Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Case 2 - Ben & Jerry's (a)

Section 1: Introduction Process Consultation (PC) is the creation of a relationship that allows the client to perceive, understand, and act on the process events that occur within an organization in order to improve the situation as defined by the client (Cummings & Worley, pg. 253). In the case involving Ben and Jerry’s a consultant was brought in to work with the founders, board of directors, managers, and employees in order to undertake organizational development and also to bring the people, functions, aspirations, and directions together (Cummings & Worley, pg. 306). Schein proposes ten principles to guide process consultant’s actions: • Always try to be helpful • Always stay in touch with the current reality • Access your ignorance • Everything you do is an intervention • The client owns the problem and the solution • Go with the flow • Timing is crucial • Be constructively opportunistic with confrontive interventions • Everything is information; errors will always occur and are the prime source for learning • When in doubt, share the problem (Cummings & Worley, pg. 254). As the consultant in this case dove into the workings of Ben & Jerry’s these principles were apparent throughout the case. After spending time with the board, and interviewing key managers and staff at Ben & Jerry’s, the consultant concluded that the company had much strength and also some concerns. It was decided that while the leadership was seen as the company’s greatest strength, they were also seen and its greatest weakness. As a result the consultant decided to start the organizational development at the top and to focus on team building. Teambuilding refers to a broad range of planned activities that are aimed at helping groups improve the way they accomplish tasks, enhance their interpersonal and problem solving skills, and increase team performance (Cummings & Worley, pg. 263).

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