The aim of managing change in organisations is to guide the people in the change process so they can adapt, change behaviour and cope with the new change that is happening in the organisation. Sometimes people in the organisation find it difficult to cope with change as the old responsibilities, roles and behaviour and attitudes are not easily forgotten. Organisations that fail to change cannot survive in the competition and cannot make a profit. In organisations people are most important asset in the business if people cannot change, processes and systems cannot change. Therefore careful strategic planning must be incorporated with the people so they can understand what is needed to change as the behaviours, personality, values and all work for and against organisational change (Blake & Bush, 2009)
The change Equation is Change management = sustained change in human behaviour
Over the past 20 years organisations are constantly assessing their efficiency and performance therefore managing change is important. Persuading stakeholders to change can be difficult yet if it is successful organisations can survive and thrive to gain a competitive advantage. According to (Blake and Bush, 2009) organisations have to meet four conditions to convince their employees, these are:-
1. Give an insight to why their organisation wants to change and how it will benefit them and make then agree
2. Make sure structure, processes and reward systems must be put in place to support change
3. Employees obtain the right skills for the new change
4. Ensure employees update their roles and responsibility and model themselves to the new change
Recently change management has gone through a paradigm shift.
The main aim of organisations is to make a profit and ensure survival as long as possible. If an organisation is able to grow and dominate the market it can ensure long term survival. The organisation can also reduce the risk of business enterprise by diversifying into alternate markets and introducing new products. If one market or product fails it will have a range of others to fall back on. Organisations can exploit economies of scale if they grow large enough which enables them to be more efficient and enjoy lower costs. Examples of such organisations include Lever Bros, Procter & Gamble, Tesco and Asda to name a few. (reference)
Over the years organisations need to monitor their operating environment and change accordingly to cope with both internal and external factors that will have an effect on them. For example the internal factors to be considered are:-
Marketing -whether customers will buy the new product/service?
Finance - will there be enough funds to produce the product/service
Production - will the organisation have the technology / assets to provide it
Labour - is the workforce skilled or trained to perform their task efficiently and safely?
Causes of change.
According to Richard Whittington and Michael Mayer (2002) noted in ((buchnana and huczynski) mentions that changing the designs of the organisations are more important and critical to the performance of the organisation as a whole. They researched 50 companies which showed they were always reorganising every five years and then by the year 2000 they were on average every three years. (buchnana and huczynski) The possible forces that make organisations change are the changes in competition driven by private sector and government pressures in the public sector, the change on technology leads to change in organisations structure processes and systems, and also an increase in knowledge which effect information flows
The need for change can be difficult, costly and sometimes disappointing. Expensive new information systems, policies and organisational structure attract most attention but organisations forget their talent workforce and how they are affected by change. How are people going to change? Will they ever change? Sometimes it is difficult process depending on how old or new, large or small the organisation is. ((buchnana and huczynski)
The need for change be initiated by two categories, internal factors and external factors within the macro and micro environment:
To need for change in organisations can thus be prompted by external and internal triggers.
External triggers for change can include:
The development of new technology
Changes in customer requirements and tastes
Competitors developing new products
The EU has opened new markets in new countries
Global trading via the internet
Changes in social and cultural values
Internal triggers for change can include:
High absenteeism and staff turnover
Inadequate skill or training
New design of product /service
(Buchanan and Huczynski pg 608)
External factors that may influence organisations are:
Political - government policies may help or hinder some organisations.
Economic - economic fluctuations may develop or hinder the development of new products or processes. For example, in times of recession customers may not have money to spend on 'luxury' items and will concentrate on basic everyday essential items.
Social - For example, the size, age and sex distribution of the population can affect the demand for a product. An ageing population will make organisations target products / services to suit them to increase sales and market share.
Technology - For example, the development of the microchip has made it possible to develop a whole range of new products.
Legal - There may be laws that affect certain products. For example if the use of certain ingredients in making a product is banned that will no doubt affect the organisation making that product.
Environmental - Organisations may revaluate their impact upon the environment as consumers become more aware of the environment. For example retailers such as Tesco and Asda are using less harmful packaging and encouraging consumers to reuse their plastic bags.
Globalisation - Increasing in Globalisation encourages more competition. Globalisation is largely increasing the internationals and multinational companies are dominating the markets. Therefore this increases pressure in organisations to change its design and become globalised but in order for the organisation to do so it must transform their processes, systems and cultures to become internationally known.
Organisations are constantly assessing their efficiency and performance therefore managing change is important. Persuading stakeholders to change can be difficult yet if it is successful organisations can survive and thrive to gain a competitive advantage.
Organisations that fail to change cannot survive in the competition and cannot make a profit. In organisations people are most important asset in the business if people cannot change, processes and systems cannot change. Therefore careful strategic planning must be incorporated with the people so they can understand what is needed to change as the behaviours, personality, values and all work for and against organisational change (Blake & Bush, 2009)
The possible forces that make organisations change are the changes in competition driven by private sector and government pressures in the public sector, the change on technology leads to change in organisations structure processes and systems, and also an increase in knowledge which effect information flows
The need for change can be difficult, costly and sometimes disappointing. Expensive new information systems, policies and organisational structure attract most attention but organisations forget their talent workforce and how they are affected by change. Sometimes it is a difficult process depending on how old or new, large or small the organisation is. ((buchnana and huczynski)
Problems and Resistance to change
Human resources role
Human resource management plays an important role in change. Can people change with the help of human resource management policies? Can the right people be recruited, trained or developed. Can they be motivated to stay with pay and reward? Can change agents handle sensitive emotions and can the organisational culture is receptive to change or not?
Why people resist change
"People resist change because it is seen as a threat to familiar patterns of behaviour as
well as to status and financial rewards." (Armstrong. 2006, p345)
According to Armstrong the main reason for resisting change are as fallows
Specifically, the main reasons for resisting change are as follows:
â- The shock of the new - people are suspicious of anything which they perceive will
upset their established routines, methods of working or conditions of employment.
They do not want to lose the security of what is familiar to them. They may
not believe statements by management that the change is for their benefit as well
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as that of the organization; sometimes with good reason. They may feel that
management has ulterior motives and, sometimes, the louder the protestations of
managements, the less they will be believed.
â- Economic fears - loss of money, threats to job security.
â- Inconvenience - the change will make life more difficult.
â- Uncertainty - change can be worrying because of uncertainty about its likely
â- Symbolic fears - a small change that may affect some treasured symbol, such as a separate office or a reserved parking space, may symbolize big ones, especially when employees are uncertain about how extensive the programme of change will be.
â- Threat to interpersonal relationships - anything that disrupts the customary social relationships and standards of the group will be resisted.
â- Threat to status or skill - the change is perceived as reducing the status of individuals
or as de-skilling them.
â- Competence fears - concern about the ability to cope with new demands or to
acquire new skills.
Overcoming resistance to change
Resistance to change can be difficult to overcome even when it is not detrimental to
those concerned. But the attempt must be made. The first step is to analyse the potential
impact of change by considering how it will affect people in their jobs. The
analysis should indicate which aspects of the proposed change may be supported
generally or by specified individuals and which aspects may be resisted. So far as
possible, the potentially hostile or negative reactions of people should be identified,
taking into account all the possible reasons for resisting change listed above. It is
necessary to try to understand the likely feelings and fears of those affected so that
unnecessary worries can be relieved and, as far as possible, ambiguities can be
resolved. In making this analysis, the individual introducing the change, who is
sometimes called the 'change agent', should recognize that new ideas are likely to be
suspect and should make ample provision for the discussion of reactions to proposals
to ensure complete understanding of them.
Involvement in the change process gives people the chance to raise and resolve
their concerns and make suggestions about the form of the change and how it should
be introduced. The aim is to get 'ownership' - a feeling amongst people that the
change is something that they are happy to live with because they have been
involved in its planning and introduction - it has become their change.
Communications about the proposed change should be carefully prepared and
Models of change
One model of change was invented by Kurt Lewin which is a three stage process:-
1. Unfreezing the status quo - By strengthening the forces of change or reducing stability of some form of combined action. For example encouraging citizens to elect, unfreezing norms and values of people who showed no interest in politics
2. Transition to a equilibrium - changing people attitudes behaviours and values in order to cope with change
3. Freezing- Keeping and maintain the status quo using strict measures ( google ebbook)