Monday, November 21, 2011

Political Change in Developing Regions

Question one: What are the basic “givens’ of Brazilian politics according to Roett? On the basis of his historical sketch would you conclude that ‘history is density’? Do you feel these are immutable and cannot be changed?

Givens are independent variables, dominant over time and relatively immune to change to change from outside the system according Roett (1992: 15) in Brazil these individual variables are the elite rule, state bureaucracy at the service of patrimonial order and social dualism. The elites of Brazil have through time dominated the political spheres and manipulated the population according to Roett (1992) they have been able to manipulate the population and defined the goals of the state in their own terms. Roett (1992) propagates that in Brazil pattern of elite interaction assigns great value of pragmatism in policy- making, deploys little ideological fervour, and endorses flexibility in inter-personal relationships and stress highly personal or charismatic forms. Power is encompassed in the elites whose power is built on its influence with institutions of the patrimonial state of which the military and the bureaucracy.

The other ‘given’ is the patrimonial state which according to Roett (1992) encompasses the concept of clentitelismo a system of decision making that is based on an exchange of substantive favours, legal privilege and protection from punishment among political actors. The patrimonial regime controls and dominates and the state becomes often synonymous with the regime according to Roett (1992) the state appears as the embodiment of historical and social processes that have most influenced the formation of the nation. The last ‘given’ is social dualism according to Roett (1992:36) is an enduring social framework in which that masses are systematically excluded from the majority of political and economic benefits generated by the system. I would conclude that ‘history is density’ because the ‘givens’ have evolved over a period of time and the bases of the measurement is to articulate what historically happen for these ‘givens, to become a prominent feature in Brazil. According to Roett (1992) the Portuguese crown aware of the rival forces in the colony increased bureaucratic centralization in 1549 creating patrimonial order which was later inherited by the modern Brazil state. The Crown supported the coastal groups against the pretensions of the interior this created social dualism were the other masses were marginalized from economic and political benefits this was inherited by the Brazilian political culture. According to Roett (1992) from the 1822 independence of Brazil two influential groups dominated the military and the state governors and determined the operations of the state, elites have always formed the base of the state structure.

Historical political structures are difficult to eliminate as they confine to society culture and socialization process although l feel that revolutions are always possible that can change these forms of political organization in Brazil so ‘givens’ are not immutable.

Question Two: Reading Lamounier, what do you see as being the biggest challenges for Brazilian politics today and on going into the future?

One of the biggest challenges faced by the Brazilian politics today is the question of democracy and establishment of legitimate rule. Lamounier (1995:138) the continued army tutelary of their role in civilian and society institutions has hampered the development of democratic institutions in Brazil this has created a challenge to separate the military from the government operations. The Brazilian society is highly differentiated and complex and they has been continued resistance of military regimes however according to Lomounier (1995:139) low levels of participation of society in economic and political activities is a major challenge that Brazil faces. This attribute is contributed to the centralization of government operations according to Lamounier (1995) the federation directly controls a large proportion of the economy.

In development and growth challenges Brazil according Lamounier (1995) have insufficient domestic savings, technological dependence and high external debts these challenges are caused by poor economic governance strategies and the phenomena of the existence of a patrimonial state that encourages corruption and self elite enrichment marginalising the poor. The other biggest challenge is the issue of addressing high levels of inequality that dominates in Brazil according to Lamounier (1995) levels of income inequality and mass poverty in Brazil are among the worst in the world, the concentration of property and land in colonial history and through the authoritarian rules created huge income inequalities.

The other biggest challenge Brazil faces is that of eradication of national and ethic cleavages although according to Lamounier (1995) political conflict between groups is nonexistent in this homogenous society marginalisation of the minority groups in economic and political activities is still a major problem. Lack of leadership that create a new ideological structure and move away from clientelistic politics is also another major problem according to Lamounier (1995:151) they is an oversupply of leaders willing to violate the rules of the game for self enrichment, political legitimacy and political existence. The other main problem is the presence of a non democratic political culture in Brazil according to Lamounier (1995) the electoral process has requisite quantum of aggregate uncertainty regimes have altered the constitution to have power over the electoral votes for instance the Electoral Court Act in 1932 . A significant degree of social mobility exists despite severe income inequality according to Lamounier (1995) the cultural process of modernization does not have any relative impact rather maintain their egalitarian culture. The other alarming problem is that is ever increasing population growth in large cities that have increased pressure on state resources.

Question Three: What is patrimonialism? How has it been entrenched in Brazil society and what are the prospects of changing the system?

Patrimonialism which according to Roett (1992) encompasses the concept of clentitelismo a system of decision making that is based on an exchange of substantive favours, legal privilege and protection from punishment among political actors. The patrimonial regime controls and dominates and the state becomes often synonymous with the regime, the state appears as the embodiment of historical and social processes that have most influenced the formation of the nation. According to Roett (1992:98) patrimonialism has made association leaders and followers to leave initiation to higher authorities and to regard the government as the supreme entity of the society.

Patrimonialism has been entrenched through many institutions for instance the church and labour movements. According to Roett (1992:100) the Roman Catholic Church has been a vehicle to spread patrimonialism ideology of the Brazilian government, the church enjoys full political rights and many of the clergy have served in Congress and its ties with the government are strong. According to Roett (1992;100) since the election of Pope John XXIII in 1958 the church has been active in influencing the state policies, the National Congress of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) founded in 1952 was the to engage with the government to eradicate the socio-economic challenges in the 9 states. The church activities became more influenced by political catalyst supporting all government initiatives to protect its existence and dominance. The labour movements also played an important role entrenchment of patrimonialism according to Roett (1992:108) rather than allow the growth of an independent and perhaps destabilizing labour movement, regimes used its power to tie labour to the government effectively precluding the creation of autonomous, politically active interest groups to represent workers. The process of strategic unionism that was to eliminate any resistance according to Roett (1992:106) the union leadership had to accept the government interference and direction to assure social class conciliation and a dependent working class and in turn the regime would ensure their survival and freedom. Any resistance was crashed by removal of patronage channels and political influence of trade unions.

The dominant role of the patrimonial state has determined economic policy for the industrialists according to Roett (1992) the patrimonial state hold the preeminent leadership role in defining the path of the Brazilian industrialization, business culture necessary to nurture a truly indigenous and internationally competitive industrial sector was suffocated. Industrialist had to support the government strategic policies and of ensuring social cohesion, the government had little consultation with the entrepreneurs and the industrialists play an assertive role in the economy of Brazil. The state bureaucracy and national planning has also been used to entrench patrimonialism under the leadership of Vargas after 1939 according to Roett (1992) with control and authority and control concentrated in the presidency the bureaucracy expanded rapidly. Most of the government employers supported patrimonialism as they were the major beneficiaries of the system according the Roett (1992) state bureaucracy was to the benefit of the ruling elites, in wealth accumulation and the use of national planning was a major tool to enhance allegiance and complacence to the ruling elites by Brazilian citizens.

Question four: Think a little out of the box about democracy: What do you learn by comparing India’s experience with that of Brazil?

The lesson that can be derived from the Indian and Brazil experience is the difficulties that states face in establishing democratic institutions and that in democracy they are certain ‘givens’ that continues to exist within a states even if they are not democratic. Democratic prospects both in Brazil and India were hindered by inheriting colonial political institutions which heavily impacted the political organization of the post independent states in their fist decades of democratization, created the same economic, political and social institutions as well as policies to run their states.

The other lesson to be learnt is the fact the democracy is derived from several ramifications within a state. In Brazil and India the presence of military domination in politics that turned to over throw the government in most encounters, patrimonialism, regional inequalities, authoritarian regimes and centralization of government operations leads to mass mobilization which in turn cause revolutions that changes the course of political organization in a state. The other lesson is that practice of good governance leads to political stability, good governance entails first and foremost a government that lives up its responsibilities by ensuring the effective delivery of public goods and services, the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice and also creates a vibrant civil society as well as a dynamic market that secures economic growth and property.

The most valuable lesson l learnt is that the holding of election, is not the prerequisite for democracy, a mature democracy order requires that the new rules of the political game endure between election and indeed, compel incumbent governments to hold further polls within a constitutional defined period and continued accountability and representation are far more important that the simple mechanics of holding elections. Multi party democracy also needs a neutral state whose institution provide the level playing field on which political parties can compete, democratic development needs a new political environment in Africa where there is a clear distinction between states institutions and those of the ruling party.


Lamounier, B (1995) “Brazil; Inequality against Democracy” in Diamond L.Linz J, Lipset S.M (eds) (1995) Politics in the Developing Countries: Comparing Experiences with Democarcy. Lynne Rienner Boulder

Roett R (1992) Brazil: Politics in the Patrimonial Society. Praeger, London. Ch2. The Brazilian Political System in Perspective.

Roett R (1992) Brazil: Politics in the Patrimonial Society. Praeger, London. Ch5. The Patrimonial state and Society in Brazil

Implementation plan for change

Combining the key themes and readings of the course, discuss who you would construct an implementation plan for change for National Computer Operations (NCO). Critically evaluate your answer.

Workplace change encompasses various methodologies for instance organizational diagnosis, enhancing organizational culture, the process of organizational learning, redesigning the organization, designing challenges and methods to solve those challenges and developing human resources. Changing global mega environment in technology, social trends, political and culture mean change in consumer preferences, global markets and change in organizational structure. Organizations must enforce implementation plans for change looking at these variants while ensuring workers motivation and organization strategic goals. This essay will construct an implementation plan for change by strategically aligning alterations in the patterns of employee behavior for National Computer Operations.

The survival of the NCO needs a rigorous change implementation to survive in the changing global markets and competitive environment according to Spector (2010:3) change implementation means actions taken by organizational leaders in order to support strategic renewal and maintain outstanding performance in a dynamic environment. As Spector (2010: 76) propounds NCO was an exclusive computer support services to the immense, global enterprises of the U.K based National Banking Group, with challenges of poor customer satisfaction, leadership monopoly, diverting norms, values, goals and low responsiveness culture. However NCO enjoyed a monopolistic market channeling its product and services to the U.K National Banking Group. The changing new policy of National Bank according to Spector (2010:76) which allowed all banks to purchase computer services from any supplier of their choice rather than NCO was a threat to the survival of the NCO. The new policy of the National Bank was the major factor to the initiative by NCO to diversify its products and services on global markets but this required an implementation plan of change.

The first implementation plan for change is to enhance strategic renewal of NCO through carrying out organizational diagnosis to come up with a road map that indentifies the current status as well indentifies the desired future of the organization. Organizational effectiveness is determined by the alignment of various elements within the organizational internal context, external environment and patterns of employee behavior. The importance of organizational diagnosis is to provide future prospects of organizational effectiveness as it is a vital preliminary stage for implementing change. Organizational diagnosis according to Spector (2007) is the process that creates widespread agreement about requirements for change. In organizational diagnosis it also paramount to include the incites of John Kotter (1996) on the important steps to create major change within an organization which are able to remove rudiments of resistance, stage one will enforce NCO to establish a sense of urgency which is a very important, as it needs to study market and competitive realities when it starts to market its products and services to external customers. Through establishing a sense of agency the NCO will be able to encourage organization dialogue which enables them to indentify and discuss crises, potential crises and major opportunities.

Organizational diagnosis through renewed strategies, new business models and shifting external realities will bring about new skills, competencies, and patterns of behavior. Spector (2010: 42) organizational diagnosis is paramount as it encourages broad-based participation which helps to overcome defensiveness and resistance to the change. During organizational diagnosis dissatisfaction with the status quo is eradicated by encouraging mutual agreement among employees concerning the need for change. In NCO there was leadership monopoly which hampered channels of participation and communication in all levels of the organization which resulted in low morale, product and services failure. According to Spector (2007) Peter Kapok a manager of NCO renounced that they were not client oriented neither were they concerned with changing consumer preferences. Organizational diagnosis according to Spector (2007) encompasses various stages, collecting data on the organization and its environment is the most important stage to analyze the internal and external variables that hamper NCO operations. The process of collecting data on the organization will result in the NCO Company to find out why its managerial level and workers are failing to have strategic goals that hamper consumer satisfaction and loyalty on it products and services. NCO can use diagnostic interviews internally to importune information that enhance organizational effectiveness which according to Spector (2007) involves a trained diagnostician sitting down with the employees to implore information on ways that organization can implement change although this process has lacks of anonymity it collects rich data and creates organizational dialogue that was lacking in the NCO structures. Externally the NCO can use questionnaires with is important for the attainment of its new strategy to diversify its operations by actively and aggressively market its services to external customers.

Questionnaires are able to be administered in a large number of customer base even employers to explore ways to define the ultimate value of NCO services and products by enabling this process NCO is able to came up with valid information concerning factors that impact the performance of the organization and its ability to implement its renewed strategy. By carrying out these diagnostic measures it increases psychological safety within NCO which according to Spector (2007) leads to pervasive set of assumptions on the part of the employees that the organization climate is conducive for taking personal risks, especially around dialogue. Through organizational diagnosis efforts to enhance organizational dialogue in the levels of managements of NCO is achieved. According to Spector (2007) organizational dialogue creates the opportunity for open and honest conversation among employees concerning how to implement a new strategy and sustain outstanding performance. Monopoly leadership in NCO and centralization in decision making requires power equalization steps of delayering, decentralization, egalitarianism, encouraging third party facilitation, enhancing facilitation and encouraging team work by implementing these steps NCO will avoid the organizational silence which according to Spector (2007) refers to the assumptions by employees that candid feedback and open dialogue in being avoided.

The second step for the construction of an implementation plan for change indentify the purpose of NCO through redesigning the organization according to Spector (2010:42) if organizational diagnosis generates dissatisfaction with the status quo, employees can participate in redesigning behavioral patterns to support strategic renewal and outstanding performance. Organizational redesigning according to Spector (2007) is the process of changing an organization’s design in response to the shifting dynamics in the organization environment. Testing important elements of the organization specialization, coordination, knowledge, control and commitment and innovation and adaption of NCO are important. The Strength Weakness Opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis which according to Hill and Westbrook (1995:47) it is a good strategy to examine the external situation NCO faces thus opportunities and threats and its own internal qualities or characteristics which are strengths and weaknesses.

SWOT enables NCO to have a thorough analysis of the company internal and external environment, the internal environment will accordingly result in an overview of all weaknesses and strengths of the company in NCO according Finnvold the managing director of NCO elaborated that no one at any level in the NCO possessed real general management experience this was an internal threat. While the external environment will result in the overview of all opportunities and threats these are variables existing outside the company, which in the short-term are not under the control of the NCO. With SWOT the NCO is able to analyze data that is vital to the identification and evaluation of the strategic factors which assist or hinder the company in reaching its full potential. NCO had guaranteed customers who would always cover the costs that the computer operation passed along assured of profitability however it was being confronted by a dynamic environment that requires the recognition of it threats and opportunities through SWOT.

Strategic management of NCO’s primary concern must be an improvement of the competitive position, the realization of profit growth in the long-term, which is a result in the achievement of better returns from the capacity utilized. With the government requirements for tax payment which might be threat to lower current revenues NCO must observe this as an external threat. Houben (1999:126) propounds that the strategic management after carrying out a SWOT analysis an organization be able to formulate of a strategy, implementation a strategy and control and evaluate of the strategy. The formulation of a strategy is a process for the development of long-term plans, to effectively respond to environmental opportunities and threats in light of the strengths and weaknesses of the company which is normally the company policy while in implementing strategy actions programmes are devised and budgets and procedures are drawn up which will become the operational plan hence this comprises collection of action and stages for the execution of a plan. Lastly the NCO must be able to evaluate and control a strategy which serves as a point for a new cycle by indicating weaknesses of the company in previously implemented strategic plans.

Another important element in redesigning the NCO Company when constructing a plan for implementing change is to involve job designing as way of creating employee commitment to the organization strategic goals. According to Spector (2010:44) through redesigning roles, responsibilities and relationships through shares diagnosis serves to align behavior pattern with competitive realities facing organization with values, goals, purpose and principles of the organization and with requirements of outstanding performance. The NCO managers according to Spector (2010:78) were not being measured by organizational performance or client satisfaction virtually with no coordination of efforts and performance measures. Job designing will eradicate these problems according to Spector (2007) job designing refers to organizational expectations for how tasks will be performed in order to meet both individual tasks requirements and the overall performance requirements of the organization. Through job designing they will be increase in employee motivation through teamwork, job enrichment, job rotation, job enlargement and continuous performance appraisals. The NCO Company was lacking employee motivation which is an important variant to innovation and achievement of organizational goals by including the sixth step of Kotter (1996) of generating short term wins which involves strategizing visible performance improvements that encompasses rewards and employee recognition in relation to the duties and individual achievements to the success of the organization goals and mission job designing will contribute to the success of NCO.

Human resources development is another important variable of organizational redesigning when constructing the implementation plan for change for NCO the redesigned roles, responsibilities and relationships require individuals and collective efforts to collaborate for the achievement of renewed strategic goals. According to Spector (2010:108) organizations must seek to develop employee skills and competencies, the General Manager of the NCO Finnvold found out that no one at any level in NCO possessed real general management experience. Through human resource development NCO Company is able to align the talents, skills, attitudes and behaviors of employees with the strategic requirements of outstanding performance. According to Spector (2010:110) human resource development refers to the creation of required knowledge, skills and attitudes within an organization to enable the effective implementation of shifting goals and objectives. Training, task alignment performance appraisal, recruitment, section removal and replacement of employees are methods to enhance organizational effectiveness, by undertaking human resources development NCO will be assured of competent workforce for role of implementing strategic renewal and organizational change.

The last important element when constructing a plan for implementing change in NCO structures is the alteration of the behavioral aspects. According to Spector (2010:6) behavioral change refers to alterations in employee behavior in order to enable the organization to meet the demands of its strategy while achieving and sustaining outstanding performance. NCO was not client oriented customers would complain about NCO services and products and the relationship between employees was lacking coordination. Effective strategic renewal requires behavioral change that directly targets patterns of employee actions and interactions in order to meet the company’s strategy and to achieve and sustain performance. According to Spector (2010:78) the NCO staff did not quite considered themselves working for the same organization that if some would ask for help from one unit it was considered as nuisance whilst Finnvold realized that customers view of NCO effectiveness stood in diametric opposition to that of the NCO mangers. Behavioral change in NCO is a paramount enactment of relationships how employees interact with their others it is this enactment according to Spector (2010:7) it is this enactment of roles, responsibilities and relationships that constitutes the target of behavioral change efforts.

Behavior change is also enhanced if NCO adopts organizational culture and change that is in line to company strategic goals and values. In construction of an implementation plan for change organizational culture plays an important part according to Spector (2010:166) organizational culture refers to the shared values and assumptions that help shape from employee behavior and are typically passed down from current to future employees. The NCO prior and organizational culture of not competing with other technological firms on the global markets as they had monopoly over services and products they offered to the National Banking Group in the UK, with a culture of no collaboration among workers. Revitalization of NCO values and norms through establishing a viable organizational culture will enable the organization to be competitive as it will be able to pay attention to customers, employees and stakeholders. Communicating the vision is important to all levels of the management according for the alteration of employee behavior according to Kotter (1996) it is the third stage of implementing major change this involves disseminating the new vision of NCO and strategies to increase its market share and entering the global markets.

Organizational culture according to Spector (2010:173) enables valuing of developmental potential of employees, valuing outstanding performance through performance appraisals, valuing employee participation through involvement in decision making and mostly through valuing learning which is a process which individuals receive data from the external environment analyze that data and adjust their thinking and behaviors based on the analysis. Valuing learning creates learning organization which is adoptive to the global changing environments according to Greenberg and Baron (1997:543) a learning organization is an organization that has develop a contentious capacity to adapt and change. In the last stage of implementing major change in an organization according to Kotter (1996) attachment of new approaches in the corporate culture is important to enhance better performance via customer and productivity- oriented behavior with a more effective management, the vital role of organizational culture is also influenced by the existence of a sound, innovative and powerful leadership.

Leadership change as an important variable of enhancing the alteration of behavior in an organization NCO company through the removal of some of the management employees that are not qualified or without relevant experience will be able to enforce an implementation of change plan. According to Spector (2010:77) Finnvold noticed that in NCO no one at any level possessed real general management skills or experience and no one had ever run a freestanding commercial enterprise that implied managing costs, customers and operations within a fiercely competitive environment. According to Kotter (1996) in his second step for implementation of change building up a guiding coalition which is to assemble a group of with enough power to lead the implementation plan is very important, to encourage the group to work together which is the pivotal role of leadership in an organization. Leadership according to Spector (2010:188) refers to a set of activities or behaviors that mobilize adaptive behavior on part of members of the organization. Without effective leadership that is competitive and with relevant expertise to operate in a competitive the environment NCO survival will be under threat leadership is critical in determining the effectiveness of an organization’s change implementation.

Leadership is responsible for demanding performance expectations, articulate clear and consistent sense of purpose and direction for the organization this encourages employees at all levels to collaborate and adapt to changing circumstances by being innovative as to achieve the desired expectations by the leadership. The fourth stage of Kotter (1996) in the construction of the implementation plan for change is empowering the action which involves eradicating the impediments to change by changing systems or structures that undermine the vision. Leadership through demanding performance expectations and direction they shape the vision of the organization. According to Kapok a NCO manager in the 1980s promulgates that NCO staff did not consider themselves working for the same organization it is the role leadership to removing this perception through encouraging collaboration of functions of the organization for common visions and goals.

However it is paramount to understand that organizational employees are resistant to change by nature envisaged with fear of the unknown, fear of losing security, lack of resources, bad timing, lack of good information and fear of loss of power. The NCO had leadership monopoly any elements to decentralize its operations and functions will be crashed with great resistance by the top management as it is invertible for them to have fear of losing power. In Organizational diagnosis NCO might face challenges of selecting an appropriate method of collecting data, questionnaires, diagnostic interviews and behavior observation methods all have their disadvantage same are costly, time consuming and requires skilled expertise. Organizational redesigning has also its challenges; some units in the NCO might function well if they are differentiated from the rest of the company to respond to unique environments, decision making rights are usually a source of conflict on who should make decisions in the organization and environmental dynamism is also a threat to the redesigned NCO. Above all implementing a plan of change is expensive there is need for human resource development, recruitment and selection, training and its time consuming but also important to respond to environmental dynamism.

NCO’s survival is based on its capability to construct an implementation plan for change by strategically aligning alterations in the patterns of employee behavior. The changing monopoly status over the UK National Banking Group and its inclusion in tax bracket by the UK government will automatically decrease its revenues in the long-term. While the NCO was not customer oriented, not responsive to the external environment and its management without relevant experience to operate in a competitive environment implementation of a change plan must encompass organizational diagnosis, redesigning, learning, human resource development, culture and change, alteration of employee behavior and leadership development to ensure its survival in the challenging mega environment which poses a threat for its existence.


Greenberg, J & Baron, RA. 1997. Behaviour in Organisations, 6 edition. New Jersey:Printice Hall, Inc

Hall, R. (1999). Organizations. Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), "SWOT Analysis: It's Time for a Product Recall," Long Range Planning, 30, Jounal No. 1, 46-52.

Houben A knowledge-based SWOT-analysis system as an instrument for strategic planning in small and medium sized enterprises 1999 vol:26 iss:2 pg:125

Kotter, JP. 1996 Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press

Spector, B. (2007). Implementing Organizational Change. Pearson: New Jersey

Spector, B. (2010). Implementing Organizational Change. Pearson: New Jersey