Ompare between two companies as I wrote in the order instructions

Read the two organisational case studies attached and provide a critical comparative analysis of them in academic report format. You should consider how the two organisations differ in the way they operate and in the way they are managed. In particular, you should focus on the following areas:

a? Organisational design and structure
a? Teams and teamworking
a? Approach to leadership and management
a? Organisational culture


Your analysis must be supported by relevant theories and concepts that have been covered in the module and you must demonstrate that you have read widely around the subject area and used this reading to support the arguments you are making. Do not rely solely on the key text but use a range of academic texts and journal articles



Case Study 1: Watsons Engine Components

Watsons is an independent, family-owned company, mass-producing parts for car engines at its plant in the north east of England. It employs 200 people in total, comprising 125 semi-skilled production workers, 15 clerical workers, 20 technical staff and 40 managers. The structure is very old-fashioned and hierarchical. The plant is highly unionised with one trade union recognised for manual and clerical staff (Unite). There is quite a long history of poor relations between management and unions which periodically results in industrial action. The principal problem seems to be one of trust between the management and the workers.

Despite operating in an increasingly competitive market, Watsons has in recent years been successful in maintaining its market share. However, changes in the business environment mean that this may be difficult to sustain. Car manufacturers, who are Watsons customers, are themselves operating in an increasingly competitive and global market and are passing these pressures down to their suppliers. Order times are getting progressively shorter, contract prices lower and quality standards higher. Furthermore, decreasing transport costs mean that the manufacturers are prepared to look further afield for their parts, particularly to the newly opened up economies of Eastern Europe. In short, Watsons will have to run faster just to stand still.

Achieving this might prove to be difficult. Watsons have a small and relatively old-fashioned plant and insufficient available capital to fund a move to a purpose-built factory, but sufficient capital to replace some of the machinery and technological systems that are currently functional, but hardly state of the art. There is little scope for acquiring raw materials more cheaply, and overheads are rising above the rate of inflation.

The managing director, Gordon Watson, is due to retire soon. His motto is: a?If it ainat broke, donat fix it!a. He rarely ventures on to the shop-floor, preferring to leave that side of things to his operations director and good friend John Smith who has been with the firm for many years, having worked his way up to the top. Below John Smith, is the long-suffering production manager Ahmed Khan, a young and highly qualified engineer who has experience of working in German as well as UK plants. However, he realises that the company is facing problems and that changes would have to be made and he has many good ideas to improve the performance of the business.

Occasionally the company accepts orders that are very difficult or impossible for existing staff to deliver. The ability to process orders quickly is hindered by a lack of flexibility on the shop floor. Staff very rarely move between press machines, finishing machines and assembly machines, even though the demand for each varies depending on the stage of the order. As a result, some people are under-worked while others are over-burdened. This slows things down and affects quality. This is due to the fact that when people were recruited to a particular department they tend not to move, partly because they do not have the skills to move from one job to another, and partly because it simply isnat expected of them; besides which, there is very little incentive to do so.
Ahmed Khan has proposed investing in new computerised production technology in order to keep pace with the competition in the global market place and has suggested that this will require the shop-floor to be organised into multi-skilled, self-managed teams. He has seen such teams work well in other equivalent organisations. However, he has encountered difficulties in getting his ideas taken seriously. In particular, he is frustrated by the lack of effective communication channels between different functions of the business. One of his other ideas is to create a more integrated and flexible production system that is more tailored to the specifications of individual customers. The Marketing Department handle customer liaison and rarely speak to anyone in the Manufacturing Department as it is the firmas procedure that interdepartmental liaison should go through the directors.

The problems are exacerbated given the high level of absence, running at 9% averaged across the company. Managers maintain fairly close control over their departments, taking responsibility for decision-making themselves. There is very little staff involvement, but staff on the shopfloor seem to have pretty clear ideas about how things could be improved. Another problem is the rapid turnover of the key technical and managerial staff, which is running at 35-40%. These skills are in short supply in the local market. Not only do Watsonas struggle in competing for them, they find it difficult to retain them a they are often poached by competitors offering better terms and conditions.

The Human Resource Manager, James Bacon, recognises that absenteeism and retention is a problem and has been heard to say: a?What do you expect me to do about it? Itas up to the supervisors to motivate and man-manage (sic) their staff. Also our hands are tied by the unions who wonat let me sack staff if there are performance issuesa. James Bacon also recently had to deal with a complaint from a female member of staff who was concerned about the display of a?page 3a photographs of topless women at various workstations on the shopfloor. She was told: a?Oh come on, Love! Itas only a bit of fun!a.

Watsons are starting to struggle not only to attract new orders, but to meet the current orders on its books. Gordon Watson is making plans to move to his retirement home next to a golf club in Portugal. John Smith has been given the a?nod and a winka that the Managing Directoras position is his as soon as it becomes vacant. Ahmed Khan is in the process of being headhunted by a leading German engineering firm.


Case Study 2: H & M Consulting

H&M Consulting is a large global management, engineering and development consultancy. The H&M Consulting Group was formed in 1989 when two consultancy businesses merged. Since then, the business has grown both organically by recruiting more staff in different fields and also by acquisition of existing businesses. In 2007 H&M Consulting bought an educational consultancy in Romania, an environmental firm in the Netherlands and a power engineering company in the USA to help strengthen its core market sectors in these countries.

Today H&M Consultingas business spans 120 countries and employs more than 13,000 staff. Its experts work on thousands of projects across the world in many areas. These include transport, energy, buildings, water, the environment, health, education and communications. Every project requires a different set of skills from H&M Consultingas experts. H&M has a networked structure with project teams comprising people with the relevant skills from different parts of the organisation who work together autonomously on a specific project within a finite time. H&M uses information technology to ensure that tasks are co-ordinated and that there are sufficient skills and resources available to achieve the projects. This has res