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The Emotional Stages of Becoming Competitive: Individuals and Workgroups
Author: Woodie M. Muirhead
Date: 10/00
Presented at WEFTEC 2000 in Anaheim, CA.

The era of competitiveness that is upon our profession is a normal process of organizational renewal. Determining how to be more efficient is a dynamic aspect of all businesses, not just public agencies that are trying to achieve a level of performance comparable with the private sector. Internal change that recognizes the dynamics of the legal, social, and economic environments in which a business operates, is essential for effective delivery of services or products. Despite the potential positive outcome, achieving competitiveness is a process that has real emotional impacts on individuals and workgroups. This paper will identify and discuss the emotional stages - denial, anger, rationalization, fear and change - and behaviors that individuals experience during the process of becoming competitive. In addition it will show how these emotional behaviors can affect workgroup cohesion either by common goals, common predicament, or common enemy.

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