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Example research essay topic: University Of Michigan Change Process - 1,571 words

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... leader of the future will have to be a maverick visionary. (Calare, 1995). "People think great leaders take great decisions [but] they don't. They " re not decision-takers, " he says. "They point the way, and they start off down the path. They have to have a dream in their mind and a fire in their belly. " Handy has shown a knack for imagining how the world will operate 15 or 20 years down the road. Over the last two decades, he has written a stream of best-selling books, among them The Age of Unreason, Gods of Management, The Age of Paradox and The Hungry Spirit. A single belief underpins much of his writing: Companies are not separate from society and business is an integral part of human life.

Handy, who has a passion for the arts, sees himself more as a social philosopher than a management guru. Handy's advice to aging baby-boomers: "Look for customers, not bosses. " Specifically, he says, education is a prime job opportunity for the young oldster. Says he: "In ten years, more education will take place outside of schools and universities than inside. " He points to a variety of opportunities, from the increasing need for coaching and training inside companies to the creation of CD-ROMs for schools. (Hare, 1996). Working wrinklies, he believes, will also be the consumer group to track for the future. "They " ll be the main consumers and the bulk of the voters, " he says. "They " ll spend more on information, food, wine, books, CD-ROMS. They " ll want smaller, quieter cars that pollute less. They " ll care more about the environment, noise, beauty, learning, and less about consuming. " (Hundley, 1978).

Another Handy view of the future is based on federalism, a theory of management he borrowed from political theory. Federalist organizations, he says, get their energy from their satellite businesses, with the center serving only as a low-profile "force of influence. " In the age of bottom-up decision-making and empowerment, the old-fashioned notions of corporate control and contracts of employment are now meaningless. Says he: "Organizations today have to be based on trust. How many people can you know well enough to trust? Probably 50 people at most.

So, increasingly, organizations will be made up of groups of 50 that will bond together for different projects or needs. " (Hare, 1996). The consequences, he says, will be the increasing disappearance of the middle ranks of managers and the increased importance of team members. PepsiCo's Hatch says his is a federalist company. "All our divisions are very autonomous, " he says. "But the notion of federalism gives us a language and a framework to help us interact as we get bigger and bigger. We don't want to become the Postal Service. " (Hare, 1996). This creates one of Handy's most potent paradoxes: Companies can't offer stability to workers; workers need to think of themselves first; yet companies' most valuable assets are their people. This notion brings him full circle to his primary concern today.

He predicts: "The power of capitalism will undoubtedly diminish unless we give more power to the real assets: people. If you want a model for the new sort of capitalism, you are more likely to find it in the family business networks of Italy or South China than in America or Germany. " (Hare, 1996). Rosabeth Moss Kanter Born on March 15, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio, Rosabeth Moss was the daughter of an attorney and a schoolteacher. In 1963 she married Stuart Alan Kanter, who died in 1969.

After graduating from Bryn Mawr with honors in 1964, she went on to do graduate work in sociology at the University of Michigan, where she received her M. A. in 1965 and her Ph. D.

in 1967. Her education also included postdoctoral studies at Harvard University from 1975 to 1976. (Imrie, 20 (2), 71 - 89). Kanter began her teaching career as an instructor in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1967. She taught in the Brandeis University sociology department from 1967 to 1977, interrupted by a year at Harvard, 1973 - 74. She was a professor of sociology at Yale University from 1977 to 1986. In 1986, Kanter was appointed to an endowed chair at the Harvard Business School as Professor of Business Administration.

As an undergraduate, Kanter began pursuing her fascination with "how a complex world is put together, " an interest that would shape her career as an academic, business consultant, and prolific writer. While her earliest books were about the way collective life is organized in communes, her concern would eventually turn to how corporations are structured and managed in a changing society. (Harari, 1994). Rosabeth Moss Kanter, already famous for her book, The Change Masters, provides the business world with another guide to change in her new book -- The Challenge of Organizational Change: How Companies Experience It and How Leaders Guide It. In collaboration with authors Barry Stein and Todd Jack, Kanter emphasizes the process through which an organization reaches its desired state.

Assuming the reader has a working knowledge of the "new" organization -- with its horizontal structure, flexibility, and employee involvement -- the authors move quickly from describing what the organization should look like to describing the change process. (Harari, 1994). As a cornerstone for their work, the authors present their "Big Three" model for change: the internal and external forces that cause change, the kinds of changes these forces produce, and the activities necessary to manage the change process. To illustrate their points, they present numerous examples and interviews with those integrally involved in well-known mergers, acquisitions and corporate takeovers. And they conclude with thought-provoking questions and action steps designed to guide the leader through the change process. Instead, the authors want to show leaders how to recognize the signs of change and understand the variety of options that they may pursue legitimately and realistically within their organizations.

Through narrative and illustration, the authors also explain the roles of those involved in change -- from strategist to implementer to recipient. Although the role of the strategist / leader is often considered the most important, the authors stress the real value and impact of all roles, at all levels. What is perhaps most important, they show that the recipients really control the final result. They decide if the change will stay, if it will be further transformed or even if it will be ignored. (Min, 1994).

The authors ensure that the reader understands that the human factor is critical to the change process -- and must not be minimized at any stage if change is to be successfully managed. This may be obvious to HR and organizational development professionals in the audience. However, the attention it receives here cannot fail to impress the point upon the chief executive who may focus almost exclusively on business considerations. (Min, 1994). With their combined consulting and academic experience, the authors bring a wealth of knowledge to the subject.

The book was extremely educational for the CEO, for whom it appears to be targeted. However, given the global or sweeping nature of change in most of the illustrations, it may not be as immediately beneficial to middle managers. It will help them understand the change process in general, as well as their expected role within it, but use of that knowledge may be limited. Men and Women of the Corporation, 1977, was a pioneering look at the ways in which work is organized and performed in large companies. She later noted that it documented the last gasp of a bureaucratic corporate model that was about to be replaced. A Tale of "O" continued her analysis of corporate organization, focusing on how corporate culture discriminates against those who do not fit its stereotypes and assumptions.

In The Change Masters, 1983, she investigated the elements that make some corporations innovate and grow while others suppress initiative and stagnate. It recorded the cases of the first bold attempts to transform the old style of corporate life. (Lewin, 1994). Her other works were the result of a wide-ranging five-year study of top American corporations, documenting changing management strategies and practices that, in her view, represent the future of successful businesses in the U. S. She said of this work that it brought together intellectual knowledge gleaned from her academic work at Yale and Harvard and the practical knowledge. (Lewin, 1994). Bibliography: (Mary Parker Follett) Colin, V.

Guru of Management. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 18 - 21. Felon, S. Celebration of Writings. (Washington DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1982), 48 - 53. Goddard, D.

Prophet of Management. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 38 - 41. (Charles Handy) Calare, T. Pathfinder and Prophet of Change in the Workplace. V. 155, No. 2, Jan 16, 1995 p. 76. Hare, C. When Efficiency Is Ineffective. (Oakville WA: 1996), 28. Hundley, J.

Change Champion. New York: Viking Press (October 1978): 55 - 82. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter) Harari, Oren. "An open letter to job seekers", Management Review, V. 83, No. 12, Dec 1994, p. 41. Imrie, B. Gurus in Change Management. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 20 (2), 71 - 89. Lewin, K.

The Mother of Them All. Essex, England: Longman House, 1994: 36. Min, W. "Management theorists: Moss Kanter, corporate sociologist. Economist.

V. 333, No. 7885, Oct 15, 1994, p. 89.

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Research essay sample on University Of Michigan Change Process

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