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Stages of problem-solving

Problem Tackling Skills

The stages of solving problems in organizations can be divided into four broad categories. The sole purpose of doing so is to ensure that these challenges are understood easier and properly divided into sections that would be easier to comprehend and solved as quickly as possible. A successful problem solver has to able to understand the stages to be followed during problem-solving occasions and have them followed whenever issues are encountered (ITS 2017).

  1. Problem recognition and definition

This is the first step of problem-solving. Solving a problem must first start will the art of accepting the occurrence of such a problem. Several ways exist in which one can recognize the existence of a problem. On acknowledging the existence of the problem, have it labeled to give it a definition that is tentative. The tentative explanation is purposeful serves as a way of focusing the search for information that is relevant to the problem after which descriptions that are accurate would be written (Kader 2017).

  1. Solutions seeking

There are two types of problems; the closed and the open-ended problems. While private problems are characterized by a few number of solutions, open-ended issues have several ways in which they would be successfully solved. On the contrary, no matter the kind of problem at hand, solution soliciting involves problem analysis to understand the problem after which one can easily develop action courses to achieve the objectives of the activity. However, with the presence of problems that are open-ended, one should solicit information that would help in suggesting the possible ways by which such a problem could be solved (ITS 2017).

  • Soliciting the best solution

This stage majorly involves evaluation of the identified possible solutions followed by choosing the most effective. The process is one involving decision making with regards to comparing what solution could provide a better outcome. The process involves:

  1. Identification of the ideal solution features with regards to whatever constraints it would be required to meet
  2. Elimination of solutions that don’t meet the identified constraints
  3. Evaluation of the solutions left against the required outcome
  4. Risk assessment with regards to the ideal solution
  5. Reaching for the decision for solution implementation

It should be recognized that any problem will only be recognized as solved if a solution gets implemented (ITS 2017).

  1. Solution implementation

This particular process is split into three stages:

  1. Preparation and planning to have the solution implemented
  2. Having the appropriate action taken and having the effects monitored
  3. Having the ultimate success reviewed

The culmination of the whole process of problem-solving is portrayed in the efforts to have a successful implementation of the solution. However, the process itself needs careful planning. It is the plan that would outline the sequence of actions that would be performed to achieve the timescale, the objective, and resources needed for each stage of the whole process. Minimization of the risk entails prevention of the mistakes that led to the occurrence of the problem.

Types of problems

Many business organizations advocate for management regimes that properly execute cross-cultural communication forms, are culturally alert, and advocate for mutual respect and reconciliation to increase productivity and enhance peaceful cohesion. However, currently, many employees are marginalized within their work environments based on issues about cultural differences and gender which has ultimately led to reduced productivity (McArthur 2010).

Dispositions: - The issue of cultural diversity should be approached with an open and the value of fair-mindedness. One should look into different viewpoints as well as change positions as a result of reasons that would render one to do so (CHATTANOOGA 2017).

Criteria: - One should also formulate conditions that have to be met to have the issues judged as being believable.

Criteria application procedures: - Thinking in the manner of solving such an issue need to have a broad spectrum. The procedure for finding a solution would entail questioning, assumptions identification, and making judgments (CHATTANOOGA 2017).

PESTEL Analysis Components

  1. Definition

The PESTEL or PESTLE model is a simple tool of analysis that is applied to the identification and analysis of the main change drivers within the business or strategic environment. The framework is an abbreviation that entails:

  1. Political factors
  2. Economic factors
  3. Social factors
  4. Technological factors
  5. Legal factors
  6. Environmental factors

It is also important in the assessment of the existing potential or environmental changes. The logic of this model is that in any case, a project happens to be better placed compared to its competitors, then it has to be flexible with regards to responding to changes.

Political factor: - All projects are made up of internal and external factors of politics. Internal political factors are always available on almost every project and are considered and managed by the organization’s stakeholders. On the contrary, the external political factors refer to those particular factors that are beyond the control of stakeholders. They include factors like tax policies, employment laws, trade reforms, trade restrictions, political stability, environmental regulations, and tariffs, among others (Dcosta 2017).

Economic factor: - The factor includes events which influence the external and internal economic environment. Both the microeconomic and the internal events of an organization are associated with the viability of the project. Such factors include embargoes, interstate taxes, economic growth, interest rates, inflation rate, recession, minimum wage, exchange rate, unemployment, wage rates, working hours, cost of living, financing availability, and credit availability among others (Dcosta 2017).

Sociological factor: - this factor relates to organizational events that socially influence the community and the market in a social manner. Such social events are norms, cultural expectations, healthy consciousness, population dynamics, global warming, and career attitudes among others.  

Evaluating possible solutions

Technological factor: - All factors that influence the technical level of an organization or project falls under this factor. This particular factor considers all the barriers are hindering an organization from exploring a given market as well as changes that make occur with regards to financial decisions (Dcosta 2017).

Legal factor: - the factor considers the legal aspects of an organization or project including quotas, employment, resources, taxation, and imports and exports among others.

Environmental factor: - This particular factor determines the environmental and ecological aspects of an organization or a project and of which could be social or economic. They are monsoons, temperature, rail access, natural calamities, ground contamination, ground conditions, and water sources among others (Dcosta 2017).

Business organizations still face issues regarding communication barrier. Currently, there are a lot of such barriers (Brown, Trevino and Harrison 2005). However, it is important to deal with such barriers as a way of ensuring effective and smooth communication within the organization. Principles that would help the management of an organization to overcome such barriers are:

  1. Application of simple organizational language: - staff members should use words that are simple and clear for emphasis. Jargons and ambiguous words are not supposed to be used in organizations (Chandra 2013).
  2. Elimination or noise reduction: - this is one of the major forms of communication barrier that has to be out-rightly given the first priority when it comes to eradicating the barriers.
  3. Listening actively: - this technique involves listening carefully and attentively. Listening actively would require one to hear properly and understand the message they’ve heard.
  4. Having an organizational structurethat is simple: - the structure of a particular organization should never be complex. Such means that the span of control in the business organization should be ideal (McArthur 2010).
  1. Qualitative data

The use or application of qualitative methods has been linked; on several occasions, with intervention evaluation. Through the use of such a method, information can be attained through the use of numbers (since they prove effectiveness), in a manner that is not possible if quantitative approaches are used. In this case, we will apply the result of a study process in Disneyland Hong Kong to determine the level of employee motivation. A focus group was employed to obtain the responses (Kader 2017).

  1. Respondent’s Demographic Profile

Characteristics

Frequency

Mean

Percentage

Mode

Gender

Male

50

50

Female

50

50

Total

100

50

100

0

Age

19-29 years

45

60

30-39 years

35

20

40-49years

5

10

Above 50 years

5

10

Total:

90

22.5

100

5

Education Level

Up to Form 5

5

10

A Level

25

25

Associated Certificate/ higher diploma

35

35

Degree

20

20

Masters

5

10

Total

90

0

100

5

  1. Mean

This is the average value obtained after the summation of the total values divided by the number of values available. For instance, the total number of individuals is 90. Since the ages are grouped into four categories, the mean age will be 22.5years as shown in the table above.

  1. Mode

The number that appears more often in a given set of numbers is the mode. For instance, in our set of ages in the table above, there are 5 individuals between the ages of 40 to 49. There is also another 5 in the bracket of people above 50years. It therefore means that the modal number is 5.

  • Median

The value found in the middle of the smallest and largest values is known as the median. However, in our case, it’s impracticable to have the same in the chat.

The tables below shows the employee responses with regards to factors associated with employee motivation.    

Successful implementation of a solution

Frequency

Percentages

Very Satisfied

9

10

Satisfied

5

5

Neutral

22

25

Dissatisfied

36

40

Very dissatisfied

18

20

Frequency

Percentages

Very Satisfied

5

5

Satisfied

23

25

Neutral

41

45

Dissatisfied

8

10

Very dissatisfied

13

15

Job Satisfaction


Welfare Incentives

Frequency

Percentages

Very Satisfied

9

10

Satisfied

18

20

Neutral

27

30

Dissatisfied

36

40

Very dissatisfied

0

0

Welfare Incentives

With regards to the same problem, questionnaires were sent to respondents who happen to be workers at Disneyland Hong Kong on the same issue. Below is a sample survey.

Quantitative Data Approach

From the set of data above, it is evident, therefore, that the basic principles of research analysis require the interviewees’ responses within the context of the research activity. The general outlay of the differences that exist between qualitative and quantitative research methods are:

Source: Qualitative & Quantitative Research Activities; https://www.orau.gov

To,

The HR Manager,

Disneyland Hong Kong,

Private Box

Hong Kong-China.

Date (dd/mm/yy)

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Re: Application For The Post Of An Assistant Administrator

Following the pathetic level of employee motivation under your docket, I am happy to bring to your attention my sincerest interest in the position of administrative assistance. My urge to apply for this post is propelled by the massive number of complaints raised by workers regarding their involvement in decision-making processes and level of motivation in the facility. On the 5th of June, 2017, my research team; as the head of the consultancy department came up sampled the following grievances from the employees:

  1. The management-employee relationship is deteriorated
  2. The level of job motivation is deteriorated
  • There are low levels of job satisfaction
  1. The employee welfare incentives are poor
  2. The work environment is less conducive

Owing to the aforementioned afflictions, I put my humble service at your disposal to help curb the issues and restore the levels of income of this business organization.

Thank You.

Yours Faithfully,

(Name)

Most corporations face a major challenge of being able to create a work environment that is healthy enough to motivate and influence its employees to realize productivity maximization. However, such a responsibility is left to the governance and management at different managerial levels in an organization. Some of the factors that should be considered to realize a healthy work environment include:

  1. Freedom of expression.

It is worth noting that the current society encourages the voice of workers to maintain or even improve an organization’s productivity. The initial step involves setting the right culture followed by providing channels and processes through which workers can express themselves (Management 2017).

  1. Availability of learning circumstances

The work environment should also be able to provide the employee with daily experiences in which they have their skills developed. Such can be achieved through the provision of different practices that ensure that employees are more active within the workplace (Management 2017).

  • Encouragement of creativity

The environment should also ensure that regular working conditions and processes are broken down to allow creative approaches that would lead to new thinking and also gaining new insights.

  1. Proper welfare facilities 

The management should ensure that it recruits workers who are physically and mentally stronger to ensure that a healthier working environment is achieved (Management 2017).

Reference

Abdul R. & Raheela M. (2014), Impact of Working Environment on Job Satisfaction. Available from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212567115005249. [27 November 2016]

Bass B. (1990), From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision, Organizational Dynamics, London.

Brikend A. 2011, Management Research and Practice. Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Romania.

Brown, M.E., Trevino, L. K. & Harrison, D.A. 2005, Ethical leadership: A Social Learning Perspective for Construct Development and Testing, Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, New Yok.

Business Performance Pty Ltd 2016, Workplace Environment and Employee Performance. Available from: https://www.businessperform.com/workplace-training/workplace_environment.html. [22 November 2016]

Chandra S. 2013, A Literature Review on motivation. Available from: https://hbr.org/2008/07/employee-motivation-a-powerful-new-model. [23 November 2016] 

CHATTANOOGA (2017). Critical Thinking and Problem-solving. [online] Utc.edu. Available at: https://www.utc.edu/walker-center-teaching-learning/teaching-resources/ct-ps.php  [Accessed 30 Jul. 2017].

Dcosta, A. (2017). Understanding a PESTLE Analysis and Its Components. [online] Brighthub Project Management. Available at: https://www.brighthubpm.com/project-planning/51754-components-of-a-pestle-analysis/ [Accessed 30 Jul. 2017].

ITS (2017). The stages of problem-solving. [online] Itseducation.asia. Available at: https://www.itseducation.asia/the-stages-of-problem-solving.htm  [Accessed 29 Jul. 2017].

Kader, M. (2017). Strategic Management (StratMgt). Open2study.com. [online], from https://www.open2study.com/courses/strategic-management [11 April 2017]

Laihonen, H., Lönnqvist, A., & Metsälä, J. (2015). Two knowledge perspectives to growth management. Vine, 45(4), 473-494. [online], from https://queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=https://search.proquest.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/docview/1732776855?accountid=13379

Management, S. (2017). SMS | Strategic Management Society. Strategicmanagement.net. [online], from https://www.strategicmanagement.net/ [10 April 2017]

Managing Cultural Diversity (2017). Managing Cultural Diversity. [online] Amanet.org. Available at: https://www.amanet.org/training/articles/managing-cultural-diversity.aspx  [Accessed 29 Jul. 2017].

McArthur, E. (2010). Diversity in the Workplace - Leading Association for Diversity Conferences and Collaboration. Workforcediversitynetwork.com.

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