Term Paper: Organizational Change and Development

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[. . .] If on the other hand, the leader makes an effort to convey the mission and values of the firm, to each and every employee and suggest that they achieve these goals using their own creative energies, the organization will benefit from the inputs of all employees

There are many definitions that are attributed to leadership. But perhaps the best definition for leadership is that it is the power to influence the thoughts and actions of other people. Leaders are people who have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and why. And moreover they can communicate effectively to their people of what exactly they want to achieve. Steve Job, founder of Apple Computers was said to have all the qualities required for a good leader. Moreover he possessed consummate charm, infectious enthusiasm and an overdose of charisma. He was able to face competition, pressure and make instant decisions. So it is of no wonder that today Apple Computers is among the top organizations in not only America but throughout the world. Organizations need leaders to adapt to the various changes taking place and also motivate their employees to work effectively with these changes [Harvey and Brown 2001]

Perhaps the time when the importance of the leader if felt the most is when he or she has to manage the change processes in the company. Theoretically, an all-encompassing explanation for organizational changes is that organizations change because the employees as well as the organization are striving to move from a stage of immaturity to maturity [Chris, 1957]. Here the leader is expected to spearhead the maturing process of a firm.

Systems theory

The systems theory, with regard to organizational development states that an organization can actualize its vision and corporate values by aligning itself to the environmental constrains and ground realities that exist at a particular point of time [Symphony orchestra institute, 2004] The proponents of this theory, emphasized the importance of economic conditions in addition to psychological and sociological constrains in analyzing organizations. They also desisted from a one way approach, but emphasized the need for developing a contingency plan in response to environmental conditions. The systems theory also emphasized the need for different departments in an organization to work as collaborative units that could plug into each other's functionality.

Similarly, organizations also show characters of entropy and dynamic equilibrium. When the chaos in the organizations increases, we say that the entropy of the organization increases. On the other hand, if there is a balance of both inputs and outputs there is a dynamic equilibrium. The inputs and outputs in an organization may be different entities like materials, work flow, information etc. 'Satisficing' is a method for making a choice from a set of alternatives, when the management does not know the exact sequences of future possibilities in a system. In such instances, there are no optimal solutions for a task and here the continuous model of change and development is adhered to. Satisficing is a stop gap arrangement that searches for a solution and stops the search as soon as option that exceeds the immediate requirements is met. In such a system, employees may not complain because they are aware of the changes required and are happy that the company is not doing more than what should be done. A related paradigm connected to it is the holism concept, which sees the organization as a whole and suggests solution to the whole organization. This approach mingles well with organizational development paradigm. The concept of holism is important to the assessment of an organization because holism does not isolate technical and non-technical issues but tries to explain a situation after juxtaposing both social and technical issues. This means that a comprehensive solution that is independent of any bias evolves. This is very important in socio-technical systems where social issues as well as technical issues may carry equal weight in management decisions. Isolating one for the other will only hamper the effectiveness of the organization [Harvey and Brown, 2001]. Hence both social and technical issues are important in a firm. Today the employee is also aware of the fact that the management depends on them to successfully achieve the organizational goals. The employee understands that good skills are at a premium and that the employee needs to be treated well, in order to be retained in the firm. Employees in modern companies are expected to work far more than their assigned duties. A few decades ago, employees were required to do only their assigned duties efficiently because the office atmosphere was formal and highly structured. In a psychological perspective, attitudes and behavior are different. Behavior is the way in which a person conducts himself for attaining an internalized objective. Attitude on the other hand is a strong feeling that get converted to behavior if the belief is sufficiently strong. [Grayson Randall, 2001]. "Attitude is a feeling, belief, or opinion of approval or disapproval towards something. Behavior is an action or reaction that occurs in response to an event or internal stimuli (i.e., thought)"[Martin and Ford, 2001]. If follows that attitude manifests as behavior even though it can be modified by social and group compulsions.

Team Building

The quality to understand other's feelings and to understand that every system in the organization is interconnected and has a big impact on each other is very important. Managers, who cannot understand or comprehend the organization as a connected system with each part considered as important units, cannot implement effective change processes. The importance of learning and its co-relation with awareness and sensibilities becomes important in this scenario. It would be worthwhile to compare the psychology of managers in traditional organizations and the new professional organizations. In the new organization, the stress is on delegating and the manager believes that he needs to be a guide to unleash the creativity in each individual rather than stress himself to know everything that is happening in the company. The learning process must permeate to every individual in the organization to be successful and worthwhile. Team interaction has very strong influences on employee attitudes. In most cases attitude problems are not magnified when employees solve problems by consultation with other members in the team. The definition of a team would drive home the importance of the concept of a team. The definition by French and Bell, [Larsen et al., 1996] sums up the importance of a good team. They describe a team as..." A number of persons, usually reporting to a common superior and having some face-to-face interaction, who have some degree of interdependence in carrying out tasks for the purpose of achieving organizational goals." Here the stress is on interdependence and the differences between the superior and subordinates are scaled down. Such a type of interaction increases the responsibility of the employees who also feels a compelling sense of ownership

Team work may not be appropriate in organizations where the role of the employee is highly specialized and independent. For example, in a manufacturing unit each employee is part of a bigger team but his role in the assembly line is best performed if he/she is allowed to work individually. However, the case is different in a software team where each employee will have to contribute after much deliberation and discussion with his fellow counterparts. Here team work is highly necessary like in a game of football, where each employee cannot act individually but at the same time cannot lag behind in performance. It is a collective effort

There seems to be a direct relation between the size of teams and the problems which it has to handle. For example, as the team size grows in complexity, we can see that the barriers to communication within the team also increase. This is because as the team grows, the number of people who can adhere to principles of good communication decreases in the team. Moreover the problem of getting along with each other in a group increases the complexity of the team and affects the communication pattern. This is the prime reason that professional organizations maintain a tight control of communication between employees, especially during crisis periods in the company.

Organizations work on synergy and delegation. It is the feeling of oneness with the company: called as feeling of ownership, that enhances the sincerity of a worker to an organization. Organizations cannot work in a manner where the employees are not given due importance in the affairs of the organization. Nor can an organization work where the manager has to concentrate on each and every aspect of its daily operation. In mature organizations, employees, irrespective of their position and responsibility learn continuously and each learning experience is used to further enhance the productivity of the company. Unless there is a positive feeling towards the organization, such inputs will rarely come from the employee.

Conclusion balanced growth plan is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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