The manner in which an individual, a country or organization can create wealth and become successful is impacted by knowledge. Knowledge in this regard is the pillar of the third industrial revolution (Kocoglu et al, 2011). It is important to note that organizations that are able to learn have the best chance of sensing situations and market trends. Those that do not are always caught in different problems and challenges with their employees, customers, other organizations and society. This paper analyzes a problem at Expeditors International, its origin and consequences. Then, using ideas about understanding organizations and change processes through the frames model, it proposes what could have happened to further improve outcomes.
Expeditors International is a global logistics firms whose headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington. Though the company has been successful over the years, it has had to contend with a number of problems (Waters, 2014). One was the case in which an employee was awarded more than $1 million by the NSW Supreme Court. This was because she had been dismissed in the absence of reasonable notice. Susanna Ma served as an accounts manager at the company for a period of twenty four years. She was only forty nine years at the time of her dismissal. In addition, she had an accounting team that was comprised of more than twelve people who reported to her. She claimed that the company violated her employment contract by not providing her with reasonable notice prior to contract termination. As far as she was concerned, a period of one year was a reasonable notice time at a monthly income of $62,511 (Waters, 2014). This was the mean monthly gross amount that included the bonuses she received.
However, the company only gave her five weeks wages. This amounted to a total payout of about $50,000. Ma’s gross mean annual income over a period of five years was determined at $750,132. This was an equivalent of $62,511 each month (Waters, 2014). The presiding judge established that reasonable notice had to be determined after all the relevant situations around the case had been taken into consideration. Seniority and duration of service were two major factors. Moreover, the court considered whether it was important to include superannuation contributions to her ordinary pay (Waters, 2014). The court established that the right notice period was ten months and the fact that the employee was entitled to payment based on her last salary rate.
This problem could have been addressed in different ways. One is recognition of the fact that trust between an organization and its stakeholders can only thrive when an organization sticks to the set rules and procedures. In this case, the company should have stuck by the rules which require that a ten month notice is given before an employee’s services are terminated. A better understanding of the four frames of organizations would have helped this company create better outcomes (Bolman & Deal, 1997). One is the structural frame that presents the structural components of organizations. It assumes that problems are caused by poor structure as evidenced at Expeditors International. Proper and efficient structures thrive by complying with the rules and regulations.
From the human resource frame, employee’s skills, dedication, efforts and attitudes are regarded as important resources that are able to make or destroy an organization (Bolman & Deal, 1997). Ma was an experienced accounts manager whose departure would have an impact on the company. By understanding that people and companies need one another, Expeditors International should have followed the right channel in dismissing Ma. This is because failure to do so would be damaging to the employee and the organization. The political frame on the other hand lays emphasis on what it perceives as the reality of power and conflict in companies.
It perceives companies as political platforms that house a complex chain of individuals and team interests (Bolman & Deal, 1997). In order to avoid the court battle, the company should have understood that organizations are teams of individuals and other interest groups. Failure to meet the needs of one faction could set the stage for court battles as evidenced in this regard. Ma’s rights were violated and this led to a court battle. Finally, the symbolic frame looks to interpret and highlight basic issues of meaning and notions that make symbols strong. In addition, it views life in a fluid fashion instead of a linear fashion (Bolman & Deal, 1997). One important assumption in this frame and which should have been considered by Expeditors International is the fact that the most important thing about an event is not what occurred, rather what it implies. By dismissing Ma without prior notice and the right pay package, other employees realized that the company was not committed to their welfare. This might be a negative move for the company considering low morale among employees and higher turnover rate. Most important is that the action taken by Expeditors attracted a large fine for the company. In summary, an organization that is ready to learn will always have the best chance of succeeding.
Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (1997). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers
Expeditors International. (2015). About expeditors international. Retrieved from http://www.expeditors.com/our-company/about-us.asp
Waters, C. (2014). Court pays out $1 million to worker for dismissal without reasonable notice. Retrieved from http://www.smartcompany.com.au/legal/43219-court-pays-out-1-million-to-worker-for-dismissal-without-reasonable-notice.html