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Dissertation Proposal Defense

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Lou Gieszl

on 24 November 2013

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Transcript of Dissertation Proposal Defense

Dissertation Proposal Defense
Going Mediation: Organizational Change or Stability in the U.S. Postal Service REDRESS Program
Lou Gieszl -- Nov. 25, 2013

Case Study of Organizational Change -- Evolution of the USPS' REDRESS Mediation Program

Resolve Employment Disputes and Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly
Three Part Literature Review
Research Questions
What does REDRESS, including its commitment to transformative mediation, look like now compared to the early years following the national rollout of the program?

If there are significant differences between today's REDRESS program and the original model, what factors caused it to change?

What organizational and public management theory comes closest to explaining the differences between the original REDRESS program and what exists today?

To what extent, if any, do REDRESS mediations in Maryland today differ from what was originally expected when the program adopted the transformative model of mediation?

Research Design and Methodology
Largest workplace mediation program in the world
Used to resolve Equal Employment Opportunity complaints
First major program to adopt the transformative mediation model
Has the program shifted from this model? What factors might explain its changes or its stability?
Problem-Solving Mediation
and the Mutual Gains Model
Separate the people from the problem
Focus on interests, not positions
Invent options for mutual gain
Insist on using objective criteria
Fisher and Ury,
Getting to Yes
, Penguin Books, 1981
Transformative Mediation and The Relational Theory of Conflict
Conflict is defined a crisis in human interaction
Conflict makes people weak and self-absorbed
Through empowerment and recognition shifts, people become strong and responsive
Bush and Folger,
The Promise of
Mediation
, Jossey-Bass, 1994
Mediation Techniques
Problem Solving
vs.
Transformative

Parties control the outcome
Mediators
control the process
re-frame negative statements
highlight points of agreement
ask probing questions
call for a caucus
Success = Agreement
Parties control outcome & process
Mediators
follow the parties around
reflect back negative statements
highlight points of disagreement
check in with parties
caucus if requested by parties
Success = Transformed Conflict Interactions

Management Theory and Human Behavior
Track 100 years of theory concerning human interaction, cooperation and conflict resolution
REDRESS uses a relational model to
address employee-supervisor conflict.

Carl Rogers and Mary Parker Follett are considered particularly influential thinkers with respect to management of workplace interactions

Organizational Effectiveness, Change and Transference
REDRESS may mirror
Fernandez and Rainey
's (2006)
eight factors for successful organizational change
: (1) enure need, (2) provide a plan, (3) build internal support, (4) ensure top-level commitment, (5) build external support, (6) provide resources, (7) institutionalize change, (8) pursue comprehensive change

REDRESS' development may mirror a
three-stage cycle of organizational life
: (1) creation, (2) expansion and aging, (3) "death" or shift in focus (
Downs
, 1967)

REDRESS' early design may match
Rainey and Steinbauer
's (1999)
organizational effectiveness model
: mission, leadership, stakeholder involvement, organizational culture, task design, motivation

REDRESS' creation may be an example of "
episodic change
" and it's evolution one of "
continuous change
" (
Weick and Quinn
, 1999)

The
role of individual managers
and their change-related behavior (
Fernandez and Pitts
, 2007)

REDRESS of today may be an example of a
"weaponized" administrative reform
, in which objectives of individual managers change the program's focus from its original intent (
Durant
, 2008)
REDRESS Literature
Foundational studies address....
Participant satisfaction & procedural justice
Effects on employee & supervisor conflict management skills
Inside vs. outside neutral program designs
Effects on complaint filings
REDRESS program staff's knowledge of the transformative model
Mediators knowledge and use of the model
Effects of representation in mediation
Case filing/closure rates and inside-mediation examples of empowerment and recognition shifts
(Bingham et al. 1997-2013; Antes et al. 2001)
If there have not been changes in the program, what factors and theories explain its stability?

Significance
Find out whether the program is different from that at the time of the national roll out or whether it has remained true to its origins. To my knowledge, this is the first and only study that examines the evolution of REDRESS over its lifetime
Determine if and why the program has drifted from, or remained true to, its original commitment to use transformative mediation exclusively
Assess what factors from the literature might explain the program's changes or its stability
Management theory and human behavior
Organizational effectiveness, change, and transference
REDRESS Research
Case Study
Identify ways that the REDRESS program of today is similar to, or different from, that which was launched in 1999

Determine what factors, from management literature, might best explain changes and stability

Gather multiple perspectives

Ask "how" and "why" questions

Apply public management theories to the story of REDRESS' evolution

Methods
Interview current and former USPS executives responsible for REDRESS

Interview Maryland REDRESS mediators

Interview transformative mediation pioneers who assisted with program development and implementation

Examine documentary evidence, such as training manuals, correspondence to mediators, internal evaluations, mediation program materials to triangulate interview data

(Estimating 30+ interviews to be recorded, coded and transcribed)
Questions?

Comments?

Critiques?
Possible Factors Affecting Change or Stability
Political

Legal

Managerial

Ideological
Political Factors
Political support (Fernandez & Pitts, 2007)
Hidden agendas (Durant, 2008)
Management and union opinions about mediation (Durant, 2008)
Resources (Ferandez & Pitts, 2007)
Legal Factors
Top Level EEO directives (Durant, 2008)

Court decisions, case law, statutory changes (interview data, documentary evidence)
Managerial Factors
Loss of champion or zealots (Downs, 1967; Weick and Quinn, 1999)
Effects of growth or decline (Downs, 1967)
Effects of age (Downs, 1967)
Changes in management (Fernandez and Rainey, 2006; Fernandez and Pitts, 2007)
Changes in top management (Fernandez and Rainey, 2006)
Organizational size (Fernandez and Pitts, 2007)
Continuous change theory (Weick and Quinn, 1999)
Ideological Factors
Changes in internal support or resistance (Fernandez & Rainey, 2006)
Changes in external support or resistance (Rainey & Steinbauer, 1999)
Sense of mission (Rainey & Steinbauer, 1999; Fernandez & Rainey, 2006)
Changes in task focus (Rainey & Steinbauer, 1999)
Mediation experiences at other public and private sector organizations (Durant, 2008)
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