Motivation and Pluto Telecommunications

Topics: Motivation, Organizational structure, Customer service Pages: 8 (1480 words) Published: November 21, 2013

In the following essay the problems of Pluto Telecommunications will be outlined and analysed with recommendations offered as to how the issues can be addressed.

Identification of the Problems:
Communication has eroded between the three departments so that “they are actually working against one another”. This break down has resulted in lost orders and an increase in the number of complaints from customers. Many of the problems experienced probably stem from the rapid growth experienced by the company over the last 12 months. Ms Tsang is faced by the following issues:

(a) Each department has its own aims and motivations which are all different from each other department. Hence there are three department subcultures that are not all integrated and are working almost as three separate businesses. It is no surprise that inter-department communication is poor. (b) Ms Tsang has a group of directors that are not prepared to voice their honest opinions. (c) Ms Tsang’s leadership is questionable given that she has been unable to coordinate the work of her three directors and hence their departments.

Analysis of the problems:
In the following analysis Pluto Telecommunications and her issues will be considered with regard to the individuals, the groups and the organisation. The environment in which Pluto operates will not be considered.

Organisational Level of Analysis:
1. The culture:
The divergence of the three departments and their separate subcultures has made it very difficult for the unitary organisational culture that Ms Tsang promotes, to become established. In truth the rapid growth that has occurred in the last year has meant that this unitary vision has not been integrated enough. It can be assumed that in an industry where customers’ needs are rapidly evolving that Pluto’s culture has a strong focus on adaptability. This has meant that individual departments have developed their own subcultures unchecked and therefore there is no one single view of what is, and what is not, acceptable. 2. The structure:

The business is built on departmental silos. Each department reports to each department head who then reports to Ms Tsang. Mathew Craven reports that “"(such) differentiation may indeed be appropriate for the turbulent and uncertain telecommunications environment" and this accords with theories of structure-environment 'fit' with the separate groups in the company being able to respond to changes in technology reasonably efficiently. The issues arise from the lack of integration of the departments with management theorists advocating departmental interdependence and the need for higher levels of integration in more turbulent, complex and uncertain environments. Fig 1 shows that Pluto’s structure more closely resembles that of a mechanistic organisation that would suit operating in an environment that has far less uncertainty.

‘Mechanistic’ Form
Pluto Telecommunications
‘Organic’ Form
Specialized Tasks
Specialized Tasks
Flexible Tasks
Standard, formal procedures
Standard, formal procedures
Highly Informal
Centralised power and control
Centralised power and control
Decentralised power and control
Vertical Communications
Vertical Communications
Lateral Communications
Command and Control
Command and Control
Advice and Information
Fig 1: Comparison of Pluto Telecommunications to the Burns & Stalker model.

Group Level of Analysis:
1. The culture: The different cultures that exist in each department have evolved because of the variable level of uncertainty that is encountered by that department. Hence there is a high level of internal differentiation created by differences in departmental structure, goals, orientation to time and interpersonal relationships.

i. Sales: The sales team operate in a performance based culture. They are rewarded individually and competitively and bear symbols such as company cars, mobile phones and laptops. These symbols reinforce the top-dog sales...
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