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Managing People and Organizations 4


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ManagingPeople and Organizations



Akbarand Sons, an oil company with headquarters in United Arabs Emirates(UAE), is in the process of being acquired by BP Oil Company. Thecompany was launched in the United Arabs Emirates and thereforeoperates under the culture of the people of the UAE. The acquisitionis to take place when the employees of the Akbar and Sons have workedtogether for several years thus, forming a solid team to foster thevision and the objectives of the company. Their relationship extendsto a universal religion that they share. Therefore, they understandthe life of each one of them both at work and away from work. Theaverage age of the employees at Akbar and Sons is 46 years old.

Afterthe acquisition, the BP Oil Company will send their corporatemanagers to the UAE for about 3 three to six months to oversee theoperations of the Akbar and Sons at their headquarters. After themanagers have spent the period defined by BP Oil Company, the Akbarand Sons will also send its managers to the United Kingdom where theheadquarters of BP Oil Company is located. These managers willoversee the operations of the company in the UK. With a view ofretaining the employees after the acquisition, Mr. Akbar and the Sonare left with two options which are provided by the BP Oil Company.They can either assume a senior managerial position in the company orleave the firm. If they decide to take senior managerialroles/positions, thy will be required to frequently travel to the UKas a part of the business culture of the new company or relocate tothe UK where they will assist in the management of the acquired firm.

Acquisitionof the business means that it will extend its operations beyond theUAE. The corporation will move internationally because of theacquisition by a multinational corporation. Frequent visits to theheadquarters of the multinational corporation will facilitate thetraining of managers so that they can be familiar with the operationsof competitive companies in an international market. Theunderstanding of the global market will make the firm extend beyondUAE to exploit markets that had never been or were partiallyoperated.

Itis challenging for Mr. Akbar and the Son to make a decision on thetwo option provided by the BP Oil Company. Leaving the company aswell as staying and taking the position of a senior managerial rolehas their challenges. Having promoted an organization culture forAkbar and Sons Company, remaining at the company as a senior managerwill be critical to the rest of the workers whom they had formed aformidable relationship with as partners in the workplace. One thingthat Mr. Akbar and the Son was not used to is reporting to otherpeople. They were in the top most position before acquisition and atfirst it would be challenging for them to report to the seniormanagement of the BP Oil Company. It would seem to them as beingcompelled to deliver something they were not used to feel with theformer company. At the same time, the employees would not want towork with previous managers of the company since it will bechallenging to continue working with them because of the feeling thatthey were betrayed by Mr. Akbar and the Son.




  1. OB/HR Matrix Relationship

Ateam matrix comprises the realization of a function, process orproduct. One of the desired outcomes of a matrix structure is that itprovides an opportunity to focus on multiple perspectivessimultaneously. A person or a unit becomes responsible to more thanone group. With the introduction of multiple perspectives,decision-making process becomes one that is full of quality[ CITATION Arm14 l 1033 ].For example, the sending of managers of Akbar and Sons Company to BPOil Company will improve the quality of thinking since they will nothave to think about UAE market only. They will be equipped withmultiple perspectives adding to the experience they formerly hadwhile working for the Akbar and Sons before it is acquired. Also,sending senior managers to the Akbar and Sons headquarters will addanother perspective to the business environment and culture for theBP Oil Company`s management. They will be able to understand thechallenges faced in working in Asian countries.

Forthe multinational corporation, having a company that has steadyleadership is imperative. The BP Oil Company must try to build amatrix after the acquisition of the new business so that theiroperation can be in line with the goals that the company would wantto achieve. The first relationship as far as organization behavior isconcerned is leadership development, performance appraisal, andcontrol. The management of the multinational corporation considersleadership as one of the instruments that can promote improvement inthe organization. It is the reason why they would want top-managementof Akbar and Sons to visit their UK headquarters frequently. Theywant a leader who has mastered the culture of business at BP OilCompany to run while at the same time understands the culture ofAkbar and Sons to coordinate operations at the company.

Inorder to develop this kind of leadership, the multinational firmwould want to send managers from the UK headquarters to oversee theactivities at Akbar and Sons in UAE. Later, the leaders from UAEoffices will also travel to the UK. Through this, they try tomaintain the norms and culture at the company, by training a managerwho has worked with the employees, but at the same time ensure thatthey perform as required by the multinational corporation. Also, byhaving leadership levels such senior and junior managers, means thatexercising control is crucial for the BP Oil Company.

Thesecond human resource matrix relationship is the efficientutilization of technical and specialized resources. For everyenterprise, experts in particular areas of operation must beavailable to oversee operations for the successful realization ofgoals. Duplicating experts across an organization may be expensivefor the company. Without being owned by one unit, the human resourcescan be shared at various levels of the organization. Looking at thescenario provided, instead of finding new managers for the newcompany to be acquired, sharing of expertise can help reduce thecosts resulting from duplication. Secondly, teamwork will facilitateexploitation of technical expertise for certain activities[ CITATION Arm14 l 1033 ].For International Corporation like BP Oil Company, working as a teamis vital. Previously, they had observed that the company they wish toacquire had built their team of employees. Continuance of theirrelationship is essential for teamwork to be achieved. At the sametime, communication with headquarters ensures that teams at theheadquarters understand the activities on either side.

  1. Theories of Organization Behavior

Organizationbehavior theories help a firm develop better management practices.While analyzing organization behavior, it is important to considerthe three levels. These levels include individual, group andorganization system. The influence of these levels forms the basis ofOB theories. The most common types of OB theories include thecontingency, classical and systems[ CITATION Daf15 l 1033 ].

TheClassical theory identifies the management practices of a company.Classical organization behavior theory first involves determining thebest way to complete a task. The administration tries to establishvarious ways that will ensure that tasks are completed on time,quality is assured, and that use of resources is maximized. Thetheory also involves matching employees to each task.

Findingthe right expertise for every job is important for the quality ofwork achieved in an organization. Usually, teams that match skills tojobs realize high production. The third aspect of the classical OBtheory involves close supervision and use of rewards and punishmentto ensure motivation at the workplace. When managers provide closesupervision of employees, tasks are delivered in time. Thoseemployees who meet their goals are motivated through rewarding whilethose who do not achieve their objectives are punished. It ensuresthe working environment remains competitive. The last aspect of OBtheory is management planning and control. The top brass of a companymust plan for the activities and at the same time ensure thatcontrols are established to identify and remove obstacles that mighthinder business operations in an organization. Every part of theclassical group behavior theory is necessary for management with theresult being an advancement in the success and efficiency of theoperations of a firm (Daft, 2015).

Contingencygroup behavior theory addresses issues of conflict in anorganization. In an organization, conflict is never beneficial. It isimportant to note that conflict is unavoidable and the option we areleft with is how to manage it. The theory identifies ways of managingconflict in an organization. It is the responsibility of the ownersand the management to find ways of controlling and managing conflictamong employees in a firm. The relationship between departments andoutside group should not be under conflict if the smooth operation isrequired. For organizations who apply this theory, managerial controlis given to supervisors and lower managers (Daft, 2015). Givingmandate to lower managers and supervisors ensures that conflict ismanaged at lower levels without involving the upper-level managementwho would otherwise be seen as facilitating micromanagement byemployees if they decide to participate in lower level management.

Thethird organization behavior theory identifies firms as an individualentity yet interrelated pieces of a large business operation. Forexample, when an administration chooses to change one aspect of adepartment, it may result in reverberations that may affect otherunits as well. Contingency theory indicates that for a company tocontinue operating efficiently, a dynamic equilibrium must exist.Nonlinear relationships alongside other variables may add complexityto the organization making it harder to control. The contingencytheory addresses ways of ensuring a dynamic equilibrium andelimination of nonlinear relationships that would make managementdifficult[ CITATION Bat12 l 1033 ].

  1. HRM Approaches

Somemethods exist that can complement the principles discussed above. Oneof the approaches is known as a contingency plan. The managementpractices of the past relied on one basic principle that there is asingle best way of managing activities in an organization and thiscan be applied across the board in all the instances. Nevertheless,it was realized that situations are more complex than earlierperceived. It means that different environment in an organizationrequires different behavior for effectiveness[ CITATION Bra12 l 1033 ].Therefore, each situation must be critically analyzed to find out thevariable will be more useful in establishing best practice. Forexample, variables at the UK may be completely different with thosein UAE, and one cannot apply similar variables to the two locations.

Scientificmanagement approach is another HRM approach that ensures properorganization behavior. The method was developed to increase theefficiency of workers. Taylor initially idealized it, and it involvesgood job training as well as good job design. Taylor intended toimprove organization efficiency through his approach. He showed thatthrough proper employee selection, job design, training of employeesand offering incentives, productivity could be enhanced. The approachadvocates for improving efficiency by finding the right methods tocarry out tasks, through job specialization, by the development ofplan and schedule, by establishing a standard time for every job,through utilization of standard operating mechanisms, by proper jobselection and training of employees and rewarding employees (Bratton&amp Gold, 2012).

Identificationof Issues

  1. Team Development

Developinga team that is capable of completing tasks effectively is an issuefor many organizations especially after mergers or acquisition.Teamwork in every department ensures that tasks are completed intime. Employees must work together in the creation of new product sothat a product with better competitive advantage compared to othersimilar products from different competing companies is developed [ CITATION Sto14 l 1033 ].

Toimprove the team, clear communication, commitment towards the projectand respect among team members are necessary. For example, theacquisition of Akbar and Sons will present issues of team developmentfor BP Oil Company because of different geographical location andculture. Since they want to retain the employees, a new workingrelationship will change because of new management. Communicationbetween the management and the employees may be challenging if a newsenior management is introduced. Poor communication will, in turn,affect the commitment of employees towards the completing of tasks.In UAE, senior managers from the UK headquarters will meet a team ofdifferent background, different culture and different values. Thesepeople are likely to handle issues differently. It is theresponsibility of the management to identify ways in which they wouldincorporate the culture of BP Oil Company into the employees at Akbarand Sons Company.

Todevelop a team at the workplace, managers must change theirphilosophy and recognize that people are not alike and must respondto the difference in a manner that would facilitate employeeretention and productivity without discrimination. With properworkforce diversity management, a company is likely to benefit fromproductivity as well as innovation and improvement of decision-makingskills. Without proper management of diversity, interpersonalconflicts are likely to occur (Storey, 2014). Difficulty incommunication and higher turnover are some of the challenges.

  1. Power and politics

Organizationis composed of material and human resources. The human resources arethe one responsible for the transformation or the conversation ofmaterials resources of the firm into finished or consumable products.In the process of conversion or transformation of material resources,the decision has to be made. The decision on the type or kind ofproduct to be produced by an organization, materials to be utilizedfor the production of the desired product, the resources ofproduction to ensure production efficiency, the capital required andits sources among others. In each of the circumstances, the decisionhas to be made. The choices have some politics while the individualresponsible for making the decision has some power to ensure that thedecisions made are accepted[ CITATION Sha15 l 1033 ].Therefore, in an organization, power and politics affect thedecision-making processes and results.

Italso affects the relationship between workers and the management.Politics and power are independent of the size of the organization.For example, whether a small business, a large or multinationalcorporation, the political influence is almost similar. The influenceof power depends on how it is used by an individual or group ofpeople. It is important to analyze organizational politics to findout their impacts on the organization structure as well asproductivity.

Everyorganization must beware of negative influence that politics can havein a firm. An organization that is becoming prosperous should ensuresatisfaction of the sectional interests so as to reduce frustration,conflicts, and friction. Individuals in organization employ tacticaluse of power to control resources in a company. In the acquisitionAkbar and Sons, politics and power might influence the management ofthe company after the acquisition. Since the owners had considerableinfluence, they influence the behavior of the employees which in turnaffects their productivity. Management of the company might then bedifficult if the employees are retained.

  1. Employees selection and training

Foran organization, selecting the employees who have expertise in thebusiness operations is important for the realization of the company’sobjectives and goals. In some cases, a candidate for a certainposition may possess the required skills but do not understand theoperations of the culture of the company. New employees need to beoriented to understand how the company operates before they begintheir duties at their respective workstations. The most importantthing is for employees to understand the vision of the company sothat he or she can work with the rest as a team for the prosperity ofthe firm[ CITATION Sne15 l 1033 ].

Inan instance where a company wants to retain the employees of acompany acquired, it is challenging to transform the employees intothe new culture. Training of the employs to adopt new workingstrategies may often not often be accepted and sometimes results inconflict. This reflects the challenge that BP Oil Company is likelyto face while transforming the employees of Akbar and Sons into thenew business culture.

Proposedsolution to issues

Thechallenges issues discussed above are those that BP Oil Company willface the changing work conditions and the future workforce for theacquired firm. The managers of the BP Oil Company must understand thedemographical changes, societal and technological influences thatmight undermine the future operations of the company that is based inthe UAE. Outlining the policies of the Akbar and Sons to be in linewith those of BP Oil Company will be negatively impacted by a varietyof factors. One of the factors is religion. It is likely that thereligion for most of the employees will be different from thoseemployees based in the UK. Another challenge will be policiesregarding the age of employees. There is huge age difference when theworkforce from the two headquarters are compared. The average age forthe Akbar and Sons is 46 years while that of BP Oil Company is 65years. These are some of the challenges that are likely to beaddressed while maintaining harmony within the workforce. Below aresome solutions that might help in addressing the issues coming upafter the acquisition.

  1. Retaining experienced employees and laying off less committed ones

BPOil Company should ensure that they retain all the employees of Akbarand Sons Company after the acquisition. They should even recall theemployees who were forced to retire at 46 years and are yet to reachthe official retiring age of 65 years for BP Oil Company. Theseemployees are the ones who can steer the operations of the companybut must be assessed for possession of the required skills. Accordingto the classical observation theory, people with the right expertiseare important for an organization because they understand the dailyoperations of the firm and after the acquisition, the onlyorientation they require is one that involves working with theculture of the BP Oil Company.

Theproblem of ensuring teamwork and performance improvement within theorganization involves adopting proper motivation strategies.Classical observational theory indicates that rewarding andpunishment can improve performance in an organization. Rewardingemployees who have performed well will motivate the team to performbetter each time (Snell, et al., 2015). The less dedicated employeesare punished through laying off since they cannot help theorganization in the achievement of its goals.

  1. Find proper HR selection and training strategies

Theprocess of finding the right person is often challenging as itinvolves the selection and recruitment of people to fill differentpositions. As Taylor puts it under scientific management approach, itis important to recruit or train on skills to ensure properorganization behavior. Workers efficiency can only be improved iftheir skills are enhanced. Taylor proposed good job training and goodjob design as ways of improving the productivity of a team[CITATION Bie l 1033 ].

Taylorapproach applies to the scenario when the BP Oil Company wants toreconsider the job design and recruitment methods applied at Akbarand Sons Company. The new human resource manager will have to findways of integrating BP Oil Company’s recruitment strategies intothe new company. Evaluation and implementation of new job designshould be analyzed before they are put into the system because therecan be negative impacts on the new job design and recruitmentstrategies.

  1. Ensuring balance of power and politics

Abalance of power and politics in an organization is necessary for itoperates smoothly. The top management from the UK should ensure thatcontrol is given to the use of power in Akbar and Sons Company afterthe acquisition. Even though Mr. Akbar and the Son have been giventhe option to continue working with the company as managers or quitby BP Oil Company, the best option is to make them leave theorganization. These people may have considerable influence on theemployees.

Becausethey were top in the former management system, they are likely tocontrol most of the decisions if they are left to work for thecompany. Another challenge that might result if Mr. Akbar and the Soncontinues to work may be their rebellion towards the new management.Having achieved a much trust or influence on the employees, they arelikely to be understood by all staff. Therefore, if they choose towork with the new management, gaining control of the human andmaterial resources might be difficult. These people should,therefore, leave the company after the acquisition activities, andprocedures are over.

Implicationsin each solution

  1. Selection, recruitment and retaining employees

Beforedeciding on retaining and recalling employees, the HR manager shouldevaluate the character of each employee. Those employees who do notseem to have the characters defined by the management should belaid-off. Another thing that should be considered is finding out whythe former management decided to limit the working age. Maybe theirproductivity reduced at that age and BP Oil Company cannot afford tohave less productive employees.

  1. Power and politics

Thedecision to retire Mr. Akbar and the Son would benefit the company asit will provide a new environment for the employees to develop theirskills and productivity.



Eventhough the process of acquiring a company is often challenging, thetransition in the management of the company becomes more difficult.The management of the human resources is the most challenging. Theemployees have to learn and adopt the new system of management aswell as job design. Therefore every decision made must be criticallyanalyzed before it is put in place.

Thefirst two solutions that were proposed was the retaining of currentemployees and recalling employees who retired at the age of 46 yearsand training for employees to enhance their skills. Retaining is thebest option, however, it subject to other conditions such as trainingor recruitment. These are people who have worked with the company forseveral years and considered themselves as masters in the activities.The process of training to enhance skills may be met with resistancefrom the employees who consider themselves as knowledgeable enough toperform their duties. It would seem to them as a process developed toundermine or frustrate them. However, some of them may consider it asa good option since they will be employed by a multinationalcorporation.

Whileoffering training, HR managers should recognize the workplacediversity. It is important that they identify the cultural differencebetween the Asians and the group they manage in the UK. An aspect ofreligion, gender and ethnicity will also come into play. Ways ofmanaging workplace diversity should be implemented by the HRmanagers, and it begins by recognizing a change in the workenvironment. If diversity is not managed properly, it may result inconflict rather than growth of the company. The HR managers shoulddevelop policies that do not discriminate employees at the workplaceon any basis, for instance, sex, religion, age and place of origin.The policies should be directed to providing equal opportunities, fortraining, promotion, and development.

Thelast solution was the balance of power and politics. As such, powerdistance is high among Asian countries except in China. The societieshave a huge difference in the authority and rank. A hierarchy ofidentifying people with rank exists. For example, because of theirexperience, elders are highly regarded as opposed to a westernculture that value youths. The Asians associate youths withimmaturity and are less knowledgeable[ CITATION Hua16 l 1033 ].While choosing managers, the power distance should be considered byHR managers of BP Oil Company by choosing a representative who willbe respected by the employees.

Anotherfactor that relates to power and politics is the communicationbetween the management and the employees. Attributes that are valuedby the society should be stressed to help in the establishment of apositive relationship among the workers. Things like attires, bodylanguage and choice of entertainment are very important. Consideringthese factors, managers should come from their societies since theyare the ones who understands their ways of life (Huang &amp Brass,2016).

Insummary, BP Oil Company must evaluate all the factors to create anenvironment that would favor the growth of the company and satisfythe employees as well. Acknowledging the host’s social status isimportant for the business. All these relies on the ability of the HRmanagers to decide on methods of managing human resources. It beginsby recognizing that there are always differences in approaches tomanagement when there are changes in location and workforce.


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