The set of variables are grouped into transformational and transactional factors (Falletta, 2005). This paper focuses on the seven transactional variables, such as structure, tasks and skills, management practices, systems and policies, work unit climate, motivation and individual needs and goals.
Burke-Litwin Model defines the organizational structure as an arrangement of functions and people into specific areas and levels of responsibility, decision-making authority, communication and relationships (Falletta, 2005). Such structure shall support the organization's mission, goals and strategy in order to achieve competitive advantage for the firm (Porter, 1985).
PetMed Express can be considered as a mechanistic organization that follows the functional departmentalization structure. The company has highly specialized departments with high formalization and a clear chain of command. The company's structure supports its cost leadership strategy by increasing consistency and reducing cost through centralization and management control (McShane, 2001).
The company currently has 248 full time employees distributed into four departments of customer care, warehouse, pharmacy and corporate departments. The customer care department consists of customer care representatives in a call center environment while the warehouse department consists of supervisors and associates. The pharmacy department employs pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and support. The corporate department is composed of accounting, legal, marketing, information technology, purchasing and human resources. Below is the organizational diagram of PetMed. (PetMed Express, 2009)
Figure . PetMeds Organizational Chart
In order to be effective in serving the customers demand, PetMeds employed 143 people in customer care and marketing, 58 people in pharmacy, and 34 people in warehouse and purchasing. Therefore, the structure of human resources in the company is aligned with its mission of delivering exceptional service, savings and convenience to its customers while maintaining a corporate strategy of cost advantage.
Tasks and Skills and Motivation
The business success of PetMed Express is attributed to the core competencies of their customer care, warehouse and pharmacy department. According to Prahalad and Hamel (1990), the core competencies of a company are the collective learning in the organization that involves communication, involvement and deep commitment to working across organizational boundaries. Therefore, the core competencies provide potential access to a wide variety of markets and make a significant contribution to the customer benefits of its products.
The Burke-Litwin Model describes tasks and skills as the behavior required for task effectiveness which includes specific skills and knowledge required to accomplish work (Falletta, 2005). The tasks and skills of an individual coupled with its motivation, or heightened behavior to achieve goals, have a significant impact on organizational performance and productivity. In other words, an empowered and motivated employee will perform its duties and responsibilities when his tasks and skills are matched with the job requirements. The human resource management has an extensive recruitment and selection strategy that identifies the needs of the job as well as the competency of the employee.
The bulk of the