Case Study on Organizational Change at Millstone Nuclear Power Station

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 3159

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Essay Overview

Organizational culture is an important aspect that determines ha matters to do with change are handled. Most organizations in the world initiate change with a view of improving performance or avoiding a crisis that can lead to failure (Jabri, 2017). For instance, the coronavirus pandemic is a crisis that has impacted many businesses across the world in a significant manner. When such a crisis arises, firms must come up with strategies that can help them cope with adjustments for sustainable business activities (Kotter, 1995). The essay explores in a critical manner the implementation of a specific case of organizational change for Millstone Nuclear Power Plant based in Connecticut (Dawson and Andriopoulos, 2014). Examining relevant literature on the discussion topic can help gain a deeper insight into matters on organizational change and how it can be implemented. Exploring three themes from the case study given can help gain a deeper understanding on the same.

1.2 Case Study Overview

The case presented involves organizational change at Millstone Nuclear Power plant based in Connecticut. The company has faced several challenges in the market that led to a decline in its stock prices within the capital market (Caldwell, 2003). It is important for the essay to explore the company’s approaches to change and establish how crucial they proved making things turn around within the market. Notably, the case study of Millstone presents several themes that should be analyzed for a deeper understanding on matters to do with organizational change (Lunenburg, 2010). The fact that the company changed leaders on several occasions is an indication of the need to adjust when a crisis arises. Three major themes that will be discussed in the body of the essay include the role of leaders in initiating change, the complexity of initiating change and how to manage a crisis within a firm to avoid collapsing (Jabri, 2017). Existing literature on organizational change can help gain a deeper understanding on the essence of change and challenges involved in managing a crisis.

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2.0 Theme 1: The Role of Leaders in Promoting Change

2.1 Case Analysis

The Millstone case provided is illustrative of the role that leaders play in initiating and perpetuating change in an organization. For instance, Millstone hired Kenyon as a CEO with a view of promoting change and helping the company cope through the crisis that had seen its stock prices reduces to lower than $8 in the market (Jabri, 2017). The case provided highlights that the company was insensitive and intimidating to employee concerns and other matters that affected its operations directly. Millstone was accused of laying focus on undercutting costs of operation rather than the relationship with stakeholders in society. The company had to hire new leaders who would ensure that objectives are achieved as desired (Sverdlik, Oreg and Berson, 2020). Maintaining the right relationship at work with employees and other stakeholders is a strategic approach that can help promote change. Leaders in a company must adopt strategic approaches that can see every member included in decision making for better outcomes. The role of leaders in initiating change and promoting good practices should not be overlooked. The company hired Kenyon in 1996 as a leader who would push firm agenda to the next level (Dawson and Andriopoulos, 2014). Some of the achievements made by the leader include making change visible to all, giving employees a voice, tackling employee relations, engaging line managers and learning by doing. In essence, the case study illustrates how leaders should be a pillar towards change.

2.2 Critical Evaluation

It is important for the essay to conduct a critical evaluation on the case study provided and establish whether approaches used to handle the crisis were viable. Organizational change requires that firms plan the activities well in a manner that understanding (Caldwell, 2003). The case study provided illustrates a situation where Millstone was losing it in the market to the extent of forcing the organization to adopt change. Kenyon was hired in 1996 to initiate good practices as a leader that would push the company to another level in the industry. The new CEO came up strategies that proved important in helping Millstone make an impact in the capital market (Lunenburg, 2010). For instance, the new CEO adopted a system that would make change visible to all and give each employee a chance to air their views. It is important to note that inclusivity is an important aspect that could promote decision making within an industry or firm. Failure to include stakeholders in matters decision making might prove detrimental towards promoting change and reducing resistance. Employee voice should be heard and insensitive leaders as illustrated in the case are not appropriate in initiating and promoting issues of change. Millstone clearly lacked a leader who would make it gain a competitive edge within the industry (Vough, Bindl and Parker, 2017). The role of leaders in promoting organizational change should not be overlooked as illustrated in the case of Millstone. Kenyon proved to be a leader who restored the company’s position amid the crisis that had struck.

2.3 Personal Learning and Future Benefits

It is important to explore how important the case study has been in promoting of understanding on the role of leaders within an organization. I have learnt that leaders play a crucial role in initiating change and poor leadership strategies can be detrimental to success within an industry (Jabri, 2017). The hiring of a new CEO at Millstone proved strategic towards supporting change in the organization that saw it regain its position. Equally, I noted with concern that employees in a firm should be handled in the right manner in a way that promotes their wellbeing. Being strict and intolerable could prove detrimental to efforts of supporting change (Linstead, 2015). In essence, employees and other stakeholders can support change when dialogue is involved. The Millstone case illustrates the need for disciplining past actions for employees as a way of avoiding the same in future.

The case study should act as a learning and reference point for future practices in initiating change within an organization (Kotter, 1995). The fact that actions taken by the management helped make an impact in the market is indicative that future leaders can use the approaches in promoting change within an organization. The case study adds to practice on the need to employ the right leadership strategies in handling a crisis within an organization. Equally, the case has demonstrated the need to ensure leadership is well trained and developed in a bid to deliver professionally (Jabri, 2017). Less skilled and experienced leadership in a firm can lead to failure. It is vital to echo the role of inclusivity in decision making as a way of promoting acceptance and reducing resistance to change within an organization. The case has helped create a large pool of information on organizational change and the role that leaders play in the process.

3.0 Theme 2: Complexity of Initiating Change

3.1 Case Study Analysis

The case study illustrates that Millstone took some actions that would see it make an impact in the market and gain a competitive advantage. The first action that was taken by the new CEO was to fire contractors who had raised safety concerns (Vough, Bindl and Parker, 2017). It is important to highlight that initiating change in an organization is not an easy matter as it can face resistance. Some contractors allied to the company had failed in ensuring the required safety standards for employees. The new management decided to fire all contractors that had raised safety concerns. Making such a decision within business might be unethical as it jeopardizes relationships at workplaces (Dooley and Van de Ven, 1999). Equally, the case study highlights that Millstone had to discipline past actions in a way that promotes accountability in future actions. Change is a complex aspect to achieve in an organization and there is a need to involve each party in exploring issues that impact the same. There are different perspectives that could help in initiating and managing change within an organization. For instance, the relational approach, planned and political procedures can help promote changes within the organization. The case study of Millstone illustrates how change can be initiated through different perspectives (Simpson, 2007). Each stakeholder and employee within an organization must be ready psychologically in a bid to reduce emotional resistance that might arise. Millstone had to pass through a lot of hurdles to solve and initiate change within its structures, which later proved instrumental in making an impact within the capital market.

3.2 Critical Evaluation

It is important to examine the second theme as presented in the case study regarding managing and handling of change within an organization. As already noted, initiating and leading change is a complex matter within any industry amid a crisis (Linstead, 2015). The company faced ineptitude leadership even in training and developmental programs that are meant to improve the skill level for employees. The uncertain nature of the world of business has made it necessary for companies to adopt strategic approaches that can help them handle a crisis when it arises. For instance, power and choice within an organization can prove crucial in promoting change that is necessary for a competitive advantage. Millstone took the right steps towards handling of matters to do with change. Failure to manage change in the right way would prove challenging to achieving of set objectives (Simpson, 2007). Organizations that have failed to adopt the right approaches to organizational change face difficulties in harmonizing all activities for an improved impact within the market. The case study illustrates that when initiating and managing change, there is a need for one to consider the idea of complexity as a matter that can lead to resistance. Employees within a firm might not readily accept new changes due to cultural alterations that are associated (Dawson and Andriopoulos, 2014). However, using dialogue and negotiation can help change the scope of operation and perceptions that are held by employees. The new management of the firm proved strategic in handling the complexity associated with initiating change at the organization.

3.3 Personal and Future Benefits

The second theme presented in the case is a learning point that should inform practice of the nature and complexity of the world of business. Initiating the process of change in an organization is not an easy task as resistance might take a center stage (Sverdlik, Oreg and Berson, 2020). The case study helped me understand that change requires strategic approaches to make an effect as desired. The company had faced challenges to the extent of initiating changes such as hiring o a new CEO in 1996. Some of the complex decisions that the new CEO had to handle include firing of contractors who had raised safety concerns (Flory, Sauquet and Simpson, 2012). Making such decisions can be detrimental to sustainable relationships at workplaces in a significant manner. In essence, the case taught me on the need to handle change in a manner that takes into account uncertainty and complex nature of the world of business.

The case is a reference point for future practices on how to handle complexity and uncertainties in the world of business. For instance, networks and teams within an organization can help develop strategies that can promote performance in a significant manner (Linstead, 2015). Poor handling of people in such teams can prove consequential to efforts of promoting change within a firm. Managing and initiating changes must take perspectives that are appropriate in a bid to appeal to stakeholders to adopt and welcome the new changes. In essence, the case study has been informative and illustrative of best practices that can help promote and manage change in an organization (Kotter, 1995). Managing a company through a crisis must take into account the complex nature of the business world in a bid to devise strategic approaches that can handle the same.

4.0 Theme 3: Managing a Crisis

4.1 Case Analysis

A crisis emerged at Millstone when reports alleged that the firm was harassing and intimidating its employees. The development of the story led to challenging times at the company as its profitability reduced in a significant manner (Zhang, Law and Wang, 2020). The company was criticized for its insensitivity to issues that affect performance and wellbeing of employees. The main focus of the company was on undercutting costs in a bid to increase profitability. The crisis led to a downfall in its stock prices within the capital market in a significant manner. The company needed a new manager that would push it to another level within the industry (Dooley and Van de Ven, 1999). There was an urgent need to develop a strategy that would see it change its operations for effectiveness and increased profitability. The first step that the organization took is to hire a new CEO who would help in handling various situations and planning activities for the firm. Kenyon brought new strategies that saw the company change and regain its position in the stock market (Flory, Sauquet and Simpson, 2012). The first step that the CEO took is to make change visible to each individual at the firm. Making change visible helps prepare individuals psychologically on the need to adopt changes within an organization. The most important aspect from the case is that it illustrates that leaders in a company should be at the forefront of advocating for change in a bid to handle a crisis as required. Achieving set objectives within an organization requires adopting of strategic changes including change of leadership (Sverdlik, Oreg and Berson, 2020). Equally, firing of contractors that raised safety concerns is a way of handling a crisis within the company. The right approaches to managing a crisis guarantee recovery from the same crisis in any particular industry.

4.2 Critical Evaluation

It is vital that the essay explores critically how the strategies applied be the new management helped manage the crisis that had led to poor performance in the market. Organizational structure is an essential aspect that can determine how change is welcomed in an industry (Flory, Sauquet and Simpson, 2012). For instance, administering accountability in the firm would prove essential in promoting and initiating change. Change can be costly to administer as new equipment and expertise might be required. Companies such a Millstone are capital intensive and initiating change might attract higher financial implications in the industry (Stacy, 2000). Equally, the new management took a bold move to embrace inclusivity in decision making within the organization. Failure to include employees in determination of strategies that impact change within an organization might be detrimental to successful transformation. In January 1996, the company was placed on a watch list that would see NRC scrutinize its activities within the market (Zhang, Law and Wang, 2020). The essence was to maintain a good reputation in the market and ensure that employee matters have been handled in the right manner. Safety concerns within a company should not be compromised a it affects the performance of an individual within a workplace.

4.3 Personal Learning and Future Benefits

The third theme on managing a crisis within an organization is essential as the world of business has become complex and uncertain (Stacy, 2000). The case study is a learning point that has helped me increase my scope of understanding on change in an organization and strategies that can help manage a crisis. Millstone case is illustrative of the need to adopt the right approaches to handling of employee relations as a matter that affects organizational culture. Failure to handle change within an organization can lead to worsening of a situation that could have been solved. Employees within a firm play a crucial role in pushing its agenda to the next level and mismanaging them could derail any chances of growth (Zhang, Law and Wang, 2020). In essence, the case study provided an opportunity for me to understand organizational change better and approaches that promote change in an organization. A crisis cannot be handled without strategically planning for change within an industry.

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The case study has helped increase the scope of knowledge on how managers and firms can address change amid a crisis (Stacy, 2000). Situations that are unanticipated within an industry form a crisis that should be handled in the right manner or cause failure in the market. The case study informs practices on the need to embrace strategic approaches to change. For instance, one must lay focus on a particular matter that impact change for in improved effect in the consumer market (Lunenburg, 2010). I have learnt that in future I need to apply the right leadership skills and achieve set objectives in the industry. The case study is informative and detailed in a manner that adds to existing pool of knowledge on organizational change.

5.0 Conclusion

To sum it up, the case study provided has helped increase the scope of understanding on the need to apply the right strategies to change within an organization. Millstone is a company that faced a crisis in 1996 that saw it changes in its leadership in a bid to promote change. There are three important themes that emerge in the case study including the role of leaders in initiating change, the complexity in managing change and handling of a crisis within an organization. The information gained from the study can be utilized in reducing the gap of information on the discussion topic.


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