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    Organizational Change and Process Intervention

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    Case Scenario: Custom Food and Feed Corporation (CF&F) is a major manufacturer and marketer of food and animal feed ingredients. Over the past 10 years, there have been several major investigations and allegations of company mismanagement. In question is CF&F's compliance with federal and state regulatory regulations (safety, environment and quality), Federal and State Labor Laws, and Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines. In the light of recent negative publicity and to regain and maintain the company's market share, a new CEO was appointed by the Board of Directors. The CEO has insisted that the president of the company look into the recent allegations and make recommendations for changes in company management practices in resource management. The president has outlined the CEO concerns for change and has tasked the Vice President of Human Resources to analyze the current company culture and to give recommendations to him for change. The Vice President of Human Resources has decided to use the Tech Division for this corporate analysis. The Tech Division is the newest division, being 12-years old. This division has grown from a single product to seven products. The Tech Division is a non-union facility which has a staff of 92 managers and 300 hourly employees. This division uses fermentation technology to convert dextrose (sugar)into a variety of food and feed ingredients. This division operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Following are major results of the study:

    There is no real concern for safety, environmental and/or quality controls. Tech's managers use an authoritarian approach to managing human resources. This approach over the years has built many barriers between the hourly employees and management and there has been some talk of unionizing. The plant manager's responsibility is to make all the daily production decisions. His staff of production supervisors is to monitor the production cycle and report to him for direction.
    Frontline Supervisors have been promoted from within the company. There was no apparent consideration to who would be promoted and no guidance and training was given to them. There is a history of nepotism that runs throughout the culture of this division. Up until now, the Corporate Human Resource department has been responsible for all of the Human Resource activities for each of its divisions. The Vice President of Human Resources has convinced the president of the company that the first change is to put a Human Resource Manager (HRM) in the Tech division. The president agreed.

    You are the newly hired Human Resource Manager for the Tech Division. Your responsibility is to diagnosis the present culture, develop strategies for implementing a plan for change, and implement the plan. The Vice President of Human Resources has pointed out that you will face many challenges and a strong resistance from different levels of management not to change the established culture.

    What is needing assistance:
    You're considering implementing a process intervention in the Tech Division, and you want to learn from others' experience. You go to your team building seminar discussion board to raise the following issues:
    - What are the types of process interventions and how can they aid an Organization Development Consultant to help functional groups to become more effective?
    - How can these process skills can aid teams and employees in solving their own problems?
    - How should this/these be tailored to assist the Tech Division?

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    Solution Preview

    1. What are the types of process interventions and how can they aid an Organization Development Consultant to help functional groups to become more effective?

    This broad area of organization development activity focuses on interpersonal relations and social dynamics that occur in work groups. A consultation may consist of research on various roles of employees, teamwork, communication, conflict, stress, and an assessment of productivity and group dynamics.

    Leadership and managerial competencies are crucial in virtually all work environments. The consultant would identify the meaningful personal and situational factors that influence the effectiveness of leadership in the Tech Division and create a viable action plan. Also, within the next ten years there will be significant numbers of retirements from the workforce. A major implication is the prospect of a leadership void, and developing the next generation of leaders is a substantial challenge. Thus, process interventions will delve into issues such as coaching, conflict and stress management, mentoring, and other developmental concerns.

    Establishing methods to monitor change after the intervention, paying attention to movement back to old behaviors, and being sure customers and stakeholders are satisfied with results are also a part of process interventions. The consultants need to be good listeners and consistently maintain confidentiality.

    Other group process skills:
    - Understands its goals (overall and immediate)
    - Is flexible in deciding how to work toward those goals
    - Has a high degree of communication and understanding among its members
    - Communicates directly and ...

    Solution Summary

    Based on the CF&F case and implementing a process intervention in the Tech Division, this solution explains the types of process interventions and how they can aid an Organization Development Consultant to help functional groups become more effective. These process skills are further explained in terms of aiding teams and employees in solving their own problems, which are tailored specifically to assist the Tech Division. This is all completed in about 1000 words.