Organizational development (OD) can be defined as the process comprised of wide- range efforts an organization uses to remain afloat in the changing business environment. These efforts are exerted by the management of the organization to improve on the feasibility and effectiveness of the organization in the constantly mutating business environment. Being a group that works towards achieving a common set of goals or goals for that matter, the organization should be able to effectively use human and social processes to function and remain relevant over a sustained period of time. Thus, organizational development takes a long-range perspective with processes that are flexible enough to be renewed and reviewed by the management of the organization (Cummings & Worley, 2009). However, it is important to note at this point that efforts to be exerted will only be effective if applied to all sectors of the organization, starting from the business environment to the employees and the management itself. The modern environment, especially the business environment, is comprised of revolutionary changes that mutated now and again. Thus, the organization must be ready to adapt to changes arising from new technology, new cultures, and customer tastes and preferences. The changes may also arise from competition, demographical changes in the physical business environment, including workplace, customer demands, and government policies and legislations. All these changes will affect the profit margins and hence viability and sustainability of the organization. When not tackled effectively, these changes may also affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization at large (Sullivan, 2009).
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This paper goes beyond just the definition of organizational development; it goes beyond this and outlines some of the sources of changes in the business environment. Moreover, it aims at outlining how organizational development can be used to benefit a business using a case study. This is made possible when the case study business is analyzed using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. In doing so, this paper will identify those elements that can either help the organization to grow, to be susceptible to failure or those that will affect it negatively. Moreover, the developmental organization will only help the business if those elements that can spur the growth and development in the future are identified. Hence, with this information, this paper then recommends various business strategies that can help propel the business understudy to greater heights.
Skoda, in its bid to wade through the mutating business environment, conducted a SWOT analysis. This analysis was carried out in line with the small car company’s goal of establishing a brand positioning in the motor vehicle industry. The analysis revealed that the company’s greatest strength was its ability to concentrate on customer satisfaction rather than maximizing sales. This was concluded from the data collected from customers and other reliable yet independent surveys. The data showed that by manufacturing quality cars that meet customer demands, most of the Skoda customers would recommend Skoda to a friend. However, the analysis also revealed that the small size of the business (1.7% market) affected its competitiveness in the business environment. Moreover, since Skoda originated from Czechoslovakia, many people not only perceive it as small, they also perceived it as an outdated company which is out of touch with the modern world. This perception was so strong that even after Volkswagen AG tried to change it after their partnership, many people still view the company as small and outdated. This belittlement brought about another weakness as the company started concentrating on defensive campaigns. Rather than tell the world what they can offer, Skoda concentrated on telling the world what their brand is not.
However, SWOT analysis revealed that the car company had one external condition that could propel the company greater future in terms growth. While most of its competitors concentrated on maximization of sales, Skoda focused on customer satisfaction through manufacturing of vehicles that emphasized on the need for the owner’s experience with Skoda vehicles. Being a small company operating in a business environment dominated by over 50 large companies manufacturing 200 different car models, chances that Skoda’s car will not be noticed were high. However, the company decided to produce cars targeting various groups in the market. These cars were custom made to fit their lifestyles and financial capabilities.
Skoda has a clear vision of concentrating on customer satisfaction as opposed to sales maximization which has helped in pushing up their sales in the competitive market. Through this, they are able to win customer loyalty as they concentrate on quality thus the customers will act as advertisers of Skoda vehicles. Clarity of vision also helps the company in channelling of its resources in effective areas thereby cutting operational cost and maximizing profit. Skoda will benefit greatly from organizational development since it will be able lay down strategies for positive advertising and how to channel their resources to continue producing quality cars though in limited models while at the same maximizing profits. Organizational development will also help the company in dealing with the negative perceptions about its size and origin. The company will also learn on how to survive in the highly competitive market full of big companies. All in all, organizational development plays an integral part in the success of any organization.
Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2009). Organization development and change (9th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Sullivan, R. (2009). Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Leading Change. San Francisco, Ca: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer Publishers.