Chapter 5 identifies several diagnostic models. The first five speak of the overall structure of the organization. Select one of these five and research it on the Internet. Discuss why you chose this particular model, with special emphasis on the components included and how they (and the model) fit with your view of the organization you are researching for your project. Speak also to what you see as the model’s strengths and weaknesses.
I choose the Star Model, which I believe also applies to both Oracle and SAP. This model consists of five organizational design categories, which include Strategy, People, Structure, Rewards and Processes. I think that this model applies to both Oracle and SAP in that their acquisitions of Sun and Sybase, respectively, were based on strategy. In turn, this strategy includes information about how they will integrate the merged companies to their own companies and what the new structure would be. Similarly, the merging of the two companies required the integration of their processes so that they could have a single and standard process. With Oracle and SAP being large IT firms with a complex set of products, they would naturally require competent people whom they retain through the use of rewards. These companies are particularly known for offering one of the best compensation packages in the IT industry. Moreover, with the acquisitions of Sun (by Oracle) and Sybase (by SAP), they had to make decisions on who to keep and who to lay off as in the case of Oracle. In the case of SAP, they chose to retain all of the Sybase employees after the acquisition. Although these companies handled their acquired human resources in different ways, their decisions with regards to these human resources were still tied to their strategies.
The main strength of this model is that each of the five categories is aligned with each other. More specifically, it ensures that each category is focused on the strategy, which in turn ensures that all aspects of the organization are focused on the attainment of the organization’s objectives. On the other hand, its weakness is that if the strategy proves to be poor then the rest of the organization fails.
While you look around the organization where you work or one that you are familiar with, what signs do you get that change is needed? How could you confirm that instinct or impression?
One sign that organizational change is needed is when employees are not being retained. This can be confirmed from the employees’ exit interviews where they may share what caused them to leave the company. Similarly, overstaffing or redundancy in job positions may also call for a change in the organization. This can be confirmed by identifying the tasks of each of the employees and determining whether some people are working on the same tasks or are not assigned as much tasks. In this case, an organizational change to reduce the workforce may be necessary.
Another sign that change may be required is if the technological equipment used in the organization is already outdated. As such, it may be necessary to change or upgrade this equipment, which will also entail a change in the processes that are associated with its use. This can be confirmed by doing a research on the latest technology that is used for a certain task and comparing the productivity levels from using the old or existing equipment versus using the upgraded equipment.
Still another sign that change is needed is when a business process is causing frequent delays or is being too disruptive for the employees. This can be confirmed by determining the pitfalls and weaknesses of the current business process and how it is negatively affecting the employees’ efficiency at their task as well as the company’s overall productivity level. In this case, a re-evaluation and modification of the business process may be needed.
The Force Field Analysis Model is one of the most famous in change management. It was originally developed by Kurt Lewin and can be found in Chapter 5 at the end of the chapter (printed page 151). Review this model and relate it to an issue in your organization or your associations outside of work. Define how understanding the “forces for” and the “forces against” inter-relate. What insights did you get from the analysis?
This model indicates that whenever change is introduced in an organization, there will always be forces that are in favor of the change and thus, will drive it, as well as forces that will be against it and restrain it. If these two forces are equal in strength or if the restraining forces are stronger than the driving forces then no change will occur. Only if the driving forces are stronger than the restraining forces will change be possible.
As an example from my experience, I was strongly advocating for the implementation of a new tool in our team as I believed that the new tool would help us perform our jobs better. However, my superior didn’t think that the new tool was necessary and so my suggestion was disregarded. About a year later, my superior’s superior wanted to implement the new tool I suggested earlier. She actively pushed for it and so the change occurred. The new tool is now in the process of getting implemented.
In this example, I (driving force) was not stronger than my superior (restraining force) and so no change occurred. However, my superior’s boss (driving force) was stronger than my superior and so the change got implemented