Contextual Description. T-Mobile is a telecommunications?
Organization part of the Deutsche Telekom group with headquarters in Bonn, Germany; T-Mobile counts with over 150,000 million customers globally and its organizational structure is composed of several strategically located regional divisions providing mobile services throughout diverse GSM networks across Europe and the US regions where T-Mobile owns business shares of other mobile telecommunications operators. These facts make T-Mobile the seventh largest mobile services supplier globally and the first largest telecommunications organization within the UK now after the recent merger with Orange UK.
The year 2009 was a very important year for T-Mobile UK’s history because of important changes within its management and organizational structure. In June 2009 after Jim Hyde left T-Mobile UK for personal reasons, Richard Moat was appointed the new managing director of the organization; Richard Moat occupied previously the position of Chief Executive Officer at Orange Romania. He was offered the opportunity of joining T-Mobile to manage the organization’s operations within the United Kingdom thanks to his excellent record of a highly skilled manager who elivers development and positive results as declared to Mobile Europe’s Editorial by Hamid Akhavan, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile International and member of Deutsche Telekom’s management board. Immediately after joining T-Mobile UK, Richard Moat implemented the Value-led Attack Strategy which required drastic organizational changes in order to reduce operational costs, to improve personnel performance, and to design plans for investing in better networks for the future of TMobile UK.
He established an Executive Committee in order to implement more strict regulations and control operational expenditure better which was in fact reduced by 8% only 5 months after his joining, and the EBITDA (Earnings before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation, & Amortization) increased 19% by the end of 2009 as he 3 informed on December 2009 via a webcast video broadcasted within T-Mobile UK’s Intranet and accessible by all employees. On September 2009, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and France Telecom? Orange decided to merge their UK operations in order to become the biggest mobile telecommunications provider in the UK serving 29. 5 millions customers; fact which represents 37% market share overtaking Telefonica’s O2 and Vodafone Group’s UK operator which occupied the first and second positions respectively. This action represents a crucial moment for T-Mobile UK’s organization; therefore, Richard Moat who was previously working for Orange Romania as previously mentioned will be a key element to ensure the success of this Joint Venture.
T-Mobile UK needs to ensure that its Strategic Operations are aligned to its Operational Performance within an organization which ensures there is a balance between the culture and its current external environment. T-Mobile UK and Orange UK have just announced their Joint Venture name being „Everything Everywhere? which positions this new company as the mobile telecommunications leader in the UK with over 30 millions of customers and 16,500 employees. 4 2. T-Mobile UK – Current Organization The following report presents an rganizational analysis of T-Mobile UK in order to learn and understand better how the different elements composing this organization interact with each other with the main purpose of finding whether there are opportunities for change and improvement from an organizational perspective.
It is important to define that in the context of this report we will be referring to an organization in a similar manner as the one given by Jones (2010) which explains that “an organization is a tool people use to coordinate their actions to obtain something they desire or value… o achieve their goals. ”; organizations take inputs which go through a conversion process in order to become outputs which hold a created value generated by the organization. This could be achieved by an individual working in isolation but people working together generate the same or better value in a faster and more effective-efficient manner. In order to be in a better position to analyse T-Mobile UK from an organizational perspective it is important to consider the main foundations of an organization which underpin its operations; hence, its conversion process for value generation.
These foundations are the organization’s design, structure, systems, culture, values, environment, authority, and control aspects which compose the backbone of the organization’s success and value creation. T-Mobile UK organizational design should contribute to remain operationally effective and this must be achieved by defining the way the work is divided amongst the different areas in order to ensure appropriate use of the human, financial, and physical resources (Jones, 2010).
Division of Labour and Differentiation processes are aspects of T-Mobile UK that have suffered considerably because of its fast growth and this is easy to identify since employees from different areas duplicate tasks and generate transaction costs for the organization; therefore, this is a key area for the organization to evaluate in order to redesign it with the purpose of generating specialised employees, reduced transaction costs, improve performance, 5 become more efficient, and generate as a consequence more value for its customers. T-Mobile UK? organizational structure is the heart of the organization’s success since this structure is responsible for the market impact of the organization amongst its competitors. Brooks (2006) explains that internal issues and problems of an organization are usually connected to the way the organization is structured, and that in order to generate a sustainable corporate identity and a significant competitive advantage this structure needs to fit its environment. To evaluate this structure in more detail, it is important to mention that organizations? tructures are measured in regards to the hierarchical lines of management that they possess; as well as, the extent to which this management or authority operates which can be either centralized management or decentralized management. T-Mobile UK contains factors pertaining to both of this structural arenas but the concept that governs the organization is clearly the centralized one because of the management practices controlling expenditure and development decisions which are made only by the Executive Committee in order to ensure the organization follows its strategy accurately.
Another important aspect of the current organizational structure at TMobile UK that must be considered is the current systems? one, implemented within the organization. We need to start from the fact that organizations are in most cases considered to be open systems from the fact that they require to interact with its environment and other external systems to the organization’s own (Brooks, 2006). A system is a set of relationships between several elements which compose a whole and it is important to pay careful attention to this definition since it shouldn? be associated exclusively, as it usually happens, to computer technology which is a technology that several systems do not utilise. T-Mobile’s organization has defined several systems, some of them use computer technology, but some of them do not. The main issue which is perceived at T-Mobile UK is that most of these systems are not interrelated and produce inconsistencies on the flow of information affecting the 6 conversion process.
Brooks (2006) explains that organizations can be divided into five subsystems comprising technical, psychological, structural, managerial, and values aspects. T-Mobile UK system overall may have considerable deficiencies managing all of these five different subsystems since there are psychological concerns amongst employees because of the relationship with the sole supplier of the organization as well as with the recent Joint Venture established with Orange UK, there are also some anagerial practices which restrict innovation and entrepreneurial drive which generate this subsystem to be less efficient than other managerial systems elsewhere which are well known to the business industry in the world today, like the ones from Google, Microsoft, or Apple which encourage innovation, but a more detailed report comparing these organizational practices could be developed on request. The aspects of T-Mobile UK’s organization which have been mentioned so far are the most significant influences to the culture that the organization embodies today.
It is important to mention that cultures exist in social units of all sizes from civilizations to countries, to ethnic groups, and to organizations to mention a few (Buelens et al. 2006). There are too many different aspects that affect and contribute to the forming of a culture which contains many different layers, for this same reason and in order to be capable of understanding it, it is important to imagine peeling it layer by layer as if it were an onion in order to mentally appreciate its form (Buelens et al. 2006).
When peeling this onion one will find one of the most important aspects within any culture which is the group of values of the culture in question which are used to measure integrity and ethics of the organization’s culture, policies, management, and goals. 3. T-Mobile UK’s Performance and its Environment The contingency theory within the Organizational Analysis literature explains that there is no one best way to organise a corporation but instead it explains that the preferred course of action is relative to a sustainable internal balance and its 7 daptation to the external environments (Brooks, 2006). In order to analyse and evaluate T-Mobile UK’s current situation this report will analyse each area at a time, these areas are the ones we previously mentioned as the main blocks of the organization, and this will be done in order to provide a solid analysis of this organization. The main purpose of the Organization’s Design is to integrate people by defining their role and communicating where does that role fit within the organization? goal overall. The design of T-Mobile UK’s organization allows employees to take on any task that they consider in need of additional contribution or management since, from the top of the organization to the bottom of it, it is not clear where the differentiation boundaries of the activities? control and coordination lie, which is not ideal and misses-out on the benefits of organizational design.
There are different job roles throughout the organization which have a clear scope of accountabilities, from the principle that T-Mobile UK as any corporation of its size requires different positions and different levels of authority, but the centralized management practices do not prove effective in ensuring that these roles focus exclusively on what is expected from them, which is the cause of the process? uidelines inaccuracy and the recurrent ineffective communications; therefore, the organizational design allows the intervention of many employees in areas where they should not be involved which creates confusion, process turnaround delays, produces high numbers of out-ofprocess transactions, miscommunications, alternate processes, continuous undesirable process adaptation, and process avoidance in some cases in order to reach the desired objectives, facts which slow down operations and minimize or miss the standard supporting documentation; all of which could help the organization to reach its business goals more effectively and efficiently. T-Mobile UK has a tall organizational structure which means that it has several hierarchical levels of authority, ten levels in average to be precise; this type of organization risks reducing effectiveness because of the increased communication 8 problems which will arise throughout the flow of information from the higher levels to the lower ones and vice-versa as we have already mentioned in some previous examples from T-Mobile UK’s activities. This structure also reduces the speed with which the organization responds to business requirements in order to satisfy market needs which creates opportunity windows for the competition.
One of the problems with the current structure is that the Executive Committee does not consider the internal operations, internal processes, or internal communications which have a crucial impact on the organizations performance overall and which slow down and reduce the creation of value. The next area to be evaluated is the organizational systems area and as it was mentioned previously this area has its main issues and risk factors caused by the absence of clear relationships amongst the systems? elements. This is evident by the fact of information not being consolidated within one unique database which could be consulted dynamically by all users who need access to this information. Employees in the organization keep duplicate records of this information creating discrepancies and at times follow incorrect processes or take incorrect decisions.
Information needs to be consolidated, access to it needs to be established by the existing IT possibilities, and the information process flow needs to be automated where appropriate or at least better controlled by ICT (Information ; Communications Technologies) principles in order to reduce or eliminate inaccurate information, in order to ensure processes are followed as originally envisaged which will improve employees? performance, relationships, motivation, and behaviour. As mentioned previously T-Mobile UK is part of the Deutsche Telekom group of which T-Systems is part as well; T-Systems is an organization leader in ICT which provides all ICT Services to T-Mobile UK and for this reason, amongst others, it has generated over the years negative attitudes within the organizational culture, values, and behaviour of T-Mobile UK. Brooks (2006, pg. 201) mentioned that “just as an organization? structure can be used to achieve competitive advantage and promote 9 stakeholder interests, an organization’s culture controls the way members make decisions, the way they interpret and manage the organizational environment”; therefore, T-Mobile UK should increase the interest of creating a positive change on the organization’s culture, and give direction from the top and not just let few members of the organization take ownership of this major responsibility, specially because of the weight this organizational aspect possess, as it has just been mentioned. 4. Strategic Opportunities for Change The Joint Venture with Orange will begin operations on June 1, 2010.
The motto of this new organization has been communicated to all the employees who will be part of it, and this motto is, “Dream, Develop, and Deliver” which is hard not to relate to Kurt Lewin’s three-step change process (Jones, 2010) which is composed of the following steps; diagnose the organization, determine the desired future state, and implement action. This is a clear message from the new management of this new organization by which they are communicating to the entire employee base that it is time for change within T-Mobile UK which will now be known as Everything Everywhere, a new organization which hopes to increase effectiveness overall. The most important target of any organization hroughout a planned organizational change are the human resources; therefore, the Executive Committee needs to consider that having knowledge on organizational behaviour enables the ability to explain and predict human behaviour in organizations and even control it, if appropriate (Brooks, 2006). Brooks (2006) also explains that change can be evolutionary or revolutionary. Evolutionary is gradual, incremental, and narrowly focused; whereas, revolutionary is rapid, dramatic, and broadly focused. Both types of change have positive and negative aspects which need to be considered in order to manage the change successfully, but in the situation of T-Mobile UK, now Everything Everywhere a revolutionary change could be the best choice given the current situation and the organizations? readiness for change which reduces the 10 esistance to change from its current human resources, resistance which is usually caused by group cohesiveness, groupthink, individual-level resistance, or Lewin’s Force-Field theory of resistance (Jones, 2010) where a variety of sources may be the elements composing that resistance to change. Everything Everywhere has a great and perhaps unique opportunity for change in which it can design and structure the new organization, build systems to enhance the value creation, set efficient and effective methods of control, important aspects which can all be supported by appropriate levels of authority in order to foment a new culture with stronger values, a new culture which should adapt coherently to the new organization’s environment. 11 . References Ian Brooks (2006) Organizational Behaviour Individuals, Groups, and Organization (Third Edition) Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited, Prentice Hall. Marc Buelens, Herman Van Den Broeck, Karlien Vanderheyden, Robert Kreitner, and Angelo Kinicki (2006) Organizational Behaviour (Third Edition) Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill Education Limited. Gareth Jones (2010) Organizational Theory, Design, and Change (Sixth Edition) United States of America: Pearson Education Inc. , Prentice Hall. 6. Bibliography David Crowther and Miriam Green (2004) Organizational Theory London, England: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 12