The “Transforming the Texas plant” case presents several important problems that may be of everyday occurrence at the workplace. That includes abuse of power, organizational behavior issues, the establishment of leadership and a healthy corporate environment. With the example of this particular case, it is easier to come up with the right solutions to resolve similar conflicts. To get deeper into the understanding of the problem, one will need to address the actions of certain employees in detail.
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Paula should quit her job at the Texas plant, as her immediate superior, David, did not do almost anything to protect her position. He was aware of the details of the conflict between her and Harvey and did nothing. If she submits her resignation, David should accept it, because there will be no possible positive outcome if things stay the way they are. In case he decides to keep Paula in his team, David will need to fire Harvey and Joe or move them to another plant so that organizational transformation goes on successfully. If she decides to leave anyway, it would be reasonable to replace Harvey and Joe with new people.
David hired the OD without discussing it with his team. Excluding the people, who also took part in the organization transformation, he abused his power as a leader. Also, hiring Paula, he should have involved the HR director, talking through specific instructions of her work, such as reporting immediately to him and discussing everything with Harvey before taking action.
The positive results of David’s actions included, first of all, the transformation itself because of Paula’s decision that went without approval from Harvey: development of leadership competencies, new hiring checklist based on them, written objectives and goals, tactics, etc. On a negative side, he let the members of his team sabotage the changes that were vital for the plant.
David should have possibly hired assistants for Paula to make her job easier and her effort to change the corporate environment more efficient and less time-consuming. As a leader, he should have been more careful about selecting employees (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter,1990). He should have used his leadership skills to provide his OD with enough reports and at least give Harvey and Joe a warning against messing with Paula’s work. David should have kept his eye on the discipline among his employees (Dekawati, Suhendar, &Aji, 2019). Including the team in decision-making would also make him a better leader.
The OD knew all the theories of organizational transformation and empowerment and nonetheless, she went against some of them. Being reported to Harvey, she neglected him as a professional and a superior. Empowered to make decisions, she dealt with the needs of the company, making positive changes as quickly as possible. Due to her hard work, most of the transformation that David had envisioned for the plant, there were significant improvements in many aspects of the plant’s work.
Paula should have tried to cooperate with the members of the team, listen to what they proposed. She should have applied for changes in her position that would involve reporting to the vice president only. When the first conflict with Harvey happened, she should have warned David about that, so that he could take matters in his own hands.
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Harvey has proved himself to be untrustworthy throughout the whole organizational transformation process, as he deliberately tried to impact Paula’s work negatively, for self-serving purposes (Sussman, Adams, Kuzmits, & Raho,2002). Pursuing his agenda, he was putting the plant’s and VP’s reputation at risk, let alone not letting the necessary changes happen.
His actions did not bring anything positive, on the contrary: everything that followed was nothing that anyone expected. Because of Harvey, Paula was forced to resign her position in the company; Joe, the plant manager, was probably about to face certain repercussions for trying to bring her down with Harvey. That must have impacted the status of the Texas plant shortly afterward.
He should have had an open conversation with both Paula and David, to clear out the specifics of their interaction. He should have embraced the changes that were coming and help David in any way he could. He should not have gotten Joe involved in attempts to get rid of Paula and dragging the manager down with him. First of all, he should have come to his boss if something about the new employee was bothering him.
Communication is key for upper management; involving all the employees in corporate changes makes them feel important and included (Arnaout & Esposito, 2018). As in this case, the transformation was vital, roles and responsibilities should have been cleared out for the whole team. Because this rule was violated, there were a lot of problems with communication, unity of command issues and strategic management. The leader should think strategically and build a corporate culture at the same time (Hickman & Silva, 1984). The leadership team should have been involved in hiring the new OD and her level of empowerment.
To conclude, this case presents communication issues, unity of command and structural issues. The possible solutions would be involving full leadership team in making the decision to hire an OD, as well as agreeing on the necessity of organisational transformation. All the roles and responsibilities in such case should be talked through from the very beginning with all the specialists involved. If the transformation includes hiring new people, other than the OD, the HR and VP must make sure they trust new employees. Trust is crucial for achieving positive changes in the company and making sure they are long-term.The company also has to have a clear strategic plan and tactics developed in order for organizational transformation to work its best. The needed improvements may take time, but with due persistence, structure and team-building the positive changes will establish themselves by all means.
Arnaout, B., & Esposito, M. (2018). The value of communication in turbulent environments: how SMEs manage change successfully in unstable surroundings. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 34(4), 500-515.
Dekawati, I., Suhendar, D., & Aji, A. I. (2019). Organizational Behavior and Work Disciplines (Their Effect on Work Achievement). Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research (ASSEHR), 258. Web.
Hickman, C., & Silva, M. (1984). Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy, and change in the new age. London, UK: Routledge.
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Moorman, R. H., & Fetter, R. (1990). Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers’ trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors. The leadership quarterly, 1(2), 107-142.
Sussman, L., Adams, A. J., Kuzmits, F. E., & Raho, L. E. (2002). Organizational politics: Tactics, channels, and hierarchical roles.Journal of Business Ethics, 40(4), 313-329.