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Definition and Explanation of the Burrell and Morgan Model

Discuss about the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.

In a highly competitive world of today, it has become absolutely imperative for any organization to keep an eye over the process in which the business operations are being carried out in the company. In case an organization intends to increase its productivity by increasing employee efficiency, it must ensure that it has the most desirable work environment or proper capacity that can help the organization achieve long-term sustainability. Herein lies the importance of the organizational analysis of a company. A variety of management models are being employed for analyzing an organization and these models help the organization evaluate the effectiveness of the structure, leadership strategy or the employee performance of the organization. Burrell and Morgan is a sociological model that is very effective in determining the trajectory of an organization, and making necessary recommendations if necessary. Marks and Spencer (M&S) is one of the most recognized British multinational organizations situated all over the world. The M & S Singapore provides high quality fashion items and stylish home-ware that has helped it to achieve huge recognition among the Singaporeans as well. However, despite the huge recognition the organization has achieved, it should be noted that the organization is not free from competitors at Singapore as well. In fact, Group P.L.C and Next P.L.C are the names of some of the most eminent competitors of the organization in Singapore. Hence, it has been observed that if the organization intends to sustain itself in future, it must consider restructuring its structure, and re-formulating its leadership strategies. Hence, the organizational analysis of M & S using the Burrell and Morgan model is highly important. Thus, the present task intends to discuss and explain the Burrell and Morgan model, and next aims to analyze the effectiveness of the organizational strategy, adopted by Marks and Spencer (Hassard& Cox, 2013).

The Burrell and Morgan model is actually a model, created and developed by Burrell and Morgan for explaining and classifying the sociological theories. Although this is a sociological paradigm itself, the theory has wide application over a variety of organizational theories. The particular model focuses on the four important aspects of the organization, which are being explained below:

The model is being used for explaining the four important perspectives- Radical Humanist perspective, Functionalist perspective, Radical Structuralism perspective and the Interpretive perspective. The radical humanist perspective talks of a highly autocratic work environment, where the employees are being marginalized, and are not being sufficient freedom in ventilating their personal opinions. Again, the functionalist perspective analyzes the goals of the organization in the light of the shared civic values, while the radical structuralism perspective focuses on the importance of the organizational intervention in management decisions. Last but not the least, the interpretive perspective intends to analyze the present situation in the light of certain theories (Cronje, 2013).

Functionalist Paradigm

Here, Marks and Spencer Singapore, is being considered, and the organization is being considered in the light of the Burrell and Morgan model. The functionalist paradigm is being adopted, as it is being observed that the management authority of M & S Singapore follows an autocratic leadership style, wherein the employees are being prevented from reaching their full potential. As a result of excessive intervention on part of the authority, the employees are unable to retain their motivation, and express and utilize their innovative ideas, necessary for helping the company achieve organizational success (Powel & DiMaggio, 2013). This paradigm intends to recommend radical change in terms of the organizational structure and culture, followed at Marks and Spencer. The Functionalist paradigm intends to explain the organizational issues of the selected company in the light of the pragmatic ideas of sociological positivism. Hence, the organizational behavior of the company will be done, with the help of hypothesis testing.

M & S follows a very poor and ineffective organizational structure. Moreover, the organizational culture is also not suitable, as it does not provide sufficient motivation to the employees working under the organization. Since the year of 2000, the organization in Singapore has been in the news for the fall in profit as well as the sales. The organizational structure of a company refers to the way the authority arranges and divides the work among its employees, so as to help in the accomplishment of the important goals and objectives. M & S follows the traditional bureaucratic organizational structure that divides the organizational jobs according to the employees’ areas of specialization, such as sales and operation, logistics, Marketing and accounting (Brokaw et al., 2012). Since the functionalist paradigm is being adopted, it has been observed that the organizational values, and culture are highly responsible for the condition of the organization in the recent times. However, the degree to which the authority is distributed among the employees is very high. It should be noted that in case of a bureaucratic organizational structure, and an autocratic culture, the managerial head is required to regularly monitor and supervise the activities and performance of the employees, working in different departmental sections of the company. However, in case of M & S, given the huge span of control required to monitor the activities of the innumerable number of functional departments, the managing authority fails to review and evaluate the quality of the employee performance (Gypteau et al., 2015).

It should be noted that the centralization of power and authority tends to present innumerable disadvantages to the organization. One major disadvantage confronting the M & S Singapore is that the pyramidal structure of management is not desirable for a large organization. The decision-making capacity as well as the managerial duties is confined in the hands of the President, who acts as the executive, in the company, and hence he fails to assess and evaluate the quality of the performance of the employees (Ashkenas et al., 2014). Besides, the President of the organization fails to visit the organization during regular periodical intervals, and communicate the strategies or changes to the employees. As a result, there is a wide gap of communication that has been developing among the employees and the higher management of the organization. The functional organizational structure followed by M & S Singapore, is being explained below:

As it is evident from the above diagram, the organizational structure followed at M & S limits the power, control and authority to a single individual, who fails to pay, heed to each aspect of the organization (Pettigrew et al., 2014). The employees working at M & S Singapore under the Marketing team claimed that they fail to express creativity, as they are expected to comply with the norms of the organization.


As a result of the functionalist paradigm, it has been observed that the strictly hierarchical structure of the organization does not allow liberty and  autonomy to the employees, working in the organization. Though a strong hierarchical structure is very organized, it does not necessarily have a positive impact on the minds of the employees. Due to the lack of effective communication, the employees fail to understand the organizational requirements, and hence the Human Resource team fails to introduce necessary changes in the organization. Besides, research studies suggest that the HR department itself has to comply with the legal and regulatory framework of the organization, as drafted by the top layer of the management of the organization (O’Reilly &Tushman, 2013). It is recommended that the organization creates a large, interdisciplinary group, and distributes the power among the managers of each departmental section. This will enable effective communication of business plans and smooth operation of the business activities. Besides, the organization must replace its autocratic leadership style with the participative and flexible leadership style. A proper sense of collaboration and employee co-operation is absolutely needed, which is apparently missing at M & S. It has been observed that due to the lack of proper communication, the organization, at recent times, has failed to conduct great business in Singapore, and hence the rate of profit has been going down. Excessive intervention at workplace also leaves the employees discontent and de-motivated, that leads to high turnover rates and low retention capacity. Hence, the organization should adopt a highly participative style of leadership and organizational management, so that the employees can also enjoy the power to communicate their innovative ideas, and contribute to the well-being of the organization (Goetch& Davis, 2014). Besides, the organization must adopt the divisional organizational structure, as it is the most suitable structure for any large scale organization. The organization should confine the power of management authority to each sectional manager, so that there can be an equal division of power (Daft, 2012). The proposed organizational structure can be explained with the help of the diagram given below:

The line organizational structure is the most desirable organizational structure meant for M & S Singapore. The structure can help in simplifying and clarifying the authority as well as the job roles assigned to each employee, and also assists in promoting fast and efficient decision-making system (Cummings & Worley, 2014).

The organizational culture of M & S should also be considered. The organizational culture is defined as the system of shared values, ideologies and beliefs followed by the employees of an organization. The culture at workplace is highly important as it determines the nature of relation of the employees among themselves, or the way in which the employees behave with the colleagues (McShane&Glinow, 2015). Marks and Spencer is in itself a reputed brand, and hence it must ensure that the organizational culture adopted by the company communicates the right message to the employees. Besides, there is no point denying the fact that the organizational culture of the company also helps in promoting healthy relation among the employees. The organizational culture can be of various kinds, such as the pragmatic organizational culture, academy culture, baseball team culture, club culture and fortress culture. However, M & S follows a normative organizational culture, whereby the organization has a predefined set of rules that the organization intends to follow (Lee et al., 2012). The employees working at M & S are expected to follow the norms and the workplace guidelines, and to conform to the prescribed code of business and policies of the organization. As a result, the employees are unable to enjoy a sense of flexibility, and autonomy within the organization. The strict normative control within the organization is undesirable as it robs the employees of autonomy (Weaver et al., 2013). Though the organizational culture is strong, and imposes strict rules on the employees, the employee productivity is affected in a negative way. Since, there exists a structurally direct and inextricable relation between employee productivity and organizational culture, the performance of the employees gets affected. However, inequality or hierarchy is seen as an important part of any society, or an organization, the hierarchical structure and the normative organizational culture is being appreciated in the organization.

Besides, the organization’s belief and business ideology can be summarized in the following way:

Providing excellent service to each single client

To strive for excellence

Respect for each individual employee (Rowlinson et al., 2013)


As it is evident, the organizational culture of M & S primarily focuses on the benefits and well-being of the employees. However, it is recommended that the organization adopts a more employee centric culture. The organization has been overlooking the demand of its employees for salary hike and flexible work schedule. There is a lack of control and co-ordination between the management authority of the organization, and the employees working under it. The business activities of the organization are mainly operated under the control and guidance of the CEO of Steve Rowe, who fails to regularly supervise and monitor the Market performance of the company in the different outlets at Singapore (Ainsworth et al., 2015). Hence, this acts as a source of trouble. The promotional strategy adopted by Rowe, while launching the products in the Western countries, does not always prove best for the Singaporean Market. The consumers as well as the consumption behavior of the consumers largely differ across borders, and hence the organizational strategy chosen by Rowe is not always being accepted by the employees. This leads to organizational conflict and workplace clash, that affect the performance of the employees, and de-motivates them as well.

The CEO of the organization does not reside in Singapore, and hence he fails to stay connected with the employees. As a result, there is a lack of acceptability among the employees, who often find the managerial skills questionable. It is recommended that the organization follows any one of the given alternatives:

The organization should vest the management power of the Singaporean outlets, on a business manager who is a resident of Singapore

The organization divides the business activities into various sections, whereby a divisional manger is being chosen for supervising and controlling the business activities o each section (Weaver et al., 2013).

By following either of the two alternatives, M & S Singapore, will be able to introduce a role organizational culture. In case of the role organizational culture, the structure is well-defined and the business operations are highly predictable. As a result, the manager of the organization will not impose rapid decisions and autocratic control on the employees.

Another problem observed in the organizational culture of M & S Singapore, is that the leaders of the organization follow an autocratic style of leadership, whereby the employees do not enjoy flexibility and autonomy in the decision making process (Senge, 2014). Yet it should be noted that the company could have still excelled in its operational activities, if it could organize regular meetings and interactive sessions, that could help the higher authority communicate the business strategies to the employees. In this case, the productivity rate of the efficiency rate of the employees are remaining the same, and yet lack of managerial control or insufficient knowledge about the organizational goals, are not letting the employees reach full potential. In order to improve the workplace culture, M & S Singapore is required to ensure effective communication between the higher and the lower management level (Gyptaeu et al., 2015). Either the employees should be offered minimal right to participate in the decision-making capacity, or the top level managers should interact with the employees at periodical intervals.

As it has already been mentioned above, the organization is required to frame its culture keeping into consideration, the needs and expectations of the employees. The organizational culture should move from being consumer-centric to employee-centric. The employees, regarded as the human resources of the organization must be valued as much as the financial resources. Hence, the important attributes, such as employee integrity and fairness, learning opportunities, accountability, communication, and purpose, decision-making skills are some of the important attributes that must be incorporated by the organization in its organizational culture.

In a highly normative organizational culture, M & S needs to continually motivate its employees. However, the employees feel de-motivated and deprived of enjoying basic rights of taking managerial decisions within the organization. Excessive managerial intervention hampers the creative and innovative approach of the organization at Singapore. The promotional and Marketing team consists of Marketing managers, belonging to Singapore only, and hence the Marketing managers of Singapore can be provided with the opportunity of selecting the most effective promotional strategy. Although the organization recruits as much as 250 University graduates in UK, the number of Singaporean employees working in the M & S outlet is indeed quite low. Consequently, the limited number of Singaporean employees often encounters issues of cultural diversity, as well as cross cultural communication problems. However, the management authority does not try to develop the intercultural competence of the existent employees, by offering sufficient training programs. The social and interpersonal relation of the employees must be improved to enable smooth connection between the logistics and operation department and the sales department. The organization however places too much emphasis on improving and enhancing the soft skills and the personality of the employees. The organization has been overlooking the problem of co-ordination that exists among the employees working in different sectional departments of the organization (Kacker, 2015). M & S has been focusing too much on the tasks or the business deals, and have been dismissing the importance of developing personal relation of the employees.

It is evident from the recent research reports that M & S, Singapore is gradually losing its edge, and hence it will face great difficulty in sustaining itself in future, if it does not adopt any effective step. As the above organizational analysis has been done considering the functionalist paradigm, a radical change in the structure and the culture of the organization is being suggested. First of all, the organization, instead of vesting all the power and authority on the CEO and the managerial heads, must create a hierarchical structure, clearly defining the power and the authority of each employee. More importantly, the accountability as well as the role of each functionary must be explicitly stated. The organization must hire sectional managers, who will be holding regular meetings and interactive sessions, for communicating the immediate plans and strategies of the organization (Frederick, 2013). Besides, a more flexible work environment is required whereby each employee or at least each sectional head can chalk out and implement his own business plan, for the respective department. Too much dependence on the higher authority slows down the decision making and strategy implementation process. Although a proper span of control is indeed required, yet it is advisable that M & S Spencer allows proper flexibility and autonomy to the employees. As far as the organizational culture is concerned, the autocratic leadership style should be replaced by the participative leadership style, as it will motivate the employees to participate and involve in the decision-making process more actively. Besides, no organization can build a coherent culture unless the people are willing to embrace the inherent values of the organization. Hence, it is advised that the organization arranges workshops and seminars that can promote a sense of belonging and co-operation among the employees of M &S (Retna& Jones, 2013).

Conclusion:

M & S Singapore has been doing well even in the recent past. However, at present, the business reports suggest that the organization has been suffering from the biggest downturn in last 10 years, owing to the inability to adopt the most effective organizational structure and culture. By applying the functionalist paradigm, it has been observed that the current dominant ideology, adopted by the organization is not the right one. Hence, the organization is required to adopt a change in the structure as well as in the culture.

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