Good Case Study About Organizational Development And Intervention

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Organization, Development, Nursing, Teamwork, Hospital, Medicine, Team, Time Management

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Published: 2020/10/27


The rationale of this paper seeks to address issues of organizational change, the reasons for organizational change, the approaches that are used in organizational change and the possible outcomes of such change. The paper is based on a case study of Lincoln hospital where there were problems that arose as a result of change in the organization's structure and leadership. Based on the case study, this paper shall analyze the processes that were used as intervention measures to solve the stalemate and what other alternative measures would have worked. The main focus of this paper is, therefore, organizational development intervention evaluation.

Organizational development can be described as the continuous implementation of change in an organization in a manner that is effective so as to meet organizational goals more effectively. The core values of organizational change include providing a platform for individuals in an organization to reach their full potential, function less as factors of production and more as human beings, increasing an organizations’ effectiveness through attainment of goals and to create an environment in the workplace where individuals find work challenging and exciting.
The objective of organizational development is therefore to manage conflict in an effective manner, to increase the level of collaboration and cooperation among individuals, to be able to confront and solve problems as they arise, to increase the level of employee commitment and satisfaction in an organization and to improve trust within the organization.
In the case of Lincoln hospital, the president of Lincoln Hospital faced a crisis in its organizational development soon after a new chief of surgery was elected. Prior to that, however, there had been a crisis of high turnover of nurse. Up to forty percent of the OR nurses had left, and their replacements were not up to task. There was a particular shortage of seven surgical nurses. The equipment required in the hospital was also insufficient or completely unavailable.
Other problems that were facing the hospital included rising costs of operation, changes in the government regulations and a strict Joint Commission on the Acceleration of Hospital Standards. More specifically was the problem among the hospital staff. The doctors and nurses were constantly at loggerheads. This standoff was led by the veteran OR director and the new chief of surgery. The standoff was so bad that the chief of surgery had campaigned on a promise to get the OR director fired.
The president of the hospital was at a crossroad because he did not want to lose the OR director as she had worked thirteen years for the hospital and was very good at what she did. It was also very difficult to get a competent OR director at that time. The president did not also want to be in bad terms with the doctors since they threatened to take their patients to other hospitals. In fact, the chief of surgery had his own practice. Given the economic situation, it would not be good for the hospital to lose patients. The doctors were also used to having their own way and had been accused of being self-entitled to the extent of creating emergencies so as to get prime time for which they were often late for.
The president of Lincoln tried to get the two leaders, the chief of surgery and the OR director to meet and agree on the way forward, they were to meet until they resolved their differences. This did not work as all that took place were heated arguments full of accusations and blame shifting. This is when the president sought third party intervention. The organizational development consultant in this case started by holding interviews with each of the leaders after which he held a moderated meeting with them to discuss the way forward. They wrote down what they wanted to achieve and whose responsibility it was to carry out specific actions so as to meet the goals they had set. Follow up meetings were also held so as to keep track of the developments and monitor their progress.

Evaluation of the Processes Used

Had I been called in by the president of Lincoln Hospital as a consultant, I would have taken a slightly different approach. From the case study, it is clear that the two leaders were only part of a myriad of problems/challenges that the hospital was facing. Dealing with the chief of surgery and the OR director solely would only solve part of the problem. I would therefore also involve the rest of the team i.e. the nurses and other doctors in my intervention. The rationale for this is the chief of surgery and OR director ironing out their differences would not necessarily lead to the change in behavior by the doctors or deal with the issue of high turnover of nurses. The mediation between the two leaders would also not deal with the purported bad management of the nursing managers (Durai, 2010).
I would therefore seek perform more rigorous interviews with a sample of each of the affected parties including members of the management so as to be able to come up with ways to deal also with external factors such as the escalating costs and government regulations.
Another approach to this other than the brainstorming session would be a workshop for strategic planning especially one that is done outside the hospital. The hospital environment in itself can be a strenuous place for the members to objectively deal with the issues as it is the same place where they are at loggerheads at. A strategic planning workshop is important because there is new leadership at Lincoln hospital, the chief of surgery, who might have different expectations of the existing team as well as a different approach to doing things. It is, therefore, important to get everyone on the same page so as to have a smooth flowing organizational development process. In the case study illustrated, the OR director and the chief of surgery each seem to have a different approach of doing things as well as different expectations of each other and the teams that they each represent (Altman et al, 2013).
I would, of course, have had to deal with the leaders separately as well as they are a very influential part of the whole intervention process. In their case, I would invite them to a discussion where they each define and illustrate a scenario of the context within which they and their teams would like to operate in. this is important because it enables the participants to evaluate their current actions and how they fit into the future context that they have illustrated. They are able to identify those actions which would not lead to that context and come up with suggestions on how to improve that or new ways of doing things. This creates a sort of self-evaluation model for the chief of surgery and OR director. They would also be required to evaluate the actions of their team members and how they contribute to the future context and the changes that need to be made (Altman et al, 2013).

Third Party Intervention

Third party intervention in organizational development arises when there is conflict between two or more individuals in an organization. Third party intervention is necessary because it provides a neutral party to the conflict resolution process and more importantly one who is objective. The main goal of a third party is to resolve conflict by whatever means unlike the parties involved whose goals may be to be on the winning side of the conflict whether or not it is beneficial to the organization as a whole. The other advantage of a third party intervention is that the consultant is in most cases trained to deal with such disputes and, therefore, has the acumen and expertise required to solve such conflicts. Even though third party intervention may be expensive in some instances, it is also a faster way of resolving conflict in an organization and aids greatly in organizational development (Ramnarayan et al., 2008).

Alternative Approaches

The improved outcomes that are expected from such a team bonding activity include building of common values for the team. This helps the group because their actions are guided by the common values that they hold. This ultimately reduces conflict within the organization. As a result of this the performance of the team is also boosted. Another possible outcome of team building and bonding is that the team members get to know what to expect from one another and also they get to understand how they can bring out the best in each other (Ramnarayan et al, 2008).
Strategic planning is another approach that I would use as an intervention method. Strategic planning, like team building, is also necessitated by the restructuring of the team, the need to cut costs by the organization while maintaining the quality of services offered the inherent changes and developments in the external environment and the need to adopt a new organizational culture. Strategic planning, in this case, is vital because the organization needs to be able to define new roles for the team members due to both the internal and external changes (Yaeger et al., 2009).
The possible outcomes of strategic planning include the fact that the organization comes up with ways of dealing with threats and also of taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to them. The organization is able to objectively lay down procedures that would put them at a competitive advantage over their competitors. Strategic planning would also deal with coming up with a plan to incorporate each team member, old or new, into the organizations’ vision by clearly defining their roles and responsibilities (Ramnarayan et al, 2008).

Evaluation of Effectiveness of Intervention Approaches

The effectiveness of the approaches mentioned above can be measured using various methods. To evaluate the effectiveness of the team building, employee output can be used to measure this. One of the main purposes of the teambuilding is to be able to create better relations between the employees. Good working relations ultimately lead to better performance and increased output. Increased output is, therefore, a measure of the effectiveness of the intervention (Jones & Brazzel, 2010). 
For the strategic planning, operational costs can be used as a measure of effectiveness. A decline in such costs would imply that the strategic plan has worked as far as cost cutting is concerned. Another measure would be the extent to which external factors affect the operations and profitability of the organizations'. If the effect is minimal or relatively low, this will imply that the strategic plan was successful in protecting the organization from threats (Jones & Brazzel, 2010). 


Some of the obstacles that an organization may face in the implementation of the above strategies include insufficient time. Using the example of the case study above, it is obvious that taking time away for activities such as team bonding would provide a challenge as the hospital offers vital services. Insufficient funds are another challenge. Using the case of Lincoln hospital which is already facing financial challenges, team building can be a costly expenditure to pursue.
Lack of willingness by some members of staff is probably the most difficult obstacle that an intervention program can be faced with. This is because if some members are unwilling from the word go then the intervention would definitely not be successful. The success of such organizational development intervention rely heavily on the willingness of participants to want to participate and even be part of the change that they desire to see take place in the organization (French & Bell, 2009).
The challenge of unwilling participants can be dealt with by making the relevant parties understand the importance of such interventions and more so the importance of their cooperation. Once members feel that they have a contribution to make and that they play an important role in the process, they can be more accommodating. To deal with the challenge of costs, an organization can come up with cheaper alternatives of having team building activities. As for the time challenge, the organization can choose to have such activities in smaller teams and have such teams take turns or even have them carried out in departments.


Altman, S., Valenzi, E., & Hodgetts, R. M. (2013). Organizational Behavior: Theory and Practice. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Durai, P. (2010). Human resource management. Chennai: Pearson.
French, W. L., & Bell, C. (2009). Organization development: Behavioral science interventions for organization improvement. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Jones, B. B., & Brazzel, M. (2010). The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change: Principles, Practices, and Perspectives. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Ramnarayan, S., Venkateswara, R. T., & Kuldeep, S. (2008). Organization development: Interventions and strategies. New Delhi: Response Books.
Sengupta, N. (2006). Managing change in organizations. S.l.: Prentice-Hall Of India.
Yaeger, T. F., Head, T. C., & Sorensen, P. F. (2009). Global organization development: Managing unprecedented change. Greenwich, Conn: Information Age Publ.

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