Last Updated 05 Jul 2021

Effect of feedback loops on organizational effectiveness

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Dell Inc effectively uses the feedback collected from various sources to appraise its efficiency. The action taken over the feedback collected over the years has led to the success of Dell in the market and has increased its sales over their competitors. As any complex system, Dell is structured in various teams forming an ecological system that is symbiotic in nature. These teams have defined activities to perform. Within the team are smaller individual members who are like smaller ecosystems who co exist and co operate to bring in equilibrium.

The individual strength of these smaller ecosystems is leveraged to bring about change or perfection. Some of the teams like the sales teams or the after sales support teams are directly in touch with the clients and teams like the administration team or the human resources team are shielded from the client. But all the teams irrespective of their interaction with the clients are included in the employee satisfaction survey and the customer satisfaction survey. These surveys are a negatively balanced feedback loops. The results of the survey are analyzed and this becomes the key result area of performance for that respective team.

The survey is designed in such a way that the customer or the employee is forced to think of the weakness or negativity of a particular process or event and is systematically led to give his or her views and suggestions. This feedback is then shared with the team or individual. This approach enables and encourages the teams and the members in these teams to retrospectively take corrective actions and improve performance. There are some observations or inputs that have stimulated changes in the policies or approach enabling Dell, to consolidate its position as a market leader.

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Another major contributor to Dell’s success is the appraisal and awards policy. Dell firmly believes that a satisfied and contended employee is the key to all successes. “Firms and industries are highly dynamic, complex systems managed by boundedly – rational actors” (Morecroft, John, pg 2). The people managers and team leads are encouraged to think radically. “Great managers are revolutionaries” (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999). Managers are empowered to encourage their team by positive feedback. This helps the members to keep the momentum and raise the standard bars for themselves at the same time.

The system also creates a healthy competition amongst the team members that allows the team to perform better than their team mates. By sharing positive feedback, performance standards are reinforced. In the long term, the two major factors that organizations can learn from the above feedback systems are:

  1. By implementing a negatively balanced feedback loops, the organization is compelled to analyze its actions. This helps in affirming certain standards and draws a roadmap that leads to success
  2. By implementing an appraisal system or in other words a reinforced feedback loop, the organization manages to bring in an equilibrium and constant efficiency and performance. Feedback and constant improvement are the factors that act as catalysts in organizational development. Organizational development is a long term effort at continuous improvement supported at all levels of the organization. References Buckingham and Coffman, (1999) First break all the rules, what the worlds greatest managers do differently Morecroft John, BW System dynamics, RBV www. systemdynamics. com/conferences/2001 Senge Peter, The fifth discipline

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