Organizational Change

Organizational Change

The assessment for this module consists of two parts. Submission dates vary.

Part    Type of assessment    Word or time limit     Submission method    Submission dates
1    Case study part A    600 words
2    Case study part B    2400 words

Part 1 – Assignment

1: Read the memo below
2: Write a report to the Chief Executive Officer (your client) which addresses how you are going to change SCC  in response to the memo, and the SCC workshop.
3:  The assignment will be completed in two stages – Part A and Part B – to form one overall piece of work.
4: The case study requires inference from the initial surface cues in the case study, using evidence and reasoning. This means that you must use your developed subject knowledge, from wider reading, to detect and analyse the underlying and hidden issues which the case study memo initially suggests. The purpose of this is to enable your own informed judgment and perspective to be made, and demonstrate deeper high level learning.
Case study – CEO memo
County council staff warned over major job cuts
HUNDREDS of jobs will go at Suffolk County Council – but staff are not doing enough to prepare for the brave new world.
That is the blunt message to thousands of council staff from chief executive Andrea Hill in her latest newsletter.
Mrs Hill warns that while the council has developed a policy entitled “A New Strategic Direction,” staff have been far too slow in putting it into practice.
She said: “I am more convinced than ever that our new strategic direction is right.
“We spent many months co-authoring it and sharing it. My concern is that we are not delivering it.
“People know the ‘burning platform’ of financial crisis is coming, but we are acting as if it’s off the shores of Louisiana – too remote to affect us.”
She warned that losing jobs was not the answer to the council’s financial problems – a gap of £153 million is expected to open up in the council’s budget by 2013.
She said in the newsletter: “This will mean fewer people will work for the council in the future. There will be job losses. I don’t know how many – if I did, I would tell you – but we need to reduce our staffing costs.
“Just reducing our headcount however won’t close our budget gap: I thought it would, but I was wrong. If we cut our managers by 30% – that’s about 400 posts – it would save £55m. So cutting jobs alone is not enough.
“I don’t expect us to be running a big redundancy programme because we can’t afford it.”
Mrs Hill says she wants to reduce the demand on the council’s services: “To prevent the £153m budget gap, we need to switch off the demand for our services in two ways: by addressing the root cause of social problems and fixing them once and for all; and by building social capital to strengthen communities to help themselves.
“Where services still need to be provided, we will work collaboratively with district councils, health, police and the voluntary sector to join up services across the public sector using lean systems thinking to cut out waste and meet real (rather than perceived) customer needs.
“Currently the council is not fit to do this.”
Opposition leader Kathy Pollard was surprised by the tone of the newsletter.
She said: “I’m not sure what she means about switching off the demand for services – how do you switch off the demand for children’s services? How do you stop people becoming old and frail? Do you stop them from using libraries? It just doesn’t make sense.
“And we pointed out that the council took on a lot of new members of staff last year. Is that all going to be pushed into reverse?”
Council leader Jeremy Pembroke has said that the county badly needs to change the way it operates, and that Mrs Hill was hired because of her skill at coming up with radical solutions to serious problems facing the county.
“That is why we felt we had to pay for the best when it came appointing a new chief executive,” he said.
The full text of Mrs Hill’s newsletter:
Reshaping the council: A call to action
On Friday, whilst the country was excitedly watching the outcome of the General Election and who might form the next government, there was as much energy and excitement in a community hall in Kesgrave. Why? Because 175 managers from across the council were working out how to implement the New Strategic Direction.
We know a new government signals a new era of financial austerity. With the General Election Campaign over, politicians of all parties will need to get real about the size of the spending cuts to come. I’m not expecting our budgets to increase for the next 6 years, but our costs will. If we do nothing, our budget gap will be £153 million by 2013.
I am more convinced than ever that our New Strategic Direction is right. We spent many months co-authoring it and sharing it. My concern is that we are not delivering it. Friday’s workshop proved that at least 175 colleagues understand the direction. People know the ‘burning platform’ of financial crisis is coming, but we are acting as if it’s off the shores of Louisiana – too remote to affect us. So Friday was a call to action – the start of a new programme of change that will reduce our costs.
The New Strategic Direction is about radically redesigning public services across Suffolk to achieve the Suffolk Story priorities in the new, reduced, financial context. It is about challenging our spend and dramatically reducing our costs. To prevent the £153m budget gap, we need to switch off the demand for our services in two ways: by addressing the root cause of social problems and fixing them once and for all; and by building social capital to strengthen communities to help themselves. Where services still need to be provided, we will work collaboratively with district councils, health, police and the voluntary sector to join up services across the public sector using lean systems thinking to cut out waste and meet real (rather than perceived) customer needs. Currently the council is not fit to do this: that’s why I wrote ‘Reshaping the Council’ to challenge us into a new way of thinking. That’s why I’ve brought in a new Director for Organisational Change (Max Wide) to develop a hardnosed programme to implement the New Strategic Direction.
I believe the council needs to change. It is too slow, too complex, over elaborate, risk adverse, designed more for the regulator than the customer, and now – in a new financial climate – too expensive. I know it will need to be leaner, smaller, cheaper, more creative, and more innovative. That means we need to radically rethink what we do and how we do it. We have to develop more commercial skills to understand our costs better and drive them down.
This will mean fewer people will work for the council in the future. There will be job losses. I don’t know how many – if I did, I would tell you – but we need to reduce our staffing costs. I heard a rumour last week that some people thought if they got on the invite list for Friday’s workshop, their jobs were safe. Not true. Those who attended heard me tell them that. I want our most creative, innovative, hardworking colleagues to stay in the council. I’ll try to encourage that to happen. Just reducing our headcount however won’t close our budget gap: I thought it would, but I was wrong. If we cut our managers by 30% – that’s about 400 posts – it would save £55m. So cutting jobs alone is not enough.
I don’t expect us to be running a big redundancy programme because we can’t afford it. Nor do I think we have the public sympathy to spend taxpayers’ money on paying people to leave. So we’ll need to think more creatively about how we get staffing costs down – we certainly can’t afford to keep recruiting people (we recruited 1,800 new staff last year) or to allow non-performance to go unchallenged.
The great thing about Friday’s workshop is it showed managers across the council know that the council needs to change. The reality of the financial crisis is well known. The need for change is accepted – what we now need to focus upon is how to change. How to “de-treacle” the council without alienating the regulators. How to radically rethink whether we should still deliver all services. How to reduce demand for our services in the future. How to rethink our current assumptions.
Andrea Hill
Chief Executive

Report writing guidance

Assessment Part

SECTION ONE: Introduction to the report (600 words = 20% marks)
The introduction allows your busy client/ reader to preview the nature of the project you have undertaken for your busy client/ reader. Essentially, the introduction forecasts the basic organization of the report. The following questions should be addressed and/or considered in the introduction to the report:

•    What are the underlying and wider case study problems and key issues facing the SCC organisation?

Be specific and concise. Clearly and initially explain and outline how different external environmental pressures are causing the need for urgent change at SCC.  Then clearly explain how some different internal problems might arise from the need for change.

This means that the opening of your report should outline and explain the relationship between the internal and external environment, concisely using theories, concepts and examples which are referenced.

Your goal here is to show the reader that you understand the problem or opportunity, as well as the relationships or events that will affect the problem and its solution.
•    What is the purpose of the report proposal?

Even through it might seem obvious to you, the purpose of the proposal is to describe a problem or opportunity and propose a course of action. Be specific in explaining what you want to do.  A good report will provide the client with a clear selling point which clearly and concisely tells the reader what the overall report will conclude and decide.  This purpose of providing the reader with a clear selling point is to capture a busy client’s attention and interest.

•    What is the organization of the proposal?

Provide concise signposts which clearly indicate what will be explored in each section.  Signposts are important because they clarify for the reader/ client how the report will be logically structured and what the report will focus upon in each section.

Assessment Part B

SECTION TWO: Background

Because not all clients will necessarily be competent in your field, the background section needs to clearly articulate the context behind your research.
The Background Sections require you to conduct comprehensive research. Your suggestions need to be based on the research that you have conducted, and this research needs to be demonstrated to your client.
Again, your ethos as a sound provider of business advice is largely based on the research that supports your findings and ideas.

Background Sections
Normally all of the categories of background information listed in the report introduction can be fully developed.   This means that the different report sections will be logically linked.

Please use the following background sections as a guide for the focus and structure of section two of the report. The order of these sections can be varied if such an alteration makes sense.

•    How possibly might your client address the underlying problems faced outlined during the introduction?

Problems – Findings (750 words = 25% marks): In this sub-section of the report clearly outline and explain how your client can address the underlying problems, and the burning platform issue of the need for urgent change.

You might consider in this section Kotter’s idea of developing a guiding coalition to align top down down and bottom up change.  This section will need to connect more broadly with the relationship between organisational development and employee involvement.  For example, a guiding coalition involves developing a group of managers/ leaders such as a management team. Therefore, involving groups relates to the collective character of change.  A guiding coalition as a group relates also to the political character of change.  Furthermore, individual members of a guiding coalition also requires change agency skills which also relate, more broadly to both the management and leadership of change.

Solutions Focus – Findings  (750 words = 25% marks)  In this sub-section of the report clearly outline and explain what specific change management practices and interventions such as organisational development methods might be used.   Then outline how long the possible time scales or time frames (when) for these change management practices and interventions might be.  In this section you might consider for example what specific time based organisational development (OD) methods such as future search and open space might be used, and when (time scale).

SECTION THREE: Conclusions

Limitations (450 words = 15% marks) Critically reflect upon and recognise the limitations of your proposed possible solutions.  This section should present a balanced conclusion to your work, and reflect your analysis in the preceding sections.
This section might consider the ongoing problems of continuous change for people in organisations such as the psychological contract, engagement and insecurity, and practical difficulties of OD and employee involvement.

SECTION FOUR:   Recommendations

Implementation – recommendations (450 words = 15% marks) In this final sub-section of the report clearly outline and explain how and in what ways your solutions outlined above can or will actually be executed or implemented.

This section of the report might consider leadership development programmes which enable continuous change in the longer term to be addressed, and changes to leadership styles which enable more effective leadership of change.   Other examples of what might be considered include:

•    Employee Assistance programmes (EAP) – these are OD and EI methods which directly address problems of employees coping with change, and link to softer approaches to change
•    External consultants or Envoys – You might consider SCC employing external change experts such as envoys (see ACAS) who can provide specialist knowledge and expertise regarding different aspects of restructuring and change.
•    Team working/ building:   You might consider recommending developing group working through use of T groups to help people cope with changing roles and relationships, or communities of practice to developing knowledge working and innovation and thus new product development
•    Management accounting frameworks:  You might consider linking accounting frameworks such as the balanced scorecard and intellectual capital to soft aspects of change such as leadership and people management.

Report writing – Do’s and Dont’s

Your ethos as a sound provider of business advice, to an important client (CEO), is largely based on wide research and evidence that supports your findings and ideas.

Relate and unify all of the sections so that it reads as a coherent whole. Use good transitions or signposts between sections, and conclude with a section in which you pull together and evaluate the background.

A good report demonstrates logical, evidenced and reasoned analysis and argumentation, and minimizes prescription, insinuation, description and speculation.

A good report demonstrates good study skills and does not use:

•    inappropriate websites such as business balls, team technology, mindtools, Wikipedia, toolkit.goodpractice, tutor 2u.net etc
•    low level theories such as Maslow,
•    images, lists, models, diagrams, bullet points which are presented but not fully explained in great detail.

Mark    Learning Outcome
1.    Introduction    20%    LO 1- 4
2.    Problems    25%    LO 1- 4
3.    Findings    25%    LO 1- 4
4.    Conclusion    15%    LO 1- 4
5.    Recommendations    15%    LO 1- 4
TOTAL MARKS    100%

Reading List Template

Resources    Notes
Key text Senior, B. and Swailes, S. (2010) Organizational Change. 4th edn. Ft prentice Hall, Pearson ed.

Marshall Scott Poole and Andrew H. Van de Ven (eds.)(2004) “Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation”, New York: Oxford University Press.
This very successful text provides a discussion of change in relation to the complexities of organizational life – with an emphasis on applying the theory into practice. Now thoroughly updated in its 4th edition, Organisational Change reflects a rapidly changing world and considers ‘how change has changed’. The book is structured in three parts. The first part considers the causes and nature of change. Part two ‘opens up’ the organization to expand on issues of structuring for change, the cultural and political contexts for change and how to lead change. Part three moves firmly into addressing the more practical considerations of designing, planning and implementing change. The book’s structure and content also make it accessible to final level undergraduate students. Available as a Library classmark 658.406 SEN
In a world of organizations that are in constant change scholars have long sought to understand and explain how they change. This book introduces research methods that are specifically designed to support the development and evaluation of organizational process theories. The authors are a group of highly regarded experts who have been doing collaborative research on change and development for many years.

Available/ free to download from Google/ Google Scholar
[PDF]
Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation
wxy.seu.edu.cn/humanities/sociology/…/20101112173029397.pdf
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
12 Nov 2010 – Handbook of organizational change and innovation / edited by Marshall Scott Poole, Andrew H. Van de Ven. p. cm. Includes bibliographical …

Books: Burnes, B. (2009) Managing Change: A Strategic Approach to Organisational Dynmaics (5th Edition), Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall

Hayes, J. (2010) Theory and Practice of Change Management, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.

Kets de Vries, M. (2011) Reflections on Groups and Organizations, San Francisco, Jossey- Bass.

C. Huffington, D. Armstrong, W. Halton (2004), L. Hoyle and J. Pooley (Eds.), Working Below the Surface: The Emotional Life of Contemporary Organisations, Karnac: London

Hughes, M. (2010) Change Management: A Critical Perspective. CIPD    Managing Change provides the student with an understanding of and guide to managing the complexities of organisational change effectively. The techniques and methods that can be used are reviewed and discussed. Real-life case studies illustrate how these techniques happen in practice and problems and obstacles that can be encountered when managing a change program. These are set in the context of the development of organisational theory and strategy formulation.
Available as Library EBook or classmark 658.406 BUR

John Hayes examines and applies all of the key theories on change to organisational settings
Available in library:  classmark658.406 HAY

Reflections on Groups and Organizations looks at the interpersonal and group processes that determine how organizations work within specific contexts, including family firms. It includes studies on dysfunctional leader-follower relationships, downsizing, and organizational transformation Available as library EBook or classmark 158.7 KET

The themes covered in the book are: the emotional world of the organisation and its significance for understanding, decision and action; different perspectives on the nature and exercise of leadership; the dynamics of resistance to change and of creativity; the impact of contextual change on re-shaping the concept of the organization; different ways organizations are responding to issues of personal challenge or vulnerability.
Available in library classmark 302.35 WOR

Explores how and why change occurs, and how this process can be managed effectively; Offers a critical perspective, challenging the main assumptions in this area and ensuring that the complexity of the subject is understood; Critical perspective balanced with an improved including an appendix featuring 20 popular change management techniques
Available in library classmark 658.406 HUG
Journals
Academy of Management Executive
Administrative Science Quarterly
Community Development
Ephemera
Group Analysis: The Journal of Analytic Psychotherapy
Group Dynamics
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Management Studies
Journal of Change Management
Journal of Organizational Change Management
Journal of Applied Behavioural Science
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Managerial Psychology
Leadership
Leadership Quarterly
Learning Organization
Management Learning
Organization
Organizational Dynamics
People Management
Social Science and medicine
Journal of Leadership Studies
Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies

These journals are indicative – develop your research skills to search the library databases and target specific articles and connect with other disciplines (e.g. education, nursing, psychoanalysis)
e.g. business source premier

Specific journal articles Weick, K. & Quinn, R., (1999). ‘Organizational change and development’.  Annual Review of Psychology, 50, pp.361-386.

Tsoukas, Haridimos and Robert Chia. 2002. “On Organizational Becoming: Rethinking Organizational Change.” Organization Science 13:567-582.
Clear and comprehensive overview and review of organisational change literature.

Traditional approaches to organizational change have been dominated by assumptions privileging stability, routine, and order. As a result, organizational change has been reified and treated as exceptional rather than natural. In this paper, we set out to offer an account of organizational change on its own terms-to treat change as the normal condition of organizational life

Websites
Academy of Management: http://www.aomonline.org/Network of Leadership Scholars: http://aomweb.pace.edu/lig/leader.html
International Leadership Association: http://www.ila-net.org/
Social Science Research Network: http://www.ssrn.com/
Centre for Leadership Studies – University of Exeter, UK: http://www.centres.ex.ac.uk/cls/
The Center for Public Leadership – John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University: www.ksg.harvard.edu/leadership/
Lancaster Leadership Centre: www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/leadership

Websites which relate to cutting edge/ contemporary developments and innovations in leading change

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