PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF SYSTEMS MODELS AND ACTION RESEARCH: TRAINING AND ORGANIZATIONAL RENEWAL

Transportation agencies, like most public organizations today, are undergoing rapid and major changes that challenge their ability to adapt and function effectively. The University of Massachusetts/Institute for Governmental Services, training unit for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works (MDPW), has been helping MDPW meet the challenge of organizational survival and renewal. The use of systems models to understand the impact of change on MDPW, guide development of strategies for providing training to an organization in transition, and help MDPW personnel rebuild their capacity to cope with change is discussed. The Kotter organization dynamics model, a descriptive model that trainers used to gather information about MDPW and analyze the impacts of change on MDPW as an organizational system, is reviewed. The organization states model, a prescriptive model that proposes that trainers and managers must modify their usual problem-solving strategies when working with an organization in crisis, as was MDPW, is outlined. Using the models helped trainers establish the credibility and responsiveness of the program and secured the support of MDPW managers. To develop and deliver training, trainers used action research as their operational approach to working with MDPW experts, managers, and line staff and with FHWA officials. Action research stimulated organizational problem solving and change and assured that training met changing needs. How trainers have been delivering training to MDPW has been as important to organizational renewal as what training is offered.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 122-131
  • Monograph Title: Techniques for making key transportation decisions
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00450536
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 030903762X
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1985 12:00AM