Confidentiality of information of an employee is extremely essential. Employees need to be aware that according to the monitoring policy of the company they cannot use the computers meant for business purposes for sending and receiving private emails. Having an email policy is important in business settings where the employers are not supposed to use computers for private use (Gergacz, J 2007). This policy warns the employees not to expect to receive any privacy in any communication that they have received, made, or saved using the business computers. In the scenario where the doctor's offices will be merged, and doctors will be working from different offices from one time to another, it is very important for doctors to know that there is not privacy in any information that they save in the computers.
The reason is because the computers are connected through the internet hence information is available to other offices. In this case when structuring the monitoring policy, it is important to make it published so that doctors are aware that all their emails are not confidential as they are available from each of the offices. The doctors should know that any information that they communicate with their clients that may appear to be confidential can be accessed through the other computers because the monitoring policy does not provide confidentiality of any private information that is not related to the business operation, which is communicated between the doctor and the client. According to the company monitoring policy, it will only provide confidentiality of information limited to only the ten offices whereby only the doctors in these offices will have access to information that concerns their operations together with that of the patients.
Gergacz, J (2007). Employees' use of employer computers to communicate with their own attorneys and the attorney client privilege Computer law review and technology journal 6
Program/ Policy Testing Management
Public health care is the major concern of the Health Department in every Nation. Health Departments are mandated to undertake programs/Policies that will ensure that the public is safe from all health hazards. In case there is an outbreak of any disease such as cholera, Typhoid, and Malaria among others within a given City or town, Health Department must take quick action to end the endemic disease. This assignment is based on the analysis done by an administrator of a Health Department who is responsible for administering a program/ policy testing on all food handlers for Typhoid as a communicable disease. The program /policy is proposed by the New York City Health Department quarantine Mary Mallon upon determining that she was a typhoid carrier. Furthermore, the assignment will be evaluating the challenges of the proposed program, the success of this proposal, comparing the benefits of testing food handlers for typhoid to an alternative strategy / policy, as well as, determining if the policy of testing all food handlers for typhoid was working and Conducting a review of the literature on another health related disease that is transmitted through foodstuff.
Step 1: The three proposed program/ policy challenges identified:
First and foremost, not every food handler approached for testing will embrace the idea especially those are not certified to run or handle food handling services. This would disturb the program in its initial stages since all the food handlers are anticipated to adhere to this policy for community health safety. Furthermore, some of them would ignore to engage in this activity, in case they are not well sensitized on causes and dangers associated to typhoid disease. The time allocated for conducting the test would be a problem to the food handlers, if it does not fit in their schedule. This is because they are busy individuals, hence time allocated for this activity needs to be of no inconvenience to them. Additionally, considering that in New York City food handlers are in big numbers, time allocating time for every individual to get tested would consume more than expected time.Identifying the most appropriate and adequate approach to use in running the tests is also another key problem. By conducting the test on the food handlers in the city would not guarantee hundred percent controls over the disease, because there could be other food handlers in a different location who would miss this opportunity.
Step 2: The food handlers testing program will ultimately be successful if some factors are considered. By making sure that all the food handlers are first sensitized about the significance of this program, as well as, the dangers associated with its progress to the entire City, would lead to a successful outcome. In addition, if time allocated for this process befits the food handlers, definitely this program/ policy will work. Success will also be realized when the there is enough money to conduct this program and the food handlers are cooperative in the entire process.
Step 3: The benefits of testing only food handlers for typhoid compared to an alternative strategy/ policy:
Testing only food handlers ensures that there is safe food for consumers since they consume uncontaminated food. Furthermore, food handlers are far much better in adhering to the program since most of them earn their living from handling food and they would not risk losing their jobs. Additionally, testing only food handlers is a practical action compared to doing nothing. Although this testing could be challenging in the initial stages the final/end result is the determining factor. As if not enough, testing food handler's policy is a success, because it deals with the key individuals who are dealing with the entire public food handling cases.
Step 4: The measure to determine if the policy of testing all food handlers for typhoid was working:
I would make an observation on the number of all the food handlers tested compared to typhoid case reported. This would help in finding out if the policy is fully effective, as well as, identifying whether the typhoid cases are declining or increasing. By critically focusing on the numbers of fully tested food handlers, would enable me to analytically compare this policy to any other alternative program to consider testing typhoid. If the there is a decline in the levels of typhoid reported case, the test would have proved to be effective, but if the typhoid cases increase of remain constant; other alternatives such as quarantined would be considered better to undertake.
Step 5: A literature review on contaminated food infection at Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire is another health related disease that was transmitted through food. Manos John (2009) article discloses that the disease what caused by contaminated oysters which were cooked and provided to the clients in the café. This infection as the study confirms was spread via the restaurant's staffs who were carriers of the virus. This disease caused gastroenteric illness as well as, vomiting and diarrhea that were commonly spread in places such as hospital and cruise ships. The plague continued to affect people since the restaurant management Della delayed to inform the local environmental health authorities; hence enormous spread of Norovirus infections. However, sometime later the authorities found out about the disease and immediately closed down the restaurant to defend the community from the ailment. The measure was successful and effective since it allowed swift undertakings in curbing the disease, as well as, improved food handler and foodstuff grounding dealings.
Anthony E. Fiore (2004) Hepatitis A transmitted by food Retrieved on 13September 2012 from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Ick-2Ec0XkUJ:www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/pdfs/fiore_ha_transmitted_by_food.pdf+&hl=en&gl=ke&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShW55ew_WxlFuatXCaZrRBMZw3Y9R7vCuE4MjKwM4f9mgcf-qw_1X-6KrXevU_ZRDmbicMIzP6eSfeIGt1nuTj24gLU7QretdiWz-TpIa7_AaV5ZKA3S3IH2wmdT616s9ViZy5c&sig=AHIEtbSzVd7Qoj_TJ7HX4pp1ZJay7SDdXw
Manos John (2009): Food-Handler health and hygiene requirements Occupational health 61 (7): 34-5 (Journal article –form) Retrieved on 13 September 2012 from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=2f206578-318b-4493-8cc0-b2e35aafc2a1%40sessionmgr14&vid=1&hid=23&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=a9h&AN=44965714
Role Based Access Control
The role based access control serve as an excellent platform for regulating the access of computer-based information systems within an organization. Within the company used in the class scenario, there are several essential roles that would be developed in line with the role based access controls. The first role pertains to leadership. This role would encompass all the company's senior executives. This also includes the company managers who hold important leadership dockets within the organization. Only senior executives and managers would have access to the data or information under the leadership domain. Apart from leadership, another essential role for the role based access control in this company pertains to human resource management. The employees manning the company's human resource department would have access to data or information in this docket (Benantar, 2005).
This would help maintain high standards of efficiency and service delivery in the company's human resource system. In any organization, the human resource systems contribute greatly towards overall performance. It is thus essential for all corporate establishments to consider the human resource systems while developing the role based access controls. The third major role pertains to the financial management. Data concerning the organization's financial aspects should not be accessed by all employees. Through the restriction, it is possible for the organization to avoid any form of manipulation within its financial systems. A simple error in the organization's financial data can easily undermine overall productivity. It is thus important to establish a high level of authentication within the company's financial systems. Public relations would also serve as an important role for the company's role based access controls. This would help in strengthening the organization's image. (Benantar, 2005)
Benantar, M. (2005). Access control systems, NY: Springer Science
Information assurance (IA) is a strategic approach toward managing the security of information within an organization (Harris, 2010). The doctors' offices in this case, will need to cover various kind of information in the IA awareness. Patient information is one of the information categories that would need cover. The systems will contain patient information including insurance details, payment and health history. This information needs to be kept safe and confidential. The offices should also cover employee information. The system will deal with employees' records such as; remuneration; insurance plan; retirement plan and other. This information will also need to be protected.
Risk Management Question
One of the information security threats that the company is likely to encounter is that of unauthorized access (Harris, 2010). We plan to defend the company information from authorized access by implementing information governance policies such privacy, auditing and monitoring and compliance to security protocols. We also plan to introduce security features such fire walls; encryptions and many others. Another potential threat to company information is damage. This may originate from accidents such fires or flaw in the system software, hardware or network (Harris, 2010). We plan to address this issue by creating effective backup and recovery system for the company information. Since the doctors will be accessing company information from remote locations, there is also a need to secure the network. This can be achieved through enlightening the employee concerning various security protocols such as use of passwords. We also plan to use technologies such as VNA.
Personnel Security Question
Studies have revealed that majority of the cases of information security breach are caused by insiders (Harris, 2010). Therefore, AI must also focus on protecting company information from threats from inside the company. One way in which we plan to achieve this is be screening and running background investigation of potential employees. This will ensure that the organization recruits employees who are trustworthy and reliable. Another way in which we plan to protect information from insider threat is by establishing and enforcing strict security protocols (Harris, 2010). For example, employees having access to delicate company information will not be allowed to use personal mobile computing devices on offices computers.
We also plan to restrict access to delicate company information to only the employees who must have access. Issuing non disclosure contracts will also help in protecting information from threat of insider. This will make the employees aware that intentional actions that lead to security breach will have legal implications. We also plan to conduct regular monitoring and auditing of the system to ensure that any irregularities are detected early. Raising awareness among employees concerning how to protect information is also a viable option.
Physical Security Question
Maintaining strict security at the physical premises is also vital to protecting the integrity of the company's information (Harris, 2010). Since company IT will be managed internally and the server will be located inside the premises there is need to restrict entry into the premises. Only authorized people will be allowed to access area where information is stored. We also plan to run continuous surveillance over sensitive areas such as the server room using advanced technologies such CCTV cameras (Harris, 2010). The organization will also prohibit entry into and use of personal handheld computing and storage devices such flash disks and iPads in the high security areas. This will reduce the chances of individuals using these devices to carry away company information or to introduce malware into the system. We have also installed emergency power and fire system in the sever room in order to protect the company's information from accidents such as fires. The emergency power system will ensure that information access is reliable.
Harris S. (2010). "CISSP All in One Exam Guide". USA. McGraw Hill
The Multinational Advantage
This article examines in finer details the benefits that accrue to multinational corporations. It questions whether the corporations operate at a premium. The authors argue that operating as a multinational enhances a firm's value and improves its competitive advantage. The authors provide several sources that enable such firms to accrue a premium. First of all they look into taxes. They argue that different countries have different tax policies; some of those policies are less stringent as compared to those of the home country. A firm will, therefore, accrue a benefit in terms of tax, in its operations, in such a country. The authors also argue that there is profit diversification. This essentially means that if a branch in one country operatives at a loss, there is offsetting of the loss by profits from the other branches in other countries. Corruption and bureaucracies in a foreign country's systems may also create a premium to the firm's operations in the country.
Openness and outstanding services of the firm in the country will create a competitive advantage; the transparency may attract investors to the corporation who will prefer it to the foreign countries investments. The increased investment in the multinational corporation translates into improved profitability to the firm. The authors also postulate that there is operation flexibility for a Multinational Corporation, which serves to improve their competitive advantage. This is in terms of market exploitation; the firms can easily expand vertically or horizontally to increase their clientele. They also provide that cost of capital may also create advantage of operations to a multinational. When the cost of capital is high for investors in the foreign country, the firm can provide a low cost of capital and hence attract investors which will lead to increased profitability. However, the authors argue that there must be optimal allocation of resources to realize these advantages, Creal, Robinson, Rogers, & Zachman (2011).
Creal, D.D., Robinson, L.A., Rogers, J.L. & Zachman, S.L.C. The multinational advantage. (2011)
Generational Challenges in Organization
Millennials are a group of individuals born from 80-1995. The millennials are gradually taking over from the baby boomers generation. The millennials are gradually joining the workforce and becoming adults. The hurdle that most organizations are currently faced with involves integration of workforce from different generations to work towards the same goal. It is evident that conflict may arise across the generations. A 60year old employee may possess different ideas and perceptions on how to handle a problem within the organizations. A 20year old, on the other hand, may have other contrasting ideas and perceptions towards solving an organizational problem (Taylor, & Keeter, 2010). Managers of organizations are thus faced with the task of blending the different generations to get a reliable work force. This paper reviews the integration of the new generation into the workforce. The new generations are the future leaders, and their participation at the work place is essential.
The New Generation at the Workplace
Unfortunately, for many companies, they are unaware of how to handle millennials. This is mainly because they hardly take no for an answer. The millennials view themselves to be different. First, they are techno-savvy and thus technologically well informed than the previous generations. The millennials view the other generations as old, redundant and on the verge of retirement. It is up to mangers to ensure that the different generations that comprise of their workforce manage to work together (Myers, & Sadaghiania, 2010). The skills and capabilities that the millennials possess are in most instances extra ordinary.
With this realization, organizations should strive to channel the millennials competencies towards achieving organizational goals and overall objective (Lancaster, 2003).One outstanding challenge of dealing with millennials is their competitive nature accompanied by skills but lack knowledge on how to perform within an organizational set up. They have achieved and overcome most of the life challenges. Millennials have accomplished missions such as climbing Mount Everest. These are accomplishments that other generations put aside to focus on their careers. The millennials are highly skilled in handling life issues but when it comes to working within an organization, it proves difficult. Millennials are free spirited and prefer to work via their own volition rather than following rules and instructions (Gilbert, 2011).
The society views millennials as young adults who have excessively been cuddled by their parents to the extent that they are ill equipped to fit in their places of work. Managers refer this millennial phenomenon as the Cuddling virus. The parents have excessively cuddled their children such that they expect their parents to come to their aid all the time. In college, they seek their parent's assistance to get higher grades. The habit of over reliance on parents is evident at the workforce.Young adults get employed and as soon as they are displeased with certain aspects of their jobs they quit.
Millennials live with the expectation that their parents will financially support them hence do not struggle t sustain a job. Millennials parents were also brought up with the perception that they can be anything they want in life (Myers, & Sadaghiania, 2010).As much as this is a motivation to the millennial it sometimes leads to the establishment of unrealistic, out of this world, goals in life. According to millennials careers are no longer the determinant of one's life. Millennials focus on having a lifestyle of their choice. They are also focused on finding and keeping friends. Careers are thus not the focal points of their life as lifestyle and friends have the first priority.
Managers and Millennials
Managing millennials within an organization requires that the manager plays the role of a counselor and a diplomat. Millennials can be productive and real assets to an organization. The secret lies in how to handle them. First, harsh treatment with rules, policies and regulations that employees adhere to without question are not longer acceptable.Millennials are free spirited and prefer to work without a lot of restrictions. The era of formality within organizations has dwindled with time. Since millennials are the work force of the future, managers have no alternative but to engage millennials in determining alternative working schedules and regulations (Taylor, & Keeter, 2010). Establishing a working environment that the millennia generation can work with ensures that they remain committed to their duties and responsibilities.
Managers also have the responsibility of instilling change across the work force. Other generations like the Xers and baby boomers must acknowledge the changing world. Changes such as technological advancement require that employee change and adopt technologies that foster efficiency. Similarly, the baby boomers need to realize that there is no fault with the millennials. It is the society and the world that is changing. By accepting the need for change, the baby boomers will learn to work with the millennial generation (Gilbert, 2011). The millennial can expose the baby boomers to technologies and new skills relevant to their duties and responsibilities. The older generation, on the other hand, can instill in the new generation organizational skills that they may lack.Working with millennials requires that managers accept this new breed of employees.
Initially, organization emphasized on working 24/7. With the emergence of the new generation, employers have had to look at extra curricula activities that their employee can engage in (Lancaster, 2003). Millenials know what they want in their working environment. Other than working, they want to have fun with their colleagues. They also want time to mingle and interact with their colleagues.Organizations are slowly accepting these demands and integrating them within the organization. Managers have also adopted the aspect of rewards for work well done. These changes not only attract the millennials to the organization but also motivate them to work harder and achieve set goals and expectations (Taylor, & Keeter, 2010). This new generation no longer holds dear their jobs. They believe that they can seek alternative employment if the current one fails to meet their expectations. Managers should, therefore, strive to meet the expectation of the millenials so as to reduce employee turnover.
With the new breed of employees, there is bound to be numerous organizational challenges. The first challenge is the ability of a society to maintain a stable economy while serving the needs of this generation. Critics argue that millenials are simply a group of individuals who are experiencing delayed adolescents. Delayed adolescent mean that they individuals have refused to mature as is the norm (Gilbert, 2011). As a result, the economy lags behind as organizations struggle to satisfy the needs of the new breed.The second challenge faced by organization involves blending the new and the old generation together to achieve the overall objective of the company. The management t should be well structured to determine how the different generations can work together without friction. Their views, trends and skills differ. Managers have the challenge of blending the different perspectives and enhance productivity.
The emergence of the millennia changes the workforce and management of organizations. Organizations can determine effective strategies to manage any obstacles that integration of the new generation may bring. Among the strategies include fostering the spirit of trust and supportiveness. Future challenges that organizations may face can be reviewed by conducting research. Research will involve looking at the overall long term effects of integrating the millenials in an organization (Myers, & Sadaghiania, 2010). Organization should also investigate the qualities that will favor organizational performance. By identifying these qualities, the organization will be better placed to overcome any future obstacles.
The introduction of millennials has led to the emergence of the new and old generation of the workforce. The millennia, just like any other unique generation that joined the workforce during its time, came with its own unique qualities and characteristics. However, unlike any other generation, the newer generation is different. The millennia have been affected by factors such as globalization, information technology, and socialization. With these factors, it is undeniable that they shall join the work force with a different perspective to driving an organization towards success. It is this aspect that managers should look at. The new generation may pose a challenge to an organization due to their different perspective of work but they introduce a fresh perspective of attaining organizational goals. The challenge of integrating the new and the old generation lies in the ability of management to foster trust and supportiveness among employees. The millenials are future leaders and should thus be appreciated and accepted rather than criticized and forced to adopt existing norms.
Gilbert, J. (2011). The Millenials: a new generation of employees. Retrieved from http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/the-workplace/the-millennials-a-new-generation-of-employees-a-new-set-of-engagement-policies
Lancaster, L. (2003). When generations collide. HarperCollins
Myers, K. & Sadaghiania, K. (2010). Millenials in the workplace. Journal of business psychology. Vol. 25(2): 225-238
Taylor, P. & Keeter, S. (2010). Confident. Connected. Open to change. A portrait of generation next. PEW research centre
Applying Change In Work Place
In order for the organization to remain relevant, it must redefine its way of operating, services being offered and the impact of the business to the customers. When there is frequent turning off of patients, this means that the organizations need to redefine its operations and solve this problem so that it is able to provide better services to patients. In such a situation, the organization should apply change to the workplace. According to Lewin, he proposed a three stage theory of change referred to as unfreezing, change, and freezing (Ramnarayan & Nilakant 2006). During the first stage that is unfreezing, it involves understanding that change is necessary and being ready to move from the current comfort zone. In this situation change is necessary and urgent as the organization need to find a way out in which to maintain patients. During the unfreezing stage, Lewin states that everyone should be motivated to change so that change can be applied. The second stage is change or transition.
According to Lewin, change is not an event, but a process known as transition. The transition stage is normally the hardest one as this is the time people are learning about the change, and they need time to work and understand with them. It is essential for people to be allowed to develop solutions for making change, since these are the people involved in day to day operation of the business. People are able to know what need to be changed so as to retain their patients. The third stage is freezing which involves establishing stability after the change has been made. People are usually able to form a new relationship that will benefit the entire business and be comfortable with this routine. By applying these stages of change into practice, the organizations will be able to provide better services to patients and be able to retain them.
Ramnarayan, S & Nilakant, V (2006). Change management Sage Publishers
Acme and Omega
Acme and Omega had common goals as they wanted to grow in future and expand. As a result the companies competed for the same contracts in order to grow and expand. Also, the companies wanted to remain profitable and competed for the profitable contracts. For instance, the companies were awarded a contract to develop photocopier's. Though the companies were similar as they produced digital microprocessors and circuit boards, they differed in terms of the management. The managers at Acme had a detailed organizational chart and comprehensive job descriptions. Tyler argued that having clear responsibilities and well defined jobs will improve the performance of the organization and profitability. The workers were pleased with their work.
Alternatively, Omega did not have an organizational chart as the managers felt that the organization was small. The managers believed that the organizational charts put barriers between specialists and workers as they were unable to work together. The managers encouraged employees to work together and ensured the workers were conversant with all the activities in the organization. These ensured workers were able to work in different areas. The top managers had an impact on the goals as they determined whether the goals will accomplish the goals or not. The kind of management and leadership styles the managers used to lead the organizations affected the accomplishment of the goals (Daft, 2009).The companies were to be achieved using different strategies depending on the company.
The Omega managers ensured the employees and all the departments worked together to produce the photocopier as per the contract and increase profitability. Conversely, the Acme managers ensured each department worked alone to manufacture the photocopiers. Employees from the departments were not allowed to meet and discuss the production of the photocopier (Daft, 2009).Omega will produce the best results as the employees in the organization work as a team. Team work is vital in the organization as it enables the employees attain the organizational goals. Organizations that encourage team work perform better than those which do not. In this case, employees and departments in omega were encouraged to work as a team when producing the photocopiers. This ensured the company did not produce defective units like Acme. Acme encouraged every department to work alone and also employees to work individually and thus affected the quality of products they produced.
This forced the photocopier company to split the contract between the two companies and encouraged them to reduce the defects and cost (Daft, 2009).Therefore, Omega was effective in producing the prototype not because of the goals the managers selected, but the strategies used to achieve the goals. Team work was the main strategy the company used to ensure the prototypes produced were effective. The company that got the final contract was Acme. Acme managed to get the contract to manufacture the photocopier after it reduced its production cost. The company managed to cut the cost by 20% and this satisfied the stakeholders. For example, the photocopier company was happy with the reduction of cost and offered Acme the contract. Overall, Omega was more effective as the company managed to produce units that had no defects before the contract was split. Acme became successful after the contract was split and after cutting the production cost. Hence, Omega was effective because of the strategy it used to accomplish its goals (Daft, 2009).
Daft, R.L. (2009). Organizational theory and design. The paradoxical twins: Acme and Omega electronics. Cengage Learning
Resource Based View Analysis: South West Airlines.
South West Airlines tangible resources can be divided into three main categories; human resources; financial and physical resources (Henry, 2008). Physical resources refer to physical facilities and equipments that are owned by the company. Airplanes constitute the large portion of South West's physical resources. In 2011, the company had 572 aircraft, making it the largest operator of aircrafts in the world. The aircraft make up a significant part of the organization asset base (South West Airlines, 2012). Computer and computer networks also phone a vital part of South West physical resources. South West operates offices in over 76 terminals within the country. All these offices require booking and ticketing facilities which are primarily computer based. Other physical facilities include; hangers; buildings; vehicles and many others.South West enjoys vast financial resources. The company has experienced a prolonged period of profitability.
In 201, the company recorded revenues worth $15.7 billion and net profits worth $178 million (South West Airlines, 2012). This performance places South West in a strong financial position. Good financial performance coupled with a strong asset base also makes it easier for South West Airlines to raise capital either through debt or equity financing. In 2011 South West has a total asset base of $18 billion. However, a poor credit rating may hinder the ability to obtain capital. In 2009, South West credit rating was downgraded from BBB+ to BBB (Hinton, 2009).Another vital tangible resource for South West Airline is its human resource. In 2012, South West Airlines has a workforce of over 46,000 people (South West Airlines, 2012). Most of these employees work on a long term contract in positions such as; senior management; middle management; customer care; pilot and cabin crew. These are highly specialized positions and, therefore, require highly skilled employees.
Intangible resources refer to resources that are not physically present but add to the value of the company (Henry, 2008). South West's intangible resources may be categorized into; technical resources; intellectual resources; goodwill and others. South West has a vast of technical resources. These include websites; financial management systems; human resource management system; customer management system and many others (South West Airlines, 2012). The value of these technical resources cannot be physically pinpointed; but they make a significant contribution towards the operation of the company.Intellectual resources refer to mind creations that South West hold exclusive rights over. Trademarks and logo are some of South West's intellectual property (Henry, 2008). A trademark is distinct symbol that is used by an entity to make out and distinguish its services from those of competitors. South West has well established logos and trademarks for which it holds exclusive rights over (South West Airlines, 2012). Copyrights also make up part of South West intellectual property. The organization has produced various publications such as research documents and travel guides for which it reserved all rights.Another intangible resource for South West is goodwill. Goodwill refers to the value of a company that is not delivered from the company's tangible assets (Henry, 2008). Goodwill has a lot to do with the image and reputation of the company in the market.
Goodwill often arises from sources such as good employees' relations, large market share; strong brand name; patents and good customer relations. South West is publicly listed company and, therefore, goodwill is a vital element in determining the value of the company (South West Airlines, 2012). Publicly traded companies trade their stocks over the counter and, therefore, the values of these stocks are susceptible to the image of the company within the market.Other intangible resources include managerial competence, marketing and distribution channel. Management is a fundamental element in any business entity (Henry, 2008). The management is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the activities of the firm as well as handling the organization's staffing issues. Marketing strategies and tactics are also an essential part of South West resources. These activities have enables the company to get in touch with the client; satisfy the client expectations and establish an enduring connection with the client.
Distinctive capabilities refer to resources that are capable of giving the organization a competitive advantage (Henry, 2008). Distinctive capability should be difficult to emulate and, therefore, give the organization a unique characteristic. Distinctive capabilities are derived from the organization's core competencies. One of South West distinctive capabilities is operational efficiency (Strategy by Design, 2012). South West has directed most of its effort in making it operation more efficient and convenient for the customers. The company has employed various strategies included investment in technology and economy of scale, in order to make its operations more efficient (South West Airlines, 2012). Consequently, the company has been able to reduce it cost below those of competitors and thus, enabling the airline to offer cheaper fares. South West is today the largest low cost airline in the United States.
Another distinctive capability that has been demonstrated by South West Airlines is customer intimacy (Strategy by Design, 2012). South West has managed to create an intimate relationship with its customers. One way in which the organization has managed to establish this relationship by guaranteeing its customers lower prices. Tough economic times mean that most customers are looking for services that are friendly to the pockets and realistic to the prevailing economic environment. South West has managed to deliver just that. The company offers some of the most competitive fairs in the market, thus, creating a relationship with the customers. Another in which South West Airlines has managed to create an intimate relationship with its customer is through the provision of quality and convenience services (Strategy by Design, 2012). The organization has invested in technology and human resource that delivery of quality experiences to the customers. South West has also managed to create "one on one' relationships with it customers through its reward programs. This has enhanced the relationship between the company and customers. An intimate relationship between South West and customers has helped to the organization to develop a pool of loyal customers and, thus, giving the organization a competitive edge.
Another source of distinctive capability is employee branding. Employee branding has been defined as process of using employees to communicate the organization's mission and values (Miles & Mangold, 2005). South West is a services organization and, therefore, employees act as a vital link between the organization and the customers. Thus, South West has focused on creating an effective work force that will reflect the company's values on to the customers. One way in which the company has achieved this is prudent recruitment (Miles & Mangold, 2005). South West Airlines has redesigned its recruitment policy so as to ally them with the greater ambition of the business. Another way in which South West has branded its employees is through investing in employee training and development (Miles & Mangold, 2005). This has created a work force that is sufficiently geared up to deal with the challenges presented by the modern business environment, as well as, one that is equipped to fulfill the vision of the business. South West has also aligned the organization structure and culture with the values of the organization.
Henry A. (2008). Understanding Strategic Management. USA. Oxford University Press
Hinton C. (2009). Southwest Airlines Credit Rating is Lowered as S&P. September 20, 2012. http://articles.marketwatch.com/2009-10-15/news/30834741_1_credit-rating-financial-profile-ratings-firm
Miles S. & Mangold G. (2005). Positioning Southwest Airlines through Employee Branding. Journal of Business Horizons. 48: 535- 545
South West Airlines (2012). 2011 Performance Report. September 21, 2012. http://www.southwestonereport.com/2011/#!/performance/2011-performance/index#gaap-heading
Strategy by Design (2012) Seizing Competitive Advantage. September 21, 2012. http://strategybydesign.org/seizing-competitive-advantage/
Horizontal Organizational Structure
A horizontal organizational structure does not emphasize on top down flow of authority. In this type of structure team work is the core thing. Instead of reporting to one boss at the top authority, the employees report tom different supervisors in the teams. The main difference between vertical and horizontal structures is on the hierarchy of authority.
1. Companies that use horizontal structures emphasize on employee empowerment, openness and responsibility. This is because the employees are not controlled from a top authority as the case of vertical structure. They have to be motivated to be responsible because there is no watchdog over them. Openness is emphasized from them because there is no close supervision of the employees 'activities. Empowerment of the employees is for creating a sense of belonging to the organization. This is to ensure that their actions are to the best interest of the organization.
2. Organizations with horizontal structures emphasize on responsibility, empowerment and openness of employees in an effort to involve them in decision making and project implementation. This is true because the main aim of horizontal structures is to optimize employee participation in company activities. If there is no maximum employee participation then the structure ceases to be horizontal. Horizontal structure can increase overall productivity of an organization through eliminating the need for close supervision. I agree with this because employees are motivated to work through the minimal supervision. They are their own bosses and this can motivate them to work more towards the organizational goals. The cost of operation is cut down because the organization does not need to employ many supervisors. More returns can therefore be realized by reducing the cost of operation.
3. The duty of managers in horizontal structured organizations is policy formulation and forecasting the future of the organization. The managers are such organizations do not involve in operations management. The operations are performed by well structured and self sufficient teams which do not require interventions from the managers. Therefore, the mangers in the organization deal with policy formulation and strategic management.
4. Companies use horizontal structures because it optimizes employee contribution in the organization. This structure is employee centered rather than management centered. Its purpose is to motivate the employees towards attainment of the organizational goals. Employee centeredness maximizes the contributions of the employees in the organization. It is also true that horizontal structures emphasize on team work and collaboration. The team members have equal input capacities into the teams.
5. It is true that organizations use the horizontal structure as a workflow as opposed to authority flow. The work is assigned by the CEO to the departments which have teams. The team leaders are the team supervisors. They give instructions of the job to the team members who then execute the tasks without close supervision. The employees have the prerogative to choose their execution strategy for their tasks as long as they stick to the instructions from the supervisors. This gives a level of authority to the employees and is a motivational tool for the employees. The purpose of a horizontal structure is to remove excessive employee supervision and optimization of employee contribution. Minimum supervision creates a sense of belonging from employees and loyalty to the organization. They therefore work concordantly with the organization's mission and objectives.