Thursday, 20 October 2016

Case for Critical Analysis: Electra Products

Case for critical analysis: Electra Products
1. Introduction
Organizations are faced with many problems because of poor communication in the organization and organizational behavior issues. Proper communication helps in faster transfer of information in the organization. Everyone in the organization will receive information conveniently when the group maintains an active communication channel (Fielding, 2006). The issues of organizational behavior should also be addressed because they also determine the performance of the company. Electra Products Company has been affected by both improper communication and matters of organizational behavior. The two factors have contributed to the poor performance of the company in the past years, and a company that was once a leading manufacturer and retailer of electrical products have been one of the companies with poor performance.

2. Discussion
2.1 Resistance to change
New ideas promote the growth of organizations and also the growth of their members thus avoiding change is so much difficult for a company that is geared towards advancement. There are many opportunities that change creates but in most cases, employees or groups in the organization resist change. Electra Product Company is facing resistance to change, and the resistance is affecting the performance of the Company evidenced by the decline in the market share caused by domestic and foreign competition, inadequacy in new ideas, and the resignation of employees. The arrival of the new CEO has provided hope to some of the staff and managers because his goal is to revive the organization and take it back to its initial position.

The CEO makes it clear that for the survival and good performance of the company, the cooperation, and trust of all the stakeholders is necessary. The aim of the new CEO is to establish an empowerment campaign that will help in boosting the competitive strength of the company. Some of the employees are, however, not convinced and satisfied with the empowerment campaign of the CEO. They are possibly looking back at the history of the organizations and analyzing the changes that have been made but have failed. The group has tried downsizing, re-engineering, reconstruction and all those have not solved the problems that the company is undergoing. The employees and departmental heads are, therefore, confident that the empowerment project will also fail, just like the others. Some of the employees have worked for the company for many years, and they believe that the effort they have put in the company should not be substituted with the empowerment project.

The departmental heads are not satisfied with the changes that will occur in their departments when the empowerment project is implemented because they don’t see the possibility of the occurrence of a better outcome. They are anticipating worst results, and there is no one to help them understand the new project. The possible cause of the resistance to change is the failure of involving the managers and employees in the planning and formulation stage. They are only informed about the changes that they are expected to implement but are not part of the team formulating the new ideas. The failure to make the employees and departmental heads part of the formulation team has caused the resistance because they consider the changes as the new CEO’s plans and not their own. They don’t feel part of the modification but rather tools that are to be used in its implementation. A serious problem comes in when they analyze the possible outcomes of the empowerment strategy. They don't understand how the goals of the project will be achieved but rather look at the negative results. The employees, therefore, resist change because they possibly don't feel that they are part of the project. The aspect of organizational behavior that should be addressed is the resistance to change.

2.2 Employees are not kept informed
The management team has tried different projects to revamp the organization. In all the projects that have been implemented, the employees have not been told about the changes that are to be made. They are only informed about what they are expected to do at the implementation stage. The new CEO has a good idea, but the problem is that the employees were not informed about the advantages that the empowerment project has over the other projects that have failed. Employees expect to be involved right from the time of planning and not merely at the implementation stage. They also want to form part of the decision-making team because it makes them own the organization and have the feeling that their views are important to the firm. Making the employees part of the decision-making team, make them contribute to the strategic and short-term plans of the organization. Getting the views of the employees is crucial when making changes in the organizations. Apart from making them feel part of the Company, they also make adjustments that make the outcome of the decision to fit their personal interests.
The employees have lost trust in the top management because there is no regular and open channel of communication in the organization. They are kept in darkness and are only surprised with new projects that they don't understand. The organization is also not willing to get the feedback of the employees. The employees are not satisfied with the plans of the CEO, but there is no channel through which they can express their ideas. The morale of employees who are kept informed is boosted, and they are ever committed to their duty. It is a different case in Electra Product Company because it can be seen that employees have quitted their jobs and have looked for employment opportunities in other firms (Fielding, 2006).
 2.3 Functional areas are not collaborating
Proper communication between the departments has not been achieved. The sales and manufacturing departments rarely speak. The poor communication between the departments makes it difficult for the two departments to know the problems affecting each other. The sales department may, for example, need a change in the products of the company for the purpose of meeting the demands of the customer but the manufacturing unit cannot put it into practice. The taste and preference of consumers frequently change, and there is a need for building products that meet the requirements of the customers. The manufacturing department has no information about the market and the products that they should produce because they are not in good terms with the sales department, which is the source of information. The result of the poor communication between the departments affects the entire organization because it will sell fewer products. Interdepartmental conflicts have affected the operations of many organizations, and some have closed down. The management should resolve the dispute that may be between the departments because proper communication between the departments in the organization helps in building trust and efficiency in the organization (Duane, 2013).
3. Conclusions
3.1 Conclusion on the resistance towards change
The employees and the heads of departments are not willing to incorporate the change that the CEO has proposed because they fear the outcomes of the empowerment project. They were not involved in the formulation stage, and they, therefore, don't feel part of the change. The organization does not have a proper channel of communication through which the employees and managers can address their ideas. The top management is unable to get their feedback, and it promotes further resistance towards the CEO’s plans.
3.2 Conclusion on the failure to keep employees informed.
The employees in the company are not informed in prior about the plans of the organization. They are neither part of the decision-making team of the organization. The poor performance of the Company is partially contributed by the inability of the company to keep employees informed about the goals and objective of the organization. The trust of the employees has been lost because they are not given information at the right time.
3.3 Conclusion on the functional areas not collaborating
The departments of the organization are not in good terms as evidenced by the sales and manufacturing departments that barely speak. The poor communication between these departments means that the employees in the company don't trust each other. The employees cannot share information that is important for the organization because they don't work together to achieve the goals of the company. The interdepartmental conflict has made some employees to quit the organization because workers often want a healthy working environment where they are in good terms with their colleagues.

4. Recommendations
4.1 Resistance towards change should be curbed
The resistance of employees to change is a far-reaching issue of organizational behavior. To avoid future resistance to the evolution that the organization will make, the employees should be involved in the decision-making process. There should be an improvised method of collecting the views of the employees about the changes that are supposed to be implemented in the organization. The employees should also be incorporated in the formulation stage so that they don't resist the change but rather help in the faster implementation of the changes. They should participate in the entire process of development and implementation of the changes. The organization should also identify the rooted causes of the employees’ resistance and address them immediately (Paul, 2015).  
 4.2 Employees should be kept informed
The management should ensure that employees get information about the plans and objectives of the firm in time. A simple upward and downward channel of communication should be created in the organization because it makes it easier for employees to reach the top managers and the vice versa.

4.3 Collaboration of functional areas
The departments of the organization should maintain proper communication with each other. The managers should create awareness on the importance of working together as departments of the organization by cross-training the employees. Unhealthy competition between the departments should also be eliminated by reviewing the policies to ensure that any form of competition is not destructive. The management should frequently get the views of the employees about the interdepartmental relations. The concerns and satisfaction of the employees should then be gauged by the human resource manager (Bruce, 2016).

Bruce2016Improving the workplaceHow to improve interdepartmental communication 2
Duane2013Effects of poor communication in the workplaceCommunication of corperate employees in the office 5
Fielding2006Effective Communication in OrganisationsSouth AfricaJuta and Company Ltd
Organisational behaviour: individuals, groups and organisation2009Harlow, EnglandFinancial Times/Prentice Hall
PaulHow to deal with resistance to change

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