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Positive and Negative Criticism of Firms Essay (Critical Writing)

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Charles Handy’s model of ‘Shamrock Organization’ is made up of four parts. Firstly there is a small core of permanent key employees who keep the company operating and developing. He secondly figures out the contractual fringe i.e. subcontractors who are engaged as needed and paid by results. He thirdly addressed the flexible workforce, often casual and part-time employees who are taken as and when needed. Using slightly different terms, this shamrock model could be depicted as core staff plus project workers plus external subcontractors. (Blyton, Morris, 1991)

Shamrock organization presents some of the standard management ideas of the vast companies. The concept of such a diagram is quite applicable in many companies. The professional core group is very important in every company and keeps the company running. They first give companies a design for identifying the central part of all the activities. The contractual fringe and flexible labor force is much more important for outsourcing everything purposes.

Although the organization comprises of the staked player in a business, it seems that customers are far in touch with the central organizers. This is because contractors and flexible laborers may at any given period leave the firm. This will greatly affect the whole performance of the firm in terms of revenue and market. Today, success in work is changing rapidly and in a much new direction Due to improved infrastructure, travel has become easier and the job market more global. Some professionals are away from home often for a long period of time. (Atkinson, 1984)

With advanced technology, teleconferences are often held by international partners and customers as well as employers and employees. The feeling of security in a job with an organization or company that takes care of its employees is now becoming less common as the shamrock organization depicts the presence of a flexible labor force. Many organizations are becoming more flexible in how and when work gets done and more work can be completed without much bother of labor. This model gives individuals more options to shape their work lives to fit with the rest of their lives. This is especially as their need changes in different life circumstances and stages.

Positive and negative criticisms of Atkinson’s Flexible Firm Model

The model of flexibility leads to the move towards flexibility which is more of an opportunistic nature taking the advantage of a high level of unemployment and a reduction of the power of unions. The lack of a direct strategy towards the flexibility model has been taken to detract from its significance in regard to the operation of firms and their labor capital.

The four main divisions of the model entail numerical, functional, financial, and distance flexibilities. The peripheral workers are exploited in the form of ‘numerical flexibility and distance flexibility being used and discarded, as required by demand.

Subcontracting referred to in Atkinson’s model as distance flexibility seems to be a structural change in the way an organization operates. According to the common law distinction between employees and self-employed, this cannot be put in sustainable practice. It seems then that there is a problem within the application of the flexible firm model within its definitions due to its complexity.

The employment sectors are indistinct within the model; statistical information reflecting this and thus any findings regarding flexibility, core or periphery levels within firms become very suspect work. It should also be noted that there are transitionary workers displaying attributes of both core and periphery at the same time although never displaying all the characteristics of either group. Atkinson’s model suggests that this movement towards flexibility is not as fundamental as envisaged; suggesting any move within sectors is low although there are differences between different sectors of employment. This suggests that a change from ‘core’ to ‘peripheral’ working patterns has less impact on flexibility than the move from manufacturing to other sectors of employment.

This is possibly due to some sectors being traditionally more flexible in their working practices than others. At its most visionary, flexible specialization promises a factory of the future as a utopia where management co-operates harmoniously with a polyvalent workforce. It should be mentioned that flexibility also can act in favor of the worker allowing workers to enter the workforce whilst still caring for their families.

However, this also makes them from a collective perspective open to the exploitation of the management at the same time holding down natural wage levels. Armstrong suggests four reasons for organizations to implement flexibility, the need to achieve a competitive edge, the need to be adaptive, the impact of new technology, and new organizational structures as the model has numerous training opportunities. (Pollert,1987)

Positive and negative criticisms of the attachment map proposed by Rousseau D

The fact that employees are not quite permanent, fewer people spend long periods of time in one organization and work their way up a functional path moving between organizations while staying within their functional specialty. This kind of structure gives an alternative for career mobility and job productivity. Its structure supports different paths, each one involving choices based on skills, values interests, competition, workplace, customer needs, and individual and group initiative. (Clifford, Morley, Gunnigle, 1997)

To date, most of those people have been wrong by thinking Handy’s prediction that by 2000 half the working population would be making a living outside traditional organizations seemed crazy in the early 1980s. Today more than 35% of Americans in the labor force either are unemployed or are temporary, part-time, or contractual workers. (Hawkins, 1978)

The design of work has been and will continue to be a central problem challenging organization theory and practice. The system of arrangement and procedure for doing work affects all workers every day throughout the world. When work design model comprises different people which are examined longitudinally. This method permits an examination of adaptation processes on changing fitness landscapes, suggesting how work systems may increase, decrease or sustain their relative performances over time. The model shows the close interaction of workers. This links the increasing knowledge intensively and geographical distance.

Organizations are located throughout the world can often do the same work, as a result, the model may be used in studying the transfer of workers between and among companies. competition for work is growing between different organizations from different countries and cultures. Technology advances and performances demands are creating an increasingly novel arrangement for doing work. Competitive pressures are leading organizations to reconfigure the arrangements for dong work by focusing on their distinctive competencies. (Blyton, Morris, 1991)

The model solves the problems of vertical and horizontal dimensions of the work design system. It highlights three interrelated problems of work design of significant interest to practitioners. The modularity problem of dividing work and specifying the nature of responsibilities between organizations units of one or more firms that provides the subsystems which include the components and modules of the work system. For practitioners, a modularity problem could be that of deciding at what point to cleave work systems into components for allocation among subunits contained within a firm’s boundaries or outsourcings with external organizational units. (Gunnigle, Morley, Clifford, Turner, 1997)

The practitioner’s hierarchical problem of coordinating work and specifying the nature of responsibilities across hierarchical levels within units of an organization or a network arises in form of recognizing interdependencies and accountabilities for work performance across different levels. The map does not address the network problem produced by the interaction of vertical and horizontal division of work and responsibilities across hierarchical levels and units within and/or between organizations, and this represents the subsystem of a complex network. This arises due to the complexity of the multiplex sourcing relationships that constitute its alliance’s network.

Reference

Allen, K. (1997). Fianna Fáil and Irish labour: 1926 to the Present: London, Pluto Press.

Atkinson, J. (1984): Manpower strategies for flexible organizations: in Personnel Management (London), pp. 28-31.

Blyton, P.; Morris, J. (1991) A flexible future: Handy, Charles, Gods of Management: How they work, and why they fail: Pan, London.

Brewster, C.; Hegewisch, A. (1994): Policy and practice in European human resource management. The Price Waterhouse Cranfield study: London, Routledge.

Clifford, N.; Morley, M.; Gunnigle, P. (1997): Part-time work in Europe in Employee Relations (Bradford), Vol. 19, No. 6, pp. 555-567.

Courtney, U. (1994): A need to look again at contracts of employment: (Dublin), Vol. 12, No. 282, pp. 13-14.

Gunnigle, P.; Flood, P.; Morley, M.; Turner, T. (1994) Continuity and change in Irish employee relations: Dublin, Oak Tree Press.

Gunnigle, P.; Morley, M.; Clifford, N.; Turner, T. (1997): Human resource management in organizations: Practice in perspective: Dublin, Oak Tree Press.

Hawkins, K. (1978): The management of industrial relations: London, Kogan Page.

Morley, M.; Gunnigle, P. (1994): Trends in flexible working patterns in Ireland: Continuity and change in Irish employee relations: Dublin, Oak Tree Press.

Morley, M.; Gunnigle, P.; Heraty, N. (1995): Developments in flexible working practices in the Republic of Ireland: Bradford, Vol. 16, No. 8. pp. 38-58.

Naughton, M. (1993): Total quality – The implications for competitive and positive trade unionism: Dublin, SIPTU.

Pollert, A. (1987): The flexible firm: A model in search of reality or a policy in search of practice? Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations: Warwick University, No. 19.

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