The paper "New Culture Strengths" is a wonderful example of an assignment on management. Cultural web analysis for Coles Supermarket reveals various weaknesses in its organizational culture that resulted in serious underperforming by the time Ian Mcleod took over as the Managing Director in 2008. Notably, by this time, the Coles supermarket chain was considered tired and shabby and unable to compete favorably with its main competitor Woolworths. Through Mcleod’ s leadership, several cultural changes were implemented that eventually revitalized Coles Supermarket. This section discusses these changes drawing from the cultural web elements. The control system analysis revealed previous management weaknesses with management considered to be “ asleep on the wheel” .
Mcleod’ s first strategy was in conducting a management overhaul recruiting expert management overhaul that formed his dream team. Additionally, rather than facilitating effective management, the power structures had resulted in bureaucracy levels that undermined shop front employees’ initiative. To address this issue, store managers were granted more autonomy in decision making and the Tooronga office redesigned into open-plan offices. Furthermore, to emphasize on the supporting roles of the office, the name was changed from head office to ‘ store support center’ .
Mainly, Mcleod aimed at improving internal communication, further initiating an internal mail system through which employees would reach him with questions. Examining the rites and routines, Mcleod was astonished at the previous management’ s strategies to cut down costs by patching up rather than replacing old equipment. Furthermore, the store manager's training had been halted. As a result, the poor customer experience was evident. Mcleod, using $100 million offered by Wesfarmers replaced faulty checkouts and refrigeration facilities as well as reinstated the leadership pieces of training with the aim of streamlining business processes.
Additionally, supply chains were overhauled and distribution centers significantly reduced creating more focus on a new symbolic aspect building a fresh food provider reputation, and creating its own products. Question B Change Forces ul Haq & Kamran (2015) observe that for effective changes implementation, adequate support is tantamount. However, in most cases, there are always both the supporting and opposing forces to changes. Where the supporting forces are stronger, the change processes are more likely to produce desired effects as opposed to when the opposing forces are stronger.
Using the Coles supermarket cultural web audit, this section analyses the forces supporting and opposing the change processes. To initiate the change processes, Mcleod established a proper groundwork that would support the change. This was done strategically visiting over thirty retail outlets internationally to study their operational and organizational structures. This was necessary for providing more insights into different outlets' strategies that would later be key in addressing the changes at Coles. Furthermore, Mcleod, understanding the role of management conducted significant management overhaul at the beginning of the change process.
Strategically, he identified a highly qualified and experienced dream team management whose experience would be imperative in guiding and advising the change processes. Discovering that internal communication in Coles was wanting, Mcleod initiated changes that bridged the gap between the head office management and the shop front employees by strategically granting the store managers more autonomy and clearly highlighting the supporting roles of the head office by changing its departmental name. Additionally, the internal email system would support change by allowing direct communication to the managing directors, hence providing a channel through which any questions regarding changes would be effectively addressed within the shortest time possible.
Wesfarmers offering Mcleod $100 million to invest in change was a clear indicator of support for change by the company owners hence facilitating successful change by an improvement of operational standards. The forces against change in the case are either limited or missing or not clearly elaborated and are only left for speculation. Question C New Culture Strengths In most organizations’ cultural change processes aim at replacing old and weak practices with new and better ones (ul Haq & Kamran, 2015).
Notably, the changes are always inclined towards improving operational outcomes which could be measured against the objectives and goals of the change. Examining the new culture strengths is essential in determining the capabilities of the new culture to provide the desired outcome (Heckmann, Steger & Dowling, 2015). This section uses Ian Mcleod’ s cultural changes to Coles Supermarket to examine the intended key strengths. One of the major strengths of the changes is in the improvement of management. Through an overhaul of the management, where the old management team was replaced by a new and more experience Mcleod’ s dream management team, Coles seemed ready for change.
The supermarket would benefit from the management’ s wealth of experience in controlling operations. Additionally, by emphasizing the supporting roles of the head office and granting the store managers more autonomy, the supermarket was bound to benefit from better management. Secondly, the changes improved internal communication. Effective internal communication, de Morae & Zilberman (2014) observe, is a crucial strategy for business success. Good internal communication ensures that problems are communicated and solutions offered in time.
Furthermore, it facilitates respect and protocol considerations in addressing pertinent issues. Mcleod emphasizes the supporting roles of the head office hence encouraging its role in support rather strict leadership. He further initiates an internal email communication to allow ease of communication to the top management by all employees. Additionally, the changes not only improved customer experience but also the employees’ experience. By reinstating the training programs, the employees would benefit from developing their service skills. Moreover, facility improvements through replacing old facilities and improving customer service levels would go a long way into improving the customers’ experience.
Consequently, the ultimate profitability goals of the business would be achieved through these changes. Question D Monitoring Changes Erdogan et al (2013) pose a simple question that is thought-provoking to change initiators; if it happened before, why would it not happen again? Notably, all business entities always start up with well-formulated strategies and effective operational practices aimed at maximizing profitability. With time, however, laxity tends to creep into businesses especially following long success periods (Heckmann, Steger & Dowling, 2015). As such, various operational weaknesses become eminent which can be solved through change processes.
Nevertheless, the changes, if not well monitored, may also experience a similar effect in the long run, hence, going back to where the problems started. It is therefore advisable to have effective change processes monitoring strategies. This section examines various Coles’ aspects that need monitoring to prevent reverting back tendencies. Most organizations tend to cut down expenses with the aim of minimizing production costs and maximize profitability. For these reasons, most organizations at some point always identify less significant practices and strategically reduce them to cut down on costs.
For Coles, patching up old equipment rather than repairing and getting rid of employee training programs were some of the measures taken to cut down on expenses. The change processes by Mcleod, however, resulted in replacing the old equipment and reinstating the training programs. These changes require effective monitoring in order to prevent any chances of the same occurring again with the intention of reducing production costs. Additionally, despite emphasizing the supporting roles of the new head office including changing its name in order to effect this change, retaining part of the head office staff leaves tendencies of reverting back to initial management weaknesses.
As such, strategic monitoring is required in order to ensure that the supporting roles are maintained. Furthermore, the communication channels should be monitored in order to ensure the effectiveness of the new communication changes. Question E Change Experience Similarities and Differences Coles as a supermarket experienced massive setbacks in the organizational culture resulting in underperformance in the market. On the other hand, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) encountered challenges in high bureaucracy levels, non-adaptability to market trends, and non-transparent governance exacerbating the bank’ s failing burden loans.
Both entities required a significant amount of changes in order to improve their market performance. Some similarities and differences are notable in the two companies' change experiences. One of the main similarities is the high bureaucracy levels which significantly results in less employee initiative resulting in poor market performance. In the change processes, the need to address these weaknesses resulted in various changes in the management structures with the aim of reducing the bureaucracy levels and improving the communication channels to improve the internal work environments.
The ICBC change processes focused on governance strategies in order to improve the management processes by using diffuse perspectives for rational control and hybrid approach in the organizational structure. Additionally, power decentralization and redistribution was done. Similarly, Coles supermarket required management restructuring in order to improve the working environment and reduce the high bureaucracy levels. To begin with, Mcleod initiated a management overhaul through which the old management was removed and replaced with a new dream team management. Additionally, the head office was restructured in order to emphasize the supporting roles and reduce the high bureaucracy levels.
Notably, the ultimate aims of the change processes for both entities were to improve the customer experiences for increased profitability. On the other hand, in addressing the management aspects, differences were eminent. In Coles, for example, management changes entailed a management overhaul which was lacking in the ICBC change processes. While the 1500 employees were dropped from the Coles head office, management changes in the ICBC were more inclined to change the management perspectives through ideals.
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Heckmann, N., Steger, T., & Dowling, M. (2015). Organizational capacity for change, change experience, and change project performance. Journal of Business Research.
ul Haq, M. Z., & Kamran, M. (2015). Culture and Complexity: Organizational change influenced by cultural effects.