Many of the most important organizational behavior challenges require coordinating plans and goals among groups. This case describes a multiorganizational effort, but the same principles of accommodation and compromise also apply when trying to work with multiple divisions within a single organization. You’ll create a blueprint for managing a complex development team’s progress, steering team members away from negative conflicts and toward productive discussion. You’ll also be asked to help create a new message for executives so they can lead effectively.
Major Topic Areas
The Woodson Foundation, a large nonprofit social service agency, is teaming up with the public school system in Washington, D.C., to improve student outcomes. There’s ample room for improvement. The schools have problems with truancy, low student performance, and crime. New staff quickly burn out as their initial enthusiasm for helping students is blunted by the harsh realities they encounter in the classroom. Turnover among new teachers is very high, and many of the best and brightest are the most likely to leave for schools that aren’t as troubled.
The plan is to create an experimental after-school program that will combine the Woodson Foundation’s skill in raising private money and coordinating community leaders with the educational expertise of school staff. Ideally, the system will be financially self-sufficient, which is important because less money is available for schools than in the past. After several months of negotiation, the leaders of the Woodson Foundation and the school system have agreed that the best course is to develop a new agency that will draw on resources from both organizations. The Woodson foundation will provide logistical support and program development and measurement staff; the school system will provide classrooms and teaching staff.
The first stage in bringing this new plan to fruition is the formation of an executive development team. This team will span multiple functional areas and establish the operating plan for improving school performance. Its cross-organizational nature means representatives from both the Woodson Foundation and the school district must participate. The National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education (NCPIE) is also going to be a major partner in the program, acting as a representative for parents on behalf of the PTA.
Each student is required to analyze this week’s case study and submit a two- to three-page paper addressing the key questions identified below. Remember that all case studies present both too much and too little information. There may be information presented that is not really relevant, and there may be scant information about a key area. This analysis does require interpretation of the information and there is not one right answer. However, you must explain and defend any assumptions you made or conclusions resulting from your analysis with citations from the text or from the case itself. There is no need to research outside sources for this paper.
Your paper must include the following labeled sections.
|Part I: Group Development||15||Identify and summarize the stages of group development.
Reflecting on the case and textbook material, what stage is the group at now? How could an understanding of the stages of group development have assisted The Woodson Foundation in building a cohesive coalition?
Support your conclusion with evidence from the case and our text.
|Part II: Problem Identification||30||Identify key problems.
Identify primary and secondary problems the Woodson Foundation is facing. Identify what the organization should have understood about individual membership in teams in order to have built group processes that were supportive of her groups’ goals.
Do not necessarily limit yourself to only team theory here. Plumb any concepts we have covered to date in class if you feel they are relevant.
|Part III: Retrospective Evaluation||40||Given that there is no one perfect solution for this situation, identify, describe, and defend two possible solutions to the primary problem(s).
Clearly identify and defend both courses of action. Identify and discuss specific steps needed to implement your selections. Support your selections with evidence from the case, the text, or weekly discussion.
Remember that deciding on a course of action entails envisioning and planning the steps to success. Be sure to identify implementation steps for both possible solutions.
Almost every situation presented with relation to group dynamics and behavior can have multiple avenues for remedy. It is important to develop the ability to critically evaluate more than one alternative and rationally identify pros and cons of each.
Presenting pros and cons for the identified alternative solutions in a table format within the paper is acceptable.
|Part IV: Reflection||15||What would you advise as a strategy for managing diversity issues for program leaders?