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It is inevitable that change will occur at some point in everybody's life. Organizational change is often a vital part of any company's development. In order for businesses to succeed it is crucial that the organization is able to adapt to, and embrace change. It is human nature to resist when things change around us. But, there are circumstances that can affect a company from reaching their goals; therefore organizational changes need to be enforced in order for a company's desired mission to be attainable.
Organizational change can be planned or unplanned. Planned change results from a deliberate decision to alter the organization. An unplanned change is a change that is imposed on the organization and is often unforeseen (Nelson and Quick, 2013). There are many factors that involve organizational change. The external factors involved are globalization, workforce diversity, changing technology, and ethical behavior. Globalization refers to the growth of businesses are conducted across the country has changed how organizations must rethink the most efficient ways to use resources, gather information and develop people. Besides geographic differences, the structural change necessitates the creation of managing international business, which is based on three factors: First, the level of vertical differentiation-a hierarchy of authority that must be created to clarify the responsibilities of both domestic and foreign managers. Second, the level of horizontal differentiation-where foreign and domestic operations need to be grouped in a way that the company can effectively serve the needs of all customers. Third, the degree of formalization, specialization, standardization, and centralization, the global structure that must allow decisions to be made in a most appropriate area of an organization. But, controls need to be in place in order to reflect the strategies and goals of the parent firm. Related to globalization is the challenge of managing an increasingly diverse workforce. Social and demographic changed have produced diversity in organizations. Diversity includes all forms of differences including culture, gender, age, ability, religion, personality, social status, and sexual orientation. In the changing workforce managers need to take a proactive approach to managing diversity so differences are valued and benefited from. People work best when they are valued as well as when diversity is taken into account. When people feel valued, they tend to build relationships and work together as a team. Although there may be some problems in building a diverse workforce such as resistance to change, lack of cohesiveness, communication problems, interpersonal conflicts, slowed decision making, there are also many benefits as well, those being, diversity attracts and retains the best human talent, improves marketing efforts, promotes creativity and innovation, results in better problem solving, and enhances organizational flexibility (Nelson and Quick, 2013). They main idea is to maximize the benefits of diversity and prevent or resolve the potential problems.
The management of ethical and moral behavior in an organization has created changes in how leaders run their businesses. For instance, the use of employee data from computerized information systems can present ethical concerns. According to Nelson and Quick, safeguarding the employees' right to privacy and at the same time preserving access to the data for those who need it requires that the manager balance competing interests. Additionally, Companies not only have to issue annual financial reports, Gap Inc., now requires an annual ethical report. This annual ethical report includes extensive descriptions of these workers' activities, including which factories were monitored, what violations were found, and which factories are no longer used by the Gap because of violations. The Gap is in place to improve worker conditions by providing training and encouraging companies to develop their own conduct codes. Technology changes that occur can create uses to improve job performance. The last external factor that forces change in organizations is new technology, which can allow organizations to monitor employee work performance, even when they are not aware. There are three guidelines to make the electronic monitoring less stressful. First, the workers need to participate in the introduction of the new monitoring system. Second, the performance standards should be seen as fair. Third, the performance records need to be used to improve performance, not to punish the employee.
Along with external factors are some internal factors that affect forces for organizational change, which are commonly recognized in the form of signals that indicate something needs to be altered. First of all, declining effectiveness is a force that indicates a change is needed. For instance, when the company experiences a major loss in income or sales this can motivate one to do something about it. Second, a crisis may encourage a change in the organization. When a group starts a strike or walk out, this will cause the company to look at change in their employees paychecks. Third, when changes in an employee's expectation can cause changes in organizations. For example, when newer employees are hired, they expectations can differ from those who have been employed with the company much longer. Last, when changes in the work climate occur this can promote organizational change. When a workforce is dissatisfied or unmotivated, there is a key that something needs to be changed.
When organizations are forced to make changes the process can be managed, but there is a need to understand the scope of the change occurring. Changes can be comparatively small scope, such as making a minor change in work procedure, which can be called an incremental change. Some changes can be on the larger scale, such as restructuring the organization, which is called strategic change. A transformational change is a change that occurs when the organization makes a radical change, such as a move to state and can sometimes be unknown. The person or group that takes charge of managing these changes in an organization is known as the change agent. Change agents can be internal or external. There are advantages and disadvantages of both internal and external. Internal advantages are: they know the past history, culture, and its political system and must live with the results of the change efforts; they are more likely to be more careful with managing change. The disadvantages of being internal are: may be accused of favoritism, may be too close to any situation to be objective. The advantages of being external are: they get the outsider's object view to the company, and are impartial. The disadvantages are: they have limited knowledge of the organization's history, and could be viewed with suspicion by other employees.
When organizational change occurs there is inevitably resistance to change. There are many sources of this resistance to change. On an individual view the sources could be habit, security, economic factors, fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of failure, personality conflicts, and disruption of interpersonal relationships. On the organization view the sources could be structural inertia, group inertia, limited forces of change, threat to expertise, threat to established power relationships, and threat to established resource allocations. In dealing with resistance to change management can use some key strategies. First is communication, the employees need details of the change, but also the rationale as to why the change is occurring. Second, employees need to be involved in the change. Participation helps by getting the employee involved in the change to establish ownership within the process. Last is empathy and support, by listening actively this to identify the reasons behind resistance for their fears. By being there emotionally to support and encourage this can help the employee deal with any anxiety in response to the change. Despite attempts to minimize the employee's resistance to change, some reactions to the organizational change is expected. There are four key reactions managers need to recognize when they do occur. First is disengagement, which is a psychological withdrawal from change. They could appear to lose interest in the job and disengage by being physically present but not mentally. This type of reaction needs to be addressed by confronting the employee and help them talk about their feelings concerning the change. Second is disidentification, which is a feeling that one's identity is being threatened by the change. This type of reaction you will see sadness and worrying expressions. Disidentification reaction would be best to help them by encouraging them through the transition and helping to identify what they like in the old situation, so you can show them the possibilities of having the same positive feelings after the change. Third is disenchantment, which is a feeling of negativity and/or anger toward the change. Managers with employees in this reaction type would be best to bring the employee to a neutral emotional state and acknowledge the anger they are feeling is valid. Last is disorientation, which is a feeling of loss and confusion due to the change. Employees with this end up wasting energy trying to figure out what they should do instead of how to do things. This is a common reaction to people who are used to clear goals. The Manager should deal with this type of reaction by explaining the change in a way that will minimize the uncertainty that is present.
Kurt Lewin developed a model of the change process, where the model shows that a person's behavior is the product of two opposing forces; one force pushes toward preserving the status quo, and the other force pushes for change. When the two opposing forces are approximately equal, current behavior is maintained. Lewin states this can be accomplished by increasing the force for change, by weakening the forces for status quo, or by a combination of these actions (Nelson and Quick, 2013). Lewn's force field analysis of decision to engage in exercise shows a list of forces for change: weight gain, minimally passing treadmill test, feeling lethargic, family history of cardiovascular disease and new, physically demanding job. The forces for status quo are: lack of time, no exercise facility at work, spouse/partner hate to exercise, no interest in physical activity or sports, and made a grade of D in a physical education class. Lewin's change model is a three-step process. First is unfreezing, which involves inspiring individuals to dispose of old behaviors by shaking up the equilibrium state that maintains the status quo. Second is moving, this step one in which new attitudes, values, and behaviors are substituted for old ones. Third is refreezing, this step involves creation of new attitudes, values, and behaviors as the new status quo.
Organizational development is the systematic approach to organizational improvement that applies behavioral science theory and research in order to increase individual and organizational well-being and effectiveness (Nelson and Quick, 2013). There are two Organizational development intervention techniques. First is organization-focused and Group-focused technique. Within this technique the following methods used: survey feedback, management by objective technique, product and service quality programs, team building, and process consultation. The individual-focused techniques and the methods are as follows: skills training, leadership training and development, executive coaching, role negotiation, job redesign, health promotion programs, and career planning.
There are ethical considerations in organizational development to consider. First of all the issue with the selection of the organizational development method to use, the method must be carefully chosen in accordance with the problem as diagnosed, the organization's culture, and the employees concerned. Next issue is voluntary participation; there should be no employee that is forced to participate in any organizational development intervention. Next issue is confidentiality; the change agent should not reveal information in order to give some individual or group political advantage or to enhance the change agent's own standing. Finally, there should be no potential for manipulation by the change agent.
There are many known approaches to implementing changes and managing resistance to change. Changes should be planned and organized with a set goal in mind. Most management has the capacity to carry out the responsibilities of organizational change, but the challenge lies in dealing with the human behavior. There will always be individuals who oppose change. More importantly, an effective leader will be able to adapt to their approach strategy with each changing situation and shape it to each individual within the organization.