Strategic analysis considers the suitability and feasibility of strategy formulation. Successful strategy implementation requires acceptability within the organisational structure. This is because the different personalities of the people, the power, the politics and culture within an organisation affect corporate decisions. Organisations must be flexible in structure and design to efficiently implement strategy. Managers also need to analyse the impact of their plans on the relative power positions and cultural beliefs of key individuals and groups within the organisation.
At birth stage, the vision and culture of an organisation is often linked with the vision and aspirations of its founder. This vision and culture drives the organisation and its people at the early stages. The people within the organisation would not compromise the culture and values of the organisation for financial gains or symbolic management. As the organisation grows however, it become politicised and autocratic tendencies of the management in formulating and implementing strategy may elicit resistance to change. Structures and hierarchies exist however, organisations are principally human because they are constructed by people and like humans, have the tendency to exhibit different traits when involved in power tussles often see at the maturity stage of organisational life.
A very successful company XYZ is an organisation that values family culture of togetherness and bond that has grown overtime. It decided to implement some changes to ensure it maintains its success and edge over its rivals. The management sought to make changes that would standardize ways of doing things, centralise decision making and enforce control. Dan was employed as the new helmsman to introduce the change that would ultimately erode the independence of an erstwhile creative organisation.
It is possible to identify traits of the four organisational character types among the key players in XYZ;
Dan, the newly employed guy is a “jungle hunter”, he sees life and work as a jungle where you eat or you are eaten. He is ruthless and has the ability to intimidate easily. He sees his subordinates as instruments to be used and his peers’ as accomplices.
Jack a manager, is the “company man”, his sense of identity is based on being part of the protective organisation. He is one of the most creative employees of XYZ and he values the human side of the company. He is always interested in the feelings of the people around him and is committed to maintaining corporate integrity. However, he lacks the daring to lead the highly competitive and innovative organisation.
Debby and Rose are the “craftsmen” who hold the traditional values of XYZ; they enjoy the relational culture of XYZ and would do everything possible to preserve it.
“Gamesman” sees business life in general, and career in particular, in terms of options and possibilities, as if playing a game. The “gamesman” takes calculated risks, love new techniques and methods and as in a game, the contest hypes him up and he communicates his enthusiasm, energizing his peers and subordinates on the team. Unlike the “jungle fighter”, the “gamesman” competes not to build an empire or to pile up riches, but to gain fame, glory, the exhilaration of victory. His main goal is to be known as a winner, his deepest fear to be labelled a loser. In the midst of them all was George the opportunist, like most managers, he is ambitious and would not mind using people and twisting information to suit his ambition.
Jack, Debby and Rose became “gamesmen” for different reasons; for Jack, he was thrown into the world of quest for political power. It was an opportunity for him to play the winning game and he saw the answer in Dan; a forceful manager with big vision who would introduce the needed corporate change. However, Jack couldn’t play the role for long, he lost is self esteem and eventually his job.
The females, Debby and Rose became “gamesmen” to gain fame, glory and the sense of victory in their quest to preserve what they hold dearly and they won but the strategy failed!
Where did XYZ go wrong? Read Organisational dynamics II here
Categories: Organisational Dynamics