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Organizational Dynamics And Change

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1. Describe the sources and contingencies of power you and the other technologists in your departmen?
2. Apply the conflict process model (found in Chapter 11 of your textbook) to this case. Describe three structural sources of conflict present in this case?

3. From the perspective of management, what is the problem(s) in this case? From the union/employee perspective, what is the problem(s) in this case?

4. How could the parties in this case work together to ensure that the mill will receive the investment of funds needed to avoid any layoffs?

5. Using the path-goal leadership theory, describe the leadership style of Tom Parker and explain whether his leadership style is most appropriate for the situation?

6. Using the path-goal leadership theory, identify the leadership style(s) you should use in this situation. Explain why you selected this style(s) and discuss why?

7. Should transformational leadership be used in this situation? Explain why or why not?

8. Report on your team’s consensus answers to the “Reflecting about Performing” questions. If need be, refine them for conciseness and clarity?

9. Suppose you have formal authority to allocate performance bonuses to your employees. What contingencies must exist before this source of power will translate into actual power?

10. Explain the concept of shared leadership and discuss why it is important for top management to value and support shared leadership?


1. Sources and Contingencies of Power at Work Place

Power is the ability within an individual that enables them to influence other people attitudes, beliefs, and values (Meglino and Ravlin, 2011)[1]. Power and influence will drive an organization contingency. Contingencies are possible future events that may at times be difficult to predict due to certainties (William, 2014)[2] Combined power and influence among authorities and other staff can be determined by prevailing circumstances and contingencies (Scot & Davis, 2014).[3]

Legitimate power is the power that describes our technologist’s roles and responsibility. Technologists’ legitimate power in the university is to ensure all instructors have appropriate access to technological materials such as online study materials and manually updated study materials that are in line with technology advancement.  University technologists have reward power that allows us to exercise authority over all technological sources within the university. We also have the ability to motivate the instructors' organizational adoption success through motivation. Finally, as technical leaders, we shall use our expert power to apply new knowledge and skills. New insights and expertise will enhance the academic development of the institution through technology. As a leader within the technology department, I will implement the contingency power of substitutability and centrality. I will use the substitutability power by ensuring that the technological systems are up-to-date and that old systems are replaced with new ones. I will influence my colleagues to apply centrality by supporting joint efforts of collaborating with students and instructors so as to complete the course syllabus.

2. Sources of Conflict and Conflict Management Styles and Strategies

The fundamental causes of conflict present in Northwest Canadian Forest Product Limited are communication problems, interdependence, and differentiation.

Communication problems in an organization often occur when there is unclear communication thus causing conflict. Communication problem at Northwest Canadian Forest product creates conflict among employees and supervisors as they lost trust in each other thus leading to a negative attitude towards the achievement of the organization goals.

Interdependence is likely to cause conflict when teammates rely upon others to accomplish a company objective. Conflict at Northwest Company is evident when supervisors perceive that employees are unable to work unless supervised, this has led to the lack of confidence among the two parties thus causing conflict.

Differentiation in an organization occurs when there are differences among staff in an organization. The case of differentiation at Northwest Canadian Company is presented in the case where supervisors have lost trust on the employees. Another instance is where the management and the employees have differing perceptions about work.


There is a problem with poor communication skills. Both the staff and employers are not able to communicate their problems to each other effectively. Supervision departments have doubts on employees work performance thus leading to mistrust among the two parties. The organization management should clearly state the roles and objectives of the company to both employers and employees so as to avoid poor communication skills.

The organization management also has poorly set goals. When goals in an organization are not well established and explained to individuals, there is a high possibility of differing objectives and attitudes among people.

Another challenge that the organization is facing is poor problem-solving skills. Despite the management being aware of the existing problems within the organization, no actions are taken to solve the conflict.

4. The parties in the company can work together to achieve the success of the organization in the following three ways. First, the management should develop a problem-solving approach. The problem-solving approach is likely to help companies solve differences among different company department. The problem-solving approach will also lead to the development of solutions that will amalgamate the company thus enhancing its prosperity (Cumming & Worley, 2014).[4] Secondly, the company organization staff can help increase the company investments by coming up with a group dynamic strategy that will unite the team members, enhance a participatory approach to the contribution of both employers and employees towards the company welfare thus promoting unity and more income investment to the enterprise.

5. Tom Parker leadership model argues that a leader's behavior may influence an employee attitude towards work.  Tom Parker explains that leaders control work goals and direct the path to goal attainment through mentorship flexibility, participation and employee motivation (Mcshen and sheen, 2011) [5]

Tom Parker leadership style is more appropriate to the situation of the company as it encourages leaders at the company to set goals and work towards achieving them.  It also helps leaders to motivation and to appreciate good employee-employer relationship by permitting a participatory module of organization management.

6. The most appropriate path leadership style is the participative leadership style. A participative leader is one who can clearly set their goals and ensure the goals are achieved to the latter. Participative leaders are concerned about the well-being of their employees. They encourage, motivate their employees and develop an effective problem-solving approach.

7.I believe that the case of the company requires an action of a participative leadership model. The company is undergoing issues of poor performance, lack of mistrust and understanding among employers and staff members. The employees and employers have changed their attitude about the company investment, and no one seems to be concerned about solving the current conflict. Applying a participatory leadership style for this situation will help in the development of a problem-solving approach, allow participatory contribution of members and promote better problem-solving skills.

8. Transformational leadership should also be utilized in this case as it will encourage the development of goals, integration and participatory approaches. A transformative leader will be able to develop attainable goals and implement appropriate problem-solving strategies thus leading to company growth. Transformational leaders believe in the strength of others, they encourage and motivate their team members’ performance (Nielson et al., 2008)[6]. They don’t delight in conflict but find better mechanisms to go about the conflicts.

9.  Formal authority of allocating performance bonuses for employees will push me towards applying substitutability and centrality approach before rewarding employees. Substitutability contingency will drive employees towards discovering appropriate work trends, finding relevant work practices and utilizing the work trends in their regular duties. Centrality contingency will encourage unity within the company thus promoting active cooperation among staff through collaboration and participatory approach thus leading to swift completion of tasks which will, in turn, improve business capital. Quality products supplied to clients due to improved new generation technology are likely to attract more customers. Employees should be rewarded with motivation and training so as to encourage better performance.

10. Shared leadership is a concept that allows leaders to share responsibilities among each other.  This leadership concept is important for top managements. It allows equal distribution of accountability and encourages quality delivery of work performance as work is not overloaded to a particular individual. Shared leadership concept discourages self-centeredness and promotes unity.



Cummings TG, Worley CG. Organization development and change. Cengage Learning; 2014.

McShane SL, Steen SL. Canadian organizational behavior. Irwin; 2011.

Meglino BM, Ravlin EC. Individual values in organizations: Concepts, controversies, and research. Journal of Management. 2014 Jan 1; 24(3):351-89.

Nielsen K, Randall R, Parker J, Brenner SO. The effects of transformational leadership on followers' perceived work characteristics and psychological well-being: A longitudinal study. Work & Stress. 2008 Jan 1; 22(1):16-32.

Scott WR, Davis GF. Organizations and Organizing: importance, natural and open systems perspectives. Routledge; 2015 Aug 7.

William D. Formative assessment and contingency in the regulation of learning processes. In Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA 2014 Apr.

Meglino et al., Individual values in organizations: Concepts, controversies, and research. Journal of Management (2012), 89

William, Formative assessment and contingency in the regulation of learning processes. Philadelphia (2014),49

Scott & Davis, Organizations and Organizing: importance, natural and open systems perspectives.  Routledge, (2015), 32

Cummings & Worley. Organization development and change. Cengage Learning (2014), 61

McShane & Steen, Canadian organizational behavior. Irwin (2011),71

Nielsen et al. The effects of transformational leadership on followers' perceived work characteristics and psychological well-being: A longitudinal study, Work & Stress (2008), 16-32.

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