This course project will help you utilize the concepts in this class, by doing a thorough analytical and in depth review and comparison of “change” in two companies. You will accomplish this project through 5 deliverables in the course:
- Proposing and having approved your project topic. (2 references) (Week 1)
- Researching two publicly traded companies, and comparing and contrasting their methods of handling a significant change in their organizations. Analyze and write about images of change in those organizations. (4 new references) (Week 2)
- Diagnosing the change in those companies and their barriers and resistors. (4 new references) (Week 4)
- Analyzing and creating applications for a change project communication based on the change in one of your researched companies. (2 new references) (Week 6)
- Utilize multiple references using online research, Keller Graduate School of Management’s live or online libraries, perhaps your public library for print resources, and any other primary or secondary research source you feel would be appropriate for this project. You will complete an annotated bibliography at the end of the term of strong references to support your findings. At least 12 total references used in the project. (All term – bibliography due Week 7).
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Note! Keller Librarians are a wealth of information – and will help you find sources. Using the chat feature you can talk to them about what you need to find, and they will teach you how to use the library!
Do not use Wikipedia as a reference source. If you find useful information from Wikipedia, triangulate your research and find other, more credible source(s) which provide the same (or better) information, and then utilize the information from that more credible source in your paper and reference page/bibliography.
Your project will have five separate parts, due throughout the term. It will incorporate the learning of the course as we go through – and hopefully will cement the process for you. At the end of the term, your final exam will contain 4 randomly selected Change Management questions based on YOUR Course Project companies and research findings as related to the course content, as well as other questions (multiple choice and essay) which are not specifically related to your project (but are related to Change Management course content!).
Thus, the initial “topic selection” where you pick the companies you will research throughout the term is critical for you to ensure you are interested enough in the material that it will keep you engaged throughout the term.
Here are some examples:
Example: Both Ford and GM experienced serious issues during the pre, during and post TARP period causing them to restructure and change how they do business. Each of them reacted to these pressures differently. A paper comparing and contrasting the way both companies reacted to this pressure would be very interesting and easy to set up in an organized fashion. Further, utilizing the images grid, you can discuss how they did handle these pressures (using which image) and how a different style of leader (image) might have handled it differently.
Example: Both HP and Home Depot have had issues with selecting a new CEO for their company. Reviewing the last 10 years of CEO history, a paper comparing and contrasting the pressures involved, and how they impacted the overall productivity of the companies would be sustainable throughout the term.
Example: Review any two companies in the airline industry, their entrance into (and possibly their completion of) bankruptcy, and how they handled the changes through management as a result. (i.e. United Airlines and American Airlines)
Example: Review any two companies who have recently been through some part of Merger and Acquisition change and how they handled the culture changes.
Example: Review any two companies who have had industry changes and how they have reacted either successfully, or unsuccessfully and how their reactions perhaps resulted in their success or failure. (i.e. Yahoo vs. IBM)
These are simply illustrative – you can do research and find any of many companies and topics of change which could work for this paper – and you are encouraged to do so. If you have questions or need more ideas, please ask your Professor for help!
Part 1: Topic Selection (Due Week 1)
Pick out your two companies and their change. In 1 double spaced page, please submit your company selections, with a brief write-up on the changes you will be comparing in the two companies. Pick two companies which have undergone some type of fairly substantial change in the recent past. Find the company and the change information online, using EBSCO, or using a company’s case described somewhere in our textbook. (See page 388 of the textbook index for page numbers and names of each of the cases described in the textbook.) Other ways to find information: utilize Google or Yahoo Finance, or Reuters, and look up Annual Reports of companies which interest you. Often reading the first sections of these reports (i.e. letters from CEO’s) will give you ideas about changes they have gone through in the past year(s).
Be sure that:
- Your companies are publicly traded so that their information will be easy to research and find
- Your change in the two companies are comparable (i.e. don’t compare a new CEO to a change in HRIS – DO compare two changes in CIO) and
- The changes happened in the recent past so that you will find plenty of online information about how they were handled, but not so recent that the information about the change “results” is still up in the air.
Your topic will be graded/approved and returned to you so that you know your topic will work for the course. You must get approval to move forward with your project. This section will be worth 25 points and must have at least two references.
How this will be graded:
|Topic includes two companies which have undergone a somewhat similar type of change over the past 10 years (or longer if you have plenty of information about it)||5|
|Write up sufficiently tells the instructor the names of the companies, the information you have found about the changes, and why you find this project topic interesting||15|
|Includes at least two references to articles or items about the companies and the change||5|
Part 2: The Change Analysis – Images of Change (Due Week 2)
The “Images” section focuses on the six different images of managing change and how each “approach” to change effects all that follows in its implementation and continued support. Download the “Week 2 Project Images Grid” from doc-sharing. Pick three of the “images of change” explained in the Week 2 lecture from the grid, and analyze how those particular “images” would affect the ensuing diagnosis and implementation in your two selected companies on their change plans.
Here’s what to do:
- Working with the information that you provided in your topic proposal, and any feedback you have received from your Professor, flesh out the facts and information from your original proposal.
- Review the changes in each company and describe them thoroughly in a word document. Explain how the change impacted the companies, and who it impacted. Compare some of the similarities and differences between the change in the two companies.
- Look at your grid and pick three images of change from your grid. Fill out the empty blocks on the grid for those three images using outlines, bullet points, and rough ideas for both company’s change.
- Now, in a Word document, analyze, compare and contrast the three images and explain how the behaviors of those images would be different or the same during your companies’ changes, and how those differences could (or did) impact the success (or failure) of the change, comparing and contrasting the results at both companies.
- Explain which image (or combination of images) you feel would have best facilitated the described change and why.
- Based on the information you actually read about the results of this change, state which image you think the leader of the change actually resembled the most. You may speculate here on which image you feel best represents the “change agent” at either or both of the companies. This will depend on how much information you found about the internal workings of the company during the change.
This paper should focus on evidence that demonstrates how the management of the organization integrated one or more of the six images of managing change (Chapters 2 and 3) how effective the change was and what management could have done differently to increase the probability of successfully implementing the strategic change initiative. Again, this is a compare and contrast paper – so include information about both companies in your report.
Grading rubric for paper #2 – Change Images
|Properly filled out and submitted change grid showing your initial analysis and notes.||10|
|Two companies selected, “briefed”, and referenced.||20|
|Thorough description of the change explained||20|
|Comparison of the two companies, similarities/differences of the changes and the results||25|
|At least 4 new references, properly cited.||10|
This paper could be as short as 3 pages or as long as 7. Use APA formatting (double spaced, decent font.) Include your references on the final page. You should have at least 4 additional/new outside references, excluding the textbook. References should be scholarly.
Part 3: Diagnosing the Change (Due Week 4)
Select a Diagnostic Model (see Chapter Five) that you utilize to review aspects of change activities and actions that have been taken by the companies chosen. Here we are looking at the “parts” of the companies as well as their strategies, as surmised by your research in Part 1. It is acknowledged that this information will not be complete, as you are looking at these companies as an outsider; but a thoroughly researched paper will give enough data to allow some (well-defended) assumptions on your part.
Here’s what to do:
- Choose one Diagnostic Model (i.e. 6-box, 7S, congruence, or etc.) to apply to the two chosen companies. Choose the model which you feel best identifies and measures the relevant aspects of the organization’s performance and therefore the diagnostic choices made will affect your findings.
- Apply the data obtained in your research through an analysis of the appropriate chosen model. This will allow you to create a diagnosis of where each company is today (as per the criteria of the model).
- Create a SWOT Analysis for each of the two chosen companies change plans/programs, utilizing information obtained in the diagnosis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.)
- Compare the two company analyses to each other and offer your perspective (value judgment) of the effectiveness of the changes made to date in each case.
- Identify potential areas of resistance that may occur and at least one strategy to respond to each. (This will most likely come from your Weaknesses/Threats section of your SWOT. If not, take another look at your SWOT.)
- Recommendations for further actions within the organizations and the rationale chosen for these recommendations.
- Write your paper including each of the above sections, and analyses
Grading rubric for paper #3 – Diagnosing the Change:
|A comprehensive review of the Change Diagnostic model chosen that details the components included as well as some background about the model itself through research from the author(s).||20|
|Your rationale defending why you chose that particular model. You can utilize a review of internal/external pressures that have affected the companies chosen.||20|
|A SWOT analysis that you created based on the above. Compare the two company analyses to each other and offer your perspective (value judgment) of the effectiveness of the changes made to date in each case.||20|
|Potential areas of resistance that were encountered or that you anticipate may be encountered and possible actions to minimize the negative effects of such resistance.||20|
|Recommendations for further actions within the organizations and the rationale chosen for these recommendations.||20|
|Use of 4 new references, properly cited.||10|
Part 4: Communicating the Change (Due Week 6)
An important part of any change project is how the change is communicated to the organization, to the change agents, to the line workers, to the customers, and to the public. Along with media relations issues, communicating change (especially in a publicly traded company) can involve multiple legal and regulatory aspects, as well as personnel and management concerns. Perhaps the single most difficult piece of handling Kotter’s “establish a sense of urgency” is that too many inexperienced or immature change agents read this to mean “panic the troops.” Never do this.
This project piece will have 3 parts:
- The main part of your project this week will ask you to pick ONE of the company’s change plan, and develop a communication plan for the company. This plan should be submitted by using an excel spreadsheet, setting out the Stakeholders, the timeline of the communication plan, the method of communication, the rationale for why you chose this method of communication, the purpose of the communication and identifying “who” will do the communicating. The grid for this project can be found in doc-sharing, entitled “Grid for Week 6 – Communication Plan.”
- Pick ONE of the communication pieces which you would have used which is listed in your communication plan, and write the communication in a Word document (either the text or the script, if the communication would have been oral.) Be sure to review the Week 6 lecture and the examples of communication plans and types there for more assistance on this piece of the project. If you use any form of communication from templates you find online or in a textbook, be sure to cite your source. Your instructor will grade this based on how well it relates to the audience/stakeholder group to which it is intended.
- The “real world” aspect of this project is that you will write a 1-2 page analysis of one of the media pieces about one of the company’s changes written (or provided via oral media) by the company. For this section of the project, please analyze any media, news, or other communications which explained the change going on in the organization. Explain in your paper how the company handled communicating the change to its stakeholders.
Grading rubric for Part 4 – Communicating the Change
|Item||Content item||Content points available|
|Excel spreadsheet grid||ID of stakeholders||8|
|Timeline of communication||8|
|Type of communication||8|
|ID correct communicator||8|
|At least 4 Communication pieces listed on spreadsheet (no more than 6)||8|
|Your analysis of the actual communication plan as seen from the “public eye.”||20|
|Your sample communication piece.||20|
|Your reference page (at least 2 new references)||10|
More details about grading your excel spreadsheet:
- You have properly identified the appropriate stakeholders
- The timeline of your communication shows understanding of reality and attempt to be honest while ensuring no panic and production/service not interrupted.
- The type of communications described show that you have a good grasp of proper, business communications
- The rationale behind the communication makes sense
- You have properly identified the “right” communicator for the communication
Part 5 – Annotated Bibliography (Due Week 7)
List of all of your references you used in the project to date (you should have at least 12 at this point) and create an annotated bibliography. Basically, for this assignment, you will use your reference list, in alphabetical order, and provide a 2-4 sentence summary (brief!!) of what that reference said. This is a summary style document! Your grade will be based on your ability to BRIEFLY summarize the important points in the document as well as the strength of your reference materials. (i.e. if you used mainly low-level reference documents like encyclopedias, online dictionaries, anonymous articles, etc. this will negatively impact your grade.)
- Use of at least 12 references, properly annotated: 24 points (roughly 2 points each)
- Strength of references overall: 6 points (roughly .5 points each.)
- Use of one of the 5 Keller-approved citation methods
|Grading Rubric||Points per item:||Total points possible:|
|Use of 12 references (at least)||1||12|
|Brief summary (2-4 sentences tops!)||1||12|
|Strength of references||.5||6|
|Proper use of one of the 5 Keller-approved citation methods||Not applicable||5|
You will be asked up to four questions about your project covering all aspects of Change Management and all of the COs in the course. However, the majority of the questions WILL be on “implementing the change.” Be prepared to analyze how your companies in your project “implemented” the change using various models that we have covered throughout the term. Your knowledge of your project information and the course theories will be your success key to doing well on the Final Exam.
You will also have MC questions covering Change Management concepts in the course and at least one essay not directly related to your project.