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Action research is a democratic approach
Action research is a democratic approach to effecting changes in an organization through an emergent inquiry process in which the applied behavioral science knowledge is integrated with the existing organizational knowledge. It will result in the solution of real organizational problems besides resulting in personnel competency. This must be done collaboratively and with a constant inquiry. In undertaking action research, members of an organization assume active participation in coming up with the desired change. My essay will basically study how the development of continuous improvement plans to increase the collaborative effectiveness of the team-based decision. More specifically, the essay will focus on the investment department at an asset management company.
Various issues and trends which are undertaken in the investment decisions of the firm puzzle me. Poor investment plans, a continuous loss made, investing in outdated assets are among other pertinent issues. Within the firm, one of the crucial issues that need to be adopted is embracing technology in investment decisions. In achieving effective change in an investment firm that will ensure efficient team-based decision-making, action research can be put in place and will result in a solution to poor team decision-making. Huang (2010) argues that Lewin's approach of action research can be adopted because the main problem facing the firm is initially identified. The problem is evaluated and planning is undertaken on how to provide the solution to the problem. In this case, the setback to effective team decision-making may be the centralization of power and the absence of a lack of guidelines that stipulate combined decision-making. The proposed change to be adopted is identified and introduced to members of the organization (Coghlan 2011, p. 56). In the realization of effective team-based, decision-making power and authority can be decentralized so that the decision-making power is not vested on an individual but among a team. Besides, rules can be amended that allow for inclusiveness of every organization member to participate in the decision-making process. These changes are, therefore, presented for adoption in the organization. A re-education will then be carried out to edify members on the need to adopt the change. The forces that will desire to maintain the status quo will be discouraged while the individuals that will be craving for change will be encouraged (Miller, Greenwood & Maguire 2003, p. 14). The desired cause of action will then be imposed and strategies adopted to ensure that the targeted members adhere to the new set guidelines. Some of the strategies that can be adopted by the firm will include rewarding those managers who quickly embrace the change and involve the team in decision-making. They can be promoted to senior positions making other retrogressive managers also adopt the change. Additionally, forces that will act on the contrary to change may be punished through demotion and even sacked. The Lewins theory of action research can be applied to managers to ensure effectiveness in team-based decision-making in the investment firm.
Owing to the rapid changes in technological levels that consequently affect investment decisions, there is a need to develop an effective team-based decision-making strategy to ensure that investment decisions are made by the changing technology. The Shani and Pasmore action research theory can be used to guarantee this. A context that is unanimous must be ensured. The team members have to possess common organizational goals. This can be achieved by ensuring that the firm's objectives are clearly defined, this will make certain that the company's goals are always given precedence to personal ones. Huang (2010) reiterates that the existence of common goals will ensure that minimal conflict of interests is minimized within the team that will finally contribute to its effectiveness. Similarly, a mutual relationship affecting the change and persons to adopt it should exist between the individual. This will ensure that the change is adopted with a rational motive. This relationship can be enhanced through trust and concern among the parties involved. Quality relationships will ensure that there is no resistance to change among the persons affected by it. In achieving effectiveness, a change in the firm, the quality of the whole process should be maintained at high standards so as the motive of the whole process not to be in question. Additionally, Shani and Pasmore as quoted in Coghlan (2011) opine that the expected outcome resulting from the adoption of the change ought to be more desirable than the original results. They further explicate that change is worth only if the expected results after adoption will be more attractive. In the case of an investment decision department, team-based decision-making will only be adopted if the results will be superseding. In their argument, researchers stated that team involvement is necessary for effecting change within the organization to avoid any resistance.
In conclusion, it becomes evident that for effective organizational operations, there is a need to embrace change in every aspect of the firm hence the need for active research. These will range from operational, technological to managerial. In achieving the desired change, the involvement of every member of the firm is necessary as illustrated by Shani and Pasmore. This will ensure that every individual feels part of the change besides eliminating any conflict which may arise. In case of any resistance, Lewin stipulates the strategies and measures to be adopted. The above discussion, therefore, points out the need for management of the organization to be sensitive to change to maintain the effectiveness of its members apart from providing a solution to organizational problems. Consequently, managers should acquire the certain skills necessary in effecting the changes.