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Running head: COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

Course Analysis Summary-MOL 528E


Jo Marie Harter
Medaille College

Authors Note
This paper was prepared on October 23, 2015 for MOL 528E taught by Professor William
Weeks.

COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

Oftentimes, organizations resist change. It is important for leaders to understand the


process for change and the resistance to change in order for organizations to move forward and
grow. There are four hallmarks of active inertia that can prevent or deter organizational change.
These hallmarks are: strategic frames become blinders, processes harden into routines,
relationships become shackles, and values harden into dogmas. In order to avoid falling prey to
these obstacles, leaders must continually examine their mental models, continue to ask hard
questions, challenge old processes and routines, seek to see things through fresh eyes, and be
willing to make necessary changes without compromising their values.
Leaders can also help promote organizational change by understanding the stages of
change and taking steps to ensure that change is supported. The eight stages of change include:
Establish a sense of urgency, form a powerful guiding coalition, create a vision, communicate the
vision, empower others to act on the vision, plan for and create short-term wins, consolidate
improvements and produce more change, and institutionalize new approaches. Again, leaders
must maintain awareness of many of the common pitfalls that can become barriers to these
change stages and take appropriate actions to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the
change goal, that it is well communicated and it is well supported.
Theory E and Theory O are both pertinent leadership styles within organizations. Theory
E has a strong focus on improving and maximizing economic values, is a top-down leadership
style, focuses on structures and systems, are incentives driving and focused in programmatic
planning. Al Dunlap exemplified what and how a Theory E leader is driven to make change
within organizations. A Theory O leader has a strong focus on developing organizational
capabilities, has participative leadership, focuses on organizational culture, has emergent
planning and incentives are not emphasized. Jack Welch would be a great example of a Theory

COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

O leader. I believe that it is important for leaders to integrate the two theories to help find
balance with financial and humanistic aspects of business. Jack Welch was a pioneer in his own
time in regard to leadership. Welch was able to focus on relationships, cultures, and intrinsic
motivation of his employees to facilitate organizational change.
There has been great debate about what type of leadership is most effective within
organizations. The two types of leadership examined were the top-down model and the
participative model. The top-down mentality suggests that leadership belongs in the hands of top
executives and all decisions should be made at that level and trickle down. The participatory
model suggests that all factors are considered, ideas are shared, and employees at all levels take
part in weighing in on the decision making process. I believe that there should be an element of
both models of decision-making within organizations. Utilizing both Theory O and Theory E
have again proven to be effective when used in conjunction with one another.
We examined the characteristics needed to lead in todays organizations. Leaders in
organizations today need to promote a sense of belonging, foster collaboration, and promote a
healthy culture within organizations. Relationships should be based on trust and leaders should
be engaging and provide ongoing encouragement. Leaders need to remain connected with the
day-to-day operations and have an understanding of work processes and expectations for
employees.
There is a vast array of theories regarding organizational change. Some leaders embrace
change based in systems and processes, with little focus on relationships. Margaret Wheatley
would argue that relationships provide the solid foundation in any organization. Relationships
must be fostered to help establish the moral meaning within organizations. Promoting structural
change within organizations can rely heavily on the adaptive culture as well as the ability and

COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

willingness to accept change. Leaders would benefit from engaging employees to help promote
innovation and focus. Change goes beyond structures, systems and processes. In order for
organizations to promote sustainable change, there must be some element of a culture change
within the organization.
Organizations must learn how to effectively manage planned and emergent change.
Planned change comes from a top-down approach where the change process is pre-planned and
incremental. Planned change is based in the Theory E change approach. It does not address
systemic causes of problem and is less adaptable to environmental changes. Emergent change
stresses the unpredictable nature of change and is often perceived as a process of learning.
Emergent change adapts to the environment and allows for flexible, creative, and balanced
responses. Emergent change is based in Theory O and allows for risk taking and empowering
employees in the change process.
Organizations often search for adequate incentives to promote and foster change.
Incentives are often used in organizations to help shape and change behavior in workplace.
Often, organizations will use financial incentives, which can both lag or lead change. However,
implementing financial incentives is not always the most effective strategy to promote change.
Intrinsic motivation can help employees find purpose, establish a trusting and collaborative work
culture, and establish meaningful work. These factors have been found to be stronger incentives
in the workplace when incorporating change. For organizations to determine true intrinsic
motivation, financial incentives should lag the change efforts. This allows organizations to
determine work together to establish job design and determine the sources that provide job
satisfaction. When financial incentives lead change efforts, organizations are more likely to
attract employees seeking higher compensation, potentially resulting in a more motivated

COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

workforce. Like many other theories we have studied, leaders should seek to strike a delicate
balance with financial incentives both lagging and leading organizational change efforts.
Consultants can play a significant role in the process of organizational change. They can
bring knowledge to organizations, helping to bridge the gaps. They can offer an objective
perspective to ongoing deficiencies within the organization through analysis, redesign, and
change. It is up to leadership within organizations to make use of the findings brought about by
consultants. Many organizations do not have the systems needed, or sometimes the desire to
make the suggested changes. It is important for organizations to have a clear objective in mind
prior to hiring consultants as there have been significant financial losses incurred when the
objective is unclear and leaders do not know how to implement and sustain change.
Much of what I have learned in this course can directly apply to my current role within
my organization. As it continues to be reinforced in my coursework, leaders must learn to strike
a delicate balance between many theories, such as Theory E and Theory O, and often incorporate
both concepts, as there do not seem to be many absolutes in leadership. Gaining a greater
understanding of planned and emergent change was helpful, as there is continual change within
my workplace, and I have learned many different approaches to managing change, as well as the
many possible outcomes. Helping others embrace change has been and will continue to a
challenge in the workplace. Understanding what motivates others and how financial incentives
can help and hinder the change process has been beneficial. Though I am removed from having
the ability to grant financial incentives, this course has helped me gain a deeper understanding of
the intrinsic elements of change, which is something that I can encourage and support.
In regard to my own proficiencies in the areas covered in this course, I feel that I have
some of the knowledge, but little of the power, to implement organizational change. I was not

COURSE ANALYSIS SUMMARY-528E

aware of Theory E and Theory O, but I believe that I work from a more Theory O perspective in
my day-to-day work. As a supervisor, I have been historically inquisitive about what motivates
human behavior in the workplace, but this course provided me with more knowledge and skills
to foster motivation in others. I have never given much thought to financial incentives, as I have
never worked for an organization that offered them to employees unless it was at an executive
level, to which I am not aware. Learning more about that was interesting for me, as it proved
that sometimes just providing praise and encouragement could be a motivating factor in the
workplace. Overall, this course has been beneficial and has provided me knowledge and tools
that I will certainly employ.