Decision Making and Change
The company in the case study had resorted to sourcing components from cost-competitive countries. Outsourcing has numerous advantages that include cost-effectiveness, increases efficiency, access to skilled resources and time zone advantages. The industry was based in the US while the external source project was located in India. The project faced major huddles that did not seem to get the desirable response from the leadership of the company (Hayes, 2014).
Communication between the founding company based in the US and the project team based in India was inefficient. The Mumbai-based team complained about slow responses and inadequacy of necessary information from the US team. However, the case suggests that communication was better during the initial project phases when all the teams were based in the US. Efficient communication is imperative for the success of any project. Proper communication channels should be established to facilitate smooth flow of needed information within an organization. In the Triumph case this was conspicuously lacking.
The company suffered division and lack of a common goal. The parent company back in the US was divided on the prospects of the off-shore production in India. Each department acted autonomously and only seemed to side with the decision that would work for it. Therefore, the industry was split into separate departments that worked to achieve individual departmental objectives and not the company’s. The division was enhanced with the uncommitted leadership that did not do much in influencing the desired change that was to be brought by the project. The lack of unity and influence by the top leadership hampered the development of the project (Carter et al., 2013). The top leadership change further affected the project as attention was shifted to other highly prioritized objectives. A flexible leadership with a clear transition committee and creativity is important for the success of the project. Leadership is responsible for team building and innovation by enabling so the unification of divergent departments (Carter et al., 2013).
The decision to effect change lacked the basic feasibility assessment, commitment, and effort. The project in the case was initiated with much enthusiasm that later waned. At the initial stages, vital questions regarding the quality of the components manufactured by the offshore company, procurement logistics, and overall cost-effectiveness should have been raised and addressed and not be considered later after the initiation of the project (Hayes, 2014). Due to the earlier mentioned hitches and challenges facing the project, it is slowly progressing even though much of the anticipated benefits is yet to be achieved.
Hard and Soft Factors in implementing change projects
Many studies show that organizational specific factors affect organizations differently. Employees get themselves into behaviours that turn out to be detrimental to the organization in order to survive the internal competition (Luft, 2016). The leaders at times display behaviours that change the performance and the development of new projects (Lam & Higgins, 2012). In the Triumph organization, there are numerous factors that hinder the growth of the company and the success of change implementation.
Several soft factors, such as the organizational culture, leadership and motivation are primary elements necessary for the success of change. However, focusing solely on these issues is still insufficient in implementing transformative projects. The soft factors do not influence the results of many change programs directly. For example, visionary leadership is highly significant for transformation projects (Taylor et al., 2014). However, this is not the case all the time. The same can be said about the communication within the organization. Furthermore, it is a difficult task to change attitudes or relationships as they are factors that are deeply ingrained in organizations and the individuals (Fullan, 2014). Despite being able to gauge the changes in culture or motivation, it is not easy to obtain reliable statistics on soft factors.
In addition to the soft factors, there are hard factors that directly determine the success of transformation projects (Dunning, 2014). In the case, there is an evident lack of focus on the less fashionable but very crucial aspect of change management (the hard factors). These issues are marked by three characteristics. First the ability to obtain direct and indirect measurements (Tan, 2006). Second, they can be easily communication within the organization and lastly, the organizations have the ability to influence those factors rapidly. Some of the hard factors that affect implementation of change include the scheduling (duration needed for completion), the required manpower needed for the project and the projected financial results that the project is aimed to achieve. When organization neglect these hard elements, the projects limp along like in the Triumph case. Despite the importance of the hard factors, the top management cannot ignore the soft elements (Calvo-Mora et al., 2013). The hard elements should be given deeper consideration at the initial stages of project planning while the soft issues should be gradually introduce into play to sustain the transformation programs.
In the case study, the long-drawn project executed by the skilled consultants is bound to fail because the top leadership lacks the vision, enthusiasm and unity in realizing the goals of the project. With the lack of support from the top-level management especially with the change in the CEO position and the general dislike of the change, the project management team has to do more work to avert the looming failure (Van Knippenberg and Stam, 2014). The project in the case lie on the middle grounds that poses the challenge of determining the likelihood of success or failure. The leadership of the company must give attention to the duration, integrity, commitment and the efforts necessary for completion of the project. Considering the four factors with keenness will give the likely outcome of the change program.
Organizational ethical decision making
Ethical decision making is an important component of any organization. The issues of ethics comes up when the leadership of the organization need to make a decision that is bound to infringe on the benefits of other stakeholders or organizational departments (Robertson et al., 2013). According to Agalgatti and Krishna (2007), it is the process of determining between the right and the wrong in relation to the moral standards guiding the industry. Decision making that affects other departments is the main issue in the case study. In any large organization, different departments tend to work in independence of the other departments in the other organization. This specialization and role description ensure that each department has its objectives and goals that it needs to meet. In certain circumstances, the leadership is faced by the dilemma of making decisions that despite working well for the entire organization threatens the ability of certain departments to meet their goals (Heal and Millner, 2014). In the case study, the sourcing project seemed to assist the purchasing department in meeting its objectives while other departments did not fully support the programme as they perceived that there was little to gain on their side.
Three ethical decision making models exist. These are the justice model, utilitarian, and the moral rights model (Levit, 2013). The justice model deals with the equal allocation of gains and losses, the utilitarian deals with the greatest good for the majority while the moral rights model deals with the rights and freedoms of the consumers. The following paragraphs will highlight the three different types of ethical decision making models and how they are relevant to the case study.
The utilitarian model is explained as that which has the greatest approval from the greatest number of people (Conway & Gawronski, 2013). The utilitarian effect is measured by the use of cost and benefit analysis (Ferrel and Fraedrich, 2016). The approach of the utilitarian model can be judged by determining the ramifications (Conway & Gawronski, 2013) (Agalgatti and Krishna, 2007). If the consequence is positive, then the theory supports it. That is the gains by the company is greater than the cost incurred, the utilitarianism model is justified. In the case, the biggest group of stakeholders are the other organizational departments. These departments carry the cost of the project while the leaders of the new project stand to gain in achieving the proposed development. The purchasing department also stands to gain from the decision. Comparing the cost and the benefits, it is evident that most of the departments felt threatened by the decision to source form the cost-competitive markets. Applying the utilitarian approach could ensure that the project gained support from the majority, and that the majority saw the opportunity to benefit from the sourcing. Failure to consider the feeling of the majority in the organization can be linked to the eventual withdrawal of support from the project and the general lack of support from the organization’s leadership. By cost benefit comparison, it is true to conclude that the decision was unethical.
The justice model is concerned with spreading the losses and the gains among the different groups of interested parties in a just and transparent manner (Carroll and Buchholtz, 2012). According to Ferrell and Fraedrich (2016), it refers to the fairness in the final distribution. In the Triumph case, there is no equal distribution of the benefits and harms. From the case, the purchasing department stands to gain since sourcing from low-cost countries would help the department meet its objective to lower the procurement costs. The manufacturing unit managers had little to gain and could lose out in the event the project is not 100% useful. In addition they felt that their department could be forced to halt operations if the delivery do not happen in time. In addition, the quality assurance managers were worried on whether the produced components would meet the near-perfect standards that they were used to. The justice model was not considered in the making of the decision as some departments seemed to gain more and lose less as compared to the other departments that would experience the reverse.
The moral rights model stipulates that the best ethical decision is that which protects the ethical rights of those who are affected by the decision (Craft, 2013). In making ethical decisions, the managers need to avoid interfering with the fundamental rights of others. Therefore, the decision made can be discerned as ethical or unethical depending on whether the decision upholds the basic rights of the people involved.
The field of business ethics is in a constant and rapid change. This concept is redefined as many companies recognize the benefits of improving ethical conduct in their businesses. For globally competitive industries, they aim to keep abreast with the new and re-emerging theories and practices that stand to benefit the organizations (Craft, 2013). Contrary, there is a clique of leaders at the helm of the industries leadership who are complacent in adapting to new business demands and decide to maintain the status quo. The consequences of not adapting to positive developments are numerous. They include, disintegration of communication process, loss of efficiency, flawed and bureaucratic decision making processes, ethical dilemmas and stagnating organizational culture. The ethical culture is key in employee motivation, cost-effectiveness and leadership. Consequently, these factors affect the profitability and the processes of the organization that can eventually edge them off the market.
Leadership and vision needed for the successful change in the future
Organizations have to weather important and disturbing changes to thrive in the dynamic and competitive business environment. Leadership play an important role in the implementation of changes in the organization (Carter et al., 2013).
Leadership is defined differently by various people in diverse contexts. According to Dafts (2008), Leadership is the relationship of influence among the leaders and the followers, who mean real changes that affect their shared purposes. Still, Khatri (2005) referred to leadership as the process of influencing others to understand and agree about the way forward regarding who is to do what. Also, leadership is the process of facilitating personal and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives (Levitt, 2013). Both the definitions of leadership lay emphasis in the ability of the leaders to influence followers to meet a shared objective.
Change has been a difficult area and has impacted on many organizations. Organizations face changes every day and have to handle them well to survive in the volatile and highly competitive business environment. The change must be aligned according to the organizational culture, values and the people and characters to ensure that the desirable outcomes are attained (Crossan, et al., 2013). Hence, leadership plays a paramount role in successfully implementing a change.
The transformation induced by change is often difficult and occasionally result in departmental divisions and resentment by the employees (Khatri, 2005). The social and psychological fear of change and the inadequate technical expertise are factors that affect the change process. The fear of delays and compromised quality prevented the manufacturing managers and the quality assurance managers to support the change in the case study. Leadership has the potential to not only overcome change but support its foundation and implementation (Thiel et al., 2012).
For successful change in the future, the leadership must have a global view of changes in technology, management theories and the global statistics that could affect the business. The emphasis on the DICE framework in addressing the hard factors that affect change implementation should be keenly considered. Visionary leaders are those who think critically and develop projects that shield the business from the current threats and sustains its operations. All organizations need innovative and creative visionaries who are good in decision making during changes (Tappin & Cave, 2008). To achieve that, an effective leader, should be armed with a sense of purpose and vision, ability to influence people through hard situations, the potential to take accountability and responsibility and inspire people to achieve a common goal. Good leadership is a guarantee for successful change in the future.
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|Van Knippenberg, D. and Stam, D., 2014. Visionary leadership. chapter, 12, pp.241-259.|