The case study takes on the perspective of Paul Stackhouse who managed Cambridge Suites Halifax, a successful hotel on the brink of an industry-wide change. Knowing that the hotel had lost competitiveness due to the change in supply and demand characteristics, Paul created the initiative to implement continuous quality improvement (Ross, 1995). The case study followed the process of implementing the organizational change to achieve continuous quality improvement.

The root problem of this case study

Typically, organizational change is followed by some level of resistance. In this case study, the main issue was how the stakeholders were either confused with or have limited commitment to the initiated change. Paul knew this exactly as this would be the failure of the organizational change. The resistance can be easily escalated and affected the overall employee motivation and commitment, as both are very much interlinked (Senyucel, 2009). Without determined and passionate stakeholders, organizational change would not be realized.

The fundamental causes

The main cause of the potential resistance was the difficulties in communicating the necessity and the vision of the change. The senior management felt that the company was doing well and such change may not be necessary as there is nothing to fix. Meanwhile, the other employees felt that they have limited decision-making authority to take part in such a complex organizational change. Kotter (2007) pointed out one of the most frequent mistakes in developing organizational change is the failure to create a strong coalition with the stakeholders and the failure to communicate the vision to the stakeholders.

Possible alternatives for Cambridge Suites Halifax

One of the possible alternatives that can be used by Paul is to apply the eight steps to develop a successful organizational change, proposed by Laegaard and Bindslev (2006), as follows:

  1. Establishing the perception of urgency and necessity in the mind of stakeholders
  2. Developing a governing coalition to lead the change
  3. Developing vision and strategy
  4. Communicating the vision of change
  5. Strengthening employees’ skills to act following the strategy
  6. Generating short-term gains
  7. Consolidating of results and production of even more change
  8. Solidifying the organizational culture of new ways of working.

At the end of the case study, Paul succeeded to create two breakthrough projects as short-term gains, but he was still unable to solidify the mindset of quality and the new ways of working into the main organizational culture. By using this framework, Paul can plan his change projects better to make them seamlessly run as the new routine.

Evaluation of Paul’s plan of action

Paul’s plan of action had been very solid. He knew that every stakeholder should be on board to make the organizational change works. Each time he felt that there was a mismatch between what he expected and what the stakeholders expected, he came up with an idea that can connect the stakeholders together. Workers, such as housekeepers, maintenance, and chefs, can all be involved and contributed to the project of energy saving and cutting paper use.

However, in the end, he was still unable to solidify the change into organizational culture. Right after the project is his golden chance to establish the new organizational culture as people are still aware of how the projects worked and how all of them could contribute to the projects. Another most frequent mistake by leaders in leading change is to celebrate too early (Kotter, 2007). Paul should avoid this mistake.

Importance and relevance of the Cambridge Suites Halifax case

The study of organizational change is very important as it is critical to almost all organizations while also having a low success rate. The case study pointed out challenges in the human resource aspect related to the change, especially in encouraging commitment to the people. Human resource management practices are focused to incite high commitment from employees and encourage employees to generate more effort to contribute to achieving organizational goals (Senyucel, 2009). In this case, the commitment is to be on board with the change plan.

The case study also showed how better employee involvement can lead to better organizational commitment and even job satisfaction. In hospitality research, Marshall et al. (2015) examined that organizational commitment and job satisfaction improve employee loyalty. Thus, this case study is also relevant and important in terms of employee retention efforts.

References

Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. In Museum management and marketing (pp. 20-29). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1109/emr.2009.5235501

Laegaard,  J. & Bindslev, M. (2006). Organizational Theory. Bookboon.com

Marshall, T., Mottier, E., & Lewis, R. (2015).  Motivational factors and the hospitality industry: A case study examining the effects of changes in the working environment. Journal of Business Case Studies, 11(3), 123-132. https://clutejournals.com/index.php/JBCS/article/view/9289

Senyucel, Z. (2009). Managing the human resource in the 21st century. Bookboon.com.

Ross, G. (1995). Cambridge Suites Halifax.  Acadia Case Study Institute. Acadia University. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pSaU9IbmxQt2TDQDdVeg2v1NjIzBVLVM/view?usp=sharing

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