Writer's choice

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When to Call the

Organization Doctor

Article review

“When to Call the Organization Doctor” is the name of the article chosen for review in this paper. The reason this article was selected was the manner in which it criticizes the use of outside consultants as a substitution for the four basic functions of the management process. This paper will compare “Organization Doctor” to the article “Management Zones Are They Safe?” as well as compare and contrast the reviewed article with the management process of my employer, Quest Diagnostics. I will make a recommendation for my employer in addition to making the argument that using an outside consultant is rarely necessary, especially to the point extent of deciding the strategic direction that an organization should head.

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Reviewed Article Summary

In short, the article is about how managers are often too quick to use outside consultants for certain organizational restructuring. The author, Robert Llewellyn, makes the point that consulting firms sway managers with effective presentations for services that are time and again not necessary. Llewellyn uses the model of an individual cutting a finger, going to the E.R. and the doctor wanting to amputate without making a proper diagnosis. This example serves to illustrate that applying a prescribed theory takes more knowledge and assessment of a situation than simply observation and operation.

Article Comparison

The reading (from class) that “When to Call the Organization Doctor” best relates to is “Management Zones Are They Safe?” for the reason that both readings emphasize the management mistake of trying to control results instead of thinking. While “Organization Doctor” makes the case against using an outside source, “Zones” focuses more on management. Both articles, however, make the point of the need to evaluate situations more closely by putting more effort into thinking through solutions before implementing across the board changes. These articles also equally take the position that it is ultimately the responsibility of the manager to find the proper solution(s) so as the vital goals of the company are achieved. The company I work for, Quest Diagnostics, has both an example of trying to control results and one of thinking through and fully evaluating a situation.

Relative to Quest Diagnostics

First, the example of trying to control results rather than thinking situations through. After /11 my business unit tried to enhance employee safety with respect to our buildings’ security by bringing in a security consultant. The specialist made a bevy of recommendations to our senior management most of which were implemented. However, after about two months of these security procedures being in place, an unauthorized person was able to gain access to the building without the use of a pass card, which permitted this individual to victimize some of the employees by stealing purses and other valuables. This occurred only after tighter security was put into place to prevent such episodes. The problem was not with the measures applied, but with ones that were not even considered. This occurrence came about because of management’s failure to identify the real problem of an illicit entity’s ability to easily enter the premises through other means than the consultant hired was able to foresee and correct.

Second, a case in point of Quest Diagnostics managers fully evaluating a situation instead of using quick-fix methods. My departmental managers over the past couple of years have taken more of an initiative to fully evaluate situations before hastily setting into practice one size fits all solutions. A perfect example of this has been the formation of employee satisfaction committees in response to increasing percentages of worker discontent and employee turnover. By evaluating employee surveys along with solutions offered by these committees, voluntary attrition has significantly decreased while employee contentment has somewhat increased. As a result of these moves, management has allowed itself to focus on other issues while the concern of worker dissatisfaction is addressed on a continual basis.


With consistent success of self-diagnosing and the remedying of predicaments, my recommendation to Quest Diagnostics is simply to say that we need to rely on the ability of supervisors and managers to be able to best identify problems and solutions. We at Quest must be able to trust our competence in result implementation along with our evaluating skills. I believe my business unit’s management teams have shown a special affinity toward problem solving when the time and resources have been available. Using internal assets permits the company to save money as well as utilize managers and employees time more effectively.


Finally, there does not often appear to be a pressing need for a consultant to delegate the direction a company is heading. Managers must first learn to put themselves in charge through systemic-fit analysis to show where the organization is going before relying on an outside source to dictate its’ path. Organization doctors should be used with respect to time, money and implementation expertise, not for the purposes of strategic leading. As long as there is a strong confidence in the abilities of management to plan, organize lead and control, businesses will be further be capable of self-fixing problems rather using than quick fixing methods.


Cathon, D. (1, January/March). Management Zones Are They Safe?

AAMA Executive, 6-7.

Llewellyn, R.N. (00, March). When to Call the Organization Doctor.

HRMagazine, 47 (), 7-81

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