Relationship between organization behavior and change management


Our environment is considered to be an active and a dynamic environment, and living through it we acknowledge a lot of changes which is considered to be a key effect, thus by having these changes many factors (environment, structure, individuals, culture, est..) are being affected and one of the major factors that are being affected is behavior in organizations which will give organizations the role of adapting to this kind of change and maintain a balance between its individuals and their behavior. There are different types of changes, if change occurred resulting from external factors, step by step then it's considered to be a reactive change, it's a sudden change and organizations must react and adjust directly since its quick. On the other hand, it's different then the change that is planned since a planned change is when the organization takes the decision to change different features and aspects in the organizations, so this kind of change is not a sudden change its caused by internal forces and its preplanned by the organization which will require sometime and enables ordered implementation.

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Several factors play a major role in changes, some are controllable by the organizations and some aren't. These factors or forces are considered to be external factors and some are considered to be internal. The external factors can include the market sect, government sect, the market and its economy is considered a force of change due to the competition that is forced between the organizations and the change in the interest rates which will lead the organization to change. On the other side which is the government part with its laws, rules and regulations, taking for example the law concerning the minimum wage which caused a change in the organizations in general. Moreover, we must also consider technology a vital external force of change since technology has no limit with new inventions and discoveries, organizations must adapt to this technology updates and focus on how to adjust them.

As for the internal factors, one of the internal factors lead to change mainly in the strategic part of the organization it's when managers change a certain strategy in an organization. The strategic part of the organization is one of the most important parts of the organization because it is connected to the performance of the organization. For example the motivation strategy in an organization it's applied to change to improve employee's performance. Moreover, the human element (managers, employees, share-holders and owners...) has a major role in change, for example working for a better quantity and quality in the organizational performance through investing in the employees by training them to improve their skills which will lead to a change to a better quantity and quality of performance and will lead to better results. In addition, working conditions, employee's accomplishments and attitude for example hard work conditions, low improvement in skills, employees dissatisfaction this will lead the organization to act upon these factors and change to have a better result. Also by aiming for better results and easier, faster performance technology and equipment that are used in the organization are changed to achieve these goals.

There are two approaches organizations go through regarding change, these two approaches are in a form of metaphors and they can be used to describe the change process. The two metaphors are "calm waters" metaphor and "white-water rapids". The "calm waters" metaphor characterizes the process of change as being like a ship crossing a calm sea. It is best illustrated by Lewin's 3-step process for change.(note 1). The first step unfreezing of the equilibrium state of the organization which can be accomplished by three ways:

a. Driving forces, which direct behavior away from the status quo,can be increased.

b. Restraining forces, which hinder movement from the existing equilibrium, can be decreased.

c. The two approaches can be combined.

Second step is implementing the change and then refreezing the situation. As for the "white-water rapid" metaphor takes place in an uncertain and dynamic environment. (note1, 2)

Change can have a huge impact on organizations which will lead to situations where some organizations won't be able to handle that kind of change due to some reasons related to employees and the organization. First reason of resistance is uncertainty; it's when an employee feels unconvinced or not sure of the outcome of change which will lead to ambiguity because something new and unknown is replacing something that is known which causes the rejection. Second is the individual concern of some personal loss for example the loss of money, status, personal stability, authority. And finely, the rejection due to some observations that see change as unsuitable or incompatible with the organization interests and goals (note4).

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After the resistance of change the organization works to fix this condition through several methods. Here comes the role of managers where he/she would communicate with their employees to inform them and educate them through meeting or emails and by using the technique of "Grape vine" which is similar to gossiping, telling someone that change is a positive thing for the organization and then this person would tell another one and this person would tell another one its an ongoing process. Another technique is making employees have a part in the process of change which would give them a sense of participation. Another technique is facilitation and support it's a process were employees who resist change go through counseling to see the reasons for this resistance and try to fix it. Also there is the technique of negotiation with the employees to convince this group of people that the process of change is beneficial process for both the organization and the individual. In addition, manipulation and co-optation is also a technique that helps reduce the resistance of change by twisting the facts to employees to implement change. At last there is the technique of Coercion which is implementation by force, implementing change whether employees like it or not.

Managers are considered as a "method" of change which means that implementation and the management of change is done by the manager, but sometimes this process would require extra help which is put into service by outside consultants who would lend a hand to accomplish this process. This extra hand is considered to be useful because this extra feedback and information provided by outside consultants give the organization new perspectives to achieve the proper balance between the organization and the outside . On the other hand, this extra hand has a drawback regarding the confusion that sometimes happen due to lack of some information concerning the organization and its culture from the consultant perspective.

After acknowledging that managers are the ones who implement and manage the process of change the question of what do they change? Popes out. Organizational structure is the first thing a manger changes, there are several components in the structure of an organizations that a manger can change like the formation, degree of complexity, and centralization. This structure is considered to be the formal agenda that includes tasks, duties, and responsibilities that are distributed to employees and to different departments. But implementing the structure will need a new design and this is also part of what the managers do changing the design of the structure. Any change in the organizational structure would affect the employee's attitude towards the organization which means that organizational structure determines the employee's behavior. For example when an organization switches from a centralized structure to a decentralized structure this will lead to a deferent but positive behavior regarding employees since this would give them a more responsible role in making decisions.

Motivating employees and obtaining an atmosphere of creativity and improvement between them is part of the organizational structure role. For example by applying departmentalization in the organization this change will give the employee a motive to behave in more appropriate conduct and wouldn't settle for just average behavior. Working in groups of similar employees would give the employee the ability to work more functionally and productively since he/she won't feel isolated or as an outsider.

In each organization technology and equipment are considered to be one of the major parts of an organization since technology is considered to the main source in transforming inputs into outputs. Because of the ongoing improvement of technology throughout time, technology change is becoming a central issue to many organizations. One of the main areas of change in this issue goes around information technology. Most organizations today are adopting and institutionalizing the advancement of information technology. Another important part of change in organizations is equipment. Due to the competitiveness between organizations, these firms notice that changing equipment and machinery with new and improved models is a necessary doing to achieve better outcomes. And by introducing new equipment and machinery we result in new productions which will lead to change in work activities or processes. Also organizational control system is an active target to change in technology.

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As for the human element it is considered the third area targeted by change, it's like having an organization change the skill level of its employees. This area of change can be supported by the changes that happen in technology or by upgrading the quality of employees. It also targets the performance level of employees, so to achieve these changes new selection criteria and proper training programs are needed. Thus a new performance-based training or a new inceptive system would do the trick. For example by eliminating 15% of employees and decreasing the retirement remuneration and the monthly benefits of employees, this would cause a sense of urgency to the other employees and to give them reason to adopt a new perception on how to do their jobs. Another example regarding this issue is having a company changing it entire top management staff to give the organization a sense of freshness and new knowledge. Another focus of organizational change is expectations and perceptions, this issue is related to workers who think that their wages or salaries and there benefits that are paid or given to them aren't enough. On the other hand managers can backfire this workers believe by giving evidence that shows how the organization is giving a competitive wage and a proper or superior benefit package. Then change in this case is centered in the area of educating and informing the working staff about the value of the compensation package.

The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) "is an instrument designed to evaluate people and provide descriptive profiles of their personality types" ( It includes four dimensions which it's based on and result with 16 personality types. "The attributes extroversion (E) and introversion (I) indicate whether a participant derives his or her mental energy primarily from other people or from within. Similarly, the attributes sensing (S) and intuiting (N) explain whether a participant absorbs information best through data and details or through general patterns. The attributes thinking (T) and feeling (F) show whether a participant tends to make decisions based on logic and objective criteria or based on emotional intelligence. Finally, the attributes judging (J) and perceiving (P) indicate whether a participant makes decisions quickly or prefers to take a more casual approach and leave his or her options open"(

Another approach in studying employee's personality regarding change is the five factor model of personality "it focuses upon those behaviors that you express while dealing with people, changing circumstances and your environment. The two remaining behavioral dimensions relate to work and depression situations. The five big personality tests measure intensity of your behaviors in these five areas"( These two studies that are done by managers are very important and must be recognized my many organizations since these two approaches can give managers answers regarding employees personalities and how the employees behave towards change.

In change the most important target that is affected is the individual, some of these individuals may accept the change and some might discard change and the same ones who accept it might develop a satisfactory improvement and those who reject it might fail to stay stable. Organizational behavior is the actions of these individuals and how these actions affect the organization. We can define organizational behavior as "Organizational Behavior (OB) is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approach. That is, it interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives." There are many hidden aspects that individuals have in an organization such as interpersonal perceptions, attitudes, intergroup conflicts, and the way employees interact, these hidden aspects are monitored and recognized by managers through organizational behavior. Mangers focus on the personality and actions in relation to the individual level. As examination takes place with reference to a single unit but based on groups and how it interacts in an organization, the focus here is on the roles, team building, norms, and intergroup conflict. Due to certain framework of rules and regulations organizational behavior differ from one organization to another and from one country to another. Thus by having two organizations with same structure this doesn't mean that organizational behavior in these two organizations are the same.

An organizational behavior main stressing point in an individual's behavior begins with the quality, quantity, and productivity of the output each employee gives, and it stresses on how each unit is effective and efficient in the organization. When an employee doesn't go to work on purpose and his absence rate increases this means he/she is unhappy in his/her job. One of vital elements in an organization which is not mentioned in the job description is the belongingness of individuals this will lead the employees to work towards improving the whole organizations interests.