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The authors describe excessive change as “Change [that] creates initiative
overload and organizational chaos, both of which provoke strong resistance
from the people most affected” (p. G6). Situations that lead to excessive
change include change when change isn't needed, change for the sake of
change, and change where one element of the organization is changed, but
others are not. The result is middle management stress, worker unhappi-
ness, and a general decline in the quality of services. Many workers we
interviewed complained that regulations and policies change so frequently
that they cannot keep up and blame management for creating a workplace
in which workers never have sufficient knowledge to do the job because
the policies that govern their work are always in flux. Workers also com-
plain that they are frequently left out of the decision-making process and
feel neglected and ignored by supervisors.
Ghoshal (2005) argues that too many management theories used in
American organizations view organizations and workers in a way suggest-
ing an ideology that is “essentially grounded in a set of pessimistic
assumptions about both individuals and institutions—a 'gloomy vision'
that views the primary purpose of social theory as one of solving the
'negative problem' of restricting the social costs arising from human
imperfections” (p. 76). According to Ghoshal, the result of this pessimistic
view of workers and organizations is that management has virtually no
impact on whether an organization functions well or badly. Citing a
review of 31 studies of organizational leadership by Dalton, Daily,
Ellstrand, and Johnson (1998) , the researchers found no difference in
organizational performance based on who occupied leadership roles.
According to the authors, the reason for this is that most labor is per-
formed at much lower levels and that organizational health is in the hands
of workers and not managers. When workers are treated well and feel a
part of the organization, performance is predictably better. Although it
may seem counterintuitive that good managers lack better results than
bad managers, Ghoshal points to the number of corporate scandals since
1998 and reminds us that most of the managers involved were thought to
be not only good managers, but great ones.
One of the reasons for poor managerial impact on performance of
organizations is the way managers are chosen. Cook and Emler (1999)
studied the issue of technical skills versus integrity (moral qualities sug-
gesting ethical behavior and sensitivity to the feelings of others) and found
that top to bottom hiring (hiring done at the highest level with minimal
input from subordinates) focused on technical competence with only low
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