Organizational Change - Dupont Response Research Proposal

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Organizational Change - DuPont Case Study

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Research Proposal on Organizational Change - Dupont Case Study Response Assignment

As Tom Harris and the management team of the DuPont Orlon manufacturer center ready for their plant to be shut down and relocated to China, it is apparent there is no change management plan or strategy in place, in addition to no specific timeline for managing the transition. The logistics of the move have been defined yet there has been little in the way of organizational development (OD) put into place in anticipation of the move and its implications for employees and their roles within DuPont. Assessing the extent to which DuPont has OD, Appreciate Inquiry and sense-making illustrates what is the case in many organizations, relative strength in one area followed by weaknesses on others. OD is a strategic-level initiative aimed at changing the cultural aspects of a company, concentrating on attitudes and values, and their impact on the structure of an organization (Bennis, Mische, 1996). From this definition it can be seen that OD is comprised of democratic, developmental, and humanistic values. There is little evidence of an over-arching OD strategy in place; however the research proposed by Dr. Akin from the University of Virginia could serve as the foundation of a more extensive OD strategy in the future. The potential benefits of an OD strategy as defined by Brown (2006) as a means of refocusing the strategic direction of DuPont also need to be considered. Conversely the use of appreciative inquiry is excellent, starting with the integration of the study from Dr. Akin from the University of Virginia and the emphasis the study places on understanding how the organizational systems and processes can lead to greater levels of renewal, change, and focused performance. The transformational role of appreciative inquiry also needs to be specifically addressed (Bushe, Kassam, 2005) as there is significant potential for defining the foundational elements of a future OD initiative and strategic plan. Appreciative Inquiry also needs to be underscored with the support of senior management (Fambrough, Hart, 2008) which in the case presented by DuPont is evident. Finally in terms of sense-making, DuPont's use of allegorical references to NASCAR teams and the critical role each team member plays in terms of accuracy, safety, speed and responsiveness resonate with DuPont workers. With this frame-validating approach in place, sense-making is achieved. In summary, of the three embedded approaches, DuPont is strongest with the sense-making, followed by appreciative inquiry, with OD being the weakest of strategies in the company today.

Response to Question 2:

The compatibility of OD, sense-making, and appreciate inquiry align to the extent an organization chooses to make a strategic commitment to continually transforming its structure and culture to be innovative and not complacent (Brown, 2006). These three varying approaching to managing organizational change are unified to the extent any organization chooses to see change not as a threat but as a catalyst for improvement. Part of the galvanizing effect of organization cultures that achieve this level of integration of the three concepts also have strong and sustained senior management participation as well (Hoff, 2008). Looking at how these three concepts have been deployed throughout DuPont, it's clear the planning and execution has yet to fully address the most critical need, and that is the potential of reductions in force and layoffs as a result of the move of the plant to China, the most critical time for any company to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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