Case Study Questions
- What were the key evaluation and control processes that IOLC most likely used?
The evaluation and control processes most likely used by IOLC include; the evaluation processes to maintain its efforts through review meetings and periodic reviews of individual employee performance. The projects at the company were reviewed more fairly systematically since the timing had changed. Another process was the use of a computer-based system that maintains the records of the project and provides accurate monitoring.
Why did you pick the processes you chose?
The choice of the processes is due to the need for more time sensitive and faster evaluation methods for the activities within the company. The Greater focus for the company was on research that focused on the cost center, profit center, and the interfirm transfer units in the business that could use the results of the research unit outside the research service. The processes of evaluation and monitoring offer clearer accounting and clearer evaluation of performance by each employee (White & Bruton, 2010).
- 2. What steps should IOLC take to continue its success?
First is to introduce a computer-based system to move to a more frequent financial reporting method. Such a strategy ensures that there is online reporting of the financial records thereby easy to make important decisions that lead to success.
Next is to continue with its processes, but remain flexible and not to avoid making changes. The bulk chemicals are made on a large scale to satisfy the global market, hence necessary to shift focus to the specialty chemicals. They have low-value addition, are price driven, and have little product differentiation, require high capital cost, and are produced in large volumes. However, for the specialty chemicals, they are produced in low volumes, have high-value addition, designed for specific applications, have differentiated product lines, and have a high and stable profitability.
How did the evaluation processes at Rolls-Royce differ from those at IOLC?
The evaluation processes at Rolls-Royce did not have adequate research and development that led to failure. The company did not invest much in research and development of the new engine developed that led to failure upon the chicken test. In comparison to that at IOLC, the evaluation processes allowed flexibility and the need to recognize the problems at hand. The evaluation processes at IOLC had an input by the entire organization to support the control mechanisms. Planning was necessary for the evaluation processes at IOLC that was evident in the review meetings and periodic reviews of individual performance (White & Bruton, 2010). For Rolls-Royce, there was negligence of the critical role of the quality control department in evaluation and control. An effective use of Quality control measures would prevent the failure at Roll-Royce.
What structural factors do you believe caused these differences?
The differences in the evaluation processes in both companies were due to the specific organizational structure of the firms. There were differences in the lines of communication and coordination, the process, products, and the systems. The level of specialization of the workers and the flow of information throughout the organizations differ. Another structural factor to focus on is to understand individual actions in the evaluation process. The division of the professional domains as marketing, accounting, or manufacturing enhances efficiency which could be a cause of differences in the evaluation processes. The size of the organization could also be a cause of differences in the evaluation processes (White & Bruton, 2010).
Mechanisms that help control activities in the organization are discussed in this module. Are there other mechanisms that could be used?
The mechanisms to help in controlling activities in the organization include organizational focus, concern for value creation, and benchmarking for the best practices. The other control mechanisms that can be used include the personal controls, bureaucratic controls, and the cultural controls. The personal controls are useful for the direct supervision of the operational and employee management. Different firms use personal controls in the form of a set of control policies to influence the behavior of the employees. Bureaucratic controls have a system of rules and procedure that direct and influence actions and the most common being the capital spending rules. Cultural controls help to measure the overall efficiency of the firm. The controls reduce the dependence on direct supervision and the need for other control mechanisms (Ruegg & Jordan, 2007).
How do you think innovation processes differ in an organization where the control is bureaucratic and rule-bound in nature versus one where cultural controls are used?
The innovation processes differ in an organization using bureaucratic rather than cultural controls in certain aspects. For the rule-bound controls, there are procedures to follow that limits the creativity and freedom of the innovators in their activities. For the cultural control strategy, maximum output and efficiency is the main objective. There is less dependence on the leader, thereby enhancing creativity and willingness to innovate. Cultural controls act as the main drivers of innovation due to the increased autonomy.
What attributes are described as contributing to the success of the evaluation and control process?
A successful method of evaluation and control process is benchmarking. The process involves comparing to analyze how people, programs, organizations, regions, or countries operate on their performance. Benchmarking identifies where and how to make the necessary improvements. The success of benchmarking as an evaluation and control process is due to the dependence on performance measures that include the costs, productivity, resource allocation, staffing levels, skills, the R & D management practices, and the R & D leadership (Tirbutt & Edmund, 2004).
What factors impact the choices the organization makes in designing its evaluation process?
The factors that impact the choices made by the organization in designing the evaluation process includes the review processes, the expected outputs, market acceptance, benefit-cost measures, and the indicators of interim progress. The factors are crucial in determining the success of using benchmarking as an evaluation process.
What factors help it to be successful? What do you think about the long-term viability of the process the firm uses?
Benchmarking is a successful evaluation method due to its use of a selected set of performance measures to compare the practices, status, and the characteristics of programs, institutions, regions, and other countries. The method of evaluation helps in acquiring a competitive advantage, facilitates the process of change, and provides a global perspective of the company as a whole. I think that benchmarking lacks a long-term viability since it provides a time-dependent snapshot of the performance of an R & D area, and changes are likely to be slow to detect by a frequent benchmarking schedule (Tirbutt & Edmund, 2004).
What do you think of the measurements suggested, the process itself, and the potential outcomes?
The balanced scorecard approach to evaluation and control works by balancing the internal and process measures; with the results and financial measures. I think that the measurements suggested in the approach give managers a fast and a comprehensive view of the organization’s performance that includes the process and results measures. The measures are effective in assessing the progress of the operations within the organization. The process applied in the balanced score guard approach focuses on the employee’s work performance about behavior, actions, and processes and also the results of their work which helps to meet the set goals (Jap & Ganesan, 2000). I find the process used to be simple to adopt and contribute to better outcomes than other methods. The likely outcomes by use of the approach are increased access to information required to align the employee performance plans with the organizational goals.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Balanced Scorecard method?
The strengths of balanced scorecard method include the outcome of a balanced view of the company performance; allow stakeholders to establish the short, medium, and long-term objectives at a glance. The method also enables a company to have the assurance that all the strategic actions align with the desired outcomes.
The weaknesses include the need of forethought before providing a solution to a problem, gives a general view of the major areas in business growth and development which is limited, and lack of specialty in the metrics used to make the information applicable.
Jap, S. D., & Ganesan, S. (2000). Control mechanisms and the relationship life cycle: Implications for safeguarding specific investments and developing commitment. Journal of marketing research, 37(2), 227-245
Ruegg R. & Jordan G. (2007) Overview of Evaluation Methods for R & D Programs: A Directory of Evaluation Methods Relevant to Technology Development Programs
Tirbutt & Edmund (2004) Brimming with Confidence: Benchmarking Your Perks against Your Rivals’ Can Provide HR with Added Reassurance. Employee Benefits
White M.A. & Bruton G.D (2010) The Management of Technology and Innovation: A Strategic Approach, Cengage Learning, 2010. Edition 2; ISBN 0538478225, 9780538478229