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SIA Corporation was been faced with both management and ethical dilemma due the social, political and economic forces that were affecting the companies need for change. An important aspect of an organization is based on how it is structured because organizational structures are paramount in determining the effectiveness of an organization. It therefore important to note that when managers fail to identify problems patterns and characteristics of their organizations they may end up fail to make solutions into those problems. This was the case with SIA Corporation.
Initially SIA Corporation was not a learning organization. Due to the companies size the management was faced with some challenges as they tried to integrate all the business units. Therefore the employees were not well informed with some aspects of solving customer problems. This was a social dilemma because it affected both the management and employees of SIA Corporation. According to Daft & Lane (2009) few problems within an organization come with ready made solutions and they require that people throughout the organization think in a new way and learn new values and attitudes. At SIA Corporation there was a high demand for a new approach to management which would get people focused on adapting changes to meet the demands of an uncertain and rapidly changing business environment in the insurance industry.
The need to change SIA Corporation to a learning organization resulted from of lack of employee empowerment. In this context changing SIA Corporation to learning organization would help the employees in identifying and solving problems within the company and enabling the organization to continuously experiment new ways of solving problems and executing tasks as well as improving thus increasing its capacity to grow, learn and achieve its purpose. Daft & Lane argued that for the case SIA a learning organization would help the “employees look for problems for example identifying and understanding the customer needs”. Therefore in order to achieve a sustained competitive advantage, SIA had to adopt a way of developing its employees and instill the learning capacity of everyone in the organization.
The proposed changes within SIA Corporation were not systematic. Firstly it is important to note that the company was using a top-down management approach which poses a major challenge when it comes to managing organizations with many business units. In the case of SIA the first approach the company should have used was to restructure its top-down management approach to a more effective approach for example bottom-up approach. This would in turn facilitate effectiveness of communication between the employees and the management (Daft & Lane, 2009). Restructuring the approach to management at SIA Corporation would also improve communication between the junior staff and the seniors. This in turn implies that it would encourage utilization of the knowledge sharing system. Another major factor that the management of SIA Corporation should have used is systematic thinking. Daft & Lane (2009) argued that systematic thinking can be used as a powerful tool for changing outcomes and improving performance within a company.
The new knowledge sharing system which was developed for encouraging communication through posting queries to particular employees did not work out well as per the expectations of the chief knowledge officer. According to Daft & Lane (2009) this could have resulted from lack of employee involvement in the process of acquiring the new system. Particularly the management at SIA Corporation should have consulted the employees to know exactly which type of system would facilitate and enable quick exchange of ideas. In this case the adoption rate would be higher and many employees would be encouraged to learn to use the system. Through systematic thinking the managers at SIA Corporation would have looked at the system and establish the interactions among those parts which require to be changed in order to improve on its usability and utilization.
Another major problem that might have affected SIA Corporation is that most managers as outlined by Daft & Lane (2009) tend to think analytically, by breaking things down to their distinct elements. This aspect may have affected SIA Corporation. Daft & Lane outlined that “cultural values could be shifted in order to encourage every employee to think creatively about improving his or her particular piece of the organization and besides that to see problems as opportunities for learning and improving”. This concept encourages the culture of innovation within an organization. For SIA Corporation it should have brought considerable changes in terms of countering the economic forces that were affecting the company.
Organizational politics are the most prominent type of obstacles that are likely to hinder the implementation of these changes. Another major cause of resistance to the proposed changes includes lack of the will to accept new ways of doing things and the standard operating procedures. Some managers could still resist changing from bureaucratic due reasons associated with losing managerial positions within the company. However according to Daft & Lane (2009) they argued that “it is important for the management to emphasize on synergy which means that whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Daft & Lane (2009) also commented that organizational units working together can accomplish more than those same units working alone. In the case of SIA Corporation the management should emphasize on ensuring that all the business units function as one entity.
In conclusion, Daft & Lane (2009) outlined that innovative concepts within companies continue to emerge to address these management challenges experienced in today’s dynamic business environment. As a result SIA Corporation should therefore experiment with new ways of managing that would adequately respond to the demands of today’s business environment and changing customer needs. To ease most of these problems the managers at SIA Corporation should have been eager to note that the shift to learning organization goes hand in hand with the current transition to a technology driven workplace.