Organisational Change In The Solving Process Commerce Essay


Organisational change is inclusive, cooperative and planned process of solving problems through shifting initial assumptions and beliefs of individuals in order to improve work content, structures, and relationships in organisations. A primary principle is that people collectively define meanings of the work they do and expand ways of doing the work. Depending on how they define work, people develop a technology to carry it out. Organizational change is a comprehensive and interconnected process. It involves changing work through changing foundation about work. Organizational change is a process in which people define an aim that is further attractive than the current situation. It, and involves people generate environment that will make parallel assumptions, work and goal.

This report will assess theories and practices in the management of change. First of all, this report will describe the key metaphors used to explain the character, extent and causes of organizational change and discuss why people often resist change. Second, identify the differences in the assumptions underpinning the OD and political approaches to organizational change. Third, outline the main techniques recommended for undertaking and organizational diagnosis prior to implementing a program of change, and last, the range of change interventions suggested in the literature.

2.0 Metaphors

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Metaphor is defined that a word or phrase applied as representative or symbolic of something else. It is not literally applied but used to resemble or describe something that is difficult to describe (Cummings & Worley, 2008). In other word, use the image that if the organisation is described as a car. What would organisation's members think they might be? Every organisation is organised by various departments and they own purpose. Perhaps some members say that 'we are tyre because we run over all.' Or 'we might be the engine because we produce our goods and services'. As those examples, using metaphors to explain the character, extend and causes of organisational change are a tool for analysing organisation. Cummings and Worley (2008) defined the key features of the range of metaphors are;

 Physics metaphor by Kurt Lewin

Change happens when forces for change are greater the forces to remain the same.

Organism metaphor by Morgan

Homeostasis means that maintain equilibrium

As external changes the organisation's processes will change and adapt

But suggests that change is logical, ordered, predictable and has purpose

Fire metaphor by Bergquist

Change is irreversible, unpredictable and is a process

Equilibrium is disturbed

Lasting a short time

Change is not like a pendulum which is predictable

Water rapids metaphor by White


Disruptions to the calm waters

Requires managers to be constantly changing, and need to quickly respond to what is happening

In order to evaluate the extent to which metaphors are for aspects of organisation, first the organisation is analysed the categories of organisational development such as what images are good pictures of organisation. There should not be restrictions. Given that multiple selections within the categories there are everything available. So therefore organisation's members have sizeable extent to choose own samples which expressively reverberate with their consciousness of the organisation.

2.1 Strengths and weaknesses

As Morgan mentioned that the organisation change is logical, ordered, predictable and has particular purpose, so its procedure will transform and settle in right way. Basically the primary objectives of using these metaphors are that it is expected that a theory test of the metaphors engaged to describe the case lesson organisation will make meaningful approaches into acknowledgement of the organisation and its practices. And more considerably, a metaphor based examination of this type affords range to drop some ideas on discuss about the value of metaphor as implement for analysing organisations. Ortony (1975) has observed that 'metaphors can aid learning dur to their 'vividness and compactness''. Thus using metaphors to organisational change seem to bring some effective means of conveying vivid and compact responses from organisation's member.

On the other hand, it is considerable to look at weaknesses of using metaphors. As Berguist and White observed it occurs stresses. Because people in organisation become stuck in a phase of adapting to change and they are not able to move on. If using metaphors does not maintain equilibrium within organisation its process will not work through and possibly it produces non-sense. According to Morgan (1980) he defined wrong case of using metaphors that 'if the two subjects brought together are perceived to be completely unlike e.g. a boxer and a saucepan as almost identical, the metaphorical process makes either nonsensical or weak imagery.' Therefore too little or non similarity of using metaphors would not be understood by organisation's members and there would not be success result by incorrectly using metaphors.

2.2 Resistance to change

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'Why do we have to be changed things that have not broken yet?' Cole (2005) has analysed the main reason for that 'resistance usually occurs during the first two phases of adapting to change, when people are struggling to come to grips with it and to avoid real or perceived personal losses that they fear the change will entail.' Mainly people or group who are particularly interested in an organisation, stakeholders including managers, customers, unions, employees, etc.., who are impacted by proposed change in product, service and process. Because change to the organisation may affect their interests. Change creates uncertainty and disruption to the calm waters as water rapids metaphors. Addition to that Cumming and Worley (2008) defined why people resist that because of their old habits like what is familiar, no energy to learn new skills or ways and more significantly fear of failure and fear of looking stupid in terms of insecurity. As well as it may create loss of jobs, benefits, friends, esteems things like that.

3.0 The main assumptions underpinning the OD approach and general model of change

The main assumptions making certain those approaches, concisely the main assumptions are addressed by Cummings and Worley (2008).

First, OD applies to changes in the strategy, structure, and /or processes of an entire system, such as an organisation, a single plant of a multiplant firm, a department or work group, or individual role or job (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Organisational changes should escalate the quality of working life also productivity, profit and work-efficiency. This is related to first step in general model of planned change which is 'Entering and Contracting' that involves gathering initial data to understand the changes facing the organisation so when OD used in non-traditional and international settings, the entering and contracting process must be sensitive to the context in which the change is taking place (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Second, OD is based on the application and transfer of behavioural science knowledge and practice, including micro concepts, such as leadership, group dynamics, and work design, and macro approaches, such as strategy, organisation design, and international relation. Third, OD is concerned with managing planned change, but not in the formal sense typically associated with management consulting or project management, which tends to comprise programmatic and expert-driven approaches to change (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

These assumptions are the most complex level of organisational change. This is related to second step of general model of planned change which is 'Diagnosing' that focus on understanding organisational problems, such as its causes. Gathering, analysing and feedback data are the most important change activities in diagnosis (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Fourth, OD involves the design, implementation, and the subsequent reinforcement of change (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Once second step of planned change has done then move on to third step which is 'Planning and implementing change'. In this step, organisation members and practitioners jointly plan and implement OD interventions to achieve its goals and make action plan to implement them (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Finally, OD is oriented to improving organisational effectiveness (Cummings & Worley, 2008). As final step in general model of planned change which is 'Evaluating and institutionalising change' that involves estimating the effects of the intervention and managing the institutionalisation of successful change plans. Feedback to organisation members about the intervention's results provides information about the changes. Successful changes involve supporting them through feedback, rewards, and training (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

The significant objective of any OD approach to change is developing and keeping a successful organisation, both by focussing on and developing strengths, or by minimising or reducing weaknesses.

3.1 Political approach and OD approach

To understand how do the assumptions underpinning the political approach to organisational change differ from the assumptions underpinning the OD approach, it is useful to contrast the logical view of strategy formation with the political view. Galvin, Haidar, Hill and Jones (2007) have observed that 'the rational view assumes that complete information is available and no uncertainty exits about outcomes but the political view suggests that strategic managers can never be sure that they are making the best decisions'. OD approaches are scientific ways such as researches and very step by step process but, on other side, political approach is almost depends on leaders or senior managers' decision.

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In addition, in point of rational view, managers likely agree about appropriate organisational goals and means, however, in political view the decision of goals and means are rely on to each individual of self interest.

The assumption that personal, not just stakeholders or organisation, interest through strategic preference is called political approach which is bad implication in general. Because anyone knows for sure what is going to happen as a result of strategic organisational change, however, letting people involve their own interests may in the lasting indicate that the company's interests are being on right track. This is self-interest may lead to better organisation's decision making and a better change plan, with successful managers touching to the top in a meanwhile (Galvin et al. 2007). If an organisation can keep in its best management, then political approach can be a well control. However, if political approach goes out of control, and if powerful managers gain the power of authority that they can oppress the view of managers who oppose their interests, then key problems may occur, furthermore, performance may be suffered.

4.0 Diagnosis

Diagnosis is a collaborative process between organisational members and the OD consultant to collect pertinent information, analyse it, and draw conclusion for action planning and intervention (Cummings & Worley, 2008). When an organisation is considering changes to a product, process or service, the possibly reaction of the organisation's stakeholders is one of the issues which should be considered in the planning stage of the change process. The information gained from a stakeholder analysis by scientific research can then be used to decide between different options for change. The main techniques recommended for undertaking a diagnosis of an organisation prior to implementing an OD approach to organisational change are questionnaires, interview, observations and unobtrusive techniques (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Questionnaire is ease of getting facts and figures. The advantages of questionnaire are responses can be quantified and summarised, large samples and large quantities of data collect and relatively not expensive. In contrast, potential problems are little opportunity for empathy with subjects, predetermined questions so there is no change to change, over interpretation of data possible and response biases possible (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Interview can be used individual or group. Interview included questions about the nature and extent of the take-up of various organisational change initiatives, the effectiveness of the change programmes, and factors that hamper organisational change initiatives in the context of public sector organisation (Ebrahim, Lai & Vahid, 2007). The advantages are adaptive which allows customisation, source of 'rich' data, empathic so it brings more reality opinion and process builds rapport with subjects. On other side, potential problems are relatively expensive to process, bias in interviewer responses, coding and interpretation can be difficult and self-report bias possible (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Observation is obviously the direct technique to collect data. Simply looking around working area where required OD approach to observe stakeholders' way of doing things, for example, behaviours, processes or systems then examine what happens and reflect upon it, and learn from it and make revisions. Observations have a number of advantages. They are collects data on actual behaviour, rather than reports of behaviour, real time which is not retrospective and very adaptive. Among the problems with observations are coding and interpretation difficulties, sampling inconsistencies, observer bias and questionable reliability and it can be expensive and time consuming (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Last, unobtrusive measures are data collection from secondary source not straights such as organisation records or any documents. Using unobtrusive measures in diagnosing the organisation is particularly supportive because it is non reactive means no response bias, high face validity and easily quantified. However, the problems with unobtrusive measures are access and retrieval difficulties it takes time and expensive, validity concerns and coding and interpretations are difficult (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

4.1 Techniques for taking a political approach

As discussed about political approach in 3.1 above, generally speaking, managing changes in strategy is very hard due to estimating substitute routes of action, selecting a new tactical direction, applying and evaluating changes (Galvin et al., 2007). Managers usually make decisions that based on their personal, functional or divisional interests. They use their power to affect organisational purpose and activities. So therefore, greatest technique to take a political approach to organisational change would be observation and unobtrusive measures.

Observation provides real time which describing the most powerful division or function in an organisation in the present rather than the past. This could help enable to deal with the critical strategic incident facing the organisational change. Also put the practitioner close to individual mangers so it can observe possible various informal ways of raising their personal power. For instance, managers can try to make themselves irreplaceable as well as they may specialise in an area of escalating concern to the organisation so that they finally control a critical contingency (Galvin et al., 2004). Thus, when observations used correctly, it provides insightful data about managers doing things and in particularly find out in diagnosing the nature interpersonal relations of organisation members of work group among the managers.

Besides, using unobtrusive measures to take a political approach to organisational change help to diagnose organisation level design components structure, work system, control system, and human resource system (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Politics and power powerfully control an organisation's decision of strategy and structure because it somehow has to maintain and organisational system. So any organisation's records and documents that provides useful information about its structure, control system, operating manual etc., it could be suitable technique to measure the balancing manager roles to organisational change because unobtrusive data gives how organisation's hierarchical control works in which politics can facilitate the change process.

5.0 Interventions

An intervention is a set of sequenced and planned actions or events intended to help the organisation increase its effectiveness (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Dunphy and Stace (2001) have defined soft verses hard interventions that need to have a balance between soft and hard, which intervention to use depends on situation, if use structural change then also have cultural change and need a balance between empowerment and leadership and control. The OD interventions discussed by Cummings and Worley (2008) concisely described four types of intervention and organisation levels. These are;

Human Process Interventions

Process consultation (G)

Third-party interventions (I,G)

Team building (G)

Organisation confrontation meeting (G,O)

Intergroup relations interventions (G,O)

Large-group interventions (O)

Techno-structural Interventions

Structural design (O)

Downsizing (O)

Parallel structures (G,O)

Total quality management (G,O)

High-involvement organisations (I,G,O)

Work design (I,G)

Human Resources Management Interventions

Goal setting (I,G)

Performance appraisal (I,G)

Reward systems (I,G,O)

Coaching and mentoring (I)

Career planning and development interventions (I)

Management and leadership development (I)

Workforce diversity interventions (I,G,O)

Employee stress and wellness interventions (I)

Strategic Interventions

Integrated strategic change (O)

Organisation design (O)

Culture change (O)

Self-designing organisations (G,O)

Organisation learning and knowledge management (G,O)

Built to change (O)

Merger and acquisition integration (O)

Strategic alliance interventions (O)

Network interventions (O)

Human process interventions relate to communication, problem solving, group decision making and leadership. Process consultation is a set of actions on the part of the consultant that helps the client to recognise, realise and act upon the process events which occur in the client's environment. Third party intervention is focus on arguments between 2 or more people in the same organisation. Team building is an activity related to one or more individuals. Organisation confrontation meeting is normally groupings of employees in classifing and solving problems. Intergroup relations are designed to improve interactions among different groups or departments in organisations. Large group interventions are variety of stakeholders getting on track for large meeting to gather ideas of new ways of environment in organisation (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Techno-structural interventions interest in technology such as job design and structure such as hierarchy. It depends on size of organisation, environment, organisation's goals and values. Structural design involves such as functional, divisional, matrix, process based, customer-centric and network. Downsizing is literally downsizing cost and reorganise strategies. Reengineering also redesigns when new information technology permitted in organisation. Parallel structure, total quality management (TQM) and high involvement organisation are part of employee involvement that increase staff input to affect organisation's performance and employee happiness. Work design concerns designing work for work groups and individual jobs (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Human resources management interventions are aimed at performance management, developing aptitude and managing workforce diversity and wellness. Goal setting involves setting clear and testing goals. Performance appraisal is a logical process of measuring staff achievements etc. Reward system is literally reward employees to motivate. Coaching and mentoring is usually help to overcome problems to performance. Career planning and development helps to recruit and keep experienced workers. Management and leadership are aimed at growing good people and keeping them. Managing workforce diversity is to respond variety of individual needs such as culture and values. Employee stress and wellness help employee problems such as health, marital and financial. (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

Strategic interventions are aimed at achieving competitive advantage and driven by senior executives and line mangers. Integrated strategic change describes how planned change can make a value-added involvement to strategic management. Organisation design addresses its structure, work design, HR, and IT where coalition and support each other. Cultural change helps organisations develop cultures to their strategies and environments. Mergers and acquisitions describe how OD practitioners can assist two or more organisations to structure a new entity. Alliances that cooperate two organisations follow a set of private and common goals through the sharing resources such as people, capital. Networks are an implementation to develop relationships between three or more organisations to task performing or problem solving that a single organisation cannot (Cummings & Worley, 2008).

5.1 Strengths and weaknesses

Those interventions are developed from the human relations that concreted on efficient managerial and supervision style as the key to successful change. They involved employees in the transformation process and so generated dedication, and stressed the importance of understanding and influencing employee attitudes and needs (Murray, Jones & Poole, 2006). They also identified that work groups played a major role in opposing or warming change. However, some interventions did not deal with power and conflict effectively, and ignored the role of union.

Most of planned change interventions highlight team development, relationships between individual, groups and organisation with communication practice. They rely on training data feedback, interventions by change agents, and consultation. The role of management is planning, organising, intervening in the process when needed, and evaluating the change process (Lindsay, 1997).

OD strategies highlight the role of communication, group processes, data gathering and contribution in decision making. Most interventions stress the importance of the role of process in trying to identify how people will work together to complete organisational changes. However, its goals are often not obviously declared, with change programs being huge and formless. Scientific and technological factors are frequently abandoned. Much non-essential information is collected and decision making is a lot time-consuming an heavy.

6.0 Conclusion

Organisational change is inclusive, cooperative and planned process of solving problems through shifting initial assumptions and beliefs of individuals in order to improve work content, structures, and relationships in organisations. The finding of this report revealed that using the range of metaphors to explain the character extend and causes of organisational change what are their strengths and weaknesses and why usually people do resist against organisational change. The core findings were in order to evaluate the extent to which metaphors are for aspects of organisation, first the organisation is analysed the categories of organisational development such as what images are good pictures of organisation and people resist that because of their old habits like what is familiar, no energy to learn new skills or ways and more significantly fear of failure and fear of looking stupid in terms of insecurity.

The five assumptions underpinning the OD approach and general model of planned change in process was not analysed appropriately because of lack of understanding of theories, however, this report has found good information of differences between rational approach and political approach.

This report has recommended four main techniques for taking a diagnosis but need to know a meaning of diagnosis prior to implementing an OD approach to organisational change and concluded observations and unobtrusive would be techniques if taking a political approach.

There were four ranges of planned change interventions and it has found out its strengths and weaknesses to organisational change.

7.0 References

Cole, K. (2005). Management: Theory and practice.(3rd ed). AUS. Pearson Education Australia.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C., G. (2008). Organisation Development & Change. (9th ed).

USA. South-Western.

Dunphy, D. & Stace, D. (2001). Beyond the boundaries: Leading and re-creating the successful enterprise. (2nd ed). AUS. McGraw Hill Australia.

Ebrahim, S., Lai, P. C.&Mahmoudi, V. (2007). Managing Change Initiatives: Fantasy or

Reality? The Case of Public Sector Organisations. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. Vol. 18 Issue ½. p153-179. Retrieved from

Galvin, P., Haidar, A., Hill, C. W. L.& Jones, G. R. (2007). Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach. (2nd ed). AUS. Jone Wiley & Sons Australia

Lindsay, R. (1997). Managing operations change. AUS. McGraw Hill Australia.

Morgan, G. (1986), Images of Organization, Sage, Newbury Park, CA.

Murray, P., Jones, G. & Poole, D. (2006). Contemporary Issues in Management and

Organisational Behaviour. (1st ed). AUS. Thomson.

Ortony, A (1975), "Why metaphors are necessary and not just nice", Educational Theory, Vol.

25 pp.45-53.