Remote Management: Increased Management Efficiency as a Means to Increased Commitment in Remote Field Personnel
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In Norway, there are thousands of offshore employees working in service companies and relying on remote management (Blomgren, Harstad & Hause-Reve, 2012). Due to current downturn in the petroleum industry, many of these employees are affected by organizational efficiency initiatives. Often connected to downsizing, organizational change and uncertainty, these initiatives can have a negative effect on commitment (De Cuyper, 2009). Strong commitment ensures remote employees’ motivation, productivity and reliability (Connaughton and Daly, 2004). Studies indicate an enhanced need for fostering remote employees’ commitment to their organization, but the very nature of their work situation potentially raises the bar for achieving it (Depickere, 1999; Hoeffing, 2001). This thesis is an exploratory case study of the Drilling Services product line in Baker Hughes Norway. The purpose of the thesis was to create a framework for evaluating efficiency initiatives in onshore management in terms of effect on remote field personnel’s commitment level. To investigate this issue, a problem statement and two corresponding research questions was defined. Problem Statement: How can efficiency initiatives in onshore management increase remote filed personnel’s commitment level? Data was collected through in-depth interviews and analyzed based on a theoretical framework constructed by existing research on commitment and operational efficiency. First, the current commitment level was analyzed, revealing that it was high, but to offshore teams rather than to the organization. Next, organizational factors influencing commitment level was identified and sorted into categories and themes, before evaluating efficiency initiatives based on lean principles. The efficiency initiatives were then linked to the organizational factors that effected commitment level. For Drilling Services in Baker Hughes Norway, breaking the departments into smaller groups, implementing software for onshore management and improve communication systems internally in onshore management and externally to offshore employees were identified as the efficiency initiatives that would have the strongest effect on remote employees commitment level.
Master's thesis in Strategic Management