1. Think about the job you currently hold or one that you are familiar (i.e. a past employment position; or, perhaps a job/position held by a family member or friend). Based on what you know about this position, how has the nature of this job changed over the past 5 years; OR, has the job remained the same?
I have managed teams of system administrators for nearly 15 years. Over that time, the job has changed very little, although the technology we manage has changed greatly. (Many of my current employees have never heard of operating systems I started out on!) The biggest change I’ve experienced is the prevalence of remote working. For most of my career, senior managers have fought against the idea of system administrators working remotely during work hours. Over the past few years, attitudes on this have started changing. Now, I work completely remotely and manage a team that is also remote.
2. Give a short statement of agreement or disagreement—including your reasoning or experience—with the following statement: “Organizational Development is simply about reduction of cost for an organization—nothing more or nothing less.”
At first blush, I assumed that the term “cost” was strictly financial. This seemed wrong to me as organizational change is often made despite financial costs. Then it occurred to me that “cost” could also be as “negative,” in other words having a non-financial basis. In this case, I agree. The purpose of all organizational development is to take a negative — a drain on the organization — and replace it with a positive. When put that way, the reverse of this statement is illogical.
3. After you have listened/read our media story, you will know about the Bassett Furniture firm and its struggle to remain profitable. I have placed this story in our Organizational Structure chapter; however, you have covered multiple topics in our course—attitudes, personality, motivation, team work, leadership, etc. In your opinion, what topics from Chapter 15 or other parts of our course, do you feel are exhibited in our media story that ‘helped Bassett Furniture survive? Explain your answer.
More than anything else, the media story really relates to transformational leadership. Over the years, the different leaders of Bassett Furniture clearly had a vision of what the company should be. Many of the principles of this vision seem to have been the same from leader to leader (this is a family company, furniture made in the USA, etc.). That being said, each leader dealt with different external forces that shaped the direction the company took on the road to that vision. It’s quite possible the owners of Bassett Furniture could have sold their factories and turned a quick dollar. But, the enduring vision of their leaders, kept them on a narrow path and forced them to deal with their environment differently than other furniture companies.