Some Years Ago John Cauldwell Who Founded and Ran Phones 4u Was Petitioned by His Retail Branch Managers to Ban the Use of E-Mail. After Consultations with His Staff Cauldwell Ordered the Cessation of Internal E-Mails.

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Business Management Report

Question
Some years ago John Cauldwell who founded and ran Phones 4U was petitioned by his retail branch managers to ban the use of E-mail. After consultations with his staff Cauldwell ordered the cessation of internal E-mails. Discuss both the problems and benefits of such a policy and cite other examples of organisations which have pursued a similar course. Give examples of some of the alternative which been adopted to replace internal E-mail.

With plenty of their controversial advertising campaigns, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of or knows of Phones4U. In 1987 John Caudwell along with his brother Brain Caudwell started wholesaling and distributing mobiles phones, founding Midlands Mobile Phones which later become the Caudwell group giving birth to the retail arm Phones4U. They ran into success, catching the telephone communication bubble as it was blossoming, more and more people where interested in telephones which resulted in Phones4U growing to more than 550 stores nationwide. Phones4U stopped using E-mail due to pressure from its managers; i will look at the advantages and disadvantages of e-mail within an organisation. Many companies are now following what Phones4U did by banning E-mail or reducing the use of it. By banning the use of E-mail some companies have developed alternatives, in this essay i will look at some of these alternatives for E-mail. In a fast growing company such as Phones4U communication is imperative and creates a healthily flow of information between the stakeholders. Rosemary Stewart in the late 60’s and Henry Mintzberg in the early 70’s carried out research on managerial behaviours and characteristics and in both findings, communicating to employee’s, and people played a big role as managers had to communicate, motivate and lead different types of people in different ways. Fayol believed that Managers had to make Plans, Organise people and materials, motivate their work force and finally Control operations and make sure things move smoothly according to the plan. However in the modern society managers now have to manipulate Data and not just people, the people aspect that Rosemary Stewart and Henry Mintzberg found is slowly becoming obsolete in some industries. Managers now have to Plan what to do with data and communicate this to their work force. With such demand on fast efficient communication channels, E-mail has become a popular method of communication internally and externally. However many companies are now turning their back on E-mail. Some years ago John Cauldwell who founded and ran Phones 4U was petitioned by his retail branch managers to ban the use of E-mail. They claimed that “With 13,000 internal e-mails passing through its system every week, individual e-mail accounts were taking up too much of the IT department’s time” (2003, D Thomas), and after consultations with his staff Cauldwell ordered the cessation of internal E-mails. Phones4U became the first major UK Company to Ban internal E-mail across the whole fleet. They see the move as a positive as they claim that the change saves their employees over three hours daily and saving the company up to £1m per month. Instead of E-mail the whole store now communicate using the Intranet and by telephone. It can be argued that the complete ban of internal E-mail is drastic; a light approach was taken on by Liverpool City Council who started off by Banning internal E-mail on a Wednesday and then moved to a gradual ban of internal E-mail. Chief Executive David Henshaw said "Too often people retreat behind emails and forward problems to colleagues without solving them." (J Leyden, 2002). Internal E-mail has its benefits but also has its demerits but finding which one outweighs the other become tricky. Internal E-mail has plenty of advantages and most companies today still use it, as it allows bilateral communication allowing businesses to communicate with colleagues on the same...
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