All organizations are currently undergoing some type of change. Many of these change programmes arise from management fads such as culture change, business process engineering, empowerment and total quality. Other change initiatives are driven by the need for organizations to reposition themselves in the face of changing competitive conditions (Julia Balogun 2001).
Leifer (1989) sees change as normal and simply a natural response to environmental and internal conditions, arguing that change is consistent with open systems in which learning occurs and describes the stable state as a myth. On this basis, all organization theory, through the classical, human relations and contingency periods, is connected with change (Lindsay Nelson and Peter J. Dowling 1998).
In today's turbulent environment of organizations, change has become synonymous with standard business practices as long-term organizational ends have to be reformulated on an ongoing basis (Steven H. Appelbaum, Normand St-Pierre and William Glavas1998).
Planned programmes of change may lead to unintended consequences and unanticipated outcomes. Some researchers quoting organizational change programmes failure rates of up to 70 per cent. This has led to a growing number of prescriptive approaches to the design of change aimed at improving success rates: such as acknowledging the role of both hard (economic) and soft (more interpersonal) interventions, making change context-sensitive, holistic and follow some basic rules and guidelines (Julia Balogun 2006).
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Initiating planned change within an organization requires precision and careful thought but must also be supported with the right personnel and resources. When economic conditions reduce the financial resources available to engage in both organizational and leadership development initiatives, the best strategy can often be an integration of both activities into one, coherent program (Ashley M. Guidroz, Karen W. Luce and Daniel R. Denison 2010).
In order to remain competitive in the long term, enterprises are compelled to undertake complex changes with increasing speed, efficiency and success (Lilie, 2002). But it is difficult to know before hand the environmental changes.
In this paper the aim is to outline the best few strategic change tools and models and to identify their potential application to ensure the change process is dealt with in an efficient yet fair way , and selecting one of the best suited model/tool to be implemented in a working organization.
When pursuing organizational change, there are several factors that need to be considered: is the change planned or unplanned, intended or unintended, continuous or discontinuous, incremental or quantum leaps, event or program or systemic change, transformational or transitional, and the degree of change? (Dana M. Johnson 2004) .The above points are all very important in the successful implementation of strategic change in an organization.
Determinants of Organizational Change
Source: (Adapted from Dawson 1996, p-65)
(Lindsay Nelson and Peter J. Dowling 1998).
The context of change is about the context in reference to the past, present and future of an organization. It basically includes all the products, services, administrative structures, technology, human resources, history and culture which all fall under the internal contexts and also includes the external contexts. The substance of change is basically the type and scale or content of change. When talking about the politics of change we talk about the various external and internal political activities and who exercises power within the organization.consultation, resistance, conflicts and negotiations are the few activities that are part of the politics of change.
Practices helping change:-
Senior management commitment
Data-led analysis (hard facts) is an important aspect
Clear accountability and goals
Cross functional teams with high performers and the right skills
Disciplined project management
Practices hindering change:-
Too little top management involvement
Changes in the organization, e.g. re-design, departure of MD
General issues based on resistance to change and project management issues i.e. silo-thinking, delays etc.
Lack of communication
(J.S. Oakland and S.J. Tanner 2007).
The basic strategic change tools available can be applied in the strategic change process of an organization ensuring change process is dealt with in an efficient yet fair way .many strategic change tools are available like the McKinsey and Co 7 -S Framework, change kaleidoscope, culture web, Kotters 8 steps etc.Here in this paper we are trying to apply the change kaleidoscope tool, culture web and Kotters 8 steps in the strategic change of an organization.
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APPLICATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE IN AN ORGANIZATION (ADBM):-
The organization concerned in the strategic change process in this paper is ADBM Building Maintenance and Interiors Co.LLC.ADBM was established in the city of Dubai in the year 1991 with head office in Deira.It currently employs up to 40 employees including labours, technicians, engineers and other staff. The primary focus of the firm from inception was to serve the building maintenance sector. But on the long run the focus has shifted more into the interior decorations and fit out works sector in the era of Dubai's Real Estate boom. But due to recession the interior decoration market in Dubai has been hit severely and the firm's directors have decided to shift their focus back into building maintenance and even facilities maintenance sector in the long run. The interior décor wing will still be up and running but will be down sized and a new maintenance department will be started with hiring of new employees and transfer of necessary staff from the existing departments. Here in this paper we will be using the strategic change tools available to implement this organizational shift from interior decor works to building maintenance.
The kaleidoscope contains:-
An outer ring that relates to the wider organizational strategic change context;
A middle ring that represents the more specific contextual features of the change situation;
An inner ring that correlates with the menu of design choices open to change agents when implementation of change is attempted (Julia Balogun 2001).
Applying the strategic change for ADBM in the various contextual features:-
The time period for achieving the shift from interior decoration works to building maintenance can be approximately 6 to 8 months. But the major shift to facilities maintenance sector could take 1 to 2 years.
Scope is the degree of change in terms of the transformations process. The administrative department will be the least affected by the transformation. the laobourers, project managers and the engineers will be affected the most as more of maintenance engineers will be needed in place of the normal supervisors and project managers and more maintenance technicians will be needed in place of skilled technicians who do finishing fit out works like carpentry and furniture. The downsizing of the interior décor department will definitely affect the whole department.
Most of the ways of working by the administrative section will remain the same with minor differences in the purchasing and marketing departments. Particular groups of staffs such as drivers, helpers, administrative staff, purchasing department staff, and marketing staff will be retained despite the transformation. Since a new maintenance department is being launched and the exiting interior décor department being downsized most of the current employees will be preserved.
The degree of diversity among the staff groups who need to undertake change will be low. As the marketing purchasing and technical department will all have to work in unity for the shift to take place. The new maintenance department will create a small degree of diversity but as most of the staff will be new in this section.
The ability of managers to help the staff through the transition process is very important as the proper communication of the change in focus should be properly communicated to the engineers and the labourers.There will be a need for recruiting new experienced staffs into the maintenance department where the major change process starts.
Cash for this change process will be readily available as major external investment is not required. Most of the staff will be retained but it's just the introduction of new experienced personnel from the maintenance field that might need a little investment. There will be little investment in the purchase of new equipments and visa and documentation charges by the HR department for the new employees. But as the existing staff might be replaced the initial costs will be low and there is enough time period of 6 to 8 months available in which the firm can had over the existing interior décor projects.
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In this transformation the readiness of those employees who will be transferred to the new maintenance department will be the most important aspect. Some of the employees should be committed to make the personal changes required by them and adapting to the new department and work culture of the new section.
The Directors will definitely have the power to impose the required changes in the firm. The head of the newly formed maintenance department will also be having considerable power as the whole organizational strategy is now focused mainly on this department.
After considering the above contextual features a design choice has to be made from the available design choices which are; Change path, Change start point, Change style, change interventions and Change roles.
Out of the change interventions available such as technical, political, cultural and interpersonal interventions; which one to choose is an important consideration. Change ultimately entails the deployment of a range of levers covering all the organizational subsystems shown in the culture web. Because the various systems are inter-dependent, it is difficult to change one part in isolation. In this case we will be looking more at the technical interventions which consist of the systems and structures. Since the organizational structure undergoes change in the introduction of a new maintenance department this will be the major intervention. The firm will have two departments one being the interior décor department and the other the maintenance department with major focus on the latter department.
Transformational change initiatives which require a change in the shared assumptions and beliefs of an organization, are more likely to fail if those leading change focus on changing just structures and systems, paying little attention to softer levers and mechanisms such as symbols, rituals and routines. The web can be used to identify which change levers to use (Julia Balogun 2001).
(Julia Balogun 2001).
Among the employees of ADBM there has to be high degree of readiness for change in order to deliver a successful shift of strategy. Recruiting new staff for the new maintenance department will help in delivering the change quickly.
In this case the change interventions by technical intervention removes the barriers in the existing web and creating new structures, systems, symbols, stories, routines and rituals in the organization. Initiatives such as the proper and efficient communication between the hierarchies, education and training of the existing employees on the new developments and strategic changes happening in the organization will be required and is directly proportional to the extent of change.
Due to the indented change there will be differences happening in the culture web. The routine that is the rules of the organization and the way things are done will change as there is a shift from interior décor projects to maintenance projects. There will be a small shift in the cultural paradigm as shared assumptions and beliefs about the organization may change. Stories would definitely play an important part as in the current employees would talk about the organization before the shift. There can be a change in the status symbols and logos which is not necessary but the communication terminology will have to change the power structures within the organization will also undergo a shift with certain employees having more or less power in accordance with their relevant departments. The structure of the organization, responsibilities, formal and informal roles will undergo change as there is a formation of new department. The controls and reward system will not undergo much of a change in this case.
In order to implement the strategic change process in ADBM we can use Kotter's eight steps for transforming an organization:-
1. Establishing a sense of urgency
A major opportunity has been identified in the building maintenance industry after the examination of the market and competitive conditions and a sense of urgency for the shift process in this recession period is evident.
2. Forming a powerful guiding coalition
A new maintenance department is assembled with encouragement from the organization for all the departments to work together as a team so the change effort is not wasted and enough powers vested on the new heads of departments.
3. Creating a vision
A new vision has been formulated which will help in directing the change effort and new strategies with the shift in focus is being developed for achieving the new vision.
4. Communicating the vision
It is of utmost importance to communicate the new vision and strategies to the employees of the organization and new behaviors can be taught by coalition between the new and existing departments.
5. Empowering others to act on the vision
Any obstacle for change has to be avoided and get rid of and the systems and structure like that of the interior décor department has to be downsized so that it does not cause a trouble in the operation of the new maintenance department.
6. Planning for and creating short-term wins
New maintenance department has to work on planning for visible performance improvements and also work in unison to achieve short term improvements which will drive the change process and considerable reward systems to those who achieve improvements during this transformation period is important.
7. Consolidating improvements and producing still more change
The new improvements should be consolidated by producing even more change and hiring of new employees to the necessary departments and even promoting current to implement the new vision of the organization.
8. Institutionalizing new approaches
There should be means to ensure that the leadership is developed and ensuring proper succession. Articulating the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success is also important.
(Claire V. Brisson-Banks 2010).
In today's organizations one thing is certain that is there will not be less change but there will be more change day by day. We have implemented the strategic change tools and models in the strategic change process of ADBM to quite a successful extent. The change process has to be continued with efficient and strong leadership. In the long run the future vision of the organization to shift from a building maintenance firm to a facilities maintenance firm can be achieved under strong leadership and change agents who should work together as a team to achieve the indented change and future successes.