Case Study on "Peppercorn Dining Report".
Organizational Development Problem Facing Peppercorn Dining
The main issue that Peppercorn Dining organization experienced was staffing. There was a problem in finding people who were qualified for the job. Even after the best personnel were recruited, there was a challenge of retaining them. The OD consultants’ main aim was finding a way to make Peppercorn a more pleasant place for employees to work in. Drew Randall, Peppercorn manager, clarified that his goals for Peppercorn were to improve the morale among all workers and increase productivity of the company (Carmin et al., 1990). Once the problem was clear for the consultants, they laid out a strategy on how to come up with a solution for the problem. First, they agreed to carry a preliminary evaluation of the unit and afterwards offer a feedback that would be used in achieving the goals.
Effectiveness of Data Gathering by OD Consultants
The consultations by the OD consultants about Peppercorn Dining helped the consultants to come up with the best methods of collecting data. The consultants did not have a lot of time in the seminar that they were attending but they allocated an ample period of three days to collect all the relevant data that they required. This ensured that collection of data was effective because they all knew what they required. The effectiveness of data collection was made more effective by division of labor, that is, Lynn concentrated on production areas when collecting data while Roger surveyed front-of-house operations and Erica concentrated on the management (Carmin et al., 1990). The methods that the consultants used for data collection, that is, interviews and observations, made the process more effective since they obtained first-hand information that was important for coming up with a practical solution.
Usefulness of Data Content Collected
The methods used in collection of data made it possible to collect the most useful content. Lynn’s and Roger’s observations at operations and service units respectively enabled them to collect data of what the employees do and say in their respective units. Observation is better than other data collection methods such as questionnaires because the consultants can observe for themselves what really happens. This is one of the most accurate methods because every important information that is useful for the research is accounted for. Shaw, 2015 states that people do not always write their views on questionnaires or honestly speak to strangers what is really right during interviews. Some of the information that they conceal when such methods are the only ones used may be important in coming up with a good solution.
Apart from the usefulness of observations, the interviews that the OD consultants conducted were also useful. It is through interviews that they were able to obtain more information about how the employees feel about their job positions. Interviews enabled the consultants determine some of the reasons why a worker would not retain his or her job for long. For instance, on the first day of the interview between Roger and the cashier, the cashier revealed that she hates that she has to stay at the entrance where she gets all the cold especially during winters. She also pointed out that during those periods she gets sick and for that reason, she if she got a secretarial job she would leave her current job position. Generally, the data that was collected using interviews and observation enabled the consultants to come up with practical solutions.
Effectiveness of Data collection Process
The three OD consultants instantly developed a well laid plan of how they would collect data for three days. The use of observations and interviews made the process of collecting data much effective. Using interviews, the consultants were able to interact with all the workers including the professional supervisor, workers in dish room, day chef, day cook, night chef, night cook, server, receiver, cashier. Coordinator, Human Resource manager, director, assistant director and the vending manager. Using interviews, the consultants were able to develop relationships with the workers making the interviews to flow smoothly and the interviews to openly share their feelings of their job positions. The consultants were also able to choose the suitable candidates in different periods thereby ensuring that they did not destruct workflow. For instance, Lynn knew when to leave Dough so that he may continue with his work (Carmin et al., 1990).
Doody and Noonan (2013) argue that the most effective data collection processes are those that enable for the collection of primary information and information that is sufficient. In this case study, use of interviews and observations made the process to be much effective because the employees involved provided fresh, primary and new information that manager Drew did not have. In addition, the process used in data collection was time saving because the consultants observed a lot and interviewed as many employees as possible within a short span of time. The process used in collection of data was less costly as there were no resources used such as those required in other methods such as papers in questionnaires. Peppercorn Dining did not incur costs during the process.
Models that can help analyze the Collected Data
Most of the data collected from the employees at Peppercorn Dining by the three OD consultants using observation and interviews is qualitative data. In this case, a non-statistical analysis of the collected data would be the best model to use. This is because there was no numerical data collected. Analysis would therefore require use of meaning-based data analysis rather than statistical or quantitative data analysis. Observation of the workers indicated that most of them enjoyed the work that they did. However, interviews with some of them indicated aspects that lower their morale and productivity of Peppercorn Dinning.
Dough, night chef, seemed to be uncomfortable speaking when his supervisor Larry was around. This may be as a result of poor relationship between workers. Roger’s interview with a student indicated that in the past, Peppercorn used to have student managers, student supervisors and student workers as staff but most students now dislike working there as a result of poor relationship between the adults and students working there. The cashier was positioned at the entrance and nothing seemed to shield her from winter colds. This lowered her morale of being in her job position and made her think of other better options that she would go to once there was a chance. A non-statistical model that analysis each data as was collected would indicate the root of all the problems that Drew mentioned were affecting Peppercorn.
Conclusions from the Analysis
The analysis of data collected through observation and interviews indicates that the organization is highly centralized. According to Dai and De Meuse (2013), a centralized management structure is where decisions are made at higher consolidated levels by those individuals at a broader perspective, including information and knowledge of what requires to be done. Those decisions made at higher management levels are passed on to lower organizational tiers who are supposed to accept and go on with it. This is what supervisor Larry does. He does not listen to any staff but he expects everyone to do what he has decided. This form of management creates poor relationship between the higher management and the employees as is in the case of Peppercorn.
Poor relationship among workers can be a great contributor to low morale in the workplace. However, this can be improved by ensuring that workers spend some time close together outside workplace to create a good relationship. This is what Larry and Dough as well as other workers require. Once the management issue, which is the largest issue here is dealt with, the other small issues would be sorted out easily since the employees would be able to open up and speak about the issues affecting them such as cashier’s cold at the entrance.
The most important thing for organizational development consultants after collecting and analyzing data is coming up with a solution that provides a strategy to eliminate the problem. The analysis of data collected by Erica, Lynn and Rogers indicated that the organizational structure at Peppercorn is highly centralized and this worsens the relationship between the management and the subordinate workers (Carmin et al., 1990). The three OD consultants should arrange for a meeting with the management in order to provide the feedback. In the meeting, the consultants should mention that friction between staff and management manifests itself in many ways including low productivity. Employees and managers have a multitude of options to help them work together in harmony and as a team. Some of the ways that the consultants should propose for the organization to use in order to create a team may include arranging for workshops, seminars, luncheons, retreats and other activities where the management and subordinates interact outside workplace to create a good relationship among themselves. The employees should also be allowed to contribute to decision-making processes within Peppercorn. In the feedback design, the management should come up with a program that enables all members to participate in a common activity several times each year.
Carmin, J., Cormen, T., Kerr, Y. and University, C. (1990). Peppercorn Dining. Pp.476-498.
Dai, G, & De Meuse, K 2013, 'Types of Leaders Across the Organizational Hierarchy: A Person-Centered Approach', Human Performance, 26, 2, pp. 150-170, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 May 2016
Doody, O, & Noonan, M 2013, 'Preparing and conducting interviews to collect data', Researcher, 20, 5, pp. 28-32, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 May 2016
Shaw, M. (2015). Standardized methods of data collection are required. BMJ, 310(6993), pp.1534-1535.