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Global Communications (GC) is faced with a situation common to many industries today, increased competition and dwindling profits. GC’s stock value has fallen over 50% over the past few years. Decisions need to be made and consequences considered.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
GC has experienced an increase in competition, an increase in consumer demand, and a drop in stock value of more than 50%.
Opportunities that exist for consideration include outsourcing to foreign countries, layoffs of current employees, a change in the working relationship with the union, and the possibility of telecommuting.
Outsourcing has the advantage of a lower cost per employee. Typically the outsourced employees receive lower wages and are less likely to receive health benefits. There are security risks which must be considered. Among these risks would be the loss and/or misuse of confidential, personal information, and the theft of company processes.
Layoffs of current employees would lower the company’s current employee costs, but could have a deleterious effect on employee morale. Studies have shown that employee involvement in decision making contributes to employee morale and the remaining employees would have had this option taken away from them, (Dube, Arindrajit, Ph.D., The University of Chicago. 2003.) This could be countered by emphasizing the possibility of travel, movement to another division, and exposure to another culture. The form of communication to the employees would need to be considered to ensure accurate understanding of the message, (McShane & Glinow, 2005).
Another option that could be considered for the current employees would be telecommuting.
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The union could provide more employee input and a more active role for employees in management decision making. This can improve communication between management and employees thus avoiding the communication mishap which occurred at GC. The union could become an active advocate for the employees and make suggestions that may result in the retention of jobs. They can cite studies which may dispute some of the benefits of outsourcing, (Buttleman, KR).
Stakeholders with an interest in the Global Communications (GC) scenario include the stockholders, senior management, current employees, the community and the consumers. The stockholders have an interest in the value of the stock. They will want this value to rise, increasing their investment. The senior management has an interest in regaining their standing in the industry, raising the value of the stock, gaining their desired global status and retaining their positive image in the community. The current employees have an interest in job security and better communication with their senior management. The community has an interest in maintaining their employment and tax base. Finally the consumer has an interest in obtaining the best product or service for the best possible price.
A gap exists between the interests of the stakeholders and the end-state goals. Each of these interests is valid and fair. However, when senior management weighs their options they must consider the competing values. Senior management must consider the financial future of the company from the stockholders’ view, they must consider the employee’s concerns about job security, the community’s concern about the financial impact the community would experience if there was a layoff and the consumer’s perception of the value they receive for their dollar and their perception of ethics of the company. If the company fails, the employees will not have jobs, yet if the employees choose to leave, the company will falter because of perceived unfair treatment. If the company decides to lessen the employment and tax base, the community will suffer economically, and if they layoff a large number of employees the consumers may have a harsher view of the ethics of the company.
Global Communications (GC) desires to be a global company. They currently are facing financial difficulties and communication problems with their employees. If they wish to achieve their goal of becoming global they must increase their standing in the industry, thereby raising the value of their stock. They must also maintain a positive reputation in the community and industry.
If the senior management would make a commitment to working with their current employee base, working with the union representatives, and possibly workforce trainers they could increase the skills of their current force which could offer more options. This would allow the possibility of telecommuting which could reduce the cost to both the company and the employee, making a 10% cut in salary more palatable. It would also allow for transferring employees to other areas that will be expanding. Setting a timetable of six months to a year would allow the plan to be developed, put into effect and valid numbers would be available for evaluation to ascertain if their current course would lead to the goal of globalization and maintain a company with a reputation of integrity.
Arindrajit Dube (2003, September 8; July/August; Fall.). Three essays on evolving institutions in thte American labor market. Retrieved July 24, 2007., from http://Proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=1&did=765020351&Srchmode=1&sid-2&Fmt=2&VInst=Prod&VType=PQD&rqt=3098VName=PQD&TS=118532731&clientld=2606
Kurt Richard Buttleman (1998, Jan 1, 2000). An investigation of outsourcing of functional service areas at two-year colleges.. Retrieved July 24, 2007., from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=0&did=733026391&srchmode=1&sid=3&fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&rRQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1185328145&clientld=2606
Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki (2004). Organizational behavior, 6e. : The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Steve L. McShane and Mary AnnVon Glinow (2005). Organizational Behavior: Emerging realities for the workplace revolution, 3e. : The McGraw-Hill Companies.