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Using Lewin’s model, give one example on how you would convert a restraining force to a driving force?
As Kurt Lewin put it, motivation for change must first be originated before change actually occurs. One needs to reexamine and cherish assumptions to relate well with change. Taking an example of changing an ice cube into an ice cone, to attain this, one must be ready to melt the ice, place the water in the liquid form into a conic container and freeze to attain the required shape. The freezing stage is the one that initiate change.
Change is inevitable in today’s world. However restraining the situation might get, change is not avoidable in business field regardless of its size, age or the affiliated industry. For instance, changing from manual data retrieval methods to modern data storage systems like computer servers may be costly and tasking but a business in the modern world cannot avoid it. It is the only way to survive. On the other hand, this change has immense benefits in that it saves time and improves on productivity, reduces human labor and improves customer service.
You hear a professor from Harvie University state, “Organizations use Schneider’s ASA model to reproduce themselves and perpetuate their cultural biases.” How would you explain his statement?
The professors refers to the ASA model which states that people make the place, and are the determinant of the organization culture, climates and practices. This is as asserted by Schneider (1987). This theory relates to psychology and is a part of the socialization process. The theory explains that new members in an organization fit in a specific organization. This theory argues that people are responsible for the processes, structure and culture of the organization.
By quoting the ASA model, the professor wanted to explain that in Harvie University, organizational behavior is not shaped by the organizational technology, or the nature of external environment, but the fundamental determinant of the organization behavior is people (Schneider, 1987).
Change is a thread woven into the fabric of our personal and professional lives. Nonetheless, at the organizational level, there are many macro-environmental variables that have the potential of destabilizing the organization. Identify these external factors and explain the roles they can play in organizational change.
Micro-environmental variables are nonspecific external factors that surround the organization and have the potential to destabilize the organization’s strategies. Since they are less direct, and originate outside of an organization. For this reason, they cannot be altered by the actions of the organization. The organization ends up having a more limited impact on these environmental elements.
These macro-environmental variables include technological developments, sociocultural, legal-political, and international standards and variables. Firms may consider these variables as a part of its environmental scrutiny to understand in details its threats and opportunities which are presented by these variables and more importantly, how the strategic plans need to be readjusted for the firm to obtain and retain a competitive advantage.
Describe and give examples of the ethical dimensions of management, include in your answer your opinion of ways to, as a manager, foster an environment that strongly encourages ethical standards of practice.
Ethical dimension in management is not aimed at developing an environment with defined ethical and unethical values; it is rather determined to help the manager determine what is ethical and what is not. Ethical dimensions are ethical are various prioritized factors that go beyond traditional aims of making profit and shareholder enrichment. These are dimensions with a significant influence on institution.
The modern concept of ethical issues include corporate social responsibility, ethical management and readership, fair trade, globalization, social enterprise, sustainability, mutual, the triple bottom line, cooperatives, employee ownership, and the wellbeing at work and life balance.
Name the five components of the individual task behaviors from the Job Characteristics Model by Hackman and Oldham (1980)?
The Job Characteristics Model states that there are five core job characteristics. These are:
- Skill variety,
- Task identity,
- Task significance,
- Autonomy, and
What is organizational culture? Articulate why changes in the culture are long-term and most difficult to attain and maintain within the infrastructure of every organization.
Organizational culture can be defined as the basic assumption and beliefs that are learned, shared, and integrated within the organization members, and passed on from one generation to another. They are used to solve groups’ problems to its external environment, and also the internal integration. These assumptions may be carried out unconsciously by the organization members and taken for granted at some instances, but all in all, they define the fashion in which the organization views itself and its immediate environment.
Organization culture defines the ways in which an organization conducts its business, how it treats its employees, customers, and the wider community at large. It also demonstrates the extent to which autonomy and freedom is allowed in making decisions and develops new ideas and personal expressions. This way, organization culture is so embedded into the organization system that it is a hard thing to change about an organization.
Explain the four methods of change identified by Connor and his associates (2003) and summarize how organizations can use each one to effect change.
Methods of organizational change are
- Making a compelling case for change
This involves transformation leaders bringing change by making a convincing case for it. This is achieved through heightening followers’ sensitivity to the necessary changes.
- Inspire a shared vision
This is where a broad input is sought, then, everyone is encouraged to think of anew future.
- Change through the leadership
This encourages self-confidence. This involves sharing of the knowledge. Leaders lead by example and recognizing those participating in the change process
- Embedded change
This is achieved through monitoring progress, changing the appraisal and reward system and promoting staff members with a commitment to collaboration.
How does management handle conflict according to Thomas/Killman (1972)? Which of the conflict styles will yield greater cooperation and assertiveness? Why?
Conflict style is the way individuals handle conflicts in business or in their personal relationships. Thomas and Killman styles were introduced in 1972, as methods of different conflict solving styles. According to them, a business can solve conflict in five ways.
- Competing style
This is an assertive and aggressive style of conflict resolution. This style of conflict resolution occurs without concern for other people’s opinions. Using this style might lead to lack of cooperation and feedback from the other members.
- The avoiding style
This style tends to avoid conflicts as a method of conflict resolution. The conflict is delayed, and the person tends not to attempt to satisfy neither his nor others point of view. This results to the person trying to use this method of conflict resolution being less assertive and cooperative in conflict situations. However, this style leaves the conflict unresolved. If used when necessary, the avoiding style reduces chances of hurting feelings of members in a team
- The compromising style
This style of conflict resolving is assertive and cooperative at the same time. The style tries to find a common ground among the team members and then tries to find solutions to the conflict in a manner that is satisfactory to all members. This style of conflict resolution is very effective when time is very critical
- Collaborating style
This style is assertive and cooperative at the same time. The style tries to find resolutions to a conflict in a way that seems a win for both sides. While members may take advantage of this style of conflict resolution, the style works well in team environments where listening skills are the most applicable and important.
- The accommodating style
In this style of conflict resolution, an individual puts the needs and concerns for other persons first. This is a very beneficial style in situations where it is important to generate good feelings among group members. It is also applicable when it is necessary to keep and maintain peace among the group members. However, those used to these style tends to be resistant to change.
Compare the two broad archetypes or change theories by outlining their benefits and costs: Theory E and O, postulated by Beer and Nohria (2000).
Theories E and O were identified by Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria, as two broad archetypes or change theories. These theories were laid down with leadership implications in mind, which the two believed underpin most of the change initiatives. Theory E is based on economic value while theory O is change based on the organizational capabilities.
Theory E change strategies are the most common for the fact that they are driven by shareholder’s value and in most cases involve heavy lay-offs. It is also considered as the ‘hard’ change strategy for its downsizing and restructuring strategies. Maintaining theory E can deplete the organization in that, it is short-term focused before it leads itself into a more visible activity level. Theory O aims at developing the corporate culture and human capabilities through organizational and individual learning. Although it is a soft approach to change, through how it engages employee’s heart and mind, this theory may make rapid changes when in dire need to be achieved.
Elaborate on the four strategies that can be used to effect change. Give four scenarios (short ones) that would call for the use of each strategy.
There are several strategies that can be used to manage change, these include; directive, expert, negotiated, educative, and participative strategies.
- Directive strategy
This strategy is used to impose change by the management without involvement of other team members. Change can be undertaken quickly. However, this strategy does not consider views and feelings of those affected by the imposed change.
- Expert strategy
This strategy involves employing relevant expertise to effect change. Small groups are required to implement change, making the strategy fast to implement. However, the expertise might be challenged due to the resistance of those not consulted in the change process.
- Negotiated strategy
In this strategy, change recipients are involved. With areas of disagreement highlighted, resistance to change is likely to be reduced. This strategy is relatively slow, and the anticipated change may have to be modified
- Educative strategy
Team members are informed and committed to change. The strategy is relatively slow, and it is also likely to require additional resources which involve additional cost.
- Participative strategy
In this strategy, team members are encouraged to participate in the change process. Change is more likely to be accepted as more people are committed to change. This strategy gives an opportunity for team members to participate in the change process. However, this strategy is relatively slow to implement, more complex to manage, and require additional resources which attract additional costs.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of selecting internal versus external change agents?
Acts freely and he/she is not tied to office politics. External agent can also get access to a wider range of departments and individuals than an internal agent can get. External agents can use a wide variety of vocabularies than an organization member for he/ she is more in touch with external world than the internal agent. External agents are not tied responsibilities, especially if things fail to go as planned.
External agents need additional time to get used to the organization and to gain working experience.
Organization members may be worried and therefore take caution on the outsiders.
They may be viewed as not having the organization’s interest at heart because they have little investment in the organization
Members have a feeling that if problems arise, external agents will simply walk away with little negative consequences.
Internal change agents
They take relatively less time to identify the organization problems.
They are rich in the knowledge of the organization culture, dynamics, and sources of power.
They have adequate source of information including direct observations, office rumor, and company reports.
They are readily accepted for they are team members.
They can create rapport and trust more easily.
It is easier for them to lose the objectives of their strong ties to the organization.
They may be over cautious in case when their seniors are likely to affect their career.
What are the three ways employees resist change? What can be done to reduce the barriers to appreciating the change, accepting the change, and acting out the change?
Employees may resist change by
- Striking and sabotaging change effects
This can be avoided by involving the employees in the change process
- Cold war
This is where employees indirectly resist change and continue with their old ways of doing things
This can be avoided through close supervision to ensure that necessary changes are implemented.
- Quitting jobs
This is when employees find the changes uncomfortable to their beliefs and practiced.
This can be avoided by adopting changes which have the team members’ feelings and minds at heart
As a manager, what are the steps you can undertake to reduce manipulation?
As a manager, one can reduce manipulation by observing the following points.
Never lose temper. Be courteous always and maintain a normal voice tone
Stay focused. Bring any thins that is likely to blur your focus into question
Be persistent. In case of any harangues, repeat your original version
Do not work alone. Always work with the facilitators and team members
Why do highly centralized organizations tend to be more rigid and less innovative? Give examples.
Increased formalization limits change with regard to compatibility. With more jobs, rules and other organizational aspects, the more rigid does organizational boundaries become, the more limited is the range of acceptable values, norms and goals, and the less likely it is for innovation to persist.
Centralization reduces the number of decision makers and the affected decision areas. With regard to compatibility, complexity tends to increase the range of acceptable values, norms, and goals of the organization by increasing the number of persons whose opinion is prioritized and also the number of areas where these opinions matter. Centralization on the other hand reduce on the same, meaning that the complex organizations are more likely to have a wider range of accepted values, norms and goals than the les complex organizations.
Clearly delineate the differences between incremental change and transformational change.
Incremental change involves gradually introducing new skills and compatibilities through incremental improvement. It involves doing something better without challenging the underlying assumptions and beliefs. Transformational change occurs through reshaping the underlying patterns of our behaviors and the way we think to a point of being able to do something which is completely new.
As a manager, you are told to “do something” about the low customer service ratings that have tarnished your organization’s image. Choose either Connor and his associates’ outline or Kotter’s eight steps as a process you would use to create and institutionalize a change that would restore the image of the organization.
Using Kotter’s eight steps to resolve the low customer service rating that have tarnished the organization’s image.
Step one: create urgency
In this step, it is necessary to develop a sense of urgency around the need to reverse the situation. This will help in sparking the initial motivation from the customer service team to get things moving.
Step two: form a powerful coalition
Convince people that change is necessary. Make it clear to them the dangers ahead if customer service trend continues in the negative direction. Involve members from all departments in this coalition.
Step three: create a vision for change
Link all concepts that are capable of generating great ideas and the possible solutions. Develop a short and easy to understand summary and make it understandable to the coalition members
Step four: communicate the vision
Communicate the need for change frequently and powerfully to embed it to all activities geared towards better customer service. At this point, it is necessary to be open and honest when addressing people’s anxieties and concerns.
Step five: remove obstacles
At this point, it is necessary continually check for barriers, and put the structure for change into place. This will empower team members to execute the vision and assist the change move forward
Step six: create short term wins
Give the company a taste of victory earlier in the process; nothing motivates more than success does. This prevents critics and negative thinkers from hurting the progress. At this point, it is also advisable to reward the team members who hit the target.
Step seven: build on the change
It is advisable not to declare victory when it is too early. After every win, this is the stage when after every win, the focus shifts to what needs improvement.
Step eight: embed the Changes in Corporate Culture
Talk about progress in every available chance. Narrate success news regarding the change process. In this point of change process, include the change values and ideals in hiring and training new members of staff.
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