There Communication levels and relationship between different roles appear


There are
various organisational structures in which roles, power and responsabiltiy are
assigned and managed differently, depending on the objectives and strategies
adopted by the organisation itself.

We find three
main structures:

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– this structure follows
a pyramidal system where authority is clearly defined. An advantage of
this structure is that employees can be highly motivated by the prospect
of promotion and/or specialising in an area of experise. However, the
issues that can raise are numerous with, for example, a usually longer
process in adopting change and decision making. We can also observe
negative relationship between co-workers and departments.
– this structure creates
different areas of business within the organisation, such as administration,
human resources, etc. The main advantage of this structure is that workers
are skilled in their field and can focus on one area of work at a time
thus improving productivity. However, closed communication may happen
resulting in poor co-ordination between the different departments.
– In this
structure, there are no management levels. Communication levels and
relationship between different roles appear to positive and simple in
these organisational structures. On the other hand, clear structure may be
more difficult to sustain if the organisation grows.

At Whitchurch
High School, we operate between a hierarchical and functional structure. Our
organisation is divided in teaching and non-teaching staff, with different
departments to fit all areas of expertise we offer. Departments sometimes have
two or three levels of management which means communication with members of the
Senior Leadership Team is not necessarily direct nor quick for all.

In an organisation
like ours, where change is key to successfully improve achievements on a yeraly
basis, a change management model like J.P Kotter’s seems to be relevant. The
following 8 steps were developped to maintain consistent change:

Establish a sense of emergency: All staff need to recognise the need for
change otherwise little will be done. The sense of urgency has the ability to
motivate staff into understanding its importance. However, this is very
difficult to achieve as everyone needs to be on board for a successful change

Form a guiding coalition: a leading team or individual needs to take charge
in order to role model the attitude towards the change.

–       Develop a vision and strategy: allowing
staff to see the steps of a clearly defined plan will help with regarding as a
more manageable and achievable change.

–       Communicate the vision: this is
particularly important if the strategy and vision are shared regularly with
emplyees. It acts as a reminder but also shows consistency at management level.
Staff can see everyone is involved.

–       Remove obstacles: addressing
issues and ensuring mitigation where necessary will motivate employees. By
removing the obstacles to their work, they are allowed to move forward and feel
empowered. This can prove difficult if risks are not reviewed and acted on

–       Plan and create short term wins: staff
will enjoy the sense of success when achieving short term aims. This will
motivate them to achieve the end goal.

–       Consolidate gains: looking back at
the success, the organisaton has to ensure all gains are built on so that it progresses
and continues its improvement.

–       Anchor the culture: the change
needs to be adopted, implemented and embedded in the core beliefs and system of
the organisation.

Such a model is benefitial to typical hierarchical organisation since
the require leaders to take charge. It also seems a simple model which offers a
clear guidance with steps and successes along he way which motivates all
employeed. However, this model offers little room for co-creation and
participation from all is limited. Employeed are exepected to ‘do’ rather than ‘think’.
This can lead to frustration for some. More importantly, if the chagne is not
successful in the seventh and eighth steps then, a sense of failure and having
work for nothing might appear.

Another popular change management model is the Kubler-Ross Five Stage
model also called the Change Curve. Based on the process of grieving, this
model encompasses well employees’ feelings as they go through the process of
change and can be used as a prediction tool to assess future performances
within an organisation. The five steps were defined:

–       Denial:
following the announcement of the need for change, staff might act shocked or
confused by it, sometimes avoiding to talk about it completely. Information is vital here: by informing in details and
communicating regularly, enployees’s confidence will improve and eventually
help them accept the need for change.

–       Anger:
high anxiety might occur, where employees feel trapped by the process of changes. Often, they start questionning their own ability in
achieving the change. Resentment might also develop because change implies
having to do things differently, when employees might have felt comfortable in
their old ways.  This might result
in outbursts of frustration.

–       Depression:
staff might develop a sense of helplessness where they see the change as
unachievable and too big a task.

–       Bargaining:
employees will be looking to share their struggles with others and discuss. This is an opportunity for training and trying new ideas.

–       Acceptance:
staff are ready to explore the new options and move forward.

If this model allows us to develop an effective communication strategy
by having an excellent view of an individual’s feelings throughout the process,
it is difficult to adapt for a group of people. Its principle is that a change
is effectively always negative, however each individual reacts differently to
the need for change.

Having evaluated these
two change management models, we can clearly see that a model will work at its
best if adapted to the organisational structure. In the context of Whitchurch
High School for example, the Kotter model seems to fit well as it is meant to
be implemented from the top down.

However, each of these
models show that in any type of organisation we need to ensure everyone is engaged,
informed, supported and rewarded about the change so that is succeeds.