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Planning and Ethics

Essay by   •  November 26, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,511 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,315 Views

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AIM Investments is a mutual fund company that is located in Houston's Greenway Plaza. Founded by Ted Bauer in 1976, the company has grown from a handful of investors and employees to one of the leading fund companies in the United States with over 2000 employees. This paper will describe the organization's structure, the communication processes within the organization, and suggestions for solving communication problems.

AIM's organizational structure, as a whole, appears to be dominantly based on the Classical approach. Its strong structure, division of labor and vertical hierarchy are clearly visible in its printed organizational charts. At the peak of the company's hierarchy is the parent company, AIM Management Group Inc., which is the holding company. The five operating subsidiaries- AIM Advisors Inc., AIM Capital Management Inc., AIM Distributors Inc., Fund Management Company, and AIM Fund Services -horizontally fall below the parent company. Within AIM's transfer agent subsidiary, AIM Fund Services, there are eight departments. Direct Support Services, Dealer Support Services, Quality Support Services, EPIC, Cash Management/Retail Alliance, Client Services, Correspondence and Retirement Support Services have different, but equal responsibilities within AIM Fund Services. AIM Funds Services does not stray from the vertical hierarchy. At the top of the AIM Fund Services organizational chart is the president of the subsidiary, to whom the vice presidents of each department report. Our focus will be within Retirement Support Services. Retirement Support Services' organizational chart does not differ much from the other subsidiaries. The department is made up of six groups; Automation, Listbills, Transfer of Assets/ Rollover, Surgical Strike, Technical Resources and Processing. Each group, headed by an assistant vice president or manager, has from one to four teams. A team consists of 7 to 12 representatives, ranging in levels from II to V, who report to an assistant supervisor and supervisor. The supervisors have direct formal lines of communication with the manager or assistant vice president.

Management attends several meetings weekly to discuss uniformity in policies and procedures and to ensure unity of command. Each team member in every group has formal written job duties and descriptions of policies and procedures. Policies and procedures for processing specific types of requests along with job duties for each level of employee are clearly written on the company's intranet for all employees to access.

Retirement Support Services is a very-task oriented environment. The overall responsibilities of the group emphasize task accuracy and efficiency. Quarterly bonuses and career advancements are dependent on surpassing the written quality and efficiency levels and accepting additional responsibilities. Employees who produce at the minimum levels are not awarded with bonuses.

Even though the structure is clearly formal and vertical on paper, the atmosphere and people display characteristics that set the tone for a Cultural or Human Relations environment. The employees all are dressed in business casual attire, which is as liberal as the written dress code guidelines. Business suits with jackets and ties as well as hosiery are optional; however, gentlemen must wear collared shirts and ladies are prohibited from wearing open toed shoes. On this particular day, jeans were allowed for "Go Texan Day, which is just one of the many themed activities and rituals displayed in the office. Banners, paper-weights, coffee mugs, mouse pads and many other paraphernalia display the subsidiary's slogan, "We do it right, the first time, on time, every time." The AIM Investment logo and slogan, "Invest with Discipline" is on everything from pencils to golf shirts. Each team is proudly displaying their individual team names and teambuilding projects. The culture here appears to be very focused on teamwork.

The department shows Humanistic characteristics by holding weekly group specific meetings complete with representatives, assistant supervisors, supervisors, manager or assistant vice president and vice president (on rotation). During these meetings, management presents new policies and procedures, updates and goals. The representatives have an opportunity to speak on issues, offer suggestions and ask for clarification in an open forum. Biweekly team specific meetings are held with supervisors, assistant supervisors and representatives to discuss work ethics and team related issues. Retirement Support Services as a whole holds a formal quarterly meeting to update all groups on progress, goals and give out awards for productivity, quality and team players. Group meetings even stretch beyond the parameters of Retirement Support Services. The entire subsidiary, AIM Fund Services holds a formal quarterly meeting in 2 different time slots with the same informative objectives. To go a step further to make sure all employees are kept informed of the company's progress, goals and objectives, a company wide formal quarterly meeting is held in 3 different time slots and televised to remote locations. All facilitators speak in conversational dialogue on all meeting levels with each meeting ending in the "open door policy" or "feel free to email or met with me or your supervisor if you have questions, concerns or suggestions." Human resources classes such as "Who Moved My Cheese," "How to Balance Work and Home," are offered along with many other services and training classes through the company to display the humanistic approach of the company. The company's founders wrote a book titled "People are the product" and issued each employee an autographed copy.

The operations subsidiaries take on characteristics of a social systems school. Some areas are dependent

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