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Intervention Focused on People and Process

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Free «Intervention Focused on People and Process» Essay Sample

Part 1: People-Process Interventions


This paper discusses OD interventions based on people and other processes. The interventions can either be group-oriented or individualistic. All forms of development interventions taken up by organizations are for enabling easy problem-solving procedures and those of goal achievement. They are structured activities set up by organizations. The type of intervention used depends on the type of organization, interaction methods and the problems to be solved. Being a set of planned events, the OD interventions are important when it comes to increasing the effectiveness of an organization. Most OD interventions are designed for specific levels and groups of people within a business. From this, it is clear that the intervention may be for individuals, departments, leaders and trans-organizations, especially for multinational companies. Looking at the topic in discussion, people interventions are meant to increase the efficacy of people for improved productivity at both team and individual perspectives. Process interventions, on the other hand, are meant to improve the efficiency and productivity of business processes while controlling the cost and time perspectives, as well as quality.

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a. Intergroup Interventions

Most organizations that implement change follow three basic approaches that are technical, structural and behavioral. In the context of Organizational Intervention techniques, the focus is on four major categories. These include groups or teams, intergroup, interpersonal or individual and general organizational system levels. Their classification is also based on the objectives and targets of the interventions themselves. To successfully adapt and prosper in the business world today, most organizations discover the need for employing appropriate organizational development interventions that work towards improving performance at the individual, group and organizational levels (McLean 2009 pp. 8-10). Most interventions adopted by companies encompass a business environment that promotes support, trust and respect of individuals, as well as employee involvement in decision-making. Apart from the organizational performance, the OD interventions also help in promoting the well-being of employees. The interventions involved in the change procedures mostly rely on democratic and humanistic values. Here, participation and confrontation is encouraged when it comes to promoting the effectiveness and associated success that comes with positive change (Mote 2013).

Forms of Interventions in Inter-Groups

In the context of people and processes, the most common forms of intervention are group processes, interpersonal and individual processes. From this scenario, the topic to be discussed will be intergroup intervention, which falls in the category of group processes and team developments. The aim of this type of intervention is in goal setting, improvement of interpersonal relationships within groups, decision-making processes, and analysis of tasks and role clarification of different team members. The key aspect here is the ability to promote interdependence among the team members. In this form of intervention, the survival and performance of the group is more important than that of the individuals.  From the organizational development intervention concept, intergroup interventions are meant to promote cooperation as well as efficiency among different groups in an organization (Dike 2012). Using the context of a bank or manufacturing company, it could be between members of different departments that are always working towards the same goal. For intervention professionals, it is important to have a good diagnosis and understanding of the relations within an intergroup. It becomes necessary because of the ever-rising problems and conflicts between groups due to organizational demand and such relationships are bound to affect negatively an organization’s effectiveness (Fullan 2008).

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One main feature of inter-groups is the perception of the other groups as enemies within the organization. Additionally, there is stereotyping based on performance, inaccurate communication, low data input, and low feedback. In the extreme cases of competition, there exist sabotage cases that tend to promote conflict in the company. The most common form of intergroup intervention is that of conflict resolution. It entails bringing together different group leaders with an aim of committing themselves to the intervention process. The different teams are expected to meet separately to discuss their issues with the other groups and provide possible solutions (Senge et al. 2010, p. 16). With this kind of intervention, the tension between the different groups decreases gradually as they engage in communication and clear understanding of each other. Some of the consultants in intergroup intervention promote the rotation of members with an aim of minimizing the negative effects that come with intergroup rivalry. Most conflicts as it has been proven are promoted by allegiances of employees to divisions and groups that suit their personal interest. The rotation of members within rival groups is always a good way of promoting collaboration and understanding.

The other form of intervention is that of joint activities. It mostly entails assigning members from different groups’ one activity with the aim of achieving one specific goal. In the course of working together, intergroups gain other advantages like learning of their common enemies. Such include the organization’s competitors, economic conditions and regulations by the government. Working together and on a common ground promotes successful intervention and organizational effectiveness. Here, the third party encourages openness and setting of norms that promote balance when it comes to solving the conflicts (Dike 2012).

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The other form of intervention in inter-group conflicts is the use of third party personnel to bring peace. The main mechanisms used here are those of confrontation and the ability of the third party to diagnose the existing problem correctly. The main issues involved in the diagnosis are circumstances surrounding the conflicts, acts related to the conflict and their consequences. The other crucial element here is the sources of the conflict. Most conflicts result from scarce resources, total difference in responsibilities and other issues in the company. Others may be from emotions that stem either from individual or group level (Waddell, Creed, Cummings & Worley 2014).

Procedures in Intergroup Interventions

  1. The first step entails the meeting of different group leaders with the intervention facilitator or consultant.
  2. The second step involves separate meetings of the groups involved in the conflict. The reason for this is to build lists outlining their personal feelings about the other group and their members, in particular. The group also writes a list about itself that touches on both negative and positives aspects.
  3. The third step involves a meeting of the two groups with an aim of sharing the contents of their list.
  4. In the fourth step, the groups are required to meet again separately to discuss the results of the third step. Here, the members discuss the main issues pointed out by the other group and the effects it has on its performance and that of the company.
  5. The final meeting that takes place between the conflicting groups results in solutions that would help to promote collaboration and understanding. Based on what has been agreed upon, the consultants take up the role of making follow-ups to ensure the intervention results are successful (Higgins 2010).

Benefits of Intergroup Interventions

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Most interventions result in an increased and improved interaction as well as communication between the members of different groups. In most cases, successful intervention helps to eliminate different issues that bring about conflicts such as scarce resources, difference in opinions and group biases when it comes to delivery. Additionally, there is a consequent reduction in the level of dysfunctional competition within the company.  In the end, interventions promote interdependence amongst groups thus eliminating individualism and independent thinking. With this, all groups and their members are encouraged to work together towards improved performance (Waddell, Creed, Cummings & Worley 2014).

b. Confrontation Meeting

This type of intervention is used in stressful situations thus calling for new strategic decisions. In this context, the company’s management calls for the reorganization of business resources to ensure urgent decision-making. The interventions here entail grouping of employees with each given a specific role. The outcome of this intervention is the identification of specific problems and coming up with possible solutions (Tripon & Dodu 2011, p.75-77).

c. Large- Group Interventions

This form of intervention involves the participation of employees and organization stakeholders. They hold a meeting with an aim of clarifying the most important values of the company. In such scenarios, the meeting results in new working ways for the company employees and possibly a new vision and consequent solving of company problems. It is through such interventions that there is the creation of awareness amongst the employees regarding problems and opportunities within the organization and sometimes future directions.

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d. Training and Education

These are organizational activities are meant to improve the knowledge, skill and abilities of the employees. They also happen at different levels, which are individual, group or departmental and organizational, in case where everyone needs training. Most of the training activities are directed towards the attainment of technical skills that are important when it comes to achieving effective performance and improvement of personal competence. The main issues brought out in this kind of intervention are those related to leadership, individual responsibility, problem-solving and decision-making techniques (Justo 2009).

e. Team Building

In this form of intervention, individuals within a group are assigned specific tasks or projects that require interdependence of the team members with an aim of achieving specific goals. Here, the organization is able to measure the effectiveness of the team in specific processes such as decision-making, interpersonal relationships, and problem-solving techniques. Here, the groups are bound to achieve much effectiveness when there is a joint effort. Just like the other interventions, the key features of team building are problem identification and solution.

The organization employs a consultant or supervisor that foresees the activities of the group while providing guidance in the elements of communication and collaboration (Root 2014). One of the main features of team building is clarity of goals and individual responsibilities, openness when it comes to dealing with issues and continuous support of members towards each other.

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Most of the leaders and consultants in team building make use of cooperation and conflict to get commendable results. It helps to improve problem-solving abilities among the team members by solving the issues within the group. Apart from individual understanding and role definition, effective communication is encouraged in teams. Team building processes differ from company to company (Tripon & Dodu 2011, pp. 56-60). Additionally, the experiences, skills and goals of an organization determine the type of team-building process to be applied. The process covers areas that are specific, but crucial to the company’s success. Such include business processes, customer management, and competitive advantage strategies. To achieve this, the team-building process must create a healthy and collaborative environment for its members, set priorities and ensure there are follow-up sessions on all individual activities. This way, the company can measure its position with regard to goal attainment and effectiveness (McLean 2009, pp. 30-33).

Part 2: People-Process Intervention Case Study – General Motors Inc.

General Motors Corp. since its establishment has taken up a people-process intervention that has ensured its success over the years. In the early 1980s, the company had reports of constant absenteeism and poor performance of its employees. To change this, the company’s management involved the participation of employees when it came to all company operations. In the starts of the OD intervention programs, the company employed a program that integrated different types of interventions (Root 2014). The most common intervention taken up was that of quality-of-work-of-life that aimed at improving the well-being of its employees and their participation in organization’s decision-making. As years went by, the company managed to sign an agreement on the ability to explore different interventions that could improve the company’s performance and production. It included hiring of an outside consultant that helped to promote the intervention technique adopted. The company admits spending much when it comes to employing intervention techniques. The average cost of these OD interventions were approximately 1.5 million dollars. At the end of the trial period, the level of absenteeism had drastically reduced and overall performance improved. From the case study, it is clear that OD interventions that involve people and processes are more effective when it comes to improving organizational performance and effectiveness (McLean 2009).

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Part 3: Challenges and Benefits of People-Process Intervention

Challenges in People-Process Interventions

Most of the issues affecting positive results of OD Interventions are related to change situations. Such include employee’s readiness for change, the capability of people to change, and organizational cultural contexts. The other challenges originate from the main change targets within an organization. Such include strategic and organizational issues, human resources issues and technological issues that are meant to promote the suggested interventions. With interventions, there are increased employee and management responsibilities that require devotion from most of the company personnel. For those who find it hard to adopt, there may be a resistance towards change. The intervention processes that involve employee feedback and survey are time-consuming, and this may result in slowed production (Justo 2009).

Benefits of People-Process Interventions

Interventions in organizational development help to promote positive interactions between employees in an organization. With positive interpersonal relationships, it is possible for members of an organization to work together as a team towards improved performance. Most interventions that deal with people and processes improve employee relationships and consequent turnover, which turns out to be beneficial for the organization. From this, the ability to adapt to change is improved within the working environment as employees take this up positively. It not only benefits the company when it comes to profits, but gives it a competitive advantage in a specific industry. Like General Motor Corp, a company that heavily invests in OD interventions is bound to be more successful than its competitors are (Senge et al. 2010, p. 25).

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Part 4: Conclusion

From the discussion, it is evident that people-process interventions are crucial when it comes to the performance of an organization. Human capital is vital, and successful collaboration brings about good results. The most important element in such interventions is an organization’s investment in its employees. It can be made through training and team-building activities. With such investments, the return would be hard work on the part of employees.  With OD interventions, an organization is able to monitor specific goals, provide feedback and reinforce positive activities of the employees (Waddell, Creed, Cummings & Worley 2014). Most organizations taking up interventions today have the interest of developing the well-being of their employees, as well as their skills. Additionally, the company should focus on groups. With this in place, each group has a clear understanding of its purpose and its importance to the organization. An organization could also reduce unnecessary competition that would otherwise result to conflicts between individuals and groups. Instead, the company culture should focus on promoting collaboration, which in turn promotes communication and teamwork (Root 2014).

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