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Understanding Change Management Leadership Management Essay

The present age of business is extremely competitive and the only tool for survival is adaptability which comes through constant change. Vested deeply in leadership styles, culture and communication, successful change is vital and yet hard to describe. The role of human resource as an active partner, focusing on the company’s vision and ensuring open communication channels is fundamental for change in the organization. Change in any organization may be a result of a combination of elements; social, cultural, economic and/or environmental (Beer, 2002). More and more, change management is perceived as a vital part of every business to boost productivity and maximize profits by ensuring that the organization remains at par with the changes in the surroundings (Beer, 2002). Also, a lot of companies indulge in the change process to improve their overall efficiency. It is quite established that any kind of change in the organization, triggers emotions as the employees face the effects and end results of the transformation. The way and extent to which employees may experience emotions is largely shaped and influenced by the culture of the organization (Beer, 2002). Research suggests that when the employees’ values were consistent with the organization, they embrace the changes more easily (Beardwell, 2004). However, the emotional response to cultural change is usually of a severe nature. It is known that when emotions were taken into account and respected the employees positively adapt to the change.

SCOPE OF THE PAPER

The paper is an effort to understand organizational change in the global economy. In this paper I shall attempt to explain the importance of mission command as a driving agent for change. Furthermore, I shall also discuss leadership theories, the roles of leaders in order to bring about successful change and lastly, the role model of a successful organization for the global age.

DISCUSSION

Sudden shifts, authentic and drastic revolutions are the forces that are changing the nature and environment of businesses in the current age of globalization. The business arena is getting tougher and the competitors too resourceful as organizations are liberated from the traditional ways of operating (Machin and Wood, 2003).

As mission command explains, global leaders are those who have the potential to steer through the intricacies of the transactional business world. (Kanter, 2003) They express the vision and plan in a multi-environment from a multiple functionality perspective so that they are able to pull along the entire team. This requires setting up examples thorough determined leadership and sharing the views of the team members. This implies fast paced development for individuals with potential along with a multi-cultural exposure, performance appraisals and developmental opportunities to keep them motivated. The teams led by global managers need a vision and a global fellow feeling (Kanter, 2003). This means that high performance global organizations should create an all-encompassing culture where people feel that their interests match with those of the organization and hence they remain self-challenged in accordance with the mission dashboard. In such an environment, a sense of belonging prevails and motivation stems from common values and ideals, being involved in work that is both challenging and has meaning too. (Millward et al, 2007) Such organizations are not distracted by inward issues. They have a clear agenda and focus on competition, consumers and communities.

When managing changes in organizations, the role of a leader is extremely crucial. It draws on one of the key notions of leadership literature, on interpersonal influences and also as the significant role that managers assume in the business as change agents. Their influence is reflected in the change process as they catalyze it. Leaders today have to make decisions in extremely complex, viable and dynamic environments (Gilbert, 1997). The elements of mission command present the organization with a chance to do so more efficiently. For instance it enables the unity of efforts which drives focus while boosting momentum to realize the organization’s targets (Yardley and Kakabadse, 2007). Communication promotes changes and broadens support for the company’s goals. Communication has been emphasized throughout research as a key to successful leadership roles. Effective leaders understand the importance of communicating the company values and making sure that these values connects with followers and their needs. The management of change process also depends upon the type of organization under review. Different change management procedures are successful in different settings. In other words, success can be determined in terms of the organization’s capacity to fit and adjust well in its changing environment. (Kotter, 2005) An innovative organization is one in which forces of change such as learning is truly reflected, whereas the force of direction results from its environment,

Mission command is a special yet risk taking method of operation as it empowers individuals within the organization to think about their relevance and question the suitability of the orders given to them. This results in more power with the individuals but also means that the work done will be with utmost efficiency. In order to keep up to date with the fast paced global business environment, it has now become a necessity to properly manage employees in the workplace. In efforts to excel in the global economy, organizations have evolved from personnel to human resource to finally human capital management (Pettigrew, 2000). Efficient organizations are those who strive to formulate productive and positive relations with employees globally. This ultimately becomes visible in the policies that demand full cooperation of the employees through using better proper performance and organizational change strategies (Kouzes and Posner, 2005). As technology continues to invade every aspect of our personal and business lives, it is predicted that the economic pressures will increase and will raise a demand for custom-tailored services transformations. It is therefore important for employee relations to stress on knowledge management and individuals at a personal level to gain competitive advantage (Burnes, 2000).

Analyzing the mission command’s motto of empowering the employees creates a further challenge for the leaders. It becomes more difficult to manage and lead a team of empowered employees. The basic principle of leadership is to serve people in a manner that they feel their own worth and work towards the collective good of the company. In such a scenario, an organization following the principles of mission command will create its own leaders rather than selecting people with some natural skills already. The Servant Leadership model coined by Robert Greenleaf believed that leaders, who choose to serve their organization first, could serve as an example and encourage followers to collaborate in supporting the organization (Conger & Kanungo,2002). The evolving model of industrial relations therefore, acknowledges that companies will be successful in any competitive situation only if they are able to raise the employees’ skills through a structured method which ensures sustainable benefit and as a result, establishes a safe future for all the employees. When translated, it broadly means that efficient, mutually consented functioning and a basic understanding of workers’ ambitions should be kept in mind. Overall, it emphasizes on recognizing employee’s voice (Knights and McCabe 2002). Employee voice is described in various manners and is expressed through diverse paths. Another very frequently used way for employee voice is attitude surveys, which provide a flexible but not an interactive route. A few categories of employee voice encompass direct contribution in the organization and structuring of work and an indirect affect on major decisions which have an influence on the organization in the wider perspective.

Like the work environment, leadership style and culture all have a huge impact on the performance and efficiency output of any organization, in the same manner; employee relations too, greatly affect the performance of any organization (Kouzes and Posner, 2005). One way of leadership is transformational leadership where the leaders act beyond their agendas as emotions steer them to and another is transactional leadership where the leaders map efforts with proper rewards. In addition to the transactional leadership methods of reward and punishment, the transformational leader uses their charisma to motivate followers to achieve more than would normally be expected. (Schein, 2005) Nonetheless, the basic constituents that make up good practice are proper skill training and development, job design, continuing consultation and guidance and involvement (Kotter, 2005). Along with this approach is the practice of fair and good management which promotes a positive self worth based on unbiased decisions and mutual trust incorporated into the organization’s culture. The outcome of this approach is directly connected to company’s performance as it affects the dedication level of employees, besides their motivation to perform and excel. For all these reasons it is very significant to maintain healthy employee relations. In UK, in any organization, from the employee’s viewpoint of their agreement, their individual evaluations of success at work are influenced by a range of elements which encompasses the type of wok assigned, social incorporation in the work environment, involvement in decisions and most of all job security (Burnes, 2000).

In the present contemporary arena of business, organizations must increasingly be involved in developing effective leaders that are able to motivate employees and get the best out of them and along side provide a better healthier and more competitive work environment. The impact and outcomes of these organization decisions may be considered as variables of the style of leadership. Research suggests that the extent of which an organization achieves the benefits at the end is directly influenced by the strategies and employee motivation styles. Although there is no universal rule to follow when leaders are managing, however there are many factors that leaders should consider in order to be effective (Litwin and Stringer, 2001). This is determined by the nature of the business they are in and the types of relationships they developed over the course of time. There is no one employee motivation pattern and employee performance scale that is better than the next because certain situations require different approaches. Hence, the contingency theory of leadership became popular as research studies began to show that each of the various leader behavior types could be a success or failure depending upon the context in which they were applied. This style of leadership can be defined as ‘a perspective which argues that leaders must adjust their style in a manner consistent with aspects of the context’. (Waldman et al, 1987)

Moreover, the paradigm shift promoting employee involvement has added a new meaning to the employee-manager relationship which has caused a deep change of culture in many business organizations. This also means that the paternalistic and technical beliefs that were prevalent have to be abandoned. A slightly different approach to the leader follower exchange relationship is offered in Transcendental Leadership (Litwin and Stringer, 2001). This type of leader attempts to ‘influence organizational behavior by aligning the follower's motivation to those of the organization’. The majority of the research to date has focused on analyzing, modeling and prescribing from the leaders’ perspective. Variations have brought in concepts of looking from the perspective of the followers. Thus entrepreneurial actions dramatically increase the probability of successful innovations. Routines required for successful implementation are developed only in organizational cultures that support innovation and where the users' values are matched with the entrepreneurial and strategic actions that generate innovations (Hunt, 2001).

With time the reality and presence of the change is felt throughout the organization and the manager should be prepared to deal with any resistance to the change. Employees who continue to resist, remain agitated are often categorized as difficult ones (Pettigrew, 2000). But the truth remains that they feel more vulnerable and may need individual counseling or assurance from the manager to discuss the change and how it affects his performance expectations. The Organizations that are able to embrace and adjust successfully to the change process are the ones who involve their people in it. It is an undeniable fact that the employees of the organization have to face and adhere to the change process and they are crucial in bringing about change. Proper management of the human aspect of change has multifold benefits. Not only does it guarantee successful execution and proper utilization of the technical solutions, it also sets the perfect ground for implementation of future solutions. (Burnes, 2000)

CONCLUSION

The rate of organizational change has not declined in the past years and with the current pace of economy, it not likely to decline in the near future also. This leaves the organizations with only one option; to adapt and embrace change as efficiently as possible. Mission command offers an efficient way of achieving as it allows for risk taking and also for competition nurtured within.

Furthermore, in the present contemporary arena of business, organizations must progressively more be occupied in developing successful and motivational leaders (Waldman et al, 1987). The impact and outcomes of these organization decisions may be considered as variables of the style of leadership (Schein, 2005). Research suggests that the extent of which an organization achieves the benefits at the end is directly influenced by the strategies and leadership styles. (Hunt, 2001) Although there is no universal rule to follow when leaders are managing, however there are many factors that leaders should consider in order to be effective. This is determined by the nature of the business they are in and the types of relationships they developed over the course of time.

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