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Yet, from their operations it can be observed that the need for contingency is generally reduced as the company has the ability to succeed at mostly any endeavor. Nonetheless, in this time of a competition fiercer than ever and growing consumer demands, some of Microsoft's products have failed to generate the expected outcome. The most commonly used example in this sense was the operating system Windows '98, which replaced the more efficient and user friendly Windows '95. Contingency planning in this scenario was limited, but the user comments were collected and attention was paid in the development of the next operating system, the Windows 2000, known under the name of Windows XP.
Another angle from which Microsoft's contingencies can be assessed is that of the hardware products manufactured by the organization. Unlike the software, the material products have enjoyed limited success and the company considered ways to address lack of consumer excitement. One of the contingency approaches was that of increasing the popularity of the products through alliance with other successful brands, such as Wal-Mart or MTV (Roughly Drafted Magazine, 2006).
6. Structure, Goals and Contingencies
In 2001, as the IT industry was moving towards the offering of more and better software services that would increase customer satisfaction, Microsoft has made it a goal to participate in processes or organizational restructuring. "Microsoft announced some internal organizational changes aimed at advancing the company's ongoing movement toward software services, in addition to the company's traditional packaged software products" (Microsoft Corporation Website, 2009). This basically means that the relationship between organizational structure and organizational goals is a strong one and that the company officials are striving hard to ensure that the structure of their business is supportive of the established goals.
A new piece of evidence which proves the fact that the company's organizational structure is in sink with its goals is given by the implementation of the Windows Server System Reference Architecture, which was created with the specified aim of appealing to more customers. In order to even better support the company in reaching its established goals, the WSSRA has been further broken down into more formations. This step was taken due to the complexity of the organizational goals and the need for differentiated approaches. In this order of ideas, the three new formations in the WSSRA structure refer to services for employees, services for business partners and services for customers (Cummings). All these play the role of increasing the satisfaction of the respective stakeholder categories and bringing the company one step closer to its objectives.
Despite the relatively poor analysis of Microsoft's contingencies due to lack of sufficient information, a conclusion can be drawn on the existence of an undisputable relationship between the contingencies and the other components of the organizational behavior. The structure and the Microsoft contingencies reveal a basic and simple relationship in the meaning that operations are organized in such a manner that is best supported by the organizational structure. In this order of ideas, contingencies are broken down into smaller projects which are divided between various organizational departments and go through processes of development, testing, implementation and control. In terms of goals, the relationship is more obvious and refers to the simple fact that the contingency plan is developed to ensure that any arising events do not impede the achievement of the pre-established goals. In this order of ideas, the Microsoft contingencies represent in fact another means of ensuring that organizational objectives are met regardless of the micro and/or macroeconomic scenario.
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
In this time of intense competition, economic agents strive harder and harder to develop and implement those strategies which will ensure their survival and success within the market. An example of an organization which has succeeded in this endeavor is IT leader Microsoft Corporation. Among the most notable strategies implemented were those based on organizational behavior. The aim of this paper was to reveal the application of OB within the context of the IT giant, with focus on organizational structure, goals and contingencies.
In terms of organizational structure, this has historically been a vertically integrated one, but it has suffered changes along the years. The large majority of the changes occurred in 2001 and had the primary aim of supporting the company achieve its service desiderate. Today, the Microsoft organizational structure is based on the Windows Server System Reference Architecture, which breaks the organization into various formations, all with clearly established functions.
In terms of organizational goals, the company's mission statement simply notes the desire to help businesses everywhere realize their potential and the commitment to do this while fully complying with values such as honesty, integrity, respect or learning commitment. Relative to more specific goals, which are gradually achieved to ensure the achievement of the ultimate corporate goals, these include various instances throughout the years, such as the goal of increasing the market share or the sales revenues.
Contingency planning is yet another pivotal component of Microsoft's organizational behavior, but an actual and accurate analysis is difficult to be conducted due to the lack of public information relevant to the topic. Examples of past situations however reveal that the organization does use contingency planning, with some decisions materialized in increased success, whilst others generating limited positive outcomes.
What is interesting to notice is the existence of a strong connection between all components of the organizational behavior analysis. In this order of ideas, structure and goals are linked in the meaning that the organizational formation is developed, created and modified in such a way that it will support the achievement of the established goals. In terms of structure and contingency, the relationship is mostly based on logistics principles and benefits, but has also been created to ensure the supportive implementation of the contingencies. Finally, and probably the strongest relationship, is that between organizational goals and contingencies in the meaning that all plans and programs have been developed and implemented in order to attain the pre-established goals.
Last, in terms of recommendations, it is advisable for the Microsoft Corporation to focus more on the treatment of the staff members, as the work dynamics are extremely challenging and the staff members face incremental pressure and stress. Then, another recommendation is for the company to listen more to its customers' demands and needs and strive to offer those products and services which will be welcomed by the market. These two internal changes will create a stronger organization which stands more chances of successful outcomes.
Cummings, C., 2005, Windows Server System Reference Architecture and the Roadmap for Enterprise Delivery, Microsoft Developer Network, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms954607.aspx last accessed on July 15, 2009
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2006, The Secret Failures of Microsoft, Roughly Drafted magazine, http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/2E6D9BB2-FE1B-4556-8389-67BD581FBCCC.html last accessed on July 16, 2009
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2009, Microsoft Fine-Tunes Organizational Structure to Pursue Software Services for Consumers and…[continue]
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