Term Paper: Change Proposal the Situation Spending

Pages: 8 (2484 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] They pressed their case with middle-level managers, to the point of a shouting match with both NASA and contractor managers the night before the fatal launch. But the top officials in charge never heard the full story. Why? Because after a number of embarrassing delays, they didn't want to hear any more excuses, no matter how real," Kettl noted.

This is similar in every way to the deaf ear the Artistic Director turned to warning from his marketing department regarding bad choices of plays; to the deaf ear he turned to company members who questioned financial/artistic decisions; to the stunning figures regarding turnover among the non-performing members of the staff.

Perhaps worse, these matters were taken to the Board of Directors several times, and they, in support of the Artistic Director (which one could compare to blindly wanting to make the launch date, as was the case with the Challenger), refused to entertain the notion of hiring a Company Director. They refused partially on the grounds of cost, and partially on the grounds of not wanting to anger the Artistic Director. Similarly, NASA didn't want to anger President Regan who badly wanted a 'teacher in space.' Fortunately, no lives are lost over such organizational culture illness in theaters. (Kettl 1999)

Still, the cost in human suffering is great enough.

To say that there is a severe lack of empowerment at the theater is probably not going far enough. Some might say that ill treatment of employees is immoral; some might say the Board of Directors closing its ears to it is also immoral. President Bush has mentioned a "moral compass' in terms of those who have done spectacularly immoral things in business (Enron, etc.) that have affected employees' lives as well as investors' lives. (Fields 2002) The goings on at the theater affect, nominally, on employees' and former employees' lives....or maybe not. Perhaps they affect the larger culture, as well.

Some say corporate culture is focused too narrowly on the bottom line. In the case of a theater, in some respects, the bottom line is culture itself. By failing to focus on the bottom line in a considered way (through good management, human resources sanity and so on), a theatre is compromising that as much as any other sort of corporation is compromising long-term health for the short-term returns for stockholders. (Larsen 2001)

Larsen quotes George Khoury, Director of The Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Centre for Business in the Community:

Corporate social responsibility today is about having a mindset and corporate culture that sees value in being a responsible and accountable member of the larger community.

Still other researchers into what will make companies flourish in the coming years think it goes even farther, to spirituality in the workplace. One such, "Characterizing Organizational Spirituality: An Organizational Communication Culture Approach," maintains:

Through organizational communication culture research, the present study has identified three central characteristics of organizational spirituality: value alignment, personal spirituality, and relationship-based organizing. (Sass 2001)

Change Implementation Plan

There will need to be a two-pronged approach to solving this problem. The Board of Directors will have to seriously investigate the possibility of hiring a Company Director. In view of past experience, however, they are unlikely to do this without sign can't urging from the permanent staff, and even then, probably not. In the past, when the Board made changes at the theater, it was in response to urging by local columnists, and it might be best to enlist their aid again. Now, because of the scandals reported in the local newspapers, it should be even easier to get the public's attention, which will get the board's attention.

It is not inconceivable that a staff member will be sacrificed in all this; in the past, when the Artistic Director thought any senior staff were conferring with the board, he found ways to get them to leave. In short, a senior staff member will have to 'volunteer' for duty in presenting the case for a Company Manager to the Board of Directors, and will have to be prepared to counter very substantial and serious resistance, much of which will hinge upon the Board's expected resistance to it by the Artistic Director, who has ruled as a monarch for almost ten years; his predecessor did the same for 30 years, almost ruining the theatre not by management issues but by horrible productions, in the process.

So the plan is this:

volunteer senior staffer will prepare a dossier of the excesses and firings and voluntary quitting of, especially, senior staff. Included will be the dollar costs of this, as well as dollar losses (when the marketing director was forced out, the $40,000 a year her husband's company donated to the theatre was also lost), and the public relations costs.

Additionally, that person will have to prepare a document for the board including the results for other theater companies that have both an Artistic Director and Company Manager.

It is likely that virtually all resistance will be with the Board and the current Artistic Director; the staff is likely to positively anticipate having professional financial and human resources management.

References http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?action=openPageViewer&docId=5000881292

Ezzy, D. (2001). A Simulacrum of Workplace Community: Individualism and Engineered Culture. Sociology, 35(3), 631. Retrieved August 31, 2003, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.

Fields, Suzanne. "Investing in a culture of character; Corporate irresponsibility has lasting effect on the rest of society." The Washington Times. July 11, 2002. A21 www.questia.com/PM.qst?action=openPageViewer&docId=5001276648

Kettl, D.F. (1999, July). Clueless in the Capital. Washington Monthly, 18. Retrieved August 31, 2003, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?action=openPageViewer&docId=5001039792

Larsen, J., & Peck, S. (2001, Spring). Making Change. Alternatives Journal, 27, 17. Retrieved August 31, 2003, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.

Sass, James S. "Characterizing Organizational Spirituality: An Organizational Communication Culture Approach. Communication Studies, 51 (3), 195. [END OF PREVIEW]

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