Introduction to the organisation under consideration
Southern Railway Ltd (Branded as ‘Southern’, www.southernrailway.com) is a private company in the UK, responsible for railway travel to South London, Surrey and Sussex, from London Bridge and Victoria Stations. In the last twelve months it has been the focus of much negative publicity due to its poor levels of service (delayed or cancelled trains), industrial disputes over modernisation plans, and scathing comments and reports from Members of Parliament.
The company is in need of significant change in order to remain profitable and maintain both its public reputation and its relationship with its employees. This is a fraught time for the company. In particular, the company is currently in a dispute with unions over its plans to remove guards/conductors from its trains. This has resulted in a number of strikes, and there have been various accusations from the company and the unions about each other’s behaviour.
Using appropriate leadership and organisational change theory, you are required to research and answer the following questions in essay format:
Write an essay considering the recent dispute between the staff/unions and the company’s management regarding the removal of guards/conductors from trains, which should cover:
1. Using Freeman’s Stakeholder Theory identify and analyse the stakeholders in Southern Railway Ltd and rate them by importance, ensuring that you clearly identify the key needs and desires of each stakeholder group. Additionally, identify and analyse the sources of power of each stakeholder using Handy’s taxonomy (30 marks)
2. Using either Schein’s levels of culture or the Cultural Web, analyse the current organisational culture of Southern Railway Ltd. Additionally, identify and justify the type of change the company is trying to implement by removing guards/conductors from trains. (30 marks)
3. Using Lewin’s force-field model identify and analyse the barriers to change currently confronting Southern Railway Ltd, ensuring you apply your answers to clearly referenced examples from the company’s recent operations. (30 marks)
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4. The essay should include an introduction, main body of research and analysis, conclusion, references and appendices. It should be academically rigorous and properly referenced. (10 marks)
Knowledge and understanding of the key theories regarding organisational culture, stakeholders, the nature of change and barriers to change, leadership theories that support change in organisations.
Writing a structured, logical essay.
Ability to identify, analyse and evaluate the issues.
Applying appropriate theory to this case-study to demonstrate an understanding of how theory is used in practise.
Clarity of expression (grammar, spelling, punctuation, precision).
A basic answer (40 – 49%) will identify main issues and demonstrate knowledge of cultural and leadership theory but at a superficial level. It may demonstrate difficulties with structure and contain some minor gaps in understanding. Expression may lack maturity. Answers in this category will often adopt a write-all-you-know-about-the-topic approach and may include little or no application.
A satisfactory answer (50-59%) will identify majority of issues and demonstrate knowledge of the relevant cultural and leadership theory but with some omissions in content as well as some inconsistencies in application and inaccuracies in expression. Structure will be largely logical.
A good answer (60-69%) will adopt a logical structure and identify almost all of the issues and the appropriate theory relating to them. Knowledge will be sound. Arguments will be supported by references to most of the relevant cultural and leadership theory. Omissions and inaccuracies will be minor.
An excellent answer (70%+) will identify all the key issues and make use of appropriate cultural and leadership theory, demonstrating a thorough knowledge and understanding. Structure will be logical and arguments easy to follow. Relevant theory will be stated accurately and applied to the case-study before reaching well-supported recommendations.