As a result of restructuring, this company is now contending with challenges that threaten the overall functioning of its employees and most importantly the organisations productivity. The changes that accompany an organizational restructuring will affect the well-being of the members of the organization, especially given the potential for uncertainty that may accompany such changes. There is a need to better understand the consequences of organizational restructuring and consider some of its potential side effects on motivation and team effectiveness.
Employees in a post-restructuring context are understandably wary about the future direction of the organization and their roles within it. In order to identify best practice, this report will initially give a brief outline of the change process and its challenging the realities in organisational restructuring.
The key issues that are addressed are:
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- The change process and what is involved.
- Fostering a learning culture.
- Competing values amongst disciplines
- Motivation and
- Team effectiveness.
Finally, this is followed with our recommendations as how to overcome the barriers, and ultimately ensure effective organisational restructuring.
This report has been commissioned to facilitate organisational restructuring in a multinational company. The rational for the report is supported by the fact that staff are visibly expressing fears and resistance in response to the existing change methodologies. Hence we will review the concepts and controversies around organisational restructuring and this will be followed with practical key recommendations that will ensure effective organisational restructuring.
Change Process and its Effects
A multinational organisation faces many challenges when implementing a planned strategic change in its structure. An understanding of the changes in the work environment within the organization that have undergone restructuring is important so that corrective measures can be taken promptly to address negative changes as a consequence of restructuring (Bowman and Singh, 1993).
The fact that this company is a multinational organisation means that it is necessary to address the different cultural values within the organisation and consider them when reviewing the companies missions and goals. This organisation is changing from a hierarchical structure, which would have provided stability and continuity, as well as defined roles, predictable career paths and reward systems for its employees.
In the hierarchical system decision-making and accountability, flow from above to below, and individuals are confined to set groups that are determined by area of expertise. In a flat structure the responsibility and workload is spread out and teams consist of members from different departments. In this new structure the organisation is likely to encounter problems such as role uncertainty, problems in determining working relationships, and for it to work a high degree of employee involvement in decision making will be necessary.
Before initiating change in the organisation it is important to identify the purpose and aim of change, and who is affected by it, and how will they respond to it. A core criteria in the change process is the importance of fostering a will for change, and this is supported by identifying people in the organisation who will be the change agents. To be effective these change agents are derived from a broad base of professionals across the organisation.
Through this engagement of the change agents, it is envisaged that the professionals will move from working in mono-disciplinary settings to working in multi-disciplinary settings and ultimately to working within trans-disciplinary settings. In the latter individual professionals not only draw from their own knowledge base but they also synergise their expertise therefore forming dynamic progressive highly motivated performing teams. In this process of change, role conflict, role confusion, and power struggles are expected to initially have an negative influence on the whole value structure and performance. Even if employees are educated of the details of the changes, it will take time for them to adjust and become familiar with their new roles and how and where they fit into the company's new strategy.
Fostering a Learning Culture
Education in the organisation has to take cognisance of adult learning theories. These theories very clearly demonstrate that in order to create a culture of continuous learning within an organisation it is recommended that the adult is facilitated to draw from their own empirical, professional, ethical, and the aesthetical ways of knowing from within their own discipline and from other relevant disciplines.
With this in mind any training programme will need to revisit and revise the underpinning philosophies and this is followed by mapping out and clearly identifying the organisations vision and mission. From this the organisational goals, benchmarks and audits will emerge and be copper-fastened. Hence this training programme will have to be continous with the professional development needs regularly reviewed in order to match the training to those identifiable needs. The training programme will need to be holistic in nature and therefore should made of workshops, action-learning, and reflection in and on practice.
Central to training will be the identification of the values that are important to each of the professionals. The Competing Values Model devised by Quinn (1998) enables organisations to understand organizational dynamics and assumptions regarding the purpose/nature of work, relationships among workers, decision-making functions and organisational culture within the workplace. Essentially, the model asserts that every organization has four competing "domains:" Change causes uncertainty, stress and anxiety both in those affected and in those managing the change, even if committed to its implementation.
These feelings have an impact on motivation and performance, due to a loss of self-esteem. Maintaining motivation in the workforce is a particular challenge for managers who are also seeking to implement change in organisational structures or the way in which work is carried out. Many studies have shown that group motivation has a positive correlation to a better work environment. Definition of motivation: Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an individual to action toward a desired goal. Motivation can also be the reason for an individual's action or that which gives purpose and direction to behavior. In other words, motivation is an incentive that generates goal-directed behavior (Aldag, 1979).
Unmotivated employees need encouragement because it will help them to contribute more in the workplace (Losoncy, 1995). Reward systems are strategic mechanisms that are used to help achieve the "initiator's" goals (Klubnik & Roschelle, 1996). There are many companies that are beginning to realize the importance of compensation and reward systems in reinforcing motivation levels in employees. "New emphasis is given on interpersonal and group dynamics at the workplace, where trust is seen as one of the critical elements. If trust is absent, no one will risk cooperation in increasing effectiveness" (Lasoncy, 1995, p9).
This is significant when considering the current situation at your firm with regard to the restructuring of teams. The fact that all of the departments have been split up and reassigned to teams which mix individuals of differing skills has posed a threat to the levels of trust within the enterprise as a whole. Each group is made up of individuals that feel isolated from the other members of the team because they cannot consult with each other on specific problems in their given area of expertise. It is also important that employees self-confidence is developed now that they no longer have the comfort zone of their old department
An important role for management in doing this is to establish trust between individuals in these new groups. It is important that they understand that while they cannot consult with new members on specific problems as they did in the past, they can still operate as a coherent and productive unit. A unit that's strong point is its diversity. A lot has changed within the job environment in recent times. Society is changing drastically and the way in which jobs are done is changing and motivating techniques are changing. Traditionally people were motivated by material gains, this is still the case but people also want meaning and purpose in their lives. They want to feel that they are working for more than just money so team leaders should give the team a positive purpose (Losoncy, 1995). A team leader or manager should encourage them verbally by letting them know that what they do is important and is contributing to others within the company.
According to Aldag there are two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. "The employee attributes job behaviours to outcomes that are derived from sources other than the work itself through extrinsic motivation". Some examples of extrinsic outcomes include pay increases which were suggested above for this reason (Aldag & Brief,1979,p23). Intrinsic motivation comes from job satisfaction. An employee who is intrinsically motivated tends to be committed to the job and self-fulfilled through it (Klubnik & Roschelle, 1996). Intrinsic motivation makes employees engage in tasks longer than the employees who are not intrinsically motivated this increases productivity levels (Klubnik & Roschelle, 1996). Intrinsic motivation is harder to establish but can be encouraged by the introduction of goal setting. Setting and achieving goals appeals to individuals' ambition to achieve.
Latham and Locke (2007) suggest that an employees' motivation is affected by challenges which can be presented in the form of goal setting. Goal achievement leads to satisfaction as it "serves as the standard for evaluating one's own performance" . Koestner (2002) maintains that goal setting affects performance as well as a persons subjective well-being. Goal achievement results in positive affect and decreases in negative affect
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