An Overview Of Organizational Change Business Essay

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You are a lieutenant in a medium size police department. The chief has decided to reorganize the department moving from a traditional semi-military structure to one that emphasizes team policing. The chief has directed that you act as change agent for the structural change and request that you provide her with a discussion of the issues involved in making the change including a needs assessment, overcoming resistance to change, selling the change to the officers in the department, and managing the change.

Making Organizational Change

It is a basic fact today that contemporary organizations are faced with environments' that are not only vigorous but changing too. Organizations must come to the realization that change is a natural phase of management and in order for the organization to survive employees and management both need to get used to these changes (Lorenzi, & Riley, 2000). There are different reasons why these changes may occur and they range from changes in technology, to running an organization that is integrated with cultures of different countries, and each of these have an influence on how the organization functions. Additionally, the development and complexity of information technology and the manner in which organizations operate on an international level has bought challenges that are new and have also led to new product development ("Organizational change," 2010).

In order for organizational change to be effective a needs assessment must be put in place so that management can perform a systemic exploration of how things are in the organization and how they should be. There are several steps involved in organizing a needs assessment. The first step involves performing a gap analysis in which management check how the organization and its employees are actually performing against organizational standards that currently exist. There are two parts to the gap analysis. The first is for management to take a look at the current situation and make a determination of the present knowledge, skills and abilities of both future and current employees. The next part is the identification of he necessary and desired conditions of both personal and organizational success. Management needs to keep in mind that this step need to produce a relatively large list of needs for development of the organization, development of career, and training and development (Rouda, & Kusy, Jr, 1996).

The second step in the needs assessment process involves the identification of importance and priorities. Based on the list of needs that was developed in the first stem, management needs to look at them in order of importance to realities, constraints and goals of the organization. It must be determined whether or not the needs are real, if they are worth looking into, and in looking at the requirements and goals of the organization, how urgent the need is. Things that need to be taken into consideration are how cost effective the need is, whether or not a lot of, or key employees are involved, is there a solution expected by top management, customers and whether or not there are laws affecting the solution (Rouda, & Kusy, Jr, 1996).

The third step in needs assessment involves the identification of what causes problems with employee performance and or opportunities. Management needs to identify opportunities and precise areas in the organization that has problems. Management must also know what their requirements for performance is and whether or not suitable solutions that needs to be applied. While doing so there are two questions that need to be asked: 1. are the employees effectively doing their jobs? 2. do the employees know how to do their jobs? For this a detailed investigation and examination of the employees, the job they do, and the organization needs to be done. The final step in the needs assessment process is the identification of opportunities for growth and potential solutions. If employees are effectively doing their jobs then there is no need to fix what is not broken. If employees are not effectively doing their job and there is knowledge that this problem exist, then the resolution may be training. Another thing will be for management to provide activities that are geared toward organizational development in order to assist employees and management in moving their performance in a new direction (Rouda, & Kusy, Jr, 1996).

Organizations that are successful will be the ones that come face to face with these challenges and build up a labor force that will be competent enough to take on the spirited business environment ("Organizational change," 2010). In order to continue to exist in this type of environment, there will be a need, among other things, for organizations to prepare and develop managers in order for them to be able to handle the new demands, challenges, and issues and problems that may arise (Lorenzi, & Riley, 2000).

In fact, it is essential to give a rough idea of the two statements that are most significant, and those are that individuals fear change whenever it involves or happens to them, during phases of change and uncertainty the more important thing is truth rather than good news because in modern day society change is vital, bound to happen and it the significance of change is really influential and great (Fletcher, & Taplin, 2002). All organizations both public and private are subjected to speedy and recurrent changes, since the world also changes. Merely saying, it is almost impossibility for the organization to avoid change, and not only that, but change is also an occurrence that is accepted universally ("Organizational change," 2010).

In reality when employees know that there will be change in the organization, their resistance does not mean that they are against management or each other, it simply means that they are against the way that the changes being put into action. When employees resist change they do so simply because they do not understand why the change is made. Reactions that are negative can be caused by uncertainty in jobs and equipment and costs (Lorenzi, & Riley, 2000). The meaning of this is that employees have an open mind and want to know what is happening in the organization. It means that employees are willing to know what is going on in organization, particularly if the change may affect their job. It is also important that organizations be truthful with their employees because every employee is surely conscious of uncertainty which may be caused by organizational changes (Fletcher, & Taplin, 2002).

There are many factors that cause employees resistance to change in the organization. One such factor is that as individuals we are always fearful of the unknown. Another good reason is insecurity. There are many causes of resistance to organization change. One factor is the fear of the unknown (Schwenk, 2002). Also, insecurity is another good reason. Additionally, lack of a felt need for change can be taken into consideration. What's more is that vested interest gets threatened when change is implemented. Furthermore, when there is a difference in the interpretation of change that could be another hurdle for management. Another big issue is a lack of resources (Fletcher, & Taplin, 2002).

Take for example a company that distributes drugs has made the decision to transfer some of its personnel from the head office in Chicago to its San Diego, Baton Rouge and Detroit branch. This is in accordance with the policy of the company to move around important employees to the different centers that distribute drugs in an attempt to get information firsthand on the branches successes and problems. Normally after learning the truth about branch administration, the organization will make plans to promote employees to managerial positions at different branches. Many employees would much prefer to stay at the current branch and suspend the transfer as long as they possibly can because they have a fear of moving to the new location. One reason may be that they have heard bad stories from friends, family members and or the media about violent crimes and gangs that may exist in the streets of Detroit.

Also, other employees may fear transferring to the Chicago branch because they think that many of the Chicago residents, especially the ones that are employed by the drug distribution company may not be too friendly culturally (Schwenk, 2002). Also, other employees may fear the transfer because they may think that they will not be able to keep the some of the employees will fear that they not be able to maintain the equivalent standard of work because of having to learn new things in order for the branches to operate and run smoothly (Fletcher, & Taplin, 2002).

The following fundamental assumptions affecting change needs to be kept in mind by management; the working systems in organizations and the organization itself are exclusive. Change in the organization is driven by the vehicle called leadership. It is not an event to lead change but rather a process. The direction of change is better known and understood by management and not third parties on the outside like psychologists' and consultants etc. Organizational change needs to be driven from both the top going down and the bottom coming up and in order for an organization to unlock that change, participation by employees is key. Both rational and non rational situations can be involved in organizational change. The single most important thing in making sure that organizational change occur on time and runs smoothly is timing. Timing means everything (Schwenk, 2002).

Overcoming Resistance to Change:

"Resistance to change is any viewpoint or behavior that exemplifies an individuals' reluctance to support or make the plans to alter the present working environment of his or her superiors. As a result, the supervisors of the employees who are resisting the change must come up with ways to conquer the opposition to the approved organizational changes. It may be a good idea if management sees the resistance to change as a method of feedback from those in the lower status in the success of the overall goals of the organization (Ford, Ford, &McNamara, 2002). This is why much of organizational change literature discusses needed changes in the culture of the organization, including changes in members ' values and beliefs and in the way they enact these values and beliefs (Trader-Leigh, 2002). Organizational change management should always take into consideration how employees would react to the recommended plan of action. The supporters should consider the effect that this program would have on the present culture and how the emotional status of an employee in the company will be (Macri, Tagliaventi, & Bertolotti, 2002). More often that not , managerial leaders time and again mistake employees as robots without feeling and without thought to follow what ever fanciful decision the management would make . This is never the. Management should always consider people as people (Ford, Ford, &McNamara, 2002).

Resistance to change is established by the needs, opinions, and traits of individuals. Another reason why employees may resist organizational change is because of habit. Habits are developed by human beings (Trader-Leigh, 2002). If an individual has to make a number of decisions everyday, instead of taking into consideration all the potential alternatives per decision, for his decision he or she relies on habits (Ford, Ford, &McNamara, 2002).

Programmed response is another name for this type of habit-based response. When organizational change is put into action, there may be a requirement for employees to it may require employees to do without or alter some of their habits. When someone has to change their habit it is often an easier said than done, challenging task and this is why it would be met with resistance (Macri, Tagliaventi, & Bertolotti, 2002).

Selling the Change

In organizational culture selling a change calls for positive environmental creation. "Generating optimism and enthusiasm is part and parcel to this." During the socialization Process, employees will understand that they need to adhere together. The troublesome attitudes that can triumph and get in the way of formal environments can be eliminated by introducing change in an uplifting manner ("An introduction to," 2007). It is often said that the greater part of populace do not really have an understanding of what change is and the enormous job it is to put this change into place Yes, employees are often times resistant to change but management needs to keep in mind that they should never take too lightly the extent of the forces that truly add force to satisfaction, and strength being pleased with the status quo (Allen-Meyer, 2001). However, failure to change can be credited to more than simple technical dissatisfaction. Studies have shown that resistance to change exists within two levels: individual and structural (Dutton, Ashford, O'Neill, & Lawrence, 2001).

At the individual level, people always fear the unknown. Many individuals have the state of mind that since nothing is broken and everything seems to be working fine then there is no need to fix it and implement change (Allen-Meyer, 2001). Management in an organization should always take into consideration the view point of the employees because it is almost out of the question to implement organizational change if there are no programs existing which would address the concerns of individual employees (Dutton, Ashford, O'Neill, & Lawrence, 2001). A lot of employees are naturally skeptical if not aggressive when it comes to organizational change especially from things they have read or heard about the concept of change. Others have serious reservations about whether or not there are genuinely successful means to bring about major organizational change. Sometimes there are differing objectives in the organization, i.e., whether or not management should boost funds in order for change to be accomplished while at the same time still being able to cut cost and stay viable ("An introduction to," 2007).

Other ways to sell the change is for management to adapt Kotter's Eight-Step Plan for Implementing Change and the plan involves the following steps: 1. establishing a sense of urgency by giving rise to persuasive reasons as to why there is need for the change (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). For change to occur, it would really help if the entire company wants it. Developing a sense of urgency may assist management in sparking the first incentive to get things going ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995). 2. Constructing an alliance with adequate power for the change to be bought about (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). Persuade employees that the change is a necessity. This will most often take powerful leadership and support that is visible from individuals that are important within the organization. Convince people that change is necessary. It is not enough to lead change but it must be managed as ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995).

3. In order to direct the change a new vision must be created in addition to plans for the vision to be achieved (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). When management initially starts entertaining the idea of change many excellent ideas and solutions may float around. All of these concepts should be bought together in an overall vision so that employees can easily take a hold of and remember it ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995). 4. The vision must be communicated throughout the entire organization (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). The success of the vision will be determined by what management does after it is created. The message needs to be embedded in a powerful and frequent manner because on a day to day basis there may be strong competition within the company ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995).

5. Barriers to change should be removed and management should encourage taking risk in addition to problem solving creatively (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). If these steps are followed by management and this step is reached in the change process it shows that management has been talking about the organizations vision and "building buy-in's from all levels." If management has been promoting these benefits, hopefully the employees will be encouraged to achieve ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995). 6. Short term wins that assist in moving the organization closer to the new vision should be planned for and created (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). "Nothing motivates more than success." Early in the change process management should give employees a taste of victory and within this time, management will want to have results that the employees can see (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change); Employees and critics who think negatively may hurt the organizations progress without this ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995).

7. The necessary adjustments should be made in the new program, improvements should be consolidated and changes reassessed (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). Kotter disputes than when victory is announced too early on in the change process numerous change projects fail. "Real change runs deep." In order to achieve long term goals, quick wins are only the beginning ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995). 8. When management demonstrates the connection between behaviors that are new and organizational success, changes are reinforced (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 627, 2009). In order for any change to stick, it should be developed into a part of the center of the organization. Corporate culture often makes the determination of what gets done, so the values at the back of the organizations vision must be evident in day-to-day work ("Kotter's 8-step change," 1995).

Managing the Change

One of the biggest obstacles that leaders come face to face with is managing change. There is usually a relationship between displacement and uneasiness that is associated to organizational change. Stress and the difficulty of dealing with it are often caused by organizational change. Management needs a certain amount of control on the forces for change that is hidden within the organization to be absolutely certain that the organizational change is successfully bought about. Management has to be absolutely clear about their plan of action and their individual roles (Lorenzi, & Riley, 2000). They have to be clear about their role and plan of action. "The transformation of an influential new plan into action that is effective needs active management leaders at the controls, a productive corporate staff and a like-minded organizational structure. In order for change to occur a corporative environment that is supportive and management that is suitable are essential ("Management tools:" 2008).

In order to manage change, a successful and well organized change management system is needed. Kurt Lewin's classical change model, which is a three phase model of change, is one of the most philosophical change models and this can be utilized in organizations by management to deal with and handle in a successful manner, employees resistance to organizational change. According to Robbins and Judge, the four main approaches to organizational change are as follows: Lewin's model states that organizational change entails moving from one state that is static by means of a progression shift, to another state that is static. The model is also known as "Unfreezing the status quo," "movement to a desired ends state," and "refreezing the new change to make it permanent" (Robbins, & Judge, pp. 625, 2009).

The very first step in this model is to unfreeze the situation. This stage entails the creation of the appropriate conditions in order for change to take place. "By resisting change, individuals most often connect a sense of identity to their environment." In this state, substitutes, even the ones that are beneficial, will, at the beginning, cause uneasiness. The trial here will be moving employees from this 'frozen' state to a 'change ready' or state that is unfrozen' ("Management tools:" 2008).

The second step is movement and this step involves management forging ahead with the change which is more or less a transition from the old state to the new. The transitional 'journey' is innermost to Lewin's model and at the psychological level it is by and large a time of turmoil and commotion. Employees are conscious that the old ways are being called into question, but they are not clear as to which new ways will be in its. As responsibilities and roles get changed, a lesser state of competence is established, where goals are considerably lowered ("Management tools:" 2008). It is important for employees in the organization to have good leadership, training, and psychological support counseling or as this may be needed. The end result of this movement or transitional stage is to get employees to the 'unfrozen' state and keep them there (Robbins, & Judge, 2009).

The third phase is the refreezing stage in which there is acceptance of the change and "the systems and process gets adapted to the induced change." The end objective of Lewin's change model is to accomplish a 'refreeze' where a new place of stability is bought back and levels of comfort is elevated by reuniting employees back into an environment that is not only familiar to them but also safe. With refreezing, employees are taken from a period of low productivity in the movement/transitional stage to a stage that is stable and productive ("Management tools:" 2008).

According to Nickols, 2004, there are four (4) basic change management strategies that will assist management is implementing organizational change. The first is Empirical - Rational: Nickols believe that individuals are rational human beings and will go after self-interest as long as it is shown to them. Change is the basis of information communication and the offering of incentives (Nickols, pp. 48, 2004). The second strategy is Normative-Reductive: It is stated that individuals are social beings and will hold fast to cultural standards and values (Jansson, 2008).

Change is based on recharacterizing and reinterpreting customs and values that currently exist and making available obligations to new ones. The third strategy is Power-Coercive: People on the whole are obedient and will more often than not, can be made to, or do what ever they are told to. The basis of change is on the use of power and influence and burden of sanctions. The last strategy is Environmental-Adaptive: People on the whole will be in opposition to loss and disturbance but they adjust enthusiastically to new conditions. Change is about constructing a fresh organization and transferring individuals from the old to the new (Jansson, 2008).