OTHER PAPERS BY amy
alex caloy jun
XYZ COMPUTER SCHOOL, THEN AND NOW
A Case Study on XYZ’s Previous Administration
(Present Management’s Guide or Point of Reference)
by Meliza O. Llamoso
XYZ was built upon the dream of the late Juan Dela Cruz, Auditor General during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal, to set up an educational institution, which will serve as a legacy to the youth.
This dream was realized in 1980 when his son, Juan Dela Cruz Jr. founded the WXY located in Manila to pioneer computer literacy in the country. In June 1981, XYZ was born with the launching of the 4-year degree course in BS Computer Science. The student population of XYZ rose dramatically from 13 in 1981 to 600 in 1983 and to 2,000 in 1985. In response to the growing need for computer education, XYZ established its first campus in Manila in 1983 and its second campus in Quezon City in 1986 catering to already more than 3,000 students. In 1987, XYZ established the following: 1) XYZ Computer School which offers short course computer programs and two-year technical vocational courses; 2) computer-based basic education for elementary and high school levels for the Quezon City campus and 3) first provincial campus in the Visayas. The second provincial campus was opened in Mindanao in 1989 and over the years was followed by local branches and international.
In 1997, XYZ embarked on its most ambitious and massive expansion program with the establishment of four (4). In 1998, XYZ has put up twenty (20) more branches nationwide. To date, XYZ has a total of 38 branches nationwide.
In the 1990s, the XYZ Group of Companies was formed when it branched out into other types of business and services in the field of power generation, electric distribution and equipment supply; infrastructure and construction development; food and convenience; and trading through the import and export of commercial and industrial products. It has also ventured in to the realty business.
Today, XYZ is known as the largest and Asia’s pioneer in information technology-based education and is also recognized as one of the fastest growing Filipino-owned group of companies in the country.
- XYZ EDUCATION SYSTEM
The XYZ Education System is composed of a network of educational institutions that provides professional training and skills responsive to the current and future demands of the global IT industry.
The students of XYZ enjoy Microsoft-enhanced curriculum, global affiliations, international certifications from Microsoft, Cisco Systems to name a few, e-learning via Hewlett-Packard and Smart Force’s virtual classes and courseware, one computer, one student policy and on-the-job training programs.
- XYZ Luzon
XYZ is one of the main components of the XYZ Education System. In Luzon, XYZ started its operation in November 1996 as XYZ Computer Learning School. After witnessing the great welcome to the coming of XYZ and favorable response of Luzon people and nearby towns in terms of enrollment, the Top Management decided to establish XYZ in June 1997.
MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
- XYZ Group of Companies
The XYZ Group of Companies is a Filipino owned enterprise through its affiliate and subsidiary companies, is engaged in diverse types of business and services which are clustered in five (5) major divisions, namely: 1) XYZ Education System, 2) Land Infrastructure and Power Generation Distribution 3) Information Technology Services 4) Financial and Security Services and 5) Food and Convenience Store (Affiliate Companies of the XYZ Group: The ABC Group of Companies.)
The employees in the company are categorized as academic and non-academic.
The academic group consists of the faculty and deans in the education system who are directly responsible for providing quality education to students.
The non-academic group consists of the Administrative and support employees in the entire XYZ Group of Companies. They are classified as
1. Top Management
Consists of officers who have the power or prerogative to lay down and execute management policies and/or hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees or to recommend such managerial
Top Management level include the following positions:
- President and CEO
- Senior Executive Vice-President
- Executive Vice-President
- Senior Vice-President
- First Vice-President
- Chief Finance Officer
- Senior Assistant Vice-President
2. Supervisory and Managerial
Consists of employees whose primary duties include the management or supervision of a specific department/office/unit where he/she is assigned. Supervisory and managerial levels include, Supervisors, Managers and Directors.
3. Rank and File
Employees who do not fall under the above categories are considered part of the rank and file and classified into pay class levels, such as: Semi-skilled, skilled, Clerical, Assistant and Specialist.
B. XYZ Luzon
The branch is headed by a School Director/Chief Operation Officer (SD/COO) responsible for the overall management and supervision of the school operations.
The employees in the branch are also categorized as academic and non-academic. The academic group consists of the faculty and Sciences Laboratory Aide headed by the Dean and the non-academic group consists of the administrative and support employees (see Figure 2 for the organizational chart).
POINT OF VIEW AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CASE
This case study takes the point of view of a management consultant capable of giving recommendation and suggestions. It aims to help the management in evaluating the organization’s present status based on the previous administrations’ performance (so as not to repeat the mistakes committed in the past). The author/case presenter hopes to contribute to the betterment of the branch’s current operations.
The case however, is not intended to compare or reflect effective or ineffective administrative practices but rather, give recommendation and provide solutions to some of the organization’s existing problems, which have occurred in the past administration of XYZ Luzon branch.
- PROBLEM ANALYSIS AND IDENTIFICATION
Management and Organization
- Bureaucratic Management Approach
XYZ is operating under this approach, which focuses on the overall organizational system based upon firm rules, policies and procedures; a fixed hierarchy, impersonality and a clear division of labor.
The major problem with this type of bureaucratic, hierarchical and centralized structure which has been encountered by almost all the SDs in the past, is the delay of processing and approval of important documents like requests for additional computers, office supplies and most importantly, request for funds for school operations and activities, revolving funds and other financial-related matters. Before a certain request for approval reaches the concerned (i.e. signatories from top management usually the CEO especially for financial concerns), it takes quite a number of weeks or even months before the branch gets the approved document/s (examine the organizational structure and how many levels/channels a certain request has to pass through not to mention the large scope of top management’s concerns).
To ensure the smooth flow of operations and to avoid disruption of any school activities, the SD has to shoulder some of the expenses first (employs "abono" system). Apart from this, decision-making is also affected because the top management always has the final say.
- Retrenchment Strategy
The purpose of the retrenchment strategy is to reverse negative sales and profitability trends. At the corporate level, retrenchment often requires the elimination of one or more business units to acquire other business unit, build more promising units or reduce corporate debt. At the business level, retrenchment strategy focuses on streamlining the operations of the organization by reducing costs and assets. Such reductions may require plant closings, the sale of plants and equipment, or a REDUCTION IN WORKFORCE of the organization (Lewis et. al., 1998)
Last year, the Top Management came up with a manpower review of all its branches in order to streamline its operation and sustain the growth of the organization. Their reasons include: prevailing economic condition and austerity program of the company. In Luzon branch, the first batch of streamlining was implemented in March 2000 and the second batch was in December, in time for the Christmas season. Four (4) regular employees were laid-off during the first batch and five (5), also regular employees, in the second batch. But fortunately, two employees from the second batch were laterally transferred to another position (see Figure 3 for the streamlined positions).
- due process; policy and procedures in implementing the strategy (i.e. there was no proper procedure for informing the concerned employee which made the incident more painful and difficult to accept)
- improper procedures in streamlining had caused disruption in operations when it was implemented
- no turnover
- other staff refused to handle the responsibilities of the laid-off employees due to their existing workload
- understaffed (at present, there are 19 administrative staff, 31 full-time faculty members and 7 part-timers in the branch serving a total of 1,073 students)
- other retrenchment strategies/downsizing or cost-cutting measures aside from lay-off
- emotional and psychological effect of this traumatic lay-off not just to the affected employees but to the existing employees as well
- there’s no job security anymore
- they fear that a third batch of streamlining will happen anytime
3. Non-Academic Personnel
The problems concerning superior-subordinate relationship and staff/peer relationship are more of an HBO (Human Behavior in Organization) concern. However, as stated in the objectives, this case study seeks to evaluate the status of the present administration based on the past to determine the factors causing some of the employees’ unfavorable behavior.
- Superior-subordinate relationship
XYZ SCL started operating in 1997. Since then, four (4) Directors had already assumed the top position. Because of frequent turnovers and change in management, employees have experienced confusion and some difficulty adjusting to different management practices.
The present head of XYZ-SCL is the fourth (4th) School Director of the branch. He’s been handling the branch for four (4) months now but still, some employees are still adjusting to his management and leadership styles.
These employees are those "pampered" by their previous heads, those who resist change because during the past, although the organizational structure is bureaucratic and centralized in nature, the past leaders of this branch practised the informal approach in dealing with their staff. Of course, it has brought a lot of positive effects to the growth of the organization in terms of rapport and harmony established and of course teamwork among employees.
Because of this practice (i.e. informal, close-ties) or kind of relationship the previous SDs had with their employees, INSUBORDINATION and BYPASSING OF AUTHORITY were and continuously encountered. This problem also happens with some supervisors. This employee behavior and attitude brought about by previous leadership is somewhat "carried over" with the next leader then up to the present SD.
- manner of speaking to the boss
This is as if the subordinate is speaking with his/her peer. Some employees forget that they’re talking to the Director. The author/presentor of this case thinks that such practice is okay when they’re outside the office but during office hours, it’s a big no-no! Where have all the work ethics and respect gone? This may be attributed to the Filipino way of management very much practiced in the past in this branch.
- with regards to bypassing, it is an SOP (standard operating procedure) that all transactions and documents for Head Office’s approval must pass through or must be coursed through the Director’s Office. Some departments went straight to the Head Office without the knowledge of the SD leaving him/her unaware that decisions regarding certain problems or requests have been made.
Problems concerning employees and their peer are common to any organization. These usually communication problems such as grapevine, rumors, intrigues and professional jealousy to mention a few.
The militant students who advocated a protest against the management at the start of this semester were already dismissed. However, protest actions are still ongoing evident in the picket line in front of the building. This, in one way or another, still affects the flow of operation. There have been threats received by the employees that these students will stage another protest during the enrollment period. There is also bomb scare (they have been doing this ever since they advocated protest actions).
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PLANS OF ACTION
Problem 1. Bureaucratic Management Approach
- Suggest to the Corporate Office/Head Office to decentralize some operations particularly financial concerns (make a proposal to be presented in the meeting)
- Come up with a work and financial plan and request that budget be allocated especially in student-related activities (to avoid delay in releasing funds. This is one of the reasons why those militant students became "militant")
- If these won’t work out (which honestly, the author feels that these suggestions will take much time re: meetings and consultations with no definite/positive result), the SD has to employ lots of contingency approach in handling various management and leadership concerns.
Problem 2. Retrenchment
- In an article entitled "Is There Life After Downsizing" , there are four (4) successful methods for avoiding the traumatic lay-offs and restructuring in the companies:
- Planning (develop a clear plan for your organization and link the budget to the specific items in the plan).
- Pruning (teach managers and employees to constantly rethink their activities and prune back unnecessary work).
- Compensation (link compensation for each employee, at least in part, to their success in controlling costs); and
- Communication (continually communicate the need for effective cost control).
Problem 3. Employer-employee/employee relationship
- Culture usually evolves from the top. Lead by example. Acceptance of culture, if not embraced at least accepted by the members of the organization
- Set clear procedures, proper channels of communication, transparency
- Continue monthly meeting to monitor operations
- Conduct seminar/workshop e.g. team building
Lewis, P.S., S.H. Goodman and P.M. Fandt. Management. Challenges in the 21st Century. 2nd ed.Ohio: South-Western College Publishing, 1998.
Newstrom, J.W. and K. Davis. Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. 10th ed.
USA: Mc-Graw Hill Companies, Inc. 1997.
XYZ Group of Companies "Your Link to a Brighter Future," An orientation handbook/manual
For new Faculty Members and Employees. s. 1997.
www.hometown.aol.com/thehickel for the article "Is There Life After Downsizing?"
Personal interview with the Administrative Staff of XYZ Computer School