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Advanced Busines Communication

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Advanced Business Communication

Thibaut Lebourgeois

Winthrop University

MGMT 671

Dr. Burgess Wilkerson

INTRODUCTION

As a consultant appointed by the Taylor brothers, we will establish an objective overview of the issues the company is actually facing and then provide them with alternatives to solve the problems we have identified and decide which one will fit the best to solve the issues, develop the system and improve it in a fast growing market.

SITUATION BACKGROUND

Information Solutions is an IT consulting firm based in New Zealand, employing 66 peoples. Its headquarters are in Auckland and they have 4 regional offices around the country. Information Technology is a very fast growing market, and Information Solution (IS) has experienced a rapid growth as well, during the past five years. The owners, Peter and Derek Taylor are looking for further growth abroad by setting up join ventures to fight the concurrence from Asia who has a very low labor cost. They are running the business together and the solutions they implemented in the past to avoid any critical problems the company had to face internally didn’t seem to work but they are admitting that there are some issues between the different divisions of the company.

Information Solutions is divided in two majors (core) divisions:

• The Solution Division: staffed by business analysts, information technology consultants, it provides customized information systems solutions witch cope with the clients needs.

• The support Division: staffed by clerical workers, sales staff, technicians and trainers. They sale, maintain and train the solutions provided by the Solution Division’s staff.

The company is present across New Zealand through 4 regional offices. They are headed by computer experts and staffed with salespeople, technicians and clerical employees. This kind of cells repartition (solution and support) could explain the challenges IS is now facing.

Conscious of the instability in the company, the Taylor brothers have decided to create a task force with representatives of all the protagonists involved to investigate and find a quick way to go past the challenges and put the business on the tracks of a long term growing.

Issue identification:

Here are some issues faced by IS we have identified in different fields.

• Communication: between the 2 divisions (horizontal or lateral way) and inside the divisions themselves (vertical way), where the downward/upwards communication process seems to be a challenge. The 2 divisions are not linked to each other, given that, grapevine communication is improved, creating a freeway for rumors travel (Hayes Andrews, P. and Baird, J. (2005), p70-71) witch leads to a suspicious climate. There is also a non existent or non efficient downward flux inside the divisions, and particularly in the support division, where the employees are kept away from the general information and the head staff strategy so they feel like not being a part of the company, reducing their job implication.

• Training: there are several challenges inside the training field.

First, the trainers; they feel isolated from the rest of the company and its strategy witch is quite difficult for people supposed to drive, to the customers and to the employees, the picture of the company. As they are focused on high profitability courses for customers, they are not focusing on training employees and themselves. Complaining about being overworked, the quality of the job delivered is getting down. The solution division is keeping important information from them, like course location, participants and dates. They can’t communicate efficiently with the regional offices, so no idea of the field needs. Consultants and business analysts keep throwing them work whereas they are weighted down and after there are complaining about a lack of backup from the technicians, but they are not trained. There is also an understaffing challenge here, given the area they have to cover. Other issue; employees from the support division are not trained to the new solutions developed by the solution division as the trainers are not trained to it themselves.

• Jealousy: One other challenge is the animosity generated by the differentiation in the motivation process for employees, their expectancy. Some people might feel left over because of the high differences in the incentive process, when some people in the solution division are extremely well paid, the judgment from support division employees is obviously unfair. Is there a limit to such differences? Technicians, clericals or sales representatives are hired under very poor conditions. We admit a pay scale in the structure but, there is an issue here if some people think they have an under valued outcome regarding their job. Something is missing somewhere; the hierarchical structure of the two divisions seems to be very different. In that climate what you produce is just jealousy and turnover as you also fuel grapevines and anger.

• Lack of guidelines: If employees feel left apart regarding where is the company going, it looks like management is over focused with growth, witch is not a bad focus, but this growth might be compromise without any real strategic guidelines. The risk is the scattering of every department, and finally the failure in reaching the management’s goals. How can you be efficient if some people from the middle to the bottom hierarchy ignore what they are working hard for? Management has a challenge here, re think their planning for a long term and profitable growth including all the staff regardless of the hierarchical position

Opportunities identification

Some opportunities for IS

IS strategy is to take more and more market shares; they have the opportunity to became nÐ'o1 in their market. They need to think their strategy

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