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The Contribution Of Hr To The Development And Implementation Of Change Management In An Organization Business Essay

In the face of increasing competitive environment organizations have to focus on the value of investments in human resources as a major source of competitive advantage. Although business strategy as a means of competition is common conversation for managers, taking a strategic approach can be especially beneficial for staff functions within companies, as they are often required to justify their need for resources and their contribution to the company. The analysis of human resource management (HRM) issues will be the core component in any organizational change.

One of the models for understanding organizational change was developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1950s as cited by Schein (1995), and it still holds true today. He theorized a three – stage model of change that has come to be known as the unfreezing- change-refreeze model that requires learning to be rejected and replaced. Schein (1995) provided further detail for a more comprehensive model of change calling this approach ‘’ cognitive redefinition’’.

The unfreezing stage which is the stage at which individuals are becoming

motivated to change is based on the theory that human behaviour is

established by past observational learning and cultural influences. Change

requires adding new forces for change or removal of the existing factors that

is at work in perpetuating the behaviour. This unfreezing process has three

sub-processes that relate to a readiness and motivation to change.

First, disconfirmation where present conditions lead to dissatisfaction, such as

not meeting goals. But it is imperative to note that the larger the gap between

what is believed and what needs to be believed for change to occur, the more

likely the new information will be ignored.

Secondly, previous beliefs now being seen as invalid creates ‘‘survival

anxiety’’. However, this may not be sufficient to prompt change if learning

anxiety is present.

Thirdly, learning anxiety triggers defensiveness and resistance due to the pain

of having to unlearn what had previously accepted. Three stages occur in

response to learning anxiety: denial; scapegoating & passing the buck; and

Manoeuvring & bargaining.

The second stage of the theory put forward by (Lewin, 1951 cited by Schein

1995) stipulates that change what needs to be changed (unfrozen and moving

to a new state). Once there is adequate dissatisfaction with the present level

of conditions and a real desire to make some changes exist, it is of

importance to identify and clarify exactly what needs to be changed. Three

possible impacts from processing new information are: words take on new or

expanded meaning, concepts are interpreted within a broader context, and

there is an adjustment in the scale used in evaluating new input.

A detailed view of the new state is required to clearly identify the gap between

the present state and that which is being proposed. Activities that aid in

making change the change include imitation of role models and embarking on

using the trial and error personalized solutions learning.

The last stage of the theory which is refreezing, which is making the change

permanent. It requires a situation where the new behaviour becomes habitual

and consistent, it also includes developing new concepts, ideas and identity

and establishing new interpersonal relationships to foster and reinforce the

change.

Schein (1999) defined organizational change as the “induction of new patterns of action, belief and attitude among substantial segments of the population.” All change definitions are problematic; this is because they assume that we can differentiate between state of change and stability. For instance, organizations are always changing, sometimes in subtle and incremental ways. As always change is one of the main characteristics of all social systems.

According to Lewin (1951 cited by Schein,(1995), the unfreezing stage is the stage at which individuals are becoming motivated to change and is based on the theory that human behaviour is established by past observational learning and cultural influences. Change requires adding new forces or removal of the existing factors that’s at work in perpetuating the behaviour.

The second stage of the change theory put forward by (Lewin, 1951 cited by Schein 1995) stipulates that change what needs to be changed (unfrozen and moving to a new state). Once there is adequate dissatisfaction with the present level of conditions and a real desire to make some changes exist, it is of importance to identify and clarify exactly what needs to be changed. Three possible impacts from processing new information are: words take on new or expanded meaning, concepts are interpreted within a broader context, and there is an adjustment in the scale used in evaluating new input. A detailed view of the new state is required to clearly identify the gap between the present state and that which is being proposed. Activities that aid in making the change include imitation of role models and embarking on using the trial and error personalized solutions learning.

The final stage of the theory which is refreezing is making the change permanent. It requires a situation where the new behaviour becomes habitual and consistent, it also includes developing new concepts, ideas and identity and establishing new interpersonal relationships to foster and reinforce the change.

Mehrabian (1966) believe that people are nervous about change and many will resist it either consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes those fears are well founded because they feel it is going to have a negative impact on them and it will definitely shake their comfortable world. Change facilitators should always bear this in mind in introducing the change. But in many cases however, the target population for the change will come to realise that the change was for the better.

Understanding the nature of the change you wish to effect and the context in which you are working are important in determining an appropriate strategy. Entering uncharted change territory without some sort of route map puts you at an immediate disadvantage from the start. One of the first stages in charting the territory is to understand a little more about the type of change you wish to make (broadly where you want to get to and how you plan to travel).

There are a number of ways in which change can be categorised, most are related to the extent of the change and whether it is seen as organic (often characterised as bottom-up) or driven (top-down). Ackerman (1997) has distinguished between three types of change: developmental change, transitional change and transformational change. Developmental change Ackerman (1997) believed may be either planned or emergent; it is first order, or incremental. It is change that enhances or corrects existing aspects of an organisation, often focusing on the improvement of a skill or process.

Transitional change seeks to achieve a known desired state that is different from the existing one. It is episodic, planned and second order, or radical. Much of the organisational change literature is based on this type. Transformational change is radical or second order in nature. It requires a shift in assumptions made by the organisation and its members. Transformation can result in an organisation that differs significantly in terms of structure, processes, culture and strategy. It may, therefore, result in the creation of an organisation that operates in developmental mode - one that continuously learns, adapts and improve.

One of the challenges for managers having to introduce change in the company is to determine the strategy that will produce the best results. In a situation of excellence, a company has to be able not only to adapt in an outstanding way to its market conditions, but also to develop internal practices that clearly set it aside from the competition. Change can be costly, not only in financial terms, but in terms of management time.

Resistance to change is the action taken by individuals and groups when they perceive that a change that is going to take place will become a threat to them. People act different when they receive a message which proposes a new idea; they tend to be inattentive to it. The new idea could either be rejected consciously or unconsciously sometimes if it is found not to be in resonance with their beliefs, morals, values, attitudes and opinions. According to Rodrique, (2003), the average adult human mind ignores new idea especially when he feels insecurity and uncertainty about its aftermath. Indidviduals feels that things are going on fine and it could not get better than what it is at the moment, he tends to be suspicious about its success in the future.

The implementation of change is an ‘’interactive, cumulative and reformulation – in –use process. Successful change is a result of the interaction between the content or what or what of change (objectives, purpose and goals); the process or how of change (implementation); and the organizational context or where of the change (internal and external environment)’’ Pettigrew et al (1993).

Hiatt et al. (2003) noted that the first stage of change involves preparing the organization to accept that change is necessary, which involves breaking down the existing status quo before building up a new way of operating. It is good enough that change unsettles individual’s comfort zone, but it will be essential that the change that is been introduced is well managed and employees are taken through the process in such a detailed manner that they are comfortable in their understanding of the change been executed. The key to doing this is developing a compelling message showing why the existing way of doing things cannot continue.

This is easiest to detect when you can point to declining sales figures, poor financial results, worrying customer satisfaction such were the signs characterised in Marks and Spencer from 1997 to 2001. All these show that things have to change in a way that everyone can understand. Paton et al. (2008) believe that one of the major causes of change in organisations is a change in leadership.

One business that well underwent changes in the past years is Marks and Spencer. Its chief executive officer Sir Stuart Rose took over the business and changed the whole company. He has been credited with turning around its fortunes after its poor financial performance in the previous years before he was appointed in June, 2008. Sir Stuart Rose , made a significant change to Marks and Spencer, and there are a number of factors that played a major role on how smoothly these changes took place. His leadership style, for example, affects how easily his employees accept and embrace change in the work place. Change is inevitable in any organisation and Marks and Spencer is different from organisations in that its vision is to inspire changes that could affect the entire retail population in the uk. Change works for them the other way round- internal changes are made in response to what is happening in the external environment.

Schein (1999) see change management as the process of developing a planned approach to change in an organization. Typically the objective is to maximize the collective benefits for all people involved in the change and minimize the risk of failure of implementing the change. The discipline of change management deals primarily with the human aspect of change, and is therefore related to pure and industrial psychology. Change management involves careful planning and sensitive implementation, and also consulting and involving all the people affected by the change.

Kotter (1996) purported that change must not be forced on people as this normally leads to problems. Change management involves careful planning, and sensitive implementation, and also consulting and involving all the people affected by the change. Any change must be realistic, achievable and measurable, as these aspects are particularly relevant to managing change. Mehrabian (1996) added by saying that selling changes to people is not a sustainable strategy for success, instead change needs to be understood and managed in such a way that people can cope effectively with it. Change can be unsettling so the manager needs a settling influence.

Management should ensure that the people affected by the change agree with, or at least understand the need for change and have a chance to decide how the change will be managed; they should be involved in the planning and implementation of the change. According to Mehrabian (1966) face-to-face communication is the best way to handle sensitive aspects of organizational change management as email and written notices are extremely weak at conveying and developing understanding. Quick change prevents proper consultation and involvement which sometimes leads to difficulties that take time to resolve. (Hiatt et al. 2003)

Cameron et al. (2004) stated that involving and informing people also creates opportunities for others to participate in planning and implementing the change, which lightens the burdens, spreads the organisational load and reduces the pressure on management and creates a sense of ownership and familiarity among the people affected. Rausach, (2005) added by saying that consulting with people and helping them to understand does not weaken a leaders position but rather makes the leader appear more effective and further sharpens the leadership skills in managing people and implementing the change. Leaders who fail to consult and involve their people in managing bad news are perceived as weak and lacking in integrity. People should be treated with dignity, importance and respect and they will reciprocate.

Change a pivotal instrument for any organisation that desires to maximise and utilize all its resources both material and non- material; change a vital tool for any business that aspires to stand out among its competitors. According to Kotter (1990), organisations have failed in their bid to implement and bring out the change effectively because of some reason which could have been avoided. The reasons are, organisations allowing too much complacency, failing to build a substantial coalition, not understanding the need for a clear vision, failure to clearly communicate the vision, permitting roadblocks against the vision, not planning for short term results and not realizing them, declaring victory too soon and failure to anchor changes in corporate culture.

Most individuals like to be taken through a process of time and it is important that organisations takes this into consideration, manager of change facilitators’ should allow for time in introducing the change, it should be carried out in a systematic approach that will allow people to easily adjust and make the necessary change first of all with and in themselves before they can now accommodate the new change within the organisation.

Organisations implementing and managing change in the 21st century needs to take into consideration that it cannot by its self bring about this change and will always need the cooperation of other members of the company. change in its self is good, the approach in which it is handled and introduced is what determines if the change will survive at all if ever it passes through the acceptance phase. Kotter (1990) stated that for any change to be effective and to last long, the following models must be given utmost attention; establishing a sense of urgency about the change been introduced, creating a coalition, developing a clear vision and sharing the vision, empowering people to clear obstacles, secure short term wins, consolidating and keep moving and ensure that the change is anchored.

Management should also ensure that in the change process all hands are on deck to ensure its sustainability. The need for constant feedback and evaluation cannot be over looked; periodical review of the change and the procedure of obtaining both internal and external opinions of the change that is taking place should be laid down. No individual will want to embark on something new with the intention not to succeed in it, so it is imperative that management, shareholders and employees put all the necessary efforts into it with the clear goals and objectives clearly engraved in the minds of everyone.

Change can be achieved; it is the only constant happening in everyday and business life.

Change is definitely inevitable in business world of today as so many new effects in technology is been introduced daily and even if the organisation does not want to adjust, because the society and the business world is experiencing tremendous changes in its activities, organisations are bound to align if they want to continue in business Paton et al (2008). Making a change requires a kind of leap of faith: you decide to move in the direction of the unfamiliar on the promise or believe that something better than the present will come out of it, though there is no tangible proof to back it up. Taking that leap of faith is risky, and people will only take active steps towards the unknown if they are well motivated and given clear cut explanations and perhaps more importantly, feel that the risks of standing still are greater than those of moving forward in the direction of the new change. Making a change is all about managing risk, if you are making the case for change; be sure to set out in stark, truthful terms why you believe the risk situation favours change.

Reference

Cameron, E. and Green, M. (2004): “Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational change”, Kogan Page Limited, Great Britain

Hiatt, J. and Creasy, T.J. (2003): “Change management and the people

Side of change’’, Library of congress, United States of America

Kotter, J.P. (1990): “A Force for change: How Leadership differs from Management”, Harvard Business School Press, United States of America

Kotter, J.P. (1996): “Leading Change”, Harvard Business School Press, United States of America

Mehrabian, A. (1996): Attitude in relation to the forms of communicator-Object relationship in spoken communication, Journal of Personality, 34, 80-93

Paton, R and McCalman, J. (2008): ‘‘Change Management: A Guide to Effective Implementation’’, Sage Publication Limited, London

Pettigrew, A, and Whipp, R. (1993): ‘‘Managing Change for competitive Success’’, Blackwall publishing.

Rausach, E. (2005): ‘‘Leadership Debate’’ Emerald Publishing Limited

Rodriques, M.V. (2000): ‘‘Perspective of Communication and Communicative Competence’’, Ashok Kumar Mittal, Concept Publishing Company.

Rodriques, M.V. (2003): ‘‘Effective Business communication’’, Ashok Kumar Mittal, Concept Publishing Company.

Schein, E.H. (1995): Kurt Lewin’s change theory in the field and in the

Classroom: notes towards a model of managed learning [www Document] (74 paragraphs).URL:http:a2zpsychology.com/articles/kurt_lewin’s_change_theory.php 2010, July 31]

Schein, E.H. (1999): “The corporate cultural survival guide: sense and nonsense about culture change”, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publishers

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