APPLY THE 3-STEP PROBLEM-SOLVING APPROACH TO OB

Step 1: Define the problem.

 

Look first at the Outcomes box of the Organizing Framework in Figure 15.8 to help identify the important problem(s) in this case. Remember that a problem is a gap between a desired and a current state. State your problem as a gap, and be sure to consider problems at all three levels. If more than one desired outcome is not being accomplished, decide which one is most important and focus on it for steps 2 and 3.

Cases have protagonists (key players), and problems are generally viewed from a particular protagonist’s perspective. Take the perspective of Zappos employees.

 

 

Step 2: Identify causes of the problem

 

Using material from this chapter, summarized in the Organizing Framework shown in Figure 15.8. Causes will appear in either the Inputs box or the Processes box.

 

Start by looking at Figure 15.8 to identify which person factors, if any, are most likely causes to the defined problem. For each cause, ask yourself, Why is this a cause of the problem? Asking why multiple times is more likely to lead you to root causes of the problem.

Follow the same process for the situation factors.

Now consider the Processes box shown in Figure 15.8. Consider concepts listed at all three levels. For any concept that might be a cause, ask yourself, Why is this a cause? Again, do this for several iterations to arrive at root causes.

To check the accuracy or appropriateness of the causes, map them onto the defined problem.

 

Step 3: Make your recommendations for solving the problem.

 

Consider whether you want to resolve it, solve it, or dissolve it (see Section 1.5). Which recommendation is desirable and feasible?

 

Given the causes identified in Step 2, what are your best recommendations? Use the content in Chapter 15 or one of the earlier chapters to propose a solution.

You may find potential solutions in the OB in Action boxes and Applying OB boxes within this chapter. These features provide insights into what other individuals or companies are doing in relationship to the topic at hand.

Create an action plan for implementing your recommendations.