Leading and Managing Organizational Resources

Executive Summary

Technological innovation is important in today’s’ organizations due to a plethora of opportunities that the systems provide. More than before, businesses can be able to run several activities concurrently, without the need for huge workforce. The new technologies provide opportunities for management to monitor the employees, trace business performance, use data to make decisions, among others. Remaining alert of the changes, therefore, makes a business persist competitiveness in the diverse market. In line to that, the purpose of this report is to evaluate the implication of introducing new technology in leading and managing the Drax’s resources. The study was initiated after the management realized that the corporation was gradually losing the market share to its competitors in the fire alarm industry. To get a general overview of the performance of the company, the SWOT analysis was carried out, which showed that the company has opportunities to invest in integrated service that includes data gathering, analysis, and exploitation.

The implication of this introduction, therefore, was highlighted to affect the strategic decisions of the company and operations -leadership, operations management, HR, knowledge management, and information technology. The output of the study illustrated that the company lacks enough skills to propagate the new technology forward. It was also evident that the company pays the employees considerable low salaries compared to the market value, which threatened the development of innovation. However, Drax has a wealth of remote experts, who can be leveraged on to enhance growth. The significance of this research is to establish the acceptability of the new technologies by the different departments in the company, hence segment the appropriate way to make it sail through.

Introduction

Technology is changing at a very rapid rate, contributed to by the increased demands to make the lives of the individual easy. One of the areas that have witnessed the innovations is the security sector, and especially the fire alarms (Bergquist et al., n.d). Companies offering security services automate the data of the fire alarms installed in the premises of their customers, to get an alert in case a fire breaks. Among the modern technologies perceived to bring about change are the internet of things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. All the systems provide a real-time response, and connects the provider to the end user, hence allowing the proper exchange of information. Drax, which is the main company of consideration, can adopt the technologies, to compete favorably well with new entrants, which are providing better and easy to manage systems.

The purpose of this research, therefore, is to evaluate the implication of emerging technologies in leading and managing the organization resource. According to Hahn et al. (2014), disruptive technology is quick to halt the operations of an organization, if the management fails to respond by appropriate counter-measures. They can either opt to adopt a more complex strategy or conform to what the competitors use to retain a significant market share.  Taking into consideration of Drax, the company trades in an industry that has been traditionally adamant to use modern technologies. The company’s products- hardware/ software reselling and panel installation, have been performing well for the past five years based on the old platform. However, the company lost market share, thus dropping its leading position. The main cause of this was perpetrated by the failure to analyze the market, and conform to modern technologies, which assisted the rivals in the same industry to command the market. This study is important because it will illustrate the consequences and the requirements needed to adopt the new technologies, in regards to the leadership, human resource, operations, among others.

The structure of the report will follow the following format. One is company and industry background, implications of new technologies for Drax, which includes, strategic implication, operational implication, leadership, and human resource, knowledge management, and information technology. Conclusion will then follow, and the paper finalizes by giving appropriate recommendations.

Analysis Section

Company and Industry Background

Drax (UK) services is an independent company that offers a stream of security services and capitalize on fire alarm maintenance, fire risk assessment, fire alarm systems, and specialist in life safety. The company has been of help to organizations needing these services. Among them includes manufacturing, healthcare, government, commercial, among others. With the sole mission of providing quality safety to its customers, the company has been cognizant of the changes happening in the fire alarm industry, which compels the management to seek to integrate the new technologies in serving the customers better. The board members who comprise of the CEO and the non-executive directors have one chief role- ensuring the company’s strategy is aligned with the goals and objectives while taking into consideration of the disruptive technologies in the fire alarm industry.

Advances in technology are unforeseen, and that makes it difficult for less innovative companies in the security industry to survive in the market(Liu,2003). The UK, being one of the developed states, has a huge base of technical knowledge in the technology sector, and the same is translated to companies that operate within the country. The unprecedented rate of growth of technologies is converging and transforming the security industry, due to the proper exchange of data from end to end users. One of the emerging technologies is the internet of things(IoT). It is the interconnection of multiple computerized devices that helps them to send and receive data (Sezer et al.,2018). The prime technology in this arena is Network Video Recording (NVR) that enables the intertwined cameras stationed in different places to be viewed via a connected device, such as a smartphone thus monitor any security compromise. Also, artificial intelligence has grown to a level that it’s used as a game changer in the security sector. An example is in the sensor fusion, where a defined technology helps in debunking the images, to help in the identification process (Sezer et al.,2018). Other emerging technologies in the security industry in the UK includes machine learning, autonomous drones, and computer vision, etc.

The above technologies are important unique and differentiating elements that Drax can employ to restore its market share. This is because there is no company, in the line of alarm fire security that provides an integrated service that includes data gathering, analysis, and exploitation. Hence, a SWOT analysis will give the suitability of the company towards adopting the changes of remaining relevant to the competitive market.

Strengths The company has experts in compliance. Therefore, introducing new services wouldn’t require outsourcing of the labor, which would save the company on operation cost.The company has a better understanding of its customers. This would enable the management to establish which service is more sought and implement the same procedurally.The company works closely with FIA. Hence the issues of regulations and policies would not appear as a hurdle. Opportunities No company in the alarm security industry is offering an integrated service that includes data gathering, analysis, and exploitation. This gives Drax a competitive edge over the new entrants.The company operates with several remote experts, e.g. service and maintenance engineers, who can be used to check over the systems in different locations. Thus, it would be easy to manage and implement new technologies.
Weaknesses Lack of skilled labor. The company lacks innovative in house employees, to help it grow to the next level.The company struggles with HR services, which includes selection, training, and development. The company cannot afford to pay attractive salaries to its employees.Much of T&D that is needed is not openly available Threats New entrants in the sector of panel manufacturing which provides better pricing than Drax. This would cause the company to lose some of the loyal customers to the competitor.New technologies come along with the problem of safeguarding the huge data. Cyber insecurity could compromise the data collected from different devices.The company relies on external academics to gain access to leading knowledge in the new technologies, thus threatening the confidentiality of the company’s most valued data.

The company’s intention to make changes as described by the word ambidexterity. In regards to the Drax, it encompasses the possibility of alignment of flexibility and efficiency in the operations (Oginni & Adesanya,2013). The company is prepared for changes; hence, being flexible is not a limiting factor. By choosing to integrate new technologies is an approach towards improving enhancing efficiency. The other one is radical versus incremental innovation management. The company is working towards employing the services of the qualified professional in the arena of new technologies to hasten the development process.

Implications of emerging technologies for Drax

Strategic implications

According to Sezer et al. (2018), emerging technologies come along with impacts on the internal and external environment of the business. Such, it cannot be implemented without taking into consideration all the playing factors, and optimally engaging the employees who are directly affected by the changes. The new technologies would have strategic implications, in the sense that the plan and goals of the organization would have to be aligned with the newfound innovative technology. In the same vein, more roles in corporate governance, in the area of technology would be introduced, to manage the challenges and identify areas that would need improvement. According to Callaway et al. (2002), the source of finances to fund any innovative technology is the paramount thing to consider. It is an expensive venture, and if the company’s resources are not enough, the process could drain the organization, thus halting other operations. In regards to this, Drax has strong funding from Innovate UK funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The consequence of successful innovation would enable the company to give the clients real-time security checks. Hence more customer would seek their service.

Operations implications

Leadership

Drax currently operates on situational leadership. According to Yukl & Van Fleet (1990), situational leadership is a model whereby the leaders have to adjust the style of management, to fit the levels of the people being led. The model is significantly devoid of creativity and innovativeness. In the same vein, it is rigid to change, and the workers have no authority to initiate anything of their own. John (2020) is of the idea that ideas that propel a business forward emanate from an environment that is less bureaucratic. In this regards, Drax is failing to leverage the skills of the junior workers, which is the major problem facing the company as at now. Since the company wants to introduce new technologies, the current model of leadership wouldn’t work. This is because more creativity is needed in the implementation and also in long term sustainability of the intelligence dashboard.

The chief reason for Drax to change the current situational form of leadership is also contributed to by the division in the company. The two segments- Drax technology and Drax services seem not to conform in the mission of creativity and innovations. For example, Drax services division has no leader, the employees have no pressing workloads, the working environment is not supportive of change and they are resistant to innovation. This is not the nature of the work in the 21st century, hence the need to completely have an overhaul here. On the other hand, Drax technology division is supportive of new technology. The competitive edge of Drax can only be achieved if the two divisions work together to take the company forward with the new technologies.

To establish an appropriate leadership style, it is paramount to consider different leadership styles. Relational leadership argues that effective leadership is the one that seeks to create a positive working relationship within the organization (Cable and Judge,2002). The workers should not feel threatened, and their issues are addressed in the right manner. Transformational leadership is where the leader works in unison with other employees, to steer the company forward in realizing its dreams (Cable and Judge,2002). Since the company is at a stage of exploring the innovation opportunities, transformational leadership fits the situation. The model will encourage the employees in both divisions to embrace innovation, which is lacking in situational leadership.

Operations Management

Drax is relatively left behind in terms of changes happening in the alarm security industry. Losing market shares to the competitors forced the management to look for ways to restore their lead role. In the process of analysis, it was discovered that the business uses an old platform to sell its services, and reintroducing new service was observed as the only option to sustain in the market. The first and immediate action that was adopted was to seek funding and outsource the experts in the different field of technology (AI, Machine learning, IoT) to help the company migrate gradually while equipping the internal employees with the expertize to manage the systems in the future. Drax needs to take more care with the way the internal data is handled and augment the security of the customers’ information.

Human Resource

Building a successful business calls for putting the interest of people first. These include the employees and other stakeholders, who are key to the implementation of the vision and goals of the company (Oliver and Kandadi,2006). To come up with a productive team, the human resources department needs to be selective in hiring, conduct extensive training, pay decent salaries to the workers to improve their working morale among others (Lee and Cole,2003). Introducing new technologies would help the human resource manager at Drax, to successfully monitor the performance of employees and understand the areas where the workers need reskilling.

As a way to sustainably manage the knowledge of the new technology, Drax has involved scholars in this field, to work within the organization. Such, the internal employees are trained on how to use the systems, hence equipping the company to rely on its human capital in the future. The firm needs to do further research on fire safety and compliance issues. In the same vein, it is essential to note that the technology skills have completely changed over time. Drax relies on old models of technological skills, which are becoming obsolete in the 21st century. Therefore, IT experts in the company need to gain abilities in 21C skills, 4IR, AI/ML Internet of Everything; and Data Analytics.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is a set of information that is used to run an organization (Blomkvist,2012). The ability of a business to grow is based on how well the internal employees can propagate the new knowledge forward. This is enhanced through continued dialogue among the different departments within the organization. In the case of Drax, the current knowledge pool in the line of new technologies is less. The company, has been operating on an old platform, lacks enough expertise to steer the innovations and creativity forward. The highest percentage of the workers lack technical knowledge in the emerging technologies, which is a point of consideration before seeking to integrate internet of things, machine learning, data analysis systems, among others.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was established to enable DRAX to undertake the innovation it desired. The company needs to engage more internal workers to learn from the contracted experts, to retain the skills in emerging technologies. Likewise, compliance is another huge issue in the UK. Since the company is implementing technologies that have not been employed by any other fire alarm company, the need to seek approval from the relevant authorities is obligatory, avoiding violation of the precepts of the land.

 Information Technology

Drax wished to introduce an integrated system service that includes data gathering, analysis, and exploitation. Use of technologies such as internet of things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have a high potential of collecting huge data, that can enhance the security of the customers in the fire alarm industry (Sezer et al.,2018). The investment is capital and labor incentive, considering that the company presently lacks appropriate skills, to steer the innovation forward. However, this transition is needed, because it is the only way to remain relevant in the market of the fire alarm industry, which is continually disrupted by the emerging technologies. Since there is no other company offering such a system, Drax stands a chance to command the market in the arena, before others follow suit.

The change is projected to help the company regain the market shares it lost to its competitors. According to Liu (2003), the only way to remain relevant in any market is to innovate new products that solve the challenges of the customers.  Overall, the new technology will impact the entire fire alarm industry in the sense that less time would be required to cover the security issues in wide geographic regions. Also, the preciseness of data as it’s being relayed real time would avert any criminal activity. Thus, the system will have solved the major issue of security in the UK.

Conclusion

The main aim of this report was to evaluate the implications of introducing new technologies in the operations of Drax. The motive of conducting the analysis was necessitated by the fact that the company lost much of its market shares to the rival companies in the same market, thus losing the lead in the fire alarm security industry. As an independent company with the sole mandate of providing quality services, the company was running on an old platform. As a way to restructure its services by incorporating technologies such as machine learning, internet of things, among others, the innovative transformation affects the entire company.

The report illustrates that strategic implication touches the goals and objectives of the company since the introduction of new services would force the management to review its mandate. Also, the leadership style had to be evaluated to move from situational to a more engaging leadership that promotes innovativeness and creativity, like transformational and relational. Also, operations management takes into consideration of the issues such as the aspect of increasing the number of workers and added roles. Likewise, the new technology would affect the recruitment, training, job roles, among others. Therefore, remaining abreast with the 21st-century skills necessitates the company to conduct more research and have a pool of internal experts for future and progressive maintenance of the new technologies. Doing so comes with an added cost in financing the skills, installation of systems, and continued and regular checks of the functionality. Drax has the highest chance to command in the market of the fire alarm industry if the proper implementation of the new technologies is executed in the required manner- enhancing compliance and protection of the customers’ information.

Recommendations

Based on the evaluation of the internal system of the Drax, and the nature of the technology they wish to incorporate, the following recommendations are forward to the management to enhance growth. One, the company should seek to train its own IT department on the new technologies. This would mean either allowing the professionals to go back to school and learn how to use and manage the systems. Since it would take long to learn the new skills, the company could choose to do internal training, by recruiting external trainers. This is helpful since the employees would still perform their duties, and only show up for training at a particular time.

Second, Drax should consider paying the employees well, to motivate their innovativeness. Although it would cost the company extra funds to increase the salaries, the strategy is aimed at heightening individual’s productivity. Happy employees tend to take the company as their own and even prompt creativity. Withal, the management should consider amplifying its security for online data. With the increased cases of cyber insecurity, the issue of protecting the information of the company and customers is pertinent. Such, it will mitigate the chances of intrusion, limiting the halt of the processes. Effective change of management and cultural transformations would effectively propel Drax forward.

Moreover, a complete revamp is needed in the two divisions- Drax technology and Drax services. The data indicates that the two segments do not work in unison, which is a big threat to innovation and creativity. This can be done by electing a leader, who would steer the two divisions and ensure that every employee is supportive of the new changes. Withal, the company should deliberate abolishing the remote experts, and have all of them operating within the premise. This way, it is possible to account of the performance of every individual and eliminate the chances of absconding assignments.

References

Hahn, F., Jensen, S., & Tanev, S. (2014). Disruptive Innovation vs. Disruptive Technology: The Disruptive Potential of the Value Propositions of 3D Printing Technology Startups. Technology Innovation Management Review4(12), 27-36.

Bergquist, T., Ahnlund, J., & Larsson, J. (n.d.). Alarm reduction in industrial process control. EFTA 2003. 2003 IEEE Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation. Proceedings (Cat. No.03TH8696). doi:10.1109/etfa.2003.1248670

Blomkvist, K. (2012). Knowledge management in MNCs: the importance of subsidiary transfer performance. Journal of Knowledge Management16(6), 904-918.

Callaway, E., Gorday, P., Hester, L., Gutierrez, J., Naeve, M., Heile, B. and Bahl, V. (2002): Home networking with IEEE 802.15.4: a developing standard for low-rate wireless personal area networks, Communications Magazine, IEEE, Vol. 40, No. 8, pp. 70-77.

Cable, D.M, and Judge A.T (2002). Managers’ upward influence tactic strategies: the role of manager personality and supervisor leadership style. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24 (2 )197-214.

Husain, Z., & Sushil, N. (1997). Strategic management of technology – a glimpse of literature. International Journal of Technology Management14(5), 539.

Lee, G.K., and Cole R.E (2003). From a firm-based to a community-based model of knowledge creation: The case of the Linux Kernel development. Organization Science: A Journal of the Institute of Management Sciences 14(6): 633.

Liu, Z. (2003). Review of Recent Developments in Fire Detection Technologies. Journal of Fire Protection Engineering13(2), 129-151.

Oginni, B. O., & Adesanya, A. S. (2013). Business Environmental Factors: Implications on the Survival and Growth of Business Organisations in the Manufacturing Sector of Lagos Metropolis. Business and Management Research2(3).

Oliver, S., and Kandadi,K.R.(2006). How to develop knowledge culture in organizations? A multiple case study of large distributed organizations. Journal of Knowledge Management 10(4): 6–24.

Sezer, O. B., Dogdu, E., & Ozbayoglu, A. M. (2018). Context-Aware Computing, Learning, and Big Data in Internet of Things: A Survey. IEEE Internet of Things Journal5(1), 1-27. 

Yukl, G. & Van Fleet, D.D. (1990). Theory and research on leadership in organizations. In M.D. Dunnette & L.M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial & organizational psychology, Second Edition, Volume 3, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

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