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Change is defined as pervasive influence, where all aspects are subject to continual change of one form or another (Mullins, 2005 , p.909). Also, change is an inescapable part of both social and organizational life.
The abstract of organizational change is in regard to organization change, as opposed to smaller changes such as adding a new person, update a program. Instance of organization-wide change may include a change in mission, restructuring operations, new technologies, mergers, collaborations, and rightsizing.
Change in organizational scheme is an attempt to alter the organization`s alignment with its environment. Organization change may also focus on any of the basic components of organization structure or on the organization design.
The Nature and Causes of Resistance to change
Employees have to learn something new therefore they resist to change. In many reasons there is not a divide with the advantage of the new process, but rather a fear of the unknown future and about their ability to adapt to it.
Forces of Change
The general environment is parted in to different dimensions: the international, the economic, technological, the socio-cultural and the political-legal conception.
External forces for change originate outside the organization. First of all, these forces have global effects, they might reason an organization to question the essence of what business it is in and the process by which products and services are produced.
There are four headings external forces for change: demographic characteristics, technological advancements, social and political pressures. Each component is discussed below:
The workforce is more diverse and there is a business responsibility to effectively manage diversity. Thus, organizations need to effectively manage diversity if they are to receive maximum contribution and commitment from employees.
Technological changes are increase to many organizations, because of the rapid rate of all technological innovation. One important area of change involves equipment, thus a change in work processes or work activities may be necessary.
Almost all of the subject in change efforts revolve around people. You can change technologies, but incase people support the new systems, problems are bound to crop up. No matter how good a change seems on paper, if nobody will support it, it`s probably not good idea.
Political events can create substantial change. Although it is hard for organizations to predict changes in political forces, many organizations hire lobbyists and consultants to help them detect and respond to social and political changes.
Internal forces, come from inside the organization and might be subtle, such as can manifest in outward signs or low morale, such as low productivity and conflict. Internal forces for change come from human resource problems and managerial behaviour (decisions).
Levels of Change
Mullins, (2005) argues that, change can be studied in terms of its effects at individual, society, group, organization, national and international level. However, because of this, change at any one level is interrelated with changes at other level, and it is hard to study one area of change in isolation. For example, when HSBC decided to embark on using new modern banking technology, it also embarked on training its staff on how to use that technology and its importance in their day to day activities, otherwise that technology could not help if employees could not support it or if that technology could not be friendly trough the costumers.
In addition, Hersey, (2006) discussed levels of change by identifying four levels: knowledge change, attitude change, individual behaviour change and organizational or group performance change.
Hersey ,Robbins, (1990) commented on group and individual change, he argued that, at individual level, the change attempts is to affect an employee behaviour, through either training , socialization and counselling as strategies the management can use when they target at individual change. In that case of group change, he argued that, interventions such as sensitivity training, survey feedback and process consultation are some of strategies the management can use if it targets to group change.
TYPES OF CHANGE
There are two kinds of change according to Robbins, (1990), are unplanned change and planned change.
This change, is that change which can just happen, for instance, when managing director of certain company decides to resign immediately, is a type of unplanned change to the board of directors, as they are force to find another managing director as early as possible to run their company.
Planned change otherwise, is those changes which organization knows about: where are objective is to keep the organization viable and current. Mullins, (2005) argues that, most planned "change is triggered by the need to respond to new challenges" or opportunities presented by the in anticipation of the need to cope with potential future problems or external environment. It represents an intentional attempt to improve, in some way, the operational effectiveness of the organization.
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
According to Goldberg (1999), individuals are not really resisting the change, but rather that might be resisting the loss of pay or loss of status. They certain that it is time that we dispense with the phrase resistance to change and find a more useful and appropriate types for describing what the phrase has come to mean that employees are not wholeheartedly embracing a change that management need to implement.
All-pervasive in organizations is changed by in present economy. It happens endless, and often at high speed. Because change has become an everyday part of organizational dynamics, employees who resist change can actually cripple an organization. (Mullins, 2005)
Folgers &Skarlicki (1999) believe that organizational change can generate scepticism and resistance in employees, making it sometimes difficult or impossible to implement organizational improvements.
In recent days, companies, government department and institutions, whether public or private, are no longer have a choice, they must change to survive. Unluckily, people tend to resist change. It is hard to change an organization, let alone an individual. This puts increased pressure on management to learn the subtleties of change.
Managers and Employees look at the change differently; top level management sees change as an opportunity to strengthen the business and to advance in their career, although for many employees, including middle managers, change is never sought after or welcomed: it is intrusive and disruptive. The below some reasons are the best describe why some people resist change. (Peter Barron Stark Companies Helping CEOs, Managers & HR Professionals)
Fear of failure
Resistance to change can be rooted in fear. Some employees might feel the need to cling to the past hence it was a more secure, predictable time, during periods of change. If what they did in the past worked well for them, they can resist changing their behaviour out of fear that they will not succeed as much in the future. ( By Tracy L. Chenoweth)
Creatures of habit
Doing something with the same routine, predictable manner is comfortable. Asking people to change the way they operate is meaning that to move outside their comfort zone. "We have always done it this way, so why do we need to change?" becomes the rallying cry for people who have difficulty changing their routines. In some cases, employees may deny or ignore the change simply because it requires them to experience something beyond their normal method of operation.
No obvious need
Some employees might realize a change only from the perspective of the impact it has on them and their particular jobs. They might fail to remember the positive impact of the change on the organization as all, not seeing the big picture. Therefore they might find the change disruptive and completely unnecessary. Their attitude may be, "if it is not broke, why fix it?"
Concern about support system
changing the organizational structures might shake their confidence in their support system. They might concern about working for a new supervisor, with new employees or on familiar projects because they afraid that if they try and fail, there will be no one there to support them.
Employees may resist change simply because it is something unfamiliar. Not knowing much about the special of the change, they might imagine a worst case scenario, which might be so scary. They let fear of the unknown become their rationale for not giving the change a change. These employees might acknowledge that a problem exists and confirm that a change may improve it. On the other hand, they concern that the proposed change may actually make things worse. Their fear reasons them to place roadblocks in the movement toward change.
Indefinite is the biggest of employee resistance to change. In the face of impending change, employees might become anxious and nervous. They might concern about their ability to meet new job demands, they might think that their job security is threatened, or they might simply dislike ambiguity.
CASE STUDY: A Turnaround at Tentex
Adrian designs management systems for Tentex, a manufacturer of computer software
and peripheral computer equipment. Recently the company has been experiencing low
sales growth, high sales manager turnover, quality assurance problems with products
and stagnant market share. Adrian was placed in charge of a task-force with these
goals: 1) improve sales, 2) cut sales manager turnover and 3) design a plan to reduce
Adrian's task-force investigated each of the problems by interviewing sales managers
to get their view of the sales and turnover problems. They learned that salespeople
and sales managers had little control over pricing and 'too much red tape between
them and customer complaints'. Sales personnel criticised the current system requiring
them to address sales problems by going through a customer complaints department.
Sales managers also believed that their pay system was unfair because many salesmen
earned more because managers were 'locked out' of commissions. To correct the pay
imbalance, many managers had gone back to sales or had left the company! They
also noted that salesmen really had no incentive to personally act quickly on customer
complaints that were routinely handled by the complaint department.
Production System Changes:
1. The production managers would launch a programme to educate suppliers regarding:
1) delivery times, 2) acceptable supply defect rates and 3) pricing of parts.
After suppliers completed the training, they would be given six months to conform
to requirements or they would be dropped from Tentex's list of 'preferred suppliers'.
2. A Toyota-like programme of continuous improvement would be launched to raise
quality and to lower costs. Production teams could earn team bonuses equal to 50
per cent of the cost savings generated by their improvements.
3. The TENTEX WORLD newspaper would be launched in production. It would contain
updates on sales, production output, compensation policies, continuous improvement
success stories, etc.
4. A liaison team composed of the plant manager and key production managers would
be created to match PA and rewards to measures of product quality and cost reduction.
Top management authorised all of the changes noted above. Adrian's task-force measured
programme success in: 1) employee reactions to the programme, 2) employees'
knowledge of all programme changes, 3) changes in employee behaviour and
4) changes in hard measures (turnover, sales, customer complaint rate, and product
quality and cost reductions).
The task-forces acted as liaison to work units teams tasked with installing the changes.
Top management was kept abreast of programme developments by Adrian who became
the change programme coordinator. At this point his task-force members went back to
their functional units. They were involved in implementation issues on an 'as needed'
basis.(Prof.Robert Dailey, organisational behaviour,p.35,2009, First published in Great Britain in 1990.)
UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING REDUCE RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
Resistance happens when employees fear that the personal and organisational
costs of change will exceed the benefits. This is an emotion-packed response to the
fear of the unknown among workers. When this fear is widespread we find that
employee sentiment crystallises to support the status quo; 'We've always done it
this way'. The amount of fear or emotion about change sets the level of resistance
to change throughout the firm. The status quo is often much like an old slipper;
so comfortable - despite their threadbare appearance - that they cannot be tossed
out. Thus, the visceral/emotional resistance of employees to change who can only
think of 1) economic uncertainty, 2) knowledge obsolescence, 3) loss of personal
power, 4) increased conflict or 5) changes in work relationships. Resistance is often
asymmetrical in power terms because the 'resisters' are often better organised and
more vocal than their opponents (the 'changers'). In all cases, the 'burden of proof'
always falls on the 'changers'.
Resistance to change can be reduced by co-opting some of the highly vocal
'resisters' and turning them into advocates for change. Giving employees a voice
(ownership) in PC also lessens resistance because it fosters unity and resolve. An
effective steering committee helps to reduce resistance by making PC participative.
In previous modules we've extolled the virtues of participation in our examples of
1) PA system design (BARS); 2) customising fringe benefits programmes; 3) setting
up group-based cost savings plans; 4) MBO design; and 5) installing SDTs.
All change programmes need not be participative and we see its value and
importance decline if: 1) time is crucial or a crisis exists, 2) top management has all
the information necessary to implement the change, 3) the outcomes of the change
programme will have little effect on employees, 4) employee acceptance of the
change is not crucial for success and 5) employee skill development is not a significant
focus of the change programme. These aspects of participation management
are at the heart of the Vroom-Yetton-Jago Normative Model that was presented in
section 6.6 and they apply to participation in PC. (Prof.Robert Dailey,p.19 organisational behaviour,2009, First published in Great Britain in 1990.)
OVERCOMING RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
Employee resistance to change is a compound issue facing management in the complex and ever-evolving organization of today. The process of change is ubiquitous, and employee resistance has been defined as a critically value contributor to the failure of many well-intend and well-conceived labour to initiate change. To close those gaps, managers supposed to know how to find and overcome resistance to change. Although there are no defining solutions, several techniques at least have the potential to decrease or eliminate this resistance.
There are three key conclusions that should be kept in mind before recommending specific approaches to overcome resistance.
First of all, an organization must be ready for change. Just as a table must be set before you can eat, so must an organization be ready for change before it can be effective. It is better to use survey to evaluate if a company is ready to undertake a change effort.
After that, organizational change is less successful when top management fails to keep employees informed about the process of change.
Finally, employees' perceptions or interpretations of a change significantly affect resistance. Employees are less likely to resist when they perceive that the benefits as a change overshadow the personal costs. At a minimum then, managers are advised to provide as much information as possible to employees about the change, inform employees about the reasons rationale for the change, and provide employees the opportunity to discuss how the proposed change may affect them.
In many reasons, large amounts of resources are expended by organizations to adjust employees to a new way of succeed desired goals. The natural propensity for personal to defend the status quo presents a set of challenges that management must overcome instead of bring about desired change." Management must also seriously take into account and consider the myriad of problems that might result if they are not responsive to issues of resistance in workplace".
Generally, whatever the changes inside an organization can be, and every reason that made these changes necessary, a good way of implementing the changes successfully is for a manager to treat the participation and communication with his employees as integral parts of the change procedures. (By Martin Reddington, Mark Williamson, Mark Withers creating value through people, 2005)