This essay discusses the Tesco accounting scandal that shook the world, and the company’s investors, shareholders, and the customers. The scandal was a big reminder of the need for organisational resilience and relying on preventive strategies than curative ones. The essay shall analyse the scandal critically, bring in theories and resilience concepts to better understand the problems and its seeds, and present actionable suggestions that can eventually build up organisational reliability and resilience.
Organisational reliability and resilience is built with every single ethical act and the openness with which the employees embrace its disciplined system within the confines of a friendly organisational culture (Vogus and Sutcliffe, 2007). Liberty is always a right and when regulated well could bring out the best performance of employees, but the imposition of a disciplined assessment of each employee’s act and intent and the entire task performance is the core of resilience. Embracing these stringent appraisals and assessment works wonders to mitigate risks, disallowing or even eliminating all motivations to indulge in such acts. Tesco’s resilience was weaker in formation, in execution, and the management’s trust and belief in resilience was also weak. In systems which the management does not believe or believe less, the employees tend to follow suit. Resilience, thus, takes a backseat, keeping the motivation for unethical acts as fertile.
Cameron, Dutton and Quinn (2003) defines resilience as maintaining the organisation’s smooth flow forward under difficult conditions in such a way that the organisation comes out more resourceful and strengthened. Applying this particular theory of resilience, Tesco is seemingly less resilient, because the consequences of the scandal did not make it more strengthened, but it became weaker, undergoing value erosion and losing trustworthy customers. There is no doubt that Tesco had a dearth of resources and that it was using it well enough up until now. However, using them more tactfully during difficult and challenging situations to mitigate incoming and perceived risks is the principle of organisational resilience, which it lacked.
Samba and Vera (2013) talks about the theory of assessment, acceptance, and amendment of risks and uncertainties. The risk likelihood is to be assessed well, the new conditions are to be accepted well, and the amendments in strategy are to be admitted and executed without delay. These three strategic events are supported by the organisational culture, the organisational structure, and the slack resources availability. Thus, the risk likelihood is somewhere connected with the culture and structure of the organisations, in that the structure and culture determines the likelihood or risk occurrence or risk avoidance. Tesco did supposedly have a culture and structure that enabled such a risk or accounting overstatement to be realised. Tesco, thus had a weaker culture and structure, which must be amended to give rise to awareness of all internal risks, and prevents them with suitable conditions, enveloped in the strategy itself.
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