This paper seeks to analyze in a critical manner the organization situation and interpersonal skills practice through application of theoretical skills and activities experienced, learnt from the management and organization module study. This paper also seeks to define the outcomes of the findings reflecting on the management and organization module. The management and organization module will capture information on the organization structure, company’s divisions, departments and functions as defined in the organization charts in order to achieve all the work tasks and assignments.
Management and Organization Module
Management and organization module is focused on group activities. It is important to note that entities in the management and organization module are held or maintained as units, positions or jobs. These entities are linked together. For example, a person is linked to a certain position while a position is linked to an organization unit for a period. These relations create relationships in an organization. When a good and effective organization structure is built then the good relationship between the organizational unit objects is obtained (Handerson, 2008).
Organization and management module faces challenges in order to achieve realistic and essential learning of the same. It also works hand in hand with the accelerating changes in technology, global values and society values. However, the study of the same subject provides interpersonal insights on the management and organization. In this way, we will be able to analyze and draw conclusions on why, when, what, how and where this teaching is drawn from. Interpersonal experiences will help to analyze, revise and recalibrate this study to ensure that it will be relevant to the management and organization module.
It is important to note that a business faces several demands to change. This demand requires initiatives and experiences to achieve successful operations. The first module focuses on defining the change competency. The next module presents the behavioral skills in the competent change preparation. The third module looks and finds ways on how to manage and support the change component. The other module finds a way to educate and inform the workers in an organization about the change component. The last module tries to explain, teach and train on the many useful resources that are required in the development and creation of an organization that is ready to adopt change. The big question is why change is so important in an organization. Well, change is important in an organization because an organization may face or experience demands and shifts in the daily operations (Aguilar, 1967). The daily operations and constant demand require change management in order to be successful in its endeavors. It is important to note that each and every level in the organization requires regular development, experience, and knowledge in order to adapt to changes in every level. Analysts suggest that change is as important as installing a new system into the organization. This means that it requires the right attitude from the workers and employees. It also requires the right approach from the management and organization as a whole. Change is a system that requires the use of organization techniques and tools that will enable it to be developed in the organization at ease and effortlessly. The greatest challenge comes from making change a part of the business. This is because adaptation of the change is not as easy at it sounds. It is difficult to introduce new concepts and attitudes to workers who were used to other attributes and concepts. This requires time and effort to implement and develop. In this regard, creation, development and implementation of change management involves communication to the workers and stakeholders, training and coaching. It is important to note that change management does not involve a particular or specific activity, but involves many activities in relation to the change. The organization must make sure that all the employees are influenced by the change, including the low cadres (Corson, 1990).
Description of Working Experience
The first work place scenario that we experienced was not a very pleasant scenario. The organization leaders in the work place, who were responsible for creating the work environment to enable the organization to thrive, were intertwined in wars, differences and disagreements. The differences were largely of opinion and their opinions escalated into deeper interpersonal conflicts, which eventually affected all the other positions and relations in the organization. The other employees in the lower cadre could not interfere in the arguments, because they valued their positions in the organization and were afraid to lose them. The very thought of interfering in the arguments scared them and they choose to remain silent. However, I beg to differ with the attitude of the employees of the organization. This is because in the long run the conflicts would affect not only the work performance in the organization, but also the profit and the productivity of the organization. This would, in turn, affect all the employees and workers of the organization regardless of the positions they held in the organization (Brown, 1991). If I had a voice in this organization, I would speak out and try to resolve the underlying conflicts for the good of the company and for the good of the employees and workers. In this way, the organization would have a path way to be able to achieve its desired results and reach its maximum peak and profits.
The actions of the other employees were to avoid the conflicts, and they hoped that conflicts would eventually go away. However, the conflicts did not go away. Instead, the conflicts became more intense and spread to other parts of the organization. Other times, the conflicts appeared to be superficially put to rest, but would again arise every time there was too much stress in the work load (Thompson, 2009).
We learned a lot in this work scenario. Some of the lessons that we learned included:
- Conflicts in an organization mostly occurred when interpersonal disagreements were left unresolved. In this case, every time there was stress in the organization, the conflict would erupt and interrupt the everyday activities of the organization, all the workers stood round to witness the conflicts and in this way, little or no work was done during this period.
- Conflicts had a way to burble up to the surface at the worst times, especially when there were clients and customers around. In this way, they affected the work and the performance of the employees in the organization. Conflicts also negatively affected the reputation of the organization. This would eventually have an impact on the overall performance of the organization and would make the organization fail short of reaching its desired goals and visions.
- At first we believed or thought that only the participants were affected by the conflicts, but we later realized that all the employees of the organization were affected by the conflicts. This is because each time the conflicts erupted, the atmosphere in the organization changed. The atmosphere became tense and stressful. It was difficult to carry out any productive work in such an atmosphere.
- All the participants in the conflicts held their positions as the right positions, and it was not easy to convince them otherwise. Any attempt to convince them otherwise ignited more fire to conflict.
In this particular scenario, we drew the conclusion that a conflict in the organization affects all the employees. It contributes not only to stress in the organization, but also drastically affects the interrelationships in the organization. This contributes or creates a hostile environment for other employees. In the end, the workers or employees end up taking sides in the conflict. This could end up affecting the interrelationships in the organization and cause divisions. In relation to this case study, the entities in the management and organization modules are not maintained. The entity which links the workers to their positions is, therefore, greatly affected. In this regard, this situation called for personal courage from one of us to resolve the conflict at the work place in order to maintain the management and the organization modules in relation to this case study. In this particular case, the practice of courage was not only necessary, but also important in order to help to resolve the conflicts before they escalated to greater heights. This is because conflict does not disappear unresolved, but only simmers under the surface and erupts at the worst possible times when clients and customers are around (Handerson, 2008). In our experience in trying to resolve the conflicts, we realized that we were in a very uncomfortable situation. Out main problem was that we were unskilled to deal with such conflicts. In the end, we ended up hurting the participants and igniting more conflicts between them.
Reflections on the Lessons Learnt
We learnt our lesson the hard way and realized that we were not experienced enough to be able to resolve the conflicts in the organization. Some of the essential points from this lesson were:
- Resolving of interrelation conflicts in a work place or organization requires skills, experience and tactic. The person trying to resolve the conflict must not take sides and should be of higher authority. This will cause the participants to be more receptive and attentive to him. This is not only because they respect higher authority, but because they would be more responsive to a higher authority.
- An expert on the same subject was able to resolve conflicts. The manger was able to cause the participants to listen and consider their differences. He gave them alternatives and potential paths that they needed to take. In addition, he gave them an ultimatum. This was because the conflict was getting out of hand and affecting the entire organization. In this way, the participants were able to put aside their differences, and the conflict was resolved. They were made to understand that the organization was not ready to suffer loses because of a few individuals.
The conclusion we drew from our experience was that a proper conflict resolution helps greatly an organization and all the units of the organization to reach their goal.
The Second Work Scenario
Dealing with Resistance to Change
The second work scenario was in a very large organization. At first it was difficult to understand and grasp the strategic management in this particular organization. In this organization, planning played the central role and was an interactive activity. Most times, I wondered why they did not make one plan and stick to it. However, from my experience in this firm, I have learnt that the world keeps changing and so does technology. In this regard, the company had to change and adopt the newest trends, technologies and ideas. This company used a planning model that put them a step ahead of all its competition.
Evaluation of Learning Experience
In our analysis of this particular organization, we discovered that the mission, the strength, the culture and the weakness of the company was defined by the strategic issues. Planning in the company was an iterative activity which was directed by development of strategic visions and plans. The visions and plans were responsible for defining how the employees or the workers of the company had to implement these plans and visions. This is a very compelling factor, because the world is ever changing in trends, fashion, ideas, technologies, innovations and perspectives. In this regards, the company had to be innovative and ideal oriented to be able to succeed in a very innovative and competitive world and achieve the organization’s goals, mission and vision. In our view, strategic management is very important in order to create a rich and favorable environment for the company’s success. However, the challenge lies in the bigger picture which involves the workers, the stakeholders and any other participants who are working together to achieve the goals of the company (Barnes, 2009). The challenge lies in the ability to communicate the importance of the particular plan to all the participants. We also learned that the strategic planning did not in any way interfere with the traditional management activities such as marketing, budgeting, planning, monitoring, reporting and controlling. These traditional management activities must remain the same in order to maintain the units in the management and organization modules in relation to our case study. The main agenda or aim of the strategic management that was used by this particular organization focused greatly on the general and continuous improvement. In our analysis we found that this would greatly help to keep the company prepared to meet all the challenges and competition in an economically changing market place. My experience in this particular organization was not only unique, but I was also able to reflect on the distinctive structure, management style, environment, resource and culture of the organization. It was even more exciting working with the leaders in this organization. This is because the leaders were able to address all the concerns and questions that arose from time to time in regards to the strategic plan of the organization. Their immense skills and experience was of great help to the organization. This is because it governed the base of their decisions and plans.
However, the strategic plan used by the organization conflicted with the traditional planning methods. Some elements of the strategic planning were very sensitive and violated the external environment. This is because the strategic planning did not focus on the population shifts, but instead focused on the stakeholders’ needs, on the competitive position of the company, the competitors’ initiative and the technological changes. In this way, the company faced challenges while dealing with the population shifts which generally affected the company’s performance. According to the findings of our study, we attributed the success of the company to the fact that strategic management that was used, helped to create future assumptions that, in turn, helped to create plans fro daily activities. There were many other uncertainties that the executives had to deal with. Most of the uncertainties were due to the population shifts (Grieves, 2010).
Reflections of the Lessons We Learnt
In my findings, I attributed the strategic development module as evident to the applications of critical reflections to the professional activities. These professional activities in relations to management and organization module are building blocks for the comprehensive strategic development model. The building blocks include the environmental analysis, which is the key strategy. This block is made from the happenings (what is happening, what will happen, what has happened). It not only focuses on the opportunities, but also the threats from the external environment. External environment includes the political, economic, environmental, social and technological developments and trends. The next block is the organization assessment. The organization assessment evaluates the management capabilities, the resources of the organization, future needs of the organization and the weaknesses and strengths of the organization. The other block is the strategic direction. Strategic direction is simply the mission and vision of the company. It entails where the company wants to go and where it is at the particular time. The strategic direction is very important. This is because it is used to set the goals of the organization, develop the vision of the organization and most of all, address and deal with all the critical issues in the organization. The other block is the strategic plans. Strategic plan gives the direction the organization should take and helps to make decisions in the organization. It simply shows a pathway of how to get where the company wants to be. The other block is the implementation block. The implementation block includes the development of strategies. In this particular block, strategies are implemented. The last block is the performance evaluation. The performance evaluation includes the comparison between the actual results and the desired results. If the desired results are close to the actual results, then the strategic management plan was successful.
Analysis of the Context of Management Strategy
External environmental analysis is based on the ability of ascertaining a task where there is greater probability or assumption. It mainly consists of identifying the changing trends and the most probable developments. The analysis also involves monitoring of particular patterns and trends. It focuses on the future directions of the developments and trends. This works hand in hand with the mission, goal and vision of the company to achieve the desired results. The main question is how they can make decision on future trends and what materials or mode of scanning do they use? Well, this still leaves a lot of questions concerning the same issue unanswered, but we discovered that in order to broaden their perspective, they use active scanning that is more precise and less passive. In this case, the organization focuses on the information from broad areas such as political, environmental, social and technological factors. It is important to note that in this scenario forecasting is used as an effective tool. This is because it helps to make informed future decisions of the organization.
The Last Work Scenario
The third work scenario was working in a large organization that was very successful, but also experienced a lot of internal conflicts which watered in to the external environment of the organization. After carrying out our study and investigations on the causes of the conflicts, we discovered that the conflicts were caused by working across the generations. This was especially the case because the work force in the organization was multigenerational. In this regard, many differences erupted between the workers and employees from different generational groupings. In our study, we focused more on understanding the interrelationship between different generations. We also came up with strategic implications of the success of the organization in relation to the intergenerational differences. The first strategy was to realize and recognize the unique contributions of each generation’s attributes. These unique insights could be used to strengthen the organization and the interrelationship between the generations. It would eventually help to bridge the gap between the generation differences (Morrison, 1985). However, from our experience, we discovered that the most challenging aspect of dealing with intergenerational groupings was trying to get them to communicate. The first step would have been to identify the conflicts and solving them by breaking the communication barrier that existed between the two groupings. In order to successfully break the communication barriers, we realized that we had to understand the different outlooks that each generational grouping carried and believed in. This outlook includes values, attitudes and experiences that the workers have learned over the years. We discovered that some of the workers were veterans and thus had very predictable carrier paths. This group was not only hardworking, but also very loyal to the company and their employers. This, however, posed a risk to other generational groupings. This is because they saw the veterans as a risk to their jobs or positions. The other group that was evident from our experience in the organization was the baby boomers. These were not only hard working employees, but also very strong, and they held upper management positions. We noticed that this particular generation was very idealistic and were bent on winning and being in charge. This posed a problem with other generations who did not feel comfortable being led and managed by this generation. The other generation that was evident was a fierce working force that was independent, self directed and resourceful. This particular generation believed they were capable of working without the management of the baby boomers generation group. This particular generation was very skeptical of authority.
From this scenario, we came up with a few modules that not only identified, but also helped to find a solution to the challenges of a multi generational workforce. The impact, conflict and technique module as illustrated in the work scenario helped us to come up with communication techniques to manage the situation in the organization. We used context conversations, adaptations, recognition and development of the communication skills, and, finally, we tried to join the generation ideas and values together. At first we were afraid that it would not work, but we discovered that this was a very effective method of solving the generational conflicts in the organization (Cutts, 2004). In our findings, we have discovered that a well designed cross working generation can be very successful and can have a very positive impact on an organization. This is because if the cross working generation is well designed, it can be very interesting, interactive and non judgment. As we assessed the development of our analysis, we discovered that all the generational groupings had their strong and weak points. This simply means that they are all human. On the other hand, we discovered that the organization could apply these concepts in order to motivate the workers or employees, plan successfully, increase talent managements, and have excellent wellness and health programmes. However, we noticed that many economic factors are preventing older workers to go on retirement. In this way, there is an increased inter generational difference in the organization. In the final recommendations of our report we suggested that a well organized multi generational organization is a very good example of the learning that not only engages the workers in an enjoyable working experience, but also creates a workable environment. We learned a lot from our experience in this organization, and it was interesting to discuss and explain the different values, believes and attitudes of the young, mature and old generations. We learned that it is an additional advantage to the organization to encourage effective and smooth working relationships amongst the different generations (Hayes, 2010).
Analysis of the Scenarios
It is important to note that a scenario is synopsis of possible future outcomes that organizations many encounter. In this regard, a scenario is dynamic and graphic and involves the nearest future. They include political, social, environmental, economical and technological events and trends which are not only qualitative, but also quantitative in nature. In this regard, planning based on scenarios should be tested by planned actions. This is to ensure that the organization will be prepared to uncertainty and be flexible to deal with it. The first step would be to sketch out the possible future outcomes in relation to planning and setting goals. However, this poses a problem with the approach. This simply means that the approach should be appealing. It should not be based on a particular person’s thoughts or ideas, but on all aspects of planning including social, environmental, political, economic and technological aspects (Wilson, 2010). The decision should, therefore, be broad and include visions that the organization wants to pursue. This will not only help to ease the problem of how to use the scenario, but also help to make better strategic decisions. The second step is making key decision factors. These key factors are simply the future ideas that we need to know in order to make an informed decision. This is a very helpful stage in planning. The third step is to consider the environmental forces. This constitutes of the identification and assessment of the key factors. It prepares organizations and individuals to abrupt shifts in trends. The next step is the scenario logistics, which establishes the structure of the scenario. This helps to establish the structure of the scenario. In our conclusion, environmental analysis which involved scanning, forecasting, monitoring and scenario planning, formed the strategic plans and directions and found ways to implement these strategic palms and strategies. This was of great help to the organization which used these ideas to evaluate and implement plans to be able to overcome the challenges and achieve the desired goals (Cottrell, 2008).
Assignment Methods and Weightings
In relation to this course study, we did not limit organizational assessments. We assessed the organization’s capacity and capabilities to deal with, overcome uncertain events, and successfully carry our projects. In the assessment we focused on issues which affected mainly the organization’s ability to achieve the desired goals and objectives. We also helped to carry out studies that helped to identify the weak and strong areas of the organization. In this way, the organization was able to strengthen its weak areas and improve its strong areas. Our reports and findings assisted the organization to prioritize improvement (Fahey, 1986). In this way, the organization’s developed and implemented strategic improvement plans were very helpful. In our assessment we included the implementation management that was very helpful in identifying, improving, planning, tracking, analyzing and controlling the improvements in the organization. This report and findings initiated training, coaching and mentoring of the employees of the organization to perform better for the general good of the organization. The methods we used also helped us to gain knowledge about many different organizations (Grieves, 2010).
Management ethics in the work place is a very important aspect in management and organization modules. Current writings and literature on work place ethics focuses on the philosophical analysis. This is why most organizations and businesses end up with managers who have no idea how to manage an organization or how to manage the ethics in an organization. Stark (year) explains this view in an article when he suggests that “much has been written about components in an ethical work environment, especially about code of ethics, the literature is much more limited on the ethics program” in the article What a Wrong with Business? However, researchers have claimed that current literature possesses strong arguments for organizational leadership. However, one thing definitely missing is how to actually put ethical goals and theories into practice in the management of organizations. Some people have argued that ethics in business is simply to do what is right in business. However, many critics have begged to differ with this aspect or attribute. This is because it is not easy to do what is right in a business scenario when the manager is not sure what is right! ‘’This attribute has brought up cynicism, righteousness and paranoia and laughter,’’ according to Mc Donald’s (year). He attributes this fact to the fact that most business men and mangers believe that business ethics is related to religion. This is far from the truth, according to Mc Donald. Business ethics literature has become such too for many managers who think that there is no relevance in business ethics. The big question is, if they are faced by dilemmas should they lie, steal or cheat? They end up doing anything possible weather it is ethical or not just to avoid the negative consequences (Pugh, 2007).
The Big question is What is Business Ethics?
Business ethics is the general means to do what is right in the business arena during a crisis. It affects the effective productivity of the organization and the workers in the organization. It also affects the relationship between the managers, employees and the stakeholders. Most of the times during seasons of fundamental change in an organization, the organization is faced with dilemmas to do what is right or what is wrong. In this regard, business ethics comes in handy to help the organization to deal with the challenges it is facing in the right manner and ways. Business ethics is and should be a behavioral or management discipline (Barnes, 2009). This simply means that it is used to guide and instill discipline on the organization managers. There are many benefits of introducing and using business ethics in an organization (Mullins, 2007). The benefits include:
- Business ethics has helped to improve the society in many ways. Some of the ways that business ethics have been enforced is through control and fixing of prices. This not only helps the poor, but also enables people from all economic backgrounds to afford the commodities in question.
- The business ethics have also helped to maintain morality in the society and business world, even in challenging times.
- Ethnic programs help to establish organizational roles which, in turn, help to manage ethics.
- Ethic programs also help to establish values and behavior of operating businesses and individuals.
- Ethic program helps to realign and establish organization behavior and the society as well.
- Organization development helps to increase awareness and sensitize issues.
This paper has explained and discussed the application of analytical skills from a range of topics. It has touched on issues as experienced in a course study. The reflection is based on the work place practices and work place learning. It also shows the evidence of application of critical reflection to professional activities in relation to the management and organization modules course study.