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Marketing Manager

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Essay summary | | | | Program title: | MBA Marketing | Module title: | Foundation of Knowledge |

EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED?
HOW SWAT OFFICERS AND FILM CREWS HANDLE SURPRISES. 1) How individuals respond to unexpected events that allow work to continue.

2) How are problems solved by using available resources?

Outline the theoretical framework underpinning the study.
It is impossible to predict everything that can go wrong in our daily lives and there is no question that all organizations, not just business, need to adapt in order to survive (Herold David M, Fedor Donald B 2009). Fortunately, in the academy of management journal article of expecting unexpected new research organizational behavior in fast -paced work environments has revealed a set of strategies that can improve individual reactions and overall group performance. The two author(s)’ Bechky and Okhuysen, in their study published in 2011 used strategic interviews and direct observation to find similarities between the ways Police SWAT team and film production crews cope with surprises breaking into a location, the SWAT team found more suspects than expected. In response, the lead officers changed their primary role from trying to reach the further corner of the location to covering areas and suspects as they advance. During a scene in which an actor was "slaughtered" and fell into a hot tub on the top floor of a mansion, the crew forgot to account for displacement and the tub overflowed. All the scenes set to film that evening with the hot tub were rescheduled for the following day. The electricians shifted the power to the generators and they shot a different scene in the dry living room (Bechky, Okhuysen, 2011).
The SWAT team was about to use explosives to blow the door. The lead officer checked the door handle, found it open, and the team switched to a "stealth entry" right away. They found that having the ability to shift people between roles. Shuffle the ordering of tasks in a project, and deviate from normal routines was a key to successfully navigating unexpected changes. Bechky, the lead author and as associated professor of management at university of California, she observed four different film projects, with combined total 310 staff and more $ 100 million in financing, in addition to conducting a number of interviews and sifting through a mountain of prier research .the findings are significant because they a new framework and new language for talking about organizational and team structure. Bechky and her co-author recommend three ways that innovate and entrepreneurial teams can promote "organization bricolage" a process of sharing knowledge and work expectations to cope with limited resources and continue effectively.
First, they should draft agreement; the SWAT team did this by jointly developing a rudimentary plan action. Secondly, they should reinforce and elaborate task activities. Shares knowledge between team members, while also supports best practices and eliminating inefficiencies is a key to success. At a movie set, the unit manager did this by explaining industries norms to group of production assistants. Finally, they should build cross –member expertise. Consistent and continue training programs, which make sure that everyone has a rudimentary understanding of one another’s skill and duties. Allow for role flexibility and task efficiency (Bechky, Okhuyusen, 2011).
Describe the research design and methods of data collection and analyses used by the author(s) to investigate the question. To understand how organizations respond to surprises, the author(s)’ Bechky and Okhuysen investigated individual cases to unexpected events for the two sets of organizations: a) A Police SWAT team consisting of police officers whom are organized to respond directly to unexpected situations such as violence, freeing hostages, and other security responsibilities that concern their work.

b) A film production crew who come together to produce a single film sets, and where unexpected surprises could appear at any time and could impede their work progress to continue.

How was data collected for case (a)?
The data drawn from a police department in a suburb of a large metropolitan city in the U.S.A interviewing 18 members of SWAT team who have been with the force for periods ranging from one month to 17 years, with other 12 of the officers had been on a team for more than 5 years. In addition, the officers attend the interviews lasting between 45 minutes and three hours, Gerardo conducted 22 interviews over a three-month period focusing on the tasks of the group and including descriptions of possible mission and typical training details.

Data collected for case (b)
Becky participated as observer in four different film sets. Two of them were small short-term productions. One was a commercial for a Telephone Company which took a place over several days and involved 50 people. The other was a music video filmed over five days with a 35 people. The remaining two were sets for full length movies, producing horror movie with a budget of $2 million lasting five weeks involving 50 crew members, and a movie backed by a major holly wood studio with a budget of over $ 100 million with a 175 members for the period of six weeks. Bechky interviewed members of the film crews’ multiple times during shooting to have more information about how crew members dealt with unexpected surprises at their work. .
Summarize the results of the study and assess the author(s)’ contribution to knowledge.
The increasing use of organizational bricolage
Every organizations facing unexpected surprises in their work the sooner they identify a problem, the more likely they are to avert a dangerous situation. Roberto Michael (know what you don’t know 2009 p.4).
Both film crew and Swat team members used Organizational Brecolage to allow their work to continue. The author(s)’ Bechky and Okhuysen combined two independently collected data to develop a comparative analysis to responses to the unexpected.
Also in dealing with surprises, Film Crews keep extra supplies in hand to beat unexpected situations while the Swat Team trains with ‘Toys’ to create multiple situations and how to improvise.
In case of Film Crews they use role shifting and reordering the work by shooting different scenes to avert delays, and swat team respond by changing routine and reorganize the work.
Moreover, drafting agreements made prior for both sets, help in averting and solving occurrences. Shared task knowledge, developing work expectations and timings help flow of work commonly known as plan ‘B’.

Critically examine the study: a) The research questions may be more appropriate mostly in some organization that is prone to the unexpected like SWAT teams, Hospitals, Civil Defense where the unexpected is a daily occurrence. b) Other organizations which are mostly profit oriented and not for public service normally the unexpected is rare to happen and if it does the organization takes necessary steps prior to occurrence so as not to affect the bottom line. They depend on history and past experience to counter an unexpected incidence. For example fire which can be devastating and can cause enormous loss. Hence tools such as sprinkler system, fire alarm systems, extinguishers, training staff and having a department within an organization like safety assurance team to counter the unexpected. c) While film production is a profit making organization but have a short time span as after film is made the organization is terminated. Hence it would be better to do study in an organization that is continuous in its endeavors for example a Hotel or a Hospital. . d) The study had limitation as far as swat team is concerned. The study depended more in interviews rather than actual participation the reason being the danger involved while in film production the major limitation is that the short life span of the set up, the limited time of production. Therefore other organizations would have been more appropriate example a Hospital and Vehicle production plant. e) In both Swat team and Film crew they appropriately used Organizational Bricolage to solve the unexpected.
References:
(Bechky, Okhuysen. 2011 Expecting the Unexpected).
(Herold David M, Fedor Donald B. 2009 leading to change).
(Roberto Michael. Know what you don’t know 2009 p.4)

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