In terms of the organizational development style to be used throughout the change process, this should best be the pathfinder style. Despite the complexity of this approach, fact remains that it combines the benefits of other styles, while reducing their limitations. The pathfinder style virtually focuses on both high levels of organizational effectiveness, as well as high levels of member satisfaction (Harvey and Brown, 2001). This means that the approach will focus on improving senior-junior communications, for the satisfaction of the employees, as well as the increase in the performances of the overall entity.
Given that the process of change cannot be structured onto a strict plan, but that the plan has to be tailored to the unique features of the Mobile Mine Assembly Group, the levels of formalization at this stage are reduced. Nevertheless, throughout the actual implementation, or the time in which the change strategy comes into direct contact with the staff members, the levels of formalization are increased.
Diagnostic Process and Data Collection
Once the problems have been clearly identified, it is useful to reveal the model on which the diagnosis is based. The specialized literature presents the reader with a multitude of models, each constructed on the elements believed necessary in a diagnosis model. As the controversy on these elements has yet to be resolved, the number of diagnosis models is fairly increased. Some examples include benchmarking tools, a balanced scorecard, business process reengineering, continuous improvement, cultural change, management by objectives, or total quality management (McNamara, 2008). The model which is best to be used in the scenario of the Mobile Mine Assembly Group is that of continuous improvement. This model is the most suitable one as it is tailored to the current needs of MOMAG to enhance the quality of the staff communications as the basis for a continuous improvement in the quality of the mines, the technologies it uses and integrates or the performances and motivation of its staff members. Basically, the continuous improvement diagnosis model is constructed on the necessity to improve the final result through a process of gradual improvements in all components, including communications, and it is as such the most beneficial solution as it addresses the issues of MOMAG at their core.
The data will be collected through the traditional three stage process. At the first level, the need for information will be assessed. At a secondary level, the actual data needed will be collected through the analysis of organizational documents and open discussions with various categories of stakeholders, such as employees, customers, managerial team members, organizational partners and so on. Junior and senior staff members will become engaged in communications with interviewers in order to identify any communication breaches. At the final level, the information will be processed and conclusions will be formed.
Overcoming Resistance to Change
Given the complexity of the proposed change process, certain degrees of resistance are expected to occur; juniors could for instance find it difficult to go beyond the formal and strict discipline so far imposed and more closely communicate with their supervisors. The primary expectation is that the resistance will only last for the period it takes for the juniors and seniors to adjust to the modifications and realize their utility. Until then however, there are several measures that could be taken to reduce the resistance to change.
On the one hand, there is the resistance encountered from the clients, or the representatives of the United States Navy. While they are believed to support the process of change due to the superior quality of the final result, it is possible that throughout the duration of the actual implementation, disruptions in the customer-company relationship occur. In order to reduce the resistance encountered from the client, it is advisable for the Mobile Mine Assembly Group to set aside sufficient inventories so that the mine necessary is satisfied. This will ensure that the demands of the customers are entirely fulfilled. Additionally, it is required that the representatives of MOMAG engage in open conversations with the representatives of the navy and present the change strategy in a means that promotes the benefits for the client; this endeavor will ensure the support of the client.
On the other hand, there is the internal resistance to change, generated by the staff members. Its sources are countless, and include elements such as fear of the unknown or lack of desire to learn new things. In order to overcome this resistance, the managerial team ought to engage in direct communications with both junior and senior staff members and present not only the organizational necessity for change, but also the means in which the change would benefit the employees -- such as reduced workloads, reduced complexity or cost efficiencies, which could materialize in salary increases. It is also pivotal to reinforce a strong organizational culture in which change is not understood as a sporadic event, but as an ongoing business model and in which communication is the pillar of success.
Institutionalization Action Plan & Timeline
The most relevant means to present the institutionalization action plan and timeline is that of revealing the processes to be implemented at three different stages -- initial, transitional and institutionalization; these are included in the table below:
Institutionalization Timelines Matrix
Plan Matrix for Organizational Change at MOMAG
- market and company analysis
- product analysis
- communications and feedback
- internal collaboration
- external support
* The estimated duration for these actions is of two months, starting on the 3rd of January 2010 and ending on the 2nd of March 2010.
- resource allocation
- technological innovation
- training programs
- logistics transition
- organizational culture
- employee motivation
* The estimated duration for these endeavors is of one year, starting on the 3rd of March 2010 and ending on the 2nd of February 2011.
- communications with stakeholders
- results assessment
- issues identification
* These actions are to occur throughout the entire duration of the implementation process, as well as in its aftermath.
Continuous re-evaluation, two-way communication, feedback, recognition and reward
Action Plans, Strategies, and Techniques
As it can be revealed from the matrix in the previous section, the changes to be implemented can be structured onto three categories -- (1) technical, (2) behavioral, and (3) structural. The first category of changes refers to the introduction of the latest technological developments in the communication process. The behavioral changes refer to the treatment of the staff members and the strengthening of an organizational culture that promotes communication as the base for organizational performance and mutual benefits. The structural changes are the least obvious ones, but an example of such a change refers to the modifying patterns in inventory management. The overall intervention will have a direct manifestation onto MOMAG's technological infrastructure, this feature also being the one that could support the organization in better reaching its objectives and as such overcoming challenges.
Specific Intervention Analysis
Given the context previously presented, the specific action that would be implemented to improve the communications between senior navy leaders and junior personnel is constructed on the principles of the previous matrix. The implementation process is as follows:
1. Assess the state of the American mines in the global context and relative to the conflicts which emerge and the type of mines possessed by enemies
2. Assess the capabilities of the MOMAG mines in the context of the needs they must serve and their current ability to serve these needs
3. Engage in open communication with various categories of stakeholders in order to retrieve valuable feedback; engage in interviews with the seniors and juniors in order to reveal their stand on internal communications
4. Communicate with directors and representatives of the staff members to retrieve an initial response to a change strategy in which communications are enhanced through technological innovation and organizational culture, and which has the ultimate aim of improved organizational results
5. Search for external practitioners that could help the Mobile Mine Assembly Group in the organizational change process
6. Allocate sufficient resources to ensure that the change process is successfully implemented -- such as money to purchase the technologies or human resources to offer training and promote open communications
7. Purchase and integrate the latest technological developments that allow seniors and juniors to communicate at superior levels
8. Provide training programs that teach the staff members how to operate the latest applications in a means that enhances communications, and consequently, organizational performances; it also of the utmost importance to offer training through exercise for the employees actually operating the mines (Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 2003); these could rapidly receive valuable input from the seniors at base
9. Transfer part of the logistics services to tertiary parties (Deputy Commander Bill Bickert, quoted by World Military History); this process will additionally enhance operational efficiency, reduce workloads and permit seniors and juniors to spend more time interacting…