Discussion Question Responses


Please respond to the following discussion questions:

Give reasons in support of your responses. Be sure to cite any relevant resources.

Write your initial response in 300–500 words. Your response should be thorough and address all the components of the discussion question in detail; include citations of all sources, where needed, according to APA style; and demonstrate accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Discussion # 1

Organizational change is an ongoing process in many organizations.  However, it is important for leaders to consider employees and stakeholders when implementing a change because their buy-in toward the change will determine its success.  Organizational change take place in small and large organizations.  Therefore, it is vital for leaders to communicate the change effectively to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal.

           Starbucks is an organization that has grown tremendously over the years.  Starbucks have locations around the world and it is a familiar symbol to individuals from different cultures.  Starbucks is planning an organizational change that will have a significant effect to its organizational structure.  Organizational change can be planned or unplanned and it has a direct impact on others (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016). 

CEO Kevin Johnson states that the change is necessary to increase the velocity of innovation that is relevant to customers, inspires partners, and is meaningful to the business (Whitten, & Rogers, 2018).  Organizational innovation and change develop based on internal and external organizational environments, the degree of change desired, the type of change, and the control over innovation and change (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  The change will include corporate layoffs, employee shifts between company departments, expanding its grab-and-go line, and closing some less populated locations (Bloomberg, 2018).

Other potential barriers to Starbuck’s innovation and change consist of complacency and knowledge or information deficits.  Complacency is the satisfaction that individuals receive with current circumstances while lacking an understanding for change (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  Complacency can take place when individuals are misinformed about an organization’s true status due to leaders communicating positive messages without providing information about areas for improvement (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  Knowledge or information deficits can take place when leaders make a decision without consulting with individuals that work close to the problem and may have a better understanding into what is needed to correct the issue (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).

Organizational trust is vital to an organization’s success during a change.  Employees and stakeholders trust leaders that have a genuine concern for their interests.  Starbucks can employ a communication and design strategy which will provide step-by-step details of why the change is taking place.  Communication design and strategy is the explanation for the change, the approach for gathering input about the change, the methods of evaluation, and the methods for disseminating the change outcome (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  Communication design and strategy can minimize miscommunication during the change process. 

The doctor-patient model is an approach that the leaders at Starbuck’s are using during the organizational change.  The doctor-patient model requires the communication specialist to examine symptoms of organizational problems and prescribe appropriate solutions to meet the identified problems (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  The CEO at Starbucks have identified a problem that exposed an opportunity for the chain to better prioritize and move faster while innovating into a new retail environment (Whitten, & Rogers, 2018).  The CEO’s solution to the problem will involve corporate layoffs.  An advantage to the doctor-patient model is its effectiveness if the leader displays abilities that are appropriate to the task and the organization accepts the solution (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).  A disadvantage to the doctor-patient model is the organization’s lack of acceptance of the solution due to the lack of organizational members input (Shockley-Zalabak, 2016).   


Bloomberg (2018). Starbucks plans ‘significant changes’ to company’s structure.

Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from


Shockley-Zalabak, P. S. (2016). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication,  

    9th Edition.[Argosy University]. Retrieved from


Whitten, S., & Rogers, K. (2018). Starbucks to cut corporate staff as it shakens up its

           organization. CNBC. Retrieved from


Discussion #2 

Innovation and Change: Strategic Consideration in PR Communication

Change is an inevitable occurrence for organizations, however, what matters is the way change process is undertaken and implemented as it can take different forms. According to Maital & Seshadri (2012), employee buy-in as well as their participation is key towards ensuring organizational changes are successful. Employee buy-in is when workers in an organization are committed towards its goals and mission and fins their day to day occupation personally resonant. Buy-in encourages employee engagement and their willingness to work extra hard at their jobs. Nevertheless, dealing with people involved in the change process determines the success and/or failure of the change process. This essay discusses the change implementation process and the role of employees buy-in in the change process.

Different organization has undergone change in one aspect or the other. One such organization is shifting from manual recording and record keeping on Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s (CHEO) Shift to Electronic Medical Records. In an effort to shift from manual to electronic medical records led the hospital to adopt a team to spearhead the change process. The change process was successful as there was team identified to train the workers on how to effectively use the new development (EHRs). Additionally, the change plan was realistic and detailed and they gave practice sessions to ensure success in the change process. Different factors contributed to the success of the change process. These include, supportive leadership, cooperating employees, well defined structure, effective training among others.

Different factors determine the success of positive innovation and change within organizations.  In addition to employees, other potential barriers to innovation and change in organizations include; fear among the leadership, short term thinking, lack of collaboration and resources, and no clear process among many others. Ineffective leadership is a key tool in any successful innovation and change process. Additionally, without clear culture and urgency, there lacks the desire to devise new ideas or ways to make leadership better (Maital & Seshadri, 2012). Additionally, innovation and change process demands financial and investment resources. Lack of enough funding results of poor and unsuccessful change process. Risk avoidance has been regarded as a major obstacle to future development and innovation in organizations. When organization fears to adopt change as well as incorporate new inventions, there lacks the enough power among the stakeholders and leaders to spearhead innovation and change processes. Finally, there is a time barrier (Maital & Seshadri, 2012). Time being a precious commodity in every organization, lack of enough time to identify key innovations as well as time to implement change has been regarded as a major challenge. Nevertheless, increasing the value, benefits and urgency of an innovation will tend to free up time to puzzle out on it.

Public relations and communications are key undertaking which is detrimental to every organization's success. In order to have the employee belief and trust, organizations adopt varying communication and public relations models (Heath & Coombs, 2006). The key public relations and communication strategy effective in gaining employees and surrounding community support include; adoption of clearly identifies of audience. This helps to streamline the available resources toward the achievement of the best results. In relations to a clear identification of the audience, there is also need for clear definition of goals (Verčič et al, 2004). Finally, there is media relations, use of technology and perfect understanding of the market.

With reference to a clear identification of audience, the organization benefits from focusing aligning of the available resources. This in turn leads to the establishment of a successful team with reference to organizational culture and employee behavior. Additionally, this leads to establishment of teamwork, within an organization bringing key players together (Heath & Coombs, 2006). However, focusing on the audience may lead to increased delay in decision making due to involvement of numerous players.


Maital, S., & Seshadri, D. V. R. (2012). Innovation Management : Strategies, Concepts and Tools for Growth and Profit. New Delhi: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd.

Verčič, D., & Ruler, B. van. (2004). Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe : A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Heath, R. L., & Coombs, W. T. (2006). Today’s Public Relations : An Introduction. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, Inc.