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Imagine that you are a manager at a consumer products company. Your company is in negotiations for a merger. If and when the two companies merge, it seems probable that some jobs will be lost, but you have no idea how many or who will be gone. You have five subordinates. One is in the process of buying a house while undertaking a large debt. The second just received a relatively lucrative job offer and asked for your opinion as his mentor. You feel that knowing about the possibility of this merger is important to them in making these life choices. At the same time, you fear that once you let them know, everyone in the company will find out and the negotiations are not complete yet. You may end up losing some of your best employees, and the merger may not even happen. What do you do? Do you have an ethical obligation to share this piece of news with your employees? How would you handle a situation such as this?
Planning for a Change in Organizational Structure
Imagine that your company is switching to a matrix structure. Before, you were working in a functional structure. Now, every employee is going to report to a team leader as well as a department manager.
- Draw a hypothetical organizational chart for the previous and new structures.
- Create a list of things that need to be done before the change occurs.
- Create a list of things that need to be done after the change occurs.
- What are the sources of resistance you foresee for a change such as this? What is your plan of action to overcome this potential resistance?
Organizational Change Role Play
Get your assigned role from your instructor.
- Was the manager successful in securing the cooperation of the employee? Why or why not?
- What could the manager have done differently to secure the employee’s cooperation?
- Why was the employee resisting change?