are expected to carry on. For this reason, they tend to be committed to these duties in order to complete them on time. Failure from one unit might paralyse the operations of the others. This makes the other units relying on the end product of a certain individual act as a watchdog towards him or her. Despite these positives, there is also lack of employee empowering and engagement. This is brought about by the fact that employees are not given the autonomy to do what they think is best for the business when executing various tasks. There are guidelines given to them on what ought to be done at all times. The aspect reduces their chance of developing creative skills since they are not engaged at all. There is no growth in the capacity that they are involved in since all what they do is routine and has no discretion of being altered (Brown, 2012). It becomes difficult to empower employees in such an environment. They are also not engaged in decisions that concern them at all.
Not giving employees the autonomy of doing what they fill is right for the organization has the ability of reducing innovation aspects in the organisation. This is because no employee is given the ability to raise ideas that might be beneficial for the organisation in the course of performing routine duties. As a result, the management has developed a department that is involved with the innovations aspect. The department is meant to ensure that the company does not lag in matters concerning innovation in the industry. This department is involved with various research and development projects in order to identify new ways of doing things or improving the existing products. It is composed of a diverse workforce with different qualifications and abilities. It is like they are selected from different departments and brought to work together.
The company seems to have a favourable understanding on the concept of sustainable development. This entails enhancing development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations. One way that this manifests itself is through the social responsibility initiative that the company has adopted. In terms of profit, the company is doing favourably well. BUTOK has taken the initiative to ensure that this prospect is not achieved at the expense of others. This has resulted to investment in research and development in order to ensure that the production mechanisms used minimise waste production. This means that minimal waste will be disposed hence reducing aspects of pollution. Pollution usually results to poor health conditions and depletion of land nutrients and minerals that are necessary for food production (Miller, 2012). Through sustainable development, BUTOK has ensured that benefits accruing to current stakeholders in the organisation do not come at the expense of future generations that will be living in the neighbouring community. Various projects that have been initiated towards the community also stand to benefit future generations.
In conclusion, BUTOK has a management structure that seems to be working for it. This is reflected on the organisation’s ability to make profits and co-ordinate all its departments. The structure seems to be the most appropriate based on the nature of business involved. However, it also has its limitation whereby it is creating pressure on the side of employees hence causing turnovers. It also fails to work towards employees’ engagement and empowerment. This can hinder innovation aspects in the organisation despite there being a task force assigned this duty.
Focusing on the communication aspect, BUTOK has various strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include existence of tightly cohesive and connected network structures when the organisation is considered as a whole. It also has a high reciprocity with favourable access to most people. This has been enabled by the presence of the management chain, and everyone knows who belongs where. The communication network is also efficient and effective since the appropriate information is passed to the desired individuals. Weaknesses of the communication include over reliance on top level management in the decision making process. There is also an essence of passive flows of information, whereby people wait until they are told before disseminating certain information. There is less engagement of the middle and low level employees whereby they are only required to follow the stipulated procedures. Support and innovation networks do not exist on the management structure since a specific department has been devised for this purpose. Social networks are also virtually non-existent and there is a perception of “in-crowd” cliques.
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