opportunity and facilitated the development of transferable skills. The commercial environment is one where there is constant change; the macro environment can move at a very fast pace, and the way a firm responds can be the difference between success and failure. The course provided a very useful insight into the way that firm can be examined in the context of its environment, with practical application of theory with a .
The first module provided a great deal of knowledge with the need to look at different organizational diagnostic models. The process required more than simply glancing at several different options, it was necessary to examine the differing models in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each model and decide which may be the best to use to examine an organization. The study f the different models enhanced knowledge and understanding of the way in which different elements of the internal and external environment may fit together. The models were all different, but an analysis started to reveal some common elements, highlighting the way in which some models had a narrower focus, whereas others had a broader more holistic approach. The assessment of the models aided with analysis skills, as it was necessary to compare and contrast the different elements, and then present the models in terms of their advantages and the challenges or weaknesses. This could only be achieved after reading and examining the models and to compare the options.
The application of the congruence model to Whole Foods Market was extremely beneficial in increasing the understanding of the model and developing personal research and analytical skills. To apply the model it was necessary to of the firm and identify the different elements associated with the influences on the firm and the way in which inputs, throughputs, and outputs at the different levels. The gathering of the relevant information from a number of different sources, including the firm with publications such as the annual financial and stakeholders reports and the firms own web site which gives details of issues such as the are managed and employees are looked after. However, it was also important to gather information from other sources to ensure there was balance; looking at sources such as news articles to assess the firms overall performance, which helped to identify some of the areas of weakness of the firm that was not so apparent in the firms own public information.
The application of the OD model also aided with time management and organizational skills, as it took time and effort not only to find useful data that could be used, but to organize the information so that it could be used in a cohesive manner. The categorization of the information was essential for an effective analysis as one stage of the model would lead to the next, the inputs to the throughputs, and the throughputs to the outputs, so that a cohesive picture of the organization could be created to determine the level of congruence.
It is by examining the way all the elements fit together that the firms’ strategy as a whole and specific elements could be considered in the context of the organizational goals. The basis of the assessment as well as the existing knowledge of issues associated with strategy, such as the development and the maintenance of competitive advantages, and issues regarding markets and strategies studied in past courses and modules.
It is only when the firm it understand and the current position is appreciated with the strengths and the weaknesses, such as the level of alignment of practices with congruence, that strategies can be developed to improve the position of the firm. Whole Foods Market demonstrated a high level of congruence, which helped to explain the firms overall success, and the results, such as the higher revenue per employee of the firm when compared to other organizations in the same industry. However, the firm also had some weaknesses, which were much easer to identify with the application of the congruence model, and such easier to address with the suggestion of new strategies. This supported and as well as providing for new knowledge.
The way organizations adapt is important, and with the examining of the organization there was also the ability to apply the concept of feedback loops to assess how the organizational; processes facilitated or restrained change. The concept of feedback loops increased knowledge and understanding of the way in which organic and managed change may occur; both positive and negative. The analysis of the firm also provides a strong basis for examining the different types of reinforcing and balancing loops. The application of putting theory into practice increased the understanding of organizational dynamics and the way that any changes suggested may be implemented and the influences; such as facing challenges from balancing loops preventing change, or supported by reinforcing loops.
The overall value and benefit of the course was in the way skills were de eloped based on a solid foundation of knowledge, with the practice leading to the development of transferable skills which will be very useful in a future career, with the enhanced ability to analyze changing real world scenarios and look at the way in which different influence may impact on complex issues, and developing the practical as well as the intellectual skills needed to succeed.