Reengineering the Corporation

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Reengineering the Corporation

In the book “Reengineering the Corporation”, Hammer and Champy create a new frame of managerial relations and organizational bureaucracy. The authors address such important problems as impact of technology on business environment, new labor relations and organizational structures affected a modern corporation. The book consists of 13 chapters and an Epilogue discussing different problems and issue of modern organizational bureaucracy. The authors criticize old approaches to management based on Adam Smith's division of labor and methods of business relations. At the beginning of the book the authors question: “If managements want companies that are lean, nimble, flexible … why are so many businesses bloated, clumsy, rigid, inefficient, disgraceful to customers needs, and loosing money” (p.9). Through discussions and analysis of current management practices, the authors try to explain these problems and give solutions to modern management. The first chapter “Te Crisis That Will Not Go Away” illustrates that Adam Smith's theories do not work in modern environment preventing many corporations from effective use of resources. The authors state that in their attempt to push the boundaries of organizational design, companies occasionally design structures that cannot be built because the technology does not yet exist to help them realize their vision. This phenomenon is often cited as a major cause for the cost and schedule overruns encountered on the project. In spite of great changes in technology and information resources, many companies often are ill-equipped to identify their needs and wants (p.20). They never really think about what it takes to articulate needs and wants clearly. Also, they do not understand the technical implications of their requirements. Consequently, when meeting with the technical team, they state their requirements vaguely. The second and the third chapters, “Reengineering: the Path to Change” and “Rethinking Business Processes”, are devoted to change management problems and importance of restructuring and downsizing within corporations. The authors explain that downsizing and reengineering in business, industry and government is a "logical" cultural change. Change should be an integral part of business processes that are in turn embedded in a worldview that defines human life as nothing more than a globally competitive marketplace. Hammer and Champy state that there is a need to change business processes towards task-oriented jobs. Modern corporations require changes in customer relations, competition policies and investments decisions (p. 44). The new focus on customers is reflected in the discussions and pronouncements of project staff and management, who openly define their key objective as “satisfying the customer.” However, the way it is phrased may lead to a distorted view of what customer satisfaction entails. The forth and the fifth chapters discuss the problems of changing role of technology and its impact on business. In the chapter “The New World of Work”, Hammer and Champy address the problem of new social and labor environment which affects all spheres of business and demands reengineering of work structure itself. In the chapter, “The Enabling Role of Information Technology”, the authors illustrate importance of new business solutions and technological innovations for modern corporations. In this case, reengineered corporations will be able to start anew and compete on the market. In these chapters, the authors state that conventional human resources management practices conflict with old methods of doing business and should be changed (p. 70). In terms of people and their roles, Hammer and Champy discuss such things as the shift needed to make process improvement part of everyone’s job (not just a manager/ specialist responsibility. In the chapters 6 and 7, Hammer and Champy...
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