The term management control was first introduced by Antony Robert Newton. He defined it as the procedure of ensuring that all the acquired resources are used efficiently to accomplish the company’s set objectives (Birnberg, 2011). Over the years, management control has evolved to ensure that it addresses the need for innovations in the organisation. From the 1910-1940s, management science was developed, focusing majorly on productivity and efficiency in areas such as standardisation, centralisation, and division of labour (De Andrade, 2016). During this time, top-down management systems which encompassed strict control dominated many organisations across industries. The number of complex organisations was increasing exponentially, necessitating the need for human resource movement (HRM), which would later become popular in the 1950s. During this time, most of the organisational managers had begun to understand the importance of human factors in production and productivity. Therefore, they included tools such as goal setting and performance in their management programs.
In 1970, strategic planning was introduced to focus on measuring organisation functions to resource allocation. It included tools like the growth-share matrix and SWOT analysis. In the 1980s, competitive advantage was introduced as the business environment had become more competitive and connected. At this time, tools such as total quality management (TQM), and six sigmas were also introduced. In the 1990s, process optimisation and benchmarking became popular. Over this decade, over 500 industries had claimed to have set their plans for initiating the processes. Having been driven by the consulting industry under the umbrella of big data, most of the organisations in the 2000s began to focus on utilising technology for purposes of growth and value creation. In 2013, the advances in technology and diversity had enabled to solve most of their challenges more successfully.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Management Control Strategies
Time-saving. Personalised control strategies help to save the organisation a lot of time by ensuring the necessary management needs are recognised faster to shorten the path to be used in accomplishing the needed tasks.
Better Information. The management team of an organisation has an opportunity to filter out irrelevant information and only focus on the necessary information that will benefit the company.
Little Value Placed on Potential Benefits. Often very few people may recognise the importance of personalised control strategies, especially when organisation or firms decides to customise their product offers.
At times, people may not in a position to take advantage of the attractive offers due to the prevailing circumstances.
Standardisation. Through technical control, the whole interface of the management process is made identical in the entire organisation. Thus, there is speedier learning and mobility of staff.
Real-time Availability. The technical control system enables the company to tap faster into the organisational performance rather than just depending on monthly meetings.
Lack of Control of External Factors. Technical control has always made it impossible for managers to control external factors of organisations such as government policies, technological changes as well as competition.
Costly Affair. To effectively control the organisation’s sources technically, a lot of money and effort are needed. Unluckily, many companies may not bear such costs. Thus, only big organisations can benefit from technical control.
An example of the technical control strategy includes firewalls and the principle of least privilege.
Clear Division of Work. This entails boundaries to responsibilities and ensures that every organisation staff is assigned a particular duty that they can perform successfully.
· Formal rules and procedures. Bureaucratic control allows for written rules, which leads to predictability and reutilisation (Chan & Lam, 2018).
Well-structured Hierarchy of Authority. This ensures that appointments within the organisations are made based on an individual’s technical competence.
Long Delays. The complexity of the set of rules within the bureaucratic system leads to delays in management operations.
Change of Goals. The whole process of getting the work done when exercising bureaucratic control is often tiresome, which can cause a shift in goals.
Increased Creativity. The commitment to a particular task results in the development of more skills which result in innovations.
Lack of Commercialisation of New Service Processes. Commitment often makes managers less focused on commercialising the process and product of their services. As a result, they end up earning less money instead because the required efforts to manage the various diverse exchanges might lead to inefficient communication. Thus, knowledge-sharing activities are limited.
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The Australian workforce and employment have experienced various contemporary changes over the years, and by the end of 2019, the workforce comprised just under 13 million employees. Currently, the biggest employing industry is the healthcare and social assistance sector, which accounts for 1.6% of the workforce (Birch & Preston, 2020). The recent research activities have focused on whether the Australian jobs are either cognitive or manual, and to what extent are they offered (Birch & Preston, 2020). Over the decades, the decline in the share of the number of people employed in the routine manual jobs is noticeable. Through the various changes, most of the human resource (HR) movement has continued to experience difficulties in trying to offer the jobs to the people. In this way, the employment pattern has experienced setbacks in terms of having the best skills for the available jobs. This means that HR has a critical role to play in dealing with the contemporary changes for them to maintain the workforce as well as the employment processes. The changes in the Australian workforce include; casualization, education level, and the aging workforce.
The level of education is a major factor that has continuously been used to determine the employment patterns in Australia. The underlying policy question contained in the CEDSs report concerning vocational education training is based on whether the Australian education system can produce the right skills that can meet the requirement of the Australian workforce (McGann et al., 2016). In the past fifteen years, education and training sectors have experienced an increase in their relative wages, which is an indication that the supply of workforce who possess the right skills has not yet met the standards of this sector. As a result, the HRM is forced to increase the wages of the available workforce to motivate them to continue serving in various industries and organisations to enhance work efficiency and productivity. This means that the employment patterns in most Australian industries are primarily determined by the level of education of every individual, which suggests the kind of skills one has to fit into a given area of practice.
The age factor is also another vital element that has led to changes in the employment patterns in Australia. For instance, the increase in employment in the healthcare sector is associated with the aging of the workforce, who have become less efficient in service provision. The same demographic trends witnessed in the health sector have also been presumed to have contributed towards a substantial increase in employment within the social assistance sector since it has also encompassed the in-home support services. However, the workforce in health and social assistance sectors has had no wage increase regardless of their quality skills that they display while providing the services. The decline in wages has been caused by the expansion in the number of workers in the sectors.
To solve the above challenges, the HR manager needs to consider changing the organisation structure to accommodate diverse work practices. In this way, they shall have a more collective style of work, which will, in turn, foster the psychological contracts between the employer and employee (Bratton & Gold, 2017). To avoid experiencing an aging workforce, HR needs to provide more opportunities for the new generation so they can develop competencies concerning work-life balance. In this way, people will not have to spend all their lives working. Hence, there is no need to deny them an employment opportunity based on their abilities when they can help the employees to upgrade them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to pose various devastating effects in the different economic sectors globally, including the labour market, as highlighted by the new ILO. In the real sense, the pandemic has already changed into an economic and labour market shock, causing severe impacts on both the production of goods and services (supply), as well as the consumption of investments (demand). Almost all businesses are facing severe challenges, especially with a significant reduction in revenue and job losses in many sectors. This means that the ability to sustain business operations may be complicated. The HRM team has also been faced with various challenges in terms of laying off employees from the organisation. For an organisation to manage the labour demands over this period, the managing teams have developed work policies aimed at crucial roles concerning decent work to achieve a sustainable and equitable recovery (Dennerlein et al. 2020). The management approaches are all human-centred, which focus on growth and development by ensuring that both workers and the enterprise are protected. For example, organisations have embarked on supporting the majority of the workers whose livelihoods have been impacted due to the strict measures put in place by the Health sector, such as quarantine.
Secondly, some organisations have also provided the necessary liquidity to businesses that might have closed or have experienced a significant decline in revenue. The liquidation process is being done to ensure that the business can survive the shock and prepare themselves to pick up as the economy begins to open up (Chase, 2020). Hence, the focus of the managing strategies concerning the labour demands is aimed at helping business to survive and retain workers. The management approaches have also provided workers who lost their jobs with adequate protection to ensure that they meet their livelihoods. Among the organisation that has significantly responded to these challenges presented by the pandemic are Coca Cola and Walmart that have tried so hard to ensure that their employees are protected so they can maintain their high labour demands.
Both companies have ensured that their employees’ health and wellbeing are protected throughout the pandemic. From the managing strategies, they have considered the safety of their workforce the highest priority. In this way, remote working has greatly been encouraged by the companies, especially for workers who work from the office. This has been done to ensure they all remain safe during the pandemic so that when the economy opens up, they do not face challenges of low labour. Secondly, both companies have adopted the same policy of supporting their workers who might have lost their jobs due to the restrictions put in place. The negative responses adopted by the companies include a reduction in wages of all employees, which has affected the low-income employees.
Despite the similarities in the management responses, Coca Cola has been able to develop more policies concerning its global concentration to ensure that both consumers and employees remain safe. In contrast, Walmart has strictly adhered to the management policies that have been issued by the international labour standards (ILS), which have also work for it more efficient in managing its labour demands.
Therefore, to effectively manage labour demands, HR needs to consider the facilitation of adopting the different policies put in place by the ILS in all the other organisations. When such procedures are strictly adhered to, there are high chances that almost all the organisations will be in a position to meet their labour demands immediately the economy opens up fully.
The ability to change the structure of work design is a crucial element that every company or organisation needs to embrace for them to at the top of their business operation activities. However, the change process is difficult and requires that the organisation must have a vision, as well as special talent that will spearhead the achievement of successful results in the end (Hamel, 2019). The challenging bit of the change process is the fact that every company differs from one another in terms of their positions, markets, and needs, so there is no magic implies that a company can use to implement a successful change. However, despite the prevailing challenges, some organisations have successfully adopted new work design, which has seen them make tremendous improvements.
Microsoft’s Organisational Change and Its New Work Purpose
After realising that Microsoft was running into severe challenges due to its organisational structure, the new CEO, Satya Nadella, decided to restructure it. The main problem that was being faced by the company is its inability to keep up with other companies. This led to the stagnation of the massive company because some departments viewed each other as competitors other than partners. Therefore, to optimise the company’s processes and bring together all the teams, the CEO eliminated the company’s internal competition that had become very disruptive (Refäuter, 2018). In this regard, the organisation’s products and platforms would no longer be viewed as separate groups. It was a point in time when all employees were required to focus on the company’s limited set of goals. The goals set included: reinventing the company’s business and processes, developing an intelligent cloud platform, and also building more personal computing. Before the restructuring, most of the company’s employees lacked a positive sense of their responsibilities, which resulted in reduced work morale and weakened engagement. However, after the restructuring, there is a high likelihood that the CEO created a supportive and conducive work environment because the employees are currently following a common goal of the company that has brought much meaning to their daily performances.
The Restructuring of the Entire Organization of British Airways
Being the largest airline in the UK after merging with the other four companies, British Airways faced various problems in terms of managing itself and bring an efficient service to its customers. It was not until Lord Kind took over as chairperson and decided to privatise the organisation when it encountered a positive momentum, which was associated with an increase in profits (Tan, 2019). Lord Kind restructured the organisation by reducing the number of staff from 59,000 to 39,000, which helped to eliminate unprofitable routes.
The above evidence is an indication that transparent communication and appropriate restructuring play critical roles in changing the face of an organisation. Creating a supportive and conducive work environment are essential elements that can increase productivity within organisations and increase employee performance (Dźwigoł, 2020). Therefore, the HR team needs to always cooperate with the management team within the organisation to identify whether their organisation is fit to support their activities. In case of any change, the necessary procedures must be adhered to, to ensure that the change process is effective.
Artificial intelligence, as well as automation technologies, have continued to change people’s lives, and today their presence and impacts in the society are more significant than before. According to the data produced by Personnel Today, almost 39percent of business enterprises have already implemented AI at the workplace (Sekhri, & Cheema, 2019). In the same way, the benefits of automating HR are apparent in terms of enhancing the selection and recruitment of employees. However, the replacement process may not be realized instantly. The implementation process is a journey, starting from automation to augmentation and the final amplification of the various activities carried out by HR. When the implementation process is completed, the people-driven human resource management processes will be significantly transformed by helping to reduce bias and also increase efficiency in conducting the various assessments. Thus the selection and recruitment process is the crucial area where Artificial intelligence technologies can significantly impact because many service providers are targeting an HR that involved AI-based solutions for various activities. The activities include source, interviewing, onboarding coaching, and employee service centers.
Examples of the application of AI in recruitment and selection
According to a research study conducted by Upadhyay & Khandelwal (2018), artificial intelligence in HRM was considered as one of the best trends among the professionals involved in recruitment processes. AI can be applied by the information extraction technologies to automate the scanning and extraction of relevant information. Being that the number of job applicants has increased to a great extent, there are high chances that HR departments will be overwhelmed. Therefore the implementation of the automated systems can accelerate the hiring process. An exciting bit of the AI system during the recruitment process is the fact that it can gather all information concerning the applicant’s character traits that are required during the fulfilling of the job positions. Secondly, AI can easily interpret the applicant’s body language voice of tone, after which the application can compare all the applicants about the top talent within the organization. It can then automatically select the best applicant among the others (HireVue 2018).
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Additionally, Artificial intelligence will play a critical role in rediscovering candidates through the maintenance of a database of the applicants that made their application earlier. AI can analyze the current pool of candidates and then match the applicants with new roles as they continue to open up. Instead of spending a lot of time and resources in the search for fresh talents, the human resource manager can apply automated technologies to identify the best employees in an easy and fast way. After the recruitment process is completed, the onboarding process can begin, whereby the AI can help eliminate the restriction that might be experienced when standard business hours are used. This would be an immense improvement on the onboarding process than it was before. The AI technology will also allow the new hires to utilize the support programs provided by the HR at any point in time and anywhere by use of tools such as the remote support application. Such changes will not only offer the employees an opportunity to go through the onboarding process without hurrying, but it will also eliminate some of the burdens experienced during the administration processes. Thus, the integration process will become fast enough. Therefore, AI is the ultimate solution to the many challenges being experienced during the recruitment and selection process.
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