SOLVING PROBLEM IN A DEPARTMENT STORE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Analysis of the business problem
What has led to the problem
A virtual business report concerns a critical analysis of a business problem that aims at providing insight into the potential of its virtual services and tools. It is used to improve the cost effectiveness and outreach of businesses in different countries. This virtual business report is for a department store in Australia that has branches in the country and in overseas countries. The business has three local stores and five overseas stores. The overseas department stores are headed by general managers in those countries who are answerable to regional manager situated in Brisbane, the business headquarters. The report addresses a business problem in Bangladesh, the country I was assigned to manage. The paper goes deeply into analyzing the above problem using management theories and frameworks, and finally comes up with a recommendation for a way forward (Potterfield, 1999).
Analysis of the business problem
The problem experienced in the country is a high level of employee confusion among the various company branches in the country. Employees have the unclear definition of their tasks and do not know who to contact for reporting. Different employees report to varying personnel on the same problem. This has brought a lot of disorder in the business because there are many cases of misplaced reports and retracing them is a headache. This develops misconduct in keeping the records and management of employee relationships.
Confusion between the many branches of the department store is the problem that the organization is facing. Employees do not have a clear definition of where to report the work to, and the nature of their work. The problem has grown within the organizational branches to the extent that overseas branches have gotten the information. This is a big problem in the organization because it is going to impact negatively on its activities. Employee morale will decline. Employees will feel that the organization do not consider them important. This arises owing to the fact that employee morale relies heavily on good communication with and close contact with the managers. The reduction in employee morale will trickle down to the suppliers and consumers. This will make them reduce their contribution towards the growth of the business. Lack of properly defined tasks is a trait of a failing organization. Schedules are used to oversee employee productivity. They help the organization keep track of the organizations’ goals and objectives. From the above scenario, the departmental stores in Bangladesh have a problem with the work plan. This will impact on the organization because the realization of goals and objectives depend on laid out schedules that are in tandem with the goals and objectives (Longenecker, 2012).
What has led to the problem (the decisions and events that have contributed to the problem in the first place)
The main drive behind this theory is that there is no single best style of leadership. Effective leadership is usually task-relevant, and most leaders who become successful are those that adapt to take responsibility style maturity. This involves the capacity to set attainable goals, ability to take responsibility for the task, and relevant education and/or experience of the individual or a group for the task (Laegaard, 2006). It varies with individuals and depends on the job, job function that needs to be done. The work of the manager of the department store is to oversee the operations of the business. If problems such as that of employee confusion arise, the manager in charge should be able to quickily address the matter. The leaders should closely study the problem by allowing employees to express their views. He should then come up with ways of coming up with lasting solutions for the problem by engaging staff and employees through teamwork.
Organizational theory focuses on three areas: focus on performance of tasks, focus on motivation, and focus on the adjustment to the surrounding environment. The theory illustrates the need to practice transparency, adjustability to attain maximum production, the need to reduce infighting in order to maintain achieved positions, and professional and rational behavior without disruptive emotional relationships (Cherry, 2013).
The department store in this context has failed to meet the requirements of organization theory. This implies that the stakeholders of the department store have not mastered the art of focusing on tasks, motivation, and adjustment to the surrounding conditions. This is evidenced by the infight among employees. This also affects employees emotionally. The organizational team should convene a meeting and look for a way to curb this by embracing organizational theory.
Contextual factors (The factors that could impact on possible solutions to the problem)
Various solutions and recommendations can be put to solve the problem in the company. Implementation of these recommendations is not always an easy task. There are contextual factors that impact on the implementation of the possible solutions to the problem (Saleem, 2010). These factors range from general environmental factors, task environment, to corporate culture. The general environment consists of both political legal and social factors that affect result delivery. They will ensure that the performance of the organization thrives in a hostile environment.
An external factor that has economic influence on the business is the level of competition that exists in its market. It determines the amount of profit an organization can make. Factors such as interest rates, tax rates, and consumer demand affect a business by determining how much consumers are willing to buy their products and how much of the total revenue goes to the government. Employee motivation involves a lot of factors which range to pay hikes to the fulfillment of basic social needs. Any organization should put into consideration these factors if it has to improve the efficiency of its employee productivity. The implementation of certain solutions implies that the organization will dig deeper into its pockets. Certain solutions require financial considerations. For instance, employee motivation entails close manager involvement in the daily tasks of the workers (Cole, 2004). This in effect will make managers request for a pay hike because they feel more responsibility has been added to them. Good communication involves setting up good communication networks within the various branches of the organization. These include installation of telephone extensions in offices and update of job descriptions on the notice board. Such measures come with financial implications which may be difficult for the company to execute (Lauby, 2005).
These are the factors that define the limits of a business. Businesses that indulge in business malpractices, such as, racist marketing and employee abuse may be subjected to divestment campaigns, boycotts, and other worse forms of social repercussion. Hence social factors dictate the informal rules that must be watched by businesses. How the business relates to the consumers generally affect the implementation of certain solutions. The constant changing of consumer preference largely determines how a business carries on. Unique priorities and styles result in long successful preference of goods and services. Additionally, changes in proportion of genders and different religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds within a society may also have a significant impact on the way a company does a business. Advertising is another area of business that touches on social-cultural influence. Changes in morals, fashions and values must all be considered when making a business known. In the event of making the business operations known to the public, the advertising department must put into consideration the various socio-cultural factors that shape the business. This is important because competitors capitalize on these factors to win customers and hence outdo the other businesses (Richards & Media, 2013).
Organizations usually spend a lot of money to try and influence political decision making. Business may get into politics so as to cushion themselves from increase in corporate taxes and influences of human right groups. Laws determine the way businesses are conducted. Laws that touch on business deal mainly with competition. For instance, no monopolies; taxation; employment: minimum wage, and much more. Monopolies lead to business fragmentation and so businesses take the laws seriously to avoid such problems.
Political developments in Bangladesh will have a huge impact on the department store business. Government stability tops the list. Political unrest make customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders generate fear for the business. This will generally bring down the morale of the employees as a whole. Customer and will reduce to a huge extent. Political stability is essential to the growth of any business. The economic policy of the government matters. Tax and levies on businesses determine whether businesses continue to live or fail. Bangladesh tax on imports and exports will greatly impact on the business of the department store. This is evidenced by the fact that this form of business is operated virtually from a far off country – Australia. If tax on import is harsh, the business will be impacted negatively. The above factors affect the business environment (Longenecker, 2009).
2.4 Task environment
Customers, suppliers, employees, and competitors form an important part of an organization. Customers must be treated with care. Their preferences must be taken into consideration because they are the heart of every business. Employees must also be treated with a sense of belonging to the organization. Motivation of employees is important to any organization. Competitors must be studied to avoid business failure.
2.5 internal environment
Corporate culture or organizational culture is a concept that characterizes a work environment. It is the environment that surrounds the employee at work all the time. It is also seen as the glue that holds people together. It also creates a level ground for all the stakeholders, providing a sense of order that all team members know what is expected. It is evident that the corporate culture of the department store is eroding in the organization. Corporate culture is meant to bring order to the organization. The employees in the department store have loose connections with the managers and other stakeholders. There is a lack of unity and this eventually demoralizes the employees. The main thing that should be done is to reconsider corporate culture. This will restore confidence in employees and hence boost their productivity.
A high morale workplace is important to any form of business. Low morale can quickly take a business off the rails and lead to complete business failure. The root cause of employee morale can be attributed to a number of factors which include lousy management practices, job security issues, limited upward mobility, and lack of fair pay, excess outsourcing and much more.
In practice, the department store business should re-organize production to enable greater use of team working and introduce small departments to encourage greater manager involvement in looking after the interests of employees. This will greatly reduce the problems like confusion among others in the organization (Roussel, Swansburg, & Swansburg, 2006).
The business should offer different incentives to employees in order to help them fulfil each and every need. This in turn will help them progress up the hierarchy. Managers should also recognize that employees are motivated differently and move up the hierarchy differently. They should therefore offer a varying set of incentives from worker to worker.
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