Internship opportunities enable graduates to sharpen their skills and knowledge upon graduation. With respect to the case study, Rick’s exemplary academic prowess earned him an internship opportunity in Peterson Paper Products (PPP) in the sales department. It is worth acknowledging that PPP is primarily a family-owned business owned by Val and his wife, Rose. Due to his commitment and smart work during the internship period, Val offers Rick full-time employment to tap his skills and help enhance operations in the sales department. Notably, Rick interacts with the other employees and notices inefficiency in the technology used to manage operations. The company was using the traditional methods of paperwork recording of sales operations and had only one computer. The initiative Rick to introduce new technology and management approach in the company was received with great resistance from other employees leading to his firing. This paper critically expounds on why Rick was not “fit” for the company using the reinforcement theory, social learning theory, and resistance to change theory and how the training program would be implemented in PPP Company.
Rick was let go shortly after being offered permanent employment in PPP Company. He had identified the company as lagging behind the company in terms of technological advancement and wanted to introduce change. In the case study, it is revealed that he brought his computer to the firm in an effort to demonstrate the significance of integrating new initiatives in the management. However, other employees, including Val’s wife, did not embrace his strategy. The employees had been used to the same operation strategies for a long time and therefore were reluctant to incorporate Rick’s ideas. This eventually led to the firing of Rick. Reinforcement theory argues that behaviors are followed by consequences, and a person’s behavior can be changed through punishment, reinforcement, and extinction (Susanto et al., 2021). Positive reinforcement occurs when Val asks t meet Rick and offered him full time employment in the company. Reinforcement is not always a good way to change the employees’ behavioral patterns, because they are logical and they are often aware of the possible negative consequences of changing an established routine. The desire to reinforce change created a stalemate between the other worker and Rick. As a result, a negative reinforcement happened through Rick’s intervention to solve the problems in the sales department leading to his dismissal. This highlights Rick’s punishment for initiating strategies without thinking how it affects other employees in the company. Rick should have set parameters and clear expectations, so that employees can know what actions are expected from them. This is a fundamental strategy in changing behavioral patterns since the initiative does not affect their careers within the organization.
Resistance to Change
Under normal circumstances, employees are resistant to change in a company because changes take them out of their comfort change. In essence, employees are resistant to learning new ways since it might complicate their activities. It is envisioned for employees to generate solutions in organizations, but they are warned against taking comprehensive responsibility to implement changes because they might encounter resistance from other workers resulting in negative reinforcement (Bradt, 2018). In this case, Rick had support from the founder, but Walter and Rosie are resistance to his initiative. His idea of bringing personal computer to the company does not resonate well with Rosie. Rosie perceived it as an insult and Rick was trying to show her outdated management approaches. Arguably, Rick had innovative ideas for the success of the company and therefore should have should have engaged Rosie and Walter to discuss on the integration of new technology before embarking on the implementation process. Lack of communication between Rick and Rosie resulted to misunderstanding, which led Rosie to respond negatively to the change. He should have provided them with the evidence that it will work for the company and the benefits and ease it will bring to employees. In addition, he could have sought their feedback on how to implement such an idea so that there will be no lack of understanding between him and other employees.
Social Learning Theory
There is undeniable information demonstrating that new employees in an organization are perceived as new comers and therefore require time to learn the behavioral patterns and culture practiced. Rick had a difficult time implementing his ideas in PPP Company because other employees were not familiar with him. As a result, Rosie warns him that the company is an informal business and thus he should learn the patterns already established before trying to bring the new technological strategy in the sales department. Rick had not even formed rapport with other employees because he was not even engaged in the company’s informal groups expounding the reason for resistance from the employees. Social learning theory asserts that individuals can learn from the behavioral patterns in the surrounding. The proponents of the social learning theory postulates that motivation, retention, and attention are integral elements of the learning behaviors (Connelly et al., 2018). With respect to Rick’s scenario, he had a high level of motivation but lacked the ability to perceive other employees preference. He should have reached out to Rosie and Walter to gain their insights concerning his idea. Generally, Rick demonstrated negative habit by initiating changes in the company right from the start without the support of other stakeholders.
Designing a Management Training Program
The training program would majorly focus on equipping employees with skills, knowledge, attitude and competency. The training program will also include changes in methods for providing and managing evidence-based technologies and ways of overcoming fears of change in the company. At its core, the attitude program at sales department would focus on changing employees’ attitudes towards accepting new technologies in the operations of their duties. The training program would provide the employees with the digital competency for them to become more efficient with technology throughout their day-to-day tasks and operations (Laing, 2021). The senior management team would be trained on important digital management approaches in the organization including solution-oriented approach in moments of employees’ resistance to change. The solution-oriented approach provides a forum where everyone has a voice and all problems can be resolved. The main purpose of any training program is to train the employees in their jobs and to provide positive transfer of skills (Laing, 2021). It is through this, employees will be better able to perform their job. It is doubtless the management team would learn to implement strategies effectively, efficiently leading success of the company.
In conclusion, Rick being a newly hired innovative idea faced great resistance from other employees in implementing change in the PPP Company. The culture in the company was rigid and resistant to change. Rick’s punishment for initiating strategies without thinking how it affects other employees in the company was being fired shortly after the full time employment opportunity. Rick had innovative ideas for the success of the company and therefore should have should have engaged Rosie and Walter to discuss on the integration of new technology before embarking on the implementation process. In addition, Rick should have learned the behavior pattern of other employees in order to strategize collaborative with the management. On the other hand, the training program would majorly focus on equipping employees with skills, knowledge, attitude and competency to improve their effectiveness in the execution of duties and eliminate the fear of change.
Bradt, G. (2018, July). Five Ways to Prevent Passive-Aggressive Resistance to Change.
Connelly, C. E., Černe, M., Dysvik, A., & Škerlavaj, M. (2019). Understanding knowledge hiding in organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40(7), 779-782.
Laing, I. F. (2021). The impact of training and development on worker performance and productivity in public sector organizations: A case study of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. International Research Journal of Business and Strategic Management, 2(2).
Susanto, S., Lim, B., Linda, T., Tarigan, S. A., & Wijaya, E. (2021). Antecedents Employee Performance: A Perspective Reinforcement Theory. Journal of Industrial Engineering & Management Research, 2(4), 1-14.