San Diego State University Kitchen Nightmares Reflection Paper

Watch this episode of Kitchen Nightmares and respond to the questions below in full sentences. Be aware there is adult language in the video:

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1.Evaluate the each of the seven dimensions of change using examples from the episode.

2.Use fidelity and uniformity (p. 338) to evaluate the organizational changes that Gordon Ramsey implements. How fidelitous and uniform were the changes? Do you consider the intervention a success?

3.Imagine you are hired as a communication consultant to suggest communication interventions and improvements. What communication changes would you recommend? Suggest three specific communication changes that would improve communication at the restaurant and explain how they would improve communication. Do not include material recommendations (e.g. buy fresh fish), they must be communication recommendations (e.g. assign an employee to call orders in the kitchen/expedite orders).

< 6:57 .5G Q Q 359 of 537 338 ◄ Chapter Eleven necessary to accomplish legitimate organizational goals. At other times we view the changes critically, skeptical about the value of the change and the ethics of the change pro- cess. That shift in perspective is a frequent experience. People in organizations are often ambiguous regarding how they see organizational changes, sometimes finding them exciting and energizing, and sometimes viewing them cynically or skeptically. How Do We Judge the Success of Organizational Change? 43 There is much practical advice about successful organizational change, as well as extensive research on the subject. While the answer to the question of what indicates change success isn't at all clear, there are several reasonable criteria one could use in assessing the results of change. First, we could decide that for a change to be considered successful, it is accepted by key stakeholders rather than rejected. However, accept-reject is often too simple a criterion to be useful, as Laurie Lewis and David Seibold argue. We can further differentiate acceptance of changes in terms of the fidelity and uniformity of adoption. Fidelity in this sense means there is a match between the intended use of the designer and the actual use of the user. Uniformity means change is adopted simi- larly across all users or all parts of the organization. Common sense might suggest that a successful change is one that has high fidelity and uniformity. However, if change agents accept the notion of adaptive changes, as discussed above, they would likely con- sider at least some change efforts successful with low fidelity, but high uniformity.4 To judge the success of the change effort, we also would have to consider the ini- tially expressed goals of the change agents. For example, many changes are "sold" to stakeholders on the promise of greater profits, greater efficiencies (and thus, savings in time and costs), or higher morale. In the case of the nonprofit Weaver Street Market, in Carrboro, North Carolina, a committee promoted TQM as an answer to the organi- zation's yearning for better internal communication and morale. The goals of the change effort later became a point of contention as managers and staff learned more about TQM and became divided on whether the primary goal was to improve cus- tomer service (which is more typically a goal of TQM programs) or to improve the quality of work life for staff (which was what prompted the initial change effort). In the end, TQM fulfilled neither set of goals, and the program gradually faded away. Finally, to judge the success of change efforts, we should also consider the unin- tended consequences of the changes. A systems view of organizations suggests that a change in one part of the system will prompt changes in other parts. Some of these will be anticipated, and some will not be. For example, contemporary communication technologies, such as e-mail, intranets, and Internet access were implemented in many organizations with the intended consequence of promoting faster, easier communica- tion among staff and between staff and other key stakeholders (such as customers and suppliers). However, there have typically been unintended consequences of e-mail implementation, such as staff members socializing with friends and family through- out the world, using the Internet for nonwork activities, and the organization receiv- ing a barrage of spam and computer viruses. While these examples might be considered primarily negative from management's point of view, changes can have positive unintended consequences as well. For example, a nonprofit social service agency adopted a Web-based information management system. The change meant that some of their local offices had Internet access for the first time. Although many AA< 6:58 .5G Q Q AA := 360 of 537 Organizational Change and Change-Related Communication 339 workers believed the new system was unsuccessful, they also valued the ability to use the Internet to exchange information and advice with their peers in other offices. Com- munication scholar Laura Black provides another example of positive unintended consequences which she calls "by-products"-in box 11.6. Thus, determining whether a change is successful is not as simple as it might first appear. It is valuable to spend some time up front assessing the intended goals of the change effort and the potential unintended consequences of the change. Voices from the Field Box 11.6 Connection, Otherness, and Spirituality as "By-products" of Communication Training Laura W. Black, Ohio University The Wesler Company (a pseudonym) is a large manufacturing firm headquartered in the USA that has thousands of employees located in branches around the world. It has a hierarchical chain of command, connections with the military, strict manufacturing rules, and clear division of labor. It has a long history as a traditional manufacturing organization that, in many ways, closely mirrored classical organizational models. In recent years, though, Wesler has introduced some major changes, including mergers, cross-functional teams, new technologies, and "lean manufacturing," which brought several bouts of downsizing. Employees in the "new" Wesler are told that they need to have good com- munication skills and be flexible so that they can change jobs within the organization as needed. One way that employees faced this challenge was to attend training workshops such as "Lis- tening and Dialogue." This two-day workshop teaches employees communication skills like active listening, paraphrasing, reflective thinking, brainstorming, and dialogue to help groups talk openly about controversial topics. In my research, I noticed that the workshop's emphasis was on teaching "skills" and "tools" employees could use to improve their communication and teamwork.45 Communication was presented as instrumental-something employees could learn to better meet organizational goals. But, when I talked to participants, they described having very profound, meaningful expe- riences that were not entirely consistent with the way the workshop was framed. For example, one activity asked participants to bring in personal objects that they thought symbolized good communication and explain them to the group. Many people told very inti- mate stories about their families or friends and connected some of the skills they were learning to meaningful relationships outside of work. Participants told me they felt connected to each other after this activity, saw other people in new ways, and even experienced some kind of spiri- tuality in the group. As one member stated, "My God, there are human beings at [Wesler]!" I called these meaningful experiences "by-products" of the workshop because they seemed to arise out of interactions that were designed to teach something else. In this particular organiza- tion, members were very skeptical of what they called "woo woo," which was anything they saw as abstract or too emotional. Direct attempts to create deep human connection, otherness, or spirituality would be resisted here, and seen as inappropriate or perhaps even manipulative. Yet, the profound human experience of what dialogue theorist Martin Buber calls "dialogic contact" came about through the skills-oriented workshop.46 Can you think of any by-products of organizational changes with which you're familiar? How can we distinguish between by-products and hidden agendas? For example, might an organization use something similar to the skills workshop to plan for the creation of bonding among employees? What are the ethical tensions and potential contradictions for organizational initiatives that delve into these personal matters?

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