Presently, one of the most popular terms in the business environment is High Performance Organization (HPO). It is defined as an organization which brings out the best in people and thereby provides organizational capability that delivers sustainable organizational results. According to the authors’ characterization, HPO has five main criteria which make this organization type one of the most productive and suitable in the present market.
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1.Discuss the authors’ definition of “High Performance Organizations.” Is there anything you would add or delete?
In the time of IT technologies, such a component as integrated production technologies is one the most important in every company. Without it, an organization would be uncompetitive and would be quickly out of the market. However, it is not enough just to integrate these technologies; a company must provide employees with trainings in how to use them to increase productivity of the business. Moreover, organizational trainings that inform employees about business can provide them with new production ideas and help to make right decisions. One more inalienable component of HPO is total quality management which makes the firm competitive in today’s highly competitive environment, meeting customer needs and adapting to changing customer expectations. A firm should give tools to its employees for improving themselves and making an essential contribution to the organization. Also, it is essential to add cohesiveness and teamwork, which are an integral part of every successful business. The more collaborative work a team provides, the more effectively the company works.
2.Analyze Sun Microsystems based on the authors’ five characteristics of HPOS.
According to the five-component HPO model, Sun Microsystems can be characterized as a good example of HPO. Employee involvement has always been an integral part of this organization and teamwork plays a great role in achieving the company’s goals. It has been said by many IT experts that Sun Microsystems involves the most talented workers in the network sphere and enables them to make a valuable contribution to the company’s effectiveness. Moreover, employees are considered as an asset, and their production suggestions are taken into consideration. An example of this is the creation of private workplaces and respecting employees’ time. It all provides the company with self-directed work teams, with its combination of top-down and bottom-up decision-making. Each member of the team makes a value contribution to the effectiveness of the working process.
Through the whole existence of Sun Microsystems, integrated production technologies have been its essential part. This company is one of the biggest creators of IT novelties. Therefore, without proper trainings of its employees, the effective productivity of the business is impossible. These technologies help them to speed up the working process and to increase the productivity. With the help of a wide range of organizational trainings and devices, Sun Microsystems’ employees are always well-informed about present business strategies of the company and are able to adapt to fast-changing market environments. Sun Microsystems practices total quality management methodologies. The organization focuses on the changing customer market. Today’s sales efforts are focused on health-care, retail, and government customers. This company’s new strategy makes it a strong competitive rival for other IT companies. Furthermore, continuous improvement and searching for new production ideas help to achieve high-quality results. In addition to this, its work is reinforced by a strong sense of duty in every employee, their responsibility and work ethics which strengthen the teamwork productivity and help to achieve high results.
4.McNealy has positioned Sun as a rival of Bill Gates’ Microsoft. How could that have contributed to the effectiveness of Sun?
The main rival of Sun Microsystems has always been Bill Gates’ Microsoft Windows. The war between these two IT giants has lasted since the mid-1980s. However, according to IT experts, the war has made a great contribution to the effectiveness of both companies. Microsoft has always been a strong competitor for Sun Microsystems. The main difference between these two software companies is that Microsoft Windows works with personal computers, while Sun Microsystems focuses on network systems. As a consequence, Sun Microsystems has branched out into other computer areas, with an emphasis on the Internet. The result of that is the Java programming language, which has helped Sun Microsystems evolve into a powerful software machine that has served to drive the Internet and future “information appliances.” After that, McNealy billed Java as the killer of Microsoft Windows. However, that was not the pure victory of Sun Microsystems. Microsoft made a proprietary version of Java that could be run only on Windows programs, which was the answer to Sun Microsystems and took away its success. For many years, the slogan of McNealy was “The PC is just a blip. It’s a big, bright blip.” He said: “Fifty years from now, people are going to look back and say: 'Did you really have a computer on your desk? How weird.'” However, over the last decades, it has become obvious that he was totally wrong. Microsoft’s Windows server operating system software is gaining market share now.
Although Sun Microsystems is not on top of its effectiveness now, it is a good example of a high performance organization. It demonstrates how a company can successfully cooperate and compete with other giants by means of developing intellectual capital and providing supportive organizational culture.
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