Instructions: Select three of the following questions, and prepare short essay-style answers to the questions you have chosen. See the document “Assignment Instructions” for more details.
- One of the prescriptive models of planned organizational change discussed in the reading by Stouten and colleagues is John Kotter’s eight-step model. Many business school professors claim that Kotter’s model is the most important model that has been developed thus far. Briefly summarize the model. What are its strengths? What shortcomings of the model might cause concern for OD practitioners?
- Management and social scientists have claimed that different people respond to organizational change differently. What are some of the different ways in which people react to change? What are some strategies that an OD practitioner might use when encountering these diverse reactions to change?
- How do contingencies related to the change situation affect the design of effective OD interventions?
- A recent review1 of the major findings from the fields of social and cognitive psychology include these two points:
- Naïve Realism: The belief that one’s subjective experience and understanding of
reality is an accurate representation of reality.
- Lay Dispositionism: Attributing other people’s actions to their traits and dispositions rather than the situations they are in and the forces acting on them (Fundamental Attribution Error).
Provide a brief explanation of these two findings. Explain why they are important for an OD practitioner.
- Is it possible to change an organization’s culture by using employee culture surveys? How would this type of change process work? How would an OD practitioner use the surveys, and what other activities would be needed to help the client to create a new culture?
- What are OD practitioners referring to when they talk about the “levels” of an organizational system? How does an OD practitioner decide which level should be the target of an intervention?
1 Ross, L. E. E., Lepper, M., & Ward, A. (2010). History of social psychology: Insights, challenges, and contributions to theory and application. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of Social Psychology (5th ed., pp. 3–50). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This chapter is available on the course library reserve. See especially pp. 22-26.
- What is meant by the term “learning organization”? What can an OD practitioner do to help
a client system to increase its ability to learn?
- Why are diversity and inclusion important for OD practitioners? How might an OD practitioner assist a client to develop the cultural conditions necessary to support the contributions of a diverse workforce?
- How does transformative change differ from incremental change and from other forms of change? How can an OD practitioner facilitate or contribute to a transformational change initiative?
- Why do many OD practitioners describe their client organizations as “systems”? Describe how a systems perspective can shape or influence an OD approach. When an OD practitioner intervenes in an organizational system, what precisely is the OD practitioner doing?
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