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Mott MacDonald

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 4158 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This report is situated in the field Management Sciences in general and study of Business strategy in specific, which is broadly the study of the behavior of business plans to achieve its business objectives. A case study on Mott MacDonald about creating strategic direction. a consultancy company is taken as model in order to observe, analyze and understand the overall business strategy of the company. This case study focuses on how Mott MacDonald stands out in its competitive environment by using the skills and knowledge of its people to achieve its business purpose.(case study 1)

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Human resource factors are a major determinant of organizational performance and make an enormous difference to the competitiveness of the organization. Specifically, this report will focus on studying the different aspects of organizational behavior such as leadership styles, source of organization’s culture and motivation as a key element, team spirit and people management. This repot will also look at the impact of the leadership styles, the cultural values and motivational strategies adopted on the performance of the company. Finally the behavior of the individual and company as whole will show what factors has led company to grow effectively or vice versa.

In This report first chapter will begin with a brief introduction and history of the model company. Second chapter will examine different topics of organizational behavior in the model company. Examined topics will be measured in the light of relative theories and analysis will be made.

Chapter 1:

introduction/history of Mott MacDonald

For our customers. We use our world-wide resources and experience to Plan, design, procure and deliver projects on any scale Provide management consultancy built on technical Report has a close Analysis of the company on its different areas of business strategy. Before analyzing the different strategies, it is better idea to have a concise and brief introduction of the company in order to have a better picture when it is analyzed.

The Mott MacDonald Group is a management, engineering and development consultancy serving the public and private sectors world-wide. Mott MacDonald’s £1 Billion business spans 120 countries with 14,500 staff working in all sectors from transport, energy, buildings, water and the environment to health and education, industry and communications.

Our breadth of skills, services and global reach makes us one of the world’s top players in delivering management, engineering and development consultancy solutions know-how Help shape and implement development policies and programmes(web1)

The Mott MacDonald Group was formed in 1989 when two consultancy businesses merged. In 2007 Mott MacDonald bought an educational consultancy in Romania, an environmental firm in the Netherlands and a power engineering company in the USA to help strengthen its core market sectors in these countries.(case study2)

These include transport, energy, buildings, water, the environment, health, education and communications. Every project requires a different set of skills from Mott MacDonald’s experts. Its projects address the challenges of environmental issues, such as flood protection or management of waste. It plans, manages and delivers projects to help its customers find more sustainable solutions. Mott MacDonald’s customers are in both the public sector and the private sector. In the public sector, it works with organisations to provide services for central and local government. In the private sector, Mott MacDonald provides consultancy for private businesses.. Mott MacDonald consultants advise on many aspects. For example, planning and design, quantity surveying, procurement advice and project management. (case study 3)

A brief and concise introduction has depicted the scale of the business. There is no doubt that such a sensitive business increases the responsibility factor to the very high level. This is also admitted in the case study as, “making sure that government, business and households have secure supplies of energy is a huge commitment. Engineers working for the energy supply companies must make sure that this commitment is met 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”(RWE npower case study, 1)

Chapter 2:

Analyzing the different areas of organizational behavior

This chapter will examine different topics of organizational behavior in the model company, RWE n power.

2.1: Leadership style of the n power

Leadership style of the n power is crystal clear. It has adopted transformational leadership style. This approach encourages employees to develop vision, trust, pride and respect. It inspires and sets high expectations, Promotes intelligence, leads to creative problem solving, Gives personal attention and considers individuals coaches. The important factor in this approach is that decision making power is transformed from top level to bottom which provide feeling of ownership to the individuals.

This leadership style was first introduced by James Macgregor burns (1978). According to Burns, transformational leadership is a process in which “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation”.

RWE npower believes to develop the trust, respect and creativity amongst their employees that is why it seems to practice transformational style of leadership; this can be justified from the following extracts from the case study

It is stated that, “they (employees) are encouraged to think for themselves….” (RWE npower case study, 2). Furthermore written as “it also provides a huge economic contribution managing risk through effective team based decision” (RWE npower case study, 3). “it is not only the top level manager that make important commercial decisions…..a decision made by graduate engineer saved the company millions of pound” (RWE npower case study, 4). Importance of creativity is depicted, “engineers will need to be creative….” (RWE npower case study, 5).

This style of management has put very positive impacts on the overall progress of the effective management. Company employees seem to be happy with the style and put the responsibilities as their own. They feel the power of decision, respect of the abilities and recognitions. Importance to their say not only empowers their abilities but also brings better creativity. All the mentioned factors eventually lead the company to be committed and manage high risk environment with better performance.

2.2: Source of the organization’s culture and its implications on work force and organization

Culture can be defined as, “Culture is the collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs, and attitudes that constitutes a pervasive context for everything we do and think in an organization”.

There can be many sources which effect the development of the couture e.g. economic conditions, leadership styles, policies and practices, structure, characteristic of the work force and nature of business.

RWE npower is a part of energy industry. They have got great responsibility of supplying of gas and electricity at low price. It is said, “The energy industry is at the heart of any modern economy” (RWE npower case study, 6). “The energy industry is very competitive” (RWE npower case study, 7). Hence economic conditions are one of the major sources in the development of npower’s culture in good or recession periods.

Leadership styles and massive international structure of the organization has its own impacts. Company is operating in different parts of Europe; hence it is very flexible to adopt company’s culture according to the local structure, geographical needs and characteristics of the work force. The nature of the business is also an important factor as a source of a culture because npower is very responsible and risk managing company.

Over all culture of the organization has not only made a massive contribution towards the better performance of the work force but also to the organization. Employees are committed towards the productivity and creative in their decision making powers. Npower has become one of the UK leading companies and covering the markets of Germany and Central Eastern Europe.

Nature of the business, Policies and practices has a direct impact on the development of any organization. Being a leading market company, npower has been influenced by the external environment because of its nature. Nature of the business has forced to set such polices which best fit in interest of the environment. Safety and security factor has been one of the best priorities in the energy industry. Company’s culture admits environmental issues therefore polices include green solution to the problem and emphasizes on lees pollution. It is one of the experienced companies in the field of safety systems.

2.3: Impacts of the culture on leadership, organization structure and organization

The culture of organization has a direct link with the style of leadership and the structure of organization. It is obvious that the style of leadership varies according to the specific culture of the organization. RWE npower’s culture is also determined by the behavior of the individuals, age and size of organization, technical systems, environment and power. RWE npower is much matured in age and size which has formalized its behavior and eventually a better structure. Technical system is more regulated, dynamic environment and a greater external control has leaded it towards centralized and formalized structure. These cultural elements has also influenced on the style of leadership as being participatory and transformational. The responsibility of safety and security has made forced leadership to bring up with creative ideas of safe secure and environment friendly atmosphere. Company’s whole leadership and structure from top to bottom seems to work as team to achieve these targets.

2.4: Issues of motivational theories, polices used in the case and its impact on individual and organization performance

This topic has different parts so it’s better to describe in separate headings.

2.4. Issues of motivational theories

It is often said that the best businesses have the best-motivated employees. Motivation has been considered as one of the key tools for achieving higher productivity in an organization. A well-motivated workforce is more productive, which means that they can produce or serve more for a given level of resources. Motivated employees produce better quality work with less wastage. Well-motivated and trained employees are more accurate and have a sense of urgency about their work. Motivated workers feel ownership over the products of their work, and want to be creative, giving useful suggestions for the betterment of the organization and demanding more feedback from their managers. This collectively improves productivity, and improves the name of the organization.

Motivation is simply concerned with the question of: “why do people do x?”

A more complex definition of motivation might be the following:

“The set of forces that cause people to choose certain behaviors from among the many alternatives available to them”.

Different theories are classified under the foster topology.

A useful typology is suggested by Foster (2000):



Foster classified content theories as those answering the question of “why do people work” and process theories as those answering the question “what factors affect people’s willingness or persistence at work”. Content theories

i. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Under the content theories tackling the question of “why do people work”, the most well-known theory is Maslow’s needs hierarchy (1954). Maslow believed that people have five types of needs, which he placed in a specific order. When the lowest level of needs is fulfilled, they cease to be a motivator and the person becomes driven by the need to achieve the next level of need, and so on.

ii. B Jahoda’s latent functions of work

Jahoda found that people were motivated not only by money, but also by other important needs. She believed that work provides a structuring of time. An unemployed worker cannot organize their time. Work provides shared experience and colleagues, which boosts their personality. Working people are more creative and they possess a sense of purpose, which ends up making them more productive. Process theories

Process theories, to recap, examine the question of “which factors influence how hard people work?”

External theories

Equity theory

Equity theory derives from economics. It views motivation from the perspective of social comparison. It holds that people compare their conditions at work to those of others, and are motivated to maintain fairness and equitable relationships among themselves, and that they want to change inequitable conditions in the workplace.

Internal and cognitive theories

I. Herzberg two-factor theory

Frederick Herzberg (1959) produced two theories of motivation in the workplace, consisting of two components of motivation. First, he outlined a number of ‘hygiene’ factors affecting the work and organizational environment, such as company policies and administration, supervision, working conditions and interpersonal relations, salary, status and security. He believed that these ‘hygiene’ factors were not capable of motivating an employee by themselves, but without them the employee would be dissatisfied and de-motivated. Second, he outlined a number of ‘motivators’, which involve what people actually do in their jobs and how to encourage them to develop their natural motivation. The motivators are achievement, recognition, growth, advancement and interest in the job. Herzberg argued that a manager ought to meet both sets of factors to motivate their workforce, i.e. treat the employees well so that they are satisfied, and then use the workforce so that they get achievement, recognition, interest and responsibility and can be fulfilled by their work. Consequently Herzberg suggested that managers should focus on redesigning the characteristics of the jobs themselves so that motivator factors could take affect, through job rotation, job enrichment and job enlargement.

Herzberg’s theory has been well used by managers because it recognizes that motivation comes from within the employee and not from the external environment. However, it has been criticized on the grounds that job satisfaction does not necessarily imply a high level of motivation or productivity. Also, it is natural for people to take the credit for doing things that make them satisfied and to blame things that make them dissatisfied on the external environment. Empirical testing of the theory shows that it works better for some types of workers than others. For example, public sector workers tend to feel that the ‘hygiene’ factors are more important than private sector workers.

Goal setting theory

The theory of motivation which many argue has been most practically useful is goal-setting theory (Locke & Latham 1990). This theory is widely used in organizations and management practice. Basic idea of the theory is that people’s behaviours are motivated by their internal intentions, objectives or goals.

2.4.2 Motivational polices used in the case and its impact on individual and organization performance

RWE n power, being a very massive and highly responsible company seems to adopt different polices using different theories. It cannot be said that any organizational follows a set policies influencing by the particular theory. As the time has passed new developments has come across in the field of motivation hence most of the companies use their policies according to their needs. N power has considered Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory and respected all the motivator factors and dissatisfaction factors. They respect the “say” of an individual. Where working in such a renown and international company brings recognition but employees and working and creativity is also recognized. It provides great opportunities for creativity and facing challenge in such a sensitive work place when every minute counts, brings motivation towards challenges and achievements. They offer a handsome salary of £25000 in start which is the basic important dissatisfaction factor and only motivator by some theorist. Team based working improves the working relationship amongst the workers as said “engineers enjoy solving problems” (RWE npower case study, 8). Company’s managers and employees work in close contact with one another and respect one another’s views which eventually lead the motivation.

Impacts of the motivational polishes have not only increased the moral of the confidence and creativity to very high level. Employs satisfaction and collective afford in a challenging environment has made possible to achieve the company targets. Following the positive consequences company is meeting its commitment 24 hr a day and 52 weeks in a year.

2.5: Nature of team, structure and its impacts on the performance of organization

Groups play a vital role for the better productivity. Members of group must work well as a team. According to Mullins (2002) a proper group has definable, membership, group consciousness, sense of shared person, independence, interactions and abilities to act in a unitary manner.

The nature of groups and team behavior is very much influenced by the flat structure which has few level of authority and broader level of control, making manger easily accessible to staff members. Transformational leadership style has also put very positive influence on the effectiveness of the team. RWE npower’s engineers at all levels are expected to handle deviations problem, an improvement problems and open ended problems. The earlier two types of the problems require trial and tested techniques. Typically these techniques involve team work. Their team structure is based on different groups where each member is a specialist in his own field as described “Groups of engineers with different skills come together to shed light on problems and issues to come up with possible solutions” (RWE npower case study, 9). These groups involve good communication skills and provide leaning opportunities from different specialists. Team based problem solving in the organization has not only opened the ways for creativity and innovations but provided and very good working relationship which is admitted as, “working in teams creates a buzz of excitement” (RWE npower case study, 10). Overall good working relationship has led company’s targets and commitment met. Success in problem solving brings motivation and recognition whereas the facing hard time leads to face the challenges. This creative team based environment has saved company millions of pounds which has been the ultimate goal of any profit making organizations to reduce cost as much as possible and increase profit.

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2.6 Company’s Approach to People Management:

People management is one of the hot issues of any growing organizations it refers to “People Excellence”. The basic idea behind the excellence of people is to build a high performance culture. Motivated employees produce better quality work with less wastage. Well-motivated and trained employees are more accurate and have a sense of felling to their employees. Besides the economic benefits to business, motivation is also important for the human dimensions of the business. More recent writers have given more emphasis to the importance of motivation for the employee’s enjoyment of work, their sense of fulfillment, personal satisfaction and achievement.

As economies across the world increasingly have more service and professional jobs and fewer routine and manual unskilled jobs, the importance of employee motivation increases further. In such economies employees are less economically dependent on their employers, and more sophisticated strategies for motivating workers need to be used, beyond those concerned with money. Such employees are more likely to be influenced by things like job satisfaction, involvement and participation. RWE npower knows this factor she considers the modern idea of people management. They manage their people by establishing a good working relationship, trust and promote creativity. Managing people in a better way not only creates great results but also minimize extra cost. This is admitted as, “Shut down part or all the plant…….could prove to be very costly. When demand is at peak this could lead to, loosing supply contracts worth £2 million per day” (RWE npower case study, 11). RWE npower has considered this important factor of people management and given a high level prestige to their employee which is ultimately saving millions of pounds a day. The approach of the company seems that it want to establish their people in job excellence and also job satisfaction.

2.7: The Way Individual and Organization Behaves

Personality system (Psychology)

This approach is concerned with issues associated with traits of the individual and membership of small group. Personality plays a vital role in an individual’s behaviour. It is the way of thinking; feeling and behaving that constitute the individual’s distinct method of relating to the environment. Some people are dominant, expressive, solid and analytical. These behaviours of individuals collectively contribute in the organisational behaviour.

Social system (Sociology)

This study believes that the way we behave could be influenced by the social group we belong or the society we come from. For example a person from an educated, better social interactive background will probably behave positively.

Cultural system (Anthropology)

The cultural system is more concerned with the science of mankind and its relationships with the way of behavior. Cultural backgrounds influence influence directly on the behavior.

2.27.2: The Way organization behaves:

Following factors influence any organization to behave.

The people behavior: people’s behavior directly influences on the behavior of any organization.

The group: If we see the groups exist in all organizations and are essential to their working and performance. Group pressure can have a major influence over the behavior and performance of individual members or organization.

Environmental Influence: An organization is the part of a broader external environment. The effects of operation of operation of the organization within its own environment are reflected in terms of management their behavior.

The organization: Management creates a structure to establish relationships between individuals and groups to provide order and system. Behavior is affected by patterns of organization structure, technology, styles of leadership and systems of management.


Books consulted:

Chmiel, N (Ed) (2000) Introduction to work and organizational psychology: A European perspective, Blackwell: Oxford.

Drenth, JD et al (Eds) (1998) Personnel psychology, Psychology Press Ltd: Hove.

Furnham, A (1994) Personality at work: The role of individual differences in the workplace, Routledge: London and New York.

Seminal research:

Herzberg, F et al (1959) The motivation to work. Wiley: New York. S

Locke, E and G Latham (1990) Work motivation and satisfaction. Pyschological Science, 1: 240-246.

James Macgregor burns (1978), www.infinitefutures.com/essays/publichealth/leadershiphtml/sld015.htm

Maslow, A (1954) Motivation and personality. Harper & Row: New York.

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1 http://www.mottmac.com/aboutmottmac/


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