Coalitions refer to the organization of people with similar goals, to make certain decisions that affect the entire group. These alliances are an integral part of organizational decision making because they facilitate the important political processes in organizations and facilitate the attainment of corporate purpose through joint engagement in various activities that mobilize the resources, interests and values of the members and the company (Spangler, 2003). Even though coalitions are collaborative in joint decision making, their members maintain autonomy on different occasions since they represent diverse factions that have agreed to come together in the coalition process.
In business, coalitions refer to multiple partnerships between private, public, and nonprofit sectors to achieve common goals. These organizations form associations to enable them to work together towards solving community challenges in development, health, food relief, water, and other challenges. This report will evaluate the formation of a coalition and provide information concerning effective team formation, selection of proper team members, setting up goals for the team, prioritizing team activities, achieving deadlines, and resolving team conflicts.
The Development Team
According to Robbins and Judge (2018, p. 325), teams or groups are popular and effective because they are committed to the project and can achieve remarkable feats that are difficult for an individual. They are more flexible and responsive to various changing events as compared to traditional departments, and can easily assemble, deploy, refocus and disband. As such, creating teams for the development of the project can democratize the organization and increase the involvement of workers, positively shaping the way they work and think by introducing a collaborative mindset.
Moreover, a lot of supervisors have discovered that although there are teams with highly proficient and devoted individuals, they can fall short of accomplishing the goals set from the beginning. Therefore, to form effective teams, they need to recruit skilled, highly motivated and committed members that can help to achieve the right results. Failing to establish the appropriate ground work for the development team can cause members to be less effective; hence, it is fundamental to combine and coordinate individuals that have the strengths and skills for solving issues and accomplishing various tasks assigned to the development team. For this reason, there are various types of teams: problem-solving teams, self-managed work teams, cross functional teams, virtual teams, and multiteam systems (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 332).
To enhance the performance of these teams, the contextual, compositional and procedural factors have to be considered. Contextual factors include adequate resources, leadership and structure, trust and performance evaluation and reward systems. Compositional factors comprise elements such as the abilities of members, their personalities, allocating different roles, diversity, cultural differences, sizes of the teams, and the preferences of members. Likewise, procedural factors comprise the common purpose of the team, their goals, team efficiency, identity, cohesion, mental models, conflict levels, and social loafing (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 332-342).
Among these factors, two have been recognized as highly vital to the creation of efficient teams. First, the teams should be minimal in size and secondly, they should be consistent in their performance of duties. The duration for each task should also be divided appropriately to save time and utilize all resources that have been predisposed for the team’s use. Often, organizations implement project-based teams without taking into account the stages of development required to occur before the team can attain sufficient performance. Thus, to support these teams, rewards and concise responsibility systems should be put in place.
Finally, strong and accomplished teams should be dictated by courageous and assertive leaders who can delegate tasks and coordinate various individuals with different sets of skills and abilities. This will help to guide their performance and divide the workload among different members to ensure that time and other resources are utilized correctly.
Considering the profiles of candidates, the best individuals for the development team would be Candice Sharp of NCPIE, Meredith Watson of the Woodson Foundation and Ari Kaufman who is a second year teacher. The reason is that these individuals posses particular skillsets such as recognizing the various problems in their fields and coming up with the solutions for these issues.
Candice Sharp thinks that the schools are doing the best that they possible can and parents want to get involved but they do not follow through; hence, the NCPIE colleagues have an obligation to step up and to lead the way for implementing change.
In addition, Ari Kaufman feels that the school needs to change badly since there is very little outside involvement. His experience as a second year teacher is also vital and his insight could be integral to improving the turnover rate of new teachers in the schools.
Likewise, Meredith Watson is a former class teacher and currently works with the Woodson Foundation. She feels that there is a significant amount of waste in the system and is well aware of the parents desire to be involved. Her complaints that jobs are being needlessly duplicated and the change processes are being convoluted imply that change is much required.
As such, the three candidates are aware of the various requirements for change because they have individually spotted the problems plaguing the system, and recommend that these issues must be acted upon. The dilemma of adopting a hands-on approach and biases is significantly high when a coalition of persons collectively undergo a challenging decision making procedure. Therefore, the challenges of coordination and teamwork can only be resolved by pooling the information of these candidates, allowing them to invoke group decision processes to solve the particular problem they have all noticed.
On the other hand, the least effective members for this team would be Duane Hardy, Victoria Adams, Mason Dupree and Victor Martinez. Duane Hardy has been the principal for 15 years during which the Bureaucracy’s problems have continued to increase while Victoria Adams is a Superintendent who feels that schools need more control in decision making programs, which will shut out parents and communities from helping. Likewise, Mason Dupree is biased because he feels that the school’s funds are being used to give raises to people who do not show up to work, and Victor Martinez has no apparent experience in the school district even though he has worked with the Woodson Foundation for ten years.
To manage conflict effectively, the team needs to reduce diversity issues which can lead to group discord. Usually, discord occurs in the initial phases of the coalition term and can adversely affect the team’s morale and performance rate given that some members will feel dissatisfied with the group and drop out. Research has shown that the more similar team members are, the higher their performance and output rates. From the case described, the individuals selected for the development team had high similarities concerning their values and opinions about the situation at the school. Therefore, the conflict levels are likely to be reduced especially if the team selects a leader who can guide them to focus on the assignment at hand.
Other ways of reduce conflict within the team include team learning and improving dialogue among team members. According to Robbins and Judge (2018, p. 479), conflicts handling can be done via competing, collaborating, avoiding, accommodating, and compromising. Competing entails satisfying one’s particular interests using the available resources, which contradicts collaborating to solve a problem by clarifying individual differences to accommodate unique perspectives. Moreover, avoiding entails ignoring the conflict, accommodating means to support member’s opinions despite one’s reservations, and compromising implies that there is not winner or loser in the conflict. Instead, each party gives up something to rationalize the conflict
The Program Team
According to Robbins and Judge (2018, p. 547), culture refers to the core values expressed by a majority of the individuals in an organization, giving it a distinct personality. Some of the cultural aspects of the school district include truancy, poor student performance, and crime. The district also suffers from high turnover rates caused by a lack of motivation by students and teachers who are struggling to maintain consistent performance in the harsh school environment. In the same stride, the representatives of the district would like to unionize all the new jobs under the policies stipulated by the school board. Hence, the school system has a unique complexity that has created a complicated bureaucratic administration that governs all teachers and stakeholders working under this program.
Woodson Foundation has a culture of poor diversity since the organization is mainly comprised of whites. There is also a significant concern that if Woodson Foundation assumes power in the district, then the school board will be left out of the new system since it cannot control the company’s new system. The founder of Woodson, Theodore Woodson has absolute influence in the company, and he emphasizes efficacy through experimentation. In this regard, a majority of his work involves lowering costs and improving service provision using the right resources. Hence, the culture of Woodson Foundation differs from the school district.
Similarly, the NCPIE, is driven by a culture of increasing parental control to achieve success in the school system by facilitating community-driven education techniques. The organization also emphasizes on the inclusion of diversity based on ethnic, disability, gender and race variances among the population. For these reasons, the NCPIE wants to provide parents and the community with more control, to enable them to achieve success together. For this cause, the members of the NCPIE are committed to the process of change that will ensure that everyone has a chance to gain.
The three stakeholders differ in various ways because each of them has a selfish interest in the school system. On the other contrary, their needs align when it comes to prioritizing the interests of the students by raising learning levels.
Leaders of the new program can generate transformation for employees and parents by inspiring them to transcend their self-interests and working together towards attaining the greater goal, which is improving learning and revamping of the school system. These individuals should also challenge the status quo by defining and structuring the distinct roles and the roles of their subordinates in the attainment of new goals, instilling confidence and commanding respect in their respective positions. They must gain trust from other stakeholders and even among themselves, which will help to improve task performance and coordination.
The leaders can also take the responsibility for developing future leaders via mentorship and support of employee development programs. This process can also help to train and recruit future leaders who will set new objectives for the organization and the district (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 420). The new leaders should also be considerate when dealing with parents, teachers, students, and other employees to enable them to deal with their differences and combat any personal or professional issues that might affect the school system
Considering the potential for demographic faultiness in negotiating the new changes, it would be integral to manage diversity issues using various strategies. In this regard, there is a need to establish a convenient way of evaluating and accomplishing the major tasks by enhancing group management techniques such as communication with one another (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 63). Groups are delicate because diversity in traits of the members can hurt the performance and outcomes of teams due to conflicting interests, which ends up hurting the performance of the organization. Hence, program leaders need to act in particular ways to ensure that diversity does not threaten the goals that have been put forward.
Some of the ways to deal with diversity issues include identifying individuals with complementary skillsets and experience and place them in coalitions. This can help to guide the accomplishment of certain strategic objectives and increase collaboration on various objectives. Similarly, team leaders can help coalition members to function more effectively by defining their roles and allocating each member with the appropriate resources. They should also regulate performance by holding regular meetings to brief teams on the progress of the project.
Another way to reduce diversity issues is by facilitating communication between members in the coalition and leaders, to improve transparency of the project and support one another’s initiatives. Lastly, the program leaders need to assess overall performance and evaluate this against the agreed benchmarks. By doing so, they can reduce conflicts and inspire team members to work together to elevate their performance objectives.
In summary, the coalition model proposed in the case of the Woodson Foundation case indicates some of the strategies that can be used in coalition building around controversial issues. Due to the insights derived from the case study, the stakeholders mentioned should hold a conference to formulate the appropriate action plans for sustaining continued coalition efforts. The study also holds a few implications for the school district system identified: first, the coalition purports that when the views of the members of a team are well communicated and understood, and their interests well-identified, then forming a coalition is easy.
In addition, solving stakeholder issues such as diversity is integral to making an effective program because it allows coalitions to work together to attain the specified goals. Similarly, the coalition should be kept active by developing various agendas for action and identifying the best strategy that can be adopted in the long run. Together, these strategies should enhance the organization’s strength and capacity to spearhead new changes through the alliances of the development and program teams.
- Robbins, P.S. & Judge, A. T. (2018). Organizational behavior. Pearson.
- Spangler, B. (2013). Coalition building. Beyond Intractability. Retrieved from https://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/coalition_building%20