Question 1. If I had been called by the Lincoln Hospital president to resolve the problems described by the case, I would change several things. The case is not very descriptive of the contracting process between the OD consultant and the hospital president. It started describing the communication between the president and the OD consultant, and the latter had no chance to contact the OR director Mary of the new surgery chief Don that was directly involved in the conflict (Boss et al, 1990). The problem was only overviewed by the president, and the expectation of the OD consultant was that he will eventually find the roots of Don-Mary malfunction and resolve them successfully. Little information was provided regarding the deadline for the required resolution (Cummings & Worley, 2005). The only condition that was set in the very beginning was the employment need for both Don and Mary. The list of acceptable/non-acceptable solutions was not provided.
The outcome of the contracting process was set as an effective decision about how to make the necessary efforts, determining the resources required in order to complete the tasks and record the risks, assumptions and constraints. The contract guarantees that all parties conduct an agreement about the necessary resources, support and commitments.
There are several suggestions on how to establish an efficient contract that would suit all parties better. The contracting process should be approached by determining how exactly the OD process should flow. The contracting process should embrace all parties along with both Mary and Don. It ensures that all of them make their contribution to the process and express their expectations of the process and its most wanted outcomes, set the basic guidelines/rules for all the parties to follow, and make agreements about the time and resources that would be spent to fulfill the objectives within the set constraints. Additionally, the OD consultant should have made a statement about his own expectations in terms of the process. All the involved parties need to clarify their commitment of time and resources to the effort. The process of working together with Don and Mary should be agreed with the consultant and the central participants themselves. The privacy and confidentiality of the sensitive should be guarded, and the corresponding guidelines should be determined in the contract.
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As for the diagnosing part, it started out from the description provided by the president, and all the affected stakeholders did not contribute to creating a balanced and objective vision of the problem. As it has already been stated, Don and Mary were not participating in the initial meetings along with all other affected organization members. Due to the “second-hand” nature of the retrieved information, the objectivity of the OD consultant’s vision could have been distorted. Therefore, he depends largely in the president’s viewpoint in terms of how the data will be collected, measured for further interpretations and analyzed, what issues should be concentrated on, and how the agreement on the process for setting action steps will be obtained.
The recommendations for starting out an enhanced diagnosing process would include involving all the affected parties, collaboration, understanding all the relevant issues, analyzing and interpreting them in order to comprise effective recommendations and conclusions for further interventions and action planning. They should be actively engaged in developing proper implementations and interventions. The assessment of the current condition of the company will identify the ways to improve the existing functioning of the organization. The diagnosing model will stress out what areas require examination and what questions need answers in assessing the way they are operating. The diagnosing model should involve design components, inputs and outputs.
Question 2. In this particular case, the third-party intervention turned out to be an appropriate intervention. It resulted in positive outcomes and the decreased tensions between the two parties – Don and Mary – that used to affect the functioning of the entire hospital. In spite of this, there is still some tension remaining between Don and Mary. The OD consultant got Don and Mary to have a better vision of the past differences and cooperate together to eliminate the issues in a productive manner. It helps Don and Mary to realize each other’s characteristics that they were unaware of before, and it contributed to the eased tension between those two. This is also beneficial for the organization as Mary and Don are indirectly provoking the subsequent symptoms that take place on all organizational levels. It is also advised to increase the amount of unbiased and objective details used during the diagnosis process as the majority of the details are retrieved from Mary, Don and other interested parties. It will help to make the implemented problem resolutions more effective and accurate. The collected and analyzed data is the foundation of the proposed interventions, and it will also empower Mary and Don with a chance to make their contribution regarding the solution of the problems. A completely new instrument is the offer to Don and Mary to use in order to meet and interact in the future.
There are other possible solutions that include the utilization of the team building events and process consultations (Alevy et al, 1974). The latter concentrates on the social dynamics and interpersonal relations inside and between groups. The team building intervention helps groups to work together and evaluate the processes and establish innovative solutions for the existing problems.
Question 3. The intervention of the third party is a very effective method even in spite of the fact that not all of the problems are resolved completely. Some additional disturbing effects may also arise and increase the disagreements between Don and Mary. Other problems are still relevant and require the solution on all organizational levels of the hospital. Such intervention lets both parties (Don and Mary) to take complete controls over the resolution of the issues and changes the way they are connected with each other and interlinked. It empowers Don and Mary with an opportunity to participate in the offered solutions and accept mutual responsibility for their role in the organizational situation. Additionally, they will be able to concentrate on the solutions rather than their personal vision of the problems.
In spite of the fact that the conflict between Mary and Don has not disappeared completely, they make productive attempts to cooperate and resolve their problems efficiently. Process consultation should take place too to guarantee that the required progress is being made. Such an approach would allow increased flexibility regarding time commitments for all interested parties. Additionally, continuing practice of improving the newly obtained behavioral patterns will bring a positive outcome for institutionalized behaviors.
Although this case study gives no long-term data on the impacts of the third-party intervention, the outcomes recorded provide evidence of the positive influence that the third-party design describe may have on both the ineffective organization and the dysfunctional interpersonal tension between two key figures inside this organization (Golembiewski & Rauchenberg, 2000). This case describes a disturbing and bothersome relationship that affects the functionality of the entire hospital. The relationship between an experienced veteran and highly appreciated staff member and a recognized surgery specialist has transformed into a regenerating and rather a productive relationship two professionals with the high qualification that are eager to resolve the problems faced by the OR on a regular basis (Arkede, 2003).
In spite of the fact that the issues between Don and Mary appear to be only the tip of a bulky iceberg of problems inside the OR department affecting the productivity of the entire team of employees along with customer’s satisfaction, quality of provided services and products, and attitudes and behavior of the team players inside the hospital staff group (Sheppard, 1984). It would be impossible to resolve the problems without active participation and support from both Mary and Don. Sufficient improvement has already taken place, and the enhancement of the operations continued to arise throughout the duration of the project. The commitments of Mary and Don were kept, and they learned how to build trustful relations with each other in order to focus less on what they used to dislike in each other’s behavior and more on what they could accomplish cooperatively in enhancing surgical products/services. Therefore, the case study has shown the efficiency of the solutions as extremely successful in the short run. The long-term outcomes of the third-party intervention will depend on the extended commitment of both parties that will be supported by the administration, top-management and the medical staff.
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