1. Identification of the Problem
The Creative Toys Company, a small firm that specializes in producing small wooden toys, was started by John Wilson. The company is proud of its history, stability and growth in the industry. Low turnover rates are result of good wages and fringe benefits. One department in particular the transportation department had been highly productive. The plant manager recently decided to bring consultants to determine if production could be increased, one recommendation dealt with rearranging the work areas in the transportation department. The plant manager agreed with the assessment and had the workstation rearranged during the weekends. After two months it was obvious that transportation department’s productivity was declining. So now the problem, what causes the department’s resistance to change? What would the manager do to increase productivity?
2. Objectives of the Problem
To identify the causes of the resistance to change with the transportation department. To provide possible solutions to increase the productivity of the transportation department.
3. Situational Analysis
The transportation department of the Creative Toys Company had become a social system- a complex set of human interrelationship interacting in many ways. All parts of the system are mutually interdependent. The rearrangement of the working areas affected each one of the members and it has lead to low productivity. The department gain closeness to each other especially that their working areas before are in a circular fashion thus they are able to converse with each other and keep inform of their work habits and productivity. When the plant manager disrupted their social equilibrium-the interdependent parts in dynamic working balance they throw the whole transportation department out of balance seriously reducing its forward progress. The change creates unfavorable effects the decline in productivity, creating dysfunctional effects. I was having the impression that the manager did not really do the cost benefit analysis, he just agreed and implemented immediately the change without considering the different costs associated with it. There are different kinds of costs economic cost and social psychology cost or psychic costs. To examine only the economic benefits without weighing its psychic cost-the strain impose to the people as they adjust to change is useless.
4. Decision Framework Constraints
5. Identification of alternative courses of action
Return to Initial Transportation Layout
The main source of controversy in the creative toy company is the transportation department because of the rearrangement of their work areas. Why not return to their initial work areas, wherein the workers were all working together, their productivity levels were very high.
Monetary Recognition for the Transportation Department
In this specific case there is going to be a cost to the organization, in order to satisfy the needs of the employees Creative Toys Company is going to have to give their employees a slight raise, when looking into the long term this is a small price to pay. Creative Toys company is eventually going to gain all the money that was used to give the employees raises back, this will happen over time because the employees are now satisfied they are more willing to work with the company and put their best effort in every product they make
Implementing Organization Development
The OD process begins when an organization recognizes that a problem exists which impacts the mission or health of the organization and change is desired. It can also begin when leadership has a vision of a better way and wants to improve the organization. An organization does not always have to be in trouble to implement organization development activities. Once the decision is made to change the situation, the next step is to assess the situation to fully understand it. This assessment can be conducted in many ways including documentation review, organizational sensing, focus groups, interviewing, or surveying. The assessment could be conducted by outside experts or by members of the organization. After the situation is assessed, defined, and understood, the next step is to plan an intervention. The type of change desired would determine the nature of the intervention. Interventions could include training and development, team interventions such as team building for management or employees or the establishment of change teams, structural interventions, or individual interventions Once the intervention is planned, it is implemented.
During and after the implementation of the intervention, relevant data is gathered. The data gathered would be determined by the change goals. For example, if the intervention were training and development for individual employees or for work groups, data to be gathered would measure changes in knowledge and competencies. This data is used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. It is reported to the organization’s decision-makers. The decision-makers determine if the intervention met its goals. If the intervention met its goals, the process can end, which is depicted by the raising of the development bar. If it did not, the decision is made whether to continue the cycle and to plan and carry out another intervention or to end it.
Recommendation of the best Alternative Course of Action
I think the best alternative course of action is a combination of Organizational Development and monetary recognitions. OD process is a useful process, its chief advantage is that it tries to deal with a major unit like the transportation department and could increase productivity. Rewarding the employees for supporting the change could fast track implementation. Both parties could win, the workers receive their raise while the company receives motivated and hardworking employees.
Timeline: The effect would be taken immediately so that all the work can be done on time.
System of Evaluation progress: We will evaluate the employees on a weekly basis. They will be evaluated on their attitude towards their job as well as how effective they are.
Consideration of relevant financial conditions: Every employee would get a significant raise if and only they could meet their prior performance
People react to change individually. However, they often show their attachment to the group that’s what happens to the transportation department. They have a uniform response to the change. The group basically responds, “We are all in this together, whatever happens to one affects all of us. I think the employee resistance to change happens because it threaten their social interactions.
Employees may resist change because of three broad reasons. First the team are uncomfortable with the nature of change itself. They may believe that the decision of the plant manager is technically incorrect. They resist the change because of the fear of the unknown or they feel that there is really nothing wrong with the work areas, why bother changing it. The second reason the way, the plant manager introduce the change. The plant manager did not even bother to inform the team of the changes. The manager just decided to agreed with the assessment without telling the transportation department the cause of the rearrangement, it was immediately implemented during the weekend, so the team was surprised with the new work areas. The transportation department was not involved in the change process and reject the authoritarian approach of the manager. Lastly the team did not see the benefits of the change. With the three reasons exists, the resistance really intensified.
There are certain things the manager do so that the changes is successfully implemented. First the manager acknowledge that communication is essential in gaining support for change. The plant manager create and communicate the vision for the organization and he must state clearly the reason for the needed in change in working areas. He must convince the people that the new working areas are desirable and it’s objective is performance oriented and the needed implementation is urgent to motivate the employees to achieve it. The managers must have restraining forces, or the forces of the support need to built before, during and after a change. Informal groups sprout in the transportation department because they got along well even outside of work. It is important for the manager to recognize the fact that the group is the instrument in bringing pressure on its members to change. Then the manager must identify within the transportation department the informal leader-the member with a high status in the group and convince him/her the benefits of the intended change because he may influence other members to support the change.
Another way to build employee support is ensure sufficient rewards. In the conversations with the owner. He is much willing to raise the wages of the transportation department if they will met the prior production performance. This would give the employees a sense that the progress accompanies change.