Up in the air as a drama-comedy
Up in the air is a drama-comedy movie produced by Jason Reitman in the year 2009. The storyline is about Ryan Bingham whose job was to sack employees on behalf of their company or employers. Ryan, employed by a human resource company that majored in assisting in the termination of their employees. Ryan used to conduct the activity through face to face method hence he used to travel much. He was almost breaking the record of the youngest person to attain a million subsequent flyer miles through the American Airlines when his company hired the services of Natalie Keener. She was a very ambitious and focused woman and decided to terminate Ryan’s travels. She suggested the use of video conferencing as the alternative to help in cutting the cost of traveling incurred by Ryan. Ryan was resistant to the change in the method and advised Natalie accompany him to note the importance of the trip. She was not satisfied and still insisted on video conferencing. It came to fail when one of fired employee broke into tears and Natalie could not comfort him on the test of the video conferencing.
What was the problem?
The problem indicated in the movie was the abrupt change of handling the firing of the employees. Natalie invaded the company and decided to terminate the travels by Ryan without even consulting him about the modification. Natalie did not look even the disadvantages of video conferencing she got only focused on only reducing the cost (Ravasi & Schultz. 2006).
Who thought the problem was a problem?
Ryan thought that abrupt change in the method of firing was long. He even tried to explain to Natalie why video conferencing was not suitable for eliminating (Ravasi & Schultz. 2006).
What was the solution?
The solution got sought through the trial of both method of firing that is face to face and use of video conferencing (Ravasi & Schultz. 2006).
Who was supportive?
Ryan’s boss was supportive and asked Natalie to accompany Ryan to evaluate if the travels are essential or not (Ravasi & Schultz. 2006).
Who resisted the change?
Ryan resisted change as evident in the movie. He maintained that his method of face to face was more adequately qualified for firing employees as opposed to video conferencing (Ravasi & Schultz. 2006).
The suggestions given by Dr. Kotter
The suggestions given by Dr. Kotter are very suitable for handling resistance. Its suitability is arguably better since he highlighted it as a process. The process entails aspects such as:
- Creating the urgency of change,
- Forming a coalition to convince the employee that the change is necessary,
- Creating a vision for the change expected; involves showing the future benefits of the switch to the organization,
- Communicating the vision to the employees,
- Removal of obstacles to the targeted change,
- Creating short-term wins: showing the employees the short term results or success of the change hence motivating them,
- Building on the modification executed; by insisting and targeting in the achievement of the goals of the amendment,
- Incorporating the adopted changes into the corporation's culture.
Ryan’s resistance is justified. Firs he had the experience to know the effect of the alternative method of video conferencing. Secondly, he had a right of being consulted before any decision got made concerning his field of work in the company (Kotter. 1996).
I much agree with Ryan. Natalie was so abrupt in implementing video conferencing that she forgot to look at the downside of the same. She even did not take the time to consult Ryan who handled the activity for several years. She did not undertake one process out of the eight procedures highlighted by Dr. Kotter on how to manage resistance to a change in a corporation (Kotter. 1996).
It refers to the behaviors and values, which lead to the uniqueness in social together with psychological conditions of business. They entail beliefs, principles and universal values of an enterprise and its employees, which got derived from the corporate history, the technology used in its operations, its end products, market served, employees hired by the firm, management styles and methods used, and its location. Culture in business also entails its vision, mission, language, the organization norms, systems, and beliefs (Parker, M. 2000).
Leadership Styles (Bollman and Deal (2008))
The two scholars tried to highlight different approaches to various issues in the organization. Their approaches can either get used singly or in combination depend on the issue handled in the firm. The methods include:
Structural: It emphasizes on the focus to the structure of business, keeping in mind the strategy of the organization, implementation as well as the adaptation of the employees and management of the company. When structural changes get implemented, it leads to success when, goals get clearly elaborated, the relationship between the cause and effect are understood well and the absence of conflict, ambiguity, and uncertainty in the organization (Scouller, 2011).
Human Resource: The approach focuses on the employees (people). It emphasizes on empowerment of the employees may be using distributed leadership, support of the staff, their development, and reaction to the team wants. It mainly focuses on improving the employee’s morale so as to increase his or her productivity in the company (Scouller, 2011).
Political: the administration focuses running the company in focus of the current situation surrounding the company. It involves dealing with different group interest, power base building, and reducing conflict of the available few resources and committing compromises. It's best suited for a situation where resources are scarce or values and goals conflict (Scouller, 2011).
Symbolic: This approach is vision or inspiration motivated. The so-called leaders get the follow the idea that people should believe in their work, as well as the organization’s work also counted as meaningful as well as relevant. The approach also much value the ancient rituals and ceremonies. It is appropriate in situations where cause and effect connection is unclear or the goals not clearly understood (Scouller, 2011).
Relevant Frames in the case study of Ryan and Natalie
In the case study of Ryan and Natalie, the human resource approach would be a most preferred method. Natalie’s cancellation of Ryan’s trips would work well if he asked and the importance of the change explained to him instead of how Natalie handled him. The approach used would kill Ryan’s morale, and his love and value of the organization would drastically decrease. On the centrally, if Natalie used the human resource frame, Ryan would at least understood the need and maybe could agree with the change (Karger & Dave. 2009).
Likewise, since Natalie had clear goals of reducing the cost incurred by the firm, she could have considered the use of the structural frame (Karger & Dave. 2009).
Ryan’s company could find the Human resource structure to implement the change desired. It would appear well if they found his opinion and reasons against their proposed changed. It would illustrate by him on the goals of the change. The goal of reducing cost was clear so basic approach would serve best (Pink, 2012).
In conclusion, there exist several methods to deal with different occurrences in corporations in modern days. The management should always dig deep and evaluate the best methods to use in their situations rather than just abruptly use conventional means to deal with situations. It get employees in the firm satisfied and increased productivity (Pink, 2012).
Karger, T and Dave, P. (2009). "Toronto preview: All eyes on 'Up in the Air'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 25 2017.
Kotter, J. (1996). Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 9780875847474. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
Parker, M. (2000). Organizational Culture and Identity, London: Sage.
Pink, D. (2012). To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverbed Books.
Ravasi, D. Schultz, M. (2006). "Responding to organizational identity threats: Exploring the role of organizational culture". Academy of Management Journal.
Scouller, J. (2011). The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill. Cirencester: Management Books.
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