This paper attempts to identify observable patterns, designs, and strategies in the analysis of business model of Zimmerman Associates Incorporated. Additionally, metaphors and frames have also been integrated while discussing the business model.
Patterns: Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010) multi-sided platform pattern is observable in ZAI’s business model, as it increases product value by facilitating interactions between business development wing and human resource office. The network effect is significant in ZAI’s business model.
Another pattern is an open business model. ZAI joins hand with business partners in order to expand its capabilities, as a tool to increase value proposition. Thus, it integrates external and internal ideas and gains profit from others by using its own innovative ideas.
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Designs: The most observable design in ZAI’s business canvas is customer insights. It partners with its customers to identify their needs. Deploying the technique of ideation, ZAI uses what if approach and does homework on its potential customers, the information management systems it requires and market trends. ZAI’s business canvas also reflects the use of prototyping technique. The company tests several cost proposals before solicitation, in order to figure out the best cost proposal for a given company (Vial, 2016).
Strategies: The key strategy reflected in ZAI’s business model is the business model environment. Certain forces are influencing the business of Zimmerman associates incorporated. These include industry forces such as contractors, stakeholders and market contenders, prevailing regulatory and technology trends and macro environment factors like global market conditions and economic infrastructure (Osterwalder, 2013).
Another key strategy used in the business model is SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, which assesses value proposition, cost/revenue, infrastructure and customer interface.
- Assessing Value proposition: All the value propositions depicted in ZAI business canvas are well connected with customer needs and have a strong network effect.
- Assessing cost/revenue: The revenue streams like fixed price contracts, time and material contracts and firm fixed price plus fee are sustainable. ZAI charges for what customers are willing to pay for.
- Assessing infrastructure: ZAI deploys channels like eight different contract vehicles which allow customers to take multiple approaches when releasing solicitations for bid and recruiting tools like Monster.com, In deed, etc. These resources and the main activities of ZAI e.g. integrated logistics support and geographic information systems are difficult to be imitated by competitors. ZAI has subtle operational associations with partner protégés.
- Assessing customer interface: ZAI strengthens its relationships with customers by offering competitive rates on fees and by scheduling monthly, quarterly and annual meetings with corporate officers and customers at each client site. Thus, the company’s customer relationships are effective and are well matched with customer segments.
Bolman & Deal’s frames: In this section, ZAI’s business model has been viewed in the four frames of Bolman and Deal i.e. structural, human resource, political and symbolic.
Human resource frame: Human resource is one of the key resources of ZAI, as it screens and selects the best candidates to give the reporting information thus maintaining a pool of potential staff.
Structural Frame: ZAI deploys strategies to implement the best solicitation. The cause and effect relations are well tacit in the organization’s operations, and there is little uncertainty. ZAI has an established structure with clear goals, roles, policies, and strategies.
Symbolic frame: ZAI has clear goals. The resources are not limited, and there is very less ambiguity.
The most suitable frames for ZAI are structural and human resource. This is because ZAI is an information management company, in which designs and strategies have primary importance. Nonetheless, other important business tasks like screening and selecting potential candidates to give reporting information are done by the human resource department.
Morgan’s Metaphors: This section describes ZAI in terms of metaphors (Burrell & Morgan, 1979).
ZAI as an organism: ZAI can be considered as an organism that grows and adapts according to its environment. It works in partnerships with organizations in the external environment and is dependent on the environment for its survival.
ZAI as a family: Efficient human resource is an important part of ZAI’s business canvas. Thus, the company believes in having good personnel relationships with human resource to keep the flow of organization smooth
ZAI as theatre: ZAI schedules monthly, quarterly and annual meetings with corporate officers to keep good corporate interface. Its culture is strong, and there are aspects of rituals and stories in the organizational culture.
In the context of the business model, the metaphor best describing ZAI is an organism. This is because ZAI adapts and grows according to its environment, and emphasizes on environmental relations (Hamburger & Yitzchayak, 1998).
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Burrell, G. & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and organizational analysis.
Hamburger, Y. & Yitzchayak, U. (1998). Metaphors and organizational conflict. Social behavior and personality: An International Journal, 26(4), 383-398. doi:10.2224/sbp.1922.214.171.1243
Osterwalder, A. (2013). A better way to think about your business model. Harvard business review. Retrieved 7 August 2016, from https://hbr.org/2013/05/a-better-way-to-think-about-your-business-model
Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers (1st ed.). Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/book/124479822/Business-Model-Generation-A-Handbook-for-Visionaries-Game-Changers-and-Challengers
Vial, V. (2016). A business model canvas for social enterprises. Sains humanika, 8(1-2). doi: 10.11113/sh.v8n1-2.825.
Part 2: Write an essay on characteristics of Non-Profit Organizations
Nonprofit organizations are an ample continuum of hard work and dedication. They work in the best interests of society. This essay attempts to elaborate some main features of nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofit organizations are institutionalized to some degree. There is an atmosphere of financial watchfulness in nonprofit organizations. These are characterized by organized activity. The senior management of nonprofit organizations is remarkably tactical and has exceptionally gifted skills of leadership. They share power within the organization in order to create a sturdy work force, thereby nurturing strong representatives (Anheier, 2005). Thus, senior executives of nonprofit organizations make durable administrative teams with long term occupancy. Therefore, the highly organized activities of nonprofit organizations are by virtue of strong command.
A nonprofit organization is majorly driven by funds and charities through which it strives to achieve its altruistic goals. Nevertheless, these funds are provided by evangelists and sometimes by other philanthropic organizations, and not exclusively by the government (Hodge & Piccolo, 2005). Thus, nonprofit organizations are private and not extensions of government.
Nonprofit organizations are philanthropic and charitable in spirit; thus they are free from coerced or mandated participation. The volunteers working for nonprofit organizations are not just a source of free labor for these organizations. Nonprofit organizations use consequential approaches to emotionally involve individuals thereby joining them with organization’s fundamental values. These evangelists not only provide lip service to the organization but also aid in managerial tasks and in collecting funds for the organization. Nonprofit organizations make these volunteers feel recognized and appreciated by using certain strategies like giving an award of honor (Kaplan, 2001).
Nonprofit organizations form an independent sector of the society. The trustees of these organizations serve as organization’s heads, and fundraisers are the investors. These organizations are often tax-exempted and are not accountable to government for their decisions; as long as these decisions do not harm the writ of government (Landsberg, 1992). Thus, nonprofit organizations are distinct entities which are not under direct control of the government. In other words, they are self-governing.
Although a nonprofit organization has specific goals, operations, and policies as any other business, yet there is a clear difference between the two when it comes to profit distribution. The excess revenue is directed to the mission, not to individuals or owners. The profit is reinvested to continue the operations of the organization instead of benefitting investors or stake holders. The principal purpose of a nonprofit organization is serving public rather than amassing profits for investors. Nevertheless, every nonprofit organization is sustainable and gives excellent services to its consumer owing to its skilled staff (Courtney, 2001).
The nonprofit sector creates a conduit between free enterprise and social equality. It develops a sense of responsibility in individuals contribute towards social welfare. Nonprofit organizations do not work for the betterment of a specific underprivileged or suppressed community only; rather they are also beneficial for general public. These groups are frequently involved in activities that are concerned with communal services such as arts, physical wellbeing, and education. By and large, nonprofit organizations perform activities to enhance the quality of life for general citizens (Bryce, 2016). Thus, nonprofit organizations are of public benefit.
Anheier, H. (2005). Nonprofit organizations. London: Routledge.
Bryce, H. (2016). The public’s trust in nonprofit organizations: The role of relationship marketing and management – Nonprofit news for nonprofit organizations | Nonprofit quarterly. Non profit news for nonprofit organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly. Retrieved 6 August 2016, from https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/01/11/the-publics-trust-in-nonprofit-organizations-the-role-of-relationship-marketing-and-management/
Courtney, R. (2001). Strategic management for nonprofit organizations. London: Routledge.
Hodge, M. & Piccolo, R. (2005). Funding source, board involvement techniques, and financial vulnerability in nonprofit organizations: A test of resource dependence. Nonprofit Management Leadership, 16(2), 171-190. doi: 10.1002/nml.99
Kaplan, R. (2001). Strategic performance measurement and management in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management Leadership, 11(3), 353-370. doi:10.1002/nml.11308
Landsberg, J. (1992). Managing the non-profit organization principles and practices by Peter Drucker (Harper Collins, New York, 1990), pp. xiii + 221, $US22.95, ISBN 0-06-016507. CPRO, 10(1), 151-153. doi:10.1080/08109029208629530