Case Study: Freeman-Brown Private School Closure
Case Study: Freeman-Brown Private School Closure
Freeman-Brown Effectiveness as an Open and Complex Adaptive System During Closure
Organizations may exhibit an open system that facilitates the transfer of information and resources between the organization and its external environment. But the organization exercises control over these interactions by creating a porous boundary that enables access to the required information while at the same time have protection against external interruptions. As an open system, Freeman-Brown private school had a week, inefficient relationship with its external environment by the time Hampton and Culpeper campuses were closed. Families, parents, and communities around the school feel that the school closure is so abrupt, and there was no effective communication. There is a leaked email with evidence of closing the school, but the school denied the allegations to protect the administration from parents’ wrath. The school does not have a smooth communication system to ensure an adequate flow of information to the outside environment. The boundary between the school and the external environment is not porous, and therefore, there is a delay in information delivery. Also, the impenetrable wall facilitates the inability of the campus to attract a considerable number of learners who can sustain the operation of the institution as it lacks an understanding of their external environment. Dynamic systems capable of undergoing evolution and adapting to the fluctuating environment are known as complex adaptive systems. Immediately before the closure of FBPS, the system was undergoing several changes. The external environment was facing financial problems, stiff competition from chartered and independently operating schools. The school could not hold on or adapt to the undergoing changes. They surrendered into the competition and saw most of their students transfer to their competing public schools with charters. FBPS also did not make and investments in marketing the school most due to country-wide economic crises taking place at that period. Therefore, the complex adaptive system of the school failed to be effective.
Organization Culture and Organization Climate Before The School Closure
Organizational culture and climate describe constructs for formulating hypotheses through which individuals explain their environmental work experience. Organizational climate is views shared with attached meaning to processes, policies, and practices that workers experience and observe behaviors that attract expected rewards and support. On the other hand, organizational culture refers to shared primary assumptions, values, and beliefs, which provide an example of an environment. All new workers have been taught about the organization’s culture to influence their feelings and thoughts. Through stories and myths, individuals receive information about how to do things within the organization.
Decision Made by Murphy and Caudill
There was an economic crisis throughout the country from the case study, and organizations are down financially. During this time, many schools were closed, and FBPS is one of them. The economic crisis is not good enough to justify the school closure. The financial crisis lasted for six years, from 2005 to 2011; at this period, the school was at its best with financial stability as it was expanding, trying to set up new campuses and opening new high schools. This expansion provides a clear image of how the school was financially stable even though the country was in an economic crisis. The new developments and expansion gave the school’s stakeholders hopes, and the school’s sudden closure was a big disappointment to them as it was against their expectations. The actual school closure happened during the economic recovery period after financial problems within the country eased. The reason provided to justify the school’s closure is solved by devising marketing strategies, improvement in administrative processes, and operational management methods, strengthening competition with other schools. Due to the school’s quality education bypassed numerous problems in the previous periods, facilitating its existence in several decades. Therefore, there is no way the school could not handle new entries of challenges. The school had what it takes to withstand all the challenges and maintain its status within its region. Therefore the school closure was a wrong decision that went further and distorted the image of the two operating campuses as hope and belief in the school was gone.
Steps taken for the execution of the school closing process turned out to be worse. The leaked emails provide evidence that the management had already decided to close the school a long time ago. But the school management had no intention of incurring losses, so they had to wait until the semester ends to transfer. They did not inform parents about this decision early enough because parents would withdraw their children from the school and would not pay fees. As a result, they gave parents false hopes, but in the end, it is only disappointment that came through. The school’s sudden closure brought about the crisis to parents, students, and the employees of the school. When shutting down the school, the procedures were explicitly drafted to benefit only the management and did not care about what would happen to other stakeholders. It was inhuman to ignore the future of the learners and the employee’s welfare. The absence of prior notice brought psychological trauma to all stakeholders as they try to figure their next move. Therefore the process was disastrous to many individual pushing them into the situation which did not favor their dreams as they had no alternatives to choose.
FBPS and Social Responsibility
Before the school closure, the organizational climate around FBPS was not favorable. It was a shock to both the administration, students, and the faculty, showing that it was their first time learning about the school’s closure; they had no idea that the school would close so abruptly after a promising start. This shock indicates that internal communication within the school did not have adequate processes to facilitate practical discussions about critical choices before passing them on to other concerned parties. No consultations with workers about their issues, and therefore, the school did not consider their welfare. The workers receive sudden dismissal without any notice offered to them and psychological preparation for leaving the job. No set policies were outlining how the school should dismiss workers and therefore was a violation of the rights of employees. The communication culture is inferior within the organization, and it did no create room for cooperation when handling situations and decisions. The school’s management does not involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process, hence ending up making poor decisions. Therefore, the organizational climate and culture within FBPS were not favorable.
Handling the closure based on Suitable Management
Administrative theory provided by Weber states that an organization should have rules and laws that govern the duties of the workers, that offer standard functioning procedures and tasks in the organizations for effective collaboration and provide certainty. (Cole, 2004). FBPS did not have any standard methods of passing on information and handle the crisis. There were no clear outlined guidelines for laying off workers or receiving compensation if they incur losses for the dismissal without prior notification. Therefore, based on the theory, organizations should have established methods or steps to undertake when laying off an employee for a purpose. Concerning human interaction, the school should consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Cole, 2004). Both consumers and workers had faith in the organization in that it would cater to their needs effectively, but this was not the case after the school’s abrupt closure. Using Maslow’s theory, it would have been possible to consider their psychological welfare by issuing closure notice earlier in advance; this would have presented enough time to secure a new option while going on with their duties before the school closure. Hence it would be possible to safeguard their jobs and future security. Based on Chaos theory, the school management had the obligation of understanding that change is inevitable due to the complex nature of growing organizations. To punish stakeholders is not a solution but maintaining the complexity level by strengthening themselves by finding solutions to their challenges; the organization did not understand this and did not even try to find better solutions than closing the school. The school’s survival would have been possible if there existed an excellent formulated cooperation between the school and stakeholders.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals for Future FBPS Directors.
The short-term goal of FBPS’s future director would be to rebuild the organization’s faith and trust in the neighborhood. The sudden school closure hurt the majority of individuals. The school closure was an inhuman action, and it shook society’s belief in the organization. Therefore difficulties may arise when rebuilding the school before restoring the trust first as the stake will be in fear of the previous events recurring in the upcoming years. The future director should formulate a long-term objective to restore the school to its initial standards before its closure. The school’s legacy was very good with the potential of growing, which is an objective hard to achieve. Therefore, the management needs to work diligently to take back its market position. The director should also ensure that parents, students, and their employees have access to timely information concerning the school development, events, and possible challenges; this will aid the stakeholders to make wise decisions concerning their welfare
The school director has the responsibility of improving the managerial functions of the school. Effective planning on the techniques for managing the school are being put in place to prevent past failure from occurring again; this can be possible by formulating short-term and long-term goals. The director should put in place procedures and policies that would facilitate the school to meet these objectives. The director should provide effective leadership traits and offer guidance to the stakeholders on how to realize the new objectives of the organization by ensuring the necessary resource are available to them at the right time. The director should also ensure that he/she is updated on all the operations taking place within the organization; this will enable her to offer effective management and ensure that all the necessary functions are underway and achieve better outcomes.
Center for Education Reform. (2011). Appendix D. Closed charter schools by state. Retrieved
from https://www.edreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/CER_FINALClosedSchools2011 1.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor. (2013). Travel expenditures during the recent recession, 2005–2011.
Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130115.htm
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