Define what a ‘breaching experiment’ is and how awareness of such experiments might be helpful to a manager.

When I say that I have a ‘Personality clash’ with someone I am really trying to avoid taking responsibility for my part in the relationship. Discuss this statement with reference to the reading and the seminar work and briefly explain why it is important for a manager in an organisation.

Additional Notes:
• Chapter 1 of Burr, V. (2003) Social Constructionism, 2nd Edn. London and New York: Routledge. (text available through the module web) is essential reading
• You will also need to participate in the seminar one activity ‘Oh, I can’t get on with Bill’.
• You might also want to read the ‘Positioning’ article (link in section 8 of the module web) and Chapter 4 of Burr

*Use academic referencing to support your answers
Question 2
Briefly define what a ‘breaching experiment’ is and how awareness of such experiments might be helpful to a manager. You should also discuss the difficulties in breaking out of patterns of behaviour and conversation once they have become a historical part of a relationship and what alternatives are open to anyone wishing to shift perceptions that others might have of them.
Additional Notes:
• To support this task you can experiment by becoming a stranger in your own house in order to observe how this challenges the taken-for-granted assumptions of your room-mates, friends, partner etc. You should also consider how this challenges you to think about your relationship with those closest to you. For a short time e.g. ten or fifteen minutes (and please stop earlier if the experiment causes any kind of distress) change your normal pattern of behaviour. Don’t do the things you normally do and question everything that might normally be taken for granted in the relationship. You might sit in a different chair to normal or watch a different programme on the television. Questions like ‘What do you mean?’ and ‘Please explain’ are often useful.
• Chapter 1 of Burr provides a useful starting point to the academic discussion.
Present an analysis of an organisational change with which you are familiar using Lewin’s Force Field Analysis. Then present a brief explanation of Weick and Quinn’s model and discuss how this might alter your understanding of change in organisations. You will need to clearly identify promoting and resisting forces.

Additional Notes:
• For this question you will need to read Chapter 1 of the text by Jabri, M. (2012) Managing Organizational Change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
• The change being considered does not have to be a huge or strategic one. The introduction of a new computer system at work or a new way of dealing with customers would be appropriate. Or if you have no work experience then think about a change in your personal life such as getting someone you know to change their behaviour e.g. to do their fair share of the cleaning, cooking or shopping). If you are struggling to think of an example then you might also draw upon a scene from a film or television programme.
• This task is an extension of the work we have been doing in challenging taken-for-granteds. Many of the theories and models that are used by business theorists are very useful. However, if we become very experienced at using them there is a danger that we can only see the world in terms of a Boston Matrix or Porter’s Five Forces etc. This exercise is designed to encourage you to think critically about such models and theories.

*Use academic referencing to support your answers
Question 4
Briefly describe a ‘complacent’, ‘resigned’ and ‘cynical’ conversation that you have been part of or have overheard or have viewed in a film or television programme. Use the prompts in Table 10.1 (Jabri) to outline the behavioural tendencies that you can clearly identify from your cases (you can put these into table form if you wish); some examples of utterances and then extend the table to include what might have been said.

Additional Notes:
• For this question you will need to read Chapter 10 of Jabri, M. (2012) Managing Organizational Change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
• An example of a cynical conversation might be where you have achieved a coursework mark that is much lower than you expect or where a large order or an important customer has been lost and you blame the lecturer or the customer for the problem.
• e.g. complacent conversation might go something like this…
Behavioural Tendencies Examples of Utterances What might have been said
Disapproval ‘I failed that coursework because the lecturer didn’t explain it properly’ ‘Other people passed with good marks. I should have asked the lecturer to go over the coursework in more detail’

• This question extends our work on challenging conversational patterns and taken-for-granteds but we are now also looking at how we can introduce simple changes and interrupt conversations that are damaging to both organisational and personal development.

*Use academic referencing to support your answers
Question 6
Task (adapted from Jabri, 2012: 68)
For this task you will need to read Chapter 3 of Jabri, M. (2012) Managing Organizational Change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. After reading the text a) List the personal characteristics and competencies of change agents that enhance the prospects of change taking root. B) Outline your own style of influencing change and provide an illustrative example.
Note: this question requires appropriate references and academic underpinning.
Additional information
This exercise is designed to enable you to consider your own experience as a change agent using academic theory. You might want to begin with the items highlighted on page 57 of the text.

Questions 1 and 2 sources
Social Constructionism
Second Edition

Questions 3, 4 and 6
Managing Organizational Change
Process, Social Construction and Dialogue
By Muayyad Jabir

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