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Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals is a multi-million dollar firm that has recently discovered that it's one step behind its competitors in all developments of new drugs. Since the company's survival and success in this industry is dependent on the number of successfully developed new drugs, it has research scientists who work in teams in the process of developing such drugs. While every research scientists' team is committed to the success of its own drug project, the company has noted that these teams have become very competitive with each other.
Based on the analysis conducted by the company's upper management, the stiff competition among the various research teams has reached a destructive level. As each team has begun hoarding information and knowledge that could be beneficial to other teams, the competition appears to be stifling the company's research. This stiff competition between the teams is also lessening the quality of decision-making and slowing down the firm's drug development process. As a result, there is need to develop a program that will improve the quality of decision-making and establishment of healthy competition between various research teams in the company.
Improving Decision-making and Coordination at Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals:
With the destructive outcomes of competition among the various research teams at Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals, it's important to improve the quality of decision-making through a program that consists of the following necessary steps:
Establishment and Application of Workplace Code of Ethics and Practice:
While there is not set of perfect guidelines for success, improvement requires self-reflection and hard work to embrace new habits ("Guidelines to Improve," 2005). Due to the importance of new drugs development process, the company continued to rely heavily on its research teams in order to survive and succeed in the industry. According to an analysis on Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals, this continual dependence on the research teams without a standard code of ethics and practice to govern their workplace activities resulted in strict competition. The first step to improving the quality of decision-making in the firm is the establishment and application of code of ethics and practice that govern all employees in their activities.
In addition to containing other guidelines, the code of ethics should have regulations that are geared towards preventing the hoarding of necessary information and knowledge. With a standard code of ethics and practice, the company's employees would know how to conduct themselves and avoid competition against each other during their drug development processes. Additionally, each research team should have comprehensive and clear guidelines of its duties and responsibilities. The standard code of ethics should also contain policies and procedures which ensure that employees conform to the organization's expectations.
Setting-up a Consultative Committee:
In order to widen the scope of continual decision making within the workplace, it's important for the company to set up a consultative committee to oversee the rolling out of projects ("Workplace Consultation," n.d.). The consultative committee should be comprised of both the organization's management and representatives of employees to work and deal with the existing employee participation issues i.e. competition and slow drug development process. The committee would be instrumental in helping the various research teams to provide feedback, ideas and suggestions on how to find a solution to the problem.
Furthermore, a consultative committee will act as the organ that will develop disciplinary actions against team members who promote competition and hoarding of information and knowledge. The consultative committee also acts as the formal mechanism with which employees' views are shared and taken into account. Given that the various research teams are the bodies involved in competition that is negatively impacting the company, their views on how to avoid the impasse are critical.
Through the consultative committee, these research teams would find a platform with which to share their views, ideas and suggestions regarding the problem. The consultative committee provides cross team participation through team leader meetings and informal discussion sessions. Apart from providing a forum for employees to share their views, ideas, and suggestions, the consultative committee is also a platform for leaders and managers to communicate their ideas to the employees. This would in turn improve the decision-making at Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals since most of the decisions will be based on information shared during the meetings.
One of the major ways of improving the quality of decision-making at the pharmaceuticals company is through the consensus building method. At this level, the company's management team becomes is a single entity in the decision-making process with a single vote or opinion. After every individual has expressed their ideas, the group processes all the decisions involved and arrives at a compromise position which is favorable to everyone (Weddle, n.d.).
The compromised decision is then delegated to the entire team by the management team and the necessary criterion for the accomplishment of the decision is also communicated clearly. After this process, the management team also states the implications of failure to adhere to the determined criterion such as going back to the drawing board and choosing a fall back option.
Therefore, with the use of consensus building, the company's management seeks for input from the research teams in order to deeply understand the depth of the existing challenges. Additionally, consensus building will help in identifying the hidden assumptions among the research teams that has contributed to the competition stifling the firm's drug development process. This step is a critical part of the program since it provides the company's workforce with an opportunity to identify the reasons behind the competition and attain an amicable solution to the current impasse. Consensus building is a platform for equality in decision-making since it allows everyone to actively contribute to the decision making process ("How to Improve Teamwork," n.d.). This would improve the quality of decision-making in the workplace, coordination between research teams, and provide healthy competition because it boosts the employees' morale.
Through an analysis of the current situation at this large pharmaceuticals company, there seems to be a lack of a framework that allows managers and employees to deliberate on issues and make suitable decisions. The company's management also seems to have favored research teams that are highly successful in their own drug project resulting in increased competition among them. However, these problems can be solved through consensus building where strategic leaders know how to involve all employees in policy making and arrive at a compromised decision in the process ("Consensus Team Decision Making," n.d.).
There are two major steps in consensus building that are important in addressing the situation at Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals. These are strengthening of team identity and controlling internal politics with the strengthening of team identity involving defining roles and functions, engaging all members, and compensation. The strengthening of the identity of all research teams enables each team to understand the inter-related roles and functions of their work. Consequently, each research team will be able to integrate its work, respond accordingly unexpected issues and accomplish its duties effectively.
Controlling internal politics is very important to the managers at the company since its one of the major causes of competition. Internal politics usually lead to poor performance because of its negative impact on the flow of information within the workplace. The major techniques for controlling these internal politics include conducting open and frank discussions and sharing information fully. Furthermore, internal politics can be controlled by making meetings open to all members and empowering each research team in the company.
Conducting Periodic Evaluations and Performance Management:
Evaluation is considered as the careful gathering and scrutiny of information when making decisions (McNamara, n.d.). To improve the quality of decision-making and coordination, Stay Healthy Pharmaceuticals should conduct periodic evaluations as the final step. These evaluations should be conducted within a specified period of time such as quarterly and focus on the processes of the company and its research…[continue]
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