Describe the Process Consultation

Describe the process consultation. Discuss when it should be used and how it applies to organization development. Process consultation (PC) is a general framework for carrying out helping relationships. It is oriented to helping managers, employees, and groups assess and improve processes, such as communication, interpersonal relations, decision making and task performance. Schein argues that effective consultants and managers should be good helpers, aiding others in getting things done and in achieving the goals they have set. Thus, PC is more a philosophy than a set of techniques aimed at performing this helping relationship.

The philosophy ensures that those who are receiving the help own their problems, gain the skills and expertise to diagnose them, and solve them themselves. Thus, it is an approach to helping people and groups help themselves. Schein defines process consultation as “the creation of a relationship that permits the client to perceive, understand, and act on the process events that occur in (her/his) internal and external environment in order to improve the situation as defined by the client. ” The process consultant does not offer expert help in the form of solutions to problems, as in the doctor-patient model.

Rather, the process consultant works to develop relationships, observes groups and people in action, helps them diagnose the way they are carrying out tasks, and helps them learn how to be more effective. In the OD literature, team building is not clearly differentiated from process consultation. This confusion exists because most team building includes process consultation—helping the group diagnose and understand its own internal processes. However, process consultation is a more general approach to helping relationships than is team building. Team building focuses explicitly on helping groups perform asks and solve problems more effectively. Process consultation, on the other hand, is concerned with establishing effective helping relationships in organizations. It is seen as key to effective management and consultation and can be applied to any helping relationship, from subordinate development to interpersonal relationships to group development. Thus, team building consists of process consultation plus other, more task-oriented interventions (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 253). Describe the key success requirements for a microcosm group intervention. A microcosm group onsists of a small number of individuals who reflect the issue being addressed. For example, a microcosm group composed of members representing a spectrum of ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and races can be created to address diversity issues in the organization. This group, assisted by OD practitioners, can create programs and processes targeted at specific problems. In addition to addressing diversity problems, microcosm groups have been used to carry out organization diagnoses, solve communications problems, integrate two cultures, smooth the transition to a new structure, and address dysfunctional political processes.

Microcosm groups work through “parallel processes,” which are the unconscious changes that take place in individuals when two or more groups interact. After groups interact, members often find that their characteristic patterns of roles and interactions change to reflect the roles and dynamics of the group with whom they were relating. Put simply, groups seem to “infect” and become “infected” by the other groups. The following example given by Alderfer helps to clarify how parallel processes work. An organizational diagnosis team had assigned its members to each of five departments in a small manufacturing company.

Members of the team had interviewed each department head and several department members, and had observed department meetings. The team was preparing to observe their first meeting of department heads and was trying to anticipate the group’s behavior. At first they seemed to have no ‘rational” basis for predicting the top group’s behavior because they “had no data” from direct observation. They decided to role-play the group meeting they had never seen. Diagnostic team members behaved as they thought the department heads would, and the result was uncanny.

Team members found that they easily became engaged with one another in the simulated department-head meeting; emotional involvement occurred quickly for all participants. When the team actually was able to observe a department-head meeting, they were amazed at how closely the simulated meeting had approximated the actual session. Thus, if a small and representative group can intimately understand and solve a complex organizational problem for themselves; they are in a good position to recommended action to address the problem in the larger system (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 279).

Discuss why the matrix structure is the best and most flexible organization structure. Some OD practitioners have focused on maximizing the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of both the functional and the self-contained-unit structures, and this effort has resulted in the matrix organization. Matrix organizational designs originally evolved in the aerospace industry where changing customer demands and technological conditions caused managers to focus on lateral relationships between functions to develop a flexible and adaptable system of resources and procedures, and to achieve a series of project objectives.

Matrix organizations now are used widely in manufacturing, service, and nonprofit, governmental, and professional organizations. Every matrix organization contains three unique and critical roles: the top manager, who heads and balances the dual chains of command, the matrix bosses (functional, product, or area), who share subordinates: and the two-boss managers, who report to two different matrix bosses. Each of these roles has its own unique requirements. In a matrix organization, each project manager reports directly to the vice president and the general manager.

Since each project represents a potential profit centre, the power and authority used by the project manager come directly from the general manager. Matrix organizations, like all organization structures, have both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, this structure allows multiple orientations. Specialized, functional knowledge can be applied to all projects. New products or projects can be implemented quickly by using people flexibly and by moving between product and functional orientations as circumstances demand.

Matrix organizations can maintain consistency among departments and projects by requiring communication among managers. For many people, matrix structures are motivating and exciting. On the negative side, these organizations can be difficult to manage. To implement and maintain them requires heavy managerial costs and support. When people are assigned to more than one department, there may be role ambiguity and conflict, and overall performance may be sacrificed if there are power conflicts between functional departments and project structures.

To make matrix organizations work, organization members need interpersonal and conflict management skills. People can get confused about how the matrix works, and that can lead to chaos and inefficiencies (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 319). What is the TQM approach to employee involvement and how does it differ from other approaches? Discuss Deming’s influence on this approach. Total quality management (TQM) is the most recent and, along with high-involvement organizations the most comprehensive approach to employee involvement.

Also known as “Continuous process improvement” and “continuous quality,” TQM grew out of a manufacturing emphasis on quality control and represents a long- term effort to orient all of an organization’s activities around the concept of quality. Quality is achieved when organizational processes reliably produce products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations. Like high-involvement designs, TQM increases workers’ knowledge and skills through extensive training, provides relevant information to employees, pushes decision-making power downward in the organization and ties rewards to performance.

When implemented successfully. TQM also is aligned closely with a firm’s overall business strategy and attempts to change the entire organization toward continuous quality improvement. TQM is a philosophy and a set of guiding principles for continuous improvement based on customer satisfaction, teamwork, and empowerment of individuals. TQM applies human resources and analytical tools to focus on meeting or exceeding customer’s current and future needs. There are a series of planned improvements that will ultimately influence the quality and productivity of the organization.

Like high-involvement designs, TQM increases workers’ knowledge and skills through extensive training, provides relevant information to employees, pushes decision-making power downward in the organization and ties rewards to performance. When implemented successfully TQM also is aligned closely with a firm’s overall business strategy and attempts to change the entire organization toward continuous quality improvement. (Cummings ;amp; Worley, 2009, p. 359). Discuss the motivational approach to job design. What are the key dimensions that lead to high work quality and internal motivation?

The motivational approach to work design views the effectiveness of organizational activities primarily as a function of member needs and satisfaction, and seeks to improve employee performance and satisfaction by enriching jobs. The motivational method provides people with opportunities for autonomy, responsibility, closure (that is, doing a complete job), and performance feedback. Enriched jobs are popular in the United States at such companies as AT;amp;T Universal Card, TRW, Dayton Hudson, and GTE. The motivational approach usually is associated with the research of Herzberg and of Hackman and Oldham.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation proposed that certain attributes of work, such as opportunities for advancement and recognition, which he called motivators, help increase job satisfaction. Other attributes that Herzberg called hygiene factors, such as company policies, working conditions, pay, and supervision, do not produce satisfaction but rather prevent dissatisfaction—important contributors because only satisfied workers are motivated to produce. Successful job enrichment experiments at AT&T, Texas Instruments, and Imperial Chemical Industries helped to popularize job enrichment in the 1960s.

Although Herzberg’s motivational factors sound appealing, increasing doubt has been cast on the underlying theory. Motivation and hygiene factors are difficult to put into operation and measure, and that makes implementation and evaluation of the theory difficult. Furthermore, important worker characteristics that can affect whether people will respond favorably to job enrichment were not included in his theory. Finally, Herzberg’s failure to involve employees in the job enrichment process itself does not suit most OD practitioners today.

Consequently, a second, well-researched approach to job enrichment has been favored. It focuses on the attributes of the work itself and has resulted in a more scientifically acceptable theory of job enrichment than Herzberg’s model. The research of Hackman and Oldham represents this more recent trend in job enrichment. Considerable research has been devoted to defining and understanding core job dimensions. Figure 50 summarizes the Hackman and Oldham model of job design. Five core dimensions of work affect three critical psychological states, which in turn produce personal and job outcomes.

These outcomes include high internal work motivation, high-quality work performance, satisfaction with the work, and low absenteeism and turnover. The five core job dimensions—skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the work itself—are described below and associated with the critical psychological states that they create (Cummings ;amp; Worley, 2009, p. 377). References Cummings, T. G. , ;amp; Worley, C. G. (2011). Organization development ;amp; change (11th ed. ). Australia; Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.