Why Rick was dismissed
Despite having proposed a radical change that could have resulted in efficiency in marketing scheduling, Rick was let go by the PPP because of his behavior, which the others thought would destabilize the status quo, in a fairly traditional and family-based company. Through proposing and showing up with a computer in a work environment where everyone was using paper, he made other employees uncomfortable and there was none willing to work or totally embrace Rick as a marketing manager.
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This behavior is best explained by the reinforcement theory of motivation which states that the behavior of an individual is just but a function of the consequences it attracts (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). For instance, Rick’s action to bring a computer had negative consequences as perceived by other employees and his bosses. This means that it could not be embraced or internalized by the conservative workforce (Mayfield, 2014).
Therefore, to feel safe, the PPP had to let Rick go to avoid the potential of his action disrupting the current organizational culture. Besides, the management was intimidated by the potential impact of the possible negative reaction by other managers and employees towards the sudden changes that Rick wanted to bring on board as a marketing manager.
Rosie and Walter’s Reaction to Rick’s Computer
Rosie and Walter were made very uncomfortable by the new idea brought by Rick to facilitate transition from paper transactions to computer aided business management. Having been in the PPP environment for so long and being comfortable confirming to the paper-based management, Rosie and Walter felt that Rick would destabilize the organization with his outsider proposals. As a matter of fact, the entire organization workforce was made up of people they know and in one way or another can relate to.
Walter and Rosie felt that Rick’s proposed change was very sudden and could have detrimental effects on the conservative workforce, especially because a person considered by the company as an outsider wanted to initiate and lead the change process (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). They felt threatened since an outsider wanted to define the new pace in managing a company they have sacrificed a lot to build.
In relation to the concept of change resistance, the action of Walter and Rosie to reject Rick’s computer usage in the traditional work environment is inspired by the fear of the unknown when change is introduced in an unplanned and sudden manner by an outsider. In fact, Rosie and Walter would rather maintain the status quo, which is the most popular trend in the PPP organizational culture, than risk the impacts of the proposed change by Rick (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013).
They fear that Rick might not have the experience or knowledge to come up with a changing initiative that might set the pace for transformation into a computer age firm. In order to get acceptance from Walter and Rosie, Rick ought to have consulted widely and bring everyone on board in order to ensure that his proposed change was acceptable to most of the agents who might be affected.
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Rick’s Inability to Fit In
From the day he joined the PPP organization as an intern to the day he was confirmed a marketing manager, Rick found it very difficult to fit in the organization since he was viewed as an outsider. Rick did not take his time to learn the cultural and social order in the organization he has worked in for several months. In relation to the social learning theory, which states that “learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement” (Matos, Simoes, & Esposito, 2014, p. 329), Rick did not observe the aspect of social cognition.
As a matter of fact, Rick failed to focus on the connection between thinking patterns/styles, emotions, and behavior of the other members of the organization. Apparently, he could not discern the different emotions associated with the thoughts patterns that determine how employees associate with one another. Instead of activating the proactive cognitive learning process, Rick was focused on bringing changes before completely integrating himself to the social and cultural norms of the organization.
By acting prematurely on his thoughts about possible changes in the organization, Rick only succeeded in alienating himself further to the very people who were suppose to support his vision. For instance, he did not find it necessary to bring everyone on board with his idea of introducing a computer in the organization (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). Instead of inspiring hope within his initiative, he inspired fear that led to his rejection by the members of the PPP organization.
Management Training Program
As an agent hired by Val to develop a management training program for the senior managers, I would start by organizing series of consultative meetings with the targeted group (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). The meetings will involve collecting data on their perception, level of skills, and desired changes. This will be followed by carrying out a short survey to determine the general attitude of the managers towards the proposed program. The next stage will involve development of the program based on the feedback received (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). This will be followed by piloting the program after which it will be rolled out to guarantee stakeholder acceptance.
Blanchard, N., & Thacker, J. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Matos, P., Simoes, M., & Esposito, M. (2014). Improving change management: How communication nature influences resistance to change. Journal of Management Development 33(4), 324-341.
Mayfield, P. (2014). Engaging with stakeholders is critical when leading change”, Industrial and Commercial Training 46(2), 68-72.