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KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root) is an American company which deals in the engineering, construction, military contracting company based in Texas. It has more than 57k employees across the globe. It has projects based on management activities. It has clients which has full range of expertise and experience. The company has a organisation structure where the company is divided into various business units based on their target market and market opportunities. The business is divided into different segments with the idea of expertizing in each of them. The organization can put concentrated efforts on different departments to become efficient in all of them. There are many divisions of the KBR Company but the most important subsidiary is the Aspire Defence Services Limited. This is the primary focus in the case study provided with this assignment. Most of its subsidiaries believe in having a flat company structure with minimum hierarchical levels. The organizational culture of the company is formulated in such a way that it will be beneficial for the company in the long run. Other competitor companies to KBR include Bechtel Corporation at the top of the list. It follows a bigger hierarchical structure where there are multiple layers of chain of command in the organization structure (Jackson, 2007).
The relationship between the organization’s structure and organization’s culture has a great impact on the performance of the business. The organization culture greatly depends on the structure of the organization. The organization structure impacts the behaviour of the employees in the organization on the regulatory front. If the organization follow too many levels in their hierarchy system it becomes difficult to communicate between all layers of the company efficiently. The performance of the company KBR depends on the performance of their employees. The employees can be juxtaposed with the company’s vision and mission by making them familiar with all the processes happening at different levels of the company. So fi the hierarchy is too long then it is a very difficult task to make the employees knowledgeable about the activities happening at different levels of the organization (Hanges, 2004). KBR has six business units: Upstream, Downstream, KBR Services, KBR Technology, KBR Ventures, and Government and Infrastructure. It has divided its entire business in different business units so that it can focus independently on all of them. This will make each of these business help units efficient. It gives a very favourable working environment to its businesses hence increasing the productivity of its employees.
There are many factors at the organization level which shapes the behaviour of any employee. The most important of these factors is the organizational structure. This is really important to understand the communication process followed in the company and the time taken in the decision making process. At KBR, the organization structure is of a flat nature and hence the employees are properly communicated of the happening in the organization and make the decision making process faster (McKenna, 2004). Due to this the employees remain satisfied and contribute more towards the performance of the organization. Having a flat organization results into better employee behaviour and increase their productivity. Another important factor which affects the individual behaviour in the company is the organization culture. Frequent division level meetings, better communication between the employees and their managers, time to time training faculties for the employees, fair and periodic employee recognition programs are some of the characteristics of a good organizational culture and helps in influencing the employee behaviour at the workplace in a positive manner. The organization follows a matrix format of operation which helps the company to identify the best talent present in the company and bring them together to work on some important projects. The other two most important factors are motivation and leadership which we will be discussing in the coming sections.
Different leadership styles are present in different organizations. Each of them is effective in their own ways. Each of them has their own merits and demerits. The leadership style is largely responsible for the success of any business. The leadership style is responsible for efficient resource utilization and helps in developing a strong brand image of the company. The employees at the top most level of the organization are responsible for taking the crucial decision which has a huge impact on the entire organization and has to prove that their decisions will be beneficial for the organizations. They are responsible for manage the major operational activities which is related to client relationship, supplier management, customer management, financial management decisions, etc. Different leaders have different approach to all of these activities but with a common goal to increase the profits of the organization. The leaders in the organization are responsible for setting up an example for their juniors in the company. They act as motivational figures for its employees and are a source of inspiration for them. So each and every move taken by the leaders are closely observed by the entire organization and are greatly impactful for the employees of the organization. The managers and leaders of any organization should have some competent talent which makes them effective leaders. At KBR, the senior management and the leaders are effective because they are technically sound and believe in imparting the skills to its employees. The leadership in KBR is not autocratic or democratic but genuine style or more of a transformational style.They are upright and honest, they have the problem solving attitude and are open to take risks. They encourage their employees to perform better and capable of delivering long term leadership to the organization. On the other hand Bechtel Corporation practices democratic leadership style. Here the leadership style focusses on encouraging open door policies. Here the company has a bureaucratic structure where the leaders are more concerned about proper monitoring of the performance of its employees at all levels. They provide training facilities across borders to help their employees to gain knowledge and skills.
The organization theory is largely responsible for the practice of management followed in any organization. Organization theories have a check on the organization structure of any business entity. The organization theory is dependent on the organizational practices that impact the behaviour of the organization. Frederick Winslow Taylor is very renowned name who made a remarkable contribution towards developing the scientific management theory. His theories are very well applicable in different organizations (Bloisi, 2003). The organization theory has different forms and each of them has contributed towards developing management practices. Taylor’s theory major constituents are giving prime importance on the logic, analysis, ethics, waste elimination and the approach to incorporate the standard and the most effective processes. The management in the current times encapsulates a number of organizational theories and practices in order to be competent and effective enough as compared to its competitors. If we talk about KBR, then the theories which are applicable from the Taylor’s theories are the determination of time required in order to finish a particular project. The activities and the sequence of these activities to be followed in completing any project in an organization depend on different management theories adapted by them. The study which is done in the past which develops different organizational theories and the research behind it shapes up the management practices of any company. The management styles are influenced by these organization theories on a large scale. There are management books like Kotler which contains all these organizational theories which helps different businesses to develop their organizational strategies. The Taylor theory of scientific management which we have discussed here are more concentrated on the employee efficiency and their performance. It is less focused on the employee behaviour. At KBR, the company focus in developing the skills of the employees and trains the new employees of the organization.
There are different management approaches used by KBR. All of these are effective in their own way. The main objective of the organization KBR is to provide sufficient training facilities to its employees to develop their skillset. This is also done to make their employees competitive enough to work on the different technologies available in the market and to be ready for the changes and new advancement in the current processes in the company. The company wants its employees to be at their toes in facing the tough challenges of the competitive market. They focus in developing the technical, communication and presentation skills of its employees. The management of the KBR believes that the employee skills are the main equipment of the organization to defeat the tough competition available in the market and which will help the business to sustain in the market. This is another reason why the company believes in having a flat structure which will help to communicate directly with the employees and focus on improving their skill set regularly according to the market needs. KBR practices the most effective form of employee administration. In its competitor organization i.e. Bechtel Corporation, the primary focus is on excelling in the market. Despite of the multi-level hierarchical management structure, the company tries to spread the values and vision of the company across all levels of employees (Luthans, 1995). Authoritarian style is when a employer order the employee what and how they want a particular work to be done. In Participative, the leader involves people in making the business decisions. Laissez-Faire Leadership Style includes a situation where employees are given full freedom to do work in their own style. The pros for authoritarian is work will be done as expected but in the long run it is not good. Participative is better in the long run.
The leadership styles followed in different organizations is the main factor in the motivation of the employees of the organization. As discussed above different leaders have different approach to all of organizational activities but with a common goal to increase the profits of the organization. The leaders in the organization are responsible for setting up an example for their juniors in the company. They act as motivational figures for its employees and are a source of inspiration for them. So each and every move taken by the leaders are closely observed by the entire organization and are greatly impactful for the employees of the organization. In the year 2007, the KBR was separated as an individual firm and called for a major management style change (Dunford, 1991). At that time the organization started afresh and undergone a lot of organizational transformations which was difficult for the employees to incorporate. Again there was a need for the change during the recession time recently. The leaders play a very crucial role in shaping up their employees and they are the ones to whom their employees look up to in the organization. Hence it is very necessary for the leaders to manage their employees efficiently, align them with the organizational objectives, and train them properly as and when needed. There are many competitors for KBR are Saipem S.p.A., Technip SA, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V., etc. Some of these have autocratic, bureaucratic and democratic leadership styles.
There are different motivational theories which are applicable in different organizations. Some of these are the Maslow’s motivational theory, Hertzberg’s hygiene and motivational factors, X and Y motivation theory, etc. In the Maslow’s hierarchical needs theory, it is explained that the needs of any individual have different priorities according to their needs.
For example at the bottom most is the psychological needs in the form of basic amenities including potable water, clean food, and ample sleep, etc. to the top most needs of self-actualization. Form the viewpoint of the organization KBR; it focusses more on the safety needs of the employees apart from fulfilling the other needs of the employees. The company is focusing more on the safety needs of the employees because of the activities it is dealing with which is quite dangerous for the employees. KBR provides proper safety on the work floor and give training facilities to fight emergencies situations to its employees. It also makes sure that the construction sites are provided with ample amount of safety measure for avoiding accidents. The self-actualization needs of the employees are fulfilled by the development programs organized by the company.
Another very common motivation theory is the Hertzberg’s hygiene and motivational factors are also known as two factors or dual factor theory.
Here the needs of the employees are classified into two columns. The first column has the needs of the employees which if not present will make the employees dissatisfied but the presence of which will not make them motivated. Also the needs of the employees on the second column is fulfilled will make the employees motivated but absence of which will not make the employees dissatisfied. Some of these needs will include the proper working environment at the workplace, basic amenities for the employees as well as better growth opportunities in the company, Status of the job profile offered to the employees etc.
The managers play a very keen role in managing their employees and motivating them to perform better in the organization. So the managers take several steps in motivating its employees to meet the objectives of the organization. The level of motivation of the employees is directly related to their performance levels. The performance of the employees collectively forms the performance of the company hence it Is very necessary to keep the employees motivated. The motivational theories which we discussed above are very useful and applicable in the organizational perspective. One of the examples is the Hertzberg’s motivation theory which is very useful for the managers of KBR. The Hertzberg’s motivation theory is basically a two factor theory which analyses the factor which makes the employees dissatisfied and which of they make them satisfied. It explains that satisfaction of the job is entirely independent of the dissatisfaction. It is very useful in accessing the motivation level of employees. In KBR, the company provides the basic needs of the employees absence of which will make the employees dissatisfied like the basic amenities. It also provides the facilities to the employees who make them satisfied like better compensation to its employees, growth opportunities in the company, proper training facilities for the employees, etc. (Van, Knippenberg, 2000).
In the organization the employees are made to work in groups and while working in groups a lot of group dynamics are introduced. The employees in a group may belong to different background and different cultures so they have different approach towards work (Yukl, 2002). The organizations are responsible for making the employees confirmable with each other while working in groups and gel with each other properly. All the employees in the same group work with the same goal and it is very necessary to have a combined effort from all of them to achieve those goals. In KBR there are employees from different backgrounds and cultures, different age group, different educational background and possessing different skill sets so they need to be managed by the managers properly so that they work collectively to achieve a common goal. It is very important for any organization that their employees feel a level of comfort while working with other employees and if a dispute arises it is the responsibility of their managers to end that dispute or differences. The companies are required to create an environment in the company where the employees have the equal opportunity to grow.
There are many factors while help to develop a healthy and effective team in the workplace. There are several factors which motivate the employees to work in teams and some of them are demotivating for them. Teamwork is very important from any business prospective to be successful in the market. The work which is expected out of the company can only be achieved when a number of employees with different skillset put together their effort and commitment to achieve a common goal. The same is the case with KBR and Bechtel. For both it is really very important for the company to develop strong teams which have a strong bond with each other. This can be achieved by giving them tasks in groups, motivate to indulge in more group activities. The company has arranged for team outings for building a bond between the teammates. Also it is very important to train the employees with ample amount of training and development programs in order to make everyone reach at same level. It is really very important to build a trust between the employees and the organization to make the most of the employees. There are several factors which also demotivate the employees to work in teams like the situation where the employees are putting unequal efforts and are recognized equally (Mullins, 2007).
With the advancement in the technology the communication has become very easy in the organization. This proper communication process has helped the organizations to build strong teams within the organization. In the case of KBR also, the technology has supported the team functioning of the company. The technology has a use in all the business operational activities. Some of the technological advancement which has helped the organizations to grow is the email facility, telecom facility, tele- conferencing, communicator where all the employees of an organization can chat with each other. All these technologically available facility makes the employees connected in such big organizations and thus helps in bringing the employees closer to each other (Rollinson, 2008). KBR encourages its employees to make best use of the technology available in the company and motivated them to develop better technologies for the company. The company should always be on their toes to keep themselves updated with the new technology and incorporate them in their business.
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Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. 2004. Culture, leadership, and organizations (pp. 9-28). R. J. House (Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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