Precisely evaluating the issue and possible resolution strategies is a key practice for the Organization Development (OD) process. However, to properly encompass the complication and ensure efficient resolution, the OD consultant must consider the overall process of OD change and carefully follow the relevant methods. Selection of particular research methods, intervention type, and evaluation strategy to the outlined complication and produce the expected results is crucial for achieving a successful outcome (Bierema, 2020). The City Centre Hospital case is a perfect example of a group-level organizational issue, with inter-team collaboration and the nurses’ morale being significantly lowered.
In this case study, the difficulty with maintaining a high level of morale among the clinical workers could be resolved by initiating an OD intervention consisting of planning, research, execution, and evaluation. The current paper outlines the intervention activities necessary for improving City Center Hospital’s productivity by enhancing the level of the unit managers’ leadership competencies, contributing to the increase in the staff’s communication quality.
City Center Hospital: The outlined issue
According to the leadership team, the nurses consistently demonstrate low levels of morale, and the quality of interaction between doctors, unit managers, and nurses suffered a considerable decrease within the last year. After that, significant concerns regard the possibility that physicians might leave their occupation, as the unit managers lack the necessary capabilities to lead the teams. As a result, the leadership team requested an OD intervention, attempting to improve the unit managers’ leadership skills. It is expected that visible outcomes will be attained in 12 months.
Considering the absence of efficient communication between the team members and the decreased levels of performance, the described issue can indeed be designated an OD complication. To be classified as such, the difficulty must encompass an entire organization and demand a specific type of change to be introduced (Bierema, 2020). Indeed, City Center Hospital’s issue negatively impacts the company as a whole and necessitates that a better intergroup collaboration process is built. In addition, an improvement in the current communication levels and the workers’ motivation is obviously needed. These signs constitute that an OD intervention can be conducted in the City Center Hospital, as it would favorably influence the corporation and alter the present working environment to achieve better productivity.
Action Research Process to Address the Issue
Given the presented circumstances, performing preliminary research would be an excellent first step for the intervention. Gathering information about the organizational setting and the employees’ insight about the issue is vital for preliminary diagnosis, which could determine how the following phases are to be conducted (Smither et al., 2016). The action research method requires that evidence-based knowledge is implemented, meaning that any activities chosen should rely on attained evidence (Coghlan, 2017). After the research is complete, the team intervention can be carried out based on the findings.
Finally, an evaluation to analyze the occurred changes should be performed to conclude the intervention process. This is crucial for ensuring that the adjustments were performed correctly and were able to yield the anticipated results (Smither et al., 2016). Furthermore, the efficacy of the chosen intervention method can be assessed, allowing the OD consultant to suggest long-term impacts and future development (Wiggins & Smallwood, 2018). Considering that City Center Hospital decided to introduce only one workshop but is expecting significant long-term outcomes, a proper evaluation is especially needed.
Intervention Type: Coaching the Team
A confrontive coaching intervention was selected for this case study. Developing the unit managers’ leadership competencies and offering insights regarding the enhancement of inter-team relationships is one of the tasks of the coaching initiatives. As such, this method is highly beneficial for improving individuals’ leadership skills through the facilitation of learning and development (Rosha & Lace, 2016). Furthermore, organizational coaching for teams can be remarkably advantageous when morale and communication difficulties among the employees are present (Rapp et al., 2016). Therefore, a coaching intervention for the unit managers should be performed in an attempt to resolve the City Centre Hospital’s organizational issue.
The Intervention Process
To successfully conduct the coaching intervention, the OD consultant must follow a set of carefully selected practices. Given the high complexity of the chosen method and the negative consequences arising from improper implementation, defining the intervention process is critical for future success (Bierema, 2020).
Firstly, the organizational needs should be clarified for the unit managers, ensuring that the employees are aware of the company’s general demands for growth and the problems that are currently impeding development (Körner et al., 2017). After that, the second step is the goal-setting procedure, during which the involved individuals study how company systems collaborate to fulfill the needs discussed previously (Körner et al., 2017). This knowledge is especially crucial as it explains the significance of the intrinsic processes and clarifies any misunderstandings that might cause procedural disruption.
Following this step, the OD consultant assists with identifying specific aims for the team. During this stage is also imperative to ensure that the team understands the process of aim establishment (Rapp et al., 2016). For instance, improving collaboration between nurses and doctors could be one of the aims created during goal establishment, allowing the City Centre Hospital’s unit managers to practice addressing the issue. Finally, the last stage of the coaching intervention is completion, an activity where the participants create solutions for the outlined tasks (Rapp et al., 2016). The OD consultant should also inform the team on the methods of choosing particular solutions.
The Role of the OD Consultant
The role assumed by the OD consultant during the intervention can vary significantly based on the organizational setting and the encountered issue. In the discussed case, the OD consultant is an external professional hired by City Center Hospital. Considering the aspects of the presented issue, it is possible for the OD professional to assume the role of a joint problem solver, attempting to initiate the client in the intervention procedure. For the problem encompassing a wide range of employees, additional support from the leadership team might be needed to ensure the success of the endeavor, meaning that a joint effort could be highly beneficial (Coghlan, 2017). This approach could aid the City Center Hospital’s executives in maintaining a more open perspective on the issue.
Consulting expertise: needed competencies and ethical behaviors
An OD consultant is required to follow a specific set of rules in order to ensure that the intervention is performed successfully. As such, it is imperative for the OD professional to build a strong relationship with the client, promoting trust and acceptance of ideas (Bierema, 2020). This requirement constitutes the authenticity competency, also referred to as interpersonal skill and determines the consultant’s ability to communicate with various types of clients during the intervention practice (Bierema, 2020). Another vital capability is the expertise to follow the OD intervention requirements, fully addressing each of the necessary steps.
This consulting skill is significant not only for following the procedure but also for successfully conducting the change process (Rosha & Lace, 2016). Furthermore, the OD professional should be highly technically competent, ensuring that their expertise in organizational behavior, group processes, and other related areas is comprehensive (Bierema, 2020). Sufficient knowledge on these topics is a critical demand as it allows the OD consultant to perfectly adapt the action research process to the organizational issue, selecting appropriate intervention types and research methods.
Of crucial importance is the consideration of ethical principles that are ingrained into the practices of an OD consultant. As such, the OD professional must follow the ethical values of the OD action process, focusing on the preservation of the involved individual’s life quality, health, and future well-being (Bierema, 2020). In addition, justice and dignity occupy a significant role in the ethical guidelines and should always be promoted by the consultant (Bierema, 2020). Overall, these principles are crucial for the practicing consultant and should always serve as a guide during the intervention.
In the described scenario, a particular range of data will be needed in order to properly conduct the suggested intervention. Evaluating everyday interaction allows the OD consultant to analyze which aspects of intergroup communication might impede the creation of productive relationships (Smither et al., 2016). As the City Center Hospital’s working atmosphere appears to be highly counterproductive, addressing this problem is especially pertinent. Based on the gathered evidence, it will be possible to establish whether the groups hold particular biases against each other and suggest specific mitigation practices for the client to incorporate.
It is essential to note that the core requirement of the City Center Hospital’s leadership team is to elevate the level of leadership competencies in the unit managers. Therefore, although the OD consultant is not entitled to conduct a distinct intervention for the nurses or physicians, the professional might still utilize the results of the knowledge acquired. For instance, mentioning these findings during the intervention could significantly enhance the managers’ understanding of the current working environment (Smither et al., 2016). Furthermore, as the OD consultant is also fulfilling the role of the advisor, it would be beneficial to delegate the gathered ideas to the client, advising which strategies could be used to mitigate the issue in the future.
The evaluation of the unit managers’ present leadership skills is also necessary for properly conducting the intervention. This data is highly needed for creating an intervention process that aims to improve the individuals’ expertise and provide them with the methods that are currently unknown to them. If such information is available for the OD consultant, they will be more prepared for the upcoming complications and will be able to organize the demonstrated material in a way that adheres to the unit managers’ leadership abilities (Smither et al., 2016). Therefore, in the described scenario, I would ascertain the leadership strategies and activities implemented by the managers, ensuring that the intervention is beneficial for their performance.
Considering the two types of knowledge mentioned above and their importance for the intervention’s success, employee interviews and direct observation might be the most suitable methods. Interviews are especially advantageous for understanding the employees’ experience within the company and personal concerns, while questionnaires allow establishing problematic patterns. As such, interviews with nurses, doctors, and unit managers could highlight the interaction difficulties, while questionnaires could yield information about the nurses’ levels of motivation and the unit managers’ leadership skills.
Data collection and evaluation methods
To acquire the described data, employee interviews and questionnaires are the most efficient methods of research. These types of evidence collection procedures allow gaining the most relevant information for the given issue. However, these types of methods necessitate a mixed data analysis approach, where the interviews will be addressed from a qualitative perspective and the questionnaires – from a quantitative (Bierema, 2020). Based on the interview data, it will be possible to distinguish specific patterns and emerging themes within the answers, highlighting the most crucial concerns. The questionnaire data, examined using quantitative statistical methods, can shed light on the nurses’ motivational levels from a broader perspective and explore the leadership competencies of the unit managers.
Intervention Process Timeline
- Phase 1. Planning the intervention and data collection.
- Phase 2. Conducting interviewees and administering questionnaires.
- Phase 3. Analyzing the obtained information.
- Phase 4. Preparing the coaching activity based on the data findings.
- Phase 5. Executing the coaching activity.
- Phase 6. Evaluating the intervention.
Resistance to the Change: Shifting the Employees’ Perspectives
Given the negative attitudes and lack of communication present in the environment, it is possible that the employees will be reluctant to change. The decreased levels of morale often account for resistance to change and might result in the nursing personnel’s lack of interest in the intervention (Bierema, 2020). In addition, as the nurses and doctors are not included in the coaching process, they might feel excluded from the activity and dissatisfied with the executive team. As for the unit managers, these workers might feel that leadership practice is not a direct resolution for the problem, meaning that some resistance should be anticipated.
However, these challenges can be addressed by informing the nurses and the doctors of the goals of the intervention, as well as using examples from other case studies to ensure that the unit managers are aware of the activity’s benefits.
OD change project outcomes
It is expected that the intervention results will be favorable for the City Center Hospital’s productivity. After a one-day intervention, the unit managers would gain knowledge crucial for establishing a higher level of motivation among the nurses and ensuring that interpersonal conflicts in the workplace are efficiently resolved. As requested by the City Center Hospital leadership team, the unit managers will improve their leadership capabilities, becoming capable of establishing a better workplace for the personnel. However, it is possible that the reason behind low engagement levels and the possibility of low doctors’ retention are not related to the managers’ leadership capabilities. In this case, although the intervention might yield some results in the short term, the required long-term outcomes will probably not be achieved.
To conclude, the City Center Hospital’s case was discussed in detail in this paper, explaining how the planning, research, execution, and evaluation activities of the OD process can assist the City Center Hospital in resolving the emerging issue. The organizational problem outlined necessitates careful planning, data collection and analysis, coaching execution, and thorough evaluation of the resulting change. As such, the current problem can be addressed by enhancing the unit managers’ leadership capabilities. However, to properly conduct the intervention, the OD consultant must possess interpersonal, technical, consulting, and ethical competencies. Furthermore, reluctance to change from the employees should also be addressed in order to minimize its negative impact on the intervention.
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