The contemporary operating environment poses great challenges to organizations aiming at accomplishing high performance. This is mainly attributed to unending competition and the desire to command a great market share…
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Hillgren and Morse (1998) established that similarities exist among high performing organizations. Their view of such organizations is based on financial accomplishments, employee motivation as well as service delivery and customer satisfaction. This paper critically compares the performance of Abercrombie and Fitch against the four performance criteria identified by Hillgren and Morse (1998). The multinational company deals with designer clothes. The paper highlights some practical examples related to the concepts, ideas and insights from their article titled “high performing organizations”. High Performing Organizations Direction is one of the basic elements identified by Hillgren and Morse (1998). Leaders need to ensure that the subordinates understand the organization’s principles. These are fundamental to its existence. The visionary leadership of Abercrombie and Fitch promotes a sense of purpose in the organization. The leaders understand the company’s vision and apply their skills to entrench creativity among the workers. Sensitization of employees regarding the achievement of the organization’s vision and core values is done regularly through staff meetings and weekly forums, which ensures that all team players in the various departments understand their roles in enhancing success. The sensitization approach corresponds to Hillgren and Morse’s assertion of “a clearly articulated and frequently communicated vision” (p 9), which is significant for high performing organizations. Behaviourization of values as proposed by Hillgren and Morse gives Abercrombie and Fitch a unique characteristic that enhances customer satisfaction. One of the core values is to ensure customer focused service delivery that is based on their needs rather than the company’s interests. Workplace diversity promotes strong interpersonal relationships among the staff, which helps in building talents and encouraging creativity. Exceptional contribution among staff is acknowledged and rewarded. The leaders act as role models of the organizational behaviour. Integrity is upheld and words correspond to the actions of staff members. The value metrics highlighted by Hillgren and Morse have been adopted by Abercrombie and Fitch. They help in establishing the level of customer satisfaction, which signifies the level of collaboration among staff. Value metrics are also significant in determining whether the organizational values have been upheld in service delivery to customers. Bhatt (2002) observed that “anything that gets measured gets done” (p 28). Abercrombie and Fitch’s value metrics are focused on the priority areas that are likely to be affected by the dynamics of the operating environment. For example, customers’ feedback offers a basis for the assessment of the level of satisfaction. After interacting with the company’s employees, the customers are given a chance to confidentially rate and comment the quality of service offered to them. The management is able to determine the areas that require improvements as well as those that require reinforcement through assessing positive and negative feedbacks from consumers. The suggestion box also provides an opportunity to assess the organization’s leadership as well as the priority areas that need further consideration. Performance measurement is significant in assessing progress and planning for future improvements (Edwards et al. 2007). It helps in determining staff awareness regarding the direction of the organization. Abercrombie and F
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