April 29, 2011

The Men’s Wearhouse, Advanced Change Theory and Organization Silence

Posted in BADM 720 tagged , , , , at 12:04 pm by Sarah

The Men’s Wearhouse reading paints a very rosy picture of life in the retail clothing industry.  Quotes from executives and middle managers are all about the fun resort trips and touchy-feely training meetings.  The one thing that I really liked was the idea that the best individual players don’t necessarily make up the best team.

Reading about the company’s philosophy on how they treat and mentor their employees was difficult for me.  My experience in retail has left me with a sort of cynical view of the industry.  I couldn’t help feeling like I was reading a lot of empty words.  But maybe it’s unfair of me to project my own past trauma onto the reading.

The Quinn, Spreitzer and Brown article on Advanced Change Theory was a very heavy read, though not the worst so far.  The biggest point here is that if you want to change your organization, you can’t just order it so and have it done.  You have to first change yourself if you want the fundamental spirit of change to be there in your organization.  I definitely agree with this, and with the steps lined out for clarifying your values, aligning your behavior to match and disregarding any penalties threatened from without.

Finally, the article on Organizational Silence hit a soft spot in me.  I have been in workplaces described precisely by this reading, and to get out of bed and drag yourself to a job like that every day is no less than soul-crushing.  Dramatic, yes, but that’s exactly how it felt at the time.