In other words, throughout the transition period, Onetech would create efficiencies and would consolidate its position. In the future however, it is recommended that the company moved towards a strategy of diversification, as this would better satisfy customers' needs, attract them and as such create market power for the firm (Markides, 2007).
The decision making process at Onetech
The decision making process at Onetech is quite intricate, revealing both strengths, as well as weaknesses. Decisions are for instance made at the level of the board and are based on the expertise gathered by the various major players in the firm. Still, the decisions are made by the executives, with little emphasis on the input which could be provided by the employees.
In order to better assess the decision making process at Onetech, it is appropriate to analyze it through the lenses of the rational decision making model. This model consists of a series of stages which have to be undertaken in order to achieve the proper decision. These steps refer to the following:
The identification of the problem or the opportunity
The collection of information relevant to the problem or opportunity
The analysis of the situation
The development of options
The selection of the preferred alternative, and last
The acting upon the decision made (The Happy Manager, 2011).
At each of the steps just mentioned, specific issues are addressed. For instance, in terms of identifying the problem or opportunity, emphasis is placed on the identification of the problem. Does a problem in fact exist and does it need solution? Is the company presented with an opportunity it can seize? At this level, it is crucial to select those issues which raise real problems and opportunities and to distinguish them from other issues which do not need a solution and a decision.
In the current scenario of moving from a publicly funded company to a self-funded one, Onetech has proved well able to identify the existent opportunity and it is striving to seize it.
At the level of the second phase -- the collection of information -- the emphasis falls on three specific sets of information: those which are relevant for the decision to be made; those which are needed before making the decision and those which help the organizational players in making the right decision.
The collection of data at Onetech is quite improper, especially when considering the magnitude of the change process proposed. Specifically, the organization is using mostly the external environment in the collection of data and correlates it with the internal features of the budget. For instance, the company has allocated a budget based on the challenges raised by the external environment and the need to succeed within the external environment. The data collected from within the company is however scarce and the most relevant example is offered by the state of the employees.
The executives seldom integrate the employees in the decision making process. They argue that this involvement is necessary, but fail to actually implement it.
"Tom believes in involvement of all parties in meetings therefore all of the project team are asked to attend the meetings. Tom tends to take the lead and team members often feel they are not given the opportunity to speak. Employees therefore often fail to engage in the meetings" (case).
This situation translates into the organizational inability to capitalize on the input and valuable expertise of the employees. On the one hand, this reflects HRM problems that have to be addressed in order for the firm to succeed in its change process, but also the existence of weaknesses in the decision making process.
In terms of problem analysis, the focus falls on the identification of the alternative courses of action available for the firm and the potentially different interpretation of the information available. Fourth, the development of options refers to the generation of possible options, with the primary demand for the decision maker at this stage being that they are creative and positive.
Within Onetech, this specific stage is implemented in a precarious manner. The company does generate alternative to the issue of organizational change, but these are limited by the factors considered in the data collection. For instance, when the company considers the external environment, it neglects valuable information from within the firm. In the absence of full information, the alternatives are insufficiently developed and unable to depict the real picture.
"Have I said this to them? No one listens to me anymore. I do not get invited to any meetings" said Onetech's business development officer (case).
Fifth, the evaluation of the alternatives details aspects such as the criteria to be used in the assessment of the alternatives, including necessarily the feasibility, acceptability and desirability of the project. Through these lenses -- as well as others considered -- the best alternative is reviewed in light of its ability to attain the pre-established objectives. Onetech however conducts few analyses to actually test the applicability of its alternative solutions.
Sixths, before making the final decision, emphasis is also placed on the future potential impacts of the preferred choice. Attention is also placed on the problems which could be generated by the implementation of the selected alternative and the risks adjacent to the decision made, but Onetech places little emphasis on this decision making process as well.
Finally, the last stage of the rational decision making process is represented by the actual implementation of the selected alternative. At this stage, emphasis is being placed on issues such as the allocation of the necessary resources, the acceptance and supportability of the decision among the organizational members and the commitment of the organizational parties to making the decision work (The Happy Manager, 2011).
From this specific angle, the decision making process at Onetech is poor in the meaning that the employees are seldom integrated in the decision making process. They are simply informed of the decision and asked to implement it. Overall then, the decision making process at Onetech is quite unstructured and develops as the problems develop themselves. The advantage is that of flexibility, but challenges are also raised by this decision making style.
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Jacobs, P.K., 2000, Minding the muse: the impact of downsizing on corporate creativity, Harvard Business School, http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/1518.html last accessed on November 30, 2011
Markides, C.C., 2007, Diversification, refocusing and economic performance, MIT Press