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Ozalpha Advantages and Disadvantages of Employee in Self-Managed and Virtual Team Assessment Answer

Assessment 3 - Business Report

Weighting: 30% Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 6 Graduate Attributes: 1, 3, 4, 6 Length: 2500 words

Read the case study below. Write a business report to the four Directors of OZAipha, on planning, organising, leading and controlling this expansion of the business, choosing one of the team structure options. Findings are to be based on research and industry best practice with in-text referencing included.

Case study

OzAlpha is a private company founded in 2012 by four best friends who are still the Board of Directors. Over the last six years, the company has concentrated on financial planning for individuals and small business owners whose income is in the over $200,000 a year range. It is well known and respected in all Australian states, with Head Office in Sydney, large offices in Melbourne and Brisbane, and smaller offices in Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra, and a staffing of 400 staff, 25% of them being part-time. OzAlpha also serves regional clients through informal local partnering arrangements.

OzAlpha's services include a wide range of investment services through top-tier funds that invest in real estate, industrial, high-capital well established mining companies, and other sectors, worldwide. As well, the company provides one-on one advice to clients, as well as more generic information sessions on a wide range of financial services such as family trusts, superannuation, retirement, and small commercial and residential real estate ventures.

OzAlpha's vision is to be "the premier financial planning service in Australia". To achieve this, the four directors have decided to cancel the informal regional partnering and have OzAlpha handle the regional work. Additionally, the directors have seen opportunities to grow this regional market by taking on clients with an income from $100,000. This means setting up a new Regional Division to provide both face to face and technology-based advice through Skype. They plan to operate the Regional Division over extended hours, seven days per week, in order to attract farmers and other regional workers whose working hours vary considerably. They will initially employ 24 full-time staff including 16 planners, 2 team leaders, 6 administrative support staff, and 1 dedicated systems network specialist, with the ability to upscale staffing as business grows, without changing the Divisional structure.

For the first time since it's 2012 beginings, the four directors cannot agree on how to achieve the Regional Division strategy. They have argued about concepts such as self-managed teams or a virtual team. They have now contracted you as an expert Management Consultant who is well known for providing well researched and well presented reports to advise them.

Your business report to the Board of Directors of OzAlpha should have the following format and content:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summarise the importance of planning, organising, leading and controlling change and principal recommendations. Overview the scenario.

PART A DIVISIONAL STRUCTURE
- Advantages and disadvantages of virtual and self-managed work teams - Recommend a preferred structure for the Regional Division based on academic research
PART B PLANNING, ORGANISING, LEADING AND CONTROLLING
Based on your recommendation for either a virtual or self-managed team, prepare recommendations for the directors of OzAlpha for the management of the Regional Division.


1. PLANNING 

1.1 Regional Division goals
Write two long-term and three short-term goals for the operational and people aspects of the team. 

1.2 Environmental scan
Prepare a PESTLE analysis researching the forces and conditions that could affect the financial services industry in Australia.


1.3 Operations / dividsional management
Identify strategies for building the effectiveness and cohesion of the Regional Division, aligned with your recommended preferred structure.


2. ORGANISING 

2.1 Divisional structure/design 

Based on research, recommend the structure and design of the Regional Division staff in terms of:
- Specialisation: How will you divide up tasks? Specialists or generalists? - Centralisation: At what level will decisions be made? - Formalisation: What style of team will it be — to what extent will you be guided by rules, 1 policies and procedures Structure: Is the new division echanistic or organic?


3. LEADING
3.1 Leadership style r
Recommend and justify a leadership style best suited for the Regional Division.


3.2 Reward, recognition and motivation

- Recommend and justify reward and recognition strategies for Regional Division staff. - Identify strategies for motivating the staff, supported by motivation theories

3.3 Communication 

How important are communication and interpersonal skills for managers (discuss) and identify strategies for management communication to and from the Regional Division staff - Recommend processes to facilitate consultation and negotiation between management
(directors and top managers in Head Office) and Regional Division
- Recommend a process to include diversity in the Regional Division 

4. CONTROLLING
What is the importance of the contro: function in Regional Division? What aspects of operations should be controlled and measure? How frequently should this be done?


5. REFERENCES
Format:
Written submissions should be a maximum of 2500 words in length (excluding references) and professionally presented. 12 point, 1 'A spaced, Arial or Calibri font is preferred.
Your business report must include the following:
• Introduction • Answers to sections 1-4 • List of References • Research and in-text referencing • Definitions and explanation of theory This is an academic report and demands analysis and synthesis of academic literature found in refereed journals and academic books. The report is to be written in an academic convention with proper citations and references. As a guide, 8-10 academic references are envisaged. Additional (optional) references may be cited from any source. These should be documented using Harvard reference style. This assessment requires students to analyse the case study and research the questions asked. Responses in each section of the report should be based on research of academic theories and industry best practice.
Submission
Work submitted for all assessments must be accompanied by a completed and signed copy of the Assessment Coy submitted.
electronic copy of all assessments
Late submissions will only be marked if an application for late submission has been approved. Penalties of 5% of the total marks per day, up to a maximum of 50% of the total marks penalty may apply. Assessments submitted more than 10 days late will not be

Answer

Title: BUSINESS STRATEGY OF OZALPHA

Reference style: Harvard
Executive Summary 

The virtual teamwork by communicating with each other through the use of the online medium such as Skype and video conference.

On the other hand, the self-managed team is self-motivated to execute their tasks as set by the management. The project deals in analysing the advantages and disadvantages of the employees in a self-managed and virtual team. OzAlpha is looking for expanding the business for which it needs to evaluate an effective management team that could be helping in meeting the business objectives in the process. According to the case, the company could be dealing with employees from different background for managing its business in the global market. In order to maintain diversity in the communication at the regional division, the company needs to identify the various theories and principles that could be followed by the employees such that they could perform at their optimal level. The paper will help in evaluating various opinions for the organisation from different perspectives. The managers can select the best option available for the organization.

Part A

Divisional Structure:

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of working with the virtual and self-managed team. The virtual team is defined by consulting the meeting through the use of the virtual medium such as Skype and video conference. 

The self-managed team can be defined as the self-motivated team which can set the works needed to be done by them (Martello, Watson and Fischer 2016). Apart from that, the monitoring of the performance and the activity can be managed by the team members themselves.

Advantage and disadvantages of virtual and self-managed work teams:

Advantages:

The main advantage of using the virtual team is that the meeting and the working can be done in a flexible way. Apart from that, the team can be developed through the combination of the different people from the different branches of OzAlpha. In this situation, the members of the team do not have to change their branches to working in a particular team. This also provides them to work from their preferred branches and still taking part in the desirable projects.

Apart from that working with the self-managed team will help the team members of the OzAlpha to get motivated. It has been seen that OzAlpha has taken many innovative decisions regarding financial sectors (Malbašić, Rey and Potočan 2015). The self-managed team will help the team members to understand the business objectives of OzAlpha in a proper way. Apart from that, the team members of the organization will feel much involved in the development of the projects for OzAlpha. This will eventually help to increase the business efficiency for the organisation. 

Disadvantages:

Some of the disadvantages of working in the Virtual team are that the members may not be communicating properly and the meeting may not be effective as the face to face meeting the organization. Apart from that, the members of OzAlpha may face a problem if there is a connectivity issue in the network system (Taylor, Doherty and McGraw 2015). This will distract the communication through the virtual medium. Apart from that flow of communication may not be maintained in a proper way through virtual communication in the organisation.

The disadvantages of working in a self-managed team are that the self-managed team may not evaluate the work in a proper way (Taylor et al. 2015). Apart from that, the valuation of the work may be biased throughout the session.  In this context, it can be said that if the evaluation of the work is not done in a proper way, there is a chance that the progress of the project may not be carried out properly. Apart from that, there is a chance that the decisions made in Ozalpha for financial consulting may not deliver the right outcome.

Recommendation for the preferred structure for the regional division:

The communication recommended for the OzAlpha for strategy is to maintain the virtual team. However, the self-managed team may not be a good decision as there are many important financial decisions are needed to be taken, and the quality of the financial consulting solution for the client will reflect the goodwill of the organization (Zietlow et al. 2018). It has been seen that OzAlpha has different offices in the different parts of Australia. In this case, the financial consultancy may need the advice of the different employees working at different branches. In that case, maintaining the virtual group would be helpful for this organization. However, this organization has to be aware of maintaining proper connectivity while maintaining virtual communication.

 Regional Division Structure

Figure 1: Regional Division Structure

Source: (Rosenberg, Hansen and Ferlie 2016)

Part B:Planning, Organization, Leading and controlling:

1. Planning

Regional Division Goals:

Two long term goals:

The two long term goals of this organization are the expansion of the business and maintaining regional division strategy in a proper way.

Expansion of the business for OzAlpha: The main objective of OzAlpha is to expand the business in a proper way. It has been seen that the organization is denied as one of the promising financial consultancies in Australia. From this stage, OzAlpha is planning to take over a suitable position in the industry (Sparrow et al. 2015). In order to do so, there are certain modifications, and the improvisations are needed. Apart from that, the use of technology is needed to be implemented in a proper in for OzAlpha.

Marinating the regional division strategy: OzAlpha has decided to handle the regional business by itself. Earlier, it has been seen that the regional business of Oz Alpha was maintained by the regional third-party companies. OzAlpha has taken over the business of the regional division and in this context, the organization planning to make a regional business strategy for the organization that will be effective. 

Three Short term goals:

Three short term goals for the organization are- implementation of technology-based advice to the clients, maintaining the generic information sessions and using proper communication throughout the organization.

Implementation of the technology-based advice to the clients: The organization is planning to implement the technology-based advice to the clients. It has been seen that while the development of the team OzAlpha is using virtual communication. In this context, it can be said with the development of the technology and the virtual communication OZAlpha can able to provide flexible services and advice to the clients through virtual communication. This will increase the goodwill of the business for the organization. 

Maintain the generic information session: This will help OzAlpha to maintain the accuracy of the information. Apart from that, this will also help in the development of the proper flow of the information that will give the quality output to the consumers in the organization (Ginter, Duncan and Swayne 2018). It can be said that using the proper flow of communication and maintaining the quality of the data those are processed in the system will help OzAlpha in better analysis.

Using proper communication throughout the organization:  Using proper communication through the organization is important for the OzAlpha as the organization has different branches at different cities.It has been seen as the organization is dealing with the financial data and is in the consultancy industry, it is important for the organization to maintain the sustainability of the information (Rosenberg, Hansen and Ferlie 2016). In order to do that proper flow of communication is needed to be made for the organization. For improvement of the communication, the organization is adopting the use of technology so that it can bring flexibility in the work. Apart from that, the use of technology will help in maintain the virtual team, which will be beneficial for the organization. 

Environmental Scan:

PESTLE analysis of financial service industry in Australia:

Political: The political influences are affecting the financial services in Australia. At present, government policies are encouraging people to take a loan to buy houses. However, it has been seen that most of the loan takers are not repaying the loans. On the other hand, it has been seen that with the increased amount of failure of loan repayment, the whole financial condition of Australia is facing threats. Apart from that, due to the lack of proper business standards, many of the startup organisations are moving out of Australia for a better business opportunity.

Environmental: Environmental condition of Australia is providing proper support to the business functionalities in Australia. It has been seen that Australia has full of natural resources. This is helping the organizations in the country to make proper business processes. 

Social: From the analysis of OzAlpha it has been seen that that lifestyle of the individuals is affecting the financial balance of Australia. It has been seen that most of the Australian are investing in the property. In that case, another industry is affected badly (Theriou 2015). On the other hand, the investment for the startup companies are decreasing that makes the dislocation of the business.

Technological: The use of technology in business and financial dealing is increasing. This makes the financial industry flexible. Apart from that, the organizations are making more revenue as the use of technology has made the doing of the business easy (Ocasio and Radoynovska 2016). In this context, it can be said that OzAlpha is also doing the business with the use of technology. That raises the opportunity of virtual meeting and team building for the organization.

Legal: The laws and regulations are properly followed by business organizations in Australia. It has been seen that OzAlpha is using the ethical standards mentioned by ACM (Zietlow et al. 2018). Apart from that, this business organization is also using technology to maintain laws and regulations. 

Economic: The OzAlpha is a financial consultancy that provides financial advice to the clients. In this case, this organization is well aware of the economic condition of the market. It has been seen that though there is no recession in the industry of Australia, it can be predicted there can be the downfall of the financial condition in the market due to various reasons. This downfall may affect the business of OzAlpha.

Operations Management:

Strategies for building an effective regional division is as follows:

  • Proper understanding of the market: The proper understanding of the market is needed to be done by OzAlpha for managing the regional division. In that case,understanding the economic condition of the locality is important as it will be helpful for the organization. Apart from that, the collection of information is needed to be done in a proper way. 
  • Using the advanced technology: For the collection and the analysis of the local data in the organization, there is a need for the improved technology to be implemented. This will help OzAlpha to communicate with the other branches of the organization (Abdulrahman et al. 2015). Apart from that, the communication between the organizations will maintain the flow.  This will also help to buildup the virtual team for the organization.

2. Organizing

  1. Divisional or structural design:
  • Specialization: The tasks for the OzAlpha can be divided on the basis of specialization. There will be some tasks that will be depended on the overall financial condition of Australia. On the other hand, the regional tasks that will be managed by the regional divisions will be based on the economic condition of a particular locality.
  • Centralization: All the decisions are made by the team leader or the head consultant of the organization (Chung, Yang and Huang 2015). However, these decisions are finalized by the management of OzAlpha.
  • Formalization: All the communications in the OzAlpha will be formal. The analysis and the feedbacks will be generated through the reports. Apart from that, the communication can be verbal if the decisions are made in the meetings.

3. Leading

Leadership style:

The leadership style followed in this context will be the transformative leadership style. It has been seen that OzAlpha is an emerging industry that develops a reputation in the financial market and business organizations. In this context, maintain the transformative leadership will be helpful for the management of this organization to maintain a proper balance (Theriou 2015). This leadership style will help the employees at OzAlpha to express their concern regarding the development of new projects and plans. Apart from that, the organization is dealing with financial decision making, where alternative opinions are always welcome. In this situation, the opinion of the employees can be helpful. 

Reward, recognition and motivation: 

The management of the OzAlpha has been decided that rewards and the recognition of the good will be provided to the employees at the new regional division. The company thinks that this will help them to motivate enough to do their work correctly. Apart from that, the reward and recognition will help the employees in OzAlpha to indulge them more in the business of the organization. This will eventually help to enhance the productivity of the new regional division.

Apart from that, the management of the organisation has identified the significance of Maslow’s hierarchy for motivation in case of employees. From this, they have decides that the employee's welfare will be maintained in a proper way. Apart from that, the employees in the organization will be allotted to the challenging work so that their self-esteem can be improved.

Communication:

Maintaining communication is important for the proper development of the business. The proper flow of communication will help all the employees in OzAlpha from the different hierarchy to follow the business process and the progress update in a proper way (Karadag 2015). In this case, the team members of the regional office will report to the respective team leader. The progress report will be developed by the team leader and will be shared with the manager of the regional branch.

The process of communication and negotiation is needed to be maintained in a proper way between the head office of OzAlpha and regional division of the company. In that case, as these two offices are situated at different locations, the communication can be done through the video conferencing and through telephone.

In order to maintain diversity in communication at the regional division, the company can recruit employees from different background. This will help the organization to get opinions from a different perspective. Apart from that, this will also help to increase the alternatives to the managers. The managers can select the best option available for the organization.

Controlling

The functioning of the regional division of the OzAlpha is needed to be controlled in a proper way. There are various reasons for the controlling of the functionalities at regional divisions. This will help the organization to function in a proper way. In this context, the functionalities of the organisation are needed to be controlled.  The functionalities of the regional division define the collection and the analysis of the regional financial information. The implementation of the main process can be done by the employees working in a team. The working of the employees can be controlled and monitored by the project team lead in OzAlpha. After that, the progress report can be generated by the team leader and can be submitted to the manager of the project in the organization. The progress evaluation is a part of the controlling and the monitoring g of the project. This can be done on a weekly basis. The evaluation of the progress of the project can be done by conducting an informal meeting between the employee and the team leader of the team.

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