Understand The Forces For Change In An Organization Commerce Essay

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Change refers to a significant difference in what was before. This could mean doing things in a new way, following a new path, adapting new technology, installing a new system, following new management procedures, merging, reorganizing, or any other highly significant disruptive event.

Writing in Industrial Management (May/June 1997), authors Lisa Kudray & Brian Kleiner define change management as "Continuous process of aligning an organization with its marketplace - and doing it more responsibly & effectively than competitors".

For an organization to be aligned say the authors, "the key management levers - strategy, operations, culture & reward - must be synchronized continuously". They observe that, "managers need to remember that they are changing, manipulating & rearranging a variety of both human & non human elements".

1.0 Understand the forces for change in an organization:

Every organisation wants to initiate a management system and strategy that could maintain the organization's capability, strength and competitiveness. It is important that the management team and the organization should always open their mind for changes that they might encounter in order to cope and adapt to the latest development that are happening within and outside their environment.  With the constant changes in this world and with the tremendous growth of technologies, many people especially those in the organization find themselves normally adapting.  This is because change can bring many improvement and development in certain aspects.  In many ways, change can make work easier, pave the way for future innovations or generally improve people's lives.  Similarly, change has been adapted by various work organizations for varied reasons.

Management of change can be considered as a primary activity in realizing the goals and objectives of any organization, even as implementation is the sensible or physical steps of employing an innovation. Individuals and their relationships are regarded as the major components to its successful execution, and sustainable mechanisms are needed to achieve the development and improvement in its procedures. The recognition of sections for improvement is the first level of the process of change, followed by the integration of plausible solutions to address conflicts and issues that are being identified. Actions in these sections are being held independent of position within the organization.

Asses the factors that are driving the need for strategic change:

External Triggers:-

Competition in Marketplace:

In the presence of competitors like Burger King, KFC, Subway, Greggs etc., for the moment, at least, the hamburger will stay on the menu but alongside will be burgers made from more wholesome & fresh meat. Company claims about its meat & chicken as the most finest & fresh range from Scottish & Irish farms. Low-fat yoghurts and a choice of salads have been introduced among the new lines on offer. Customer service has been dramatically improved and the firm will stop its rush to open new restaurants and concentrate instead on keeping customers and attracting new ones to existing branches.

Professional Image:

From early 2007, Company has made major changes to enhance its professional image among different stake holders. These changes include new internal & external appearance of restaurants, improved customer focus, highly organized & professional dealing with employees, suppliers & partners & improved quality of food & desserts.

Changes in Attitude of Customers:

Due to high competition, company has faced a considerable change in attitude of customer towards its products. As a maneuver, McDonald's has been making continuous attraction strategies for its customers to keep them in close intact in order to remain at top position. The most recent example is the introduction of new menu saver meal by the company. The new option in the meal has been very well advertised nationwide & as a result customers are very well attracted towards MacDonald's.


Changes in technology also forced the company to implement those technological changes in its infrastructure. Introduction of online Recruitment is one of the major examples in this regard. McDonald's introduced online application systems in April 2007 & stopped paper application system nationwide at once. Same sort of technological improvements have been made & implemented in every function of the company such as better checkouts, supply chain, food processing, sales & marketing, production etc. To attract Customers, most of UK McDonald's restaurants now have the free Wi-Fi facility in the premises. This facility now only enables customers to use free Internet in the restaurant but also become an important reason to increase the customer & sales of McDonald's.


Another change is being made in reducing company's regions. McDonald's have been operating in three zones all around UK for many years i.e. Central, North & South Zones. From 2007, Company has no more been operating in Central Zone & the entire country operations have been working through North & South Zones only.

Internal Triggers:-

Daily Product Safety Checklist (DPSC):-

Daily product safety checklist regulations have been improved & changed by McDonald's to ensure better health & safety of its employees & customers. The same checklist allows ensuring the delivery of healthiest & safest food to its customers. DPSC of McDonald's is so professionally developed & executed that company remains at top level in comparison to the competitors.

Introduction of New Marketing Strategies:-

Competition & customer health food consciousness ability forced McDonald's to introduce few important changes in its marketing strategies to attract customers & gain an edge on its competitors. The recent famous marketing campaign of the company is going on regarding promoting healthier image of all its food products, for example: Introducing less salt contents in all the McDonald's food varieties etc.

The Need to Change Attitudes of Employees:-

McDonald's have always been a renowned company for supporting & promoting its employees specifically the student's community. In order to be more customers focused & to increase its profitability, company is trying hard to change the attitude of employee so that they should remain hard working, dedicated & more customers focused. The company most important practice in this regard is to recruit people who have a positive attitude towards customers, other employees & themselves & who are capable of delivering highest standards of quality, service & cleanliness to its customers. The strategy to develop this sort of attitudes among employees have been established & implemented very well across all the branches.

The Need to Improve Performance:-

McDonald's is always committed to increase or improve the employee performance in order to attain complete customer, employee & business satisfaction. Company always feels need to improve those performances & this remains a process of unending changes.

Change is an unending & ongoing process. In order to survive on the long terms basis, organizations have to adapt changes as & when necessary in order to ensure their existence. In order to be a strong entity along with its competitors in the market, the company adapted following two approaches to its change processes:

Structural Approach to Change.

Technical Approach to Change.

Structural Approach to Change:-

Structural changes are those sorts of changes that relate elements of organization to one another. These include removing or adding layers to hierarchy, Downsizing associated with restructuring. Changes also can involve decentralization & centralization.

Technical Approach to Change:-

Technical changes involve changes in machinery, methods, automation & job design. These changes help companies become more productive.

2.0 Understand the impact of the change process:

As a local business involved in communities around the world and, at the same time, a global food retailer, McDonald's touch a wide variety of stakeholders in a wide variety of ways in the process of change management. Key stakeholder groups include McDonald's customers, McDonald's employees, McDonald's owner/operators, McDonald's suppliers and its shareholders. Company also engaged with certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that specialized in corporate responsibility issues, scientific researchers and practitioners in areas affected by its business, local community organizations and government policy-makers. McDonalds worked in different ways to understand the views and priorities of these constituencies and to build ways of communicating with them during its process of change.

Essentially, McDonald's seek to learn about stakeholders' interests, concerns and expectations for its business, to inform them about what company had been doing and why and to gain feedback it could use as guidance for change. In some instances, company communicated to them or them to McDonald's. Company issued a report like this. Stakeholders called or wrote to tell McDonald's what they thought about change process. In other instances, there was direct dialogue and negotiation or collaboration on some specific issue - for example: the sitting of a new restaurant, or company sponsorship of a community program. In still other instances, McDonald's worked with stakeholders on an ongoing basis to develop and assess priorities, policies and procedures. McDonald's supplier councils, owner/operator leadership councils and owner/operator diversity organizations are all examples of such collaborations, as are the advisory councils discussed below.

Stakeholder Approach in Change Process:-


Day-to-day contacts at the restaurant level

Opportunities to initiate contact (toll-free numbers, e-mail facilities on websites)

Focus groups


Staff meetings at work unit level, e.g., restaurant, corporate department etc.

Closed-circuit "town hall" meetings

Intranet sites

Employee satisfaction surveys

Works councils and similar organizations


Local or regional joint owner/operator and corporate cooperatives or councils

Participation in owner/operator leadership council meetings

Participation in meetings of owner/operator diversity organizations

One-on-one consultations with owner/operator leadership

Intranet sites

Restaurant operations consultations and other one-on-one contacts


Direct contacts with supplier representatives

Supplier council meetings

Training workshops for suppliers

Contacts with representatives of producer trade associations


Conference calls and webcasts

Annual reports

Proxy statements

Shareholder meetings

Corporate website

Investor Relations Services Center

Formal and informal meetings with investors and analysts

Local communities:

Direct contact with community representatives


Formal collaboration agreements

One-on-one direct contacts

Service on governing bodies and task forces

Scientific researchers & practitioners

Periodic advisory council meetings

Direct contacts with advisory council members and other experts

Participation in conferences, workshops and the like

Trade associations:

Participation in meetings, conferences and task forces

Service on Boards of Directors, issue working groups and the like Government policy-makers

Issue-specific direct contacts

Participation in government-sponsored workshops and consultations

Participation in meetings of government advisory bodies

While McDonald's worked to develop programs responsive to key stakeholder interests, company also seeked to exercise leadership in its industry and off course to promote changes that could not be achieved alone. Thus, an important element of engagement for McDonald's was active involvement in company's trade associations, voluntary self-regulatory organizations and other business and industry groups. McDonald's also worked with producer trade associations, served on government advisory committees and participated in a variety of consultations, conferences and workshops during its change process.

The following are resistance faced by McDonald: Perception or reaction of McDonald's employees and customers, McDonald's organizational culture and absence of support.

One of the resistances that occurred was the reactions of the company's employees and or customers. Although there were employees who were in favour of the changes for example in using Integrated Marketing Communication, some employees and managers were not in favour for such implementation.   Some managers and employees resisted the changes because of the fear that it won't help the company with the problem or it may worsen the problem. 

Moreover, due to the fast paced of technological advancement nowadays, specifically in the information technology, the computer units put in the offices of the company were depreciated as part of the marketing campaign technological facilities as time went on, thus added to bigger problems.

The employees were not the only one who could have negative perception for the change within the organization, the customers of the company might not have a positive reaction towards the new campaign, thus leaded to another conflict, since the clients were not quickly be able to cope with the changes and resulted of not achieving the core objective of the change for McDonald as a whole. 

3.0 Understand the management of the change process:

There are various models of change are established over the period of time. Every organization can develop & adapt any of those models in change process according to the individual circumstances. Few important models of change which can be used during change management are as follows:

Organizational Development (OD)

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

Total Quality Management (TQ)

Learning Organization


Delayering & Right-Sizing

Matrix Organizations

Network Organizations

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR):-

BPR has four basic key components: Business Processes, Management & Measurements, Jobs & Structures, and Values & Beliefs. BPR is considered to be a much more 'top-down' managed form of change. BPR is best defined as:

"The fundamental rethinking & radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance".

For clarity, it is appropriate also to define what BPR is not. BPR is not automation, restructuring or reorganisation, or delayering although these may be consequences of a BPR exercise. There were three probable reasons:

The business was failing & there was no option but to invoke radical change.

Business difficulties were foreseen & pre-emptive measures were deemed necessary to avoid business failure.

The organization, rather than 'resting on its laurels' wished to build on its success & invoked radical change to widen its lead over the competition.

There were also a number of significant supporting factors & explanations:

Other initiatives such as streamlining, automation, the resolution of identified existing problems or the continuous minor improvements had not delivered adequate business advantage.

End-to-End delivery became too complex & too time consuming with too many people involved (& therefore no-one considered to be accountable), too many hand-offs, & too great a need for bureaucratic control.

Classical business structures that specialised work & fragment processes were self-perpetuating because they stifled innovation & creativity in the organization. They also demanded the excessive layers of managerial hierarchy in order to draw together fragmented work. These rendered it difficult to introduce new work practices.

The business world has been rapidly changing, highly competitive & customer-driven & current methods were introspective rather than customer facing.

The need for change was identified in IBS in a number of ways, most notably:

Statistical Process Control: This process was utilized by the company as this is related to the accurate &continuous measurement of quality & is typified by the measurement of frequency of failure - how often & where concentrated & the analysis of cause & effect.

Benchmarking: TQ demands the identification of best practice (for each process on an industry & preferably worldwide basis) recognising that best practice is only best until someone else begins to do it better. Thus content monitoring & awareness of best practice was demanded in IBS TQ process.

After the change was taken place in this regard in IBS, the quality operations were supported by:

Quality Control (QC): While often confused with post-production inspection, QC is, in fact, the generic term for ongoing statistical measurement of quality. It thus implied to IBS: the application of preventive controls intended to pre-empt defects & failures by trend monitoring.

Quality Assurance (QA): is preventive. QA entailed the provision of documented procedures to IBS ensuring design, development, & operations resulted in products & services which met customer contracted requirements of the company.

Fool Proofing: It is a further system adapted by IBS for preventing defects & failures. Typically IT-driven, fool proofing uses computer systems to monitor processes. These were used by IBS, for example: alert machine failures, which, whilst not stopping the process, would otherwise result in substandard products.

Individual Ability & Attitude:

Recruiting the Best: Where best implies the highest calibre of staff at all levels. Integrated Business Services (IBS) always strived to earn themselves a reputation which attracted the best school-leavers & graduates.

Life Long Learning: IBS always recruited a high standard of employee. Company then commended to them the concept of life long (continuous) learning. Employees were encouraged to explore various means of continuing their university education in academic, personal & job-related skill terms. Line managers were expected to coach their subordinates & to act as mentors as required.

Elimination of Specialisation: TQ processes slice horizontally through organizational structures. IBS did not favour the specialisation which tends to create vertical divisions & introduces jargons to the extent that a 'common language' ceases to exist within the organization. Company also believed that specialisation encourages short-termism both on the part of the individuals who would tend to seek career opportunities in their own field, & of the employer who, knowing this, is reluctant to invest in employee education & development.

Attitude Surveys: These represent a further form of statistical measurements. Attitude Surveys were used within IBS to determine, and, consequently, addressed the issues & attitudes of the workforce.

The TQ environment must be stimulated by the values, attitudes & actions of management at the highest levels within the organization. Line managers at Integrated Business Services (IBS) were expected to believe in & demonstrate commitment to maintaining the TQ culture of empowerment, involvement & continuous improvement.

At board level, this involved:

Vision & Mission: Setting & communicating, in terms comprehensible through out the company, a vision for the future & a series of stepping stones to that vision towards the achievement of which all were contributed.

Critical Success Factor (CSF): The 'Mission Statement' of IBS facilitated the establishment of CSF's. These were goals or targets, the achievement of which indicated a step towards the achievement of the overall vision of the IBS. These goals or targets provided a frame work & direction within which continuous improvement activities were progressed.

Organization for Quality: Providing through facilitative steering groups or a Quality Council, a structure adapted by IBS which allowed Quality Circles to flourish & proposed improvement activities to be implemented in a co-ordinated manner which accords with the previously defined CSF's.

At all Managerial Levels in IBS, Maintenance of TQ & TQ Culture involved:-

Project Identification: Taking responsibility both for identifying & for facilitating the identification by subordinates of improvement projects & being prepared to 'own' them.

Championing: Demonstrating commitment to the corporate vision & actively promoting improvement projects.

Empowerment: Developing power & authority to staff & providing coaching in order that, in due course, they become able to manage their own daily activities.

Recognition & Celebration: Recognising & celebrating contribution & success.