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BUMGT5980 Managerial Decision Making Assignment Help
This is report which will give a strong understanding of the problem solving steps in the context of Woods model. The problem is being selected from the media where the organisation Tesco is being criticised by the Farmers union in UK due to the imports of the raw materials from the overseas countries like New Zealand, Morocco etc. The protests from the farmer’s end bring controversies which can affect the customer’s purchase decision.
The report is being structured based on the problem background, defining the problem, generating the solution, evaluating the solution and implementing the solution by creating the action plan. Literature review will give the incidents of the problems faced by the organisation Tesco. Methodology section will highlight implement the problem solving steps by relating it to Woods model. Critical analysis will address the level of efficiency of Woods model by finding the strengths and weakness. Recommendation will give the steps that are needed to be followed for overcoming the problem and lastly are the conclusion which give a summary.
In this report the main objective is to identify a problem facing by the organization and then to find a solution in order to overcome the problem. Problems are the common phenomenon in every organisation and it is the duty of the management to identify the problem for increasing the efficiency in the workplace. There must be a standard set by the organisation in the areas of the problem solving in order to resolve the issues effectively. Thus the report will highlight a problem associated with the steps in order to fix the problems with an integrated approach.
Problems are the barriers faced by the organisation daily. The sources of the problem can be internal external. Internal problems are mainly associated within the workplace which involves employee’s issues, communication gaps, skill gaps, resistance towards the change etc. External problems can be associated with the parties like investors, suppliers, customers, legal norms or communities which also influence the decision of the organisation (Jonassen, 2010). Thus there is a fundamental role of the management is to address the issues without passing it and then to design the solutions for fixing the problems. The process to solve the problem needs to be integrated in order to find the solution effectively.
The organisation Tesco is facing the protest and criticism in the market of UK from the farmer’s association for importing the raw materials like lambs from New Zealand, fruits from the Morocco etc. National Farmers Union (NFU) has lodged a complaint to the Trading Standards for importing the cheap items from outside without sourcing the raw materials from the British farmers. There are some brands which are being displayed in the stores with a local name in order to meet the localisation factor and also to convince the customers which is claimed by the union of the farmers. The packaging as well as branding is done similarly like the British made goods (Rodionova, 2016). The overseas foods are imported at a cheap rate and then it is packed by giving the names like Rosedene farm blueberries, Willow Farms whole chicken etc. The management of Tesco claims that these products are cheap which are satisfying the budget of the customers. The management is simplifying the ranges which ensure guarantee as well as customer’s satisfaction. The lambs from New Zealand are much cheap than that of UK which is reducing the operating cost of the organisation and also lowers the retail price for the customers by 17%.
The protest of the farmers in UK towards Tesco can affect the operational process and for that the management should identify a solution to satisfy all the stakeholders of their business. The organisation should give equal focus on all the stakeholders in order to operate the business effectively and also to achieve the competitive advantage. There are different approaches to solve the problem which were developed by many scholars. One of them is Woods model of problem solving. This model contain six steps which are needed to be identified and analysed in order to bring one solution or plan of action for solving the problem.
Based on the problems facing by the organisation Tesco can be related with the problem solving stages as per Woods in the following way:
It is the very first stage where the facts related to the problems will be identified. Based on this stage, as per Woods it is the situation which is needed to be identified. For that situation analysis can be done. The background of the problem is the operation process of Tesco which are affecting the relationships with the farmers. The organisation Tesco aims to provide customer’s satisfaction by fulfilling their requirements effectively. Apart from that the management of Tesco also give equal focus on all the stakeholders of their business in order to enhance the profitability for the long term period. It is the “Globalisation” which is narrowing the distances of the countries in the terms of trade and affairs. The Government of the countries are also taking positive initiatives to enhance the international trade and affairs for boosting the economy. This brings scope and opportunities to the organisations for increasing their footprints in different countries which influences their decision making process. It is the common motive for the organisation to reduce the operating cost for attracting more revenues. Based on this situation Tesco is importing low price raw materials from the countries like New Zealand, Morocco for increasing their revenues and also the customer’s equity. This creates a problem with the farmers of the origin country. On the other hand Tesco also promises to source the local raw materials from the farmers. Based on that promise or commitment, the unions of the farmers of UK are protesting by bringing petitions or complaints to the authority. Thus the discussion will support Woods by addressing the key points from this stage which are as follows (Wood and Beckmann, 2009):
The main facts related to the problem
The main problem
At this stage the problem are needed to be defined based on the situation that is being identified in the first stage. The problem is between the management of Tesco and British farmer’s association. From the point of the organisation, it is justified that the organisation is importing the cheap products with same quality to the UK market for satisfying the customers in the terms of budget, availability and quality. On the other hand the protest of the farmer’s association of UK is also justified as their products are being ignored by Tesco. Importing the cheap products from overseas countries and labelling by the name of British brands which are fictitious are violating the business ethics of Tesco. For a long term period it will definitely bring crisis to the organisation. Thus as per Woods, the identification of the goal is needed to be done at this stage (Wood and Beckmann, 2009).
One of the most critical stages is the problem definition and fixation of the objective. Exploratory research can be applied in order to extract the preliminary ideas which will assist to define the problem. Primary tools will be required to support the exploratory research in the form of collection of information or observation directly from the respondents. The respondents will be the farmers or the suppliers of Tesco and for that conducting the meeting can be organised to understand their observation.
The influence of the farmers is needed to be identified by conducting the stakeholder’s analysis.
Stakeholder’s analysis will help the management to address the power and influence of the stakeholder’s in the concerned business which will help to design strategy for satisfying them in order to increase the business turnover (Freeman, 2010).Stakeholder’s analysis gives four dimensions which are as follows:
Promoters:This is the section which highlights high level of interest as well as power. At this dimension the investors of Tesco falls under this category. Thus managing and communicating all the necessary information is highly needed.
Latents:This is the section which gives the glimpse of low level of the interest and high level of power. Customers are the latents who are needed to be satisfied with the value provided by the organisation.
Defenders:At this section the level of interest is high with low power. Interest is due to the return they want to get from Tesco by providing them the raw materials. It is the section which represents the suppliers, farmers and the management must inform them about the modifications of terms and contracts in order to make the operation smooth.
Monitor:This section is not much relevant for Tesco due to the low power and low interest.
Thus as per Woods, the identification of the goal can be related with this stage where the idea about the stakeholder’s in the business can be generated.
This is the stage where the solution for the identified problem is needed to be generated. As per Woods model this stage can be relate with the ideas needed to be generated for reaching the goal. For reaching the goal the step by step plans are needed to be designed for finding the solution (Wood and Beckmann, 2009). Before finding the solution the management needs to consider the Fishbone diagram in the following way:
Thus the ideas are needed to be generated which can convert the negative impacts of the problems which are identified in the Fishbone diagram. The ideas for the solution can be:
1. Negotiating with the farmers to withdraw their protest
2. Justification given to the Trade standard authority for the current operational plan of importing overseas raw materials which will support the business as well as the relation between the countries.
This is the stage which is related with Woods model by the solution review process where the checking is needed to be done in order to determine the extent to which the solution supports the goal or further improvement needed to be done. Evaluation is the process where the positive as well as negative aspects are checked in order to implement the best solution for the related problem (Funke, 2010). From the Woods model of problem solving it can be observed that problems can be reduced if the approach is positive and integrate all the parties involved to the problem. As per Woods, it is necessary to address the problem and the related situation for designing the solution. Then after an evaluation and review is needed to determine the effectiveness of the solution. On the other hand, problem solving stage of Woods do not able to show a link between the available resources of the organisation with the solution that is identified (Trkman, 2010). The availability of the resources to support the solution is needed to be checked before implementing the action plan.
The solutions which are generated can be evaluated in the following way:
Solution 1: Negotiation with the farmers for withdrawing the protest
Negotiation process implies the win-win situation for both the parties
The organisation Tesco can suffer loss with the negotiation as the imported overseas raw materials are satisfying the customers effectively
Farmers are the part of the business who involved by providing the raw materials like beefs, pork, fruits to the organisation and negotiating with them can bring good relation for a long term
The profitability can hamper with this negotiation process as the imported items are much cheap which is reducing the operating cost.
Solution 2: Providing justification to the Trade standard authority by ignoring the negotiation
Justification will be based on the globalisation which provides permission to the business to operate internationally.
Hampers the relationship with the farmers which can affect the operation for a long term
Justification will be valid as the organisation got a licence to operate internationally in those concerned countries.
Long term protest will create a negative influence on the mind of the customers that the items are imported which are cheap and can affect their health.
Implementation and action plan
After evaluation implementation of the solution is needed to be done by following a plan of action. As per Woods, it is the stage where the action to the plan is to be done to overcome the problem. Based on the evaluation, it is the solution 1 that is more effective than the solution 2. The positive approach of the solution 1 is the negotiation which will bring a solution for the both the parties to a situation which is advantageous. The solution will be implemented in the following way:
1. The management will call a meeting with the Farmer’s Union
2. At the meeting the representatives of the Union and the management of Tesco will be present
3. Both the parties will present their opinions. For example, the management of Tesco will claim the price which they are getting is much low than them. On the other hand the farmers will claim that Tesco has promised to source the British raw materials.
4. After giving their opinions both the parties will reach to a level of compromise where the offering prices of the farmers will be modified and the management will consider the British farmers for the raw materials.
As per Woods, a review is needed to be consider that will reflect a true picture about the success of the implementation planning which is being designed.
It is recommendable to follow the steps as per Woods model which are being discussed in this report for overcoming the problem in an organisation. But it is also needed to align the resources like the people, finance with the implementation plan for achieving the high level of effectiveness. The solution must be practical and should support the business objectives efficiently.
In order to conclude this is a report which has given an understanding of the problem solving steps for the organisation. The report structure is linked with Woods approach of problem solving where the background of the problem, identification of the problem, ideas for the solution, evaluation of the solution and implementation plan for the solution is being discussed with the context of the problem faced by Tesco. Different methods are been used in order to make the solution effective and helpful for the organisation for achieving the long term benefits.
Freeman, R.E., (2010). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Cambridge University Press.
Funke, J., (2010). Complex problem solving: a case for complex cognition?. Cognitive Processing, 11(2), pp.133-142.
Jonassen, D.H., (2010). Learning to solve problems: A handbook for designing problem-solving learning environments. Routledge.
Rodionova., Zlata. (2016). Tesco and other supermarkets using fake farm brands spark complaint from NFU. [Online] Available: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/tesco-and-other-supermarkets-using-fake-farm-brands-spark-complaint-from-nfu-a7144551.html, Accessed as on 22.8.16.
Trkman, P., (2010). The critical success factors of business process management. International journal of information management, 30(2), pp.125-134.
Wood., R and Beckmann., J. (2009). Managerial problem solving: Frameworks, tools and techniques. Mc Graw Hill.