The aim of this report is to critically analyse the organisation International Visas so that a Training Needs Analysis can be completed. The motivation for this will be to enhance learning and development in order to improve the employees’ ability to cope with the demands of working in an international organisation. International Visas are a limited company operating in the legal services industry, providing immigration ; migration services for individuals to relocate to other countries.
The organisation is internet based and was founded in 1994 with a mission to take the stress out of the immigration process. The current process for individuals to relocate to other countries is not only time-consuming but complicated as legislation is constantly changing. Since its inception, International Visas has expanded and is now able to assist clients to obtain visas and work permits. Clients come from around the world but the most popular destinations include Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom New Zealand, South Africa and India.
In order to assist clients the organisation has a network of offices located in, the major customer territories listed above. Prior to completing a training needs analysis it is important that the organisation is critically evaluated. In order to evaluate International Visas the mission statement, organisation structure, and corporate culture have been taken into account. When considering the mission statement of International Visas it is clear that it is an important part of the organisations ethos.
It is argued by Freeman that basic assumptions about the organisations purpose, its values, its distinctive competencies and its place in the world. (Stoner ; Freeman, 1992, p188). A mission statement is a relatively permanent part of an organisations identity and can do much to unify and motivate its members. Although the mission statement of International Visas is clear the message has to be communicated across the network of offices and not just within head office in which to improve motivation.
From viewing the organisation structure in appendix one International Visas appears to have a flat bureaucratic organisation structure that distributes decision making and responsibility throughout the structure, so that the organisation is not dependent on one person. Despite the characteristic of the distribution of power International Visas is owned solely by one individual who can be hesitant to which to delegate power. Employees of International Visas have to operate within constrain processes that can result in difficulties with the client causing conflict with the characteristics of the knowledge economy.
Wilkinson (1998) points out that there are managers, similar to those described above are sometimes unwilling to give up power, or decide to take it back when the going gets tough. This is evident in International Visas where the owner has wished to retain control in times of prosperity and empower managers in times of economic downturn in decision making. It can be viewed that the above practices are not a healthy method of management as it creates a blame culture allowing the owner to hold managers accountable.
Since April 2008. International Visas has begun opening a network of overseas branch offices in addition to the United Kingdom to communicate across national and cultural boundaries. The overseas offices are currently operating in India, South Africa, Canada, the United States and Australia. Although the offices are owned by International Visas and were set up to communicate across national and cultural barriers conflict has arisen due to lax controls being put in place.
Chandler (1999) describes such conflict as the unit affect where employees feel removed from the other teams and feel a greater sense of community with each other. They will set corporate affairs from their own stand point and will tend to be cautious in their behaviour and suspicious in their interpretation of what they hear from other branch offices. With the introduction of the new offices additional management responsibilities at head office have been shared amongst the present management team.
Each individual branch office as its own manager who is responsible for achieving the financial objectives and to manage day to day business activities. Initially, management of the offices was decentralised to provide the individual managers with a greater level of autonomy in decision making. Problems have arisen from this from offices in Canada, the United States and India who have been recentralised as the boundaries of empowerment were not clear, leading to confusion (Cited Procter et al 1999, ).
Unfortunately this saw the end of existing relationships between International Visas ; branch managers being removed from the company. Organisation structures can be shaped by the culture that exists within an organisation, “The collective programme of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group from another” (Hofstead, 1984). In order to understand the organisation culture of International Visas, Hofsteads culture or collective programming can be used to identify four criteria comprising of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and masculinity can be applied.
International Visas has a large power distance, meaning that employees have little decision over the organisations decision-making. The characteristics of organisations based in the United Kingdom normally have a democratic management style, where managers and staff have an input to the decision making process. Due to International Visas being owned solely by one individual decision making is not carried out by the management team but by the owner himself.