There are diverse factors that impose managerial challenges within an organization, with the most contributors to such issues being attributed to human factors and performance within the organization. This is because effective execution of organizational processes is significantly dependent on human performance within an organization (Atkinson 2008). As a result, it is integral to conduct an analysis of the various factors that impede human performance in an organization in order to develop a strategic plan of action that can be used to curb the identified barriers to the realization of organizational goals and objectives (Baum 1996). Basing on the case of Grantchester and its international expansion strategy, this paper provides an organizational audit of the university by identifying a single key issue that us clear challenge for the aspect of management of people within the organization that is considered to be relevant and important to the operations of the university. In addition, the paper provides a strategic recommendation and an implementation plan that can be used in addressing the identified challenge within the organization (Brian 2000).
Organizational audit of the Grantchester University
Overseas teaching and international education faces significant challenges that impede its effective execution. This implies that if universities want to increase their scope of operations at the global level, it is vital to assess the effectiveness of its labor force and the underlying conditions that need to be met in order for overseas teaching to be carried out in an effective manner (Darmon 2007). The identified factors that are serving as a hindrance for the Grantchester University to expand its operations to a global level include its present size of the university campus and the increasing cost of land in the city, the perceived carrying capacity of the city of Grantchester and the increasing levels of economic problems. In addition, increasing competition from universities that are located in countries that offer overseas students to the United Kingdome and the ever-changing immigration policies in Europe also serve as hindrance to international expansion by the university. All this are possible factors hinder expansion of the university that can be addressed through the adoption of appropriate strategic plans in order to ensure that the global expansion plan is effective (Darmon 2007).
An empirical analysis of the current organizational context of the Grantchester University reveals that the most significant challenge associated with the aspect of human management that hinders its international expansion is monitoring the productivity of its labor force that are located in Far off countries. In addition, addressing their needs is a significant impediment that accompanies the identified problem and needs immediate addressing. The challenge is worsened by the fact that the delivery pattern for undergraduate teaching overseas depends on collaboration with a partner collage that is based in the country of delivery, implying that the strategies implemented must be in line in accordance with the priorities of the partner college. As a result, this hinders the effective implementation of strategic plans compared to a scenario whereby the implementation was based on an independent platform without any instances of consulting partner colleges. Additionally, the strategies implemented by the partner institutions in the country of delivery must affect the operations of the Grantchester University in such countries, which normally serve as a disruption to the effective undertaking of international education. Managing people remotely is normally difficult and requires an effective plan, which in turn needs adequate resources for its implementation (Ellen & Dana 2009). It is arguably evident that a number a problems are imposed by lack of proper monitoring of the productivity of the far off labor force of the university. This is because it affects other delivery aspects such as the perceived quality of education, lack of effective implementation of strategic plans by the university and lack of effective reporting by the university staff in the far off countries. Therefore, monitoring the productivity of its labor force in far off countries should be addressed appropriately, owing to the fact that the concept of international education has been revolutionized from the traditional approach whereby international students would get their educations from the main campus, without the need of having affiliates in other countries. However, this is not the case because the delivery patterns have changed by taking education to the countries that serve as sources of international students (Haines 2004). Therefore, effective management of its workforce should be aimed at increasing the reputation of the university in such countries in order to upbeat the competition imposed by the local universities and other institutions of higher learning. Failure to address the increasing competition implies that the expansion of the Grantchester University will not be successful under any measure of account. The underlying argument is that the internationalization of education by the Grantchester University is hindered by the fact that there are appropriate no strategies to monitor the productivity of workforce and address their needs in a timely fashion. As a result, this transforms to other negative impacts to the university that jeopardizes its competitive edge over other higher learning institutions that are located in the country of delivery. Lack of effective monitoring of productivity of its remote labor force implies that the organization will be wasting its resources on its expansion strategy if does not transform to any meaningful fruits for the organization. It is arguably evident that the delivery pattern is the major contributing factor to this challenge because the Grantchester University has to compromise its international strategic plans in accordance with the priorities of the partner institutions (Hill & Cronk 2010). This challenge is somewhat associated with the aspect of human performance in an organization because its significant contributor entails making the organization more attractive in the wider areas of operations or its target markets depending on the nature of the organization (Hodgetts & Luthans 2003).
An analysis of the organizational audit of the Grantchester University reveals that the most significant challenge hindering the international expansion by the university is the increased competition from countries that have served as traditional source of overseas students for the international universities in the United Kingdom. Specific examples of such countries include China and India, as evident by the increasing number of universities in the countries offering the same courses that Grantchester University offers affordable rates. This is a significant challenge to international expansion by the Grantchester University owing to the fact that the prime reason for its expansion is to target students from diverse countries; therefore, any higher learning institution that comes as a suitable alternative for the overseas students is a significant threat to the university’s international expansion program. In addition, dealing with this issue is usually difficult because the universities located in countries that are the source of overseas students in the United Kingdom usually have the competitive edge compared to foreign universities operating in their locality (Hodson 2001).
The experiences of the far off employees of the Grantchester University is characterized with difficulties as evident by the scheduling problems, overseas planning and re-staffing of the employees that are to undertake overseas teaching on behalf of the university. These issues are a significant impediment to the aspect of their productivity. For example, last minute preparations imply that an instructor had to adjust to the contents of the course module while on board. It is arguably evident that the delivery of such course will be met by significant challenges on the side of the instructor. This is one of the significant issues that the Grantchester University must resolve, in order to ensure that its strategy to internationalize the delivery of education is effective (Kandola & Fullerton 1998). This challenge is worsened by the administration procedures, as reported by an instructor who does not the appropriate way to follow up on his case for a refund of the expenses. It is arguably evident that the administration procedures on follow-up matters regarding the instructors who are sent to far off countries of delivery are hectic and not precise. This tends to affect the motivation of the staff undertaking the delivery of overseas training and ultimately implies that it has a negative effect on the operation. Motivation and performance of organizational members go hand and in hand, a fact is that employees are motivated by a good working atmosphere, which in turn increases their productivity, performance, loyalty and better work; which is for the overall good of the Grantchester University international expansion strategy. The university’s administration procedures and policies are serving as a hindrance to the motivation of its staffs who are undertaking overseas delivery training in other countries (Kippenberger 2002).
Strategic Recommendations to address the identify challenge to internalization of education delivery by the Grantchester University
The implementation of strategic recommendation by the Grantchester University is to ensure that its international expansion strategy is undertaken effectively and turns out to be successful. This is a management issue, which implies that addressing the issue needs effective management approaches. It is also important to note that the strategic recommendations need to be in line with the organizational goals and objectives, with a specific consideration to the internationalization of education delivery to other countries by the organization (Krizan & Merrier 2007). The following paragraphs discuss the recommendations that can be used to address the challenges imposed by monitoring the productivity and performance of the Grantchester workforce in the far off countries of delivery (Kwiatkowski 2005).
The first recommendation is that the university overhauls the current delivery pattern of overseas teaching and training, in the sense that it should consider delivery pattern that is based on an independent platform rather than collaborating with colleges and higher learning institutions in the countries of delivery. This will play an integral role in ensuring that directives and strategic plans from the main campus are undertaken in an effective manner without being subjective to the plans and priorities of the partner institutions. In addition, an independent platform fosters a better environment for effective decision-making and implementation of the strategic plans without any barriers (Larry & Bob 2003). Despite the fact this will be a costly undertaking, it will help in enhancing the overall management of the Grantchester University by relieving pressure on the main campus to undertake all the operations that related to its affiliates institutions located in the various countries. An independent institution also tends to enhance the reputation of the Grantchester University in the countries of delivery, which is an important strategy in countering the challenge posed by the increasing competition from countries that serve as source for overseas students to the United Kingdom (Larry & Bob 2003). This will also facilitate the reporting and administrative procedure as tutors will be eliminate the need to rely on the main campus for all the course module supplies. The most significant benefit associated with adoption of an independent platform of delivery is that it will provide a better environment for the Grantchester University workforce to undertake their activities on behalf of the university; this is a form of employee motivation, which transforms to increased productivity for the Grantchester University staff in the countries of delivery. Basing an empirical analysis of the above, it is arguably evident that this recommendation will enhance the human performance aspect of the Grantchester University staff, which will in turn create a platform through which the university will enhance its competitive advantage in the countries of delivery. This is vital in making the expansion of its education delivery at a global level successful (Marquis & Huston 2008).
The second recommendation that can be implemented in order address the problem of monitoring workforce productivity and performance of staffs that are far off is to ensure that the needs of the far-off Grantchester university employees are addressed in a timely and efficient manner. This plays a significant role in ensuring that there is employee motivation, which is a vital element is ensuring that organizational processes are executed in an effective manner. This can be done through the adoption of clear administrative policies and procedure that attempt to resolve the problems and enhance the experiences of those employees who have been dispatched to the countries of delivery (Miner 2005). Cases such as follow-ups for expenditure refunds should be dealt with appropriately because they are serve to have a negative impact on the motivation of people who are charged with the responsibility of undertaking the operations of the university in the countries of delivery. The realization of this is facilitated by the first recommendation in the sense that an independent platform for delivery pattern ensures that are there are minimal cases of employees posting their queries to the main campus offices. The operations of the independent affiliates also ease the administrative burden on the main campus, making it efficient for the Grantchester University to quickly identify and respond to challenges affecting the overall institution (Pitelis & Sugden 2000). The basic argument is that this provides a conducive environment through which the employees of the university can effectively undertake their routines without the imposed burden of having to report to the main campus in the United Kingdom. The difficult in implementing this strategic recommendation plan is that requires an overhaul of the administrative policies of the Grantchester University because there will be the need to establish new independent business units in the university’s overall organizational structure. Irrespective of this, it is a significant milestone in ensuring that the international expansion strategy by the university is successful (Rees & Metcalfe 2003).
The third recommendation that can be used to address the challenge imposed by the difficulty in remote management of the Grantchester University staffs in terms of productivity and human performance is for the university to enhance its employee relations with the staff undertaking its operations in countries of delivery. Employee relations are an important aspect of organizational management that the Grantchester University should not underestimate. This is because it plays an important role in regulating the human activity with respect to their employment terms (Robbins 1994). This primarily entails a reconciliation of interests among the employees of the university in far off countries and the university’s top management team. Within the context of the Grantchester University, it is important that the top management put into consideration the difficulties associated with the delivery of education services to far off countries; as a result, its employees who are undertaking such operations should be rewarded appropriately. In addition, the university should not only rely on staff from the main campus to undertake such operations, instead, it should consider the outsourcing its workforce from the countries of delivery. This will help in the elimination of the travel and accommodation expenses associated with sending an instructor from the main campus within a short period of time. In addition, having a workforce that originates from the country of delivery plays an integral role in ensuring that the Grantchester University operations are integrated into the cultures of the country that the university is operation. What this implies is that the university will enhance its competitive edge over the increasing local universities in the country and any other international university operating in the country with similar goals and objectives. This will help in making the international expansion strategy successful (Robbins & Coulter 2007).
The fourth recommendation that the Grantchester University can implement in order to address the identified management challenge is to adopt technological strategies that can foster effective reporting. The integration of technology in management practices is a vital approach to boost the effectiveness of the execution of organizational processes and functions. In addition, they offer real-time platform to facilitate an effective execution of organizational activities. With this respect, it is vital that the Grantchester University rely on technology for the integration of most of its operations with the directives from the main campus. For instance, activities such as delivery of modules do not warrant the need for a person to travel from the main campus yet it can be effectively done using technology and communication frameworks such as the internet. In addition, technology can facilitate communication between the various organizational levels that is from the head office in the main campus and its affiliates in the countries of delivery (Tittemore 2003). The basic argument is that the integration of technology into the Grantchester University operations will enhance the efficiency through which the university will undertake its operations in the countries of delivery through facilitating efficient reporting by the far off staff and communication. In addition, emerging technological frameworks makes the work of the staff easier, thereby resulting to increased performance and productivity. Despite the fact that this strategic recommendation plan may be an expensive venture for the organization, its outcome has positive impacts for the organization because it will foster improved employee performance, which will in turn result to an increased competitive advantage over local higher learning institutions and foreign universities offering the same services (Wheelen & Hunger 2008).
Remote management is normally problematic especially of the reporting procedures and directives are issued from the head office. As a result, monitoring the workforce that are located in far off countries requires effective administrative strategies and policies in the organization’s affiliate institutions. With respect to this, it is arguably evident that the significant barrier to the identified challenge facing the university is the fact that its operations in countries of delivery rely on partner colleges, which serves as a hindrance to effective implementation of administrative procedures and monitoring its workforce. In addition, it does not create a good working environment for the far off employees. Therefore, the significant plan of approach in addressing the above challenge is to adopt an independent platform for the delivery of overseas teaching and training.
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