The paper "Managing People at Work: The Housing Industry Association" is an excellent example of a case study on management. The Housing Industry Association’ s top management has just executed some changes in the organizational hierarchy, and this has caused a stirrup with some employees especially the old employees. These stirrups have been explored by many scholars and explained as resistance to change which is influenced by affective and cognitive motives. This paper seeks to explain the issues around organizational culture, change and employee behavior as explored with the help of a case study. Deborah’ s reaction and Justification for her behavior Deborah reacted with great hostility towards Melinda because she felt threatened by the changes that had been effected.
Melinda had been at the organization for only two years while Deborah had worked for fifteen years, yet she was promoted to be higher in rank than the latter. Deborah typically communicates a negative attitude towards the change since she could predict the likely outcomes to be undesirable. According to (Davis, 1967) people develop and settle into a culture that in turn influences their behavior unconsciously, giving them a sense of stability, security and the ability to respond to different situations.
When this culture is interrupted by changes within the organization, their stability is shaken, the sense of security is threatened and they will respond with resistance to the changes. This clearly explains the case of Deborah’ s reaction towards Melinda. In the real sense, she was angered that the changes would interfere with the culture she had settled into for the last 15 years. Melinda was the innocent victim whose face represented the Housing Industry Association and Deborah’ s fears and anger towards the organization were projected towards Melinda. However, her reaction is not justifiable, because she is not the only employee who was affected by the shakeup in management.
(Newstroms, & Davis, 1993) explore the issue of individualization, where an employee is able to wield influence on an organization's social system by challenging the culture. This clearly explains Deborah’ s poor work ethics demonstrated by the fact that she came to work late, took an extra one hour during lunch break and left half an hour earlier. Melinda, on the other hand, had to deal with the pressures of her new job description; moving from being a support staff to managing the general staff translated into a bigger workload and higher levels of work stress. Different reviews have shown that employees react differently to change because this interrupts the norm they have been accustomed to.
According to (Paulsen et al, 2005), Organizational change interrupts employee work status and the reporting hierarchy, which in turn interferes with interpersonal relationships. In regard to this case study, Deborah was displaying a case of resistance to change.
She had been used to a routine for 15 years and the leadership of Melinda was going to interfere with it, by effecting new and strict work policies.