Bolman & Deal's Four Frames:
30 July 2004
Ng Cheng Sinn
Norliza Ab Samad
Zarida Jean Noordin
Leong Kum Weng
The purpose of this paper is to analyse TM Berhad using Bolman and Deal's four frames, as per figure 1 below. Bolman & Deal suggests that Leaders like everyone else, view their experiences through a set of preconditioned lenses and filters' (Bolman and Deal, 1991, p 510)
(Adapted from Bolman & Deal, 1997)
In this paper, we have examined our company of choice, TM Berhad, utilizing each of these four frames as a "spectacle" to determine the leadership approach of its management, and then detailing the more prominent of the frames used.
TM Berhad was chosen for our case analysis, due to availability of data from significant coverage on the company awarded by the media.
Telekom Berhad ("TM")- Profile
TM is a government-linked corporation, through its substantial shareholder Khazanah Malaysia (Khazanah), the Malaysian Government's main investment vehicle. It is a major component of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Berhad Composite Index. In 2004, a new Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato Abdul Wahid bin Omar was appointed by Khazanah under a general revamp exercise of the GLCs. TM is the main nationwide provider of telecommunication services. It has x no of subsidiaries and operates in three core operating areas of: Telco- Its core telecommunication business
Telekom Multimedia- Develops new media businesses
ServiceCo- Oversees operational activities such as fleet and property management. The fixed line business and residential telephone services remain the core business of TM. TM's organization chart is depicted in figure 2 below:
Four Frame Analysis
Our four-frame analysis (Figure 3 above) reveals that TM, like any other modern large corporation, places heavy emphasis on the structural frame. Other frame elements are also present, for example, career development and training programmes are evidence of HR frame use, as well as deployment of a re-branding exercise and other symbolic rituals to provide symbolic frame elements. We may also make inferences that the political frame is also in play from agenda-setting, ambiguity and uncertainty caused by the rationalization and reorganization leading to scarcity of resources and internal conflict, and signing of a collective agreement to denote bargaining and negotiation.
We have chosen to focus our detailed analysis on the more prominent structural frame.
Structural Frame Analysis
Bolman & Deal list six assumptions behind the Structural Frame. 1) Organizations exist to achieve established goals and objectives. 2) Organizations work best when rationality prevails over personal preferences and external pressures. 3) Structures must be designed to fit organizational circumstances. 4) Organizations increase efficiency and enhance performance through specialization and division of labor. 5) Appropriate forms of coordination and control are essential to ensuring that individuals and units work together in the service of organizational goals. 6) Problems and performance gaps arise from structural deficiencies and can be remedied through restructuring. (Bolman and Deal, 1997, p 48)
The structural approach is associated with the scientific management school, (Taylor, 1911) where effective management is perceived to be a rational, methodological process.
Emphasis on clear objectives by goal-setting and cascading long-term goals to its employees.
As a social architect', (Bolman and Deal; Reframing Organizations; 1997; Table 17.1, page 303), the leadership of TM has formulated long terms strategies and goals.
Use of KPIs to drive Performance
TM is driven structurally through systematic operational procedures and key performance indicators where roles, functions and...
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