Organisation Development Strategy Yandex Management Essay

The following report conducts in-depth analyses into Yandex, its Organisation development policies, its culture, its people management practices and job satisfaction and motivation of employees. Firstly a description of Yandex as a company is given. Then the concept of OD is elaborated in context to Yandex with the help of Brown’s framework. This is followed by change interventions by Yandex and is further explained through the field theory. Further, change and its impacts on culture are evaluated. The report then evaluates employee motivation practices at Yandex. The report finally concludes with certain recommendations for Yandex.

Introduction:

Significance of Organisational development and Yandex:

Englehardt and Simmons in their study have found that today’s business world is fast paced, rapidly transforming and hypercompetitive. Such trends put businesses in constant pressure to focus on constant change and adopt practices to accommodate their strategic practices in order to take the best advantage of such trends (2002). Incidentally leaders should initiate constructive active action for such change so as to ensure profitability and a stable future. Importantly leaders should understand “need to anticipate, champion, and nurture purposeful change” (Fredericks, 2012 pp: 1). The concept of Organisational Development (OD) is concerned with change and implementation of purposeful planned change in Organisations. Organisation Development advocates that although change is an inevitable element in the life of an organisation, bringing about planned change helps to build organisational capability and achieve corporate sustainability (Cummings .T and Worley .C, 2008).

Thus in the case of Yandex which survives in an extremely competitive and rapidly changing environment OD and OD interventions can be used as a vital instrument and a support to Human Resource to help firms to foresee adapt and react to change thereby having a positive influence on organisational, group and individual performance and effectiveness (Rothwell .W, Stavros .J, Sullivan .R and Sullivan .A, 2009).

Background: Yandex Company profile

Yandex is a leading and popular search engine company that operates from Russia. In addition to this it also provides online shopping, pictures, videos, news and maps. It generates income from advertising. According to its financial release for the third quarter of 2012, its revenues were $235.2 million. One of its major competitors is Google. Launching its own web browser and occupying 60.6% market share for internet search in Russia are as few milestones achieved by Yandex (Bloomberg, 2012). Thus expanding its business and promoting innovation has been at the core of Yandex as a company. Yandex’s vision is to provide and enable its users quick and easy accessibility to a large amount of information online and to solve their queries (Yandex, 2012).

Brown’s 5 stages model for OD

Over the years there have been some transformations in the concept of OD. OD now plays an important role implementing organisational strategy, understanding corporate culture and aligning practices with organisational mission (Yaeger .T and Sorensen .P, 2009). As the scope of OD has broadened, the systematic framework for implementing planned change was developed by Brown which is an important tool for OD practitioners. It has the following five steps:

Stage 1: Anticipate need for change

Stage 2: Develop the Practitioner-Client relationship

Stage 3: The Diagnostic phase

Stage 4:

Action plans, strategies and techniques

Stage 5:

Self-renewal, monitor and stabilise

(Brown, 2011)

This systematic model presented by Brown gives a clear direction to OD practitioners to follow the given steps and thereby facilitate successful planned change in an organisation. According to this model the leader has to first foresee the necessity for introducing planned change. After this a relationship is established between the OD practitioner and the firm. The next stage which is an important aspect in this model is where the practitioner gathers required information and data. The information so collected helps him to frame plans, policies and interventions to initiate planned change. Lastly, these interventions are evaluated to ensure successful application of planned change (Brown, 2011).

Change and resistance to change: Interventions by Yandex

Organisations are forced to change due to internal and external pressures and though these changes are aimed for positive outcome, there is negative behaviour from employees in the form of resistance to change. Such behaviours are a barrier to bring about successful planned change (Boohene .R and Williams .A, 2012). Due such resistance by employees, there could be a difference of understanding among employees causing friction, disagreements thus causing low motivation towards co-operation with team members (Pieterse .J, Caniëls .M and Homan T, 2012). According to the research by Boohene .R and Williams .A, resistance to change can be attributed to the “tri-dimensional forces” which are affective force, behavioural force and cognitive force. However they also argue that such change if managed efficiently also could be beneficial for an organisation as it challenges and promotes a culture of learning organisation (2012). OD practitioners should build an efficient mechanism to enable leaders to manage such resistance to change which can be laid down in three steps: Creating a link between change implementation and organisational goals, free flow of communication, employee engagement (Cervone .H, 2011).

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Yandex on its part has been making efforts by introducing interventions to reduce resistance from its employees. There has been smooth communication between employees from not only within the department but also between employees of different departments. This is also stated as one of the principles of Yandex everyone is involved in anyone’s work (Latuha .M, 2010).

Theory by Kurt Lewin: Field Theory

Kurt Lewin has been dedicated in developing theories in the subject of introducing planned change in organisations. One of the theories developed by him was the Field Theory. According to this theory there are a series of factors or forces that affects group dynamics at the same time having an impact on the behaviours and attitudes of the individuals within such group. ‘Field’ here is synonym with the environment and the forces and any change is bound to have an impact on the group and individual behaviours (Mcgarry, D, Cashin, A, & Fowler, C 2012). Thus it is very essential for OD practitioners to be aware of such forces and be well informed about the group dynamics.

In the case of Yandex there is an environment where a team culture is encouraged. According to the CEO of the company, teamwork is one of the values of Yandex (Latuha .M, 2010). Although it is a strong culture but as per the field theory it is to be noted that leaders and managers should be well aware of group dynamics to determine individual behaviours which would be helpful in reducing resistance change.

Corporate culture: Yandex

According to Hofstede .G, organisational culture can be defined as the collective mindsets of employees of an organisation that is distinct from other organisations (2012). Culture as describe by Costanza .D, can be described in three levels:

Culture at Yandex is informal in nature. This is evident from the fact that people are not expected to dress in business suits but are rather seen in t-shirts with a logo of Yandex. This also signifies that employees feel a sense of belonging towards the organisation. Although there have been actions on the part of managers to increase a formal culture; the essence of the company culture i.e. “spirit of freedom” is still maintained (Latuha .M, 2010). Freedom of opinion leads to creativity and better decision making thus leading to higher efficiency at group and individual level (Hargie .O and Tourish .D, 2012). Importantly when employees are allowed to give their opinions, it helps to motivate them and gives them higher satisfaction (Frey .B and Osterloh .M, 2001). Another feature of the culture at Yandex is that there is no determination of clear authority in terms of decision making (Latuha .M, 2010). There should be a clear line of authority where orders are centralised. This becomes even more important when decision are to be taken quickly and to avoid delay there must be a clear authority (Ajami .R and Goddard .G, 2006). Moreover there is opportunity for employees to challenge decisions and discuss them further. This is an effective practice for Yandex but in long run where circumstances are rapidly changing leaders have to take quick decisions. As such a clear authority is very essential.

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Organisational Culture & Change:

According to the study conducted by Costanza .D, organisation culture and change are closely related. How successfully planned changed can be effected depends on the prevailing culture of the organisation. For the same Costanza .D carried out research and came up with the following steps to implement change successfully and with least resistance:

Identify the issue, challenge, opportunity, or problem

Identify change agents

Diagnosis

Goals

Implementation

Evaluation and feedback

The author further states that with the help of above stated steps OD practitioners can align the new policies and practices with the current culture. Also culture being a strong phenomena of the organisation, it is advisable to bring about change within the context of the culture (2012).

In Yandex, members are free to challenge their colleagues, questions decisions that are made and employees live in chaos. The result of this culture is innovation, creativity and brilliance. There is an inclusive atmosphere where each member contributes to the team and the organisation as a whole (Latuha .M, 2010). According to Levin .I and Gottlieb, a culture where members are included and informed about the change process, motivates them towards the change process (2009).

Change, Employee motivation & Job satisfaction

The following section is concerned with employee motivation and satisfaction in the process of change. To help in understanding it further Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is considered. With the help of this theory OD practitioners can develop programs to motivate their staff, retain them, develop quality talent and channelize their efforts to organisational performance (Urwiler .R and Frolick .M, 2008). It is the motivated staff that is on a continuous look out for challenging opportunities, improved methods and creative practices thus giving higher contribution to the organisation (Manzoor, Q 2012). This theory is depicted below:

These factors of needs could be internal as well as external sources.

In the case of Yandex, it has been following the Maslow’s need hierarchy theory quite well. Employees at Yandex are allowed to work 24 hours a day at their convenience. The company also provides recreational facilities like sports, food and pleasant working conditions within the company premises (Latuha .M, 2010). Thus all this satisfies employee’s physiological needs making employees motivated, high spirited productive (Sadri, G, & Bowen, R 2011). Employees at Yandex are given opportunities to excel in their professional careers. Challenging tasks are given to exceptional workers. All these practices satisfy their self-actualisation needs. Satisfying these needs compels and inspires employees to perform with excellence (Sadri, G, & Bowen, R 2011). Employees are given opportunity to progress to higher posts as Yandex follows internal recruiting at managerial level which fulfils the esteem needs of the employees. By satisfying the esteem needs employees are motivated to perform better in return for recognition (Montana ,P and Charnov .B, 2008).

Limits of knowledge:

A thorough evaluation of Yandex, its practices, its culture and employee management policies would require further information that is not available through articles and books. Such untold information is critical for an OD practitioner as change interventions would be based on this information. As illustrated in Brown’s framework, in the third stage OD practitioner collects data and necessary information thus helping him in the fourth stage to devise new plans and practices for the introducing planned organisation (Brown, 2011). This belief is also asserted by Dougal .J and Fisk .M, where they state that leaders and OD practitioners should have adequate information so as to facilitate change interventions and new plans and policies in the best interest of the organisation (2011). Hence in the case of Yandex, OD practitioner could undertake surveys through questionnaire. Such questionnaire could help to know employee behaviour and also their opinions. In addition such survey could be undertaken after the change interventions are implemented so as to know employee reaction to change.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

To summarize, Yandex is a company that is developing everyday due to its competitive nature of business and fast paced environment. Also it has a strong culture which influences individual behaviours and performances. Most of the interventions have so far proved to be successful. However in the long span it is essential for its leaders and OD practitioners to consider the following recommendations:

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There have cases of employee turnover specifically in the sales department. To overcome this there should be proper succession planning and talent management within the organisation as this would give better scope to the careers of the sales workforce. When the organisation takes an interest in developing careers of its employees, it enhances employee’s job satisfaction and creates a sense of loyalty (Osibanjo, O, Abiodun, J, & Kehinde, J, 2012).

There is culture at Yandex which is chaotic and lacks clarity. This has not given rise to any problems so far, but such an approach needs to be reconsidered. At the same it is necessary to maintain the essence of the company culture of freedom and challenge. Leaders should determine a clear relationship between authority and responsibility.

References

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