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In today's world, the changes are taking place at a fast pace in every aspect of life especially the business environment and organizational leaders have to anticipate the changes in advance so that they can respond rapidly and maintain their competitive edge in the market (McLeans, 2009). The leaders in an organization comprise of the management team members and departmental heads who have to remain alert all the time about the changes that are happening in their surroundings so that timely action can be taken. In the last few years, there has been growth in the ventures as a result of the merger of two firms (Fang, Yuli & Yongzhi, 2009).
It has been noticed that the latest ventures formed after mergers have made valuable contributions in their respective fields by making efficient use of the combined resources, taking advantage of the economies of scale to reduce the overall cost and strengthening the venture's image by fully utilizing the strengths of each firm. Whenever a new venture is formed, the biggest management problem is related to changes that will be done in the business entity (Pryor et al., 2008). The change management can take place on any level in an organization at any point in time but at the time of merger the problem needs to be immediately addressed as most of the people within the firms will show resistance to the new change.
According to Hasin (2010), change management is the process that comprises of an array of procedures that are aimed at ensuring successful implementation of major changes in an organization in a controlled, orderly, systematic and coordinated way. The foremost goal of the entire change management process is overcoming the resistance encountered for change; it is usually done by discussing the process with the employees and gaining their trust so that they are willing to accept the change and provide assistance in the transformation process in an orderly and effective manner.
Although the main objective of a new venture is to improve the performance of an organization but it focuses on the human attributes as well because employees of a firm are an integral part of the change management process (Nicklos, 2010). The change management that takes place in an organization comprises of four main features i.e. dissatisfaction with the existing strategies along with a need of developing new and effective ones, creation of a vision for the compatible alternative, management's capability of developing change strategies and implementing them efficiently and overcoming the resistance to change before the implementation phase (Gibson, 2007).
Theories Related to Change Management
In order to understand the processes of change management to provide guidance to the organizations in managing the hurdles effectively, many researchers have contributed in this field by developing numerous theories. McLean (2009) identified some of the best and easy-to-implement theories related to change management which are as follows:
Kurt Lewin's Three Step Model
The Action Research Model
Jick's Ten Step Model
Kotter's Strategic Eight Step Model
Schein's Extension of Lewin's Three Step Model
Shield's Five Step Model
Mento, Jones and Drimdofer's Twelve Step Model
In all of these models, it has been mentioned that the change management can be effective only when an appropriate action plan is designed by the management team and each step is taken in an organized and logical way. The basic model for understanding the change management is Kurt Lewin's Three Step Model which is most commonly known as Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze process of change. According to Lewin, there are some forces that drive changes and some forces that restrain these changes; when these two sets of forces are in equilibrium position, there will be no change. A change in any organization takes place when one of the driving forces supersedes the restraining force (Nicklos, 2010).
In the Lewin's change process model, the first stage 'Unfreeze' comprises of necessary preparations in the company to accept the change needed and the existing processes will have to be changed so that the new system can be developed. In the second stage 'Change', the entire workforce of the organization initiate the task of looking for innovative ways of doing things so that they can provide support in the transformation process to overcome the barriers to change.
During the last stage 'Refreeze', the organization will have to ensure that all the changes have been successfully incorporated in everyday business activities and new processes should be used so that the business operations become stable and people are comfortable and confident in the changed working environment.
Similarly, when a new venture is formed, the management team will have to incorporate five important elements in their plan i.e. motivating the change process, creating a vision for the employees, developing and providing political support for effective implementation of the change process, managing transition so that there are no drawbacks in the new system and sustaining momentum so that the organization can survive in the long-run (Hasin, 2010).
Guidelines for developing a business plan for a venture
When a new venture is formed, a business plan is the crucial requirement as it is a draft about the organization's plan of managing its operations and business activities for the next few years such as three or five years. It is recommended by McLean (2009) that when a firm undergoes a change management process, it should develop a business plan so that everyone within the organization is well-aware of the key aspects of the business. Following are some of the guidelines that need to be included in the business plan for ensuring that the venture is moving in the right direction:
The plan should start with a brief description of the company that will comprise of its mission, vision, goals and legal form.
The details about the venture's products and services should be provided with complete description about them.
It should outline the organization structure along with the team structure, work culture, responsibilities and compensation and reward policies.
The marketing plan should be provided in detail that comprises of the marketing objectives, strategies, implementation process and evaluation and control mechanisms.
The operational plan must have in-depth information about the location of the venture along with the operational procedures and the plans for expansion.
Lastly, the financial plan should provide complete details about the financial health of the new venture such as sources of finance, start-up expenses, projected cash inflows and outflows and etc.
Hence, the business plan is the key for ensuring that every detail about the new venture is provided so that the company is well-aware of its position, capabilities and areas of concern. When a business plan is designed with precision, there are few chances that there are any management problems in the organization and change will be effectively managed as well.
In order to deal with the change management problem, an organization will have to first identify the basic origins of the change forces and overcome all barriers that will trigger resistance to change. A business plan is an important document for any venture as it allows the management team to review every aspect of its business in detail and take every necessary step to reduce the factors causing resistance in the organization. All the models developed for addressing change management issues have been designed to provide support to the organization to successfully implement change processes and systems in its business operations.