With the goal of improving their competitive potential, organizations introduce more and more changes to their structure, climate, leadership patterns etc. Medicaid offices in New York City have relatively recently overcome a major organizational change. The goal was to improve the efficiency and availability of the services that organization offers. Regardless of the strong hierarchy within Medicaid offices, the change was bottom-up.
In order to acquire a better understanding of how the change was communicates, it is important to refer to the leadership patterns within the organization. As noted above, Medicaid offices present an organization with strong hierarchical order. However, the process of change within the organization was communicated in a bottom up manner, which has made a very full contribution to the establishment of a more egalitarian environment within the New York Medicaid offices.
Regardless of theories that stress the importance of a leader in the process of organizational change such as those listed by Cloke and Goldsmith (2012), it was not possible to define a leader who governed and communicated the changes that have happened to Medicaid offices in New York City. Specifically, the processes of decision-making and communication were carried out by a group of individuals. It is important to note that the tendency to carry out changes without a visible leader is observed not only within the sphere of organizational change, but also in the field of social movements. It is safe to argue that this tendency signifies the general shift from hierarchal system of power and communication to a horizontal one. Low-ranking employees were not only informed about the importance of change, but also encouraged to share, implement, and test their ideas about the needed changes within Medicaid offices in New York. Whilst previously employees were operating in hierarchal control system, now they have been encouraged to participate in the work of change teams. As a result, both the level of employees’ autonomy was increased as well as their perceived and actual potential in the process of enforcing change. In addition to this, given the fact that both communication and changes were carried out in a bottom up manner, the Theory Y started having a stronger explanatory power when applied to the analysis of New York City Medicaid offices. Previously, however, the motivation patterns within the organization resembled the Theory X.
Looking at the changes that have happened to Medicaid offices in New York through the lenses of Burke-Litwin model helps to acquire a better understanding of their effectiveness. Burke-Litwin model has twelve organizational drivers of change. The model focuses on details and thus can be regarded as a very specific one. For instance, the model’s focus on external environment helps to acquire a better understanding of why the organization decided to introduce the respective changes. Specifically, Diaz (2012) states that Medicaid offices in New York receive a lot of public criticism. This criticism can be put into two main categories, which are 1) the time that customers spent in Medicaid offices because of the bureaucratic nature of the organization and 2) the fact that they are regulated at the Federal and State levels (Diaz, 2012). In addition to this, the model helps to understand that changes in the culture of New York Medicaid offices and their leadership patterns have led to changes within the structure of the organization. Finally, Burke-Litwin model helps to understand the link between the effectiveness of the changes introduced and the special importance that this particular process of change stressed on addressing the employees’ individual needs and values. Namely, the goal was also to improve the experience of employees, which has made a very full contribution to the increase in their motivation.
- Cloke, K., & Goldsmith, J. (2011). Resolving conflicts at work: Ten strategies for everyone on the job (Third edition.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.