Managing cross culture essay

Managing cross culture essay
Section 1: Introduction

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This paper will focus on the organisational structure and culture of an organisation. The company is called ‘Portsmouth Modern Furniture Design’ and designs and manufacturers bespoke, modern pieces of furniture. There are offices and also a factory on the grounds of the company, which is located in the outskirts of Portsmouth. In the offices, there are 15 staff and in the factory, there are 10 staff. Most of the staff are British, including the owner and manager. However, there are also two Indian employees. The aim of this report is to discuss the problems that the company is facing at the moment in relation to their organisational structure and then suggest a more suitable structure for the company, which will lead to a better organisational culture.

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Section 2 will outline the scenario that the company is facing and state how this is related to their current organisational structure. Moreover, the current culture at Portsmouth Modern Furniture Design will be discussed and linked to the structure. The current structure will be analysed as to explain why it is not appropriate and how this is affecting the culture. In section 3, a new organisational structure will be suggested and it will be stated how this will better fit in with the company. The national cultural context will be described and how this influences the organisational structure and culture will be discussed. In the final section, the concept of fitness for purpose will be discussed and the fitness for purpose of one or more of the aspects of the organisations’ management in it cultural context, will be discussed and it will be explained in what ways the company’s new management structure will be fit for purpose and in what ways the old structure would fail.
Section 2: Current Organisational Structure and Culture

At the moment, the current structure of Weme company has been using traditional line organisation for years. President as top management has complete control. He is responsible for making final decisions and directly manage five vice president who control Party office, Project department, Engineering department, Manufacturing department and Finance department respectively. Each vice president responsible for their own project, own department, and their own employees, each department also receive instruction within their own department, each superior-subordinate relationship is maintained and scalar chain of command flows from top to bottom.
Organisational structure and culture of an organisation

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The line organisation structure is the most simple method of administration, every line executive has got fixed authority, power and fixed responsibility attached to every authority,The control is unified that ensures better discipline. However, with Wemen entering into the UK market, it’s current organisational structure is not appropriate.

Over reliance
The line executive’s decisions are implemented to the bottom. This results in over-relying on the line officials, for example, in the design department, manager has no final decision in choosing the design, he needs to consult the vice president of manufacturing before making the decision, and vice president manufacturing also need to consult the president of the company. The process takes a long time before the feedback came back and the decision made by the president. The structure heavily rely on the decision from the president which caused many problems in the company couldn’t be solved in time, also miss many opportunities.

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Lack of communication
Each department are not coordinate with each other is also an important issue within the origanisation, for example team A within the manufacturing department need software technician support from the engineering department, but the group A project manager has no responsibility to communicate with the software engineer, his responsibility is to report the issue to the vice president of the department,and then the vice president speak to the vice president of the software engineering department, the communication inefficiency between department was due to the structure of the organisation in result of lowering company performance.

Weme as a typical Chinese style’s company, which are influenced by Confucianism deeply, they extremely respect for hierarchy that is reason why its management style tends towards the directive. In addition, China is basis on the collectivist culture, managers prefer to make their staffs work together that can brainstorm more ideas, while having a effect of supervision. therefore, In the Weme company, ten designers as a team work for a one chief director
Section 3: The Suggestions and Justifications

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The company should have a matrix structure as with this type of structure, the skills of all the staff are pooled together to carry out and complete projects. It allows staff to use their talents and skills, regardless of the role that they hold in the company. It puts together teams of individual who have specialist skills needed to complete a particular project. The objective is to allow each person to utilise his or her talents effectively (Surridge, 2000). Having a matrix structure would allow the company to be more innovative and allow the staff to bring together their ideas at meetings and create products that would be very competitive in the market. Each team member would feel that they were using their skills to their best potential and this would mean that the company could design furniture that would stand out in the market.

In a matrix structure, each person is expected to work anywhere in the company where their skills are needed (Pettinger, 1999). This would mean that the strict rules of the bureaucratic system would be diminished and staff would feel freer within the company. The culture of the company would be changed to a more person-orientated culture where the needs of the staff are met more and they have more freedom within their jobs (Pettinger, 1999). As the matrix structure focuses on fulfilling the needs of individuals, this should fit in well with the individualistic national culture.
Section 4: What is Fitness for Purpose?

Fitness for purpose in this context refers to how appropriate the structure or culture of an organisation is in order to fulfil the aims and objectives. Surridge (2000) states that there is no one best structure that will fit an organisation. She claims that some businesses may in fact need more than one structure in place to cater for the different needs of the business. The new structure that has been proposed is more fit for purpose than the old structure as it will fit in better with the national culture and will also generate more communication amongst all staff, allowing the company to produce furniture that will stand out in the market. Even staff who are not employed as designers will be able to offer their ideas and this will make the company more innovative. The old structure would fail because it did not allow staff to work outside of their roles or get involved with decisions.

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References
Eyre, E.C. & Pettinger, R. (1999). Mastering Basic Management. Macmillan Press.
Gido, J. and Clements, J.P. (2008). Successful Project Management (4th Edition). South-Western College Pub.
Small Business (2012). What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bureaucratic Organization Structure? Retrieved 12th January 2013, from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-bureaucratic-organization-structure-2761.html
Surridge, M. (2000). People and Organisations. Oxon: Bookpoint Ltd.
Appendix 1:
Old Structure – Professional Bureaucratic Structure:

Advantages:
1. The top-level managers have a great deal of control over the decisions made in the company.
2. Strategic decision making is a fast process as non of the staff are involved
3. There is standardisation and best practice (Small Business, 2012).
Disadvantages:
1. There is over reliance on processes and rules which slows down decision making (Perridge, 1999).
2. Communication and decision making can be ineffective (Perridge, 1999).
3. Discourages creativity amongst staff
4. Front line staff may not be satisfied with their jobs
5. The company cannot adapt to change very well (Small Business, 2012)
Appendix 2
Suggested Structure – Matrix Structure:

Advantages:
1. Allows for effective utilisation of resources
2. There is expertise available for each project
3. There is enhanced learning and knowledge transfer
4. There is better communication within the company
5. There is a focus on customers (Gido and Clements, 2008).
Disadvantages
1. There is dual reporting relationships
2. There is a need for a balance of power (Gido and Clements, 2008)

 

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