Organizational Change Proposal Term Paper

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Organizational Change Proposal

At its start in 1962, the seven founding lawyers of the company Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (MTO) had one aim in mind: to create a high-quality law practice in an environment that stimulates the creativity of its members. Currently, the company boasts 192 lawyers known for trying high-profile cases an negotiating corporate shaping deals with a very high success rate. In fact, so impressive are its accomplishments, that MTO has achieved first place on the most elite law firms according to the American Lawyer.

Indicative of the company's prowess in the world of law is the main reason why clients turn to them. When creativity and high-level arguing is required, clients prefer MTO. This reputation has been created by the company's commitment to providing exceptional judgment, creative thinking, and a commitment to solving clients' problems.

Principally, the company works in areas such as bankruptcy, corporate, environmental, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and tax. In addition to a high quality of service, this is also delivered in a cost-effective manner. This is accomplished by means of a one-to-one partner-associate ratio. In addition, paralegals and other personnel are assigned to less intensive tasks at a lower cost.

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To achieve the mission of excellent service, MTO attempts to associate only lawyers who are at the top of the range in terms of qualifications and creativity. Of the current workforce at the company,, 70% served as law clerks to federal judges. In addition 18 attorneys were involved in work with U.S. Supreme court Justices. Others have experience in government, such as the U.S. Attorneys' Office and the Environmental Protection Agency, while others are graduates with degrees such as physics, literature, economics, history and medicine.

The corporate culture is egalitarian, with al attorneys invited and encouraged to participate in the governance of the firm.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Organizational Change Proposal Assignment

Because of the focus on egalitarian leadership, the company may on occasion experience conflicts among its workers, especially where ethically questionable cases are concerned. One colleague may for example believe that the company should not take a case where the defendant is known to have committed some wrong, while another may believe that the challenge of proving such a person innocent is on the highest priority list of the company.

This is a conflict situation that might detract from MTO's goal of providing the best possible service to its clients, while also remaining at the top of the list of legal services in the country.

The conflict can occur on both a personal and company-wide scale. Individuals may experience conflict in terms of their personal value sets. For one individual, the interest of the company, including retaining its reputation as the best at any cost, may be at the top of his or her work ethic. For another, a personal value system, including an adherence to honesty, may be more important than any work ethic.

On a corporate scale, the company may experience conflict, as one of its aims is to project an image of community interest and service, while it is also committed to protecting the interest of its clients. Furthermore, the company also professes to be open to suggestions by its employees, as dictated by its egalitarian environment.

Such conflicts may also affect the company's overall ethics and values base. The two employees mentioned above can represent the fundamental values conflict within the company itself. On the one hand, it is committed to serving its clients to the best of its ability. While MTO is indeed committed to pro bono work, it does need revenue from high-paying clients in order to retain its leading position in the corporate world, as well as its notably excellent employee base.

To interpret the issue of potential internal conflict within the company, Bolman & Deal's organizational frames can be used. Particularly, a combination of the "Families" and "Jungles" frames appear to be relevant.

The "Families" frame focuses on interpersonal relationships among employees. Human resources are at the bottom of this perspective, where employees are regarded as the most important component of the organization. This appears to be applicable to MTO, where the focus is on recruiting only the best in the organization. Once this goal is accomplished, the focus is to retain employees by means of incentives such as bonuses and rewards. Employees are therefore encouraged to not only contribute to corporate governance, but also to do so with excellence in mind.

This frame could contribute to the problem mentioned above by creating a culture of striving for professional excellence to such an extent that ethics may become a lesser concern. In order to work for the collective reputation of the company, for example, individual employees may be encouraged to take cases that might be ethically questionable, such as proving the innocence of a known perpetrator.

From a family point-of-view, this could result in internal conflict, as individuals are expected to care for each other and for the company like an extended family. Hence, those with a higher moral or values basis would object to this type of behavior once it becomes known. In this way, internal conflict results, which also leads to a consideration of the "Jungle" frame.

The "Jungles" frame focuses upon the political paradigm. This frame considers an organization as a platform for contest. Competition abounds for power and scarce resources, while conflict results from contending needs, perspectives, and lifestyles. Individuals and groups contend within such organization, resolving conflicts by means of bargaining, negotiation, coercion and compromise.

In the case of MTO, it is unlikely that coercion occurs, as the "Jungles" frame is mitigated somewhat by the "Family" frame. Because of the view of the extended family, individuals and groups within MTO are more likely to compromise and negotiate as equals rather than conceding to coercing tactics. Also, the coalitions typical of the "Jungles" frame are also unlikely within MTO, since the organization is very much focused upon giving all its employees an equal opportunity for voicing their opinions and concerns.

In order to understand the conflict mentioned above in terms of this frame, one might assume that the employees in question harbor different sets of ideals and values. One employee is focused upon generally and socially accepted values, while the other is focused upon a work ethic that places the interest of the company above all else. Because of the extended family paradigm, the assumption here can be that negotiation and compromise could resolve the conflict. Rather than the political skills and acumen solution of the "Jungles" frame, this is a more amicable solution to the conflict, which benefits not only the colleagues involved, but also the company in general.

In resolving this conflict, the most effective frame can therefore be seen as the "Family" frame. While political structures to form some of the basis of relationships within MTO, it is also true that these relationships are based upon a collaborative rather than a competitive paradigm. Individual commitment and motivation are indeed essential to success, which means that competition is part of the culture within MTO. However, the egalitarian culture that forms the basis of the company also places the extended family paradigm at a higher level than the competitive, political paradigm.

The principles of anticipation and containment can also be used as alternative interpretations of the problem. The first principle of anticipation, for example, is the preoccupation with failure. This principle concerned with paying attention to the lessons that could be learned from failure.

The conflict in question could, for example, be a warning sign of potential failure. On the one hand, adhering to the ethics principle of not accepting clients who are known to be guilty could result in significant financial loss for the company. If all such clients are turned away, these implications can be significant. This is especially important in the light of the community and pro bono work with which the company is involved. Turning away wealthy clients on the basis of an ethical principle could result in financial losses that also translate to a failure in terms of the company's commitment to the community.

On the other hand, failure can also relate to mistakes that people would not want to make. These must also be carefully documented in order to learn from them. In this paradigm, ignoring an ethical principle for the sake of revenue could be a mistake with even greater financial implications than accepting the wealthy client. Defending a client that is known to be guilty, even successfully, could tarnish the ethical reputation of MTO. Clearly, the company wishes to promote itself as a highly ethical entity that cares for its community. To return known "criminals" to the streets could be devastating in this regard. In this way, the magnitude of either failure must be measured against the other in order to be able to understand and mitigate the problem. In one case, the failure is financial, while in the other case, it is ethical.

The second principle of anticipation is Reluctance to Simplify. Simplification is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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