Considering your own experience at work, briefly outline the various decision-making responsibilities of various levels of management. Beginning at the summit of the hierarchy we have the General Manager of the Leeds office. She is responsible for any major business decisions regarding our area office; also many decisions made by other levels of management have to be confirmed by the general manager prior to implementation. She deals with budgeting and resource management; for example, she provides other managers with their own budget and equally spreads resources out throughout the call centre. She also decides how to successfully maintain the required grade of service, although a lot of her responsibility will be delegated at her discretion.
Directly beneath the General Manager are the Operations Managers, they each manage a different section of the call centre and make decisions as to how it is run and how to make improvements in the productivity and efficiency of frontline staff. For example, they set performance targets for the teams in their section to achieve. The Services Manager implement decisions made by the Operations Managers, however it is the responsibility of the Services Managers to decide on the most effective way in which to go about it. They may take performance targets set by the Operations managers and come up with ways to ensure the targets are met and also guide the Customer Managers in leading their teams to hit their targets.
Customer Managers are the next level of management and their role is as team leaders. They make decisions on how to motivate their teams to the greatest effect and when to discipline staff. For example, if a member of the team is repeatedly being absent from work due to sickness, they decide when it is genuine illness and when it is time to discipline them if they are having excessive amounts of time off work. They can also make decisions regarding customer service because when a customer requests to speak to management it is Customer Managers who handle these kinds of calls and they also have a greater level of financial authority than those staff answering the phones on a day to day basis.
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The SCSA's (Senior Customer Service Advisors) act as a support role for the Customer Managers, they are often referred to as supervisors. They also provide support for the CSA's, by helping them with complex queries from customers. They have a similar level of financial authority as the Customer Managers and they predominantly make decisions regarding the frontline service to our customers.
CSA's (Customer Service Advisors) fall at the bottom of the pyramid and make few decisions. They speak to the customers as a first point of contact and have little to do with decision-making, as most decisions have to be verified by a more senior member of staff. They have the authority to make financial decisions up to a value of ï¿½200 and anything in excess of this amount must go through someone more senior, for example an SCSA or Customer Manager,
2. Taking the table "Organisational Areas where Decision-Making is Important", relate this to your own organisation. Give examples and consider effectiveness. Working from the above-mentioned table, the strategy of my organisation is the responsibility of the Operations Managers. They set performance targets such as acceptable quality monitoring scores. Each CSA has a call from a customer assessed on specific criteria once a month. The Operations managers set targets of 75 % as being an acceptable standard of service to the customer and benefit to the business. This was a successful move as now CSA's make the added effort to provide a good quality service to the customers they speak to.
The Operations Managers are also responsible for the day to day operations such as making sure the majority of calls are answered within the specified times to maintain the correct grade of service. In order to achieve this, they set productivity targets for CSA's to answer between nine and eleven calls per hour. As the CSA's have targets to meet, grade of service is generally met, resulting in another successful decision from the Operations Managers.
Procurement of resources is the responsibility of the General Manager. She sets the budgets for the Operations Managers and ensures the maintenance of the building and payment of utility bills etc. The General Manager's budget is managed successfully as it reviewed part way through the year and any excess or unallocated resources distributed accordingly. The Operations Managers are also in charge of the administration side of the business such as maintaining systems and administrative information, for example, we have a system to show how many staff are on holiday, off sick, on dependant leave etc. If this system is kept updated and used correctly it can aid managers in making decisions regarding issues such as emergency holiday and sickness absence.
Technical Innovation is manager again by the Operations Managers as are most of the important decision-making tasks mentioned above. They develop what are known as PIP's (Performance Improvement Plans) in our organisation. These can involve anything from raising awareness to implement employee suggestions. These fluctuate in levels of success depending on the nature of the PIP itself however most are fairly successful.
1.How would you describe Mc Donald's method of working/organising their operations and how might it link in with the kind orientation to organisation theory described as mechanistic? (Give examples to illustrate how you know). The working and organising method employed by Mc Donald's can be linked to the mechanistic theory of decision-making. This is mainly down to the fact that all decisions for non-management staff are all predetermined. As the name of the theory suggest, the staff work in the manner of a machine, without having to think for themselves. I have this on first hand experience as I used to actually be a member of staff at Mc Donald's.
Most decisions to be made at Mc Donald's are completely programmed and any non-programmed decisions can only be made by the duty manager. All staff at Mc Donald's has specific working hours, breaks allowance and designated task that they have to perform throughout their shift. Mc Donald's staff are motivated through the use of incentives schemes. They have a constant stream of appraisals/performance reviews and they take exams which result in pay rises if they pass. The exams also highlight to the management which areas certain employees are competent in, therefore aiding their judgement when assigning staff to their tasks.
As Mc Donald's have very strict views on quality control, even the machines that cook the food are programmed as to the correct length of time for each product, making it impossible for staff to over/under cook things. Consequently, staff do not even make decisions on whether the food is cooked or not, it is all done for them, they work like machines simply taking things in and out of the cooking machines and packaging them up. The decision as to how long to cook the food has already been made by management who gained advice from the regulatory bodies regarding food safety.
2. What characteristics would you expect decision-making to have within Mc Donald's? Explain your reasoning. The characteristics of decision-making at Mc Donald's are programmed, only the managers of each branch are able to make non-programmed decisions. However even the managers have to abide by the decisions made by Mc Donald's headquarters. In spite of this if the branch is a franchise all the decisions will be predefined so not even the branch managers can make decisions.
Again, Mc Donald's quality control views impact on how decisions are made as they want their customers to have the same experience at any Mc Donald's they visit worldwide. There has recently been a problem where by franchised branches have been making amendments to their customer care policies. Mc Donald's are now in the process of buying back these branches in order to bring them back in line with the standard Mc Donald's experience.
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