Case Summary: NoGo Railroad Dave Keller a chief dispatcher with limited managerial experience has gotten a major promotion, making him the communication manager of the division. However this promotion has come with numerous problems. Because of NoGo Railroads unique operations it has had little to no competition and no compelling reason to modernize operations, but that is about to change as Dave has been given the mandate to observe different job functions, eliminate obsolete practices and modernize wherever possible.
With rumors running rampant through the organization of layoffs and job function changes, as well as previous failed attempts to implement other job changes similar to what management is again trying to implement, Dave realizes that he has a few problems ahead of him. With key problems being cutting employee costs and morale problems brought about by blatant nepotism and feather bedding, Dave believes that by eliminating these issues it would prevent major layoff for clerks and telegraph operators.
Both groups however would have to accept changes that would result in reduced compensation and possibly additional responsibilities for them all. With a firm backing from a Union that is known to be rigid against concessions in these areas Dave needs help from upper management that seems to not be forth coming. Coupled with his uncertainty about resistance action that may be taken by the group Dave is feeling vulnerable and apprehensive about his new job and is questioning the intent behind his promotion. Questions and Task Assignment 1.
Identify and explain the changes you would make to the current employment arrangement? Sean Murray & Kemoy Miller 2. What strategies would you put in place to effectively manage the change? Explain the relationship between these strategies and the possible resistance to the changes. – Racheal Callaghan & Aundre Hamilton 3. Using the case as a reference point, explain the importance of change/change management, and discuss its relationship to effective organization management and performance. – Asha-Gaye Graham & David Rogers.
Question 1: Changes to the Employment Arrangement (Insert answer here) Question 2: Resistance to Change and Management Strategies The inability of people to adapt to change is not new. Employees are not always receptive to change due to a combination of factors. Management may mitigate against high levels of change resistance by taking these factors into consideration and designing and implementing strategies to deal with issues that may arise. Some factors to consider are as follows: 1. Self Interest- Employees tend to resist a change they believe conflicts with their self-interests.
A proposed change in job design, structure or technology may increase an employee’s workload, for example, or cause a real or perceived loss of power, prestige, pay or benefits. (Daft, 2012) This factor seems evident in the case of NoGo Railroads as a key source of disgruntlement for employees was the rumor that they may have to assume responsibilities outside of their job descriptions without an increase in compensation, as well as a general reduction of benefits with the changes in the contractual pay agreement. . Lack of Understanding or Trust- Employees often distrust the intentions behind a change or do not understand the intended purpose of a change. (Daft, 2012) Information about the changes that were to be implemented was far from free flowing and easily accessible. Instead rumors, whether true or untrue took main precedent and resulted in increased levels of distrust as employees were not fully aware of the reasons for the need for change and the actions that were to take place at NoGo. 3.
Uncertainty- Uncertainty is a lack of information about future events and represents a fear of the unknown. It is especially threatening for employees who have a low tolerance for change and a fear of anything outside of the ordinary. They do not know how a change will affect them and worry about whether they will be able to meet the demands of a new procedure or technology. (Daft, 2012) Poor access to good information lead to low trust levels of trust and also uncertainty which only increased NoGo’s employees’ resistance to change. . Different Assessment and Goals- Another reason for resistance in change is that people who will be affected by a change or innovation may access the situation differently from an idea champion i. e. in individual or group leading the change movement. (Daft, 2012) In response to these factors one may choose to either conduct a force field analysis of the situation, which involves “weighing” the driving forces (problems or motivations that provide motivation for change) against the restraining forces (various barriers to change).
Another approach would be to adopt specific tactics to overcome resistance depending on the main factors causing the resistance. Some strategies include: * Communication and education, which essentially is the attempt to overcome uncertainty and lack of understanding by providing free flowing access to accurate and clear information about the change and its results. * Participation, which involves including stakeholders of the change into the change process in order to have them understand and commit to the change. Negotiation, or the use of formal bargaining to win acceptance and approval for a desired change * Coercion, and the use of formal powers by managers to force the change on employees * And finally, top management support, that sees top executives reinforcing the importance of innovation both verbally and symbolically which signals to employees that the changes is important for the entire organization. In the case of NoGo the most effective strategies would be a combination of four of the specific tactics, namely Communication and education, participation, negotiation and top management support.
Communication and education would be used to tackle the issues of distrust and uncertainty. By clearly informing employees of the objectives of the exercise, outlining the actions that are to take place and the benefits of these actions, all employees will be on the same page and dialogue that would ensue between management and the employees could be used to provide clarification and reassurance to employees where necessary, reducing the chances of conflict. After educating employees on the change that is to take place having them participate in the change would be the next step. By including them in the ecision making where necessary would mean they would be more vested in the project and less likely to reject something they helped build. Because of the role of the unions in employee affairs negotiations would be a must as a part of NoGo’s change implementation process, especially in regards to the pay contract. By coming to a mutually acceptable decision, conflicts are exceedingly avoidable. Finally after working to get employees vested in the change process it is important to now reinforce the importance of the drive for this change by top management showing their support for the initiative.
This would assure employees that this process is indeed an organizational wide one, and everyone is vested in the effort and its challenges and successes. Question 3: Change Management and Effective Organizational Management NOGO Railroad has experienced little to no competition over the years. A need for change was identified by Dave Keller the Communications. Change Management will modify and transform the organization so as to facilitate efficiency and performance.
Change is crucial to an organization’s survival, as it allows the organization to survive in a dynamic environment. Change is important as it allows an organization to able to be flexible and develop/maintain an organic structure. To achieve this NOGO Railroad will need to conduct an Organizational Development intervention. This intervention will include activities such as: team building, inter-group educational and training, structural, interpersonal, coaching and career planning and organizational transformation.
With these activities the culture and structure of the organization will change in such a way, which will improve the productivity of the organization, lower absenteeism, increase loyalty, lower human resource cost with the added implementation and enforcement of proper human resource policies. Reference Daft, R. (2012). New Era of Management. 10th Edition. South- Western: Cengage Learning. Hayes. J,(2002) The Theory and Practice of Change Management. MacMillian Holbeche. L,(2006) Understanding Change: Theory, Implementation and Success. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.