Organization design & development

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· The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated folder.

· Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.

· Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page.

· Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.

· Late submission will NOT be accepted.

· Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions. 

· All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).

· Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.


Course Learning Outcomes:

· Describe the basic steps of the organizational development process

· Evaluate the strategic role of change in the organization and its impact on organizational performance

Assignment Instructions: 

· Please read Chapters 2, 3 and 4 in your textbookOrganization development and change.” (10th ed.) by Cummings, T., & Worley, C.  

· Be sure to use at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed reference in support of your answers and also incorporate the key concepts from the course. 

· Please read the case study entitled as “Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational Change Efforts.” available in the textbook “Cases and Exercises in Organization Development & Change” 12th edition by D. Anderson and answer the following questions: 

Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational
Change Efforts


Author: Author:

Laurie K. Cure


Marilyn Schock

Online Pub Date: March 06, 2016 | Original Pub. Date: 2012

Subject: Organization Development, Management Consulting

Level: | Type: Direct case | Length: 4028

Copyright: © SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012

Organization: Valley Medical Center | Organization size: Large

Region: Global, Northern America | State: Colorado

Industry: Scientific research and development

Originally Published in:

Anderson, D. L. ( 2012). Case 1. Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational Change Efforts.

In Cases and exercises in organization development & change (pp. 13– 20). Los Angeles: SAGE

Publications, Inc. Print. ISBN: 9781412987738.

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc.

DOI: | Online ISBN: 9781506314105

© SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012

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© SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012

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Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational Change Efforts


Valley Medical Center (VMC) is a healthcare facility that is currently undergoing rapid changes
in leadership. The current CEO describes to Karen, a potential partner, the challenges VMC
faces due to these changes and expresses the need for an urgent strategic and sustainable
development plan.

Learning Objectives

• To support your understanding of Organizational Development competencies in the entry phase that
enhance collaboration and results.

• To assist you in analyzing and organizing complex data and information in the contracting process.
• To identify core interventions, conditions, and deliverables from the engagement that need to be

incorporated into the contracting process.

Case Study

Robert stopped his car and sat quietly in the physician’s parking lot located on the north side of the hospital.
It was a picturesque August morning. The sun was shining and the summer flowers on the 29-acre campus
were in full bloom. Despite the beauty of the day, he couldn’t help but take a deep breath and release a long
heavy sigh. It had been six months since he assumed the CEO position for Valley Medical Center (VMC). In
that time, he had already encountered some of the biggest challenges of his career.

VMC was a 135-bed hospital with more than 1,500 employees and 375 practicing physicians. As Robert
entered the building, he contemplated his current position and was glad to be meeting with Karen from
Results Consulting. He was hopeful that she could assist him in assessing all the critical issues he was
experiencing and develop a game plan for moving forward. The gravity of the situation was weighing on him
like a 2-ton brick.

“Good morning, Robert,” a voice sang as Robert entered his office. Robert’s assistant, Terri, dropped several
contracts on his desk as she entered. “Your 8:00 appointment is waiting for you in the boardroom.”

“Thanks,” Robert commented, smiling. Terri had a tremendous history with the organization and brought a
wealth of knowledge about the physicians, leaders, and staff. VMC operated in a small suburban community
of about 55,000 people and many of the employees and physicians had been with the hospital for more than
20 years.

Entering the boardroom, Robert saw Karen admiring the view of the Rocky Mountains. “Hello, it’s nice to
meet you.” He walked toward her with his hand extended. Karen stood and shook his hand firmly. She was
excited to be here and brought an array of expertise in organization development. She had worked with many
organizations facing challenges similar to VMC and was confident that she could assist Robert in managing
this complex situation.

“I’m so pleased to be here. Thank you for the invitation to partner with you.” They both took seats at the large
conference table, which seemed to dominate the room. Karen proceeded, “I understand from our previous
discussion that you are seeking assistance with prioritizing your many challenges and actions. Tell me a little
more about what you are facing.”

Robert paused briefly and said, “It’s difficult to know where to begin. I started here about six months ago

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after a string of short-term, unsuccessful CEOs. In total, there have been five CEOs in the past 24 months,
including myself. Prior to that, leadership was highly consistent and secure. Needless to say, these rapid
changes in leadership have created instability and gaps in the strategy and direction of the organization. To
make matters more complicated, we also have made significant leadership changes in a number of our other
executive level positions. Ineffective leadership at that level surfaced and it was essential that we bring in
stronger senior leaders to support the organization.”

“Wow, I can see where that would be challenging. How are leaders, staff, and physicians reacting to all this
change?” Karen asked.

“It’s been tough. They have expressed frustration. I think many of them are concerned and unsure about the
future. We’ve heard rumors of staff and physicians feeling afraid and possibly thinking about leaving to work
or practice at a competitor hospital. Despite this, however, there is still strong loyalty.” Robert stood up. “I
would love to take you on a tour of the facility. It would give you a great opportunity to meet different leaders
and ask that question of them. It also would be a wonderful way for you to experience the culture and gauge
our situation.”

Karen and Robert began the tour in the main lobby of the hospital. It was clearly a busy facility with patients
and families coming and going frequently. Several sitting areas throughout the space were occupied by
people waiting for tests and procedures. Along the rock wall stood a portrait of an older man, looking
distinguished and posed. “This might be a good time for me to provide you with some background of our
facility.” Robert started, “This facility is about 30 years old and was built on land donated by Mr. Thomas,
who you see there in the picture. This history had afforded us the benefit of strong community loyalty
and commitment. However, our market has become much more competitive. We have always been a sole
community provider and the market leader, but recently we have begun to lose market share and patient
volumes in critical service lines like surgery, cardiology, and oncology. Our largest competitor is a hospital in
Gainesville, just to the north of us. It’s a larger city, so they are in a position to offer more comprehensive
services. We have recently seen market share declines as a result of their increased presence in our market.
To make matters worse, they are building a new hospital just two miles from here that is scheduled to open in
nine9 months.”

“It sounds like you have strong commitment to your community and patients. How would you describe your
organizational culture?” Karen was curious if the culture of the organization would support their challenges or
if it was a pivotal barrier for them.

“From a competitive position, I would say, complacent, and our current market share declines reflect that
complacency. I’m seeking to create a culture that is strategic and sustainable over the long term. On the
people side, I would add that this facility is very family-oriented. The culture among staff and physicians
demonstrates caring, camaraderie, and compassion, which is exactly what you want for a health care facility.
On the downside, I would say we struggle with lack of focus and limited accountability. We are operating in
a much different environment, a competitive environment. Right now, people are looking out for themselves
and we need to be operating as a cohesive team.”

Karen found his choice of words interesting. He expressed a sense of urgency, yet characterized several
strengths on which the facility could build. She made note and would be certain to bring it up and explore
it further at a later time during their tour. They continued down a long, wide hallway from the main lobby to
the emergency department. Karen noticed that various smaller hallways guided patients to radiology and the
laboratory. Robert greeted patients and families kindly as they walked, “Good morning. Can I help you find
something?” His caring was evident and the patients responded warmly.

Along the walls, Karen saw a large collage of photos recognizing various employees for their contributions to
patient care. Next to the pictures was a placard on the wall that hosted the company’s mission, vision, and
values. “Share with me how you live your mission. What do those statements mean to the employees here?”
she asked.

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Robert said, “Well, VMC is owned and operated by a large nonprofit health system with hospitals throughout
the country. As part of a system, we share in the mission, vision, and values of our parent company to
ensure integration of purpose across all of the hospitals. Our mission is to provide excellent patient care.
This is supported by a vision to be the market leader in clinical quality, patient satisfaction, and operational
excellence. As you know, delivering on a mission requires focusing on what matters most.” Robert paused.
At that moment, they passed a woman wearing a white lab coat embroidered with the hospital’s blue and red
logo and the words Operating Room below.

Robert smiled to her. “Hello, Patricia. Do you have a moment?” She nodded and stopped next to Karen. “How
is your son? He was preparing to go out of state for college last we talked.” Karen continued to be impressed
by the genuineness that she saw him exhibit with people around him.

“Thanks for remembering. We drove him out there this weekend. It was exciting to see him start a new chapter
in his life,” Patricia said. “I’m meeting Sam shortly about expanding hours in the cath lab, but I am happy to
chat with you.” She smiled at Karen and shook her hand.

“This is Karen. We have engaged her services as we seek to improve performance and relationships here
at VMC.” Robert engaged the two in dialogue. “Patricia is our Director of Surgical Services. Karen was just
asking about how we live our values here at Valley. What are your thoughts in response to that question? I
thought it would be better for her to hear from one of our leaders.”

“Definitely.” Patricia spoke with confidence and friendliness. “When Robert came on board, Valley’s leadership
developed five priorities. We recognized that to be successful we had to focus on a few important things. For
us, these are strong employee engagement, high patient satisfaction, quality patient care, being physician
friendly, and achieving financial strength.”

Karen listened intently.” That sounds great, but I still wonder how your people live those values. So often,
companies have wonderful visions and strategies that live on the wall,” she pointed to the plaques, “or in a
three-ring binder on the shelves of leaders.” Karen smiled as both Robert and Patricia laughed. They had
several of those binders in their office from previous attempts to build strategy.

Patricia continued, “We have adopted six ground rules that mold the organization’s behaviors to support the
culture. They are non-negotiable and all leaders and employees within the organization adhere to them in
order to be successful within the culture. Prior to these, we felt a little lost. We were running around doing
a lot of things, but none of it felt like it mattered. We also had the mentality that if you were a great clinical
provider, that was enough. We now realize that attitude and behavior are equally, if not more, important.”

“So, what are your ground rules and how do they support this culture change you are undergoing?” Karen

“The ground rules are: no excuses, we are a team—sink or swim, we do it together, bring up your good
ideas, poor performance will be addressed, the phrase ‘that’s not my job’ is not acceptable, and support and
manage up other team members.” Patricia was excited as she explained. “The ability to identify basic rules
that everyone accepts enhanced the transformation of the culture and ability to provide quality care. It also
provides leadership with the building blocks so we can have conversations with employees and physicians
who are not practicing our values.”

Karen was beginning to put the pieces together. She looked toward Robert who began walking them slowly
toward the elevators. “Clearly, when you arrived, it seemed the facility was not in a position to achieve its
objectives with the existing structure and ways of thinking. So, the priorities and ground rules served as a
foundation for building a new focus.”

Robert nodded. “You asked about culture earlier. The ground rules create an environment of accountability,
which was lacking prior to my arrival. Concentrating on the priorities with the ground rules as behavioral

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guidelines allows everyone in the organization to focus on delivering excellent patient care by creating mutual
trust, individual motivation, and teamwork.”

Karen said, “The real work then involves developing processes and support mechanisms to hardwire desired
behaviors. That’s where I can come in.”

Patricia agreed wholeheartedly. “Our new leadership team has made tremendous strides in creating the base.
What’s difficult now is holding people accountable to these standards in a respectful, yet firm way. We have
undergone a great amount of change recently. When you speak to living our values, every employee must do
this in every interaction with our patients. Achieving this consistency is a challenge for us. We also struggle
with elements of teamwork.”

Patricia needed to be at her next meeting, so she left the two. Karen was grateful for the time with Patricia.
Robert stopped just outside the elevator doors and pushed the up arrow. “The five priorities might be a good
way for me to discuss our successes and challenges with you. Let’s start with employee engagement.” At that
moment, a small beep signaled the arrival of the elevator and the doors opened.

Robert leaned over and pushed the button for the fifth floor, the top floor of the hospital. “VMC seeks to
select the best people to deliver high-quality care. Our ground rules help to define behavioral expectations
and support employee accountability.”

Karen was inquisitive. “You’ve done a great job selling me on many of your new changes.” She laughed
nervously. “Where are you experiencing the most significant challenges when it comes to your people?”

They exited the elevator on the fifth floor and across the hall was the human resources office. “Perfect timing.”
Robert opened the large glass door and was greeted by Dawn, the chief human resources officer. After
a friendly introduction, Dawn proceeded to tell Karen about the significant employee challenges VMC was
confronting. Like other health care providers, VMC faced strategic challenges in relation to shortages of health
care workers, including nurses and physicians.

Dawn said, “We must remake our workplace to attract and retain staff. We want to be in the top 10% of the
country with employee engagement scores. We measure this using an annual survey. All our employees took
the survey just before Robert arrived. We had 95% participation, which is great, but only scored in the 50th
percentile nationwide for engagement. We were so disappointed in our results.” She proceeded to explain that
as VMC works to change its culture, they were tackling a couple of critical employee issues. Their philosophy
is to have the “right people on the bus.” This means they must recruit and retain individuals who match the
culture. With a new competitor hospital opening soon, many of their best employees are considering leaving.
They fear that with all the changes at VMC, it might not be a good place to stay.

In addition, VMC has a large percentage of employees who are no longer the right fit for the culture. Dawn
continued, “Many of our employees have behavior and attitudes that are negative and we have not addressed
them in the past. Our leaders are struggling to conduct these difficult, yet important conversations. They also
may not have the skills to establish the changes necessary to lead our new direction. We are committed to
supporting them in enhancing their leadership abilities.”

“You hit on a key point,” Karen said. “Often, our leaders are not well equipped to lead. We take people who
are great at their jobs and promote them to management without the proper training and skills development
to lead people.” Both Robert and Dawn agreed.

Dawn was passionate at this point. “I couldn’t agree more. We are working hard to understand and respond
to employee needs. We are 100% committed to retaining and hiring highly skilled staff and leaders who bring
excitement and positive attitudes. We also need to address those employees who are actively disengaged.”

The time with Dawn was helpful. Karen was beginning to get a better sense of the core issues that Robert was
dealing with at VMC. As they left Dawn’s office, they encountered additional staff moving in and out of patient

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rooms providing care. “Patient satisfaction is a second priority for us,” Robert explained. “We have to remain
connected and responsive to patients’ desires if we are going to be successful. Patients have increasing
expectations for their care and continuously striving to improve is important. Sometimes our staff gets stuck
thinking they can continue to do things the way they always have.” Robert paused. “When I first arrived, our
patient satisfaction scores were in the 30th percentile. I have a goal that we will be in 90th. I want to be among
the best. Our patients deserve that and I need staff and leaders who can get us there.” Karen saw a hint of
desperation in his eyes.

They proceeded to the staircase and headed down to the fourth floor, where they encountered a petite
woman. “Good morning, Dr. Jacobs. It’s good to see you.” said Robert.

“Hi, Robert. What are you up to this morning? Moving and shaking as always?” Dr. Jacobs had a boisterous
laugh. She grinned at Karen and introduced herself as one of VMC’s hospitalists. She couldn’t stay long
because she had patients to attend to, but she shared with Karen the importance of strong physician
relationships to the hospital’s success. “As physicians, we work in partnership with the hospital. They need us
and we need them.”

She left and Robert explained, “Our hospitalists provide care to all our patients while they are in the hospital.
Our third priority is to be physician friendly. This requires us to think like a doctor and help make our facility
easy for them to practice in. Sometimes, we have to change how we work in order to do this.”

“We talked earlier about all the changes you have going on,” Karen said. “I think change management and
culture might be areas we can focus on. Dawn mentioned shortages of health care workers and physicians.
Do you have enough physicians practicing in your community?” Karen was linking the critical pieces of the
puzzle together.

“Good catch,” Robert said. “We’re actually actively recruiting for many specialties, including orthopedic
surgery and OB/GYN. We’re also finding that many new doctors want to be employed by the hospital instead
of owning their own practice. From an organization development perspective, this changes the rules of the
game a bit.”

Karen inquired further and Robert proceeded. “Previously, we worked in partnership with our physicians.
Sometimes, we think we have more control with people who are employed, but instead I want us to consider
how to maintain loyalty by involving physicians in decision making. This is something we don’t do very well.
We often make changes and implement new process without asking our key stakeholders: physicians and

Karen was collecting some great information and already formulating some thoughts and recommendations
for Robert. It seemed he needed ways to hardwire cultural change that supported the facility’s success
factors. She was anxious to hear about the last two priorities.

“You’ve shared with me the first three priorities. Expand on the final two if you would?”

Robert headed toward the new tower, which was recently constructed. As they walked, he introduced Karen
to the fourth priority; high-quality patient care. “As a health care provider, we have an obligation to provide
quality care. People expect that from us. If you come to the hospital for surgery or any kind of treatment, you
expect to get quality care that fixes your problem. Our quality is actually very good. We have great patient
outcomes that are supported by data that we submit to federal programs. We are also surveyed regularly by
several agencies and score well.”

“That sounds positive, but somehow, I suspect there is more to the story,” Karen joked lightly.

“You’re catching on. Again, our challenges with this priority lie in our people. Everyone does really well
within their workgroups. The only problem is our patients don’t just experience one part of the hospital. They
touch many departments and see many different people throughout the course of their visit. If our various

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departments are not working together, we risk looking disjointed. If we are to increase our quality and patient
satisfaction, our different departments need to come together and work more cohesively with one another.”

“Many of your concerns and challenges are people focused,” Karen noted. “This is often a concern for senior
leaders. The ‘softer’ side of the business can be more challenging, because it is not a black-and-white
solution. Tell me what you’ve done so far.”

“You’re correct there. I consider myself to be an inspirational leader. I have painted the vision and begun
seeking many of the hard solutions, like restructuring and bringing on new senior leadership. We are changing
our physician strategies and enhancing our market strategies, but sometimes, I’m at a loss with how to move
the people side forward.”

Karen could feel her heart light up. This was so common and she brought such talent in this arena. “I think I
can help,” she stated confidently. “First, let’s finish with your final priority.

Robert knew just how to wrap up. “Our final priority is ensuring we remain financially stable. I believe strongly
that if we do everything else well, finances will follow. However, I must admit, I get nervous when I see our
patient volumes and market share declining. We have always had strong financial performance, and still do,
but our recent challenges in the market have me a little on edge. Our payor mix is changing. More patients
are entering our facility without insurance or the means to pay. As a not-for-profit hospital, we believe we have
a community obligation to serve, but we must balance that with financial sustainability.”

They entered a beautiful new part of the building. “This must be the new tower you referred to earlier,” Karen

“Indeed. This was completed about two years ago. Our community is growing rapidly and we were running
out of space. We built this addition to accommodate a new OB floor for births, an intensive care unit, as well
as support services space. We also have expanded radiology and the laboratory.”

“This all seems exciting.” Karen was wondering about the expansion in light of their market position. “How
does this all play out with your current environmental challenges?”

Robert cleared his throat. “That continues to be the issue. We must sustain and grow patient volumes.
We’re in a turnaround situation. Our financial operating margins are at risk as we start to absorb interest
and depreciation expenses for the new building. With these financial pressures, we must be the best. We
need to enhance team-based decision making, maintain consistent and focused leadership, and prioritize
opportunities. We can’t be all things to all people. I have so many things that need my attention; some days, I
don’t even know where to begin.”

“The tour was wonderful.” Karen had a million items floating through her mind. “I have some immediate
thoughts that I would like to share with you and then I will create a proposal that outlines my additional
recommendations. Can we return to the boardroom and conclude our discussion?”

“I welcome your input,” Robert said with relief and comfort.

Discussion Questions

• 1.
How would you initiate your engagement with VMC? What are the steps you would take as you begin
the entry and contracting phase?

• 2.
In considering the case above, where does VMC have strengths? Where do they have challenges?
What are the critical success factors for the hospital?

• 3.

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As an OD practitioner, what recommendations would you make to support Robert in achieving his
goals? How would you ensure these are included in the contracting process?

• 4.
VMC is experiencing a great deal of change. What recommendation would you make to help them
more effectively handle the change they are experiencing?

Further Resources
Lusthaus, C. , Adrein, M.-H. , Anderson, G. , Carden, F. , & Montalvan, G. P. (2002). Organizational
assessment: A framework for improving performance. Ottawa, Canada: International Research Center.
Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York:
Senge, P. M. , Kleiner, A. , Roberts, C. , Ross, R. , Roth, G. , & Smith, B. (1999). The dance of change: The
challenges to sustaining momentum in learning organizations. New York: Doubleday.

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  • Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational Change Efforts
    • Case
      • Abstract

Department of Business Administration

Organization Design and Development- MGT 404

Course Learning Outcomes:

· Describe the basic steps of the organizational development process

· Evaluate the strategic role of change in the organization and its impact on organizational performance

Assignment Instructions:

· Please read Chapters 2, 3 and 4 in your textbookOrganization development and change.” (10th ed.) by Cummings, T., & Worley, C.

· Be sure to use at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed reference in support of your answers and also incorporate the key concepts from the course.

· Please read the case study entitled as “Contracting for Success: Scoping Large Organizational Change Efforts.” available in the textbook “Cases and Exercises in Organization Development & Change” 12th edition by D. Anderson and answer the following questions:

Assignment Question(s):


Name and discuss the critical success factors for Valley Medical Center.

2. As an OD practitioner, what are the steps you would take as you begin the entry and contracting phase?.

3. Valley Medical Center is experiencing a great deal of change. What recommendations would you make to help them more effectively handle the change they are experiencing?





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