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INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Change is something vital in todays environment for very organisation due to the various factors like economic change, technology changes and competition change etc. The organizational behaviour is presentation of the organizational culture, structure and individuals working in the organization. So the change in any factor will ultimately effect on the behaviour of the organisation (Ajzen, 1988) and it is essential to manage these changes in appropriate and systematic manners in order to avoid failures at strategic level.
Have used the Avon the company for women in recent years; have gone through the structural changes very often due to the economic ups and downs in past couple of years and fierce competition in market which have demanded the high cost efficiency and quality.
Avon American based cosmetic company which have only product portfolios for women providing the range of products starting from cosmetics to beauty and fashion. Avon is known for their unique distribution channels where products are not sold in traditional shops displays instead the products are sold door to door by the Avon representatives leading to make the largest team of representatives with more than five million over the globe.
REASONS FOR CHANGE AVON COMPANY
In recent years the change is essential for every organisation to survive for long term and sustain in highly competitive environment. Organisations fail to change the systems and themselves in modern environment loss there market and standings example are many IT and related companies which come to near extinguish. However there following typical reasons in modern era which have lead the organizations to made changes in their structures and behaviours;
Technology updates: In recent years the organization efficiency and cost savings is dependent on the use of suitable technology solutions and they need the technology to maintain themselves in the highly competitive market. So the organizations which did not adopt the suitable technology may be the victim of inefficiencies, slow productions growths and less profit margins, further the use of appropriate technology and making it part of the strategy is biggest challenge for today’s organisations.
Competition situation: competition have changed it selves to the highly volatile and fierce where it survive the organizations have to change themselves continuously in order to remain ahead in the game, where international organisations have adopt the competition strategy by making themselves highly sustainable, ethical values and updated for the changing environment with more focus on competing through digital world.
Economic conditions : A few years ago the economic conditions was almost stable and according to the pattern but recent credit crunch have left the organisations uncertain about their future and prove there planning for their future may need the minor or complete revision. So in that case the organizations are expecting the uncertain and unseen economic conditions in the future and best strategy to deal these uncertainties is that the companies change their structure and behaviour flexible enough to incorporate the changes.
Changes reasons in Avon;
Avon has particularly driven to change by the following factors;
Cost savings: like other cosmetics companies the Avon also facing the challenge to maintain their profitability level with minimizing the cost and efficiency. Te Avon have initiated the cost saving scheme in 2008 which will be further linger till 2015 which will ensure the huge changes in the organisation with in this time period including the individuals focus to save cost much as possible and ensure the cost savings in future time period.
Sale representatives: the economy down fall left the human resource jobless and dissatisfies where Avon took the opportunity and make their strategic aim to increase their sale representative base strong and change the way organisation deals with their work force making them the most compatible with the new environment.
More skills development: Traditionally Avon have worked with the limited but high class skills which were limited to the top level , however Avon is now focusing more on delegation and skill development in all level of staff so the organisation emerged as the highly compatible.
CHANGE STRATEGY AND CHANGE PROCESS
Organisational change requires the complete strategic standing and concern and should be adopted and made on the higher level, where this process begins with making the clear vision of the organisation after change and how the different aspect and contexts will be dealt in course of making the strategy for change.
Change Philosophy; Change philosophy may consist of the organisation’s standing and vision about the change and how they perceive it like Avon has taken the change as the mean of competition and incorporating the recent external changes in the organisation however the most organisations have taken it as the art of the organisations casual operations and part of the organisational life cycle for others it is rare and one off event after long time and due to the extreme reasons.
Change Approach: This can be representatives of how the organisations will be managing the change process and how the change process will proceed. The approach can be either top down or bottom up where the top down approach means the lower staff are driven to change by higher management however the bottom up approach means the lower staff have been the factor which have realized the upper management drive the change process. The most common approach is mixer of each approach as the leads is unable to bring the change without employee’s consent.
Style: The style may present the perceptions of the management about the change like either they are taking as the very crucial and making redundancies to bring the changes or the organisation are bringing the change through the involvement of employees with continuous contribution from them.
Role of others: The change is driven by the individuals in the organization which should clearly identify the hierarchy of personal taking part in the process and there should be the clear line of responsibilities and role.
Change implication models; The change models are systematic approach of the company to adopt the change, where many researchers have combined many factors and challenges to make standards processes to bring the changes in the organisation. There are number of models used for change implementation and there is no standard about each model to be adopted for the change for every organisation and circumstances. However there are following common models are adopted by the majority of organisations;
Balance score card: is the method where the change is implemented in various areas of the business with different perspective and finally the overall impact is calculated to make the overall change happen in the organisation. The main change areas are financial, operational, supply chain and technology etc.
Kaizen: this is the model which have based on the philosophy that the change is the part of the organisational operations and there must always the increments in the system and improvements through the company without any pause. The Kaizen suggest that the change is the function which organisation adopt like all other functions like marketing or production etc. The Kaizen model is suggesting the manufacturing with the philosophy of zero effect and total quality management in the organisation.
Kotter’s change model: this model presents the step by step approach to change process where the change could be adopted as the side operation of the organisation over the period without much interference in the primary functions however his model also equally adoptable in changes which require the total spin off the company. The Kotter’s model allows the organizations to identify and manage the challenges in the change process like the resistance from stakeholders and motivation etc. Kotter’s eight step ensure the organisation have gone through the careful process to manage the change in structure with minimum risk factors.
Business process reengineering: is the philosophy for change where the focus of the management to change the style of working and ways the functions are performed before so to perform the particular task the organization is more focus on the changing the ways of working eliminating the inefficiencies and slackness’s making it more efficient and productive.
Other methods are balance score card, Lewin’s model and action research model etc
The above stated models are more effective in individual and unique circumstances and there should be analysis conduct by management in order to find the model is best suitable to the organizations unique circumstances and it is recommended to stay on one model once being adopted. There are following questions which the managements should consider before recommending any model to the company;
How frequently the change happen in the organisation for example for frequent change the kaizen model is best suitable or other wise
How much Time allocated to the change process happen for example Kotter’s model allow the both short term or long term change however the Lewin’s change model is used for change in short time period is use
What is the Reason of change itself define the model adopted for the incremental change the Kotter model or the Kaizen is adoptable however the economic crunches or any emergency change may require the spin off change process suggesting the Lewin’s or Action Research method base
What are the organisation and their business nature and type, manufacturing prefer the process reengineering etc
Recommended for the Avon
Avon have been changing themselves because of both factors like the economic downturn and as part of continuous improvement also the Avon is both service oriented and production base company so need the model which could coped easily in each situation and possible solution is Kotter’s eight step model; where the changes will precede as follows;
1-First of all the Urgency for change will created by identifying the factors which required the proposed change and what worse could happen if Avon could not change the behaviours in the organisation and implement the proposed solutions and afterwards gets the solution from the management.
2- After approval Avon will form the team which lead the change and assist the organization to overcome the hurdles for change to happen. These are influential people of the organisation which management thinks could easily convenience the resistance from the stakeholders.
3-Along with the team the Avon will create the vision of future of the organisation, where the organisation will consider the strategic objectives and how the change will obtain the strategic objectives.
4-Communication is essential throughout the change process and information asymmetry may cause the resistance and delays in the process of change so the Kotter’s fourth step allow the organisation to first allow the organisation to mange there communication aspect easily so do not face the problem in the coming stages.
5- Resistance could be any forms in the change process wither due to the stakeholders especially the employees or there are resources delays, which should be managed in the fifth stage of the change. Here Avon may feel restricted due to the technology delays will be managed before proceeding to actual stage.
6- By creating the vision and awareness may not enough for the employees to make them realize that the actual changes are on the way and may fruitful so if they are given the taste of the outcomes might be better able to give the organisation the maximum contribution from the employees.
7-This stage is crucial as on this stage as the organisation will create the actual activities in the organization.
8-Reviews and monitoring: On this stage the change process is finished and the company stable the organisational operations and outcomes are measured to find the extent to which the set objectives are achieved.
STAKE HOLDERS INVOLVEMENT
Stakeholders are crucial to any change implementation to the successful, have been indicated any studies there are following Stakeholder’s which affected by the organisational activities. The personals, which are most influenced by the organisational activities especially change activities are they stake holders which should be managed in an appropriate ways to avoid the conflicts of interested and resistance from them Aon have Shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers as the ka stakeholders. According to the Mendlow’s are the key stakeholders, where the where by adopting the following grid the organisation can manage the stakeholders.
According to these mapping the stakeholder’s involvement will differ for each stakeholder according to their interest and power in the organisation.
Shareholders are managed closely as they have high interest and power in the company
Employees are keep satisfied and informed because the although have the highest interest in the company and low influence but could fall in the high power category by lobbing and other ways
Customers should be informed so they know what is going around in the company
Suppliers with low interest and low power are monitor effectively.
Here the each can involve in change by following ways;
Shareholders: The shareholders have interest of wealth in the organisation ain any for also they have attitude towards the risk taken in any change ad project and according to the stakeholder mapping they have the highest power and interest in the company. So, Avon must closely monitor them and gave them the true picture of what is happening ad progress of the project. The shareholders involvement could be achieved in following ways
Taking suggestions and decisions about the critical matters like risk and investors in particular areas
Face to face individual meetings are essential where the influential shareholder s is concern or the management is expecting the lobbing from the minor shareholders, which can create the big problem in future
In Periodic and annual meetings Avon should convey and gave presentation on the progress of change process and there should be written report to the shareholders about the progress of the change process.
Employees: Employees involvement is important where the case studies have revealed that the change plans without the much contribution from the employees mostly fails to achieve the required level of outcomes. Employees are most affected by the organisation plan of changes in form of either they can lose their jobs in result or have fear to change her position on which they feel comfortable. In the stakeholders grid the employees have lower influence on individual level and high interest so must be keep satisfied as if they do lobbing can create the problem for the organisation. The employees if not kept satisfied any result in the delay in the process and their involvement in the process increase the chance for the change. There are following methods or systems could be adopted to take their contribution in the process;
Schedule and managers meeting with each individual in the organisation because he mangers are more confronting point so the employees feel satisfied and can easily share their doubts and ideas about the change
Presentations and seminars after intervals are best source to gave the employees what is actual progress and where the company is standing now and what possible issues can arise and finally at that point the employees can assist the organisation in that change process.
Online portals and blogs which will encourage the employees to discuss the change openly rather than involving in typical office politics and management should carefully mange the suggestions coming from employee’s with appropriate feedbacks and rewards which will encourage others as well to take part in the process.
The change in behaviours requires the change in the culture and working environment which is done by the management and of course by changing the role models.
Customers; Avon almost affected by the requirement and need of their ladies which also can e priceless resource in the organisations change process for unique ideas and living the image after or before change happens. Customers are also most influenced by the staff services and convince in ordering and quality of product so their contribution importance could not be denied. In stakeholder grid the customer have high influence and lower interest so they must keep informed and their contribution may obtain by either through the surveys or tailored interviews.
Suppliers: Suppliers although are least influential in the organisation however they can be a delay in the change process through the inconvenient supplies or become the major stakeholders. So before proceeding the change Avon must consult their suppliers for the details to avoid the unseen circumstances.
APPLYING THE SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY
The successful strategic implication require s the minimum challenge faced from the stake holders if the employees restrict the change they can abort change procedures and company will not be able to apply the changes in the organisation as required. The change restriction could be due to no reasons like
The rights or interest of personals are affected and not considered in the company so make agreements with them
The person is restricting due to being facing difficulty in adjusting in the new process so unable to cope creating the resistance to change processes, so there is need to consider them by giving training and consultation
They are creating problem because they think change is not what is required for company or unable to understand the outcomes achieved from the change process. So management should educate them or gave them the appropriate awareness about the matter.
The organization can manage them by making them the system as on the planning stage and reviewing the system after periodic period to avoid conflicts and minimizing the negative impacts of the changes to the people and processes as change is not essentially did not bring always the positive outcomes so should managed carefully.
The change in organisation or behavioural changes require the change in the working styles, structure and culture of the organisation where all these changes are further dependent on the cost savings, skills developments and changing the way of working could be best approach for Avon Company. The change implementation may require appropriate change strategy and suitable model, where Avon may be best suited for the Kotter’s eight step model. The change may results in failure if the stakeholders are not managed appropriately where the stakeholders are managed through these of gridding system ad allocating them according to their interest and power.
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