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BR Richardson Timber Products Corporation

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Question:

Discuss about the BR Richardson Timber Products.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

BR Richardson Timber Products Corporation is a family held corporation which comprised of four different and small companies which can be considered to be different divisions. Three of the organisation’s businesses were situated in Papoose itself. The company had their logging operations division, a lumber mill and a laminating plant at Papoose and they had a mill in Eastern Oregon. Richard Bowman was in charge of Industrial Relations at BR Richardson Timber Products Corporation and was calling Jack Lawler on behalf of the organisation. Jack Lawler had made quite a reputation for himself the fields of management training and consulting and this was the main reason why Bowman availed the services of Lawler to address the issues faced by his organisation.  Bowman was looking forward to conduct a motivation course for their blue collared staffs at the lamination plant and he considered Lawler to be the most appropriate person who was going to conduct the management training.   

Scope

Employee morals at the lamination plant was very low and there had been very a recent fatality at the organisational premises which had further had a negative impact on the motivation and commitment levels of the employee leading to lower levels of productivity within the organisation. Considering the gravity of the problems, Bowman wanted Lawman to conduct the management training course within the next few months so that the present situation at the lamination plant could improve drastically and thereby help the organisation to sustain their business operations in a normal and smooth manner (Dunlap, 2010). Bowler had total faith in the abilities of Lawman and he had obtained approval from the founder and president of the organisation Mr. B.R. Richardson himself. This motivational training would go a long way in helping the organisation to restore normalcy at the workplace by enabling the staffs to become more committed and accountable at the job roles and responsibilities. The management training would help the management of BR Richardson Timber Products Corporation to develop cordial relationship with their employees wherein they would be able to understand and satisfy the interests of their employees in an effective manner.    

 

Objectives

The objectives of the management training are as follows:

1) Understanding the issues and events which are bringing down the motivation and commitment levels of the employees.

2) Identifying the different approaches and interventions which could be utilised for solving the issues and problems faced by the organisation.

3) Implementing a suitable intervention which is most appropriate from the context of the organisation and which would enable the organisation to resolve their issues.

4) Undertaking the actions necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the aforesaid intervention.

Discussions

The management training session would play a vital role in helping the organisation to restore normalcy within their business and this would enable the organisation to increase their daily business productivity in the market.

 

Identifying the present problems that are being witnessed at B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation and analysing their impact on different aspects of the business

B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation are facing various types of problems in their business which has invariably brought down their business productivity in the market. There is clear evidence of the apathy of the organisational management towards the safety and well being of the employees who are working at the organisation. The organisation has become an unsafe place for their employees due to the lack of strict safety guidelines and protocols.  The plant is littered with sawdust, glue drippings and the employees working at the plant are subjected to constant noise from the planer, saws, conveyors and hoists (Chandrasekar, 2011). Moreover, the aisles are also filled up with different types of tools and piles which might cause injury to a person if they do not tread with caution inside the plant. There has also been an incidence of a recent fatality at one of the manufacturing plants which caused a lot of discontentment among the employees. This further showcases the utter disregarding for implementing strict safety guidelines that would help in ensuring the safety and well being of the employees (Christian et al., 2009).

Human resources is another issue which needs to be properly addressed within the organisation. From the interview with Juanita, it became evident to Lawyer that Ben Richardson was very authoritarian in his leadership style and he did not care to consult with his employees and staffs while taking business decisions within the organisation. This authoritarian style of leadership has essentially distanced Ben from his employees as he was unable to understand the needs and expectations of their staffs and was totally focused on maximising the business productivity of the organisation (Tangirala & Ramanujam, 2008). The employees have lost their trust on the management and this is why they do not have any commitment and dedication at the workplace.

The organisation is also grappling with structural issue which has further increased the inconvenience of their staffs. The plant design has not been carried out in an effective manner. The lunchroom for the staffs is housed above the offices of the manger, supervisor and the secretary and the office for the scheduler is also situated over there. The organisation’s head office is around 50 yards away in one direction whereas the mill is situated approximately the same distance in an altogether different direction. This reduces the working time for the employees and creates further confusion among the workers as there is no one to provide their guidance and expertise to the workers when they face challenges at the workplace (Zhang & Bartol, 2010).

Technology is another important issue which is being faced by the organisation. The majority of the machines which are being used by the organisation are old and outdated. Most of the work which is being done at the plant involved manual production and assembling of timber products which involves a lot of noise from the saws, conveyors and planers. This clearly shows an insufficient assembly line production process which could not help them to optimise their business productivity (Roßnagel, 2017).

The organisation has also had to undergo cost escalation which has brought down their revenues and profits in the market. Many employees have to work overtime in order to maintain the daily productivity levels within the organisation and thus they would have to be paid with overtime payment which is costing additional expenses for the organisation. Work scheduling is not carried out in an effective manner and this is another reason for the low productivity and increased business expenses for the organisation (Miner, 2015).

Lack of employee commitment due to low employee morale is another vital factor that is threatening the normal business productivity of the organisation. The low employee morale is contributing to rising discontentment among the employees over the management and bringing down the performance and productivity of the workers at the workers at the workplace (Albrech, 2011). The workers do not feel a sense of urgency at the workplace and this is the main reason why the productivity at the lamination plant has dropped by almost 50% as compared to previous year.

 

Understanding the interventions that are available to B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation for resolving the issues that they are presently encountering in their business

There are various interventions which could be utilised by B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation for tackling and resolving the issues which they are presently encountering in their business. Some of them are Open System and Open System frameworks, Organisational Learning and Managerial Grid.

Open System and Open System frameworks - The open system is a system which has interactions with the external environment. This interaction can be in the form of information, technical expertise, financial advice or guidance which invariably takes place out of the system boundary that is defining the system. Implementing the open system frameworks would enable B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation to develop a systematic approach towards their business which would allow them to exchange information and collaborate with the other business establishments (Rasmussen et al., 2011). The open system framework considers the different processes and systems within an organisation to be an organic and process oriented system that responds to the stimuli received from the organisational culture and the market environment.  This eventually enables an organisation to adapt to the changes taking place in the business environment in an effective manner by incorporating the necessary changes within their organisational structure and business operations (Scott & Davis, 2015).

Organisational Learning – The organisational learning is considered to be the process which deals with the creation, retention and transfer of knowledge within the different departments of an organisation. This helps an organisation to enhance the skills and competencies of their employees by enabling the more experienced and tenured employees to share their knowledge and expertise with the new and lesser experienced ones. This eventually helps in increasing the performance and business productivity of an organisation by ensuring highly proficient and competent employees within their ranks (Chiva et al., 2007).

Managerial Grid – The managerial grid is a leadership style model which was developed in 1964 by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton. In this model, the developers initially identified five different styles of leadership based on their importance on people and importance on production (Gregoire & Arendt, 2014). There are five styles of leadership in this managerial grid and they include the following:

1) the impoverished style of leadership (where mangers have low concern for both people and production),

2) the country club style of leadership (where there more emphasis is given to people as compared to the production),

3) the produce or perish style of leadership (which aims to control and dominate the employees by emphasising on the production),

4) the team style of leadership (which provides a high amount of importance to both the employees as well as production by motivating people to contribute and commit themselves to their work), and

5) the middle of the road style of leadership (which helps in maintaining the status quo by balancing the business goals and the worker’s needs).

This managerial grid would enable an organisation to identify the most suitable style of leadership from their organisational context and this would enable them to foster better motivation and commitment among their staffs (Zeidan, 2009).

 

Selecting one intervention and explaining why that is the most suited from the organisational context

The most appropriate intervention in case of B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation would be the adoption of open system structure within their business. This would allow the organisation to monitor the external market environment in an effective manner and they would be able to adapt to the changes taking place in their external environment. The environment of an organisation consists of general environment, task environment and enacted environment (Scott & Davis, 2015). The general environment includes all the external forces which could impact an organization and includes political, economic, legal, technological, social and ecological components. The task environment deals with the suppliers, buyers, business rivals, the new entrants in market and the threat of substitute products. The enacted environment deals with the managerial perceptions and perceptions about the market environment (Hatch & Cunliffe, 2013). By implementing the open systems framework within their business, B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation would be able to assess how the organisation is responding to the external environment and set up the business goals and objectives in a desired manner. This would allow the organisation to take part in trans-organisational development wherein they would be able to develop and foster strategic collaborations with other business establishments in the market. They would be able to perform more complex tasks and find effective solutions to more challenging problems that are being faced by them in their business (Rasmussen et al., 2011).

Discussing the action plan for implementing the recommended strategy successfully

The management at B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation must start with assessing their external environment as this would help them to understand how their organisation is responding to the external environment. The management will be able to identify the core visions and mission of the organization and this would go a long way in helping the management to create a realistic future scenario of environmental expectations and organisational responses. This would eventually help the organisation to develop and design an ideal future scenario which would provide suitable organisational responses for the changes taking place in the external environment (Scott & Davis, 2015). The organisation needs to compare their present business functioning with those that will be taking place in the near future and this would assist them in creating an action plan that would help them to reduce the discrepancy in their business. While implementing the open systems framework, the management needs to share a common view of the external environment and they must allocate sufficient time and resources to assess and understand their external environment (Holman et al., 2007). The need to document all the stapes of the Open Systems Framework implementation and this would allow them to deal with key parts of the environment in an effective manner. Finally the organisation must view planning as a process and they should never consider it to be an outcome.

Conclusion

This assignment has played a very important role in helping to understand the importance of organisational change management theories which can help an organisation to tackle the complex challenges and issues that are being faced by them in their business. This has played a very important role in enhancing our knowledge and understanding of organisational change management theories which would indeed help us in our future careers (Holman et al., 2007).

 

References

Tangirala, S., & Ramanujam, R. (2008). Employee silence on critical work issues: The cross level effects of procedural justice climate. Personnel Psychology, 61(1), 37-68.

Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2008). Positive organizational behavior: Engaged employees in flourishing organizations. Journal of organizational behavior, 29(2), 147-154.

Albrech, S. L. (2011). Handbook of employee engagement: Perspectives, issues, research and practice. Human Resource Management International Digest, 19(7).

Chandrasekar, K. (2011). Workplace environment and its impact on organisational performance in public sector organisations. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1(1), 1-19.

Chang, S. C., & Lee, M. S. (2007). A study on relationship among leadership, organizational culture, the operation of learning organization and employees' job satisfaction. The learning organization, 14(2), 155-185.

Chew, J., & Chan, C. C. (2008). Human resource practices, organizational commitment and intention to stay. International journal of manpower, 29(6), 503-522.

Roßnagel, C. S. (2017). Leadership and Motivation. In Leadership Today (pp. 217-228). Springer International Publishing.

Zhang, X., & Bartol, K. M. (2010). Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: The influence of psychological empowerment, intrinsic motivation, and creative process engagement. Academy of management journal, 53(1), 107-128.

Kark, R., & Van Dijk, D. (2007). Motivation to lead, motivation to follow: The role of the self-regulatory focus in leadership processes. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 500-528.

Eisenhower, D. D., & Kappen, F. (2010). Leadership and motivation.

Kark, R., & Van Dijk, D. (2007). Motivation to lead, motivation to follow: The role of the self-regulatory focus in leadership processes. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 500-528.

Christian, M. S., Bradley, J. C., Wallace, J. C., & Burke, M. J. (2009). Workplace safety: a meta-analysis of the roles of person and situation factors.

Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.

Gilley, A., Gilley, J. W., & McMillan, H. S. (2009). Organizational change: Motivation, communication, and leadership effectiveness. Performance improvement quarterly, 21(4), 75-94.

Dunlap, N. A. (2010). Take your team to the top: inspire staff to succeed through leadership & motivation. Journal of Property Management, 75(1), 28-31.

Rasmussen, C., Troch, P. A., Chorover, J., Brooks, P., Pelletier, J., & Huxman, T. E. (2011). An open system framework for integrating critical zone structure and function. Biogeochemistry, 102(1-3), 15-29.

Scott, W. R., & Davis, G. F. (2015). Organizations and organizing: Rational, natural and open systems perspectives. Routledge.

Holman, P., Devane, T., & Cady, S. (2007). The change handbook: The definitive resource on today's best methods for engaging whole systems. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Chiva, R., Alegre, J., & Lapiedra, R. (2007). Measuring organisational learning capability among the workforce. International Journal of Manpower, 28(3/4), 224-242.

Hatch, M. J., & Cunliffe, A. L. (2013). Organization theory: modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.

Burchell, J., & Cook, J. (2008). Stakeholder dialogue and organisational learning: changing relationships between companies and NGOs. Business Ethics: A European Review, 17(1), 35-46.

Zeidan, H. (2009). The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid. The Certified Accountant, 39, 82-85.

Gregoire, M. B., & Arendt, S. W. (2014). Leadership: Reflections over the past 100 years. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(5), S10-S19. 

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