The History Of Mintzberg Organisational Structure Business Essay

Data Express Logo

BY

LAWAL, OLUBUKOLA OLAIDE

OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT

5 ALFRED REWANE ROAD, FALOMO, IKOYI, LAGOS

(bukky@data-express.biz; 234-8028706119)

An action learning assignment submitted to Business School Netherlands, Nigeria in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

at

Business School Netherlands

Submitted 15th April, 2013

Table of Contents

1.0 INTRODUCTION 3

1.1 Brief History 3

1.2 Nature and Size 3

1.4 Vision and Mission 4

1.5 Core Values 4

1.6 Clients and Key Accounts 4

2.0 PLANNING 5

2.1 Reason of the Organisational Analysis 5

2.2 Goal Setting 5

2.2 Project Plan 5

2.4 Implementation 6

2.5 Challenges to be Encountered in Data Collection 6

2.5 Steps to Overcome Challenges 6

3.0 OGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE 7

3.1 Organisational Structure 7

3.2 Organisational Culture 12

4.0 ANALYSIS OF THE FUNCTIONAL UNITS AND THE INTERFACE RELATION 16

4.1 Human Resource Management 18

4.2 Marketing and Strategic Management 22

4.3 Operation Management 23

4.4 Information Management 24

5.0 CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS OF IMPROVEMENT 26

6.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………………….28

7.0 APPENDICES

INTRODUCTION

This chapter gave background knowledge about DataExpress Outsourcing Nigeria Limited. It focused on history, nature, size, mission, vision, core values and services.

1.1 BRIEF HISTORY

DataExpress Outsourcing Nigeria Limited is a specialist provider of database and database management solutions. It was incorporated as a limited liability company in Nigeria in February 2012. It was formerly known as DataExpress Limited from 2009 when it was first registered. It operates with the full support of, and in collaboration with its UK technology partner, EQ Capital Dynamics International. DataExpress has a track record of delivering quality professional solutions to businesses in diverse market sectors: from Government Agencies as well as Marketing. Our services are often called upon by other IT and software companies.

1.2 NATURE AND SIZE

DataExpress operates as an Information Technology Company with deep knowledge and experience of handling large volumes of moving data. This accumulated expertise was an important leverage point in the Crime Data Register project, as are its well established routes to data capture directly from source, data cleansing, delivery technologies and its operating processes.

As a growing business, we have been able to establish a crime data register for the Lagos State Government which is still the Company’s biggest project. The Crime Data Register tracks the records of all criminal cases in Lagos State which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. The staff strength is currently about 12 which is headed by the Chief Executive Officer with its operations in a single data centre but we get support from other agencies such as The Ministry of Justice, The Nigerian Prison Services, The Judiciary as well as the Nigerian Police Force.

1.3 PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

DataExpress is known for bespoke software applications. Our core project includes:

Software and Systems Development

Information Systems Strategy

Information Technology Review and Planning

Corporate Messaging and Collaboration Strategy

1.4 VISION AND MISSION

VISION: Design and delivery of business systems using best breed of technology and tools. 

MISSION: To be the leading provider of commercial solutions to business forging truly value-adding, long term partnerships with our client.

1.5 CORE VALUES

Timeliness: We deliver our packages on time as agreed in Service Level Agreement.

Integrity: We use the best breed of technologies and tools.

Customer Focus: We develop bespoke applications that are customer friendly.

Flexibility: Our software is ever changing and meet your everyday requirement.

1.6 KEY ACCOUNTS

Improved Return on Investment

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Access to more Information

Increased Accuracy

PLANNING

This chapter focused on goal setting, proposed study plan, limitations in data gathering, how to overcome the limitations and stakeholders for sources of data.

2.1 Reason for Organisational Analysis

The reason for organisational analysis is to evaluate the functional units and the internal relations, the size and structure, and areas of improvement for such as efficiency and effectiveness.

2.2 GOAL SETTING

Goal setting is a motivational technique based on the concept that the practice of setting goals develops performance, and that setting challenging goals result in higher performance than setting goals that are easy to reach.

2.3 PROJECT PLAN

Table 1 below shows the proposed project plan. It is a tabulated description of when, what and hours dedicated to each task per day. It is a clear path to guide report writing.

DATE

TASK

HOURS DEDICATED

25th Mar-26th Mar

Review BSN Lecture Materials

4 Hours daily

27th Mar

Research EBSCO database

4 Hours

28th Mar- 29th Mar

Draft questions and attend Sun-set Meeting

3 Hours daily

30th Mar

Personal Reading and Reflective thinking on DE

6 Hours daily

31st Mar

Report Writing (Chapter 1 and Two)

5 Hours daily

2nd Apr

Data Gathering

3rd Apr- 5th Apr

Compilation of data and report writing (Chapter 3)

5 Hours daily

6th -7th Apr

Report writing (Chapter 4 and 5)

4 Hours

8th Apr

Share draft report with a comrade

24 hours

9th

Submit draft Report to Sub-set Advisor

24 Hours

10th – 11th Apr

Review Report

12th Apr

Submit reviewed report to Sub-set Advisor

24 Hours

13th -14th Apr

Final Review of report

5 Hours

15th Apr

Submit Final report to registry

Figure 1

Review of Project BSN materials as well as the EBSCO database to have a broad knowledge of theories and other aspects of organisational Analysis

One on One question, telephone assessment and mail method will be used. The target population are Staff of functional departments within the Lagos Office.

Reviewing of data gathered compilation and double checking that information supplied is correct.

The report writing will include reference from class notes, data gathered, internet research and BSN Lecture materials.

2.4 IMPLEMENTATION OF REPORT

Consult source document such as tools used in data collection.

Review draft report with subset members for comments and amendments.

Review draft report with a respected comrade for criticism and understanding of report writing

Review draft report from Sub-set advisor.

2.5 CHALLENGES TO ENCOUNTER IN DATA COLLECTION

Inadequate time due to nature of researchers job that entails fieldwork.

Some respondents may be reluctant to complete questionnaire because they are not sure if their interest will be protected.

Some respondents may be more interested in reason for conducting research rather than focus on the research questions.

2.6 STEPS TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES

Interview will be conducted early in the morning and 30 minutes before close of business when every Staff is usually in the office.

One on one question, telephone assessment methods will be used in data gathering.

A brief chat with respondent to intimate them about the objective of the research.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE

This chapter focused on the theories for and against organisational structure and Culture.

3.1 ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

According to renowned management theorist Henry Mintzberg, an organisation’s structure emerges from the interplay of the organisations strategy, the environment, and the organisational structure itself. When these fit together well, they combine to create organisations that perform well. When they do not fit, then the organisation is likely to experience severe problems. (Mind tools, Mintzbergs Organisational Configurations; Understanding the configuration of your Organisation, paragraph 7)

In his popular book "Mintzberg on Management" he criticizes what he sees as the skeleton view of organisations. According to his personal view, formal structure is the most important feature of an organisation. Mintzberg also argues that managers who unthinkingly adopt this view squeeze out the commitment of their members. An organisation cannot be reduced to its formal structure. Such a formal structure is merely what Mintzberg describes as "the bones of an organisation.

Other writers argue against Mintzbergs’s theory as in the case of Daft (1989) who claims that organisational structure is not only the division of labour and its cooordination but also about (formal) relationships among members of the organisations, the way individuals are grouped together and the way they communicate and so on (BSN Phase 1 Lecture Notes, Module IX, p. 567).

Henry Mintzberg suggests that organisations can be differentiated along three basic dimensions:

(1) the key part of the organisation, that is, the part of the organisation that plays the major role in determining its success or failure;

(2) the prime coordinating mechanism, that is, the major method the organisation uses to coordinate its activities; and

(3) the type of decentralization used, that is, the extent to which the organisation involves subordinates in the decision-making process. Using the three basic dimensions—key part of the organisation, prime coordinating mechanism, and type of decentralization—Mintzberg suggests that the strategy an organisation adopts and the extent to which it practices that strategy result in five structural configurations: simple structure, machine bureaucracy, professional bureaucracy, divisionalized form, and adhocracy. (International Journal of Scholarly, volume 14 number 1 (2012:1)

According to O Brien, 1991, said a system is a group of common goal. Davies & Olsen on the other hand said a system is not a random assembled set of elements. Contrary to these views, the component parts of a system are either intentionally or unintentionally brought together in order to achieve interaction. The idea of seeing organisations as bounded entities that receive input, process this input ("throughput’) and generate output. The boundary marks the distinction between the organisations and environment. It the organisation is to continue to survive in this environment, then, the organisation should retain its boundary. There must be feedback between the environment and the organisation, this is the essential function of feedback which is a control mechanism that controls and indicates any negative deviation from environment demands (Katz & Kahn, 1967).

DataExpress as an organisation adopted the open system of interaction between the environment and the organisation. It receives raw data in form of biography information in form of a form as well as biometric data of inmates in electronic form stored in hardware of all inmates in the five (5) prisons in Lagos State. It processes this information and turns it into electronic format through its bespoke software which is capable of generating a unique identification number for all records. It continues to update this information which is made available to the environment (stakeholders) in a single database which is easily to access. The researchers organisation also allows the environment to query the system for certain information which can aid judicial proceedings through the use of Subject Record Enquiry System.

DataExpress is able to achieve this through the interaction between the various departments within the organisation.

3.1.1 MINTZBERG ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

This shows ways to effect coordination in an organisation.

Simple Structure: One person gives direct orders to others.

Machine Bureaucracy: One person standardizes the general work process to ensure that these are all coordinated.

Professional Bureaucracy: One person specifies the general output or skills of the work of another.

Divisionalized Form: Autonomous units are created to deal with entire product line in order for top management to concentrate on strategic decision making.

Adhocracy: an informal organic organisation in which two or more people work as a team to coordinate their work.

Furthermore, Mintzberg identified 5 basic parts in an organisation which are:

Operating core: Staff who ensures the basic work of producing the organisation’s products and services gets done.

Strategic apex: The home of top management in charge of running the organisation.

Middle line: Managers who stand in a direct line relationship between the strategic apex and the operating core.

Techno structure: The staff analysts who design the systems by which work processes and outputs are standardized in the organisation.

Support staff: The specialists who provide support to the organisation outside of its operating workflow.

DataExpress strategic Apex is the Chief Executive Officer who is in charge of running the organisation being a small company. The middle level managers report to the CEO via weekly and comprehensive monthly reports.

The Middle Line is usually called Middle level Managers. They operate between the Chief Executive Officer and the Operating core that are referred to as Data Input Staff. The Middle Level Managers guide the Operating core on their duties and ensure laid down procedures are followed. They appoint supervisors to oversee the activities of the operating core. They also act as relationship officers between the internal and external environment.

The Techno Structure comprises of the team in Information Communication department who designs the applications used by the company and responsible for upgrade, maintenance and testing of new releases. They are responsible for conducting quality assurance on data inputted by the Operating core and also generate rule books which are used to correct both internal and external errors.

The Operating Core usually called Data Input Officers is responsible for initial quality assurance on all forms received from the environment and input them into the system thereby converting to electronic data. They ensure the number of forms collected matches the number of pictures and finger print data of inmates.

The Chief Executive Officer also serves as the professional Bureaucracy.

All activities of the company are overseen by the Ministry of Justice who conducts periodic physical inspection to data centre.

3.1.2 EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY OF ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

According to webdictionary.com, efficiency is the degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved which means doing things right, while effectiveness is determined without reference to cost which means doing the right thing.

DataExpress according to the management’s assessment is said not to be achieving efficiency due to delay in payments of customers though DataExpress has in place a the robust software in place through the support of its parent company EQ Capital. Effectiveness is also low due to lack of corporation from its environment, untimely submission of reports by institutions, non-engagement of the environment who are the major recipients of the services as well as non challant attitude to work of government officials. DataExpress still has a long way to go in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.

DESIGN PARAMETERS

The design parameters or building blocks as identified by Mintzberg which he said the organisational designer can influence the way individuals are positioned in the organisation, the way groups or departments are formed, the way these groups are linked to each other, and the way decisions are made. The design parameters are Job specialization, Behaviour formation, Training and indoctrination, Unit grouping, Unit size, Planning and control systems, Liaison devices, and Vertical and horizontal decentralization.

The design parameters predominant to DataExpress are:

Job Specialization: This is the way tasks are divided within the organisation In DataExpress, there is division of tasks. No single person is allowed to perform a particular task. Even for specialized functions, Staff are encouraged to show how things are done to others. e.g. Finger print upload used to be uploaded only by I.T department but now Core Operating Staff can upload finger prints successfully without error.

Unit Groupings: This is the most important parameter in DataExpress as it creates accountability and makes Staff responsible for certain units. It creates a system of supervision between the Middle line and the core operating Staff. Same resources and equipment is able to every unit and same measure is applied to access performance.

Liaison Devises: This is been done by the Operations Manager who interacts with the different units both within and without the organisation. This has been effective and has saved the company relationship a lot of times.

This parameters are in use because the company is been run by an individual hence most of the rules are single handedly made and enforced. It has not been efficient due to slowness in decision at the centre and sometimes decisions taken are not right so the organisation has to go back to the drawing table hence time and resources would have been wasted.

ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE

Deal and Kennedy (1982) argue that culture is the single most important factor

accounting for success or failure in organisations. They identified four key dimensions of culture:

1. Values – the beliefs that lie at the heart of the corporate culture.

2. Heroes – the people who embody values.

3. Rites and rituals – routines of interaction that have strong symbolic qualities.

4. The culture network – the informal communication system or hidden hierarchy of

power in the organisation.

Peters and Waterman (1982) suggest a psychological theory of the link between

organisational culture and business performance. Culture can be looked upon as a

reward of work; we sacrifice much to the organisation and culture is a form of return

on effort.

In their book "In search of Excellence", Peterman and Waterman (1982) argued that successful organisations differed from organisations that were lagging behind not because of their structure but because culture. Organisational culture thus depicts itself as the way members of an organisation treat themselves, in the way the wield power, in the way they dress, in the way they keep appointments, in the way they behave to people outside the organisation and the way they go about their daily routine. (MBA Phase 1, Module X, p 612).

Kanter (1989) refers to the paradox implicit in linking culture with change. On the

surface culture has essentially traditional and stable qualities, so how can you have a

‘culture of change?’ Yet this is exactly what the innovative organisation needs.

Eric Eisenberg and H. L. Goodall (1993, p 152) observe that Organisational Culture Theory relies heavily on the shared meaning among organisational members. They comment that "most cultures show considerably more alignment in practice than they do in the attitudes, opinions, or beliefs of individual members"

Most authors of organisational culture argue that culture is not a surface phenomenon. On the contrary, despite their eagerness to provide simple solutions for difficult problems, they insist that culture cannot be immediately recognized. Culture can only be experienced if one gets much closer to the ‘tribe’ one studies.

Organisational culture is thus only interesting as a means of coordinating and influencing the behaviour of organisational members. A "strong" culture is nothing more than a culture that allows managers to attain their goals. That is why the adjective "strong" is often equated with "good", "effective", "efficient", "adaptive", "homogeneous", "consistent", "flexible" and so on. The normative bias towards "strong", "good", or "efficient" culture (Wilkins and Ouchi, 1987) is, of course, not of a strictly moral nature.

3.2.1 DATAEXPRESS ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE

DataExpress culture organisational culture is not explicit. The company has no culture clearly written out. The Researchers Company does not have a company handbook. The only formal training staff gets when they join the company is the induction process they are taken through. All Staff tend to learn on the job. But one important thing that can be said is a culture is that DataExpress believes in branding. All letters, Proposal or documents sent out are in same template. The Company logo and colour is never compromised on. The Management group determines solely what the culture of the organisation should be per time and somehow everybody down the line does what is expected of them.

3.2.2 THE NORMATIVE APPROACH

Peters and Waterman, 1982: 75-76, argues that "Without exception, the dominance and unity of culture proved to be an essential quality of the out-standing companies. Besides, the stronger the culture and the more it was directed towards the marketplace, the less need was there for policy manuals, organisation charts, or detailed procedures and rules. In these companies people way down the line know what they are supposed to do in most situations because the handful of guiding values is crystal clear."

FACTORS WHICH INFLUNCED DATAEXPRESS ORGANISATION CULTURE

DataExpress does not have a standard Policy manual or detailed procedure except for his Organisational chart which is not in use because the management change Staff Job title when they deem fit. Although the researchers company has not strong culture but when it comes to its stakeholders, they ensure they keep promises and deliver on standards promised. The researchers company may not be said to be outstanding but it has carved a niche for itself as the only company offering such service in the country at the moment.

3.2.3 THE TYPOLOGY APPROACH

Handy’s typology is, as he himself admits, that culture cannot be precisely defined, for it is something that is perceived and felt. Handy, 1985: 196-7.Handy’s point is that every organisation will feel a tendency towards the four cultural types discussed by him. A particular type may be more obvious than the other.

Deal and Kennedy (1982; pp. 108-123) 2 dimension typology focuses on: the magnitude of risk in-built in organisational decisions and the time it takes to get feedback on these decisions. The combination of all this leads to four cultural types of which only two will be mentioned:

The tough-guy macho culture is regarded as a willingness to take risky decisions. Feedback on these decisions generally comes quick. This kind of culture can typically be found in the entertainment industry, in the advertising business, etc. Independence, risks, speed and stress are key words. People are praised when right decision is made while wrong decision is reprimanded.

The researches company has adopted this approach in time past. DataExpress had to take risk by continuing operations when the company was not funded by the State Government. The Company still collated Data, worked on the software interface, and upgraded its technology while they continue to push to get funds. Staff Salaries were not paid during this time but not Staff resigned. All hands were still on deck till the company was able to scale through.

The work hard or play hard culture is aversive to risks. The evasion of risks is even seen as a precondition for success. Feedback on decisions generally comes quick. People who make wrong decisions are not reprimanded. Co-operation is valued, there are no heroes, stress is reduced by all kinds of activities such as collective outings, participation in sports tournaments, etc.

3.2.4 THE METAPHOR APPROACH

According to Alvesson 1993, p. 116, ‘’a metaphor is a term transferred from one system or level of meaning to another thereby revealing some vital aspects of the latter and covering other aspects. A metaphor also allows an object to be perceived and understood from another object’’

Metaphors are divided into two types which are one that can invoke a neutral culture and one that can invoke a negative picture of it. The researcher will take a view from to describe her organisation:

Organisation as a climate: When a person enters an organisation, the culture can be sensed either to be accommodating, innovative, professional etc. People can "sense" organizations. However, viewing cultures as climates emphasises that cultures might not be clear-cut. Emotion and empathy are the tools needed for a profound understanding of culture. However, if one sticks to this metaphor, discussions about organisational culture will inevitably be unclear and intangible.

The Researchers company best explains this metaphor. A person’s first contact with the company gives an unclear perception about what the company entails. Though the company is an Information Technology company, the first contact with the front desk personnel is appalling as she is not a professional in that field.

ANALYSIS OF FUNCTIONAL UNITS AND THE INTERFACE RELATION

This chapter focuses on the arrangement of the functional units, the interface relations with the researchers functional unit, challenges encountered during interface and recommendation for enhancing interface relations.

The challenges and recommendations stated below were based on the views of the researchers colleagues who they work together in the Organisation. The organogram as shown in Figure 1 clearly showed the different departments within the researchers Organisation.

The Researchers department is Operations Management. The Operations department is the arm of the Organisation that make things happen in the organisation. They are the people responsible for collection and conversion of data from manual to electronic means. The researcher is the Operations Manager in the operations department. She is responsible for forms design and issuance, quality assurance, production of bespoke reports, attending to subject record enquires, ensuring that operations team comply with the house rules before input of data is carried out, ensures that all raw data collection are submitted and appropriate departments.

Furthermore, the researcher ensured that the necessary tools are available to the Network Font End. The researcher ensured that the Operations team supplied the tools on a weekly basis and also liaises with external customers.

4.1 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Behind production of every goods and service there is human mind, effort and time invested without human being no product or service can be produced. Human being is the fundamental resource for making anything. Today many experts claim that machines and technology are replacing human resource and minimising their importance. But in fact machines and technology are built by the human; there has been continuous pressing need for talented, skilled and qualified professionals to further improve machines and technology.

The researchers Human Resource Department is responsible for personnel hiring and firing, skills development, training, benefits administration, and compliance with government regulations.

4.1.1 Study of the Human Resources Department

Recruitment, Selection and Placement: Recruitment is the process of discerning competent employee out of available candidates in the market who are appropriate for the job and according to organisation requirements. Recruitment is done both internally (promotion) and externally.

Selection is the process of choosing the best suitable candidate for the job from the pool of applicants.

Placement is the process of fitting the right candidates into the job.

DataExpress does not write a recruitment policy that is clearly written rather the researchers company recruits when there is a need to fill a vacant position. However the certain principles are tactically followed:

Recruitment is done both from within and without. DataExpress places advert through the online advertisement companies such as Jobber man, Talent Bureau formerly Careers Nigeria, Internal Advertisement etc.. A well prepared document is sent to this companies which contains the role, Job description, skills, salary, brief history about the company, requirement and type of skills required.

The researchers company does not employ relatives.

The company has no policy stating that people with special needs cannot be employed. Presently, DataExpress has a Staff who is an asthmatic patient.

The researchers Company employ candidates between ages 25 to 40.

Highly skilled personnel are used to fill Technical positions.

The Human Resource Department, Line Manager as well as CEO are responsible for recruitment.

DataExpress recruits within for higher positions because it believes strongly that people should be allowed to start from the scratch in the organisation.

Category of Staff:

All Staff of DataExpress are permanent Staff.

Recruitment Interview/Selection/Placement:

Candidates are invited for a preliminary Interview whereby they introduce themselves to the Chief Executive Officer who tells them about the company and ask the applicants to give a brief introduction about themselves.

The credentials submitted are screened by the departmental head for which vacancy is to be filled. Only qualified applicants are sent an invite for interview.

One on One and One to many interview approach is usually been used during Interviews.

Candidates are required to submit their credentials online before the preliminary Interview.

There are usually three stages of Interview out of which one is practical.

The Head of department for which vacancy is to be filled is also present at the interview.

Candidates whose names are not on the interview list will not be interviewed likewise Candidates that are 30 minutes late will not be interviewed.

Candidates are allowed to ask questions during the interview.

Reference check is conducted in some cases.

All candidates are required to submit at least three months’ pay slip from their previous employer.

Selection is based on trust, equity and fairness.

Selected candidates are first contacted verbally without commitment afterwards a mail is sent of which the candidate must acknowledge interest within 72 hours.

Appointment letter is sent via email or can be collected by hand by the candidate.

The candidate must submit a letter of acceptance within 72 hours.

Staff Induction

Induction process in the researchers company is not well taken care of. When employees are selected and placed, they are welcomed into the department or team they will work with, introduced to the work environment, conditions of employment, benefits, organisations rules etc. A desk to desk introduction is embarked on. Afterwards, the line manager tells the new Staff about the objectives and standards of the company.

The induction may need to be phased in such a way that the employee is not overwhelmed with too much information too soon. The induction process is usually done in organisational, team and individual levels. All this is done within few hours on the first day before the Staff is taken to his office and shown the tools he will be working with. All passwords and access are provided immediately.

The information the new recruit needs is passed across on different days of the week. The complexity of the induction varies on the person. For Technical Team, the induction process takes over two weeks while for the Junior Staff, the Induction process last for only a day. The Human Resource Department, Line Manager as well as the CEO are responsible for Induction.

Staff Development

The Researchers Company does not believe in formal training. Rather, it believes that Individuals should be made to learn on the job. Trainings done are lead by supervisors. No training has ever been conducted for Technical and interpersonal skills.

Performance Appraisal

Performance Appraisal is seen as an opportunity by the Organisation to assess the employee's performance during that period, and to facilitate the further development of the employee in a constructive way, which empowers him to greater and more challenging heights.The Researchers Company has never carried out a performance appraisal.

Employee Performance

The performance of employees is determined by the Chief Executive Officer based on weekly reports submitted by supervisors. He also uses his discretion to judge employee performance. Promotion and Salary advancement is tied to this.

Bonus Scheme and Profit Sharing

The researchers company does believe in profit sharing. It only gives employees token as bonus during Christmas which is end of the year.

Industrial Relation

The researchers company is relatively small hence do not really have industrial relations issues. It also tries as much as possible to comply with Government regulations.

Handling Discipline

Discipline is the corrective action taken when employees do not conform to performance or behavioural standards. The researchers company gives verbal warning before two written warnings before sanction is applied. This is done by the Human Resource Department.

4.2 Interface between HRM and Marketing and Strategic Management

Davidson defines marketing as: "a process where the needs of the enterprise are brought into balance with that of the client and in such a way that the profits for both parties will be high for as long as possible." (Phase 1 lecture notes p, 337).

4.2.1 ANALYSIS OF THE MARKETING AND STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

DataExpress does not have a marketing department within the organization. The responsibility of marketing the service of the company lies with the Chief Executive Officer as well as Lagos State Ministry of Justice. In one way or the other, all Staff of the company are also engaged in marketing. The Chief Executive markets the company products and also sends proposal to other states and private organisations. The marketing mix which is Price, Product, Place and Promotion take a different shape in DataExpress. The price of service is determined by the existing facility in place while product is fixed because the researchers company deals in database and database management. DataExpress product is usually located in clients’ site in a software while promotion is done by providing bespoke software.

4.2.2 ANALYSIS OF THE INTERFACE RELATION WITH MARKETING AND STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

In the researchers company, the relationship between HRM and Marketing/strategy unit is more of support, providing basic information on Staff, Budget, Public Relations, and Tax Matters etc. HRM provides the Marketing/Strategy department which with the tools and finance they need to get their job done e.g. comfortable accommodation whenever the strategy team are in Lagos, computers, internet access, good public relations etc.

4.2.3 RECOMMENDATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS OF INTERFACE RELATIONS ISSUES

Problems

Recommendation

Monitoring Impact is low

A team should be set up to monitor the project

Strategy takes decision in isolation

Other department should be consulted in decision making

Marketing and Strategy Team are not located close to the business office

The Strategy Team should reside more in Nigeria while the Marketing Team should take ownership of the project.

4.3 Interface between HRM and Operations Management

The operations function of the organisation consists of all of those activities that produce what the organisation produces. It is the function that creates the value that its customers seek. It can be usefully thought of as using resources to transform input into the goods and services, which are consumed by customers. (BNS Lecture Notes, Module V1, p. 402)

The researchers Operations have most of the Staff in this department. They are referred to as the Data Input Staff which is headed by the Operations Manager and supported by two Supervisors. The two supervisors assign and monitor the Data Input Staff. A daily report is saved on the server by each Data Input Officer and the Supervisors collate these reports at the end of the week which is submitted to both the Operations Manager and Chief Executive Officer by email. The Operations Officer reviews the reports and comments where need be.

4.3.1 Interface between HRM and Operations Management

The HRM department provides support for the Operations department. HRM ensures the Operations department have all necessary tools to work with, payroll, ensure that request made are processed on time and generally see to the wellbeing and any issue made by Data Input Staff.

4.3.2 RECOMMENDATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS OF INTERFACE RELATIONS ISSUES

Problems

Recommendation

Lack of proper Communication

Information should be shared not hidden

Delayed Response to request

Timely response to request

Lack of authority, inconsistency in police

A structure should be put in place

4.4 Interface between HRM and Information Management

ICT is an important set of tools that is used for working with information and supporting the information and information processing needs of the organisation. (BSN Lecture Notes, Module VIII, p. 516)

The researchers company is an IT company. The IT department which is meant to be the robust department within the organisation is in shambles.

4.4.1 ANALYSIS OF THE ICT DEPARTMENT

DataExpress ICT department is headed by the Chief Executive Officer who is regarded as the IT Supremo. He gives direction on what and how things are to be done. The ICT department is consist of just two Staff. One is referred to as I.T Support Technician and the other is the Developer.

I.T Support Technician: This Staff is responsible for solving all problems relating to hardware in the company. He sets up the system for new recruits, gives them access to their computers by generating a password, backs up all daily activity on tapes and he reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer.

DEVELOPER: The developer is responsible for testing new releases, generating bespoke reports, Quality Assurance, updating softwares and writing of new programmes.

Both departments work in isolation from each other.

4.4.2 INTERFACE RELATION BETWEEN HRM AND ICT

The ICT department provides support for the Operations department. ICT ensures that Operations department have working tools, generate the rule book for the Operations Team to conduct the monthly Quality Assurance, populates the missing fields on the software, assist the Operations team to upload fingerprints on the software and generally make life easy for Operations Team.

4.4.3 RECOMMENDATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS OF INTERFACE RELATIONS ISSUES

Problems

Recommendation

Occasional breakdown of software

Competent Staff should be engaged

High Labour Turnover which puts the company under pressure to recruit

Management should not be hostile to ICT Staff

Shortage of Staff

More Staff should be recruited

Communication Breakdown

ICT to be trained on communication and relationship management

In conclusion, the researchers company though is an IT Company but the company is far from been one. DataExpress is still engaged in manual data collection which is stated below:

Data Collection is still collected manually from all the data centres via physical paper forms.

Pictures are collected manually via flash drives from data centres.

Fingerprints are collected manually via flash drives from data centres.

All these methods are flawed as data can be lost in the process and information is somehow not secured.

5.0 CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS OF IMPROVEMENT

This chapter focuses on the analysis of the researcher’s management and leadership style, decision making and creativity, interpersonal skills and area that needs to be improved on.

5.1 MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Lao Tzu, Chinese founder of Taoism, author (6th Century BC) "A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. 'Fail to honour people' they fail to honour you.' But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say, we did this ourselves’’

John Maxwell, 1998 "Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." On the other hand, Management brings together all the seven Ms which are Machinery, Materials, Methods, Momentum, Morality, Money and Manpower (BSN Phase 1 Lecture Slides 96) they use these resources in line with the Vision, Mission and Strategy of the organisation to achieve the objectives of the organisation such as high sales, profit, business expansion etc.

The researcher solved Exercise 1: How do you respond to the situations you are confronted with in BSN Phase 1 Lecture Notes, module I Chapter 3, p. 31 – 37 and used the result of the self-test to analyse her leadership styles and the area that needs improvement. This is shown in the table 2 below.

Leadership Style

Result

Preferred Style

Supporting

Supportive Style

Coaching

Style Flexibility

12

Style Effectiveness

6

Table 2: Leadership Styles

Areas to improve on are delegating and directing.

Plan for improvement on delegating and directing

The analysis showed that the directing and delegating style of the researcher is underdeveloped and requires improvement. The researcher is already in a leadership role so the plan for the coming week is to correctly assess the competent and commitment level of my subordinates to ascertain if they are willing to learn or are able to learn, then the researcher will try to apply the appropriate leadership style in the appropriate situations.

The delegating style will be applicable to employees who have both commitment and competence and for the appropriate situation. Competence is the willingness and the ability to perform a certain task. Commitment is a combination of confidence (I can attitude) and motivation (a person’s interest and eagerness for doing the task well).

Sequel to this analysis, the researcher now delegates the responsibility for taking and implementing decisions to employees with competence and commitment and in turn the employees have gained her lots of time to dedicate to doing other things. Likewise, the researcher also takes time to clearly tell her subordinates what to do, how to do it, where to do it and when to do it, and then closely supervise their performance. The researcher has also planned to re-evaluate her delegating and directing skill monthly to help in assessing areas she has improved.

5.2 DECISION MAKING AND CREATIVITY

Decision making is the process of choosing a course of action for dealing with a problem. Decision making is required at every level of the organisation. The top management engage in strategic decision making while lower level staff engage in operational decision making. At every level of the organisation, decision making should involve more than one person per time.

Upshot of the result of the exercise in BSN Phase 1 Course Notes, module II Ch 1, p.95 – 98 on decision making is shown in the table 3 below. The researcher’s approach in decision-making is democratic. An approach is democratic when the team leader allows the group to be involved in the decision-making process, while an approach is autocratic when a team leader excludes the members from the decision-making.

Approaches

1

2

3

4

5

Total Score

Table 3: Decision Making Approach

Plan for improvement on Decision making skills