Academic Master

Business and Finance

Tech Group in the UAE

The organization

The chosen organization is Tech Group in the UAE. It is a construction related group of companies, having ten independent business units, under the holding of Group. Since it is related to construction and allied sectors, most prominent business units deal in Wood, Aluminum and Glass, Steel, Concrete ready mix, Concrete blocks and Piling. Given the nature of business, its staff mainly comprises of relevant engineers, finance professionals and huge labor. Finance professionals are mainly aimed at controlling the business and as a check over the operations team. The CEO of the group is a qualified Chartered Public Accountant of very young age.

The problem

While working in the Tech Group, I observed that finance department was given the long list of tasks to be performed on day to day basis. Besides the routine finance and accountancy roles, they are supposed to maintain a check on the operations team and immediately report any anomalies to the senior management. Although it may sound like an exciting role, in-fact, it is very consuming one especially given the fact that Finance is most underpaid department with highest of expectations. To make the things worse, finance department has highest employee turnover. A department which should have strong knowledge and technical skills, always has newbies in it, which is detrimental to organizational goals.

Issues with management

Since the CEO of the group is also having finance background, it is felt that he is always ignorant towards the operational issues of finance department. Competent employees leave the company in pursuit of better opportunities and overall performance is impaired. This turning a blind eye attitude of senior management is biggest hurdle in bettering the situation. Management is not empowering the most performance oriented department and there is a culture of blame-game.

Role of OD Consultants

I believe OD consultants can play a very positive role in improving the overall situation. The management needs to have an objective and independent view of the situation and it can be done beautifully by an OD consultant. According to the definition of OD, it is a planned and organization-wide effort which is managed from the top and is aimed at increasing the organization effectiveness. The main tool for this purpose is the planned interventions and utilizing behavioral-science knowledge.
If the management opens up to an OD consultant, the consultant will be getting to know about the requirements of organization and a gap analysis will be done. The management crisis is too grave to be ignored and it will be highlighted. Having an unbiased, objective and independent view shall be convincing for the management and there is a high probability that corrective actions shall follow.

The challenge for OD consultant

Following the action research, the OD consultant may face challenge on more than one milestones. The main challenge will be at the entry stage. Convincing the management on the problem is going to be nothing less than a herculean task because till now management has refused to accept the problem in their approach.
Contracting, data gathering and feedback will flow smoothly. However, the second major challenge will be at intervention stage. OD consultant will be facing extreme resistance from the HR department which has proven to be against any policies favoring the finance department. At the moment, HR department holds quite an influence and may see the incoming consultant as someone challenging their supremacy. After the completion of the whole process, the evaluations will be done smoothly.
During the whole process, the OD consultant will be faced with a number of challenges. The management at the business unit level will be showing some resistance towards a changing culture.



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