EAST AFRICAN SEED COMPANY LIMITED.
East African Seed Company started in 1972 and has steadily grown to become the leading seed company within the East and Central African Regions. It started in Nairobi, Kenya. From 1995 EASEED started spreading wings all over East Africa and got branches in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda.
EASEED deal with two types of seeds, which are;
OPV’S (Open Pollinated Seeds)
Hybrids Formila 1 (F1)
They have a large variety of vagetable seeds but their fast moving products are the Watermelon, Maize, Swisschard, Cabbage, Tomato and Onion seeds.
Agriscope (Africa) Limited is the Agro-chemicals division of EASEED created to provideplant protection services to the farmers. They started by distributing a wide range of Agro-Chemicals of multinational manufacturers, through a well established network of distributors.
This company also deals with Tools and Spares that can be used by farmers, fro example; The spray pumps, Wheel Barrows, Gloves, Gum Boots and many more so that it can be the one stop shop for all the farmers. They also supply agrovets in other towns so that all the farmers can reach their products easily. For example; Limuru, Thika, Naivasha, Nakuru.
Although EASEED has branches in all the countries of East Africa , Their biggest competitor is the Kenya Seed Company (Simlaw seeds) which is based only in Kenya but it is performing well in the market.
A stakeholder is an individual or a group or an organisation that is interested in the performance of an organization. The first step of a stakeholder analysis is to identify the key stakeholders i.e. those who are affected by the outcome, negatively or positively, or those who can affect the outome of a proposed intervention. For EASEED to identify their stakeholders they organisation will have to ask itself;
Who are the people/groups/institutions that are interested in the intended initiative?
What is their role?
Who are the potential beneficiaries?
Who might be adversely impacted?
Who has the constraints about the initiative?
Who may impact the initiative?
Who has the power to influence?
Stakeholder identification can be done through;
Brainstorming – The Company will have to get together with the people in the organisation, officials, and others already involved in or informed about the effort and start calling out categories and names. The more people and possible stakeholders are involved in the brainstorming, the less likely it will be to miss important stakeholder groups.
Stakeholder lists/Register – The organisation should collect categories and names from informants in the community particularly members of a population or residents of a geographic area of concern.
The company should consult with organisations that either are or have been involved in similar efforts, or that work with the population in the area of concern, this would be quicker for the organisation to identify its stakeholders.
The company should get more ideas from the stakeholders identified.
If necessary, the organisation should advertise, this can be done through the use of media, through various community service arrangements, community and organisational newsletters, , social media, targeted emails, announcement by leaders of the company at meetings and religious gatherings and also through the use of word of mouth to get the word out.
B. Critically analyse the organisation’s key stakeholder groups on the basis of their respective power or interest in relationship to the change project. You must reference to appropriate tools and theory.
Owners – Owners have a financial stake in the organisation. In return for their investment in the organisation, there is an expectation that they will receivea financial return on that investment. The owners have a very high interest in the change project because they may be at a higher risk since they are the investors in the organisaton. In any circmstances they may see that the project is being a loss for the organisation they have the highest power to dismiss the project. They may also be interested in higher returns after the implementation of the change project carried out.
Employees – The employees exchange their skills for job security, a fair wage and promised benefits for their labour and meaningful work. They influence the success of an organisation by their productivity and efficiency.
The employees are interested to have better benefits and higher wages after the change project has been carried out successfully. They’ll be highly interested in job security since none of them would want to lose their jobs. They have the power to resist change if they see that the new management would be rigid.
Managers – The managers influence a busniess everyday by the decision they make. During the change process the manager may decide what products and services to offer and who to hire or fire. During the ongoing change project managers also have the power to implement the company policy and formulate strategy which will affect the running and profit-making ability of a business.
The managers have the same stake with that of the employees but in exchange they are tasked with balancing the needs of competing stakeholders to protect the long-term health of the organisation. The managers have the power to control and lead the employees in the organisation. Their main interest would be to put the organisation into a better position by implementing the change project.
Suppliers – The suppliers can decide whether to raise prices for orders which can obviously affect a firm’s profits. A supplier could also affect the production/sales of the company i.e. if orders do not arrive on time then the finished goods will not be able to be manufactured. Suppliers may reduce the credit terms which may affect the cash flow of the company because the supplier is not sure if the company will be able to pay its debts on time during the change process.
Customers – The customers hold a very big value in an organisation, they can influence a business by deciding to continue to purchase goods and services from the company. During the change project the cutomer would expect high quality services and products from the organisation and if the organisation fails to do that then the cutomers can chose to take their custom elsewhere.
Local Community – For the organisation to survive the local community would be a very important factor, they can influence a business by petitioning against building or planning permissions for new developments.
Prepare a detailed ‘force field analysis’ relating to your change project. Discuss how the ‘restraining forces’ identified in the analysis might be overome.
Force Field Analysis was developed by Lewin in 1951. He originally used it in his work as a social psychologist. The reason behind the force field analysis is that circumstances/situations are maintained by an equilbrium between the forces that drive change and others that resist change. For change to take place the driving forces must be streghthened or the resisiting forces must be weakened.
East African Seed Company wants to change their organisational structure, from a tall structure to a flat structure.
This is because a flat structure would facilitate a greater level of communication between the employees and management. Flat structures are more democratic and offer a greater level of innovation. Comuncation is very quick, reliable and effective as compared to tall structures. Decision making is faster, unlike in tall organisation the employee would need an approval from the supervisor who then needs approval from the manager. The staff has more power to make a decision immediately and there is less bureaucracy. This structure would help the company in perfomance, production and also profitability, since the employees are more responsible for operations, they take more pride in the companys’ success. Less upper management will lead to a decrease in employee expense and increase in profits.
On the other hand whereby the employees will resist this changeis because;
The management of the organisation can easily lose control when there are less people to put a brake to bad behaviours and fewer individuals to support or back them up on the decisions taken. It can also create power struggle in the organisation. This will be observed when the owner or the CEO of the company is not around, this would create confusion and possibly power struggles among management employees.
It can also result to role confusion. One individual will be carrying out many tasks and this would be difficult for the workers to focus on their tasks and specialize at their job. It may also lead to less motivation to employees; it will make it harder for the employees to move up the ladder as there is very little room. This change may also hinder growth, as the management will find new oppurtunities in an effort to maintain the structure which as a result, can limit the long-term growth of the organisation.
Forces against change
Forces for change
Changing the organisational structure from tall to flat
Greater level of communication
Total – 11
Total – 10
The company is now able to determine on what decision to make, whether they will implement the change or not. If East African Seed will want the change then they shall have to strengthen the supportive forces (driving forces) and resist the restraining forces, to make the change successful.
If the company decides to implement the change project then they shall have to make some initial changes to make the project a success. This maybe;
The managers will have to motivate the employees for them to give their best, this can be done through promorion, rewards and bonuses. They shall also have to be supportive to the employees and make sure that tasks are carried out well. They shall have to bring in Just in time theory for less wastages and expenses.
B.Prepare a detailed stakeholder engagement plan supporting the change poject
A stakeholder engagement plan is a process used by companies to engage relevant stakeholders for a purpose to achieve an accepted outcome. This is used to achieve an organisational objective or project. East African Seed Company will have to take the following steps for them to support their change project and make it success;
The company will have to encourage ideas and views from all employees whether juniors or seniors within the organisation. The before seniors have to be now conceptive to ideas from before juniors. The previous culture of instructions being given by seniors will no longer be applicable as everyone will be working at the same level in a flat structure.
Teamwork should now be a strong point of the organisation as position wouldn’t matter at this stage because the juniors and the seniors will be working together in the day to day running of the business. This will enhance good working relations between all employees. All staff would now take ownership of their jobs and hence be more responsible.
The organisation will need to have active consultation. Permission would no longer be required as all memebers of staff would be working at the same level. Assistance and advice can be sought faster and more easily as everyone can now freely interact with the person who is most knowledgeable without having to go through several levels of the before tall structure. Consultation can be sought from legal and professional accounting and audit firms and everyone can be benefit from the training.
The managers will have to share the information openly and clearly for the stakeholders to know how the project may affect the company and how it is affecting the company, whether it is positive or negative. This stage is very beneficial for E.A.SEED because communication will be easier in a flat structure and it’s quicker.
The company will have to persuade it’s stakeholders by active sales promotion and marketing to our customers and suppliers of the move to a flat structure.
The organisation will later have to defend its position by asking itself questions frequently with strong arguments to defend. They shall have to know whether the position they are currently in is suitalble or not. Employees should be able to defend the organisations position in case they are asked any questions.
The organisation needs to be in a position to suppress any reports that contradicts its position. Employees should focus more on what is their strong hold position by gathering information and reduce their weaknesses to achieve the organisations objectives.
It is important that the engagement plan is reviewed after implementation to ensure it is effective. Evaluate different methods that can be used to ensure its effectiveness.
East African Company has to ensure that the engagement plan is reviewed after implementation. There are a number of methods that can be used to check how effective the plan is, these methods are;
Click through rates
This is one of the best ways to get information from the stakeholders. The company may carry out a survey on how the engagement plan was taken by the employees and what impact has it made in the organisation, Also the impact that it has made in the organisation is it positive or negative?
This is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a concept, service or product. The company needs to make a group of individuals, consisting atleast of each employee from each department and question if the stakeholder engagement plan has been effective to the organisation and also their opinons towards this change project.
The managers need to carry out this method very well so that they are able to understand how the plan has worked on. Through this technique the managers will be able to know whether the employees are working towards the desired plan and obejectives.
For the company to know whether the plan was effective or not then they need to have responses from its stakeholders. Monitoring the response rate to a survey will enable the company to know whether the project is well received by the stakeholders.
Click through rates
Stakeholder engagement can also be monitored through an online website whereby the stakeholders would vote on how the change has taken the organisation. If it’s positive then they shall have positive answers or positive votes and vice versa. This is measured in quantitative terms.
Evaluate different stakeholder communication methods for dealing with potential resistance to the proposed change project.
Clayton (2014) identified the following communcation techniques;
The stakeholders need to be informed if any changes occur in the change project. The stakeholders need to know what the change project will bring to the organisation. The company will have to inform all the stakeholders who are a part of the organisation, mainly the suppliers, customers and the employees as they are engaged in the day to day running of the business. The shareholders need to be informed about the costing it may take to evaluate the project.
The company needs to engage it’s stakeholders in all the activities carried out in the business. They need to be a part of those activities so they are ready to face any resistant force to change. The stakeholders need feedback on the change project on how well it is working out.
East African seed will have to involve it’s stakeholders for them to achieve the change project successfully. This is very important because the stakeholders shouldn’t feel left out in any of the decisions made by the organisation towards the change project. If the company fails to involve the stakeholders then this may become a barrier as all the employees will be at the same level.
The company may also have to involve the shareholders during decision making as they are the investors of the organisation.
The employees will have to work together (Team working) to achieve the organisations desired objectives, in this method only the fewer stakeholders are involved because they will be the one who will be able to determine whether the change project will be effective or not.
The company may have to partner with other alliances for them to achieve and have support through the change project.
Evaluate the different negotiation techniques that can be used to eliminate this conflict. Use appropriate tools and theory and examples to support your answer.
Negotiaiton – It is a discussion process aimed at reaching an agreement.
It is a soft conflict in some ways, rather than pushing both the parties they need to sit down and find a beneficial solution to overcome the problem. For both parties to negotiate it is very important for one to have great interpersonal skills, these are;
Effective communication skills.
Managing difficult situations.
Decision making and assertiveness.
Clayton (2014) identified four steps to the negotiation process:
The first stage in a negotiation process relates to planning and preparation. In this stage both the parties decide what they want, what their minimum expectations are, how much they will yield and how they will go about the negotiation.
This is the second stage in the negotiation process. This is whereby both the parties come to the negotiating table and meet each other. Opening has two steps;
Rapport building is the process of getting to know each other while probing is whereby both the parties would like to know about each other by askingopen ended questions, they get to know the needs and expectations of one another.
This is the stage where both the parties will sit and talk it out. They state their position and put forth the supporting argument. When both the parties are tough negotiators it becomes more difficult and challenging, progress becomes slow and it may become necessary to take a break and get back after a gap. Oftenly there’s a disagreement when this happens. Complex negotiations may take time and the pace can not ne forced.
In this case both the parties will have to sit and write their veiws down on why one is resisting change. For employees they would not want the change because of job security, they may feel that they would lose their job. The managers will have to sit down with the employees and explain them what they want and also listen to what the employees want.
After completing all the bargaining, the negotiating parties will come to a settlement or agreement. The final decision agreed is documented and the agreement gets signed.
Clayton also identified the escalation of conflict, Below is the figure
Ignore the issue
A quite chat
Talking and listening