Change characterizes are not only important for individuals and organizations but also for the country. Change that happens every day, especially in events that came to be realized or something else that could be contributing to the outcome. Individual changes then lead to the need for organizational change (Walinga, 2008). Organizational changes are always initiated from external factors such as liberalization, economic, technology and globalization. In order to overcome these challenges, full capacity from internal forces support is required. However, in order to respond these changes, the internal forces need to change in line with time. At the heart of events, a certain level of readiness must be established to optimize the potential, so that the changes are satisfactorily fulfilled according to the shareholders needs. This involves proactive attempts by leaders to enhance their employees' beliefs and attitudes.
First and foremost, change has never been easy as readiness to change is not a clear cut answer and it cannot be underestimated (Ian S, 2005). A prominent change expert argues that one of the major failures to implement change occurs because the management or change agent fails to inculcate sufficient readiness effort (Kotter, 1995).Walinga (2008) also indicated that the majority of failures come from implementation rather than the change itself. This void always happens during the unfreezing process (Lewin, 1947) which means the process that comes before commencing a change induction (Kotter, 1995). Management must provide a clear remark during confrontation to ensure that people understand why, what was worked in the past may not work in the future. People comfortably ignore and intentionally blind to the obvious differences between the past and present (Armenakis et al., 1993; Kotter, 1996).
1.2 Background of the Study
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The people in organizations can be either the precursor in achieving effective change or the biggest evade to success (Armenakis et al, 1993). The cost of failed efforts to change can be enormous, including loss of credibility on the part of leaders and managers. Managers who attempt to achieve organizational change must have to pay extra attention to the need for evaluating readiness for change.
Record indicates that success rate for businesses implementing changes range from 20 % to 60% depending on the type of change (Smith, 2002). Given the substantial devoting time, constrained energy and limited resources typically involved in change efforts. It will be a waste unless focus is given with ample time. The series of evaluating readiness for change and a comprehensive model at the beginning stage could help change agent or management efforts to succeed in implementing change.
1.3 Background of SIRIM Berhad
SIRIM Berhad is the national organization of standardization and quality, and the standard institute of industrial research and development that acts as a catalyst in bringing about national economic dynamism through excellence in technology and international acceptance of quality products and services. Their mission is to enhance their customers' competitiveness through technology and quality.
With the reputation and credibility factors plus new broom pressures (Palmer et al., 2009p59, p67), SIRIM Berhad's new president has initiated a transformation program during his presidential address in August 2012. This initiated program will begin in 2013 onwards. During the address, a five years plan from 2013 to 2017 was tabled with six major restructuring and reengineering plans.
1.4 PROBLEM STATEMENT
During the presidential address, six strategic goals have been defined. The first goal is regarding the delineation of commercial and developmental activities where the research and development (R&D) sector is totally separated from the commercial or service sector. The purpose of this goal is to have no overlap mandate between two areas, so that extensive focus can be realized. The second goal is to ensure the business sustainability of SIRIM group of companies and to embark and initiate new business line and consolidate irrelevant business. The third goal is about enhancing the human resources, where excellence service is the main focus as well as to increase productivity. In the mean time, the fourth goal is to build a concrete foundation and excellence in industrial research which can contribute to every niche and multi-disciplinary solution of global market. The fifth goal is attributing to enhance and strengthen connections among other government agencies especially in R&D sector. Last but not least, the aim is to develop and implement integrated programme of brand positioning for SIRIM Berhad in order to enhance global corporate brand recognition and to increase positive visibility of SIRIM group with high interactions with customers, stakeholders and general public.
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Many organizations found change to be a real challenge. The change process in each organization is heterogeneous and different in each situation. Basically, the differences happen in the nature of the organization, the business nature, the work culture, norm and value, management and leadership style. The behavior and attitude of the employees also play an important part.
SIRIM's president is responsible to introduce and execute various initiatives to change SIRIM. Basically, the change initiated will revamp the entire department inclusively the way of doing business. Reactions from most of the staff are almost with mixed feeling: 1) Is the announced change is really necessary and specific to change content? 2)What the perceived benefit from the change? 3) Is the introduced change appropriate with the current process of work? 4) How the commitment and intentions dedicated by recipients level from internal context perspective? From this circumstance it can be assumed that announced change create anxiety and emotional stir up. Even though no data has been studied to show the level of readiness among employees of SIRIM Berhad. A very great attention need to be address urgently and elevated level for readiness of change need to be optimize, so that the change initiatives appear to be successful.
Employees or individuals are not passive recipients (Walker et al., 2007).Empirical studies suggest that employee readiness is an important driver of change success-if employees do not believe that change is needed, or if they feel the organization will not be able to change then change initiatives may fail ( Rafferty and Simons 2006). Organizational leaders always distract and misinterpret the macro side of the change, like building up core competency such as increasing market share, merger and acquisition instead of the micro perspective which are the human side. Some evaluation of an organizational individual's; actual and present condition to achieve change is well worth the effort before commencement of any major organizational change initiative (Holt et al., 2007; Nerina et al., 2009).These combined seven variables [inquisitive (Black and Gregsen 2002), specific, lucrative, appropriate, commitment (Holt et al., 2007) measurement (Helfrich et al., 2009,2011) and intention (Nerina et al., 2009) ] overrule the past scholars research but at the same time align to (Oreg et al, 2011) recent model. But the truth is, to assess overall level of change readiness before any attempts to implement change begins is a good investment - one that can either reveal a path to success or warn of problems that may affect in achieving change (Smith, 2005).
1.5 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The research objectives are:
To evaluate the level of readiness for change in SIRIM Berhad at individual level.
To identify level of readiness for change in term of demography profile (i.e. age, gender and education background) that contributes to readiness for change.
To assess the relationship between the level of readiness for change with staff' performances.
To recommend the solutions to the organization based on the findings of the study.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focusing on the employees perceptions of SIRIM Berhad on the importance of the change readiness variables. There are seven change readiness variables suggested to influence the beliefs to change. The selected seven work environment variables are inquisitiveness, specific, lucrative, appropriateness, measurement, intention and commitment.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
According to (Porras and Robertson 1992 p. 724), "to change the individual organizational member's behavior is at the core of organizational change". This study will contribute to gauge level of readiness as mentioned by researcher, where the organizations begin to change through their employees, so that the level of successful change will last for a long term. The sustainability can only be achieved when individuals realized of their job in a systematic way. This study will also add to the body of knowledge and provide the insight to change recipient's variables which influencing change readiness. The knowledge regarding the perception of the employees on the importance of the antecedent variables in the context of change readiness will also increase.
At the end of the day, these interact variables will give more understanding of employees responses to change and ultimately as a complete tool to accomplish important goals in any change efforts.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
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This study is limited only to the staffs of SIRIM Berhad which involves during the implementation of change. The survey is based on their perception and subject to bias that could reflect the end results. Therefore, the sincerity of the correspondents while answering the survey is very important.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Reputation and credibility pressures
As "a collective representation of a firm's past actions and results that describes the firm's ability to deliver valued outcomes to multiple stakeholder" (Palmer et al.,2009, p. 59)
New broom pressures
Arrival of a new leader can act as a signal that the old ways are about to change (Palmer et al, 2009, p. 67).
Readiness for Change
Readiness or resistance is defined as the work groups' resistance to change or willingness to invest energy to change (Holt et al., 2007).
Ability to self evaluation, and actively question the current condition (Black and Gregsen 2002).
Concentrated change content that need to transform (Holt et al., 2007).
Perceived benefit and harm constitute from the change outcome (Holt et al., 2007).
Appropriate change that in conjuction with change process (Oreg et al, 2011)
As a pivotal role in element of change process (Black and Gregsen 2002).
As indication of an individual's willingness to perform a given behavior (Nerina et al., 2009)
Change recipients who are committed to their organization and willing to exert effort on its behalf (Oreg et al, 2011)