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As Global Communications headed to the media announcing their new strategy, many doors were opened to see the facts, analysis and goals behind that strike. GC’s scenario illustrated the conflict between decision making elements in which a dilemma might occur as a result of ignoring some of the values and opportunities.
“Too much competition” that was the problem as defined by the company. Typical continuing problem in an industry that continuous change is part of its characteristics. Issues are opportunities as described by the problem solving model. And when issues grow, opportunities must be the same. However, when that model skips some steps it turns to dilemmas opportunities.
The situation that GC went through demonstrated the impact of neglecting values and any of the stakeholders. Any company at the end is that combination of values, interests and rights which are driven by common goals. Tough decision like outsourcing in GC’s case might be taken after exhausting all options in solving the situation. Also should be a result of exercising other options that fail to generate acceptable solutions. Unfortunately, the decision and discussion between the senior team reflected the opposite of most of these concepts.
“Make the decision-making process a collaborative, rather than a competitive” (Snell, 2003, p.84) creates common goals and absorbs any conflict between any of the values involved. Once this chain is broken, GC’s situation in facing the union and Government actions would be a good example to read.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
The term that describes the big picture for what happened to Global Communication, is lack of planning. It was quite shocking that the senior management team was discussing the “challenges” in a meeting a day before announcing the new strategy. Unfortunately, avoidable mistakes led to the fact that GC struggled in their negotiation with the union to discuss the impact of their decisions.
The entire process was based on personal assumptions and imaginations. However, keeping stakeholders in the dark made the situation a mess. Even with incompetent management team like GC, stakeholders’ involvement in the situation would alert any overlooked aspect of potential risk or dilemma. GC even failed to weigh the union as a partner even after the union support to cut some benefits to help the company’s growth.
The major issue in GC’s situation is their inability to analyze their own industry. Global Communication and for the same reason “Helping company growth” had the union dropped health and education benefit.
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Telecommunication industry changes rapidly to have the best technical services. However, this rapid change holds rapid potentials as well. Opportunities in such an industry should inspire the GC team to liquefy their approaches and strategies. This vision releases creative solutions and ideas that can make GC a lead in the industry.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
The conflict in Global Communications scenario is very clear. And before going into the nerve of it, it’s important to mention that management’s mistakes and lack of planning were behind these dilemmas. “Our Edge is People” philosophy was a fact before the senior management team decision was taken. Employees’ loyalty showed that GC treated their employees in respectable manner and built a good relationship with them.
GC’s decision regardless how they reached it, made all stakeholders against the company. It was not unethical because of the layoff and the outsourcing only. The entire process was not an ethical behavior. By ignoring stakeholders, GC decided to stand alone and take the risk of their decision. The statement “Managers should at least be confident that they followed proper procedures that will yield the best possible decision under the circumstances” (Snell, 2003, p.74), did not apply to GC even with the CEO’s confidence in the union’s support. And that was another mistake which translated quickly to an ultimatum by the union’s president.
Decisions as a result of problem solving process are partially result of social interactions and cultural values, or at least this is how supposed to be. And GC’s scenario demonstrated that ethical dilemmas are results of ignoring all values except company’s single priority. This behavior is even discouraging to other people who are not part of the dilemma. In GC’s scenario, the outsourcing might be translated to the incompetency of local citizens to perform the job. And these types of ideas are so sensitive that might harm company’s reputation for long time.
As the communication industry is changing rapidly and the competition is accelerating, new set of values and market planning strategies should be implemented. Global Communication should set creative marketing approach to enhance its ability to accommodate changes and consumers and investors demands. This strategy should apply to local and international markets.
Local market should be monitored and analyzed periodically to boost sales and technologies. Effective local marketing model should be used to initiate an international marketing plan that takes the company to the globalization level. Global communication should save no effort to support studies and surveys that help the company to revise and develop flexible marketing plans and technical solutions.
Global Communication’s scenario indicated weaknesses in certain management key concepts. These weaknesses appeared clearly in decision making approach, management style and organizational behavior. It was obvious that GC failed to establish effective end state goals and strategy that comply with the communication industry with all its changes and requirements by both investors and customers.
Global Communication decisions and actions were results of a very shallow vision and analysis to the market and industry. GC made a jump decision to a direct problem which was their profit improvement and used no analysis to identify the tools and mechanism for the implementation. Risk assessment did not exist in GC’s decision as well as any sort of evaluation for any alternatives. In fact, it was clear that GC started to discuss what they called “challenges” after the decision had been taken.
Decisions makers use “their reflective thinking, they plan for difficult while the difficult is till easy” (Hoch, 2001 p.111). And based on that “The maximizing decision realizes the greatest positive consequences and the fewest negative consequences” (Snell, 2003, p.73). These two statements summarize the crucial combination of decision making process, organizational communication and management flexibility, in order to have the right tools to implement the best choice for any business. And this represents GC’s lack of performance in all areas which not only created a huge gap between reality and future, but made any solution hard to achieve.
Order and structure separate problems from being solved by managers or decision makers. The problem solving model demonstrated that looking at problems and risks as opportunities is the start to create alternatives and creative solutions. However, the Global Communications scenario illustrated the impacts of unstructured decision making or assumptions’ implications on the process.
The other side of the problem solving process was how to appreciate and maintain the tools, facts and values from all stakeholders. Creative solutions are custom made and a complicated combination of ideas, resources and values compose a vision that enables organizations to move forward and be always ahead of problems.
Neglecting stakeholders or certain key values lead to catastrophic results. These results represent a new type of dilemmas and problems that any business needs to deal with.