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Change and Culture Case Study Essay Sample

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Change and Culture Case Study Essay Sample

The cost of health care in the United States remains an important concern for American consumers. The challenges for controlling costs and providing a better health care system are various and complex. These challenges, in many cases, are in the realm of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or other federal or state agencies (Department of Justice, 2012). Hospitals continue to team up with other facilities, insurers and for-profit companies, although the cause of the bump in M&A activity varies. While some hospitals cite financial problems, others join forces because of collaboration mandated under the Affordable Care Act and changing reimbursement models, according to Minnesota Public Radio (Caramenico, 2012). Many dynamics in a healthcare organization can dramatically change when a merger occurs; these changes occur on the floor and among staff. The impact of merging two separate entities with different values and performance efforts can have long-term and short-term affects within the new organization. This paper is an effort to identify the impact a merger will have on the culture of the new combined organization, and how to ensure that the combined staff will work together to provide quality care without taking on a competitive stance. Change and Culture: Cultural Impacts on New Organization

When two entities merge together, cultural change can be a major challenge. Operational, functional, and organizational elements at all levels of the new organization can be disrupted when incorporating two organizations into one. Disruption can cause stress on all involved in the merger, however, these challenges aim to produce positive results during the transition and beyond. Mergers present opportunities to expand one or more of the departments in the organizations involved. A chance to show creativity is introduced and new performance efforts are reformed into new ones. Unfortunately, cultural change can bring on added stress for managers and supervisors. The reason for this is because managers will experience a sense of loss of control over the staff because of all the new blend of workers; understandably, this can make one feel powerless. Moreover, along with the sudden changes of the new organization, the management also has to deal with their daily activities. Stress for managers can be a challenge, and more importantly, how managers deal with stress during a major organizational change can require him/her to be more flexible and adaptable within their department and towards their new staff. The higher the change occurs in the chain of command, the wider the positive or negative effect on the organization.

How an organization reacts to change varies; for instance, managerial reaction to major organizational changes invokes inner resistance that requires flexibility and adaptability to overcome. Perceptions and attitudes respond to reasonable assessments to changing circumstances. Leadership must model such a behavior that enhances the ability of the employee to learn to do the same. When cross-training a new employee, leadership is educating that individual to learn how to be more effective based on their abilities and current skills they already have. To be successful during and after a major transition, managers need to focus on areas within their control. For new policies and procedures to be effectively implemented into the new organization, employees must buy-in and cooperate. Managers need to find a way to motivate the employees, while at the same time controlling their own emotions, because they need to help them to overcome the resistance to the changes occurring all around them.

Employees should be reminded of the opportunities created by a merger, because the birth of a new organization and culture can be an exhilarating experience, if approached correctly, to all involved. With this in mind, the best of both organizations can be the focus of future departmental designs, cultural shifts, and employee motivational strategies (Carbonell, 2009). By combining the strengths of each corporation a new form of better practices can be achieved. Another way of achieving better practices within a new organization is the use of the appreciative inquiry (AI) model. Appreciative inquiry (AI) is a positive way to embrace organizational change based on a simple assumption: Every organization has something that works right—things that give life when it most alive, effective, successful, and connected in healthy ways to its stakeholders and communities. AI begins by identifying what is positive and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy and vision for change (Thomas, 2013).

Managers, from both organizations, are brought into a self-motivated environment where each of them will be paired together, along with the employees of each department to collaborate their best ideas and experiences to implement them into the new organization; which help to produce new departmental formulations and organizational designs. The newly created designs are analyzed for feasibility, cost analysis, and implementation options (Carbonell, 2009). Change and Culture: Working Together Without Competing

Effective managers will create trust through engagement, commitment, and communication. The role of the manger is to interact supportively with the employees without creating additional confusion and fear. Encouraging involvement is the best way to raise morale and generate commitment to the changes by giving employees an opportunity to participate in the changes to the organization. Employee participation will make him or her more likely to comply with the changes because he or she will own part of the changes (Liebler & McConnell, 2008).

The appreciative inquiry (AI) is still known today as one of the best morale boosters. Before AI, the analysis of patient falls, errors to medications, or misdiagnosis emphasized the number of issues associated with those situations. AI focuses on the times when the events didn’t happen and brings out the care without mishap (Thomas, 2013). As a result, insurmountable problems vanish through the positive, pre-emptive implementation of behavior that maintains a problem free environment (Liebler & McConnell, 2008). Change and Culture: New Organization’s System and Shape

The AI approach will have such an impact on the new organization. It will give way to an exciting, energetic, engaged and committed organization which will help motivate stockholders toward new creative efforts of a shared vision. The joining together of these two entities creates the opportunity to shares insights and skills to cultivate a more well-organized entity. What once were problems can be opportunities for growth and innovation, and leadership can deliver the message of collaborative learning of the new format (Morrison, 2000).

Translating the concept of a shared vision and purpose into multiple languages that an individual can understand can be a challenge among leadership. To the finance department shared vision and purpose needs to explore financial stability, proven balance in ledgers and accounting sheets. To the dietary department, shared vision is promoting health and wellbeing through their careful attention to patient’s dietary needs. To the nursing department a shared vision of patient safety, performance improvement and rewarding caretaking must coincide with their training and ability, and provide them with the opportunity for further learning. To the surgical department, a shared vision will include a timely delivery of surgical services while preserving lives and rewarding the stakeholders for their attention to detail, reducing surgical site infections and keeping within the annual budget for new equipment acquisitions (Carbonell, 2009). Change and Culture: Theoretical Framework

According to Liebler & McConnell (2008), restructuring through mergers and affiliations are characteristic organizational efforts to achieve economies of scale, adapt, and survive. Two such specific reasons include: The need for improved efficiencies through administrative centralization such as financial and health information resource streamlining, and marketing intensification; and the desire to promote comprehensive, readily accessible care by keeping smaller community-based facilities from closing (Carbonell, 2009).

The role of leadership is vital in the new organization. A broad approach to leadership requires a manger to understand their own strengths and build diverse teams that will access the four modes of leadership: structural, political, human resources and symbolic. To point out, it is the symbolic leader who is able to motivate and inspire individuals, stirring up the excitement in them that will encourage them to commit to a place with a unique identity that adds worth to their performance.

For a symbolic leader to be effective he/she must use dramatic symbols to express their passion to others; this helps them to also commit to the organization’s mission. Symbolic managers are visible and energetic (Carbonell, 2009). They are unique in their leadership role because they lead through participation and go above and beyond what is expected of them. There are even times when they show up where they are least expected. Conclusion

When two organizations come together to create a more efficient organization there are many factors to consider to bring everyone involved to share in one vision. That vision is to bring the best of both organizations to create an efficient, well-organized, and supportive environment to the team of managers and staff. One of the magical aspects of appreciative inquiry is that the resources required are already built into the organization (Carbonell, 2009). Also, it is necessary for the leadership to lead by example and come along side the workers to assure the most positive outcomes. The leadership must take on several roles within the organization and departments to help keep the new staff motivated and focused. Managers must also help each other in the preparation process of creating the new organization.


Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1997). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership.. Retrieved from http://www.google.com Caramenico, A. (2012, September). What’s Driving Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions? Retrieved from http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/whats-driving-healthcare-mergers-acquisitions/2012-09-21 Carbonell, A. M. (2009, November). Case and Culture Case Study 1 Paper Doc. Retrieved from http://www.ebookbrowse.com Department of Justice. (2012, March). Competition and Health Care: A Prescription for High-Quality, Affordable Care. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/speeches/281236.pdf Liebler, J. G., & McConnell, C. R. (2008). Management Principles for Health Professionals.

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