BUS610 Week 5 Assignment
BUS610 Week 5 Assignment
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Date Created: 11/14/15
Running head: CHANGE 1 Understanding and Coping with Change Mia A. Rapier BUS 610: Organizational Behavior Dr. Anthony Trotta October 12, 2014 CHANGE 2 Change is a term most are familiar with, and within the confines of business, change is expected; managers are promoted and replaced by new staff, turnover with firstline employees can be common place, and the inevitable, resignation (or termination) because a person has outgrown a position or employer is commonplace. “A new paradigm has cascaded over what was once taken for granted in the places where we work. We can no longer assume that things will stay as they have been— all [are] vulnerable to swift and drastic change” (Jeffreys, 1995). It is the intent of this paper to analyze the internal and external factors contributing to an individual’s resistance to change. This will be illustrated visàvis a personal narrative involving my mother and a recent organizational shift which resulted in change, and ultimately her lack of trust in the organizations management. Workplace reorganization is oftentimes an attempt to increase profits or improve the efficiency of a department but frequently it results in a type of change for an employee, or group of employees, that causes feelings of distrust, anger, or resentment with uppermanagement. For the purpose of this paper I will detail (with her consent), the organizational change that my mother coped with just oneyear ago. My mother has worked in nonprofit social services for three decades, working the greater part of that time in middle and uppermanagement. She has been working for her current employer for nearly seventeen years with consistent promotions and accolades and just last year during a standard company reorganization, a ‘reorg’ that she typically contributed to, she was told that effective the following week, she would be moving to a much smaller organizational site twenty miles away. To say that she was shocked was an CHANGE 3 understatement; since she has always been privy to and a collaborator for all reorganizations, she was understandably taken aback. As the legitimacy of this reorg and the magnitude of this “lateral move” was digested by my mother her first reaction was that of betrayal. She felt betrayed by her organizational peers, the people she worked with daytoday to ensure an effective running of their department and subordinates, but also with the company’s management atlarge. Feeling blindsided by this change led to her feelings of mistrust, our text Organizational Behavior (2012) notes that lack of trust in management makes employees question company motives “in essence thinking or asking, ‘What are they really up to when they asked for this change?’” (Baack, 2012). My mother was told that her expertise was needed at the smaller job site to help implement many of the services employed at her current office, that her salary and bonuses would remain the same and that it was simply a lateral move within the organization but the reality of the relocation became apparent quickly and further fueled my mother’s distrust of uppermanagement. Her new job site required that she perform a mere twentyfive percent of her typical job duties in relation to the significantly smaller staff, job site, and programming at the new job site. Applying Kotter's EightStep Plan to explain the reorganization and subsequent change my mother faced, we begin by outlining each step of the plan and how it directly relates. According to Baack (2012), the first step involves establishing a sense of urgency and a compelling reason to make the change – for the uppermangers that required my mother to change their reasoning involved having a more experienced manager lead a smaller site to implement new programming tactics to make it more successful. The second step requires forming a power coalition to lead the change, in the case of my mother her immediate manager CHANGE 4 initiated the change and was supported by members of the executive board. The third step involves creating a new vision with supporting strategies, the ‘new vision’ for the job site my mother was now tasked to run was to make it more proficient and comparable to the site where she was leaving. The fourth step in the plan necessitates communicating the vision to all employees and in the case of my mother the vision was never discussed or outlined. She and her predecessor were never even given or allowed to create a transition strategy to benefit their respective staff of the impending change. Both my mother and the manager of the other site were told lateFriday afternoon that they were to report to their new locations the following Monday morning requiring them to clean out their offices over the weekend. Baack (2012) continues with steps 57 in Kotter’s plan which propose empowering others to act on the vision, including encouraging risk taking and creativity, planning for and rewarding shortterm "wins" that move toward the new vision, and consolidating improvements, reassessing changes, and making adjustments (Baack, 2012). The final step advocates reinforcing the changes by showing the relationship to organization success. In the case of my mother the lack of communication or sharing of her organization’s ‘vision’ of the reorg meant that her initial few months at the new job site were filled with trial and error, miscommunication, and antipathy. It has been just over oneyear since my mother’s organizational role has changed and as she always does, she’s landed on her feet so to speak, and made the absolute best of her new working environment. In the end my mother understood that “at the managerial level, reacting to environmental circumstances involves understanding and adapting to the political, social, economic, technological, and competitive opportunities and threats that emerge” (Baack, 2012). CHANGE 5 My mother’s resistance to change was caused by internal organizational factors, namely the events surrounding her relocation, the people (uppermanagement) involved with the change, and the circumstances surrounding the relocation like transitional planning and her being included on the dialogue concerning the management shift. The style of leadership typically associated within the organization was amended for the sake of this particular reorganization as was the organizational culture and leadership style all adding to my mother’s perceptions of this change being from internal factors. What she has ultimately done to best adjust to this is “welcome change as an opportunity to accomplish new goals” (Sorensen, 2009); she has developed new programming, hired new staff, and facilitated a new and effective approach to serve patrons and staff. Applying steps five and six of Kotter’s theory for change, empowering others to act on the vision, including encouraging risk taking and creativity and planning for and rewarding shortterm "wins" that move toward the new vision, my mother’s resistance to the reorganizational change can be lessened by encouraging her new staff to accept the change of management and developing shortterm goals within her department and job site to meet and exceed to instill a sense of accomplishment. Though my mother was required to change job sites without her approval, she ultimately has the power to make the change both beneficial and triumphant. My mother, and her superiors, will know that her adoption of steps five and six of Kotter’s theory for change were successful by the output of her job site and my mother’s outlook and viewpoint when she presents at the monthly AllHands meeting designated for all site managers. Every time my mother presents her monthly site objectives and results with professionalism, detailing success after success, and proposing new and innovative ways to CHANGE 6 improve her job site, she is demonstrating that she has acclimated to her new role and new setting and is making the best of her circumstances. It was the intent of this paper to analyze the internal factors contributing my mother’s resistance to change. This was illustrated with reference to my mother and the recent organizational shift which resulted in a change of worksite and scope of duties which ultimately led to her initial lack of trust in her organizations management. Ultimately my mother was able to adjust to the changes in her managerial duties and the new work location and continue with her stellar work performance. CHANGE 7 Reference Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Jeffreys, J. (1995). Coping with workplace change [electronic resource]: dealing with loss and grief / J. Shep Jeffreys. Menlo Park, Calif.: Crisp Publications, c1995. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.proxy library.ashford.edu/lib/ashford/reader.action? docID=10058032&ppg=11 Sorensen, R. E. (2009). Facing the Winds of Change. Bized, 8(5), 4449. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy library.ashford.edu/eds/detail/detail? vid=10&sid=6c0f5d7b77444be09ebd 23d85a40ca56%40sessionmgr4004&hid=4213&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3 #db=aph&AN=44211431 CHANGE 8
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