Business Finance
COM425 Ashford University Stability and Innovation Discussion


ashford university

Question Description

These are two separate discussion posts not one paper. Both discussion posts need to be completed. Any references used should be in APA format and cited in the body of the posts as well as a reference section.

Stability and Innovation

Describe the concepts of organizational stability and organizational innovation. Provide a real-life example of how an organization has maintained stability and promoted innovation. You can use an example from your personal experiences in the workplace or an example that is discussed in Chapter Nine of your textbook.

Post should be at least 250 words in length. Support claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.


Kreps, G. L. (2011). Communication in organizations [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Ethical Organizational Communication

Explain each of the three principles of ethical organizational communication, as outlined in Chapter Ten of your textbook. Then, describe how these principles are important during external organizational communication, such as lobbying, marketing or advertising.

Post should be at least 250 words in length. Support claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Chapter 9 Communication and Organizational Development Learning Objectives What We Will Be Investigating: • Examine the demands to continually refine organizing processes to promote organizational effectiveness and survival. • Examine the use of communication strategies for identifying current and emerging performance gaps in the organizing process. • Explain how the diagnosis of performance gaps suggests directions for organizational renewal. • Examine applications of Weick’s model of organizing to highlight the central role of communication in responding to organizational problems and guiding organizational adaptation. • Explain how organizational intelligence is developed and stored in organizational life, as well as how organizational intelligence is used to guide organizational activities. • Identify effective strategies for developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for promoting organizational development. • Identify strategies for promoting the balance between innovation and stability in organizational life. • Explain how slack resources can be used to energize organizational development activities. • Describe criteria for assessing organizational effectiveness, including differentiating between output and process measures of effectiveness. • Examine strategies for implementing communication policies, processes, and systems for promoting ongoing organizational assessment, evaluation, intervention, and organizational development. Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 197 11/3/11 2:45 PM CHAPTER 9 Introduction Chapter Outline 9.1 B  alancing Innovation and Stability in Organizational Life Two monologues do not make a dialogue. —Jeff Daly 9.2 W  eick’s Model of Organizing and Organizational Adaptation Rules and Communication Cycles Requisite Variety Communication Phases Feedback Loops Gathering Organizational Intelligence 9.3 C  ommunication and the Process of Organizational Development The Nature of Organizational Development Organizational Reflexivity Performance Gaps and Slack Resources Being Proactive 9.4 O  rganizational Development and Organizational Effectiveness Output Measures of Effectiveness Process Measures of Effectiveness Combining Productivity and Process Introduction The process of organizing, which is fraught with challenges and difficulties, is an ongoing struggle for many organizations. It takes a great deal of effort and effective communication to build the networks of cooperative relationships and coordinated activities needed to accomplish complex organizational goals. Yet the goals facing organizational participants do not stand still. There are always new constraints, problems, and demands that arise in organizational life that can break down an organization. As we have discussed earlier in the book, in systems theory language, this threat of organizational erosion is known as entropy, the natural degradation of systems that leads to disorganization (Berrien, 1976). There is an innate tendency for all systems, but particularly for human systems (such as the organizations we all participate in), to deteriorate and disorganize over time. In physical systems, the entropic threats that break down buildings and machinery can be traced to environmental and chemical processes such as the negative effects of gravity and oxidation. In social systems, entropy is often caused by human processes. Human beings are imperfect, fallible, and are less reliable than the automated machines we have built to help us handle complex tasks. People get tired, angry, and distracted. They forget what they need to do. They don’t show up for work. In sum, they make mistakes, and the process of organizing suffers. No matter what the reasons for organizational decline, we can expect social systems to break down over time, and concerted efforts need to be made to revitalize these systems. Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 198 11/3/11 2:45 PM Section 9.1 Balancing Innovation and Stability in Organizational Life CHAPTER 9 Many things can be done to resist the natural trend toward entropy, to help keep organizational members on task, to adapt organizational processes to meet new demands, to identify emerging threats to organization, and to implement plans to overcome these threats. The process of organizational renewal that helps organizations resist entropy and promote ongoing organization is known as organizational development (Schein, 1969). Organizational development is a critical process in modern organizational life, and it depends largely on strategic organizational communication. This chapter examines the importance of using organizational communication processes to evaluate organizational performance and direct organizational renewal. We describe the use of strategic feedback mechanisms to identify deficits and emerging problems in organizing processes and will examine a model of organizing that illustrates the central role of communication in guiding organizational adaptation. We also examine the process of conducting ongoing organizational development activities as a strategy for adapting to emerging organizational constraints and enhancing organizational processes and policies. We analyze communication intervention strategies, including introduction of new training programs, internal public relations efforts, job redesign, reinvention, restructuring, and consolidation as unique opportunities for improving organizational performance. Finally, the chapter closes with a case study that illustrates communication processes for identifying organizational challenges, designing interventions, and implementing changes to promote organizational effectiveness. 9.1 Balancing Innovation and Stability in Organizational Life T wo contradictory and competing primary goals exist in organizational life: 1. The promotion of organizational stability, and 2. The promotion of organizational innovation There tends to be greater focus on promoting stability within organizations than on promoting innovation. Traditional hierarchical organizational systems have been designed to establish operational order and stability, following the tenets of the bureaucratic model of organization described in Chapter 7 (Weber, 1947). Indeed, a great deal of planning and hard work goes into promoting order, predictability, and stability in organizational operations, especially because stability is difficult to achieve. Rules and regulations are carefully developed to promote coordination, precision, and order in organizational activities. Although there are clearly demonstrated needs for stability in organizing processes to promote order, there are also compelling needs for innovation in organizational life to meet changing opportunities, constraints, and demands. Many often uncontrollable and unpredictable changes occur in organizational life that demand the development of adaptive social systems. The systems principle of equifinality suggests that social systems need to be adaptive, finding different ways to achieve system goals depending on the unique and changing constraints confronting the systems (Berrien, 1976). Organizations therefore have to balance their needs for both stability and innovation. Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 199 11/3/11 2:45 PM Section 9.1 Balancing Innovation and Stability in Organizational Life CHAPTER 9 The old saying there are “many roads to Rome” suggests that there are various ways to accomplish goals. This is absolutely the case in organizational life, where changing constraints often demand unique organizing strategies. For example, with growing public concern over the health issues related to the use of gluten (wheat) in many foods, companies that make baked goods began to design ways to prepare cookies, crackers, and cakes from rice flour, rather than from wheat, to meet new consumer demand. They were still producing baked goods, just using new ingredients and processes to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in many formal organizations to place too much focus on promoting order and stability, often at the expense of organizational responsiveness and adaptation. Various changing constraints demand organizational adaptation and innovation. For example, personnel changes often occur in organizations as workers change or lose jobs, get injured, quit, retire, or die. These changes may necessitate corresponding changes in organizational activities to achieve desired goals. For example, when the star quarterback on a football team gets injured and the backup quarterback is sent into the game, it is likely to change the entire offensive strategy for the team. The backup quarterback may not have the same offensive skills, strengths, and knowledge as the starting quarterback. A good football coach will implement new offensive plays for the replacement quarterback that reflect that player’s specific skill set. Sometimes organizational goals shift, demanding the performance of new organizational activities to meet the updated goals. For example, leaders may alter the kinds of products that organizations create and market in response to changes in society, technology, and consumer demand. With the increase in the price of gas over the past few years, consumer demand for fuel-efficient automobiles, such as hybrids and compact cars, has grown, whereas demand for large fuel-thirsty SUVs has gone down. To meet these changing How do hybrid cars relate to the systems prindemands and to maintain profitability, ciple of equifinality? automobile manufacturers had to shift their operations to increase production of fuel-efficient automobiles, leading to changes in automotive design, the use of raw materials, and factory operations. The failure to innovate in the face of societal change could be disastrous for the car companies. New regulations that arise from within and outside of organizations, such as governmental regulations, also influence organizational operations. For example, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that a certain class of prescription medications is unsafe and blocks the sale of these drugs, the pharmaceutical companies that produce these medications must make significant changes in their operations to meet the new regulations. Not only must they stop producing and selling the medications, they must shift their operations to other products and services to maintain profitability. As is clear from this discussion, there are many threats to the organizing process, especially as organizational participants confront new challenges and work to accomplish Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 200 11/3/11 2:45 PM Section 9.1 Balancing Innovation and Stability in Organizational Life CHAPTER 9 new organizational goals. A wide range of emergent internal and external organizational constraints impinge on organizations and demand adaptation and innovation from them. These emerging constraints may include changing personnel, regulations, technologies, products, services, customer demands, competition, economic conditions, and more. These constraints necessitate the development of adaptive organizing strategies to meet the demands of new situations. Yet it is not easy to predict what changes in organizational life are needed. It is also not easy to implement change in organizations, especially since, as we have discussed, there is such a strong focus in many organizations on promoting stability. In the next section, we’ll look at one model of organizing and organizational adaption. Organizations in Action Innovation and the U.S. Auto Industry Innovation is critical to organizational effectiveness. But as explained in this chapter, organizations also have a need for stability, which often compromises the ability to innovate. British organizational theorist Charles Handy has argued that when organizations get large and bureaucratic, they lose their drive to innovate. As he puts it, “Bureaucracies polish but they do not invent.” (1995) And Handy says that when faced with a changing environment, bureaucracies often first respond by doing more of what they already do, just with a little more energy and enthusiasm. The experience of the U.S. auto industry could be regarded as a case of dealing with the tension between stability and innovation in a dysfunctional manner. Despite a turbulent environment—an increase in gas prices and changes in the size and transportation preferences of American families— Detroit continued to manufacture lots of gas-guzzling sedans in the 1970s and 1980s. Not only that, but the cars being built in Japan were perceived to be of better quality. As a result, U.S. market share declined in the last decades of the 20th century, and it’s only recently that American cars have once again passed a 50 percent market share. But still, as of 2010, six of the ten best-selling vehicles in the United States were Japanese. How would Karl Weick, who we discussed in this chapter, analyze the situation? Within the U.S. auto industry, there was a degree of entropy—things were breaking down. There was also equivocality— Detroit was unsure how to make sense of and respond effectively to these new situational demands. In the process of enactment, selection, and retention, U.S. automakers tended to rely on “old tapes.” They had a product—bigger cars—and they were bound and determined to sell them. (And they hoped to continue selling them because there’s a greater profit margin on bigger vehicles.) In Weick’s framework, for an organization to succeed, it must pay attention to what’s going on in the environment and be willing to enact new roles and procedures in response to any changes. Unfortunately for American firms, this lesson regarding change was learned pretty late in the game. Even with recent improvements in market share and quality, the jury is still out as to whether America’s “big three” automakers have become learning organizations in the manner that Weick would advocate. President Obama’s automobile task force contends that while General Motors has done well to restructure its business in recent years, such progress had been “far too slow.” According to The Economist, the task force identified several areas where it found GM to be overly optimistic or “in denial,” including unrealistic estimates of domestic market share, continuing doubts about GM quality, and “a weakening product mix as consumer tastes and tighter fuel-economy regulations eat into sales of high-margin trucks and sport-utility vehicles.” (America’s car industry: time for a new driver) Will U.S. automakers be able to turn the tide? Much will depend on their ability to come to terms with equivocality and find ways to promote innovation over stability. (continued) Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 201 11/3/11 2:45 PM Section 9.2 Weick’s Model of Organizing and Organizational Adaptation CHAPTER 9 Organizations in Action (continued) Critical Thinking Questions 1. If large organizations are indeed prone to value stability, what can enable them to promote innovation? 2. In your view, has the U.S. auto industry enacted new roles and procedures that will ensure that they succeed? 3. In what situations, if any, should stability take precedence over innovation within organizations? Sources Handy, C. (1995). Gods of Management: The Changing Work of Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press. America’s car industry: time for a new driver. (2009, April 2). The Economist. Retrieved from Korzeniewski, J. (2011, January 4). America’s best-selling cars and trucks of 2010 are. . . . In Autoblog. Retrieved from -2010-are/ 9.2 Weick’s Model of Organizing and Organizational Adaptation C ommunication performs a central role in identifying rules needed to promote stability in organizational life. Communication is also essential for spurring innovation when organizations need to adapt. As we discussed in Chapter 4, American organizational theorist Karl Weick (1979) introduced an innovative model of organizing that provides a particularly insightful description of the ways that communication can be used to balance innovation and stability in organizational life. Weick’s model of organizing is grounded in information theory, which describes how the communication of relevant information helps to reduce uncertainty and increase understanding. Weick describes the organizing process in terms of the communication of relevant information to promote a balance between organizational stability and innovation. Weick’s model explains that social organization is developed through the use of interconnected communication processes that help organizational participants make sense of the complex situations they confront. These interconnected communication processes promote problem solving, adaptation, and growth in organizational life. Weick’s model explains that social organizing occurs in response to uncertainty. When organizational participants confront complex and uncertain situations that are difficult for them to make sense of and handle by themselves, they must interact with others to collaboratively address these issues, demonstrating social organization. Weick refers to the uncertain situations that organizational actors confront as equivocal information inputs. Equivocality (uncertainty, ambiguity, and unpredictability) is inherent in the many complex situations, problems, and issues that organizational actors must confront. For example, when new goals, products, processes, or regulations are introduced, these new demands can lead to uncertainty for organizational participants who are unsure of how to make sense of and respond effectively to these new situational demands. Kre66464_09_ch09_p197-220.indd 202 11/3/11 2:45 PM Section 9.2 Weick’s Model of Organizing and Organizational Adaptation CHAPTER 9 Many complex and uncertain situations, problems, and issues confront organizational participants in modern organizational life. Technology upgrades, changes in personnel, new customers, and emerging societal constraints are just a few of the situations (often seen as problems) that can challenge organizational participants. Weick’s model of organizing suggests that the more equivocal these problems are for organizational actors, the more those actors need help from others to cope with these complex problems. In fact, it is Weick’s contention that organizations have developed expressly as communication systems for helping organization members respond effectively to complex situations. Strategic organizational communication helps these individuals reduce equivocality, and by doing so, it helps to increase certainty and direction in organizational life. According to Weick’s model of organizing, challenging organizational situations are best resolved through the participation in communication and information processing activities by organizational participants to help reduce uncertainty. These communication-based sense-making activities not only help organization members increase their understanding of new demands, they also help these participants gather How have the complexities of increased new and relevant information for guid- unemployment demanded new job-seeking ing the creation of appropriate rule-based strategies? organizational responses to effectively handle these situations. The model suggests that in the process of organizing, organizational actors are confronted by many complex, difficult, unpredictable, and equivocal situations. Each of these difficult situations presents unique information-processing problems for organizational participants. To be effective, organizing efforts depend on the abilities of organizational members to engage in active cycles of communication to ...
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Organization stability and innovation
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Organization Stability and Innovation
The conception of organization stability and innovation are more contradicting in the
workplace. Both terms are essential in the workplace as they compete for various goals existing
in the business. Although, business emphasis more on enhancing business stability rather than
innovation there is a need to balance innovation and stability (Kreps, 2011).
Organization stability inspires an intelligence of predictability in the workplace. As
illustrated, in the text, the business participants often react to simple and straightforward business
demand with existent policy and rules. For instance, use of the operational guidelines, rate
schedules, instruction manuals as well as printed instructions. Therefore, a...

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