Critical Mass Analysis

Critical Mass Analysis Unit 2 Deena Rothwell Kaplan University GM505 Action Research and Consulting Skills Professor Gunzelman October 26 ,2010 Critical Mass Analysis In order for a researcher to conduct an action research analysis several factors must be determined. The specific purpose for the research, the components, and stakeholders. My action research project is to address a specific problem my agency has with employee retention within the patrol division during the past three years.

In conducting a critical mass analysis it is important to determine who has influence and can assist with making suggestions on changes or give necessary data. Stringer (2007) states, “action research is a systematic approach to investigation that enables people to find effective solutions to problems they confront in their everyday lives” (p. 1). In this critical mass analysis I will detail the level of involvement of the stakeholders who are involved or should be involved in resolving the problem.

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Action research facilitator’s role is to assist the organization and the involved parties in determining the problem and then to assist them is determining the best resolution that is effective and efficient for the organization and its stakeholders. Roles and Involvement When conducting an critical mass analysis it is important to take the time to evaluate all the organizations players or stakeholders, the specific problem to address, who is currently involved in the problem, and who could assist with resolving the problem.

It is important to look at the social dynamics of the organization and which groups within the organization that could have influence. When determining who should be included in a critical mass analysis, the action researcher needs to look at many factors: 1) the stakeholders experience in particular division, in this case who has worked at the agency in the patrol division; and has knowledge of the problem, 2) who is willing to participate in the research to assist with finding resolutions, and 3) who has meaningful contributions to assist with finding a satisfactory resolution.

It’s important that a action research facilitator also determine the level of involvement that they are to have in the process as well as the other stakeholders. When conducting a critical mass analysis the facilitator may play several roles – interviewer, collaborator, coordinator, and negotiator to assist with generating data and reaching an effective resolution. Stringer (2007) states planning action research is critical to generating a successful analysis through “establishing a positive climate that engages the energy and enthusiasm of all stakeholders” (p. 39).

Facilitators who fail to encourage and build enthusiasm in the stakeholders to assist with overcoming a specific organizational problem can lose the ability to build open communication and achieve an effective resolution. The participants in this critical mass analysis will include members of the organization who have insider information, expertise, and knowledge that will assist with determining the reasons for the employee retention decrease problem and make decisions on how to assist the organization in creating an action plan to increase retention of employees.

Patrol Lieutenant Kim Tomlin is the supervisor over the patrol division and has insider knowledge on the patrol division, the policies and procedures, the scheduling and pay scales, and general issues faced by the officers. Lt. Tomlin has the authority to make minor decisions on changes that influence her department. Services Lieutenant Jim Bush is the supervisor over the services division but was supervisor over the patrol division for several years.

He has insider knowledge on the internal workings of the patrol division and how the services division interacts with it. He has expertise in scheduling, policy and procedures, Internal Affairs investigation, and employee related issues. Lt. Bush has authority to make minor decisions in his department but limited authority in the patrol division to make changes, although his insider information gives him the knowledge to make suggestions on appropriate changes.

Both lieutenants have worked for the agency more than 10 years and are familiar with many aspects that can influence employee retention. Detective Sergeant Jimmy Courtney is supervisor over the criminal investigation division and has worked for the agency for 10 years in several positions. He has expertise in the agency workings through working several years as a patrol officer and working closely with the patrol division. Sgt. Courtney has the ability to influence decisions but not approve change.

As facilitator, I have worked for the agency for more than 18 years and worked in the criminal investigation division for 10 years, where I worked closely with the patrol division. The past 8 years I have worked in the administration division and where I work closely with all the agencies division and have insider data that can assist with determining what components and factors have influenced the decrease in employee retention over the past three years. Reflection on Critical Mass Analysis Phase Simpson (n. d). tates, facilitators need to have several factors to accomplish generating a successful critical mass analysis: 1)” knowledge that gives all the necessary data, 2) a desire to achieve a resolution to the specific problem, 3) stay focused on the specific problem and not get side tracked, 4) confidence in their ability to assist the organization in succeeding in achieving a resolution to the problem that moves it forward, making changes in attitude and behaviors that can influence the future, and 5) patience to allow the stakeholders to work through the issues and create sound changes” (p. 1-2). Harris (n. . ) states over the past several years there has been a new development within organizations to “bring together larger groups of people to work on organizational problems” (p. 1). Harris (n. d. ) states it is the responsibility of the facilitator to determine the stakeholders who can influence the right changes and to build a team that is not familiar with the “real world around them” (p. 1). Harris (n. d. ) states critical mass analysis should include the people who will see some type of benefit from the change; this will decrease the likelihood of conflict and resistance to recommended changes.

Conclusion There are many advantages to conducting a critical mass analysis using internal stakeholders. The stakeholders have the expertise to generate sound data and reasons for the employee retention decrease and a desire to see change that can influence the internal attitudes and behaviors of the patrol division personnel. By having stakeholders from several different divisions that also have insider knowledge about the patrol division the agency will give a “diversity of knowledge that leads to greater creativity and innovation” (Harris, n. . p. 2) that can benefit the organization in increasing employee retention. Action research facilitators must learn to recognize the key stakeholders and be able to generate their desire to work on changes that will not only resolve the specific problem but build an action plan to prevent future issues in the patrol division that can re-create the mindset that fostered the decrease. References Harris, C. L. (n. d. ). CRITICAL MASS INTERVENTIONS:. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from http://www. pyramidodi. com/papers/change. pdf Simpson, G. (n. . ). Success Analysis – The Concept of “Critical Mass. ” Retrieved October 26, 2010, from http://ezinearticles. com/? Success-Analysis—The-Concept-of-Critical-Mass&id=65140 Stringer, E. T. (2007). Action research (3rd ed. ). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications. Appendix 1 Critical Mass Grid Project (or Function or Task): _

Employee retention in the Patrol Division |Involvement | |O = Current level | |X = Desired level | Critical Mass Grid ROLE: |Make it Happen |Help it Happen |Let it Happen |Not Involved | |Name |Position | | | | | |Kim Tomlin |Patrol Lieutenant |ox | | | | |Jim Bush |Services Lieutenant |ox | | | | |Jimmy Courtney |Detective Sergeant |0x | | | |Deena Rothwell |Chief Security |0x | | | | | |Officer/Trainer/IT Director | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Note: the Negotiation Form only needs to be completed for those Inquiry Team members whose Desired Level is different from their Current Level Preparing to Negotiate: Key Ideas and Notes Stakeholder: Kim Tomlin |Stakeholder: Name Jim Bush | |Position: Patrol Lieutenant |Position: Services Lieutenant | | | | |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious | |interests are: |interests are: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative | |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify | |what to listen for. ) |what to listen for. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to | |restate proposals to help other understand. ) |restate proposals to help other understand. ) | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and | |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) | | | | | | | Preparing to Negotiate: Key Ideas and Notes Stakeholder: Name Jimmy Courtney |Stakeholder: Name Deena Rothwell | |Position: Detective Sergeant |Position: CSO/IT Director/ Training Officer | | | | |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious | |interests are: |interests are: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative | |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify | |what to listen for. ) |what to listen for. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to | |restate proposals to help other understand. ) |restate proposals to help other understand. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and | |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) | | | | | | | Preparing to Negotiate: Key Ideas and Notes Stakeholder: Name |Stakeholder: Name | |Position: |Position: | | | | |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious | |interests are: |interests are: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative | |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify | |what to listen for. ) |what to listen for. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to | |restate proposals to help other understand. ) |restate proposals to help other understand. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and | |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) | | | | | | | Preparing to Negotiate: Key Ideas and Notes Stakeholder: Name |Stakeholder: Name | |Position: |Position: | | | | |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious |Interests: (Clarify what the other’s obvious and not so obvious | |interests are: |interests are: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). |Options:(Create ways to meet interests and maximize joint gains). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative |Alternatives if agreement is not possible: (My best alternative | |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). |resolution and alternatives available to the other. ). | | | | | | | | | | | | |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify |Self-Preparation: (Question assumptions about the other and identify | |what to listen for. ) |what to listen for. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to |Relationship: (Separate the person from the issues and build ways to | |restate proposals to help other understand. ) |restate proposals to help other understand. | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and |Commitments: (Spell-out the issues to be included in agreement and | |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) |plan the steps involved in the agreement. ) | | | | | | |