Monday, September 27, 2004

Roloff 9/24/2004

Strategies of Persuasion and Resistance

Use email to reach Mike Roloff

Focus of class will be organizational change, how to persuade people for the sake of organizational change.

Roloff’s Mantra: March, but march slowly. Don’t overtly resist, or they’ll get you!

3 Ways to express dissent:

1) Openly – These are the unemployed – Change Agents want open dissent.
2) Latent Dissent – behind the scenes – from a persuasion perspective, underground resistance is undesirable – only real effective way to safely resist. Psychological safety – will I be fired if I try something new and it fails?
3) Displaced Dissent – Go outside the company to blow the whistle on them.

Anthony Downs – “Inside Bureaucracy” - Behavioral Drift

Espoused Rules vs. Actual Rules

When this disparity is discovered, there is reorganizational adjustment/reaction, rather than a correction.

Force change is resisted, but an evolutionary process of change is accepted. Procedural justice is desired, voice in change. The objection to forced change is a sense that an employee or his/her opinions are immaterial.

Change is Top-Down at the moment.

Resistance often comes from long-tenured employees. “Cynicism” is one of the biggest problems in organizations according to a study…cynicism is acquired, rather than an inherent trait.

Psychological contract with an employer – perception of what is given and taken – transactional component and relational component – relational component is violated within the first 2 years.

Realism reduces expectation – unrealistic expectations are given to reduce pessimism, maintain optimistic attitudes.

Three dimensions of worker burnout

1) Emotional Exhaustion - Finish the day feeling nothing – women like to talk about it, men want to decompress quietly. “Emotional Labor” how much emotion is required to do a job – men do as much as women. Women are cheerleaders on the job (not sure whether it’s an expectation). Men complain about having to be nice to people they hate. Homicidal fantasies – women fantasize about killing family (husbands, then mothers), men dream of killing bosses.
2) Other people as objects – people become things in order to cope with difficult situations….emotional investment in everything would be difficult.
3) Feeling of making no difference –

Unions tell their employees to work to the rule, don’t do more than their job description.

For Position Papers:

8 Pages

The first is 40%, since it will be the first time we’ll write him one. The second will be better, and worth 60%.

Send them via email, Roloff will return them to the address from which they were sent.

Roloff has no sample papers, because he destroys papers for the sake of confidentiality.

(He’s an IRB member)

We can write an elaborated outline.

For the paper, take a change attempt I saw that failed.

I. Statement of problem area
1. What was proposed? What are the specific issues? (Background of personalities involved)
2. Why is it being proposed?
3. Change Agents – personality, power, motive for being the change agent
4. Targets – personality, power, change orientation

II. Statement of Theory
1. Key concepts and definitions
2. Explanatory statements

III. Change Management Plans
1. Change Goals – Instrumental, relational, face – stripping the dignity from an opponent will lead to retaliation
2. Obstacles to goal achievement – how to plan to execute the vision, get through the obstacles – be realistic, e.g. could resource deficits be overcome?
3. Strategies to overcome each obstacle – Specificity about what should be said or done, Link strategies to theories (what’s wrong with optimism research suggests that optimists accept risks that objective observers would not)
4. Indicators of Success – Minimum and maximum definitions of success
5. Costs and Risks – What could go wrong and why, backup solutions, and their costs and risks
6. Probability of success of intervention and why

IV. Bibliography and Footnotes

Week 2 – How to change individuals - understand the functions an individual’s behavior serves. Instrumental functions – individuals seek rewards. “Organizations thrive on ambiguity” – identifying and rewarding behavior is done at the expense of other behaviors. People are likelier to burn out if they are in it only for money, less burnout among those who think good work is the right thing to do. Values keep people from burning out.

Week 3 – How to change individuals’ behaviors. Why people don’t want to change how they act. Performance appraisals. Everyone hates, 360-degree reviews are ineffective, a prisoner’s dilemma. Voice literature.

Week 4 – Individual differences.

Week 5 – First paper due

Week 6 – Changing whole organizations – who is recruited and selected. A theory posits that attitudes and values are shared and create homogeneity; only people who fit will join. Cultural change is resisted because of a common shared culture that transparently exists.

Week 7 – Innovation

Week 8 – Strategies and tactics – Culture changes without changes in incentives will fail. He’ll blast teams in this discussion, all groups socially loaf. (more common among men)

Week 9 – Overcoming resistance

Week 10 – Fads and fashions – fads: the advice of gurus, fashions: following or mimicking a well-publicized idea or way of doing business.