Assignment Sample on 7002CRB Consultancy

Introduction

Various tools and techniques are used to ascertain the strategic position of the company and the issues that are affecting its growth and success (Phadermrod et. al. 2019). The report is based on the assessment of a case study, “Interview with Steve Wood from Newsprinter.” Newsprinter is a business organization in the UK that manufactures newspapers. The writing outlines the major issues and challenges that the company is experiencing. It further highlights recommendations based on leadership and communication to implement in the organization to deal with these issues. The study also comprises a critical reflection describing the learnings and experiences of the study.

Section 1: An analysis of the company’s strategic position

Overview of the company

Newsprinter is a newspaper manufacturing company, part of a larger multinational company in the United Kingdom. The company also works for international titles and around 60-70% for national titles. Apart from this, Newsprinter also prints on a contractual basis for small titles for local newspapers. The company is experiencing a shrinking in the industry in terms of advertisement revenue. Advertisement is one of the major sources of revenue for Newsprinter. Newsprinter has always been a large company in the industry, and the company aims to stand in the market till last.

The internal environment of the company

In order to assess the internal environment of the company, a SWOT analysis tool can be used (Perera, 2017). Such tools and techniques are important to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths ·       Respected name and strong brand image

·       Effective financial management

·       Investment in equipment

·       Increased market share (Collins, 2019).

Weaknesses ·       Lack of innovative culture

·       Lack of knowledge of machinery

Opportunities ·       Keeping track of the changing client needs

·       Tapping uncovered market

Threats ·       Shrinking industry

·       Losing advertisement revenue

·       People inclined towards digital media

It has been identified from the case analysis that the company maintains a strong position in the industry in the country, which is its main strength. Apart from this, Newsprinter focuses on a continuous improvement approach in its operations by investing in the latest technologies and equipment. On the contrary, the weakness is that the company lacks a proper innovative culture in company required to sustain itself in the competitive business environment. Also, the case scenario reveals that the organization cannot make proper and best use of the machinery. For example, the company invested in the digital inking system, and it can be used for different purposes, but it was underused.

Intending to survive long-term in the industry, Newsprinter has the opportunity to deal with the weaknesses and grabbing opportunities (Koryak et. al. 2015). Newsprinter can enlarge the market areas by tapping the region that has not been covered yet and formulating a consumer research process for analyzing their needs and demands. In comparison, some major threats are shifting people’s interests from print channels to digital channels.

External environment of the company

Further, to evaluate the external business environment in which Newsprinter is operating, the PESTLE analysis strategic framework can be taken into consideration. Analysis of the external business environment helps evaluate the challenges and opportunities, and thus appropriate strategies can be formulated.

Political factors Political factors play a major part in determining the factors that can affect the industry (Boak and Crabbe, 2019). Thus, to operate the business effectively in the newspaper industry, analysis of certain factors is important, including political stability, the importance of publishing, legal framework, trade regulations, antitrust laws related to publishing, pricing regulations, and taxation.
Economic factors Another major factor of the Pestle analysis is economic dimensions (Black, 2015). Newsprinter must assess the exchange rate and the stability of the nation, efficiency of the financial market, labor costs, and inflation rates. For example, the company pays a higher wage rate to its workers in comparison with its rivals.
Socio-cultural determinants  This includes the lifestyle, habits, and attitude of the people and target market towards anything. It is evident that the focus of people has shifted towards digital media rather than print media. It is the key reason for the shrinking newspaper industry over the years. Some other social aspects are demographics, culture, class structure, and education level.
Technological factors Over the last years, technology is transforming faster, and concerning the same, Newsprinter is adopting the latest ones to be competitive in the industry. Adopting the latest technologies ease the work operations and processes and also attracts the audience (Schoemaker et. al. 2018). Newsprinter can get affected by the technological developments of the competitors, impact on cost structure, and rate of technological diffusion.
Legal aspects Every company working in any industry has to abide by the legal structure and regulations of the nation. Newsprinter also gets influenced by such regulations. These can be anti-trust laws in publishing, intellectual property laws, consumer protection, and employment law.
Environmental factors Different markets have diverse standards and environmental laws that impact the profitability of the business organization (Paul and Falls, 2015). In recent times, people are very concerned about environmental protection, and hence the companies are also obliged to abide by environmental laws. Some environmental factors that the Newsprinter must consider are laws regulating environmental pollution, recycling, attitude towards ecological products, and support for renewable energy.

Analysis of company’s strategic position

  1. a) Leadership and communication: the leadership and accountability system at Newsprinter is quite complicated. However, as per the case study, Steve Wood states that leaders are good. In the context of complications, it comes when changes occur in the larger multinational companies, and it impacts the culture of Newsprinter. The cited business organization faces issues in the communication process and uses notice boards, emails, and newsletters.
  2. b) The company culture, including its ethical and value base: The Company’s culture maintains ethical standards and values (Marx, 2015). Moreover, the business enterprise works on continuous improvement by considering various decision-making models, such as five why’s, root cause analysis, and gathering relevant information and facts. While making decisions, stakeholders are involved and brainstorm and present creative ideas to resolve the issues. The strategic management, leadership, and principles guide the value-based and ethical approaches of the company.
  3. c) The company’s position in the sector: As analyzed from the case scenario, the company has a strong positioning in the sector and industry. The company focuses on ascertaining and satisfying the client’s needs, and even after facing a shrinkage in the industry, it aims to stand for the consumers till the last (Day and Dragoni, 2015). The vision of the Newsprinter is to work on a collaborative basis with the publishers for mutual benefits.

d)A critical evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the tools and techniques you have used: Concerning the strengths of SWOT analysis, it can be said that the tool is beneficial in understanding the business better, addressing weaknesses, and developing efficient business strategies. On the other side, the key weaknesses of SWOT analysis are that it doesn’t prioritize the issues and can produce a lot of information that may not prove useful for the company.

Another technique used for examining the external business environment is PESTLE analysis (Hawi et. al. 2015). The benefits of using this tool are that it is simple to use a framework, presents a broad understanding of the external environment, and allows the organization to spot the opportunities wisely. On the other hand, the demerits associated with this mainly rely on assumptions, and data cannot be gathered easily.

  1. e) The client needs: In order to identify the client needs of the company, a proper customer survey can be done, market research can be conducted, and competitor analysis can be done. The needs and requirements of the clients of Newsprinter are getting accurate and validated information via their prints and getting detailed information within time about the incidents that happened. Further, the client needs the prints at an affordable price with quality services. The newspaper and published articles should help get information, guidance, opinions, and entertainment. It must also contain additional advertisements.

Issues to address in the company

Based on the company’s strategic position, the first and foremost issue that the company is facing and needs to address is the shrinking industry (Lara and Salas-Vallina, 2017). People are now inclined towards digital platforms and avoid print media. Apart from this, another issue is the loss of advertising revenue which is the major source of income for the Newsprinter. Finally, cost-cutting is also a challenge for the company to maintain profitability.

Innovation is required to satisfy and attract the stakeholder, and Newsprinter lacks innovative culture within the company (Paulienė, 2017). In addition, it has been assessed from the case scenario that Steve stated that the company has not completely used the machinery and got every advantage of the same. Thus, improper utilization of the equipment and asset is another challenge the company needs to address.

In addition, the company is facing leadership issues because of the larger multinational company, influencing Newsprinter’s culture. Finally, although the company uses a diverse range of communication channels, there is still no clarity regarding receiving the message in the manner in which it has been sent and perceived by the listener.

Section 2: Recommendations to the organization

Based on the above analysis of the key strategic issues identified, the major recommendations for Newsprinter are enlisted below:

  • Leaders guide the employees’ actions and behavior and thus affect their performance, which is the key contributor to an organization’s success (Łupicka and Grzybowska, 2018). Thus, it is recommended that the cited company adopt a proper leadership approach and strategy to impact the organizational direction. The company’s success in the intensely competitive business scenario highly depends on the employees and their involvement in the business. Employees are the major internal stakeholder of the business enterprise, and leaders play a significant role in encouraging them and keeping them satisfied. Therefore, it can be said that effective leadership strategies can be formulated to motivate the workforce and cultivate a positive work environment. Further, the innovative culture can be organization can be developed with the right leadership style.
  • Quality communication is the basis of organizational success (Tyrańska, 2016). As identified from the case study, the company uses various forms of communication. Still, there is a lack of clarity regarding the understanding of the message by the receiver. In this context, it is recommended for the company to form effective communication strategies. In this regard, the Newsprinter can be trained about the importance of proper communication to reduce misunderstandings and duplication of work. Therefore, the management must encourage one-to-one communication, inspire everyone to speak, use a suitable mode of communication, promote feedback, and clarify things properly. Further, the vision and strategies of the company are required to be communicated to the key stakeholders. A proper interaction will reveal the feedback, opinions, and suggestions.
  • Another recommendation is to adopt a proper leadership style to motivate them. This is needed to use in an optimum way of the digital techniques that can prove advantageous for the company’s success and survival in the industry (Newton, 2019). Employees follow the leaders, and when leaders understand the employees and their viewpoints, it turns beneficial for the company.

Section 3: Implementation of Recommendations

To support the changes in the company’s strategic directions, Newsprinter must implement the recommendations in its business practices.

  1. a) Leadership styles: The application of leadership styles and theories enhances the management and work performance of the company (Grefen, 2018). The leadership style can be defined as the way the leader managing team members. Several leadership theories exist, including great man theory, trait theory, behavioral theory, transactional theory, transformational theory, and situational theory.

Great man theory states that effective leaders are born and not developed, while trait theory describes that several natural qualities create good leaders (Malerba et. al. 2015). In contrast, the behavioral theory focuses on how a person’s environment and notabilities create a leader. Concerning the case study company, Newsprinter can adopt the transformational leadership theory to create a positive relationship between the team members and leaders. Transformational leaders are the one who inspires, encourages, and motivates the team members with their passion and enthusiasm (Ghemawat, 2016).

Adopting a transformational leadership style within Newsprinter will bring a culture of trust, appreciation, honesty, and loyalty.

Moreover, it will change the behavior of the people, and they will feel motivated and valuable. As the industry is facing several complications, and the business is suffering. Implementation of a suitable leadership style is required in Newsprinter. In this context, the transformational leadership style will set clear and consistent goals and encourage others. These are the leaders who lead through charisma and influence and work on the model of fairness and integrity (Absiye, 2017). This will give rise to the ethical culture and empower people to look beyond their self-interest towards the organization’s good. Transformational leaders unite everyone for a common cause that is the benefit of the company.

Within Newsprinter, these leaders will quickly analyze the company’s current situation and develop a proper vision for its growth and improvement. Apart from the transformational leadership style, Newsprinter can also embrace a democratic or participative leadership style. Democratic leadership style asks for input from the subordinates and involves them in the decision-making process to make them feel like an important asset of the organization (Whittle and Myrick, 2016). Applying the democratic leadership style in the case study company will prove beneficial in several circumstances. The diverse expertise of team members enhances the possibilities of grabbing opportunities and dealing with complex issues. Also, this will reduce the conflicts and disagreements within the company and foster creativity.

  1. b) Communicating the vision to the key stakeholders: Communication strategy can be defined as a plan to attain communication objectives (Al Khajeh, 2018). Communication strategy can be applied to the internal communications of the cited company. It has been identified from the case study that the company is facing communication issues, and this can lead to a serious problem regarding the performance of the Newsprinter. Therefore, it is recommended to adopt a proper communication strategy to share the vision with the major stakeholders. Stakeholders are the individuals who have a keen interest in the company and its concerned activities (Kesting al. 2015). They are for employees, customers, management, government, and the public.

Further, to communicate the company’s vision to the stakeholders, a proper and detailed communication strategy can be drafted. The first step for this can be to determine the method for engaging the stakeholders. The communication method must be chosen carefully as everyone should clearly understand it. In addition to this, encouraging interaction and feedback is another step. Effective communication facilitates two-way flow, and while communicating the vision to the employees, their feedback should be considered as they are the ones who will work on the same. In order to get their valuable engagement, the management of the company must put effort into seeking the ideas and opinions of all the related stakeholders to drive the vision forward.

  1. c) Leadership strategy and the impact on organizational direction: It is evident that effective leadership is the biggest fundamental to develop a great organizational culture, and fostering the innovative culture within Newsprinter leadership strategies is important. A leader guides, support and motivate the team members with their knowledge, skills, and capabilities (Yahaya and Ebrahim, 2016). An influential leader possesses various skills, including communication, problem-solving, team management, and decision making.

These skills are further used to formulate strategies to develop efficient work culture and a positive work environment (Rahbi et. al. 2017). To create a leadership strategy: attribute, skills, collective capability, and leadership culture is required within Newsprinter. Application of leadership strategy will increase the team productivity, and further identified issues can be resolved. For example, leaders possess the capability to identify the employees’ needs and motivate them on that basis, which eventually increases work satisfaction and thus productivity. Thus, the leaders will positively impact the direction of Newsprinter and lead it towards success.

Section 4: Critical Reflection

To reflect on the learning during the module: Gibbs’s reflective cycle can be considered. Gibb’s reflective model consists of several stages to demonstrate the learning experience, and its application in the future is comprised of:

Description:

The module study allowed me to assess various areas and skills required to work in a business organization. It helped me identify that the present business environment is highly competitive, and to sustain in the same, various capabilities and expertise areas are required. The overall study has given me a remarkable experience of leadership and managerial roles within a business enterprise.

Feelings:

During the study, I felt that I am aware of various leadership and management competencies, including team management, creative problem solving, and decision making. These competencies are required to emerge as competent professionals within the company.

Evaluation:

During the study, I evaluated myself and identified that I need changes and develop various skills that I lack. Apart from this, I have to follow some professional frameworks to abide by a company’s working culture.

Analysis:

I gained detailed knowledge regarding the module, and this will affect my future career and profession. Engaging with the module has brought a significant change in my personal and professional life as I got more aware regarding skill development and professional career enhancement.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, it can be said that I identified the need to address the potential gap that can hamper my further development and can adversely affect my career. Leadership competencies bring a change in the organization and result in goal attainment.

Action plan:

Therefore, to address the key developmental areas, I prepared an action plan.

Area Goal Action Timeline
Time management competency ·       Meeting deadlines ·       Prioritizing and delegating One  month
Communication skills ·       A clear flow of information ·       Listening skills

·       Interacting patiently, confidently, and with clarity

Two months

Conclusion

Hence, from the overall study, it can be articulated that Newsprinter is the company that is facing shrinkage in the industry and needs to deal with several issues. The report reveals the key issues as lack of leadership strategy and communication process. SWOT analysis and pestle analysis are used in writing to assess the strategic position of the company. Several recommendations are provided to deal with the examined issues, and reflection is also involved in evaluating the learnings during the module.

References

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