February 4, 2013
Change and Culture Case Study 1
The cost of health care in the United States remains an important concern for American consumers. The challenges for controlling costs and providing a better health care system are various and complex. These challenges, in many cases, are in the realm of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or other federal or state agencies (Department of Justice, 2012). Hospitals continue to team up with other facilities, insurers and for-profit companies, although the cause of the bump in M&A activity varies. While some hospitals cite financial problems, others join forces because of collaboration mandated under the Affordable Care Act and changing reimbursement models, according to Minnesota Public Radio (Caramenico, 2012). Many dynamics in a healthcare organization can dramatically change when a merger occurs; these changes occur on the floor and among staff. The impact of merging two separate entities with different values and performance efforts can have long-term and short-term affects within the new organization. This paper is an effort to identify the impact a merger will have on the culture of the new combined organization, and how to ensure that the combined staff will work together to provide quality care without taking on a competitive stance. Change and Culture: Cultural Impacts on New Organization
When two entities merge together, cultural change can be a major challenge. Operational, functional, and organizational elements at all levels of the new organization can be disrupted when incorporating two organizations into one. Disruption can cause stress on all involved in the merger, however, these challenges aim to produce positive results during the transition and beyond. Mergers present opportunities to expand one or more of the departments in the organizations involved. A chance to show creativity is introduced and new performance efforts are reformed into new ones. Unfortunately, cultural change can bring on added stress for managers and supervisors. The reason for this is because managers will experience a sense of loss of control over the staff because of all the new blend of workers; understandably, this can make one feel powerless. Moreover, along with the sudden changes of the new organization, the management also has to deal with their daily activities. Stress for managers can be a challenge, and more importantly, how managers deal with stress during a major organizational change can require him/her to be more flexible and adaptable within their department and towards their new staff. The higher the change occurs in the chain of command, the wider the positive or negative effect on the organization. How an organization reacts to change varies; for instance, managerial reaction to major organizational changes invokes inner resistance that requires flexibility and adaptability to overcome. Perceptions and attitudes respond to reasonable assessments to changing circumstances. Leadership must model such a behavior that enhances the ability of the employee to learn to do the same. When cross-training a new employee, leadership is educating that individual to learn how to be more effective based on their abilities and current skills they already have. To be successful during and after a major transition, managers need to focus on areas within their control. For new policies and procedures to be effectively implemented into the new organization, employees must buy-in and cooperate. Managers need to find a way to motivate the employees, while at the same time controlling their own emotions, because they need to help them to overcome the resistance to the changes occurring all around them. Employees should be reminded of the opportunities created by a merger, because the birth of a new organization and culture can be an exhilarating experience, if approached correctly, to all involved....