As an international company, Bechtel operates through a matrix structure. Compare and contrast two other organisational structures and culture that Bechtel can apply as an international company.

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Case Study:Bechtel


Bechtel is one of the world’s leading construction and civil engineering companies with head office in San Francisco, USA. This is a very old company started in 1898 when company help construct the railroads in Oklahoma territory. Up to now they have completed 25,000 projects in 160 countries. Immediately after the Gulf war in 1991, Bechtel helped to put out the oil fires of Kuwait and start the cleaning up and rebuilding process for Kuwait’s Oil infrastructure. In 1994 Bechtel started work on the US$20 billion Hong Kong’s new airport core programme. The largest civil engineering project at that time, this included building a new airport and 9 infrastructure projects. More recent projects have been in Eastern Europe e.g. Romanian motorway construction projects. Revenues in 2012 were almost US$3.8 billion.

Bechtel Services

Bechtel services include: Financing and Equity Investments, Construction, Engineering, Planning, Procurement and Consulting (sustainable solutions, technology and licensing, and start-up operations). Bechtel strengths lie in areas of Infrastructure construction; Defence and Nuclear Security; Environmental Clean-up & Management; Mining and Metals; Oil, Gas and Chemicals; Power (Electricity Generation and Distribution including nuclear power); Tanks (large chemical and gas storage); Tunnelling; Telecommunications and Water.

Organisation and Standards

Bechtel management demand excellence in performance from their employees, management promotes use of new proven technology and encourages staff to be innovative. It operates a team based structure and instils trust, openness and fairness amongst its team leaders and members. It relies on an inclusive culture through employment of international workforce. Bechtel management recognise the value of diversity in their project based environment which relies on problem solving skills of its workforce, hence optimising the use of diverse backgrounds, experience and perspectives is very important in the type of work they carry out.

  • Bechtel projects are in difficult environments hence zero-tolerance to safety is their constant goal, as their employees, and contractors lives depend on this.
  • It also has a strong value towards sustainability in relation to Bechtel, its customers and the global environment. It values honesty, integrity and fairness.
  • Bechtel expresses its being as a result of its people: “It is through our people that we express who we are and what we stand for”.
  • Bechtel also employ volunteers that they send out to all over the world on education programmes:
  • Bechtel volunteers help young children develop knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Volunteers support children in building their own robots and model bridges. They introduce teenagers to business and personal finance. Volunteers also work on research vessel in the Aegean Sea alongside youngsters developing their knowledge and interest in oceanography.

LO.1 Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture. This task offers the opportunity to achieve.

1.1 As an international company, Bechtel operates through a matrix structure. Compare and contrast two other organisational structures and culture that Bechtel can apply as an international company.
1.2 Explain how the relationship between structure and culture can impact on the performance of Bechtel.
1.3 Discuss the factors which influence individual behaviour at Bechtel.

LO. 2 Understand different approaches to management and leadership. This task offers the opportunity to achieve ACs: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, M1 and M3

2.1 As of 2014, Bechtel`s main competitors are Monsanto Company, BASF, Dow Agro Sciences, Bayer  Crop Science and  DuPont Pioneer.
2.2 Compare the effectiveness of different leadership styles in Bechtel and one of its competitors.
2.3 Explain how organisational theory underpins the practice of management at Bechtel

2.4 Evaluate the different approaches to management used by Bechtel and its competitors. Guidelines: Students should consider two of the following in the context of:

  • Scientific management
  • Classical administration
  • Bureaucracy
  • Human relations approach
  • Systems approach
  • Contingency approach.

L.O.3 Understand ways of using a motivational theories in organisations This task offers the opportunity to achieve ACs: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, M2 and D2

3.1 Discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation in Bechtel during periods of change.
3.2 Compare the application of different motivational theories and their application within Bechtel.
3.3 Evaluate the usefulness of a motivation theory for managers in Bechtel.

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