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Week 2 Objectives

  • Analyze the impact of internal and external pressures on organizational change efforts.
  • Compare and contrast change rationales.
  • Discuss key driving and restraining forces of change efforts.
  • Examine the stages of change commitment
  • Assess the alignment between management’s view of change and those held throughout the organization.

This week we consider the external pressures on organizations. An understanding of these pressures will be viewed through the lens of current issues facing the law enforcement profession. In the evolving world of law enforcement, we constantly strive for a system of objective evaluation to measure the performance of police officers.  Realistically, each agency has a small percentage of personnel who are ultimately considered non-productive employees – dead wood.  In a government setting, often laced with strong union contracts allowing for job protection and complex disciplinary review boards, it becomes and extremely difficult task for the manager to effectively take on and terminate non-productive employees.  Ultimately, the manager succumbs to the realization that the agency is stuck with this dead wood and seeks to balance the needs of the agency by assigning these individuals to areas of reduced responsibility and low community demand.  The police manager all too often wrongly capitalizes upon and exploits select individuals who are considered the high producers in the agency.  The objective here is to create a balance in an attempt to meet the needs of the community and fulfill the objectives of the organization recognizing that only certain officers are in fact producing.  In the end, the manager mistakenly tends to look at the overall combined accomplishments of the agency rather than focusing on individual achievements. 


According to Kirk Blackard in his article published in the Dispute Resolution Journal, conflict is defined as “…a situation of competition in which the parties are aware of the incompatibility of potential future positions and in which each party wishes to occupy a position which is incompatible with the wishes of the other.”  (Blackard, 1999)  Blackard in his article was able to identify specific conflict categorical characteristics, which are applicable in law enforcement.  These categories consist of the following:


·       An unpleasant work environment characterized by employee fear and morale, resolved through informal discussion and open dialogue.  There are no formal policies or procedures unless
     the conflict involves a hostile environment.

·       Lack of productivity resulting from information being withheld, energies being diverted from productive work to conflict, and competition becoming unhealthy.  Resolve through documentation
     and disciplinary action if warranted.

·       Sabotage driven by employee efforts to cause someone else to lose if they cannot win.  If proven, resolution is through documentation and supporting evidence of policy violation.

·       Excessive turnover from employees leaving because their needs are not being met. Resolution begins with informal dialogue to identify issues forming basis of turnover.

·       High litigation costs and adverse judgments from actions of employees who see no alternative to filing legal action.  Resolution is through formal adherence to procedural steps and policy.


Traditional law enforcement has and continues to base performance on statistical reactive reporting.  This may include such items as how many citations were written during the month, how many arrests were made, or how many reports were written during the month, how many reports were taken on a particular shift.  It becomes a game of numbers.  In order to meet the minimum criteria for this evaluation process, a non-productive employee quite simply will write a few tickets, and make an occasional arrest to keep the sergeant happy.  When confronted by a superior regarding low performance, the employee quite simply goes on the offensive and accuses management of setting quotas.


By allowing these non-productive employees to remain in any employment setting, an adverse effect will undoubtedly prevail within the organization.  In time, a proactive employee may become stressed with heavy workloads and increased responsibilities with no additional compensation.  Burnout and frustration will ultimately ensue.  Meanwhile, the dead wood employee sits back, makes the same pay, and depending on seniority, may even be making more money, and have choice days off and shift assignment.


This scenario exemplifies the need for change within the industry and the pressures faced by those in management positions. Learning to implement change from a job-oriented cultural perspective may prove to be challenging when faced with such a highly adversarial work environment.




Blackard,K. (1999). How to make the most of the employment ADR process Dispute Resolution Journal, 54, 71-77.





Week 2 Preview of Readings, Discussions, and Assignments




1.     Read the following chapters in your text, Managing Organizational Change:

  • Chapter 3: Why Organizations Change
  • Chapter 4: What Changes in Organizations
  • Chapter 5: Diagnosis for Change


2.     Recommended Reading:


To participate in the following Discussion Forums, go to this week’s Discussion link in the left navigation:

1.     Change Rationales

Find two articles about organizations going through change. Provide a complete APA citation for each article. Answer the following questions and respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

·        What is the rationale presented for the changes? What are the internal and external pressures considered in the change?
·        Compare and contrast the rationales from each article. What are the commonalities presented? Are some presented as more legitimate than others?
·        To what extent are single versus multiple rationales utilized? What conclusions do you draw from this?

 2.     Force Field Analysis

Find at least one significant article related to either downsizing, implementation of a new technology, or a merger or acquisition. Provide a complete APA citation of the article. 

·        What are the key driving forces? What are the key restraining forces?
·        Prepare a force field analysis graph (see Figure 5.9 from your text).
·        Think about how to implement the change by increasing drivers or reducing restraints.
·        Describe and discuss the change in terms of the force field analysis in 200 words or less.



To complete this assignment, go to this week’s Assignment link in the left navigation:


Read the case study: Nestlé from the end of chapter 4 in your text. Answer the following questions in a three page APA style paper; include outside sources to support your answers.

·       Did Nestlé undergo either first-order and/or second-order change according to the case? Answer listing examples of types for change from the case.
·       Brabeck-Letmathe emphasizes the need for an incremental approach to change. Do you agree that this is what he has done?
·       Discuss the differences and similarities between his view and your view of what has occurred at Nestlé, both historically and in recent times.
·       What implications for change managers would apply specifically to Nestlé? Outline how the Nestlé management team may have reacted to each implication.
·       Find three examples of lessons from the front line that are evident in the Nestlé case. How could these issues be overcome?


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