Sentosa Engineering Case Study – Managing in an Eastern Culture
The organizational culture and HR plan contribute to achieving organizational excellence. At the same time (albeit slowly), it could be improved by using the values of the human factor and the unlimited potential of people (Evan, 1993). Therefore we could talk about managing the organizational culture. Given its nature, characteristics, elements, and functions we should not forget that this is perhaps the most complex, most difficult and surely most phenomenal area of management.
In brief, this is actually the reason why we are going to investigate its impact on a company such as Sentosa Engineering.
Key words: Sentosa Engineering, organizational culture, organizational excellence, human factor, potential
Have you ever asked yourself the question “What makes one organization more successful than another in a long-term run? Many authors have tried to answer this question. Most of them describe the successful company as a “vision oriented one” (Evan, 1993; Fiedler, 1984; Harrison, 1972).
However, the appropriate organizational culture of one company is the one that is aligned with the business goals and strategies of the company. At the same time, the real organizational culture is the one based on the real values of the manager of the company (Kottler, 1992).
So, if we want to give a proper explanation of the term “organizational culture” we might say the following: the organizational culture and the HRM theories, also referred to as a corporate culture is a field of the theory of organizations and management that describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs, and values ( personal and cultural values) of an organization (Kottler, 1992). It is defined as “the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization that defines the way in which they interact with one another and with all corresponding to and incorporated into the organization’s people, institutions and other organizations (Evan, 1993).
Why is the company facing the challenges highlighted in the case study?
Under the conditions, offered by Sentosa Engineering, workers have limited opportunities. From the case study itself is evidence that the benefits offered do not apply and current salaries are not competitive with those offered by the multinational companies. The profile of the company is very different from that of the foreign companies.
Second, the demotion of the guard to truck driver was also unnecessary. It, on one part, could be viewed as a sustainable alternative to the activity of the company, but it is seen from the management as an unnecessary activity, diminishing the role of the staff and humiliating it. In fact, that kind of study recognizes the importance of exploring the different views held by the different parties towards the development of the company as support from different parties whose actions depend on it and are crucial for the sustainability of its development. To have the best probability of success and sustainability, the company must fulfill several conditions.
First, it should overcome the low morale in the company. The “guard checking” routine performed every day should be prohibited; it is more than apparent that it leads to a humiliating start of the day. In fact, this type of HR management excites some people, while others perceive it as a threat. It has been built on a strong leadership, exercised by a person of formal power. The management is carried out by one person or a small group of people and extends to all of the activities of the organization.
The operational mechanism of this type of culture is done by default on part of the subordinates, who get to know or more likely to guess the expectations, desires, and decisions of those who lead them. Very often, the rules and regulations are not followed despite all of the monitoring systems (Harrison, 1972).
In the organizations, having this type of culture, the professional abilities are not essential criteria for the evaluation of the assistants. For those employees who want to develop into the hierarchy is necessary to build a network of contacts, who can influence their development (Kottler, 1992).
The idea of promoting good working relationships is also an essential one, providing the company with the structure, rules, principles, and roles are built to meet the needs of the individual. This type of culture is relevant and appropriate for small organizations, whose members have high potential. Given this type, there are no relationships of subordination. The management is done informally through personal authority and maintaining friendly relations (Evan, 1993).
The idea of exercising no power over staff conditions resembles the idea of a type of culture that is inherent for teams working on specific projects and tasks. It is characterized by flexibility. The main features of this type of culture are qualification, professionalism and experience, mutual respect, facilitated communication, personal competence, etc. The organizations, having that type of culture regard changes as a challenge, while at the same time people promote their implementation (Kottler, 1992).
The organizational culture of Sentosa Engineering is the one, focused on the individual. Here, the employee feels satisfied by the fact that he/she belongs to an organization, whose organizational culture reflects their values, desires, and behavior. The employees must be straightforward, reliable, responsive and understanding the learner’s needs. Here, there are no relations of power and subordinary. A brief example of this is the fact that all of the departments work together; when the company recruits someone the selection is done by the HR and employing department working together.
Having in mind the organizational structure of the company, we must admit that it is of the clan type – everyone is a part of one big family. Although having some special advantages, that type of structure deprives the organization of the diversity of opinions. Everyone will agree that in order for a problem to be solved effectively a different approach is needed (Kottler, 1992).
There is one and the same challenge in front of any organization in the world: to implement the strategic intentions of its creators or owners or in other words to walk the path from vision to particular results. Organizations with a strong culture, focused on the individual as in the Sentosa Engineering case are dynamic, vibrant and their employees are proactive. By the way, there the challenges are not accepted as a kind of work, but as a normal way of performing a particular work.
The clan structure of the organization does a lot in order to keep the adopted organizational culture. The rules are few and simple; in my opinion, there is only one: to act together for the benefit of the organization and to have respect for all staff and support each other through daily operations. So, in the everyday situations, Sentosa Engineering employees act together and make decisions within the team, considering the well-being of the organization as a whole.
In case of changes in the defined organizational structure, the basic problem will be the lack of hierarchy. The solution to that kind of challenge is the management of the organizational culture. I believe that the cultural dimension is able to and should be designed in similarity with the structural one and in harmony with it. In fact, the cultural dimension of Sentosa Engineering is not managed by the managers, or by the leaders. Both are necessary for an organization, so a good manager must own and develop strong leadership skills.
In particular, the behavior is the set of actions and inactions of the individual, especially as related to the environment. It reflects the ability of the individual to amend his/her actions under the influence of the external or the internal factors.
There are several factors that influence the behavior of the employees. First, this is the management style; in fact, this is the factor due to which any company can achieve higher productivity. In the case of Sentosa Engineering, the management team always makes the necessary efforts to improve the company’s functionally and to identify the parts of the company that are not performing as well as others. Actually, the ability to lead people towards the achievement of the organizational objectives is one of the most valuable qualities of the modern leader; he knows how to motivate and engage people in the execution of the necessary tasks.
By doing all of the above mentioned the manager of Sentosa Engineering influences the attitude of the employees towards their work. When they are internally satisfied with what they do and have a positive attitude towards their work, then they will inevitably be loyal to their employer. In such a case, they will begin to strive to increase their work performance, thereby increasing the overall performance of the organization. However, the role of the manager is crucial for achieving all these (Fiedler, 1984).
Second is the investment in innovations. Sentosa Engineering must constantly look for new and innovative solutions. All these investments increase the labor productivity and enable the staff to produce more by increasing the high turnover.
Third, the presence of experienced and highly skilled employees is the best scenario for any manager. That is the reason why the organization provides induction and training and ensures that the best-trained staff will remain. Moreover, the training of the people in the organization is an inevitable companion in the process of achieving higher productivity Sentosa Engineering must recruit experienced executives, however, if the organization wants to buy new technological equipment, the staff must endure adequate training in order to gain the necessary knowledge.
Fourth, enhancing the effectiveness of the separate work processes can be carried out via analysis of the individual operations, by detection of the weak spots and taking measures in order to enhance productivity.
Fifth, providing the employees with additional money stimuli/ as the case of other companies is/ motivates them to perform more effectively their duties.
Develop and justify a 5-year strategic HR plan for the future growth of the company, giving particular considerations to the formulation of realistic HRM objectives and their successful implementation
Sentosa Engineering must use the theory Y. Its employees must have the opportunity to take decisions by themselves:
•To recruit the right of the organization people;
•Perform administrative functions;
•Participate in the decisions making process (Maslow, 1954);
In the company as stated above, the situation is a complex one. On one side some of the managers use the autocratic style by providing its subordinates with clear and precise instructions about what to do and how to do it. The constant work with customers, however, does not allow the usage of that particular style alone. That type of managers in the company recognizes the importance of the involvement of the employees in the particular kind of business. They actively seek data from their team members; basically, that is the reason why they spend a significant amount of time communicating with the employees, clarifying the tasks necessary to be done and helping them to understand why what they are doing is important for the customers of the company (Kottler, 1992).
In that case, the employees are motivated by factors different from the financial ones. By joining a particular organization the people must experience the feeling that they belong to it. Only, in that case, they will realize that the work is performed by everybody and the feeling of unity will be achieved (Maslow, 1954). In my opinion, this is of particular importance to any organization.
Having in mind the idea of the strategic plan, the situation must be the following:
1. Reinforcing the implementation infrastructure by putting money in ‘safe bets’.
Notwithstanding the kind of growth strategy used the infrastructure of the company needs to be up to the standard, supporting the successful implementation. However, a continuing obligation for the creation of putting money in ‘safe bets’ need to be made. Achieving this involves (1) removing departmental or regional silos, (2) using leading indicators and performance drivers that line up with the strategy and (3) growing leaders at all levels – managerial and non-managerial (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003). 2. Initiate a process to identify strategies with a high probability of success.
The strategies related to the management of customers are listed below: 1) increasing in size the essential business activity, 2) increasing in size by using the strategy of sub-segmenting customers and 3) increasing in size by using adjoining opportunities. It is suggested by some scholars () that the senior leaders should begin the process by examining the growth potential within the essential core business, as well as by the growth potential strictly associated with creating and novel value propositions for the new customer groups. Consequently, as the senior leadership moves through this process, the result will be that the adjacent growth option should be taken into consideration (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003).
The process of identifying profitable growth opportunities most often begins with the Core Business1; namely, these are the products, services, customers, channels, and geographical areas that creating the greatest part of income and profits. According to the Kottler (1992) conversations with senior leaders on the topic, “Exactly what our business is?” are the desired introduction point.
What follows is an estimation of the whole performance of the essential business. In brief, this demands to measure, as well as benchmarking profitability, a ratio of income growth as well firm’s authority and reputation.
That type of assessment raises the following number of questions. For example:
?Key indicators, where they are headed and why?
?Who and who the core customers not are? Why?
?What differentiates the company from its competitors? How could this advantage be strengthened?
?Is the essential company business under major threat?
?What are the vital growth opportunities within the core? (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003).
Stakeholders ‘groups will benefit from considering questions of that type. Despite the fact that the overall process will take a longer amount of time, outstanding returns can be yielded.
The latter include:
?A commitment to operational distinction within the core business,
?Perceptive conversations on the growing potential of the core business, or on the contrary,
?A pressing need to make remarkable changes to the core or even a plan for deserting the present core and investigating more gainful growing options.
A second customer-focused growth strategy is based on the firm’s existing customers. This strategy requires establishing High Impact Value Propositions for new customer sub-segments. Highlighting this strategy is the readiness to view customers through “a different set of lenses”.
Additionally, numerous companies chose to target lower-end customer sub-segments. In reality, these usually are groups of customers characterized by high costs of supply that in the end exceeds the revenue generated by them. Moreover, in such cases, the value propositions will need to be designed in order to move the customer to a more profitable position or to at least minimize the losses. A significant example of that is to replace the direct sales calls with online ordering systems as well as to eliminate the non-essential product/service features. Two effects will be registered after applying that type of measures: initial shock but eventually welcoming the new lower-value proposition (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003).
The last customer-oriented strategy is the one having strong mostly strategic links with the core-nearby activities. Simply, this is a captivating alternative given the fact that the essential part of the business is approaching to its full potential, has efficient activity and in brief, produces additional cash for reinvestment. Additionally, this last strategy is usually adopted when the core’s future growth potential is weak (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003).
Recent literature on the subject suggests that company leader prefer to initiate this process by focusing on existing customers (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003; Fiedler, 1982; Kottler, 1992).For example, alternative channels, new products or services might be suggested; namely, the necessity for entering new geographic markets is what is also necessary.
In the present pages, we had a look at everything both the organization has applied during its long years of work. Everything that it “has learned” is necessary to be passed on to those who will be in charge of the company in the future (Maslow, 1954). The elements of organizational culture are those by which the identity and uniqueness of the “organization” are transported in time. There is hardly anyone who does not accept the fact that the HR plan of the organization influences directly the behavior of the organization (Hill, Jones and Galvin, 2003).
Building a positive attitude towards change in order to maintain the high standard, leads to renewal and improvement of the organizations. It is all about achieving organizational excellence. At the same time, the organization could improve by using the unlimited capabilities of the human factor.
In summary, we might infer that the probability of achieving profitable growth is outlined by the fact that the company has a strict growth strategy and strongly-established execution infrastructure. Lacking one or the other only impairs the probability of success.
we can say that the probability of achieving profitable growth is heightened whenever an organization has a clear growth strategy and strong execution infrastructure. One without the other impairs the probability of success.
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2. Fiedler, F. (1984). Improving leadership effectiveness. New York: J. Wiley.
3. Harrison, R. (1972). How to Describe Your Organization’s Character. Harvard Business Review, May-June.
4. Hill, C., Jones, G. and Galvin, P. (2003). Strategic management. Brisbane: John Wiley and Sons Australia.
5.Kottler, J. (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York.
6.Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper and Row.