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'Impacting Quality' Assignment

September 27, 2015 0 Comment

‘Impacting Quality’ Assignment

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In this third and final module titled ‘Impacting Quality’ you are tasked with the implementation of your chosen initiatives. It is in this moment that you must now create movement in the scenario. Your task is to engage with your lived organisational experience, the organisational realities that you expect to encounter in creating opportunities for change, and the knowledge, tools and skills you have acquired studying this unit. Answer the following question:
Organisations are socially constructed entities. Describe the dark-side of the organisational culture issues at play in this scenario and set out how you would go about implementing a different reality.
Please note the Marking Criteria for this assignment.

This podcast was prepared last trimester by Dr Alex Dunn, who coordinated the unit for that trimester. The podcast was recorded in response to a student query about how to approach assignment 3. In answering the query, Alex describes what I will be looking for in your assignment answer. In so doing, he summarises many of the Module 3 readings. I urge you to listen to the podcast AFTER you have familiarised yourself with the Module 4 readings and PRIOR to attempting assignment 3.
PLEASE NOTE: The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long. At around the 19 minutes mark Alex refers to administrative matters relating to the marking of the assignment for the previous cohort of students as well as contacting him. Please do not contact Alex. I am your contact for this trimesters and I will also be marking your assignments.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries about Module 3 generally,or Assignment 3.

As a starting point for assignment three, please ensure you have listened to the podcast from Dr Alex Dunn on this topic.
You will see that the question requires you to IMPLEMENT your initiatives. In this sense your assignment is an implementation plan and should be set out as such (This speaks to the written communication part of the marking criteria).
You will also see that the question requires you to CREATE MOVEMENT IN THE SCENARIO. This means that you must do more than simply describe how your initiatives have been implemented as set out in the literature. You need to think about how your chosen initiatives will apply to the particular facts and context of HOPE to create change (The applies knowledge part of the marking criteria). You must therefore look beyond the literature and and tools and skills you have acquired in studying this unit and draw on your lived organisational experience (this is the reflection and critical analysis part) and the organisational realities that you expect to encounter in creating opportunities for change (e.g. the dark side or the toxic culture and resistance at play in HOPE (again this is the critical analysis as well as the impact part of the marking criteria).
Basically how are going going to apply everything you know about organisations and everything you have learnt in this unit to create actual change in HOPE ? Don’t just describe what tools would apply – tell me why you are applying them, how you are applying them (eg which one first and why, what resistance you will encounter (the dark side) and the change you expect to gain as you apply them.

1. To identify the multiple dimensions of organisational communication and the implications for practice; and
2. To develop a range recommendations to improve communication practice at the personal and organisational levels.

Module 3 Notes – Impacting Quality

Working in Complexity
The urge to contain and predict organisational outcomes has been continually challenged by repeated failures in terms of quality. To expect non-linear outcomes is what Dekker (2013) identifies as the need to learn a new repetoire of behaviours to deal with the inherent complexity of the organisations dealing with risk. When things go wrong there is a need to identify the systems issues but also how people behave within the system; this may mean mean questioning the intricacies and relationships between system error and individual fault. This is necessary so that the organisation can be accountable and accept responsibility. Dekker discusses the importance of the human factors and safety culture.

Module 3 Notes – Impacting Quality

Playing with Possibility
In ‘playing with possibility’ a number of readings are offered here to explore the opportunity to overcome the gridlock that can be experienced in organisations when different ways of engaging, relating and imagining are constrained. Playful membership a reading by Andersen and Pors (2014) calls for the need for more playfulness in organisations, to explore possible identities and prepare for the unexpected. Research by Tews, Michel and Allen (2014) showed a positive relationship between fun in the hospitality industry and a reduction in staff turnover rates. However less conclusive were the links between fun and productivity and overall organisational performance.
Heiss and Carmack (2012) in their aptly named article ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There?’ explore the ways in which organisations can welcome new organisational members by using humour. Cooper (2008) in exploring the bonds of workplace humour notes that this can be risky territory for managers who may wonder if it is possible to manufacture humour. Cooper (2008) proposes that an exploration of humour however can contribute significantly to well being and positive affect. It is this positive affect that Robert and Wilbanks (2012) examines in Wheel of Humour for the benefits for overall communication.

Reading 3.4 Andersen and Pors (2014)
Reading 3.5 Tews, Michel and Allen (2014)
Reading 3.6 Heiss and Carmack (2012)
Reading 3.7 Cooper (2008)
Reading 3.8 Robert and Wilbanks (2012)

Module 3 Notes – Impacting Quality

Examining the Toxic
There are three issues of suffering explored here from a communication perspective. The first is an examination of workplace bullying from an organisational communication perspective written byLutgen-Sandvik and Tracy (2012), this article takes us through the micro, meso and macro perspectives of bullying. This article reaches into power dynamics of organisational practice, the discourses that condone behaviours and suffering that leads to what the authors refer to as the ‘toxic complexity of workplace bullying’ (Lutgen-Sandvik and Tracy, 2012 p. 38).
Burnout is the second issue for our consideration. The research paper prepared by Toppinen-Tanner (2011) for the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health explores the processes of burnout and the structures, antecedents and consequences of burnout. So what are managers of workplaces to do to remove the risk of burnout? If the answer lies in the improvement of the workplace environment as Toppinen-Tanner suggests then careful consideration must be given to the workplace cultures, communication patterns and well-being of all. Please read this Personal Impact Statement, written by a senior executive employed in an organisation like HOPE, who suffered with burnout. It is an astoundingly honest reflection on both how burnout developed for this professional person and the very serious and personal consequences endured.
The third issue to be addressed here is the second victim. While this term is used more within the health sector, it could just as easily be used to describe the impact of behaviours in other sectors. Seys et al (2012) provides a comprehensive overview of this issue impacting on health care professionals. This clinical review titled ‘After the Apology’ by White and Gallagher (2011) further explores the notion of second victim.

Reading 3.9 Lutgen-Sandvik and Tracy (2012)
Reading 3.10 Toppinen-Tanner (2011)
Reading 3.11 Piper et al (2012)
Reading 3.12 Seys et al (2012)
Reading 3.13 White and Gallagher (2011)

Module 3 Notes – Impacting Quality

Re-dressing Incivility and Surviving
This topic calls us to make some considered decisions. Do we speak up, change the way we relate, or do we take a position of silence? Three readings take you into each of these possibilties.
The first is titled ‘A Stupidity-Based Theory of Organizations’ by Alvesson and Spicer (2011) and this powerful critique explores the practice of organsiations to employ skilled and able people and then silence their potential through ‘stupidity management’. The following short presentation by Mats Alvesson, Professor of Management at Lund University in Sweden will give you a glimpse of this perspective.
The second issue is revisiting the discussion in Module 1 about incivility. You will recall from Topic one……Porath and Erez (2009) describe the spillover effect of rudeness and incivility on others and then just to sharpen our attention on the financial impact of these behaviours, a second reading by Porath and Pearson (2013) from the Harvard Business Review on the price or cost of incivility.
The third reading by Vakola and Bourades (2005) examines the antecedents and consequence of organisational silence and clearly spells out the risks inherent in this occurence. Consider this carefully in view of the proposition by Alvesson and Spicer (2011) that organisations are becoming more stupid.

Reading 3.14 Alvesson and Spicer (2011)
Reading 3.15 Porath and Erez (2009)
Reading 3.16 Porath and Pearson (2013)
Reading 3.17 Vakola and Bourades (2005)

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