A contract is a verbal or written agreement between the client and the OD practitioner. The contract specifies the expectations of the client and the OD practitioner. The client and the OD practitioner collaborate with each other and provide the resources necessary for the OD practitioner to access the organization and areas that need change. The contract may also include confidentially and how the OD practitioner will be involved in personal issues (Cummings & Worley, 2005). In the case study,
It’s Your Turn, Steve clearly entering into a contract with Newfangled Software when he started working for them nine years ago. Although, he is no longer their contractor he should have maintained the companies confidentially and ethical guidelines when he was conversing with Tom about Newfangled Software. In this report I will explain what my decision would be about Newfangled Software’s job offer. I will also examine contract issues that are important to me and how I would handle Dyer’s if he displayed the same behavior Steve described if I accepted the OD practitioner position with Newfangled Software. First, if I were Tom I would be affected by the information Steve provided to me about Newfangled Software. Before Steve told Tom about his experience with Newfangled Software, he told Tom to keep the information confidential.
It sounded like Steve knew that he should not have shared the information with anyone else, but he did. Although Steve worked for Newfangled Software nine years ago he should keep the details of his experience confidential. Steve could have provided Tom with information about his experience with the company that would not affect the confidential and ethical guidelines of the company and an OD practitioner. Instead of
choosing that route, Steve told Tom that he had a bad experience with the David, the president of the company and some of the other managers. Steve provided Tom with detailed information about David’s behavior and attitude.
Steve also provided Tom a detailed account of each day’s activities and how the employees reacted to the training. Steve continued to tell Tom how the employees, especially David, being a first time president of the company did not take the training seriously and left the session early with some other employees. Furthermore, Steve went on to say that one of his friends, Patricia Kingsley conducted training for Newfangled Software at their annual retreat at Cape Cod. Steve gave Tom also gave detailed information about Patricia’s experience with Newfangled Software. He said that Patricia go paid a lot of money for her five day training. Steve shared David’s behavior at Patricia’s training to Tom. Steve stated that David left halfway through the first session with three of his top administrators.
They went on a canoe ride where other employees at the session were working while David and the administrators where laughing. Steve went on to say that the employee participation at Patricia session dropped to less than a quarter by the end of the last session. I am usually not easily influence by others points of view when it comes to determining whether I will accept a job. Steve has influenced my opinion about Newfangled Software based upon his experience and Patricia’s experience. Therefore, I do not think that I would want to accept the OD practitioner position with Newfangled Software. I do not think that I could be objective.
I would always be expecting some type of bad behavior from David or the other employees of the company at the retreat. I would however want to talk to Patricia about her experience with Newfangled Software to verify Steve’s statement and to obtain more insight into Patricia’s experience with Newfangled Software. In trying to talk to Patricia about Newfangled Software, I would consider confidentially and ethical guidelines for Newfangled Software and myself. On the other hand, if I wanted to be objective and talk with Irwin about the next training session, I would ask what information is to remain confidential. I would have specific information written in the contract about whether all information at the training is to remain confidential and whether it can be shared with my other colleagues outside of the company. I also want the contract to clearly state that the training will be taken seriously.
Everyone from top management to the lower level staff should be professional, participate and attempt to learn from the training in order to build the skills they need to improve their company. Even after I accepted the job I would have the contract specify the client and the OD practitioner expectations. I would remind David Dyer that he is the president of the company and other employees are going to follow his lead. I would advise him that I want the employees to leave the retreat with management skills that they can use when they return to their job.
I would explain to the other employees that I want to provide them with the best possible training. I would also explain to them I need their full support and cooperation in order for the training to successful for all of us. Making a decision to accept a job as an OD practitioner should be one based upon objective information. The decision should not be influenced by anyone else’s experience or decision. I would consider the ethical guidelines I set for myself and the company. The most important information to remember is whether this is a company that could benefit from an OD practitioner and whether you’re the right person for the job. That would be my decision.
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C.G. (2005). Organizational development and change, (8th ed.).
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