Strategic Organizational Change by Sense Making

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Organizational change is a constant challenge in a business world today and the global companies have been facing the changes as they need to improve the business performance. Therefore the leaderships have been challenging the changes of the companies and their implications (Cowan-Sahadath, 2009). As a result of these changes the leaderships have been taken new strategies to reduce the risk for the implementation of the changes therefore the companies have been developed new framework, process, project and programme in order to understand the different factor that affect the company when these changes are implement. The strategic of change has been the key factor to implement the change in the organization. How the companies can structure the manner of change using different strategies. Consequently the purpose of this paper is to explain. What the nature of strategic change is. Moreover how these organisations can achieve the change with sense-making and how these organisation can define uncertain problems with sense-making during the process of managing the change. Why is so important in an organisation to understand the way of thinking and working. These are something that in this paper will explain by first of all in the literature review will explain with different theories of how the organisation implemented the strategic change by sense-making and its implications after that this paper will analyses different aspects of the structure of the change and how the CEO can achieve the change by sense-making.

Literature Review

All organizations are undergoing some type of changes. Some of these changes are doing just for fads another for needs. The strategic of the change start with the CEO, who has the responsibility for setting strategic directions and plans for the organisations. The organizational change has been changing more frequently because all the organisations are trying to take advantage with this change "Change has a strategy dimension, as it is the movement of a company away from its present state toward some desired future state to increase its competitive advantage (Hill and Jones, 2001, P. 486)" however these change also drag some problems. In order to prevent these problems the key factor of the strategic is how the CEO is going to make sense the change, when the CEO trying to change the way of thinking and working in the organisation. Therefore the CEO needs to understand the nature of the change and many of these changes are because of the change of culture, business process engineering, empowerment and total quality and the CEO is the portrayed of formulation and implementation of the strategic changes (Balogun, 2001). Everyday all the companies are facing how fast the world is changing and each organization has to change according its needs, then how can organization managing the change when the environment is changing constantly "Organizations can survive in a dynamic environment only, if their speed of learning and changing meets the dynamics of the environment (Doppler et al., 2002)". As a result of this, the first think that an organization has to do is to understand the environment of the organization. "The society in which these organizations occur and its relation with these organizations, has been very little studied. To the extent that the outside world does impinge on the structure and functioning of organizations, it is conceptualised not in terms of interest, values, class loyalties, ideologies, market and developments etc., but as the organization's 'environment' (Salaman, 1979:32)". Perhaps the organization change when it's necessary or when the environment change, then that is mean that every organization change just when they have to improve in the market then one organization can't change constantly (Gareis & Huemann, 2010). The CEO has to develop the sense of internal and external environment of the change then if he understands the environment of the change, he will implement the change by sense-making and sense-giving after that in order to implement the change the CEO needs to make consensus about the change with the stakeholders and negotiate the change. After that when he has the feedback from the stakeholders he needs to change the strategy according to the feedback then the CEO has to implemented the strategic of change but in order to make sense the change. The CEO needs to have a good communication with the meddle management and with the rest of the organisation. The communication is the mean factor because the CEO will try to negotiate the vision of the change and the different consensus of the change. Therefore this change will giving sense but one of the big issues is the culture, how the organisational change can prevent problems with the strategy of the change.

Organisational change needs to understand the organisational culture in order to change because organisational culture is the core of the change. If one organisation wants to change they need to know what organisational culture is. Organisational culture can be define as the way in which management mobilise combinations of values, language, rituals, and myths and is seen the key factor in unlocking the commitment and enthusiasm of employees. To extent that it can make people feel that they are working for something worthwhile (Thompson & Mchugh, 2009). But that is mean that when an organisational wants to change needs to change the hold values of the company Then the culture is going to be depend of the environment in which is it. Organizational culture is the key factor of the successful of the change then the complex of the culture began when the organization wants to change the current mode of cognition. That is mean that the CEO will change the way of thinking and working therefore the CEO has to communicates in all the organisation the change by make sense. Thus the CEO needs to explain these questions: How is going to be the change? Why it has to change? And what it is has to change? If these questions are understand by all the departments then the CEO will prevent future resistance of the change or chaos in the company. Therefore when the CEO changes the culture in an organisation, he changes the value and the way of thinking in the organization so the organizational culture is the core and the glue that binds the activities in the organisation (Thompson & Mchugh, 2009). For that reason, when the organisations change the attitude and the value of the persons, they will change the essential of the persons. Then organisations have to understand about the way of thinking in the organisation. 'power plays don't work. You can't make them do anything. They have to want to. So you have to work through the culture. The idea is educate people without knowing it. Have the religion and not know how they got it' (quoted in Kunda, 1992: 5). If the organisations understand the way of thinking in the organisation, they can change the culture and they can do it without knowing them. In general terms "the notion of employee's commitment is built on the internalisation of the norms and values of the organisation" (Kelly and Brannick, 1987:19). Interestingly there is an explicit recognition of the way of thinking of the employees and if the organisation engages the emotions with the value of the organisation, it can create the culture in an organisation. And the role of the top managements are to be more symbolic rather than rational managers with this they become as leaderships, where all the employees believe in just one target (Deal and Kennedy, 1988:142). But for Schein, culture and leadership are simply two sides of the same coin: the culture is creating by the leadership and the key function of the leaderships is created and occasionally destruction of culture. Because one of the mean issues of the sense-making is prevented problems and if the employees do not understand the meaning of the change, they will resistance to change. The resistance of the change is considerate as a risk of the project and the proposal is identified and evaluates the resistance potentials, planning and managing the resistance, avoidance/promotion of and preparation of the resistance, solution for the resistance, controlling the resistance measures and potentials (Fiedler, 2010). Then if the CEO can engages in a cycle of negotiations of the change the strategic will make sense and the employees will understand the values of the changes.


As we can see in this conceptual overview, the CEO takes a great responsibility during the formulation and implementation of the change. The top management engages in cycles of negotiations with the stakeholders during the process of formulation in order to make sense the change. But how the organisation can beat the environmental change? How the organisation can survive in different environment when the environment change so quickly thus the analysis was conducted by different prospective and ways of make sense the change and how can the organisation knows uncertain problems in order to prevent that. Given the purpose of the research was meanly the interpretation of how the leadership can make the strategic success, when the change is in the whole organisation, in this analysis the CEO has a very important role during the formulation and implementation of the change. One of the best models is the Kotter's models (1996), which include the sense of urgency, create a guiding coalition, develop a vision and a strategy, communicate the change vision, empower others to act on the vision, plan for and create short wins, consolidate improvements, producing more change, anchoring new approaches. That is depending of the negotiation's speed of the top management. Therefore the CEO has to formulate the change by making a framework of the change. Hence this framework has to build it by making some questions and allocate this question in different sectors, for instance: How much time does the organisation needs to achieve this change? And the change will be in the whole organisation or just in one department this change will maintain the same structure, culture and preserve the same way of working of the employees. The organisation has the capability to achieve the change, this means that the managers have the experience to managing the changes and how much will cost this change. Therefore the organisation has the power to implement the change. All of these questions need to answer before to start the change. If the CEO can communicate the nature of the change and the value underlying it, hopefully lower level will agree with the essence of the proposed changes (Cowan-Sahadath, 2009). Because the communication is the key factor to make sense the change and after that the CEO will start the implementation of the change by launch multiplicity of initiatives and series of proposed because the different initiatives have different objectives and affect different sectors and different levels and with this the CEO will have significant benefit in dealing with resistance. There will be the net effect of diffusing the opposition and thus prevent the resistance from growing into a united front, or prevent them from having organized. The strategic change process will create sense of motion in the organisation then receive the feedback of the employees and modify some of the initiatives based on the feedback. During the implementation the anxiety will be eliminate and allow the top management to reframe existing conceptions and interpretive scheme towards the proposed change (Gioia, 1991). All of these strategic will be reflect when the top management finds the uncertain problems that could have the organisation during the period of change because as in this paper mention in the literature review, if the organisation can understand the environment of the company, it can change the value of the company. The changes were implementing by process and these processes could make them with the appropriated communication in all level of the company and all of these processes by make sense of the changes. "In 1940s, Lewin first introduced the idea of managing and removing the resistance to proposed changes within organisations. He suggested that any potential change is resisted by forces in the opposite direction. His solution was to advocate that successful change resets in unfreezing an established equilibrium by enhancing the forces driving change, or by reducing or removing resisting forces and then refreezing in a new equilibrium state" (Morgan, 1997). However with the processes mention before the CEO can prevent these resistances by formulate and implemented a good strategic.


As a consequence of the revision on the perspective strategic management initiation of the sense making a different view of the top management. The CEO can be seen as architects, assimilators, and facilitators of strategic changes. The act of make sense the change in all the organization constitutive the key factor in the formulation and implementation of the change. Therefore with this control during the process of change, the communication between all levels of the organization will be the mean issue of make sense the vision of the organisation. The sense-making will prevent future problems like chaos, anxiety and resistances in the organisation. Taken as a whole and then taken the initiative of the stakeholders and top management that the vision of the organisation has to be in the same way of the change. The definitions of the boundaries of the organisation to be change and the relevant change dimensions are important for the successful change. Specific change can be managing with the specific strategic because each one has different dimension that means that every process of change is unique. It was the objectives of this paper to demonstrate that this strategic can make sense the change in the entire organisation consequently prevent uncertain problems.