Organizational diagnosis is necessary to produce the road maps that guide the interventions, related to change management. Organizational diagnosis is a complex process that can be viewed from the perspectives of macro image of the organization; contributions of individuals, as well as management and motivation in high-involvement workplace (Burton&Oberl, 2004, pp. 3-4). The research proves that different types of change managers (directors, navigators, caretakers, coaches and interpreters) prefer to choose different devices in order to diagnose the way the changes goes. This finding stems from the fact that different types of change managers set different goals, when applying the models of change diagnosis.
For the purposes of this assignment I would like to refer to is congruence model of change diagnosis that was developed by Nadler and Tushman. Let me proceed with the brief overview of this model and its main peculiarities.
According to the original work by Nadler and Tushman (1997), congruence model is one of organizational behavior models that put greatest emphasis on the transformation process. It is aimed at reflecting the critical system with a special focus on the design of interdependencies between its components. The components of the system are believed to stay in relative balance or fit each other. Thus, it is possible that all the parts of organization fit well, and function properly, staying in balance. When different parts of the organization are imbalanced, they do not manage to stay fit and the performance of organization worsens. The congruence model is based on assessing the extent to which parts of the organization fit together and the quality of interrelations between different branches of the company.
When coming to the name of the model, it is necessary to mention that the concept of congruence is widely used in social processes’ studies. According to George&Bennett (2005), the essential feature of congruence method is that the investigator starts with analysis of basic theoretic data and then becomes able to assess these data’s applicability to explaining and defining the outcomes of a particular case (p.183).
The congruence model, developed by Nadler and Tushman, uses several inputs. Firstly, each and every organization is influenced by the external environment. The environment creates the demand on the organizations as it may either require or not require particular goods or services at particular moment of its existence. It is also capable of limiting the activities of the company (for instance, restrictive tax or customs laws and regulations can prevent the company from active outer economic activities). Last, but not least is that the environment provides organization with a range of opportunities for growth and development.
The second input under study is resources the company possesses. They include human resources, technologies, information, brand etc.
The third input can be called history or experience. It includes the patterns of the company’s previous behavior and activities, as well as their effectiveness and mistakes that could have been avoided. Critical features of this input include the phases of the organizational development and the impact of the company’s history on its current state and activities.
The last input to consider is strategy. Nadler and Tushman (1997) define strategy as the stream of decisions about the way resources of an organization will be utilized in order to meet the demands, constraints and opportunities, presented by the environment (p.39).
Outputs characterize the way the organization performs and effectiveness of its performance. The major output-related criteria, used in congruence model, are goal attainment, utilization of resources and adaptability.
These inputs and outputs are used in relation to a range of fits that need to be present in the company in order to ensure its proper functioning and reaching necessary level of outputs. These fits include the relation between individual and organization; individual and task; individual and informal organization; task and informal organization, as well as organization and an informal organization. The aggregate model (or the whole organization) can demonstrate either a relatively high or relatively low degree of system congruence. The process of assessing the fits and identifying the fits that require interventions is based on taking basic problems analysis steps. The basic steps under study include identification of symptoms (the data that indicates the existence of a lack of fit between particular components of an organization); learning the inputs; identifying the outputs; describing the issues more precisely; identifying components of the organization; assessing relative congruence among components of an organization; associating fits-related issues with specific determinants; identifying action steps to combat incongruence.
The rationale behind the choice of the model
My choice of the model under study is determined by a range of peculiarities of the model itself and the activities of the publicly traded companies under study (Facebook and Twitter). The first reason why I chose this model is that it allows utilizing a broad spectrum of data (environment, resources, history and strategy). Secondly, the model can be used at different stages of the introduction of change. The congruence model is necessary to be used at the first stage of change management process to identify the core issues that need to be tackled during the change process. Utilization of the model at this stage of the change management process can be conducted by different types of change managers. This statement can be explained by the fact that each manager, regardless of the type of change managers he/she belongs to, needs a plan to start change. I think that this statement can be considered true even for coaches, who emphasize decentralized manner of introducing changes to the operation of the company. Navigators are most likely to use the model at further stages of the introduction of change. It is also worth mentioning that his model of diagnosing change allows to take into account both external and internal pressures. Both companies conduct activities in the sphere of new technologies and are extremely influenced by the developments in the sphere of IT and communication technologies. Furthermore, as the most important part of the companies’ income is generated with the help of advertising, it is important for them to stay up-to-date and provide clients with new functions and features of their services, so that they keep interested in using the service and support the interest of advertisers. As for Twitter, it is necessary to mention that it reports to experience difficulties related to cooperation of different units of the company and maintaining its overgrown organizational chart. In my opinion, congruence model will be especially useful for Twitter change managers to identify the lack of fit between different components of the company’s organizational structure and elaborate on the recommendations that be enforced in order to meet these requirements.
The application of congruence model to diagnosing the change in social media companies is concerned with the range of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are summarized below in the form of SWOT analysis table:
While the model is a good tool to analyze broad range of data and trace the need for change in the context of previous activities of the company and its current strategy. The core strength of the model can still become its weakness, if management fails to utilize the whole scope of data and establish the link between synthetic data and recommendation it elaborates. On the other hand, the usage of the model can be related with lots of opportunities, such as revealing long-term effects of previous management solutions.
Areas of resistance
One of the most baffling issues the management faces is resistance to change (Lawrence, n.d., p.1). In case of Facebook and Twitter resistance is not likely to be of particularly high level. In Twitter case resistance to change may appear at the level of units, whose heads may be unprepared to centralized change and opposing it. At both companies the issues can be raised by shareholders, who may identify other areas or methodology of change and oppose the decisions of management.
A most popular solution to resistance to change is involving the opposition into both a design and implementation of change process. However, it is important to understand that the number of change participants needs to be limited, so that a single pathway to change is taken. Secondly, management needs to understand the nature of resistance and take concrete steps to discussing concerns with both shareholders and staff, so that mutually beneficial solutions can be elaborated on.
- Thorough analysis of all the input data and desirable outputs need to be conducted, so that a manager himself understands the situation and has a basic vision of the change that needs to be conducted or the areas of ongoing change that need to be improved
Rationale: This basic vision off issues and possible steps to tackle them helps the manager get prepared to further steps that need to be taken
- The issues and possible vectors of change need to be communicated to shareholders and staff. Shareholders and staff need to be given some time to present their vision of the issues and share their concerns
Rationale: This step helps to prevent resistance to change and make change more meaningful as different people are likely to present valuable perspectives and solutions that can be used in the change process
- The recommendations for change need to be reanalyzed, and a manager should create the plan for change, emphasizing its timeline; people, responsible for the execution of particular parts of the plan, as well as the frequency and mode of change diagnosis
Rationale: A single plan for change that contains the timeline and distribution of responsibilities can be viewed as a roadmap for change
Diagnosis of change is an important function of change manager. Both Facebook and Twitter require proper diagnosis of change with the help of congruence model. This tool will be especially useful for Twitter as it experiences the lack of coordination between different units’ functioning.
Burton, R.M., Obel, B. (2004). Strategic organizational diagnosis and design: dynamics of fit. Berlin: Springer
George, L., Bennett, A. (2005). Case studies and theory development in social science. Harvard: MIT Press
Lawrence, R.P. (n.d.) How to deal with resistance to change? Retrieved 22 March 2014 from http://hbr.org/1969/01/how-to-deal-with-resistance-to-change/ar/1