HRM3008 – Organisational Change
Due Date : 17th April 2015
Reflective Learning Portfolio (60%)
In this assignment you will need to develop and produce a Reflective Portfolio for yourself. In the course of preparing the materials for this portfolio you will work with other members of your “learning set” but the final assignment which is submitted must be entirely your own work.
This process will require you to synthesis and build upon much of the information and many of the activities within the module. You will need to critically reflect upon the module and your learning. This assignment will require a high level of reflective, critical and creative thinking and input
Start working on this assignment from day one of the module. One of the assessment criteria that we shall be using is based around how much you have developed you thinking and understanding during the module.
The portfolio is built up from a variety of different materials:
A critical reflection of your groups Literature Review process and presentation.
- Discussion and reflection of Seminar/Case Study activities.
- Discussion and reflection of your significant learning themes.
- Application and integration of your learning – how can you apply and integrate this learning?
Apart from the above, what you put in the portfolio is up to you, but do remember that you need to demonstrate achievement of the assessment criteria.
You must ensure that your work contains reference to appropriate theories and produces evidence of critical thinking and reflection on your learning and development. Your work must be free standing and self-explanatory to the marking tutor.
“Experience is the child of Thought and Thought is the child of Action. We cannot learn men from books alone”
Disraeli.This activity allows individuals to take a step back from learning experiences and create inferences about it in order to more fully understand its significance and meaning. By “pondering” about the learning and development going on, reflection uncovers insight and learning themes, connects your learning and performance, and yields more relevant feedback.
We all indulge in this process already, but generally at an unconscious or semi-conscious level. Many organisations and businesses do it, keen to improve their products by reflecting upon the experiences of their customers…….and keen to improve their internal (production) processes by encouraging all employees to reflect upon how they do their jobs and thus how their jobs can be improved!
In the same vein, all top sports people have to indulge in some sort of reflection upon their performance….in order to learn how to improve. If they don’t do this, they will not be at the top of their chosen sport for very long!
Practice is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for learning: there are many examples of people repeating mistakes over and over again – we never learn from our mistakes alone, we only learn from reflecting upon our mistakes….and quite often the learning gained from our “mistakes” can be far more powerful and meaningful than learning from success.
In order to capitalise on seminar/lecture experiences as learning/development opportunities and to maximise any possible gain, it is necessary to take some time to consider and reflect on what happened in the event and turn those seminar/lecture experiences into learning/development. Kolb (1984) suggested that people learn more effectively by reviewing each occasion in which learning may take place. Schon (1987) used the phrase “reflection-in-action”.
Reflection is a key element in the learning process. It converts informal and perhaps accidental opportunities into efficient learning.
It is a flexible method, which recognises that learning & development is a personal and individual process.
There are a variety of models and frameworks to help explain, facilitate and capture reflective learning (Kolb’s Learning Cycle, Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles).
Some Reflection Prompts.
Have any intriguing ideas emerged from your seminar discussions?
- What ideas (from lectures, work experience, other related modules….?) stand out in your mind as being particularly important/useful?
- How do these ideas relate to other similar ideas you have come across?
- How can you use these ideas in the future?
- Can you relate some of these ideas to the world of work?
- What made it easy or difficult for you to learn? What does that say about how you prefer to learn?
- Are any general themes emerging?
- What actions do you plan to take based on what you learned?
Review the above list of reflection questions for each seminar/lecture and choose a few to prompt your thinking rather than the entire list.
Do not be afraid to use drawings, diagrams, metaphors…..to push beyond a mere surface evaluation or chronological description of what you did. Rather than what you did, we want to read about the impact it has had on your understanding, learning and development.
You are not expected to summarise and cover every lecture or seminar!
One approach may be to pursue and explore three or four themes (maximum of three pages each) from the module, which may incorporate a mix of lectures or seminars or both?
THEMES FOR YOUR PORFOLIO (max 3-4 pages on each theme 3000-4000 words)
1 The context of Change Management
John Kotter in his latest book Accelerate (2014:1-2) states that the speed of change has increased so fast that our basic systems and structures of the past century can no longer cope. Leadership and management have lost the ability to cope with the rapid pace of change.
Reflect on this modern age phenomena and give insight into the different schools of change management theory that address change management. Change Management has tended to focus on the achievement of one of three types of outcomes- individual change, group change and system change (Katz and Khan, 1978). Each of these has its advocates as to which is most important. For example, Maslow (1943) and the early Human Relations school focussed on the importance of individual motivation and behaviour. Lewin (1947) and Schein (1988), while recognising the importance of individual behaviour to overall organisational performance, argued that modifying group behaviour was the best way to improve performance. Senge (1990), took a systems approach to improvement. He saw the interconnectedness of organisational life as being the most important factor and, therefore change has to start from this perspective. It is not the supporters of these three forms of change ignore the other two, but rather they see their form as being the lynchpin that holds the others together.
In your analysis you need to consider if the three schools of thought are still relevant as the ‘central planks’ of change management theory.
Refer to Burnes (2014:306-311).
2 Resistance to change
The prevailing view in organisational change literature appears to be that employee resistance to change is the main reason for the failure of many change efforts (Maurer, 1996, Waddell and Sohal,1998). However Burnes (2014) argues that one has to consider four theories which are fundamental to the resistance debate to make an informed decision:
Theory 1: Dispositional resistance
Theory 2: The depth of intervention
Theory 3: Cognitive dissonance
Theory 4: The psychological contract
Review the literature on these above theories and give your understanding of the application of these theories in understanding the resistance to change debate in organisations.
Refer to Burnes (2014: 312-318)
3 Managing change
Using the Framework for Change model (Burnes 2014: 409) analyse change in one of the case studies that you have studied on your module. In particular, identify the type of change, the selection and suitability of the approach to change and the degree to which the change implemented was a success. (For example case studies: McDonalds, St Mungo’s Broadway, Tesco’s etc) Reference Burnes 402-421)