Focusing in on Strategic Change Management


This assignment focuses on the strategic change management. It provides an in depth knowledge of different models of strategic change and their various will evaluate the relevance of these models and in the current economy. It will finally assess the value of using strategic intervention techniques in the given company.

The research is focused on Car phone Warehouse which is the provider of one of the biggest mobile phones and accessories in Europe and UK. It is one of the leading cell phone companies in the telecommunication industry. It was started with the investment of just 6000 pound as a small mobile phone shop. Purpose of this company is to provide best services in cell phone along with an excellent customer services. The Carphone warehouse group was established in 1989 by Charles Dunstone as a UK mobile phone retailer. Since after that business spread organically and in 1996 opened its first Brach elsewhere in Western Europe. Now there are around 2,440 stores across eleven European countries.

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Recently the Carphone Warehouse Group has developed a strong relationship with strategic co-operation between the two businesses in both the America and European markets. In 2006 they started to work with the Best Buy for US market and in 2007 both of these companies launched Greek Squad in the UK which was responsible to provide 24 hour home technology support services to the 2008 Best Buy captured 50% of the Carphone Warehouse retail and distribution business in 1.088 billion and business was renamed as Best Buy Mobile. MVNO which utilizes the orange network was launched as a joint venture between the Carphone Warehouse Group and the Virgin group. The Carphone Warehouse Group is based on Phone House, Best Buy and Greek Squad. CEO of the company Roger Taylor announced that full profit of this year is in the range of between 90m to 100m pound. In less than 20 years it joined the FTSE 100 index of leading shares.

It will see that how this organization brought the change in the difficult period of recession to increase their revenue and maximize their profit.

Change management is the process which is followed to bring the change in the organization as there are different steps need to be taken for the different organizations. It is the approach to understanding the nature of the change and analyze that what is the resistance in order to adopt the change. Change management describes the current state of an organization and shifting towards their future position.

1.1 Models of strategic change management

There are many change management theoretical models which represent the nature of change in the organization. Here are four major theoretical models which will be discussed. There are many factors which are the cause of change for example adopting the new technology, changing the organization culture or adopting new strategies to compete the market or legislation could be the factor to bring the change in policies and strategies. A strategic change model has contains specific steps which are predefined and followed to adopt the change. There are a sequence set of set of processes and activities through change is proceed to implement the changes. The purpose of change model is to bring the accurate assessment of changes by a specific group of peoples.

(1) Lewis's Freeze Phases

(2) The Kübler-Ross grief cycle

(3) The Prosci ADKAR model

(4) Kotter's eight-step strategy for change management

Different approaches to model of change management:

There is a procedure for effective change management which includes different approaches. Change management depends on deep planning and good implementation and it is the people who involve in the change so always have to consult with the people because those r the one who will be affected first as if change is been forced on people than there will be a problem. So always change should be achievable, measureable and realistic. So always it need to think that what is the purpose of change and what is the need to achieve it, who will be affected by this change and what organization will get after this change so personal change is interrelated to the organizational change.

To understand the change management it need to discuss the approaches of change management and describe that which are the characteristics on which the models are based


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Rational changes are the web based changes which are made to improve quality and software development which is used in IT section. Remote users use internet and open websites while the changes are made on server and for the end user it is automatically synchronized. It has strong rationality and more efficient to apply.


It was found by William Strauss in 1991, according to him achieving fundamental social change is difficult and bit slow as we are entering into a new phase of the world and many social changes are applicable now and we have not seen this before as each generation adopt some new changes which are quite different from the previous one for example technology is main feature in these days. People prefer to buy online. Some time we need to adopt the change because of the social crises for example world war 2 and American Revolution. When new generation is born in the crises their behavior is different from the previous ones.


Organic organizations are much more capable of adopting the changes. Some of the changes are planned and some changes are the one which are the need of the organization for example Carphone Warehouse Group was previously working in Europe and they were sailing the phones but later on they realized that they must have to extend their business to occupy the market and they started to work with other retailers and open more branches around the Europe and UK. They started to work in partnership with the trade customers and now it is one of the leading mobile companies in UK.


There are external factors are involved to adopt the change like political stability or economic crises. Political change put a great impact on the decision of the organization. Lack of peace and stability in the region can decrease the chances of growth. For example Emirates at time was best but in these days it is in crises which indicate the economic condition of the Arab world.

1.2 Relevance of the models of strategic change to organization in the current economy:

Prosci five building blocks ADKAR:

This methodology of change model is found by Prosci research which was created in 1994 and more than hundred companies are in their client list. ADKAR is acronym of Awareness, Desire, knowledge, Ability, reinforcement. This model is applicable in Carphone Warehouse and it will analyze that how these elements work for this company.

Awareness: it needs to analyze that what type of change is required and what will be after that. Carphone Warehouse Group was fully aware that where they are and what they want. Definitely their first target was to establish their company as it should be known to the worldwide

Desire: For their purpose of growing their business they motivated their staff to adopt the change and struggled hard to get their desired task. For this purpose they revise their marketing strategy and trained their staff to increase their capability so they could have some uniqueness in the market.

Knowledge: Now their vision was clear they were fully aware that what they want to achieve, problem was that how to do it so they did the survey in the market and found that who is their competitor and how to get involved in the local market. For this purpose they decided to combine at a time local customers and trade.

Ability: this model states that there should be the ability in the staff to do the right task at right time. Carphone Group focused a lot on this issue and they made their ability as strength.

Reinforcement: Next step in ADKAR model is to have brief look that is the system of the company able to take changes in place and where are the weakness and how it will be executed.

ADKAR model could be used for the further development of the Carphone Warehouse as to adopt the latest technology and expanding their business.

Kurt Lewin's casual change management model:

This model focused on the factors which are involved to adopt the change in people. It includes three factors which are unfreezing, change, Freeze. This model is been criticized a lot because of its simplification. Although this model is too old but still it is relevant

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Stage 1: Unfreezing

This stage is the first step in which it is been realized that change needs to be occur and have to break the comfort zone for example if it is the deadline to do any task person will work more efficiently. Unfreezing is the basic of the force field analysis.

Stage 2: Change or Transition

Change is the next step in process in which changes are made which are required, this is the hardest step to be taken where resistance occurs. Here it needs the motivation by keeping an eye on the future benefits. Training and coaching is used to support this activity.

Stage 3: Refreezing

This stage includes the establishing of the process in which changes has been made and people accept this change and it becomes their routine.

This model gives the better understanding about the change that how change is applicable as the example of Carphone Warehouse it states how change is applicable on this company.

Burke- Lit win's casual change model:

This model gives the great inside view that where is the destination and how far you are from your goal and where it needs to be change and how it is going to be applicable. It indicates the difference between the actual level and desired level. Like in Carphone Warehouse it need to analyze that what is the customer expectation and what is management actually doing. What action should do to satisfy the customer and how to compete the services of other providers? It also provides environmental dimensions which is important for successful change. It describes external environmental factors affect the dimension of the organization.

1.3 Assessing the value of strategic intervention techniques:

Strategic intervention techniques are those which are helpful to bring the change and decrease the element of resistance as words can put a big impact on the human nature. Like other companies Carphone Warehouse uses intervention techniques to improve the capability of their employees. Team building consequence and conflicts: this technique is widely used in Carphone Warehouse to take the decision and agree on the decision where majority of the peoples are agree. To minimize the factor of risk and loss or any confusion intervention techniques play vital role in the prosperity of any organization.

Carphone Warehouse group believe in participative technique rather than autocratic and their partners work together for the development of their company which shows that participative technique is much more effective to achieve their goal, they believe in proactive approach and work hard to achieve their target. In some ways team work is more effective than the individual for this purpose highly motivated and capable of doing things in effective way teams are built to achieve their targets. In Carphone Warehouse staff is been highly trained for improvement in their services and customer satisfaction. Many training courses have been introduced to work as a group.

To change the organization according to the current economy always intervention techniques are helpful weather there is the need of adopting the new technology by introducing training courses for the employee, group learning, assigning tasks and building teams. To contain the employee in the organization intervention techniques are used for example Carphone Warehouse in some place gives the facility to work even at home or provides the opportunity to get free loan or give the facility of their own transport or giving rewards and their personal development, these things motivate the employee to be loyal with the company and work hard.

2.1 Needs of strategic change in the Carphone Warehouse:

Change that needs to bring should always for some purpose because people do not accept the change. The process of change management helps the company to achieve its target and develop the vision of the company where they want to be. The basic of change management is to develop a plan to implement the change in an effective way.

"At some point every large organization comes face to face with the need for fundamental change. The decision to act may be prompted by a variety of circumstances: a sharp slide in profitability, enticing new prospects in distant markets, and the gathering threat of fleet-footed competitors. Whatever the motive, leaders seldom meet greater demands on their skills than they do when they embark on a major change effort."(Joseph Isern and Caroline Pung , 2007)

Carphone Warehouse realized at a time that they must have to adopt the change to expand their business and to join other retailer across the world by introducing new products in the market. There is the need of change when economic crises occurs or company have to achieve specific goal or there is the case in which customers expectation is changed for example in these days Apple brad is so popular because of its products as it has a competitive edge on the other brands so other companies must have to bring the change weather in the product or in their strategy.

Legislation could be the reason behind the change for example if Government announce the increment in minimum wage or some other limitation like taxes than company must have to follow the rules and has to make the strategy according to the rules. There is always resistance behind the change and one of the major reasons in failing to bring change is that companies ignore the factor that they are implementing the change on people so there is the need to change the behavior of the people and Carphone Warehouse studied the nature of human and work on it.

2.2 Factors driving the change in Carphone Warehouse:

In December 2003 a low came that it will be an offence to use mobile phone while driving than mobile retailer start to bring the devices like Bluetooth, hands free adaptor, V8 mobile phone and universal hand free kits. The factor behind the change weather buyers interest or retailer was the legislation and technological advancement. Carphone Warehouse is much interested in increasing their business by increasing productivity and operations and that can only be possible when they adopt changes and new technology. To face their competitors Carphone Ware house start bringing promotions on some mobile phone and providing free home delivery was the successful change. Each business at one stage must have to bring the change to stay in the market as there are always threats around and company have to grab the opportunities.

Carphone Warehouse realized the market environment and importance of internet. Therefore to make the relationship strong with their customers they started to provide the fast internet with the cooperation of Talk Talk which provides other telecommunication services like mobile internet as well. Carphone has lost their business with Vodafone but still they able to manage the relationship with virgin mobile and they are in partnership. Virgin is not only a mobile services provider but also an experience provider of internet services. These examples show that Carphone Warehouse was able to adopt technological changes results in improving products and services.

The founder of Carphone Warehouse Charles Dunstone even didn't go to the university but he realized what he wants to achieve and how he will do it by knowing the needs of the people. At time Carphone ware house was the only retailer which was providing phone in the car and this thing made the difference in making the good relationship with the customers. He allowed the staff to share their knowledge and suggestions which contributed to the success in business.

2.3 Resource implication of the Carphone Warehouse

Resources are helpful to perform the operation and activities of the company and play important role in the change process so coordination of resources is so important to achieve the desired output. Utilization to Carphone Warehouse resources at right time is so important to get the competitive edge especially in the technological sector. Morgan (2000 cited by Finney et al.2004, p. 1722) agrees, stating that the need to update resources is a major management task since all business environments reflect highly unpredictable market and environmental conditions. Resource should be must up to date.

Carphone Warehouse business nature is different from others as things are moving fast and everyday new electronic products are coming in the market and it can be a hurdle to invest the money at same time on many products and they are facing the threats of other competitors like Phone 4 u, Argos, Amazon etc. to overcome this threat they are integrating by merging with the mobile phone manufactures. At same time manufacturer are giving the same kind of tariff to local shop which allow them to think as the better utilization of their resources by giving better values and services to the customers.

Legislation restriction could also be hurdle in Carphone Warehouse strategic change as in UK there are the property rights which they have to follow as in case if they want to leave the property before their contract or they want to do refurbishment, they have to take the permission from the owner.

Change is always implemented by the people and employees are one which is affected so they always feel hesitation to bring the change and it never been easy to bring the change as common answer of the person is that it is the way I used to work. For this purpose employer have to arrange the training and development courses to increase their skills but again problem occurs as someone will say that I feel I have enough skills and I don't need any training.

Business of Carphone Warehouse is expanding and they have to recruit more staff and need to open more branches. In that case hiring new staff and their training could be the big issue for them.

3.1 System of care phone involving stakeholders in the planning of change:

Stakeholder is the very important part of the planning change because they are affected more than anyone. So organization always keeps this thing in mind that who is the one will be affected and how they can overcome this the strategic change process it is important to know that the stakeholders are the part of the organization weather directly like the employee which are working for the organization or external stakeholder which are the customers and buyers.

Business is always successful with the involvement of the stakeholders and getting their support. It needs a successful plan which should be designed with the suggestion of the shareholders by involving them into the business and telling them that how important you are for the organization for example Carphone Warehouse arranged the public meetings to get the feedback from the stakeholders and to understand what actually they want and what their core values are.

The system to involve stakeholder in change depends on the nature of business for example opinion of non-concerning person should not be valuable. So it is important to recognize their stakeholders and their opinion. Normally board meeting is been called in which executive take participation and analyze the weightage of changes. Some experienced persons who are quite expert in taking initiative in that kind of change should be called to share their thoughts and experience. They can share their involvement in the previous project. By doing this thing company can minimize the risk factor of losing money.

Good relationship with customers can increase the loyalty of the customer with the company so for this purpose survey on internet could be very helpful and informative to know that what customers expect from you. Younger generation always expect a lot and want latest technology as they easily get bored by using the old product. Carphone Warehouse needs to launch the product with constant change to attract their customers.

3.2 Change management strategy with the stake holders:

Gradual change is always better than fast change because people don't accept the sudden change and it is always important for the efficiency of the business to get more and more interaction with the stakeholders. People take time to adopt the change as for concern to the internal stakeholders training and group discussion is the best way to teach them. This will help them to know about the change and to think about that how important they are for the company.

The best strategy is to identify their stakeholders by observing their profiles and engage them to the business by taking their views and introducing that what company wants from stakeholders and what they expect from the company. There should be the dialogue between the company presenter and the groups including individuals. Marketing staff needs to be trained for delivering excellent presentation who can share the thoughts in an effective way.

Carphone Warehouse needs to keep in mind that they have to capture the market by attracting all sorts of customers by giving their price range and bringing the products which are affordable for everyone as the buying power of customers can affect the strategy so it is important to satisfy the customers and their feedback is always important for the improvement in the services.

3.3 Evaluation of the system used to involve stakeholders in the planning of change:

It is so important to develop a system to involve the stakeholders in the planning change because they are the one who will be directly affected by the change so if they don't accept it than the planning will be failed. It also gives them the sense that they are the part of their business and important for the organization. For example in a challenging environment or economic crises company may need to change working hours or may be demand is either increased or decreased for example due to increasing in sale Carphone Warehouse decide to open their business on weekends and in case if employee denied to work than it won't work out. However involvement of stakeholders in planning is entirely depend on the interest of stakeholders in company's work. So it is the important phase to develop the interest of the stakeholders in to the business by telling them the advantages.

3.4 Strategy for managing resistance to change:

The good practice is to divide the stakeholders into the groups and find out what is the level of involvement in them and what that involvement is. There is always the element of resistance as it is not possible that strategy works out and no one resist. There is great importance of developing the involvement and interest of stakeholders as person learns with the experience.

In some situation it happens when there is the conflict with the management or the group members and each one have a different point of view. Here is the test of the organization how they going to handle these issues in an effective way by managing the resources, customer needs and also looking forward the organization profit. There is always a reason behind the resistance like if someone feels that he lacks the ability to learn new skills or he does not trust on mangers or may dislike him. It could also be a reason that manager is incompetent or organization is not in profit or could be the fear of losing job.

Solution of these problems is to find out the people in the organization

Which are valuable and performing key role and work with them to find out where company should devote their energy to get the actual result? Employee should be given the job satisfaction and good salary packages to retain them in the company and also to get the job done from them. Training the resisting forces is the more productive way rather than reinforcing the forces to change. By explaining what is the reason behind the change and what you will get by adopting the change. Team building process is also beneficial to remove the element of resistance. There should be an open discussion with the board members where goal and tactics should be discussed without feeling any hesitation.

4.1 Developing appropriate models for change:

Different models have been used to bring the in the organization and identifying the environment. It is necessary to choose successful model for ensuring successful change in the organization. Models are helpful for analysis and implementing the change in a positive way. It is a common thing in all the models resource management to be planed properly without any carelessness. The world is been moving quickly in these days from one phase to the other and competition is always high so Carphone Warehouse should always look forward for new business innovations.

According to the change management guru John Kotter fewer than 15 of the hundred or more companies studied have successfully transformed themselves. Kotter has identified eight stages to implement the successful change management and strongly recommend managing those steps first step is to identify the crises and assess the opportunities and encourage the team building process. Next step is to create the vision and develop the strategy by teaching new behaviors by the example of guiding coalition. In the next step it needs to remove the obstacles which are occurring in change process and encouraging the ideas by doing some actions. Sixth step is to create the improvements and identifying the employees who deserve the reward. Seventh step is to consolidate improvements and bringing more change. It needs to improve structures and policies. The final step is to institutionalize the new approaches in which it needs to ensure leadership development and succession. Carphone Warehouse needs to build a proper foundation to implement the change and the process of change will take some time and have to show patience for getting desired result.

4.2 Plan to implement model for change in Carphone Warehouse:

Carphone has a business which is related to the technology and it is changing day by day. It is so important for the company to adopt the change according to the advancement in the technology. John p Kotter's model can help the organization to bring the ongoing changes. Kotter's eight step change process can be used for the change process.

Creating Urgency:

It needs to develop the understanding and importance of change in the organization by focusing on the future. Carphone Warehouse will invite the stakeholders to support their arguments by honest discussion. It is a hardworking and time taking process

Form a Powerful Coalition:

Strong leadership in Carphone can play important role in change and company needs to identify those people who can influence the people. They should be from each department with having good skills.

Creating a Vision for change:

In the starting process of change there are many solutions floating around it needs to join them and create a vision. To execute the vision a strategy should be there which can determine the central values of change.

Communicating the vision:

Success depends on the dealing of the company with the vision. It needs to address the people freely and honestly about the concerns. By focusing on the vision all the decisions and training session should be there.

Removing Obstacles:

Obstacles are always there in the process of change because it is not easy for the people to change their mind and behavior however it is the job of Carphone to look the structure of the company and identify the resistance. It needs to take action against the resistance either by giving rewards or removing them.

Create Short Term Wins:

Short term targets can be affective as people like if the get the success quickly. This would motivate them to work more. Those short term targets should not be costly because in term of failure it won't cost you a lot. It is always important to reward the peoples who help the company to achieve these goals.

Building on the Change:

Change always takes time so it should never expect the result quickly. Each time when short term strategy is successful it gives an opportunity to build on what is right and how it should be improved. On this stage goals should be set and fresh ideas should be implemented by bringing change.

Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture:

To implement the change it is necessary to be the part of the corporate culture and change should be analyzed by day to day progress. There should be the support of the leaders on each step.

4.3 Appropriate measure to monitor progress in Carphone Warehouse:

Carphone Warehouse is focusing from last 12 months on CR strategy which includes five key areas i.e. customers, employees, charity and environment, community. They have been trying to bring positive long term change which can be measured and reported. It is the strategy to enable their stakeholders to monitor the progress. They are working on to practice and bring best buy Europe CR strategy.

There are so many new projects which have made great progress during the year for example they introduce the charity partners, increasing community activities, mobile phone recycling and environmental initiatives. Short terms goals are so affective to monitor the change and peoples should be rewarded who are responsible for getting the outcome. There should be the regular meetings between the stakeholders and Company in which progress should be discussed. It needs to carry out the reviews and progress. Targets should be clear and specified and deadlines could be helpful to achieve those targets in time.