What Is Change Within The Business Environment Commerce Essay

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Change is an alteration of an organisation's environment, structure, technology, or people. The pace of global, technological and economic development makes change an inevitable feature of organisational life. However, change that happens to an organisation can be distinguished from change that is planned by its members.

According to Weick and Quinn (1999) differentiate between that is continuous and discontinuous. They also note that a common assumption is that continuous change is emergent: "The characteristic quality of continuous adjustments, created across units at the same time, can cumulate and create substantial change." It means that where interdependencies between organisations units are loose these same continuous adjustments may be confined to smaller units. Discontinuous change occurs during periods of deviation when organisations are moving away from their equilibrium conditions and when there is a growing misalignment between an inertial deep structure and perceived environment demands (Hayes, 2007).

Organisational development is directed at bringing about planned change to increase an organisation's effectiveness. It is generally initially and implemented by managers (Cummings and Worley, 2001).

Forces for Change

All organisations face two basic sources of pressure to change include, external and internal sources. Organisations should work hard to stabilise their inputs and outputs. In this case, environmental changes must be matched by organisational changes, if the organisation is to remain effective.

Change can also be provoked by forces in the internal environment of the organisation. Employee's opinion can also be a force for change. Very frequently, internal forces for change occur in response to organisational changes that are designed to deal with the external environment (Johns and Saks, 2008).

2.1 The Change Process

One of the early fundamental models of planned change was provided by Kurt Lewin. He suggested that successful change requires a three-step procedure that involves the stages of unfreezing, moving and refreezing.

Lewin viewed this change process as consisting of the following three steps include,

Unfreezing: This step usually involves reducing those forces maintaining the organisation's behaviour at its present level. Unfreezing is sometimes accomplished through a process of psychological disconfirmation.

Changing (moving): Change occurs when some plan or program is implemented to move the organisation or its members to a more satisfactory state. Change efforts can range from minor to major. On the other hand, major changes that involve many members might include radical restructuring, extensive job enrichment, or serious attempts at empowering the workforce (Johns and Saks, 2008).

Refreezing: This step stabilizes the organisation at a new state of equilibrium. It is frequently accomplished through the use of supporting mechanisms that reinforce the new organisational state such as organisational culture, policies, norms, and structure.

Figure 2.1: The Change Process (WEB 1)

Lewin's model provides a general framework for understanding organisational change. Because the three steps of change are relatively broad, considerable effort has gone into elaborating them (Cummings and Worley, 2001). On the other hand, this section briefly reviews three other process models of change that can be viewed as elaborations of Lewin's basic model.

According to Lippitt, Watson and Westley (1958) expanded Lewin's three-stage model. After reviewing descriptions of change in persons, groups, organisations and communities they felt that the moving phase divided naturally into three sub-stages. These were:

The clarification or diagnosis of the client's problem

The examination of alternative routes and goals, and establishing goals and intentions for action

The transformation of intentions into actual change efforts.

According to Beckhard and Harris (1987) present a three-stage model that focuses on defining the present and the future, managing the transition and maintaining and updating the change.

According to Egan (1996) developed a model that is based on Lewin's three stages of unfreezing, moving an refreezing, but it focuses most attention on the moving phase, with detailed consideration being given to the assessment of the current scenario, the creation of a preferred scenario and the design of plants that move the system from the current to the preferred scenario (planning for change) [Hayes, 2007].

2.2 Types of Change

There are different types of change require different plans and strategies to effective increase employee acceptable of change. According to Ackerman (1997), there are three types of change appear most often in organisations include;

Developmental change: developmental change appears when a corporation makes an improvement to their current business. For instance, if a company decided to improve their processes that it would be considered developmental change. This kind of change reason little stress to current employees as long as the rationale for new process is obviously conveyed and employees are learned on the new techniques.

Transitional change: Transitional change is more intrusive than developmental changes. Therefore, it replaces existing processes or procedures with something that is completely new to the company. The period when the old process is being dismantled and the new process is being implemented is called transitional phase (WEB 2).

Transformational change: Transformational change may involve both developmental and transitional change. The result of the transformational change in an organisation that differs considerably in terms of structure, processes, culture and strategy. Thus, result in the creation of an organisation that operates in developmental changes that continuously learns, improves and adapts.

Change management concepts effectively support how to deal with transitional and developmental change, on the other hand, are less effective at dealing with successfully implementing transformational change.

2.3. Change Management

Today, change is not always willingly accepted. Organisations and companies are changing constantly to be well-organized in what they do. Many people like to stay where they are and become comfy with their current position. Business managers have stated that unless organisations keep on changing, they will become inefficient, useless and stale. Though these initiatives take slightly different processes and, different names they all have a small number of elements in common. The vital elements for successful change management, as emphasized by John P. Kotter's article Leading Change: "Why Transformation Efforts Fail, are times, sufficient communication, and understanding the urgency for change" the course text Human Resources Management in Canada. Kotter has argued that it would more sensible to allow a few years so as to completely allow the change process to unfold.

(http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Change-Management/49472Change Management)

2.4. Models of Change Management Processes

Change management is one of the effective approaches to guideline new style of activities of main change in organisations. There are three change models that are frequently used. The characteristic of each model is discussed as following.

General Electric's seven-step change acceleration process: It focuses on the role of leader in creating urgency for the change, leading, communication, and measuring the progress of change.

Kotter's strategic eight-step model for transforming organisations: It can be seen as a version for change process. Two major lessons learned from this model are that the critical mistakes can have a devastating impact on change process and, the change process goes through a series of phrases (Kotler, 1995).

Jick's tactical ten-step model for implementation change: This model provides change process and evaluation a change effort as a blueprint (Jick, 1991).ref 3

There are many theories about how to "do" change. Many create with change management spiritual leader and, leadership such as John Kotter. In 1995, Kotter introduced his eight-step change process in his book called "Leading Change." We look at his eight steps for leading change, below;

Step One: Create Urgency

Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition

Step Three: Create a Vision for Change

Step Four: Communicate the Vision

Step Five: Remove Obstacles

Step Six: Create Short-term Wins

Step Seven: Build on the Change

Step Eight: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture


In my opinion, organisation's can use planned change to improve performance, to solve problems, to influence future changes, to learn from experience and, to adapt to external environmental changes. Thus, I can advise to Martin Stevens to follow Kotters eight-step change model if he wants to make the move to the new Unit and the new look organisation within the organisation without further angering and losing the support of the staff. Now, I am going to explain below, how this model is useful for him.

Step One: Create Urgency

It helps if the whole company really wants the change. Create a sense of urgency around the need for change. This may help Martin Stevens spark the preliminary motivation to get things moving. Of course, this is not easily a matter of talking about increased competition. If many people start talking about the change you propose, the urgency can build itself.

What he can do:

Develop scenarios showing what could happen in the future and identify potential threats.

Start honest discussions, and give dynamic and credible reasons to get people thinking and talking.

Examine opportunities that should be exploited.

Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition

This frequently takes visible support and strong leadership from key people within organisation. Managing change is not enough. Martin has to lead it. He can find effective change leaders all through within organisation. They do not necessarily follow the traditional company hierarchy. He needs to bring powerful people together whose power comes from a variety of sources, including expertise, status and, job title.

What he can do:

Identify the true leaders within organisation.

Develop team building within his change alliance.

Ensure that you have a high-quality mix of people from different levels and different departments within organisation.

Step Three: Create a Vision for Change

When Martin first starts to think about change, there will almost certainly be many great solutions and ideas buoyant around. When people see for themselves what you are trying to achieve, then the commands they are given tend to make more sense.

What he can do:

Create a strategy to execute that vision.

Determine the values that are central to the change.

Ensure that your change union can describe the vision in a short time.

Step Four: Communicate the Vision

What will you do with your vision after create it and will determine your success? Your message will almost certainly have strong competition between them. So Martin needs to communicate it powerfully and frequently, and implant it within everything that he does. He does not just call special meetings to communicate his vision. He can use the vision every day to make decisions and solve problems instead, talk about it every chance you get. They will respond to it and remember it when you keep it fresh on their minds.

What he can do:

Converse frequently about your change vision.

Apply your vision to all aspects of operations from training to performance reviews.

Honestly and openly address peoples' nervousness and concerns.

Step Five: Remove Obstacles

You have been talking about your vision from all levels of the organisation if you pursue first four steps and reach this point in the change process. Expectantly, your staffs want to get busy and achieve the benefits that you have been promoting.

What he can do:

Look at your organisational structure, performance, and job descriptions to ensure they are in line with your vision.

Take action to quickly remove barriers.

Reward and recognise people for making change happen.

Recognise people who are resisting the change, and help them see what's needed.

Step Six: Create Short-term Wins

Give your company a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time frame this could be depending on the type of change, you will have results that your staff can see. Without this, negative thinkers and critics might hurt your progress. You should create short-term targets that your change team might have to work very hard to come up with these targets.

What he can do:

Prize the people who help you meet the targets.

You want to be able to justify the investment in each project. Do not choose early targets that are expensive.

Carefully analyse the potential professionals of your targets. If you do not succeed with an early goal, it can hurt your entire change initiative.

Step Seven: Build on the Change

It is great when you launching one new product using a new system. However, if you can launch 10 products, it is mean that the new system is working. Each success provides an opportunity to identify what you can improve and build on what went right.

What he can do:

Analyse what went right and what requests improving.

Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents for your change alliance.

Step Eight: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture

Your corporate culture frequently determines what gets done; as a result the values behind your vision must show in work everyday. This will help give that change a hard place in your organisation's culture. It is also significant that your company's leaders keep on supporting the change. If you lose the support of these people, you might end up back where you started. This includes existing staff and new leaders who are brought in.

What you can do:

Include the change values and ideals when training and hiring new staff.

Talk about progress every chance you get and tell success stories about the change process.


Kotter (1995) argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change. Therefore, people have to work hard to change an organisation successfully. When you plan carefully and build the correct foundation, implementing change can be much easier. Thus, you will develop the chances of success. If you expect to get many results very soon, and if you are too impatient, your plans are more likely to fail for change.