Cost versus benefit should run through every business decision” is the opinion expressed by Evan Davis in 2007 as part of his article on value engineering. Value engineering involves providing the most efficient product or service possible (Davis 2007), which is comparable to rational organisational design, which generally strives to create the most efficient organisation possible. However there are a few different approaches to maximising efficiency through rational organisation which will be mentioned in this essay.
Rational organisation is beneficial as efficient workers can perform more rapidly and easily (Ritzer 2008) meaning more work is done in the same amount of time, leading to increased efficiency for the business as a whole. Also, defined job responsibilities inform each employee of what is expected of them (Morgan 2006), and encourage them to fulfil their role. Employees can then also specialise, which is a key principle of Taylorism (Morgan), one of the most influential methods of rational organisation. However this approach works best when the task is straightforward, the products are similar and human parts are compliant, which could cause a problem were it to be implemented at Junction Hotel. This is because a hotel is not a production line, it deals specifically with customers, whereas Taylorism and especially the more extreme Fordism, are more suited to manufacturing.
Drawbacks to rational organisation though, include the creation of organisational forms that are hard to adapt in changing circumstances (Morgan) and also it can dehumanise employees, especially further down the hierarchy. It can also lead to a large amount of bureaucracy, as happened with social workers in the UK, which limited the ability of employees to operate effectively (Anon 2010). Organisational design such as Taylorism can lead to segmentation within the workplace and this, as Rosabeth Moss Kanter and others discovered, can create barriers which are to the detriment of efficiency (Morgan). For the employees of the Junction Hotel, dehumanisation may make certain employees feel undervalued, and as the business is highly service-based, it is important for employees to be content or their unhappiness may show to the customer. As an employee at a hotel very similar to Junction Hotel, I know that customer satisfaction always has to be paramount. When employees are not content, guests often pick up on that and it can make them feel uncomfortable. Therefore it is important for employees of the hotel to feel human and valued rather than like part of a machine, so that they can provide the human interaction which is a largely important part of the hotel industry.
Taylorism, is based on making the employee slot into the role formed by the organisation (Morgan), however as was shown by the Hawthorne studies taking the opposite approach of making the organisation work around the employee can also be successful (Donkin 2001). The Hawthorne studies were, and still are, seen as the backlash to Taylorism (Donkin) and the driving force behind the studies was Elton Mayo. Mayo reported the findings of the study as being that workers are stimulated by feeling special, important and wanted by the business; rather than just being seen as cogs in a machine (Donkin). However, organisations need to be careful that they do not show preference towards certain teams, i.e. by offering them more favourable conditions that others, as it could cause resentment between working groups, as occurred in the Hawthorne studies (Donkin). Within working groups, there are often ‘norms’ such as social behaviours, that employees feel the need to comply with (Coghlan 1994) and by offering preferential treatment to one team within the organisation, the culture of the workforce could be disrupted (Coghlan), leading to workers social needs not being met and potentially a fall in efficiency. This would particularly apply within Junction Hotel. If for example, certain...
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