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Behavioral Change WIthin an Organization Essay

1.What characterizes a hyperturbulent environment?
•A hyperturbulent environment is characterized by rapidly changing product lines, an increasing and changing set of competitors, rapid and continual technological innovation, and rapid market growth.

2.On the Adaptive Cultures diagram, describe the difference between a “satisficing” environment and a “reactive” environment? •The difference between “satisficing” and “reactive environments” stems from their respective differences pertaining to their environmental stability and adaptive orientation. A “satisficing” style is the result of a stable environment and a high level of adaptive orientation.

This style of managing emphasizes a centralized decision-making structure, more levels of management, and coordination by formalized committees. A “reactive” style is the result of a hyperturbulent environment and a low level of adaptive orientation. Management typically deals with problems on a crisis basis. This style implies waiting until serious problems can no longer be ignored and then correcting them with drastic measures.

3.Which is the “best” situation on the diagram and the “worst”? •The “best” situation on the diagram is renewing/transformational management. This style is proactive; identifying solutions to problems before they occur, and constantly changing through innovation to stay ahead of competitors. Conversely, the “worst” situation on the diagram is sluggish-thermostat management. This style has a tendency to value tradition, which is a road block to change, and emphasizes formal control systems, processes, and procedures. As a result, this style can lead to failure through current success (things are working well right now, so why change them).

4.Describe Open System. Give an example.
•An open system is based on interdependency. It is in constant interaction with its environment; influencing and being influenced. Feedback is obtained throughout this interaction so that the system can adjust and achieve a constant state of dynamic equilibrium. An example of an open system is a family. Parents, children, siblings, etc. constantly act and react to one another based upon what each individual member puts forth
(work, money, love, daily problems, school, friendship, etc.).

5.Describe Socio-technical system. Give an example.
•A social-technical system views the organization as an open system of coordinated human and technical activities. Under this view, the organization’s activities consist of the goals and values, technical, structural, psychosocial, and managerial subsystems. Any changes that occur in any of the organization’s process can have effects throughout the organization since all processes are related. An example of this is a bank.

If management decides to change the way it take in deposits, this has an effect on the backroom operations of the bank (clearing and settling the deposit transactions), the bank tellers (how to take and handle the deposits), customer service (what type of information to relay to the deposit customers), and marketing (the information used for advertising may have changed). This change also effect the lending function (deposits are the source of funding for the bank’s loans, therefore loan pricing may be effected).

6.Give me a situation where you might use a “contingency approach” at work? •The contingency approach says that there is no one “best way” to handle all situations that may occur. Rather, a person needs to adjust to the situation and handle it based upon the characteristics at hand. A situation where I use the contingency approach is in dealing with my coworkers. One group of people I work with can handle very direct and candid responses to issues and problems; therefore I speak with them in this manner. Conversely, another group of individuals is not as susceptible to candor. I must use finesse and a great deal of emotion in relaying solutions to problems they want to solve.

7.How are the concepts of future shock and hyperturbulent environment similar? •The concepts of future shock and a hyperturbulent environment are similar in that both deal with a rapid level of change. As a result, organizations must be more adaptable and flexible than ever before to deal with the ever changing landscapes in which they operate.

8.OD focuses on the _________, _______, and ____.____
•OD focuses on the individual, team, and organizational behavior.

Read the article on the Airline Industry (Fear and Loathing)—Write two or three paragraphs describing the problem. How could this be fixed?

•The problem with the airline industry, based upon the article Fear and Loathing (BusinessWeek, September 10, 2007) is that the overall industry lacks leadership. That is, it appears that no one is in charge. Various members of the entire industry (the airlines, unions, small plane owners, community groups, the government, and the FAA) have only their self-interests at heart. As such, no one is being held accountable for what is needed most—change. While the airline industry has developed into its current form, it has not accounted for economic, technological, and environmental changes.

The preferred fix for this problem—a lack of accountability due to a lack of leadership—would be for an independent group to take long-term oversight of much needed changes in the airline industry. This group would act in the best interest of the system (i.e. the airline industry). In addition, this group could provide much needed oversight in changing the overall self-serving mindset of the individual groups. Unfortunately, likely many government (or in this case quasi-government) situations, the adage of “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” is followed. And, like past situations, it typically takes a large-scale catastrophe to promote change (i.e. sluggish-thermostat management).

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