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Organisation and management

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Introduction

OE203 (Organisation and management) coursework Case study (semester 1) "Critically analyse the main issues in the case study using relevant theories related to Organisation and management". DEADLINE: Friday 21st January 2005 This case study deals with the Oticon's organizational change, a Danish firm specialised in hearing aids. Due to an instable environment, the firm has transformed the organisation of the structure in order to be competitive in an international market and consequently it has changed the work, the hierarchy, the organisational culture and patterns. The case study shows us with the real example of Oticon how that change can affect the organisational behaviour of the employees and how Lars Kolind manage them in order to stimulate their motivation and increase the productivity. According to the results of the turnover and market shares, that change is a success but it also has some limits which may affect the activity of Oticon. Indeed, the organization has completely changed in term of work because "everyone started in a different workplace" and Oticon has adopted a structure in which the employees are present and involve in the important decisions. This new structure based on "project-organisation" is called "spaghetti-organisation. We can recognize some aspects and characteristics of an organic structure with "the lack of a line of command". ...read more.

Middle

Before the change, Harrison would have said that Oticon had more a role culture with the job specialisation, functions and now it has more a task culture with the adaptability, team settings. However it keeps a role culture: "still a number of routine administrative tasks" (Mullins L. 1999, p.803/804). There are two types of project group, those for a short period and those for a long period varying "according to the amount of work being done and the complexity of the tasks". The purpose consists in confronting ideas and points of view and obtaining the motivation of workers through the involvement. Apparently, it is a success because the turnover was low "no one left the company ..." even if "not everyone felt comfortable". Huczynski and Buchanan give us some characteristics of psychological group helping us to understand the operation of Oticon groups: "minimum membership of 2 people, a shared communication, a shared sense of collective identity, shared goals, a group structure" (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2003 p.277/278). Mayo found that the productivity of a group is influenced by social factors, "people at work are motivated by more than just pay and condition", the need for recognition, security and sense of belongings is more important in workers' productivity than the physical conditions"(Huczynski and B., p.286). ...read more.

Conclusion

He holds the "bases of the power": coercive, reward, referent, legitimate and expert power (French and Raven, 1958). Moreover, the project leaders are quite powerful because they are "free to manage" their project group in the way they want. They also choose the members of each group and are responsible of the results of the groups, they have the "legitimate" and "reward" power. According to the results, Oticon's organisational change is successful however that system demonstrates some limits like the problem of overview "no one outside the project can really know what's going on inside the group". In this new organisation the mechanism of communication are simpler and easier however the communication is not better. In addition, the employees work for more than one project and sometimes "people become intertwined", it is a big mess thus the name of "spaghetti organisation". We saw that the transformation of Oticon is a success but in the same time there are a lot of drawbacks non negligible. We can wonder if Oticon's manager did the right choice in a long term. Indeed, the environment was instable and the competitors had invested consequently Oticon had to react in order to be competitive. Lars Kolind has chosen to adopt a project organisation very flexible and it is a choice among others. However, we also can wonder what will be the Oticon's destiny. ...read more.

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