This process will require you to synthesise and build upon much of the information and many of the activities within the module. You will need to critically reflect upon the module and your learning. This assignment will require a high level of reflective, critical and creative thinking and input
Start working on this assignment from day one of the module. One of the assessment criteria that we shall be using is based around how much you have developed you thinking and understanding during the module.
The portfolio is built up from a variety of different materials:
• A critical reflection of your groups Literature Review process and presentation.
• Discussion and reflection of Seminar/Case Study activities.
• Discussion and reflection of your significant learning themes.
• Application and integration of your learning - how can you apply and integrate this learning?
Apart from the above, what you put in the portfolio is up to you, but do remember that you need to demonstrate achievement of the assessment criteria.
You must ensure that your work contains reference to appropriate theories and produces evidence of critical thinking and reflection on your learning and development. Your work must be free standing and self-explanatory to the marking tutor.
“Experience is the child of Thought and Thought is the child of Action. We cannot learn men from books alone” Disraeli.
This activity allows individuals to take a step back from learning experiences and create inferences about it in order to more fully understand its significance and meaning. By “pondering” about the learning and development going on, reflection uncovers insight and learning themes, connects your learning and performance, and yields more relevant feedback.
We all indulge in this process already, but generally at an unconscious or semi-conscious level. Many organisations and businesses do it, keen to improve their products by reflecting upon the experiences of their customers…….and keen to improve their internal (production) processes by encouraging all employees to reflect upon how they do their jobs and thus how their jobs can be improved!
In the same vein, all top sports people have to indulge in some sort of reflection upon their performance….in order to learn how to improve. If they don’t do this, they will not be at the top of their chosen sport for very long!
Practice is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for learning: there are many examples of people repeating mistakes over and over again - we never learn from our mistakes alone, we only learn from reflecting upon our mistakes….and quite often the learning gained from our “mistakes” can be far more powerful and meaningful than learning from success.
In order to capitalise on seminar/lecture experiences as learning/development opportunities and to maximise any possible gain, it is necessary to take some time to consider and reflect on what happened in the event and turn those seminar/lecture experiences into learning/development. Kolb (1984) suggested that people learn more effectively by reviewing each occasion in which learning may take place. Schon (1987) used the phrase “reflection-in-action”.
Reflection is a key element in the learning process. It converts informal and perhaps accidental opportunities into efficient learning.
It is a flexible method, which recognises that learning & development is a personal and individual process.
There are a variety of models and frameworks to help explain, facilitate and capture reflective learning (Kolb’s Learning Cycle, Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles).
Some Reflection Prompts.
• Have any intriguing ideas emerged from your seminar discussions?
• What ideas (from lectures, work experience, other related modules….?) stand out in your mind as being particularly important/useful?
• How do these ideas relate to other similar ideas you have come across?
• How can you use these ideas in the future?
• Can you relate some of these ideas to the world of work?
• What made it easy or difficult for you to learn? What does that say about how you prefer to learn?
• Are any general themes emerging?
• What actions do you plan to take based on what you learned?
Review the above list of reflection questions for each seminar/lecture and choose a few to prompt your thinking rather than the entire list.
Do not be afraid to use drawings, diagrams, metaphors…..to push beyond a mere surface evaluation or chronological description of what you did. Rather than what you did, we want to read about the impact it has had on your understanding, learning and development.
You are not expected to summarise and cover every lecture or seminar!
One approach may be to pursue and explore three or four themes from the module, which may incorporate a mix of lectures or seminars or both?
While I was studying various theories, I learned different things. I felt that certain theories are right but I didn’t feel the same for all the theories. I tried to understand all the theories from my point of view. This helped me to understand the human tendency. I read a lot of critics about each of the theory. This helped to understand the different viewpoints of different authors. It is very important for the management of every organization to understand at least few basic theories. Understanding the few theories will help the management to understand the viewpoint of the employees (Higgins 2012).
All the three theories have a different point of view. While learning these theories, I was thinking like if these things can be really implemented in our lives. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that each individual should grow step by step so that they can achieve the ultimate goal of self-actualization in life. According to me, this theory doesn’t seem to be real because this talks about people when they are associated with an organization. Most of the people are born with access to physiological needs and hence, there are very high possibilities that even if they the employees gives them access to food, clothing and shelter then they may not feel anything great about it (Kenneth 2012).
Secondly, the theory states that the management of the organization should be capable enough to understand the current situation of the employees so that they can be appreciated and rewarded accordingly. In large organizations, more than ten thousand employees work on the same floor so in this situation, it is difficult for the HR professionals to understand the requirement of each individual. Apart from that, most of the employees believe in keeping their personal life different than that of the professional life and hence, during the appraisal interview, the manager or the HR resource will not be able to understand the current situation of the employee (Derobek 2007).
Today, employees start to look for self-esteem and respect in the organization at a very young age and they are not really willing to wait to reach the stage three. May the theory is outdated and I also felt that there are certain things which a person would like to achieve before he achieves other things (Ford 2009).
Implementing change in the organization is one of the most difficult things and it is merely impossible for the management to implement change immediately. It is the responsibility of the management to understand the changes that will be implemented, the impact of the various changes and also the reason for change. (Decker 2012).
To start with, I use make a note of all the positive things that can happen to me if I implement a change in my life. This will motivate me to implement the change rather than that of sticking to the current lifestyle (Euchner 2013).
Senge’s system approach talks about the various qualities that a leader must have so that they can ensure that their team performs. Few of the qualities are must to have but few of the qualities are difficult to have. It is very important for the leader to understand the expectations that their team has. Understanding the expectations would mean that they have a shared vision. This theory states that the mental model of a team member needs to be changed so that the leader can be successful. It is merely impossible for a leader to change all the individuals in the team. If an organization wants their leader to change the attitude of the team members then it would be difficult for an organization to find an appropriate leader (Siemens n.d).
This theory states that it is very important for a leader to have an understanding about the self. I want to be a leader in the future and hence, I have decided to understand myself better. I make a note of my various habits so this helps to analyze myself (Pace n.d.). This analysis will help me in the near future. I have a very bad temper and I have realized this fact after I started to analyze myself. After my analysis, I have decided to keep a check on my temper. I, as a leader, cannot lose my temper on my team members. After losing my temper, I use to analyze the situation. This helped me to understand that I would have dealt with the situation in a better way rather than that of shouting and scolding on the other person (Zaharia 2010).
HCA hospital decided to implement change in the hospital. Today, they are known for the world class services that provide to the customers. Intensive care unit was planning to increase the number of beds and they implemented the Lewin and Schein’s model of change so that change can be implemented successfully in the organization.
The employees were communicated that the number of bed in the ICU will be increased so the management spoke to the employees regarding the benefits that the hospital can get. On the other end, the management also elaborated to the employees regarding the loss that the hospital is making due to the limited availability of beds in the hospital. The bed started to initiate the change by way of slowly and steadily so that the employees can cope with the increasing work pressure. On the other end, the employees were trained so that they can deal with the new facilities that are being implemented in the hospital along with the increasing number of beds. Lastly, the number of beds was freeze and the employees got used to the number of beds (Environmental Leader 2012).
It was merely impossible for HCA hospital to implement Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because the management was not able to decide on the level of each of the employee. If an employee is given cash reward and another employee is given something else then this created to start a sense of restlessness in the organization. It is very important for the organizations to maintain parity so that all the employees are satisfied with the rewards that they are receiving for their achievement (Hashim 2013).
HCA hospital was well aware that Senge’s theory can implemented along with Lewin’s theory. Most of the leaders are not aware of the things that they want and hence, the management of HCA decided to help the manager to understand themselves, with the help of psychological tests. Initially the managers were skeptical about taking the test but later, they realized that this is going to be beneficial to them and hence, they decided to go ahead with that. HCA hospital was able to identify the leaders in the organization who will be able to help them in implementation of change. This was one of the reasons due to which the change was successfully implemented. After the implementation of Senge’s theory on change, Lewin’s theory of change was implemented (Nolan 2012).
Resistance to change cannot be avoided at any cost. It is the responsibility of the management to understand the various reasons behind resistance so that they can accommodate the change accordingly. Change can make people uncomfortable and hence, they resist to change rather than that of accepting it. Employees also believe that if they resist to a change in a group then there are very high chances that the change will not be implemented in the organization. This is true to some extend but this cannot be considered to be true in all the cases. Organizations also force the employees to accept change rather than that of understanding the reason behind the resistance to change (Garland 2011).
Depositional resistance to change is one of the biggest problems that many organizations face. I somewhere believe that depositional change is something that cannot be avoided ((Sabri 2007). Even if the position of the furniture needs to be changed then few of the family members may not be willing to accept that. This is the case with change in the organization. Humans have a natural tendency and hence, they will not accept the change that will be implemented in the organization. I think a plenty of unexpected events may happen when the change is implemented in the organization and nobody likes surprise randomly (Forbes 2013).
Looking at myself, I can feel that change is not something that is overwhelming. If all of a sudden, if the teachers state that the marking pattern is changed then each one of the student in the classroom will feel nervous rather than that of feeling excited or happy about it (Mindtools n.d.).
Depth of intervention is one of the best ways by which the employees in the organization can be motivated to accept the change that the management is planning to implement. The management should train and educate the employees regarding the importance of depth of intervention so that change can be accepted. I believe most of the employees may not be willing to accept change and hence, they will not put in efforts to understand the importance of change. The management should elaborate on the various aspects that will be impacted due to the change that will be implemented in the organization (Khanna 2010).
I personally believe that the performance appraisal system in the organization should be directly linked to the mission, goals and objectives of the organization. Every employee in the organization should be made aware if the mission, goals and objectives and they should be clearly communicated that their performance appraisal will be based on the contribution that they do to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Similarly when change is implemented, the manager should communicate regarding the benefits of change and the ease with which the employees can achieve the organization’s mission. This will motivate the employee to accept change rather than that of being resistant (Hashim 2013).
To improve the depth of the intervention, the manager will have to improve their relationship with their team members. The team members will not be able to understand the problems that the managers may be facing so the managers can communicate with the team members. This helped me to understand that communicating the problem is one of the problem is one of the best ways by which one’s situation can be expressed to the other (Khanna 2010).
This theory is so true because I, myself, have experienced many times that if my belief about a particular thing is not right then I feel very disturbed. If change is implemented in the organization, people feel disturbed because of the trust and belief that they had on the previous process. The employees feel that when something is good then why it needs to be changed (Luthans 2007). The management will have to slowly explain to the employees that there are various reasons due to which change is implemented.
New employees will be able to understand the benefits of new process. If an employee has developed all the policies and processes in the organization then one cannot expect them to change immediately with any disagreement. Any human being has the natural tendency to believe that they can find better solutions to a problem than that of anyone else (Padue 2014).
Elder people would have practiced a particular thing for a longer time and hence, it would be difficult for them to accept the change that is implemented in the organization. This is one of the typical examples that anyone can see when they talk about cognitive dissonance (Logie-Maclver 2012).
This theory states that there is a mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. The employee may expect the employer to provide them with all the required salary, benefits and perks and on the other end, the employer will expect that the employee should put their 100% efforts for the betterment of the company (Kuze 2013). It is a mutual relationship wherein both the parties will try their level best to gain benefits. If this mutual relationship is understood by the employee and the employer then they can do justice to each other and also to the other organization (Pierssens 2012).
The employer as well as the employee should be educated so that they can do their justice to this relationship. The employer should ensure that the employees are getting paid fairly for the job that they are paying and the employees should ensure that they are putting in 100% efforts for the betterment of the organization (Linstead 2012).
Microsoft has experienced resistance to change and this is one of the reasons due to which other competitors moved ahead of Microsoft. Microsoft was initially into producing computers. At some point of time, Bill Gates realized that the organization will have to move in other direction so that they can be competitive in the market. This didn’t go well with the employees in the organization, especially the research and development team. They were not comfortable to undertake research on various areas.
This kind of resistance to change can be defined as Dispositional resistance wherein the research and development team of Microsoft was not aware of the result that they can derive at when they are implementing change. The team was not comfortable with the change and hence, without much thought they are resisting to change. It is the responsibility of the management of Microsoft to ensure that the employees are convinced that the change will be beneficial to the organization as a whole and the management can also take extra efforts to highlight the problems that may arise if change is not implemented in the organization (Elangovan 2010).
The psychological contract is well understood by the management of Apple and hence, they are able to motivate the employees. The employees believe that they should be paid fairly for the work that they are doing and this is well taken care by the management of Apple. Apple ensures that all the employees in the organization are paid fairly and at the same time, their growth in the organization is also planned. This motivates them to overcome the psychological contract that they have. They start to believe that the management of Apple will do their best for them. Overall, it can be said that psychological contract is well understood by the management of Apple and hence, resistance to change is reduced in the organization (Tang 2013).
The depth of intervention was positively used at Apple. All the employees in the organization are motivated to give suggestions so that the organization can grow better. This motivates the employees to be actively involved in the implementation of change process. The employees are motivated to think of the advantages that the organization can gain due to the implementation of change. Employees are paid incentives on successful achievement of goals so they are well aware of the fact that they will gain if the organization is gaining (Hausegger 2012).
Cognitive dissonance is faced by Samsung. Most of the employees in the organization believed the organization is into manufacturing of electronic products so they will continue to do that. Most of the employees wanted to pursue a career in electronic industry only but when the organization moved few of the employees to mobile department, the employees were not happy. The management tried to explain to the employees that they will have good growth in the mobile industry as in the electronics industry but nothing worked and hence, the employees were demotivated. Finally, Samsung had to hire a lot of external resources rather than that of internal transfer from electronics department to mobile department (Watson 2012,).
McDonald’s is seen as an organization that is implementing change continuously so that they can improve and get better than what they are today. The employees in the organization are well trained so that they can accept the change and work as per the requirement. Few of the changes that were done at McDonalds and also the various strategies that were undertaken are discussed below.
The menu card at McDonald’s keeps on changing frequently and it is the responsibility of the managers and management to ensure that the employees are motivated to accept change so that the organization can improve further. The research department at McDonald’s is continuously under pressure to find something new so that the taste buds of the customers can be satisfied. The research department will talk communicate with the kitchen department so that they can understand the secret recipe and prepare accordingly. The management provides incentives to the kitchen staff and the front-office staff, based on the sales they do. This motivates the kitchen staff to take up recipes that can add value to McDonalds. If the employees aren’t motivated with incentives then they may think that there is no point in working so hard for the organization and hence, they may not be interested to learn the new recipe (Habhouba 2011).
McDonald’s uses the psychological contract theory wherein the employer clearly states that if the organization benefits then the benefits will be shared with the employees as well. Incentive is the motivation that keeps going. The primary requirement of every individual is money and hence, this is one of the best ways by which the employees in the organization can be motivated. When an employee reaches a certain level in the organization, they start looking for other benefits like designation and promotion. The sales executive and the kitchen staff at McDonalds are at the initial stage of their career and hence, they expect the organization to pay them good money in terms of salary, incentives and perks. If the financial requirements of these staff are well taken care then they will stay back with the organization rather than that of looking for change.
McDonalds has all young employees and this is one of the strengths of the organization. Young employees can adjust themselves to the changing environment. It becomes easy for the management to implement change in the organization (Klein 2012). Young employees in the organization are concerned about their growth in the organization and implementing change in the organization is one of the best ways by which they can grow. The employees know that if they are not willing to accept the change then there are very high chances that they may not grow and hence, the employees at McDonalds believe in accepting the change rather than that of being stagnant (Blomme 2012).
Training and counseling are the strategies that are used by the management so that the employees can accept the change and at the same time, this will ensure that the employees in the organization are also able to deliver the results that are expected from them (Kiser 2013). Classroom training is given to employees wherein they are thought theoretical regarding the recipe that they need to implement in the kitchen so that the new recipe can be tasted by the customer. They also understand and accept to the fact that the new recipe can be successfully implemented with practice only. They are also asked to practice the recipe in the laboratory before it is cooked for the customer in the kitchen. This helps the employee to maintain standardization in the food that they are cooking and they also become an expert in the kitchen department (Andersson 2013).
Counseling is also one of the strategies undertaken by McDonalds so that they can help the employees understand the importance of change that is implemented timely. The management will conduct weekly meetings so that they can communicate their change plan. This allows the employees to be updated regarding the change. Employees also put in efforts to make suggestions so that the change can be implemented successfully (Sabri 2007). Counseling is done for those employees who believe that change is not the right thing. The managers of those employees are asked to counsel the employees so that the employees can enthusiastically be a part of the change that is implemented. McDonalds strongly believes that all the employees should be a part of change implementation so that the planned change can be successful. If the employees aren’t in sync with the thoughts and opinions of the management then there are very high possibilities that the implemented change will not be successful (Habhouba 2011).
In the past, McDonald’s believed in having the same menu in different corners of the world but that is not the case today. The culture of McDonalds is changed and hence, the employees are made to believe that change is the only permanent thing in the organization.
The employees at McDonalds are trained continuously so that they can adapt themselves to the change in the organization. The employees are divided into teams and each team is given training in a particular area and they are motivated to achieve the goals that are newly set.
The new responsibilities are finalized and the employees are asked to follow the new procedures. McDonald’s declares the old processes as null and void and hence, the employees will continue with the new process.
The employees in the organization are explained about the advantages that they will get if they are following the new procedures rather than that of sticking to the old ones. The employees are given the confidence to take up new responsibilities with adequate training.
In large organizations, more than ten thousand employees work on the same floor so in this situation, it is difficult for the HR professionals to understand the requirement of each individual. Looking at myself, I can feel that change is not something that is overwhelming. If all of a sudden, if the teachers state that the marking pattern is changed then each one of the student in the classroom will feel nervous rather than that of feeling excited or happy about it. There are possibilities that the marking pattern has been modified in such a way that the students can gain marks easily or something changes are done for the betterment of students but students will not think about it.
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