Introduction The Royal Dutch Shell is a Dutch Multinational oil and gas company with headquarters in Netherlands. The company has been in operation for 107 years and has averagely annual revenues of over $400 billion. In addition to this, the company has an employee base of over 87,000. My role in the company is an assistant consultant that is in charge of communications and management. Since its inception, the company has utilized a management style referred to as Taylorism.
With this approach, the company has always utilized the best way principle which means that decision making is a purview of top management, each job is performed through a standard method, employees work on a function based on experience and knowledge and workers are trained a standard operational method.
This management technique was introduced in the 1900s and the company has made little changes to fit into the changing market which has giving its competitors a cutting edge. The paper will analyze the company’s management approach, its efficiency in the current market and if there is need to change the approach in a bid to fit in. Problem Statement
With major shifts in management approaches to incorporate among other things technology and market dynamics, is it possible for Shell to remain as a relevant company with its century long approach? This question is best answered after analyzing the company’s revenues in the past ten years relative to that of its competitors, its recent expansions, among other variables. If this approach is workable in the 21st century, how can it be made better to fit into the aforementioned dynamics? A proposed change would be incorporating a neo-democratic approach that is flexible to external and internal changes. However, how can it fit in and what benefits can it offer? Literature Review
In an article by John Vines for The Boston Consulting Group, the author writes that as the world changes, so does the workplace. Therefore, managers of the 21st century must face the challenges in the dynamic market by adapting both soft and hard skills. These include confidence to manage multi-generational teams, creativity to measure staff performance outputs and inputs, high degree of technical and functional expertise in addition to general management credentials (Vines , 2012).
The author further writes that this can only be achieved if a leader takes in a contemporary management approach as opposed to standard ones which are mainly inflexible. Nonetheless, the main insistence is the need for group work in decision-making. Many of these characteristics lack in Shell Company. In an article by Perrin, et al., the authors analyze some challenges that 21st century leaders face and compare them to their management style in a bid to point out a great combination that can work to increase productivity and ascertain survival. Importantly, the authors write that organizations which operate globally, have more pressing challenges with regards to diversity and decision making (Perrin, et al., 2011). This leads to the need for virtual workplace structures.
This is a challenge at Shell considering that the company utilizes a management technique where decision is reserved for the top management. In the 21st century, especially after the 2009 recession, the key factors in management have become motivation and employee engagement (Holton, 2009 ). This is according to an article by Viki Holton in which the researcher wrote that the need for a democractic yet engaging leadership cannot be underscored.
The author writes that apart from financial rewards, employees are motivated when they are consulted in every day management problems. Shell company can utilize this technique to ensure that it meets the needs of its employees not only financially but also through motivation. This can go a long way in a increasing the company’s revenues and also ensuring that it has a high chance of survival rate. Important to note, this does not only apply to small companies, but also to multinationals. The three key focus points in contemporary management are a. Equality in management, compensation and training
b. Use of new technology to manage information c. Planning d. Understanding generational difference This is according to an article by Row Henson a Human Capital Management fellow. The author notes that diversity and shifts call for the need for unity as opposed to authoritarinism. Hence, a key management appraoch should be a blended democratic management style where every employee in equal (Henson, 2009). This is as opposed to Shell’s approach where decision-making is reserved for top management.
In her article titled Leadership in the 21st Century: The New Visionary Administrator Irving Nicholson primarily stresses on the need for technology. The author writes that in an attempt to fit intothe 21st century, many organizations are incorporating technology. However, they fail because they do not look at the culture and ways that they can adapt technolog y but input it without prior analysis. This article will be beneficial to Shell company if it aims to expand its operations without much costs due to technological benefits. Preliminary Analysis scrutiny of leadership and organizational behavior concepts addressed in the paper
The four main topics in the syllabus which apply to the research are a. Power and leadership b. Organizational behavior c. Diversity in organizations d. Motivation concepts With increased market changes and other related variables, businesses are constantly looking for ways to adapt. One way that they can achieve this is through good power and leadership combination. While the Taylorism approach by Shell is great as it encompasses characteristics of hierarchical management and bureaucracy, it is still not the best as it does not adapt do change and devolve decision making.
Furthermore, it focuses more on power rather than leadership. This leads to an authoritarian organization with behaviors inclining towards systemization instead of diversity (Cooper, 2005). Important to note, a systematic approach is not bad but it needs regulation and this means giving employees a chance to participate and give their ideas. The organization should also keep in mind that a motivated employee will always be productive hence, focusing on the four concepts and their interconnectedness as is evident from the foregoing literature will be beneficial. Potential Solutions
• There is need to balance power and leadership ➢ Power is essential for control ➢ Leadership helps in directing a workforce towards a goal ➢ Combining the two will be beneficial to Shell • Employees need to be motivated ➢ Motivation is key to success ➢ Intrinsic motivation should be key ➢ Psychological motivation should be combined with financial rewards ➢ Important to analyze French and Raven’s five bases of power and use them to lure employees towards change • Survival is pegged in talking on a new organizational management approach ➢ All articles in the literature review point towards a democratic system ➢ However, a combination of both Taylorism and democratic system, that is, taking advantages of both will help achieve better results
Reflection This assignment is worth reading through because of three main reasons. a. It analyzes a real world company together with its actual management approach b. It proposes scholarly approaches to dealing with its problem relative to contemporary times c. It analyzes a large scale company meaning that it utilizes a global approach All in all, Shell is one of the biggest gas companies. However, it cannot maintain its success, as it dwindling revenues show, without adapting to change and this starts from a management perspective.