Assessing Organizational Change: Research on Telecommunication Sector


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Organizational Change is a movement in processes or systems involving an action or set of actions that affects the way an organization works. The organizational changes can be planned and implemented by the leaders of the organization to bring out changes in their strategies and work behaviors or system. Naturally, organizational changes are usually done for long-term basis which can affect organizational mission, procedures of work settings and roles of individuals within an organization. Important factor relating to nature of change is that it's part of organizational life to survive and prosper in different business conditions offered by the world. Likewise, in ever changing world dynamics, every organization must change not only to sustain identity, but also to retain its relevance in a world of intense competition, constant innovative scientific progress, and rapid communication. The Organizational change theory in change management has become a prominent issue in changing global business conditions. Sometimes external forces can create a need for organizational change such as new competition in marketplace or new consumer demand for innovative products and expectation for improved organizational efficiency. The Unpredictability factor surrounding world organizations make the changes inevitable, whether planned or unplanned. The Change is aimed at making an organization strong as a complete unit to avoid any vulnerability affecting its success. The change in organization has become an unavoidable practice for various reasons in different transitional periods.

The research is to analyze the basic nature of as to why these changes in organization occur and evaluate techniques and practices involved in the process to assess possible significant outcomes on internal and external forces. Moreover, research interest primarily aims at expanding knowledge, information and understanding of organizational change concepts. The research revolves around general processes involved in bringing out organizational change and specific practices in accordance to telecommunication sector. The research works on a framework to plan, identify and analyze the significant variables or forces surrounding organizational change. The study significance relies on the importance and role organization play in business arena.

The Paper "Organizational change: managing human side"(1997) by American Productivity and quality center's joined with ICF Kaiser and 10 sponsoring organizations to examine how "best practice" organizations handle different issues relating to triggers of organizational change. "Best practices" refers to benchmark of techniques and ways to manage organizational problems and change principles. The Paper marks the importance of efficiently managing the critical factor of human side in an organizational process. The study material was based on four-phase methodology. This consisted plan, collect, analyze and report, and adapt. The paper highlighted different internal and external factors associated with change process of organizations. External forces such as the changing regulatory or legal environment, competition requiring a change, problem of customer's satisfaction or declining profits can be a significant enough to urge a change in organizations. The findings portrayed key elements of successful organizational change assessment. Internal forces impact on managing change in form of committed and active participation of leadership because the more powerful and visible the champion leading the organization, the change practice would be more efficient. CEO acted mostly as a change agent in many organizations. The role of leaders in organizational management can be highly active to implement planned changes on periodic basis to strengthen the organization as a whole. Education and development of these leaders is essential for managing and motivating change. Education factor can bring changes in cultural system of organizations. Moreover, Energetic participation of an empowered educated workforce brings about change in organizations in a sense that workforce must possess necessary skills and knowledge to support change. The significance of educating employees leads them to understand why change is necessary and the implementation to organizational changes. Other words, the adaptability factor of human side of employees must be cooperative. Another unique element included Culture change for organizations relates to modify values and work practices established over the years. The study provides the importance of Cultural transformation to facilitate change to be effective and lasting. Other key element featured effective communication between higher and lower management which plays an important role to efficiently coordinate plans and task understanding among themselves. Thus, the important aspect of managing human side of organizational change involves instilling sense of urgency and importance of work force education to embrace and support changes.

The Paper by Michael W. Durant (1999) "managing organizational change" highlights that the increased pace of change encountered over the past ten years had been dramatic with accelerated use of leverage as a means of increasing shareholder wealth left the balance sheet of some of world's successful organizations in disarray. Michael explains about importance of creating a vision because a change carries set of changes, so vision of long-term organizational perspectives gives shape to the process. The main core of the paper covered the four emotional states experienced throughout the change process by employees in behaviors that are obstacles to the process of change. Learning of these emotional states helps facilitate understanding of the change process. The first emotional state deals with denial of employees, so organizations need to work on trust-building and coordination with its employees. The second emotional state is a very important variable which comprises to resistance to organizational change. It is natural and can be in many forms like they refuse to acknowledge that a problem exists or there is a need for a change. Organizations must develop effective strategies to overcome employee resistance. So, employee's acceptance through compromise accelerates change process. Another emotional state considers employees explorations of their new roles in terms of change jobs after change initiative has taken place. The final emotional state relates with mutual commitment with obstacles removed and efficiently working on successful implementation of changes. Furthermore the research also presents that mostly organizational changes fail due to lack of commitment from the top, change overload, lack of incentives tied to the change initiative and a lack of training. The article broadens the scope in assessing organizational change; focus is on important variable i.e. employee behavior which plays an integral part in an organization. A successful change program requires that employees understand why the need for change is necessary. Employees must buy into the change program.

In a research article by Michael T Hannan et al. (2003) "Cascading organizational changes" Carrol of Stanford University explains the different structural aspects of organizational .change. Basically, highlights that a change in organizational architecture prompts a set of different changes, or results in cascade of changes linked with complete reorganization. Another approach used to identify significant organizational changes involving assessing changes in organizations architecture, defined as code system. The study focuses on control of the organizational unit with an alteration to the whole time organization spends reorganizing. The associated opportunity cost act as factor towards organizational unit as well. The research and theoretical foundations of the paper relates with understanding of organizational inertia. For organizational inertia we study theory of structural inertia by Hannan and freeman (1977,1984) which pertains to changes in the "core" features of organizations. In developing this theory, Hannan and Freeman (1984) provided some features of this variable which comprise a generalized core: (1) the organizational mission, (2) the form of authority and the nature of the exchange between the organization and its members, (3) the basic technology used to transform inputs into outputs, and (4) the organization's general marketing strategy. Moreover, this theory has motivated a considerable body of empirical research on the effects of change in core organizational features. . The theory assumes that significant or major organizational change involves changing a core feature. It predicts that an organization will encounter resistance if it attempts to change core features; it also implies that changes in core features will be highly consequential. Architectural changes initiate cascades that clearly define periods of reorganization. It is conclusive that reorganizing diminishes an organization's ability to mobilize resources. The factor of opportunity cost associated to organizations undergoing organization change is not utilizing resources unlike to similar organizations that are not reorganizing. This article limits the scope of organizational change to a transition of organizational inertia generalized core consisting of few factors. So, the research can further study different cascade changes or multiplier effects in different variables other than the inertia factors mentioned.

The Paper written by William P.Barnett et al. "Modeling internal organizational change" discussed that aspects on a theoretical level have been routinely separated in two major theoretical classes, depending on the factors of organization, whether its flexible formal organization. The first major class is existent of those who use adaption mechanism of organizational change. This class believes that change occurs mainly through the adaptive responses of existing individual organizations prior to technical changes such as technology or environment. The second class exists of a selection mechanism of organizational change, it takes into assumption that organizations cannot change easily and quickly and when they do change they take a greater risk. When we talk about the dimension of organizational change its transformation of two points in space and time, most of the time organization is compared by the past and present, where it mentions what has changed due to change in time and other factors such as organizational change in structure, culture and values. Then the write further goes on to explain why do, organizations decide to change in specific place or time. This is explained as to when managers, try to change it they change which in turn would be an unexpected leap into transition which leads to transformation. However it is argued that change also occur as a by-product of need, as they say " necessity is the mother of invention" so when they organizations need to change, when we talk with reference to current socio-economic change they change that is variable and can't be controlled and off course is a by-product of need or time that suits the change. However there are factors which lead to change, first of all internal factors, which explains that as the organization expands certain structural transformations should occur, but there are some variable in this whole change thing which are very import, for instance age and products that determines the organizations needs to change. External factors that lead to organizational changes are institutional environments and market volatility.

Then we come to modeling that can be merger of two companies or takeover, so change in organizational structure as a result of expansions. However, synchronizing the standards operating practices, culture, structure and values are a great challenge for the managers, where this organizational change may be success of a failure.

Most of the theoretical frameworks raise an important question as to why organizations change and what outcomes changes produce. However, as researchers are using sound designs and modeling frames that answer to all these seem pretty near than comprehended. The answer researchers will provide results will make both theorists and managers. Theorists will find an issue to reexamine the organization not only their opinion about organizations but basic understandings of organizations, likewise managers would learn that would help and prevent them from and eventual or immediate demise.

In the paper by Nancy Staudenmayer et al. (2008) ''Time to Change: Temporal Shifts as Enablers of Organizational Change" findings from three field studies of technology based organizations are combined to explore the methods and practices through which change takes place in organizations. After examining the three sites, the author explains that organizational change occurs only after some event affected the accustomed daily rhythms of work and thus changed the way people experienced time i.e. temporal shifts. Finding suggests that temporal shifts changes in a collective's experience of time which help to facilitate organizational change.

The Paper suggested that temporal shifts enable change in four ways: (1) by creating a trigger for change i.e. to trigger reevaluation of the current situation and enable people to entertain the possibility of change. As a result people found themselves loose from regular temporal routines, and thus were more open to change. (2) By providing resources needed for change in form of alteration in people's sense of time, created a rare opportunity to focus on problems and pursue a change agenda other than routine (3) by acting as a coordinating mechanism as temporal shifts helped teams to undertake change activities in a coordinated way. By contrast, without some temporal shift it was often hard to capture the attention of the critical mass of people necessary to accomplish real change, and (4) by serving as a credible symbol of the need to change because changes in rhythm held high symbolic value. This paper contributes to our understanding of mechanisms that enable change in organizational structures, processes, and ways of acting and thinking. It suggests that disruptive events can facilitate change by altering the experience of time.

Another study examined the potential validity of one model of the dynamics of planned organizational change (Porras, 1987; Porras & Robertson, 1992). Authors have looked into previous empirical research on planned change interventions provided for the model. Different meta-analytic techniques (Hunter, Schmidt, & Jackson, 1982) used to evaluate a set of hypotheses, which was used during the model, regarding the dynamics of organizational change.

A theoretical framework have been developed, which is from a perspective of change, it takes into assumption the organizations with context to individual behavior. Where, an organizational work setting comprises four major interrelated subsystems; organizing arrangements, social factors, technology and physical setting (Porras, 1987; Porras & Robertson, 1992). It is discussed that the four organizational subsystems are highly dependent on each other. Whereas intervention in one subsystem can result in the change of another sub system for example a change in technology intervention will result in the redesign of organizations work flow, which in turn may result in changes in organizational member's job design.

Hypothesis 1 in the article discusses that planned organizational change will generate a change in work setting variables. These can include the decisions they make, the information they share, the care with which they do their work, the creativity they bring to their activities, and the initiatives they take. Porras and Hoffer (1986) identified a set of work behaviors that experts in planned organizational change indicated would be a consequence of successful change activity. Examples of these behaviors include open communication, collaboration, taking responsibility, and so forth. Hypothesis 2 in the article which is the relationship between the amount of positive change in work setting variables and the amount of positive change in individual behavior will be positive. Behavior change is not the ultimate goal of planned change activity, it is key focus because it discusses the relationship between change in work setting and both organizational performance and individual development. Organizational performance consists of a wide variety of both economic outcomes, such as profits, market share, market position, and productivity, and human relations outcomes, including rates of turnover, absenteeism, and grievances.

Hypothesis 3 discusses the amount of positive change in the in individual behavior, with reference to positive change in organizational outcomes. As this a qualitative study which states all the possible solutions to the problems. After the hypothesis tests were run there were different support for all the hypothesis and results which affected the organizational change.

In the end there are some key points suggested by the author with relevance to the practice of planned organizational change. Firstly change agents should focus on systematic change in work setting with a focus on individual behavioral change as a key factor associated with organizational change. Secondly, the results of technology intervention indicated negative behavior that, which does not necessarily mean it leads to negative outcome.

Last but not least, efforts to extend this model would help increase the efficacy of planned change implementation. A developed theory would provide practitioners with a good basis for choosing intervention methods rather than personal preference, values and norms

The article by Giuseppe Labianca et al. (2000) "A Grounded Model of Organizational Schema Change during Empowerment" presents employee resistance to an organizational change project in which employees were empowered to participate in the design of a new organizational structure as empowerment increases employees participation. What emerged from their analysis was the importance of cognitive barriers to empowerment. Employees' resistance appeared to be motivated less by intentional self-interest than by the constraints of well- established, ingrained schemas. Schemas are generalized cognitive frameworks that give form and meaning to experience, and contain general knowledge about a domain. They are a collection of related ideas and specific examples about the domain. One of their chief functions is to help a person identify incoming stimuli. Organizational schemas guide and give meaning to the everyday activities of organization members. Moreover, they provide a common orientation toward information and events (Bartunek and Moch 1987, Moch and Bartunek 1990). This schemas guide empowerment among employees cognitive framework to resist and participate in decisions in organizational change. Many factors contribute to resistance of organizational change which include organizational politics (Pfeffer 1982), strong socialization and cultural norms (Neumann 1989), insufficient information, and poor timing and lack of necessary resources (Kotter and Schlesinger 1993, Lorsch 1985). A grounded model of schema change is developed for changes in organizational decision-making schemas during empowerment efforts. Theoretical implications and suggestions for improving organizational change efforts are proposed.

Carter McNamara in his book "Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development" defines major types of organizational changes. It involves the change factors analyzed through different dimensions within organizations. The paper discusses when there is wide impact of change like restructuring or collaboration of organization, and then it is known as organization-wide change. Changes in some departments or product and services involve subsystem changes in organizations. Another category of Transitional organizational change involves changing an organization's structure and culture from the traditional top-down, hierarchical structure to a large amount of self-directing teams. The writer outlines incremental change as a continuous improvement process which can be in shape of quality management process. When an organization changes with intension to remedy current situations such as improve organizational performance then it classifies remedial change. The process of planned organizational change evolves with anticipation for long-term purposes whilst, unplanned changes act as a reaction to sudden movements.

The Paper by Richard Seel (2002) "Nature of Organizational Change" classifies a simple typology of different kinds of change.

Theoretical Framework

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