please follow the instruction and it should be original workAssignment and Guidelines
The case study for this week is Building a Coalition, which appears on page 580 of the textbook.
Each student is required to analyze this week’s case study and submit a two- to three-page paper addressing
the key questions identified below. Remember that all case studies present both too much and too little
information. There may be information presented that is not really relevant, and there may be scant
information about a key area. This analysis does require interpretation of the information, and there is no
one right answer; however, you must explain and defend any assumptions you made, or conclusions
resulting from your analysis, with citations from the text or from the case itself. There is no need to
research outside sources for this paper.
Your paper must include the following labeled sections.
Part I: Group
Part II: Problem
Part III:
Part IV:
Identify and summarize the stages of group development.
Reflecting on the case and textbook material, what stage is the group at
now? How could an understanding of the stages of group development
have assisted the Woodson Foundation in building a cohesive
coalition? Support your conclusion with evidence from the case and
our text.
Identify key problems. Identify primary and secondary problems the
Woodson Foundation is facing. Identify what the organization should
have understood about individual membership in teams in order to
have built group processes that were supportive of her groups’ goals.
Do not necessarily limit yourself to only team theory here. Plumb any
concepts we have covered to date if you feel they are relevant.
Given that there is no one perfect solution for this situation,
identify, describe, and defend two possible solutions to the primary
problem(s). Clearly identify and defend both courses of action.
Identify and discuss specific steps needed to implement your
selections. Support your selections with evidence from the case, the
text, or weekly discussion. Remember that deciding on a course of
action entails envisioning and planning the steps to success. Be sure to
identify implementation steps for both possible solutions. Almost every
situation presented with relation to group dynamics and behavior can
have multiple avenues for remedy. It is important to develop the ability
to critically evaluate more than one alternative and rationally identify
pros and cons of each. Presenting pros and cons for the identified
alternative solutions in a table format within the paper is acceptable.
What would you advise as a strategy for managing diversity issues for
program leaders?
CASE 3 Building a Coalition
Learning Goals
Many of the most important organizational behavior challenges require
coordinating plans and goals among groups. This case describes a
multiorganizational effort, but the same principles of accommodation and
compromise also apply when trying to work with multiple divisions within a single
organization. You’ll create a blueprint for managing a complex development team’s
progress, steering team members away from negative conflicts and toward
productive discussion. You’ll also be asked to help create a new message for
executives so they can lead effectively.
Major Topic Areas
Group dynamics
Maximizing team performance
Organizational culture
Integrative bargaining
The Scenario
The Woodson Foundation, a large nonprofit social service agency, is teaming up
with the public school system in Washington, D.C., to improve student outcomes.
There’s ample room for improvement. The schools have problems with truancy, low
student performance, and crime. New staff quickly burn out as their initial
enthusiasm for helping students is blunted by the harsh realities they encounter in
the classroom. Turnover among new teachers is very high, and many of the best and
brightest are the most likely to leave for schools that aren’t as troubled.
The plan is to create an experimental after-school program that will combine the
Woodson Foundation’s skill in raising private money and coordinating community
leaders with the educational expertise of school staff. Ideally, the system will be
financially self-sufficient, which is important because less money is available for
schools than in the past. After several months of negotiation, the leaders of the
Woodson Foundation and the school system have agreed that the best course is to
develop a new agency that will draw on resources from both organizations. The
Woodson foundation will provide logistical support and program development and
measurement staff; the school system will provide classrooms and teaching staff.
The first stage in bringing this new plan to fruition is the formation of an executive
development team. This team will span multiple functional areas and establish the
operating plan for improving school performance. Its cross-organizational nature
means representatives from both the Woodson Foundation and the school district
must participate. The National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education
(NCPIE) is also going to be a major partner in the program, acting as a
representative for parents on behalf of the PTA.
Conflict and Agreement in the Development Team
While it would be perfect if all the groups could work together easily to improve
student outcomes, there is little doubt some substantive conflicts will arise. Each
group has its own interests, and in some cases these are directly opposed to one
School district representatives want to ensure the new jobs will be unionized and
will operate in a way consistent with current school board policies. They are very
concerned that if Woodson assumes too dominant a role, the school board won’t be
able to control the operations of the new system. The complexity of the school
system has led to the development of a highly complex bureaucratic structure over
time, and administrators want to make sure their policies and procedures will still
hold for teachers in these programs even outside the regular school day. They also
worry that jobs going into the new system will take funding from other school
district jobs.
Woodson, founded by entrepreneur Theodore Woodson around 1910, still bears the
hallmarks of its founder’s way of doing business. Woodson emphasized efficiency
and experimentation in everything he did. Many of the foundation’s charities have
won awards for minimizing costs while still providing excellent services. Their focus
on using hard data to measure performance for all their initiatives is not consistent
with the school district culture.
Finally, the NCPIE is driven by a mission to increase parental control. The
organization believes that when communities are able to drive their own
educational methods, students and parents are better able to achieve success
together. The organization is strongly committed to celebrating diversity along
racial, gender, ethnic, and disability status categories. Its members are most
interested in the process by which changes are made, ensuring everyone has the
ability to weigh in.
Some demographic diversity issues complicate the team’s situation. Most of the
students served by the Washington, D.C., school district are African American, along
with large populations of Caucasians and Hispanics. The NCPIE makeup generally
matches the demographic diversity of the areas served by the public schools. The
Woodson foundation, based in northern Virginia, is predominantly staffed by
Caucasian professionals. There is some concern with the idea that a new group that
does not understand the demographic concerns of the community will be so
involved in a major change in educational administration. The leadership of the new
program will have to be able to present an effective message for generating
enthusiasm for the program across diverse stakeholder groups.
Although the groups differ in important ways, it’s also worth considering what they
have in common. All are interested in meeting the needs of students. All would like
to increase student learning. The school system does benefit from anything that
increases student test scores. And the Woodson Foundation and NCPIE are united in
their desire to see more parents engaged in the system.
Candidates for the Development Team
The development team will consist of three individuals—HR representatives from
the Woodson Foundation, the schools, and the NCPIE—who have prepared the
following list of potential candidates for consideration.
Victoria Adams is the superintendent of schools for Washington, D.C. She
spearheaded the initial communication with the Woodson Foundation and has been
building support among teachers and principals. She thinks the schools and the
foundation need to have larger roles than the parents and communities. “Of course
we want their involvement and support, but as the professionals, we should have
more say when it comes to making decisions and implementing programs. We don’t
want to shut anyone out, but we have to be realistic about what the parents can do.”
Duane Hardy has been a principal in the Washington area for more than 15 years.
He also thinks the schools should have the most power. “We’re the ones who work
with these kids every day. I’ve watched class sizes get bigger, and scores and
graduation rates go down. Yes, we need to fix this, but these outside groups can’t
understand the limitations we’re dealing with. We have the community, the
politicians, the taxpayers—everyone watching what we’re doing, everyone thinking
they know what’s best. The parents, at least, have more of a stake in this.”
“The most important thing is the kids,” says second-year teacher Ari Kaufman. He is
well liked by his students but doesn’t get along well with other faculty members.
He’s seen as a “squeaky wheel.” “The schools need change so badly. And how did
they get this way? From too little outside involvement.”
Community organizer Mason Dupree doesn’t like the level of bureaucracy either. He
worries that the school’s answer to its problems is to throw more money at them. “I
know these kids. I grew up in these neighborhoods. My parents knew every single
teacher I had. The schools wanted our involvement then. Now all they want is our
money. And I wouldn’t mind giving it to them if I thought it would be used
responsibly, not spent on raises for people who haven’t shown they can get the job
Meredith Watson, with the Woodson Foundation, agrees the schools have become
less focused on the families. A former teacher, she left the field of education after
being in the classroom for 6 years. “There is so much waste in the system,” she
complains. “Jobs are unnecessarily duplicated, change processes are needlessly
convoluted. Unless you’re an insider already, you can’t get anything done. These
parents want to be involved. They know their kids best.”
Unlike her NCPIE colleagues, Candace Sharpe thinks the schools are doing the best
they can. She is a county social worker, relatively new to the D.C. area. “Parents say
they want to be involved but then don’t follow through. We need to step it up, we
need to lead the way. Lasting change doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from
the home.”
Victor Martinez has been at the Woodson Foundation for 10 years, starting as an
intern straight out of college. “It’s sometimes hard to see a situation when you’re in
the thick of it,” he explains. “Nobody likes to be told they’re doing something wrong,
but sometimes it has to be said. We all know there are flaws in the system. We can’t
keep the status quo. It just isn’t cutting it.”
Strategies for the Program Team
Once the basic membership and principles for the development team have been
established, the program team would also like to develop a handbook for those who
will be running the new program. Ideally, this set of principles can help train new
leaders to create an inspirational message that will facilitate success. The actual
content of the program and the nature of the message will be hammered out by the
development team, but it is still possible to generate some overriding principles for
the program team in advance of these decisions.
Your Assignment
The Woodson Foundation, the NCPIE, and the schools have asked you to provide
some information about how to form teams effectively. They would like your
response to explain what should be done at each step of the way, from the selection
of appropriate team members to setting group priorities and goals, setting
deadlines, and describing effective methods for resolving conflicts that arise. After
this, they’d like you to prepare a brief set of principles for leaders of the newly
established program. That means you will have two audiences: the development
team, which will receive one report on how it can effectively design the program,
and the program team, which will receive one report on how it can effectively lead
the new program.
The following points should help you form a comprehensive message for the
development team:
CC-17. The development team will be more effective if members have some idea
about how groups and teams typically operate. Review the dominant perspectives
on team formation and performance from the chapters in the book for the
committee so it can know what to expect.
CC-18. Given the profiles of candidates for the development team, provide
suggestions for who would likely be a good group member and who might be less
effective in this situation. Be sure you are using the research on groups and teams in
the textbook to defend your choices.
CC-19. Using principles from the chapters on groups and teams, describe how you
will advise the team to manage conflict effectively.
CC-20. Describe how integrative negotiation strategies might achieve joint goals
for the development team.
The following points should help you form a message for the program team:
CC-21. Leaders of the new combined organization should have a good idea of the
culture of the school district, the NCPIE, and the Woodson Foundation because they
will need to manage relationships with all three groups on an ongoing basis. How
would you describe the culture of these various stakeholder organizations? Use
concepts from the chapter on organizational culture to describe how they differ and
how they are similar.
CC-22. Consider how leaders of the new program can generate a transformational
message and encourage employee and parent trust. Using material from the chapter
on leadership, describe how you would advise leaders to accomplish these ends.
CC-23. Given the potential for demographic fault lines in negotiating these
changes, what would you advise as a strategy for managing diversity issues for
program leaders?

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