Questions for Thought
1. Using the Internet, library, and other sources, research the work of Kenichi Ohmae. What are his current research endeavors? Critically examine a website or journal article relative to his research.
Kenichi Ohmae is the author of several books on corporate and business strategies, such as "The Mind of the Strategist" (1991), The End of the Nation State (1996), The Borderless World (1999), Invisible Continent (2000), and The Next Global Stage (2005). In his books, the author focuses on the future of business in the Digital Age. He sees a new dimension, a new landscape on the Internet, where the business will operate freely without any borders. Ohmae calls a cyber world an invisible continent with four dimensions - visible dimension, borderless dimension, cyber dimension, and high-multiples dimension (Ohmae). The general characteristics of all the dimensions are a free flow of information around the globe and free access to this new continent by any person. There will be no central power in the invisible continent only platforms such as the language, currency, and open market platform. Only those companies that have an understanding of all the dimensions will succeed in a future crisis and challenges. According to Ohmae, it essential to note that the economy itself is rapidly migrating into the global and cyber dimensions, and this means no matter how difficult the passage might be, every company must explore the new economic dimension with its eyes wide open (153). Thanks to the Internet, globalization became not just a term, but a reality. In this new reality, companies and individuals should use its potential as widely as possible.
In 2009, The Economist called Kenichi Ohmae the guru of the strategy (Guru: Kenichi Ohmae). In his books, he expressed the idea that in terms of the competition, companies were vulnerable to a substantial degree, in case they lacked an entire presence in the world's most essential trading blocks, namely North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. He also argued that the Western companies were more short-term goals oriented, while the Japanese ones were more long-term oriented (Guru: Kenichi Ohmae).
2. Using the Purdums Crisis Checklist (Ashcroft, 1997, p. 329), analyze an organizational crisis that you have experienced or the one, with which you are familiar. Consider whether these steps were in place if so, were they effective? If not, could the situation have unfolded any better had they been implemented? Explain. A good example of the organizational crisis can be 1999 The Coca-Cola Company crisis in Belgium. Consumers were complaining about an irregular smell and taste of the soft drinks, as well as illnesses caused by their odor. Subsequently, the company withdrew its products from the market in Belgium. Using the Purdums Crisis Checklist (Ashcroft), one can define whether all the necessary steps for crisis management were in place.
The first step is the identification of responsible managers and spokespersons. The CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, David Ivester, was appointed as a spokesperson and responsible for communications with the Government of Belgium and consumers. The second step is to provide out-of-hours contact numbers of senior staff that are available to all the other staff. This was done accurately. The third step concerns providing a control room, which was also done. The fourth step is to ensure the training of the senior management concerning the communications with media, which was done perfectly. Step number five is to train other staff for the crises. Each employee is supposed to undergo specific crisis management training to be aware of necessary actions in case of such an occurrence. Furthermore, it crucial to emphasize that those on the front line are the most likely to be the first to receive a call (Ashcroft 330). According to Purdum, the sixth step is to consider arrangements for receiving a lot of phone calls. These two last steps were also undertaken by the Coca-Cola Company. The last step is not to keep the crisis management plan in secrecy. Everybody in the company should be aware of it. It is even better to use it in the form of the crisis management manual to train all the staff (Ashcroft 329). Despite all these steps from the checklist were perfectly done, while the fast and efficient communication with the media from the spokespersons and senior managers was conducted, later, Phillippe Lenfant, who is a senior company official, stated that the company was unprepared for handling such a crisis, whereas its communication strategy was inadequate, while the situation got out of control (Johnson and Peppas 22).
In the end, the situation was resolved. The Ministry of Health of Belgium stated that the health problems were not due to the Coca-Cola products it was a psychological problem related to the previous food scandal in Belgium. It was a good lesson for the Coca-Cola Company on how to communicate effectively while dealing with crises.
3. What does it mean to say that an organization is strategic? Why do nonprofit organizations have to be strategic?
A strategic organization is a way to organize a company that will lead to its effective operation. To act effectively and strategically, an organization needs to have not only a business development plan, organizational strategy, and system to implement it, but also an effective communication strategy, IT, HR, and motivation plan.
Despite the experience of many organizations, it is possible to turn strategies and plans into individual actions, necessary to produce a great business performance. But it is not easy. Many companies repeatedly fail to motivate their people to work with enthusiasm, all together, towards the corporate aims. Most companies and organizations know their businesses, and the strategies required for success. However many corporations - especially large ones - struggle to translate the theory into action plans that will enable the strategy to be successfully implemented and sustained. (Strategy Implementation and Realization)
Thus, there are a lot of methods of strategic corporate implementation that companies should use, especially in times of crisis. Moreover, the ability to adapt to changes and be strategically ready for the crisis is another significant feature of the strategic organization.
Concerning the NGOs, they also have to be strategic in their activities, especially when it comes to fundraising. They should be capable to create a plan and implement it to achieve their mission and goals. Thus, staff empowerment becomes increasingly more crucial. Nowadays, for an NGO to be efficient in terms of its activity, it is essential to combine relevant strategic planning at each level of that organization. The primary objective of an NGO must be in the focus of its continuous development of new strategies. Therefore, strategic management is crucial for the success of an organization. Furthermore, it is also critical to assess the potential challenges and apply strategic risk management to prevent their occurrence and facilitate the achievement of a social change by NGOs (Wilson-Grau 1). In other words, the strategic organization and management help NGOs in raising their chances of success and implementing long-term goals.
4. What makes good people behave badly in organizations? Refer to the perspective of social psychology described by Bansal and Kandola (2004, p. 3) as well as your own ideas.
The article of Bansal and Kandola presents the findings of the research on questions of corporate social responsibility and the role of individuals in a firm's behavior. The authors argued that a firm is not just an entity it is a group of people working there. Thus, when people work irresponsibly, it is believed that the company is socially irresponsible. It is crucial to emphasize that an acute problem of a single individual within an organization scales up to an organizational one (Bansal and Kandola 3). By their nature, people may act irresponsibly, but it does not explain the fact that in many companies, the senior staff gets involved in illegal actions, even when they know that the consequences may be harsh. Psychologists explain such behavior by personal and situational factors. Bansal and Kandola researched this topic and proposed three theories explaining why people behave badly in organizations. Firstly, they argued that people observing or knowing about illegal acts tend to be silent and not intervene when they see other bystanders. Secondly, they highlighted that ambiguity also plays a vital role. In case a certain action lacks a clear identification of being inappropriate, or it is difficult to identify those, who are responsible for dealing with such an issue, then the problem tends to be ignored or not addressed in a proper way (Bansal and Kandola 3). The third theory is the theory of a diffused responsibility. When the firm is immense, and the responsibility is divided between all employees, they assume that the consequences of an inadequate behavior will be felt by everybody, but the rewarded ones will be few.
To prevent such irresponsible behavior, firms should implement two measures. They should set strong corporate values and follow them above all, while organizing employee empowerment, for example, in terms of providing employees with evaluation forms, where they can suggest improvements for the management of the firm. An organization can avoid corporate social irresponsibility and instill a proper model of behaving when it takes into account its employee's concerns and ideas (Bansal and Kandola 3).