Organisational Development Assignment
Below you will find information based on a real organisation. The information about the company is anonymised but the data provided is part of real data collected in the last few years. You will find information about what the company does and its structure. You will also find a summary of the data collected in this company. This includes a number of variables that were measured in order to find out about the issues facing the organisation.
The assignment requires you to develop an Organizational Development plan for the company. In particular, the organisation is concerned with the high level of turnover they are experiencing. Using the information provided about the company your goal is to discuss some key ways the organisation may try to address the issue of high turnover. Put simply, what steps would you recommend the organisation take to reduce their level of turnover?
In your plan you should:
· Explain the key challenges facing the organization using the material below
· Offer some insights into the reasons for these challenges drawing on your background reading and engagement with module content and theory.
· Make some recommendations, based on the data and your understanding of module content, which the organization could implement in order to improve its turnover.
· Think about how the organisation should approach the organisational development process. What steps should they take, what is the timeframe, how would they assess the success of the process?
· Explain the limitations of your suggestions. For example: how feasible are they to implement? What are their drawbacks? What factors would make it difficult for the organization to make these alterations?
· Your recommendations should be based on the data provided as well as theory from the course. You should include supporting theory and research with appropriate references.
Your plan should be 2000 words (+/- 10%). You can include a title page, with content list is appropriate.
Marking guidelines can be found on ELE and follow the University of Exeter General Marking Criteria
Always cite the name and date of an author you are quoting (e.g. Smith, 1996; Jones 1988) using the APA 6th method. All sources of material that you use to inform your ideas should be referenced. Direct quotes should be given in quotation marks and accompanied by the relevant page numbers. At the end of your essay, give a full bibliography of all the authors you have used. Guidance on referencing and citation can be found under ‘additional resources’ on ELE.
Resubmission guidelines: if the module is not passed then the failed assignment(s) will have to be resubmitted.
Company X is based in a major City in the UK. The 300 front line employees work in one of 2 areas: intelligence products and software development
Intelligence products involve the use of programmes to collect and structure high volumes of data. Employees in this department help capture and present data that is required by clients (external organisations). This includes web watching tools, which are able to capture information about how people interact with a website (e.g., where they move and click on a page). Employees also help collect market data, financial data and business intelligence. They also set up marketing automation programmes for efficient marketing campaigns. Employees working in intelligence products also conduct telephone research to verify and enhance data collected from automated techniques.
Software development involves the development and delivery of customised software to some of the word leading brands. This involves the design and development of systems and tools for merging, managing, analysing and visualising data. They also develop workflow management applications to automate tasks as well as software to integrate sales and marketing into social media platforms such as twitter and facebook. Employees in this area of the company are involved in the development of software that is used and sold by those in the intelligence products area.
In 2015, Company X had an issue with turnover. They were aware that they were losing staff at a high rate. In fact the level of voluntary turnover was around 80%. This was costing the company a lot of money as it is expensive to hire and train new staff and leads to losses in productivity. To try and address this issue, the company begun working with a University in the UK in order to research the issue further.
Within software development there are 90 employees, they work in teams of about 10 on software development projects. When working within these team they are provided with a business related issue and then design software to address these issue. This typically involves adapting previous developed software to fit the needs of a specific business. Overall, employees in this department are well educated and have high levels of qualifications, typically in software engineering, computer science, or a related discipline. They generally work long hours, often working on day during the weekend. Generally, these employees are well compensated earning salaries that are well above the national average. Turnover in this group is lower than in intelligence products, but it is still relatively high. It is very costly to replace members of this work area as they are highly skilled. The software development teams are supervised by a direct line manager. Each team has one direct manager. These managers have typically been promoted from within the software development area. Thus, the leaders typically have good levels of knowledge and expertise about the area. However, typically these leaders have no leadership experience and little training is provided. Generally, speaking people are promoted quite quickly with many leaders being with the company for just a few years as a software developer before becoming a line manager. The line managers oversee the teams and have to provide regular progress updates to those above them in middle management. Overall, the organisation has a very bureaucratic culture where strict policies are in place. As such, line managers are required to regular monitor and report on their teams. This involves daily feedback reports being provided and weekly process meetings. They are also given very challenging goals to meet. For example the timescale for the completion of projects is very tight. Many complain that the goals set are unrealistic in the time scale given.
Employees working in intelligence products also work in teams, but typically see they job as largely independent of their teammates. They have individual goals to meet rather than clear team goals. Their main activities involve working with data and providing reports to their line managers. The job is often very monotonous and involves repetitive tasks such as collecting data and preparing reports. Employees of the intelligence planning department have almost no interaction with either clients or the software development teams. Employees in this area are typically young and low-skilled. They have a relatively low education level and little job experience. They work long hours for relatively poor pay, that is about the national average. The jobs are very structured and there is very little discretion in how they do their work. Many employees complain about the working hours and the difficulty it causes with their work-life balance. Their line managers manage client relationships as well as the relationship with the software development teams. The line managers have little interaction with the employees of this department except from regular electronic reports of progress. The line managers are typically much older than their subordinates and much more highly skilled. They typically come from a different socio-economic background as the front-line staff. They work closely with the top management team and have a lot of power and influence in the organisation. This is because they manage the client relationships and seek new business. Many problems have been brought to the attention of these managers over the years. An internal review of the organisation identified inconsistencies in processes, poor communication between departments and teams, and widespread ‘silo mentalities’. Overall connectivity in the organisation was seen as poor. Many staff expressed frustration that their views on how to improve the situation were not heard by those above them.
To try and understand the issue of high turnover, the lead researcher conducted an initial survey of the current employees in order to try and understand what might be leading to issues of high turnover. The survey focused on the perceptions of the front line employees from both the intelligence planning and software development departments. The following variables were collected using surveys:
Turnover intention: measures individual’s intentions to voluntarily leave the organisation.
Psychological Empowerment: The degree to which individual feel empowered at work. This measure of empowerment has 4 dimensions – meaning, competence, impact and self-determination. The measure was developed by Spreitzer (1995). These dimensions are described below:
· Meaning – is the value of a work goal or purpose – judged in relation to one’s own ideals or standards. In other works it captures the extent to which people find their work personally meaningful
· Competence – or self-efficacy refers to the individual’s belief in his or her capacity to perform activities with skill. Competence is the confidence one has in their ability to do their job well.
· Autonomy – an individual’s sense of having choice in initiating and regulating actions. Examples include making decisions about work methods, pace and effort.
· Impact – Impact refers to the degree to which an individual feels that their work makes a difference in achieving the purpose of the task and the extent to which an individual believes he or she can influence organisational goals.
Organizational Justice: refers to employee perceptions of fairness in the workplace. It is a combination of 4 dimensions of justice, using the scale developed by Colquitt (2001).
Team Cohesion – defined as the tendency for a group to be in unity while working towards a goal or to satisfy the emotional needs of its members. This is measured using the scale developed by Carless and De Paolo (2000)
Leader-member exchange (LMX) – refers to the perceived quality of the relationship between leaders and followers. This is measured using the scale developed by Liden and Maslyn (1998)
References for the variables:
Spreitzer, G. M. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: Dimensions, measurement, and validation. Academy of management Journal, 38(5), 1442-1465.
Colquitt, J. A. (2001). On the dimensionality of organizational justice: a construct validation of a measure. Journal of applied psychology, 86(3), 386.
Carless, S. A., & De Paola, C. (2000). The measurement of cohesion in work teams. Small group research, 31(1), 71-88.
Liden, R. C., & Maslyn, J. M. (1998). Multidimensionality of leader-member exchange: An empirical assessment through scale development. Journal of management, 24(1), 43-72.
Each of the variables above was measured with multiple questions that were then averaged on a scale of 1-5. The tables below shows the mean scores and standard deviations of each variable for both departments. The correlations between the variables are also provided to help provide information about the relations between the variables.
Intelligence Products (N = 210)
Software Development (N=90)
Correlations between variables (based on both departments combined)
1. Turnover Intentions
6. Organisational Justice
7. Team Cohesion
* = significant correlation