Case Study: Matching Interventions to an Organization’s Needs
When planning for change, a consulting professional needs to carefully consider the intervention strategies that best fit an organization’s change goals and the unique characteristics of the internal and external environments. Yet, change and interventions affect not only the organization but also the people within the organization. When an intervention directly affects employees’ work relationships, work activity, work knowledge, and workspace, the commitment and involvement of those to which the intervention is aimed are critically important. Consultants must make part-scientific, part-artistic, part-political choices when selecting effective interventions that match organizational change needs.
OD consultants may be called on to determine under which circumstances an intervention target is appropriate. This requires comparing the effectiveness of intervention targets based on a range of internal and external factors. ODs then evaluate the potential an intervention target has for improving organizational performance and health.
Consider how the information above may apply to the LearningTime, Inc. case study below.
LearningTime, Inc., is a large private, for-profit tutoring company with 80 locations and 900 employees around the country. The company is acquiring a smaller competitor, Tutors-for-Kids, LLC. Tutors-for-Kids has 30 locations and 280 employees located primarily in the Midwest and northeast.
LearningTime’s longtime CEO, Mary Williams, has announced that she is retiring and will be leaving the company shortly after the acquisition. She believes the best person to take over her position is the current president of Tutors-for-Kids, Julie Brown. Julie and Mary are longtime friends and fellow college alumnae. However, most LearningTime executives are very opposed to this idea; many are jockeying for the job and creating discord. The politicking, backbiting, and competitiveness are causing Mary, the board, and staff employees to disengage.
There is also significant resistance and fear among personnel at Tutors-for-Kids. Employees and managers are worried about the merger and how it will affect their jobs and the new organization.
- Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider appropriate OD intervention strategies for the various organizational systems.
- Analyze the Learning Time case study. Learning Time is a large tutoring company that is in the process of acquiring a smaller competitor. There is disagreement over future leadership within the company, as the long-time CEO of Learning Time is retiring soon after the acquisition.
By Day 3
Post a response to the following:
Analyze the Learning Time case study found in your Learning Resources and post a description of two recommended organizational OD interventions and a rationale for each intervention selected. Also provide an explanation of two factors to be considered when selecting an intervention.
Swann, A. (2018). The Human Workplace. London, England: Kogan Page.
- Chapter 5, “Turn It Into Action” (pp. 143–174)
Document: Consulting Simulation Overview and Preparation (PDF): Access this resource from the Week 1 Learning Resources or from the Resource List
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