Week 6: Organisational Culture and Decision-Making

Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice: Third Edition (2011) by Stewart R Clegg, Martin Kornberger, and Tyrone Pitsis; Sage Publications: UK. Ch. 6&7

Holt (2002) God- and the devil – are in the detail. The Bottom Line. 15(4) 174-175

Case Study Keeping Google Google-y

In chapter 6 managing culture is explored. I will just delve slightly into the multifaceted region of organisation. The four CVF Organisational Models referred to by Shepstone and Currie are The Clan Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on internal maintenance with flexibility, concern for people, and sensitivity to consumers’. The Adhocracy Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on external positioning with a high degree of flexibility and individuality. The Hierarchy Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on internal maintenance with a need for stability and control’. The Market Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on external positioning with a need for stability and control’. In M&O the ‘strong culture’ perspective is still seen as the  most popular and yet it is not as evolved as other culture organisation culture. Many theorists talk of flattening down hierarchy models. There are many models for organisation culture. Ethnographers have suggested that culture may be characterised by fragmentation, taking a few models and sharing their cultural values and organisation.

In chapter 7, power and decision making is explored. Power has the possibility if managed correctly to be positive and less mechanical when it shapes and frames what others want to do ‘seemingly’ of their own free will. I found ‘managing power: seven steps to its effective use extremely helpful.

  1. Decide what your goals should be and what you are attempting to accomplish in consultation with direct stakeholders in the organisation. i.e. communication is paramount.
  2. Strategize patterns of dependence and interdependence which internal and external stakeholders are influential in achieving these goals
  3. Find out the points of views of the stakeholders, how they feel about the goals and strategies
  4. What are the power bases of important stakeholders? Which stakeholders are the most influential in the decision process
  5. What are your bases of power and influence, stress positive control over the situation
  6. Which strategies  for emoting power seem most appropriate/effective given the context
  7. Remember ethics and choose an ethical strategy to get your goals achieved

Holt professes an almighty knowledge of direction and leadership. He reiterates that God is in the details when directors balance their time working on a level of detail where the specification of expected outcomes is reviewed. Holt refers to the devil being in the detail when directors forget to contextualise the present and future of the organisation spending time on ‘petty’ matters and not enough time on defining behaviour outcomes. When in a management role, change but internal and external will always be a factor that determines action.

In Google’s Google-y eye, we find out about their culture and decision making process. The article is a little old but at the time, Google’s culture and decision making basis was consensus oriented. Their motto – ‘Failure is okay’ inspired their employees to try out new ideas without recrimination. Initiative was motivated by their culture and thousands of products were being developed and tested out by employees, some sailed the high skies others sank. It didn’t matter, the objective was to inspire creativity and it was valued in Google’s culture and decision-making process. Kim Scott said, ‘ Google is a fast moving consensus organisation I thought these were mutually exclusive qualities before I got there.’ The question is: Will Google be able to sustain this precedence or will their employees burn out. Is Google a young persons’ game? If you’re a Google employee, your workplace is your residence, there is no distinction from home and work. In order to refuel creativity, one must stop for a moment and reflect. Are Google managers reflecting or they too immersed in their Google universe?

 

 

Reflect and Refract

It is the language of reflection that deepens our knowledge of who we are in relation to others in a community of learners.
– Carole Miller and Juliana Saxton, University of Victoria.

On Plato’s directive, “know thyself” which can lead to a lifetime of investigation. Self-knowledge becomes an outcome of learning.

I hope with each blog entry to reflect, use reflexivity and use Geertz’s thick description to add volume to the experiences I am encountering on this Narnia passage into the world of information professionals.

Week 5 Strategic Planning

21st Century Library Strategic Planning and Mission

21st Century Library Strategic Management

Fairholm M.R. (2009) Leadership and Organisational Strategy. Innovation Journal 14(1) 1-16

Mott, L. (2008) Planning strategically and strategically planning. ‘Bottom Line’: Managing Library Finances. 21(1), 20-23

Stephen, E. (2010) ‘Strategic Planning on the fast track.’ Library and Management 24(4) 189-198

It is clear that mission and vision are essential components to strategic planning. Plans must be fluid and reflect the culture of the library at stake. One must take into consideration the clients and move with the tide and not against it. Whether a plan is formal or not, the client, the staff and the managers must be included in the process of strategic planning and it must be an inclusive process where communication is key and the community that we serve at large is taken into consideration.

Dr Stephen Matthews in his blog, ‘21st Century Library Strategic Planning Overview’ reviews strategic planning. He says that is a process and totally dependent on the needs of the library and community. So he asks, why do we develop strategic plans? Well his answer reflects others as it requires one to take into consideration the changes in our environment and to establish goals that will complement and be flexible in view of the challenges we may face.

He reiterates these key components in remembering that a Strategic Plan:
• is proactive to prevent being reactive,
• creates the right balance between what the organization is capable of vs. what the organization desires to do,
• addresses major issues, both internal and external factors, at a macro level,
• manages change within the library,
• prevents excessive inward-focused and short-term thinking,
• communicates a common vision for the library,
• establishes priorities that accomplish the library’s mission,
• helps to better focus activities and resources on the mission, and
• guides decision making at all levels – operational, tactical, and individual.

But why all this hoopla, we ask? Well a strategic plan gives you direction to achieve your vision of what you want your library to be, instead of wadding in the shallow end of the pool. A strategic plan is multi-faceted, it encompasses what you want your library to BE, DO and BECOME!

Dr Stephen Matthews in his blog on management states the next question should be HOW do you implement strategic planning in libraries. One must take into account that external and internal environments have changed. The mission, objectives, goals and actions must be consistant with the market and context. ‘There is nothing more wasteful then becoming highly efficient at doing the wrong thing’. (Drucker) 21st Century Libraries must provide for the information nedds of 21st Century customers. This can only be accomplished through strategic management of its goals

Fairholm illustrates in his article that organisational effectiveness can only reflected if we are to focus on both quantitative measures of success actions that are intrinsically linked to eachother  to realise fundamental goals and the qualitative measures essential in the organisation’s sense of values, resolutions, vision and meaning. Fairholm argues that strategic thinking and leadership takes place fundamentally at the qualitative measure and than drives forth to connect the organisational depth to a body that is reconstructed to fit together by organisational managers and planners. One must recognise the different perspectives of strategies in order to fulfil managing resources and delivering services. Fairholm concludes that it is of the highest precendence that government managers must see their profession as evolving to dealing with the strategic construction of community

 

Mott’s  paper aims to argue that when managing strategically it is important to consider how to get one’s priorities onto the institution’s agenda. Design/methodology/approach  is key steps for managing strategically. The author  discusses and gives examples to illustrate why and how one would get an issue onto an institution’s agenda.  The author’s findings  suggests that, in advancing the library’s issues, it is helpful to determine methods of getting on the governing body’s agenda. The practical implications provides concepts to be considered when a manager attempts to move a library’s priorities forward. Original/value is paramount to decision-making and managing with power.  The author hope that this article will motivate librarians to think strategically when working to advance their library’s interests. The key word here are library management and professional development. I find that it is including the stakeholders for organisational culture and to achieve a strategic plan and the elements of communication, values and ethics must be involved in the process.

 

Elizabeth Stephens goes into detail about strategic planning and how libraries develop plans sometimes when there is no real literature out there as a blueprint. I’m just adding Bryson’s model as I believe it offers a template for future librarians like myself, even if some people may think it is slightly out of date.

Bryson’s “Strategic Change Cycle” has been used by numerous academic libraries and the documented use of the Bryson’s model is one reason it was selected. The Bryson Model is based on the Strategy Change Cycle:

  •                  Initiate and agree on a strategic process.
  •                  Identify organizational mandates.
  •                  Clarify organizational mission and values.
  •                  Assess the external and internal environments
  • to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,
  • and threats.
  •                  Identify the strategic issues facing the organization.
  •                  Formulate strategies to manage these issues.
  •                  Review and adopt the strategies and strategic plan.
  •                  Establish an effective organizational vision.
  •                  Develop an effective implementation process.
  •                  Reassess the strategies and the strategic planning
  • process

Week 4 Managing Culture Organisation and Managing Power and all that goes with it.

Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice: Third Edition (2011) by Stewart R Clegg, Martin Kornberger, and Tyrone Pitsis; Sage Publications: UK. Ch. 6&7

 

Linn, M. (2008). Getting onto the agenda. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 21(2), 55-60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/57563000?accountid=14507

 

Shepstone, C., & Currie, L. (2008). Transforming the academic library: Creating an organizational culture that fosters staff success. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(4), 358-368. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2008.05.008

 

 

In chapter 6 managing culture is explored. I will just delve slightly into the multifaceted region of organisation. The four CVF Organisational Models referred to by Shepstone and Currie are The Clan Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on internal maintenance with flexibility, concern for people, and sensitivity to consumers’. The Adhocracy Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on external positioning with a high degree of flexibility and individuality. The Hierarchy Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on internal maintenance with a need for stability and control’. The Market Culture – ‘an organisation that focuses on external positioning with a need for stability and control’. In M&O the ‘strong culture’ perspective is still seen as the  most popular and yet it is not as evolved as other culture organisation culture. Many theorists talk of flattening down hierarchy models. There are many models for organisation culture. Ethnographers have suggested that culture may be characterised by fragmentation, taking a few models and sharing their cultural values and organisation.

 

In chapter 7, power and decision making is explored. Power has the possibility if managed correctly to be positive and less mechanical when it shapes and frames what others want to do ‘seemingly’ of their own free will. I found ‘managing power: seven steps to its effective use extremely helpful.

  1. Decide what your goals should be and what you are attempting to accomplish in consultation with direct stakeholders in the organisation. i.e. communication is paramount.
  2. Strategize patterns of dependence and interdependence which internal and external stakeholders are influential in achieving these goals
  3. Find out the points of views of the stakeholders, how they feel about the goals and strategies
  4. What are the power bases of important stakeholders? Which stakeholders are the most influential in the decision process
  5. What are your bases of power and influence, stress positive control over the situation
  6. Which strategies  for emoting power seem most appropriate/effective given the context
  7. Remember ethics and choose an ethical strategy to get your goals achieved

 

Mott’s  paper aims to argue that when managing strategically it is important to consider how to get one’s priorities onto the institution’s agenda. Design/methodology/approach  is key steps for managing strategically. The author  discusses and gives examples to illustrate why and how one would get an issue onto an institution’s agenda.  The author’s findings  suggests that, in advancing the library’s issues, it is helpful to determine methods of getting on the governing body’s agenda. The practical implications provides concepts to be considered when a manager attempts to move a library’s priorities forward. Original/value is paramount to decision-making and managing with power.  The author hope that this article will motivate librarians to think strategically when working to advance their library’s interests. The key word here are library management and professional development. I find that it is including the stakeholders for organisational culture and to achieve a strategic plan and the elements of communication, values and ethics must be involved in the process.

 

 

 

 

Week 4 Group Management

Week 4 Group Management

 

Petter, S., & Adriane, B. R. (2009). Developing soft skills to manage user expectations in IT projects: Knowledge reuse among IT project managers. Project Management Journal, 40(4), 45-59. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218749244?accountid=14507

 

Fatat Bouraad.’ IT Project Portfolio Governance: The Emerging Operation Manager’.  ESC Lille, France

 

For group management work this week, we were asked to look at two articles. Petter and Adriane article and Bourand’s article.

 

Petter and Adriane’s research investigates information technology project manager’s reuse of knowledge related with ‘soft’ skills when managing ‘user’ expectations. Their research methodology was through interviews. The following themes that developed through these interviews with IT project managers transpired were: novelty of problems, conditions within the organization, types of available knowledge, and methods for reusing knowledge. Petter and Adriane discovered the resources for additional research on how social norms and organizational conditions encourage or inhibit knowledge reuse. Also they ascertained a distinct difference in the usefulness of knowledge appropriated in ‘formal’ repositories depending on the levels of management experience.  In addition, their findings highlight the application of knowledge reuse by introducing actual methods for its application using verbatim, synthesis, and creation. Bringing it back to the forefront the importance for creativity for information technology project managers to renegotiate continuous change and synthesis which was Vandeveer’s premise for successful leadership. Knowledge management is a fundamental strategy for organisations that want to endure in a knowledge-dominated society. The keywords are information technology, project management, knowledge management, managerial skills, managers and users.

 

In Bouraad article she addresses the intense element of technical knowledge as part of the IT professional’s overall expertise, but the business competence of the IT professionals is crucial to enable IT professionals to apply their technical knowledge in ways that are valuable to the organization and to act supportively  with their business partners .Bouraad’s study aims to investigate one of the most researched IT management issues: the influence of operation manager competencies and IT service -management sub-functions on the project success and overall organisation execution. I am including Bouraad biography as I think it’s fascinating to see people’s back ground and what motivated them to write their research

 

 

Fatat Bouraad has 21 years of experience, having worked as an IT/IS professional for international companies located in the Middle East and Europe. Her background includes project management skills, IT technical expertise, and IT services planning and implementation. She is currently working as a project manager with BULL Middle East, located in Beirut, Lebanon. She is enrolled in the PhD program “Project, Programme and Strategy”  at the École Superieure de Commerce—Lille  in France

 

Week 3b: Group Work

Moon Group Work

Katzenbach, Jon R. & Smith, Douglas K (1993) ‘The Discipline of Teams’. The High-Performance Organisation. Harvard Business Review.

Vandeveer, Rodney C. ‘Synergy and Team Work Cooperation: Understanding the Dynamic of Teams. Purdue University.

This week, the focus was on group work. Specifically working effectively in a team and in cooperation with your team members. I learnt that group work isn’t as simple as it sounds, it is not just the end result that is at stake, we are dynamically reflecting and initiating a variety of management skills that feed into communication, coordination and planning. One must have reflected on themselves as well as their team members to provide a cohesive team.

My Vark Profile results came back and I discovered that I was a multimodal learner with tendencies towards kinaesthetic and read/write modes of learning. I did a little research on what a kinaesthetic learner was. It turns out that kinaesthetic learner remember things better by actively doing them. We like to move around. We’re good at assembling and making things. Apparently, we’re not too shabby at demonstrating how things work. Now the bad news, the disadvantages of being a kinaesthetic learner are the following; we may sometimes miss instructions if things are explained verbally to us (that’s me!). We can find it hard to concentrate on written tasks while seated (me again!) Help : )

One of the reading for this week was Moon group work, which concentrated on group work scenarios, it really gave me an insight in reflecting if I was assertive enough as sometimes, it was wonderful for our group as we all identified ways of being more constructive and reflected on my self- theory. Our group gelled and we held ourselves to be mutually accountable. From the scenarios, we reflected on better way to communicate and as such, everyone’s thoughts/behaviours were taken into consideration.

Katzenbach and Smith (1993) demonstrate through their article that managers in order to be able to make better decisions about the team, the managers must be clear about what a team is. They define team as ‘a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.’ This definition according to Katzenbach decrees the discipline that teams must share to be effective. Through the article, I learnt that there are four elements discussed that make group work perform well: common commitment and purpose, performance goals, complementary skills and mutual accountability. There are three types of teams. The first is teams that recommend issues, the second type of team is one that make or do things and the third is teams that run things. Throughout our group management teams, we will be exercising all these types.

Vandeveer argues a point made by Larsen (1989) ‘that leaders must push cohesive teams to take on additional challenges, continuously improve, and make sure that ideas are challenged.’ It is only when a  leader understands the process and dynamics of team work, the leader will be able to lead toward the creation of positive synergy. A leader must facilitate not direct, this will ensure the change into group development is more fluid and will result in greater synergy for the team. What are the rewards for these actions? Vandeveer predicts an improvement in relationships, team cooperation and productivity that will direct into a new leadership style. He advocates that synergy is fundamental to any organisation’s critical productivity.