Management of Change and Organizational Development: Student Course Review

This essay looks at team project and its functioning in relation to two of the theoretical models of planned change which are the Action Research Model and Lewin’s Change Model in addition to what they entail including their application. It looks at the group performance, development and functioning of the group, improving group work and self-development. It gives a reflection of the activities during the semester in terms of the project. It focuses on the way the course helped us in dealing with predicaments that arose along the way for instance in reaching at unanimous decisions within the group. The essay also depicts what groups and organizations out there experience in terms of transformation and some of the factors that can result to the resistance of change and this essay has talked about psychological resilience as one of the factors. It also gives a general overview of the knowledge acquired through the learning of this course and its application to organizations through management.

Introduction

Management of change the of process of bringing transformations to an organization while organizational development on the other hand is an effort or plan that helps to increase effectiveness in an organization using planned interventions in the processes of an organization through behavioral-science information, precisely it is a planned system of change (Rouda & Kusy, 1996). Management of change and organizational development therefore is integral in any organization or project that looks to achieve its objectives and realize its long-term goals. This paper therefore seeks to look at the experiences over the semester as a member of a project team, group performance, development and functioning of the group, improving group work, self development and refection.

Group Performance

Team projects turn out to have more quality as compared to individual projects (Losh, 2009). Over the semester, a number of things happened in our project team. Most of the plans went as expected even though our achievement was below our expectations due to a number of issues. On the positive side, I can strongly say that each member of the group did the work allocated to them in time. The team leader had to delegate the work because of the short duration and to encourage individual contributions to the project to avoid social loafing. Being a group made of different characters, we experienced some resistance because at first some members were against the division of tasks, they tried to resist the idea and actually looking at their quality of work it was very shallow and not credible.

Two theoretical models of planned change helped us as a team even though we did not apply all of them. They include Action Research Model and Lewin’s Change Model (Waddell, Cummings, & Worley, 2011). Looking at our project, we had to alter some things along the way because we realized we could not achieve our result effectively. For instance, we had to decide to be meeting to do everything as a group until we discovered that we were making very little progress. That is when we thought of dividing the work amongst ourselves. I noticed that a good number of group members were against the idea because they felt it could result to people doing what was not expected. This can be associated with the Lewin’s Change Model, in which change comes about by the forces that push for it (Rosch, 2002). This type of resistance can be termed as psychological resilience amongst the team members because they might not have been prepared to change from the old habit and adapt to the new one.

Development and Functioning of the Group

We were required to work in groups so as to achieve the objectives of the project. The relations among the group were neutral since all the members were of similar nationality which made communication amongst ourselves much easier. A Shared culture was also among other factors that made our comprehension of things much easier. Effectiveness of work of the team was key in the success of our project. This was mainly based on productivity and personal outputs. We were guided by some stages in group development which include forming, storming, performing and adjourning (Abudi, 2010). Forming involved meeting members and doing introductions to know each other better. We also discussed on the topic of the project besides setting goals and objectives. In storming, we had to agree on what was to be done and the manner of doing it. This stage helped us in functioning both as a group and as individuals. We also come to an agreement on the responsibilities and roles of the team members. Norming was all about working together as a team in a more effective and efficient way while and performing stage was the actual stage where we implemented the project. Lastly, in adjourning stage, we ended the project and dissolved the team.

We had difficulties in decision making because our decisions could not favor everyone besides having problems in solving some issues since we did not have experts on such putting into consideration all of us were the same in terms of educational qualifications. Whenever we were in such a dilemma, we could sit down and look at the causes of those problems and come with sound decisions for change, an application of the Action Research Model. This helped us to identify problems and examine some of the alternatives. It resulted in the establishment of standards within the group in terms of what was expected and what was totally forbidden like failure to submit individual results in time.

Improving Group Work

Satisfaction is all about the ability of the team to meet personal needs of the members and to maintain membership including commitment while productive efforts can be related to both the quality and quantity of the project. These are some of the things I felt were missing in our team that needed improvement. Other things that I felt needed improvement include commitment among the members in the project, working relationships which was not so good and time wastage which come about due to frequent absenteeism by some team members. Some members failed to accomplish their roles as agreed. I feel we lack motivational factors within the team and some team members failed to own up the project even though in the end we succeeded in carrying out our project.

Self-Development and Reflection

This course has equipped me with skills in management and organization change and working in a team. I can comfortably say that I can solve problems easily within a team besides learning the various theoretical models of planned change which can be applied in an organization ensure an effective transforming. Other things include reasons for resisting change within an organization and what can be done to overcome them including measures that can be put in place to prevent change resistance. I would say this course really helped through the project as a group because we learnt what it entailed setting goals. We managed to establish challenging but realistic and achievable goals. I feel that next time we should try and come up with a layout on how to carry out activities and what to expect, something I felt we did not do.

In our case, I would say that we discovered there was some tendency of laxity amongst some group members who made little or no contribution at all yet the project was a collective responsibility. We had to employ an approach called negotiation and agreement so as to come to a consensus (Sengupta, Bhattacharya, & Sengupta, 2006). Looking at the decision we made, it happened to resemble with Action Research Model whereby the initial research provides information that guides the actions to be taken (Sinha, 2013). Changes within the team were inevitable and everyone had to adapt to them. This is in relation to Lewin’s Change Model where the forces and circumstances result to push for a change.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I can say that the Management of Change and Organizational Development course really taught me a lot in terms of running an the organization or a project and the theories of planned change that can be applied to ensure an effective and efficient transformation through management. This knowledge helped us a lot through our project since we were working as a team and we experienced a number of challenges even though we were successful in the end.

References

  • Abudi, G. (2010, May 9). PROJECTSMART. Retrieved June 2, 2013, from The Five Stages of Team Development: A Case Study: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/the-five-stages-of-team-development-a-case-study.html
  • Cummings, G. T., & Worley, G. C. (2009). Organization Development & Change. Natorp Boulevard Mason: CENGAGE Learning.
  • Losh, C. S. (2009, March 29). Guide to the Material: Eight Group Perfomance and Decision Making. Retrieved June 2, 2013, from SPRING 2009 : http://mailer.fsu.edu/~slosh/Guide8.html
  • Rosch, E. (2002). Lewin’s Field Theory as Situated Action in Organizational Change. Organization Development Journal, 20 (2).
  • Rouda, H. R., & Kusy, E. M. (1996, May 4). What is OD? Retrieved May 28, 2013, from Organization Development: The Management of Change: http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~rouda/T3_OD.html
  • Sengupta, N., Bhattacharya, S. M., & Sengupta, R. N. (2006). Managing Change in Organizations. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
  • Sinha, K. M. (2013, January 24). Action Research Model. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/manishkumarsinha2/action-research-model-16162982
  • Waddell, D., Cummings, G. T., & Worley, G. C. (2011). Organizational Change, Development & Transformation (Asia Pacific 4th ed.). South Melbourne Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.
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