The culture of KLCorp can be described as promoting a teacher-student dynamic as opposed to one driven by mutual respect. This is typified by the fact that without instruction and pressure from management, employees would not promptly act on issues (Abdullah and Siti-Nabiha, 2012).
This is a concerning practice and warrants the question on why this was never tackled in its infancy. It is possible that the performance of the plants owned by KLCorp were either achieving or exceeding targets, hence there was never any value laid upon understanding the underlying work ethics within the plant.
Machela, Kunene, and Mbhele (2019) noted that misaligned personal and organisational objectives can lead to negative consequences. In the case of KLCorp, their inability to recognise the importance of aligning employee and organisational goals has resulted in adverse consequences for Pemancar, as this detachment is firmly imprinted in the psychology of the organisation.
Subsequently, it is no surprise that change was met with resistance once Nova took control over Pemancar, as the acquisition disrupted the KLCorp established ‘cultural web’ (Johnson et al., 2014, p. 156) especially its organisational and power structures.
It has been suggested that one of the reasons that employees don’t fulfil their potential is due to low motivation and weak engagement from their managers (Poor leadership reinforces skills and productivity gap, 2010). If this is true, then this contradicts the statements that were levied against the Pemancar employees by their managers.
It can be argued that the long standing micromanagement of employees and the labelling of the workforce as ‘reactive’ (Abdullah and Siti-Nabiha, 2012) was the root cause of why the employees were not as productive. Indeed, KLCorp’s treatment of its workforce is a clear example of weak motivation and poor engagement.
It is highly likely that Nova had thoroughly underestimated the internal culture of Pemancar once they took a controlling interest. Considering that Pemancar was a Malaysian company, the European Nova should have considered the impact of the existing cultural behaviours and practices of Pemancar prior to the acquisition. In performing this exercise, it is possible that Nova would have also identified inherent practices within the plant that would make the investment risky.
Does the class think that Nova would have taken a different change approach considering the deeply embedded working practices at Pemancar? In my opinion, I believe they would have pursued a more incremental change programme as opposed to the revolutionary change.
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