Relate Microsoft’s problems with its control and evaluation systems to each of the stages of growth in Greiner’s model.
Greiner’s model of organizational growth describes the five distinct phases that organizations go through (Jones, 2010). Each stage is composed of a period of relatively stable growth, followed by a crisis that must be overcome in order to move on to the next stage.
Stage 1: Growth Through Creativity
In the first stage of growth, the founders of an organization develop skills and create new products. Learning is a huge component of this phase of organizational growth. Entrepreneurs learn what works and what doesn’t. People’s behaviors are governed by organizational culture rather than by hierarchy (Jones, 2010).
As the organization grows in this stage, the entrepreneurs must learn how to manage the organization. It is at this point that a crisis of leadership emerges. In the beginning, the organizational is so busy getting started and developing new products and markets that they fail to understand the importance of managing the organizational resources. The crisis can be averted, and growth can continue to stage two, if the organization can learn the skills necessary to manage the organization.
For Microsoft, I would opine that this stage in Microsoft’s development was in the early years as Jones (2010) states, “from the beginning Microsoft organized its software engineers into small work groups and teams . . . (to) speed the development of innovative software.” Microsoft has been around since the 1970’s and if they had not learned how to manage the organization, Microsoft would have not grown into one of the largest software manufacturers in the world.
Stage 2: Growth Through Direction
The new management that came out of the crisis of leadership takes control and directs the company as it moves to growth through direction. In this stage, decision-making becomes more centralized and structure is given to the nascent organization. Rules and procedures are put into place and the company continues to grow (Jones, 2010).
The crisis in the growth through direction stage occurs when a crisis of autonomy develops. Power has become so centralized that the creative freedom to innovate and take risks frustrates those trapped in the bureaucracy. The crisis is usually resolved through new structures that are developed.
Microsoft seemed to develop a crisis of autonomy in the 2000s when many of the software engineers felt their efforts were not being rewarded and began to leave the organization.
Stage 3: Growth Through Delegation
In order to avert the crisis of autonomy, more authority must be delegated to managers at all levels. There must also be rewards offered in order to recognize achievements. In this stage a balance must be found between ways to innovate and create new products and the need to recruit top level managers to oversee the organization. Organizations at this stage often take on a multidivisional...