Newskool Grooves is a cutting edge multinational organization that has lead the music software development industry for many years. If Newskool Grooves wants to keep its competitive edge and reputation, changes to the organizational structure and management are in order for. This report is designed to provide Newskool Grooves’ executive committee with tools and suggestions to overcome some of the challenges that the company is experiencing so that Newskool Grooves can keeps its competitive edge.
Problems. The current organization of Newskool Grooves has many advantages: employees are strategically placed throughout the world in areas best suited for their role in the company, employees are empowered to think creatively within their role in the organization, and the hierarchy within the company is flattened. This allows all employees to be involved in the decision making process within the organization, and allows the company to hire highly experienced programmers in a country where compensation rates are low.
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While all of these are benefits for the company there are some implications that go along with this organizational structure: the distance and time gaps between functional areas within the company preclude different disciplines to interact with each other, cultural differences require employees from different areas to be managed differently, and executive management lacks the oversight and leadership required to fully implement the organizations mission, vision, and goals.
Cultural Issues and Conflicts. Because Newskool Grooves is a multi-national and multi-cultural organization, there are inherent challenges that will accompany this. According to Robbins and Judge (2011), managers of global companies need to modify their management practices so that they reflect the values of the different countries that the organization operates in (p. 27). Recently, the Kiev employees have expressed that the lack of a structured environment has made them feel uncomfortable. Other employees have expressed the fact that management within the organization expects the employees to “figure it out”.
Because of the diversity within the company, management should evaluate the level of flexibility provided to employees increase the awareness of the company’s mission. If all employees were more aware of their specific requirements and were given more d feedback on their performance, it would minimize some of the worker’s contention. Allowing employees to have the flexibility to experiment and take risks is pivotal to the success of such a fast-paced ever changing company, but it does not alleviate the responsibility of management to provide oversight and direction to all of its employees.
A lack of direction and focus within the company increases the level of errors and rework, decreases organizational focus on required tasks, and increases the likelihood that employees will fail to meet management’s goals. Regardless of where an employee is located or what type of work they are hired to perform, the presence of good management and structure within an organization will overcome these hurdles. Satisfaction Because the company is cutting edge, employees want to work for Newskool, but the excitement for the nature of the company can only go so far.
If the employees are not given the direction and resources needed to perform, they can easily become dissatisfied with the organization. According to the Job Characteristics Model, there are five core dimensions that describe a job: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback (Hackman & Oldham, Work Redesign, 1980). Based on the characteristics described in this model, the marketing individuals require autonomy to perform their job because there is no standard work profile for obtaining customers.
Requiring these types of individuals to accomplish a predefined checklist would ensure that they would fail to sell the company’s product. Newskool has mostly allowed them to perform autonomously until the recent hardware development. With this new product, Newskool has the ability to tap into resources that were previously unavailable. When the CEO disapproved marketing’s endorsement campaign for Newskool’s new hardware, he removed the sense of independence that the employees once felt, and has caused discontent within the marketing group.
Additionally, the coders in the programming department are lacking task identity because they are allowed too much autonomy. Because they have no identifiable requirements from management, it creates a sense of uneasiness within the department. Providing these individuals with a clear vision of upcoming projects could alleviate some of that discontentment. This would not alleviate the ability for all employees to be creative, but it would require management to be more involved in the decision making and provide the actionable items based on a collective decision.
If Newskool is unable to identify the needs of the different types of employees within the company, and it fails to remedy the discrepancies in its leadership, it will eventually become a detriment to the overall success of the company. Human Resources In evaluating this company, it is apparent that the CEO takes great pride in the company’s product, employees, and successes. Historically, Mr. Finger has hand selected persons who meet his expectations of a Newskool employee. Those employees are professional, independent thinkers, and self-starters.
While these are all excellent traits for an employee to have, there are also differences in the type of work employees have within the company. Newskool should allow supervisors from each discipline to participate in interviews to determine if the potential employee would be a good fit within their group’s dynamics. Because the types of work in the company require different types of personal traits, the company should consider the Big Five Model (Robbins & Judge, 2011, pp. 138-140).
The Big Five Model breaks these traits into the following categories: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience. The idea behind the Big Five Model is that the more of these traits that an individual possess, the more likely they are at being top performers within the organization. According to Robbins and Judge (2011), conscientiousness is the personality trait most consistently related to job performance. For the purposes of hiring marketing personnel, Newskool should search for individuals who are emotionally stable, extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious.
While searching for coders Newskool might want to consider hiring individual who have higher openness, as they tend to be more adaptable to change. Regardless of the position, Newskool should consider these traits when interviewing individuals. Performance Measures Lacking performance measures is a disservice to the company and the employees. The employees do not have an understanding of their specific requirements; management does not have a set of metrics to measure the employees against. Creating measurable goals for each discipline to work toward would be beneficial to this organization.
Recommendations include creating regular software development cycle outlining milestones required to code software, perform testing on it, and release it to the public. Placing these milestones into an integrated master schedule would assist in measuring software developer’s performance. Management could also set sales goals for the marketing team. These goals could be based on last year’s sales, or a competitor’s projection for the current year. By setting these types of goals for the marketing team, it management within the company and the marketing team will be able to assess their performance and make changes as necessary.
Socialization Program Having functional departments within Newskool Grooves creates boundaries that stifle interaction among the various different functions within the organization (Robbins & Judge, 2011). The programming department is having difficulties interacting with the marketing department, and both departments are having difficulties reaching decisions from the corporate office. As suggested by Robbins and Judge (2011) Newskool should break the organization into cross-functional teams instead of having isolated groups of personnel working toward the same goal with little interaction.
Because the company is flexible with their scheduling, this would allow for all members on the team to meet on a daily basis, collaborate on current and upcoming projects, ensure all members on the team are working toward common goals, and allow individuals to highlight potential issues. This collaboration would be more beneficial if Newskool invested in video teleconference equipment so that employees could see each other with interacting Aside from the ability for employees to interact within cross-functional teams, Newskool should also consider having semi-annual meetings at off sight locations for teambuilding and socialization.
This would allow all employees to interact on a more personal level, and provide the ability for the teams to interact. Because Newskool is constantly reinventing itself, this will allow executive management to portray its mission and vision to the employees, and also allow the opportunity to highlight recent successes within teams and the company. This would ensure that the top performers are recognized, and it would also motivate others within the company to either mimic those practices or determine other way to improve on them.