Organisation Management Change

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Introduction: The following brief looks in great detail the various steps undertaken in transforming organisations to be successful. There have to be many critical strategic decisions that need to be undertaken. Management in all the organisations have new tasks laid down to satisfy the stakeholders' and investors' expectations. Also opportunities have been created for the organisations to compete with each other and improve their performance levels. In the event of these changes, senior management of each of these organisations, emphasising performance improvements, conducted major changes with in the organisations. Conducting and managing a change in an organisation is not considered as an easy task and a change strategy has to be employed in making changes. Considering the various changes undertaken some threats have been identified that seriously derail the change process. From the various research studies undertaken it can be seen that the organisations had now undertaken “commercial” view. They were mainly keen on increasing the shareholder value (Andrea, 2003). Management of change has always been a topic of very serious issues in organisations and they have faced problems mainly with organisation culture, downsizing and leadership. The following report looks at these issues and suggests the ways to overcome these problems

Organisation Culture: Organisation Culture is defined as the values, beliefs, and norms of an organisation. Organisation culture is classified as four types

  • An adaptability culture characterized by focus on the environment through flexibility and change to meet customer needs;
  • A mission culture reflecting the values and norms associated with a shared vision of organization purpose, but without need for rapid change;
  • An involvement culture emphasizing the involvement and participation of the organization's members; and
  • A consistency culture based on norms and values associated with an internal focus and a consistency orientation for a stable direction and environment (Diam, 1997).

In various organisations senior managers are completely unaware of the problems they might face in making middle managers work. Culture, thus, played a major threat to the management of change. David and Thomas (1995) have stated the facts that any attempts to implement change are often granted a stiff resistance from the staff members in an organisation. This has been evident as most staff members have been supporting an organisation with its unique culture. Change according to Pettigrew (1990) means the process of altering people's actions, reactions, and interactions to move the organization's existing state to some future desired state. It was evident that the organisation was keen to achieve success and employees played an important part. From the case study it is evident that one of the changes which the managers chose to make is the more involvement of staff in the business processes.

From the case study it is evident that the senior managers based in the organisation were keen on undertaking the new strategic tasks set by the organisation with their staff members. Though organisation culture played a major role, the senior managers undertook an initiative of setting up of internal contracts for supervisors working under them. The main aim of the contracts was to communicate and set new guidelines and targets for managers to follow. This strategy by various organisations allows managers to keep the culture issues under control. Generally the senior managers offer more opportunity to middle managers to make changes and implementations thus ensuring that senior managers don't face any problems. Randall in 1990 states that the pervasiveness of an organization's culture requires that managers recognize the underlying dimensions of their organization's culture and their impact on employee satisfaction and commitment, work-group cohesion, strategy implementation, and organizational performance. This pervasiveness presents a challenge in managing and studying organizational culture and has been of interest to management scholars and practitioners (Randall, 1990). This challenge has been aptly met by the managers of the organisation. The threats of organisation culture were

Many organisations undertook steps to tackle organisation culture by identifying external pressures that influence the organisation and making changes accordingly as required. An obvious impact of organizational culture is its effect on employee behaviour. However, this important area is often overlooked and misunderstood in the decision-making process (Randall, 1990).

Organisations undertake steps that represented more of a ‘performance culture' and the organisation concentrated on achieving success by improving performance of staff members. Bateman and Strasser (1984) conclude that job satisfaction is a causal factor influencing commitment, a finding contrary to popular management thinking. Curry, Wakefield, Price, and Mueller (1986) found no support for the existence of a causal relationship between commitment and satisfaction in either direction over time. Cohesion has been widely recognized as a contributing factor to group and organizational performance and is commonly understood to refer to the closeness or commonness of attitude, behavior, and performance within a work group (Randall, 1990).

Tackling organisation culture is one of the difficult processes and sometimes varies from organisation to organisation. Un-informed changes caused in the organisations have been by and large quite unacceptable, which is evident from some of the staff member's comments in the case study. Communication also plays a major role. Organisational communication has been defined as “the process by which information is exchanged and understood by two or more people, usually with the intent to motivate or influence behaviour” (Daft, 1997). Considering organisations where the management must undertake steps to inform the staff members of changes being made apart from this the organisation undertook a step to analyse external factors and making changes accordingly. Training and development is an important aspect and before conducting any change the staff need to be trained about the changes conducted and notify them of any impact these changes might have on them. Organisations need to have inculcated performance culture, it may be difficult for the organisation to achieve success as the motivation of staff members might be low. It is necessary for an organisation to keep staff motivation at high levels. Thus culture plays a vital role and is a threat in implementation of change with in the organisation.

Resistance to change: In organisations most employees would pose resistance to the impact of privatisation of the organisation. Workplace resistance in general emphasize a difference between formal, and informal or routine forms of resistance (Hodson, 1991). By privatisation new rules and deadlines were set which many employees found it difficult to change accordingly. Dawn in 2001 identified main organisation barriers that pose problems and act as resistance to change. Prasad and Prasad suggest that routine resistance can stretch the iron cage only a little. This is because even at their most powerful moments, actions that are discursively constituted as routine resistance are typically confined to local workplace contexts and are therefore unlikely to stimulate organization wide policy changes that substantively alter relations of power. The impact of actions such as careful carelessness, the raising of proxy grievances, etc., was experienced as resistance only by immediate supervisors, administrators, and colleagues (Prasad, 2000). From the various studies it has been seen that the organisational barriers that have been seen in organisations include (Dawn, 2001):

  • Physical distractions: This is a barrier that mainly involves with disabilities among workers that might affect communication
  • Information overload: Large amounts of information sent with in short space of time evolves loss of information. It is difficult for workers to take up huge amounts of information/instructions at a particular time.
  • Time pressure: This is a major barrier and is prominent in project teams where communication delay builds up time pressure.
  • Technical and in-group language: Technical skills and competency differences among workers play an important role
  • Status differences: This barrier is quite common in organisations as status differences creates communication barriers thus delaying processes.
  • Task and organisation structure requirement: As mentioned before, organisation structure plays an important role, it has been seen that organisation in the form of dynamic teams have better communication and no barriers while hierarchal form of organisations create un-necessary barriers and cause delay.
  • Absence of formal communication channels: This is a major barrier as absence of formal communication channels create problems leading to poor implementation of instructions. It is often considered as a good practice by managers to present a written form of communication or some form of visual communication which will enable staff members to refer in case they forget instructions.

These are the main barriers that are having an impact on the managers who are keen to improve shareholder value. Greenbaum and his team of fellow researchers put forward hypotheses that state that

  • Individuals who have relatively greater experience in performing specific work procedures will tend to resist change more than individuals with less experience.
  • Persuasion for change which emphasizes the self-interest of the individual will be more effective than a strategy which emphasizes advantages of change for the organization (Greenbaum, 1985).

Considering these hypotheses with the organizations based in the case study it has been seen from the comments issued by middle managers, mainly in Alpha water that they were posing a resistance to change. Often change in procedures and processes are often met with resistance. From the research conducted by various researchers it has been seen that the effects of persuasion strategy on resistance to change are remarkable, and suggest that for an organization to change its employees' behaviour it must appeal to their self-interest (Martin, 1989). However in the organizations based in this case study were not very specific for the 'workers'. This suggests that if identification with the organization is minimal, self-oriented attempts to deal with resistance to change will be successful. It is expected that the “organization-oriented strategies” should work better with high identification, according to Greenbaum (1985). From the case study it can be seen that the following five forms of resistance is found in the organizations (Lippitt, Watson, and Westley, 1958).

  • First, there is a general opposition to any kind of change. This often grows out of fear and ignorance. The county officials targeted for training may fear that they will be unable to successfully implement the ideas communicated or that, once implemented; the change will require of people what they are unable to deliver.
  • Second, there is resistance organized not against the educational process itself but against a particular proposed objective of change communicated through that process. It may be judged as undesirable, irrelevant, or altogether impossible.
  • Third, there is resistance that clings to existing satisfactions. This includes the situation in which county officials with vested interests know that they benefit from the status quo and want to keep it that way. These satisfactions might be threatened by changes in operating procedures. This form of resistance perpetuates the familiar problem associated particularly with management and models present behaviour on past traditions (Yukl, 1999).
  • Fourth, there is resistance centred in the relationship between the management and the agent of change i.e. the new strategies set by the organization and its decision to privatize.
  • Fifth, there are emergent forces of resistance, created when factors in the situation that were unnoticed or unimportant at the beginning of the change process turn out to be major obstacles to a change-related message (Martin, 1989).

Researchers state that some organizations overcome this resistance to change by employing active strategies designed to keep employees satisfied and motivated. Such staff retention strategies include the following (Kathryn, 2007):

  • Rewards and Benefits: Offering attractive rewards and benefits, including loyalty and performance bonus payments. These were introduced by Beta water in an attempt to achieve success.
  • Career development opportunities: Providing good employees with promotion opportunities through training and development. For organisations to be successful this plays a vital role in the success of the organisation and also keeping high levels of staff motivation (sandy, 2000).
  • Work Environment: Maintaining positive and supportive working environment to enhance employee motivation. Work environment is mainly dependent on the external factors influencing the organisation. Thus suggesting that organisations are more of a dynamic organisation.
  • Flexibility: Creating flexible, employee-oriented working conditions. Organisations must ensure that flexible, safe and easy conditions are provided for staff members.
  • Stress: Stress is one of the major factors that reduce the productivity levels of staff considerably over a period of time.
  • Social Support: Providing food family, welfare and social support definitely helps in raising the commitment of the employees. Organisations should not show the employees that they care but they also should consider options for employee's families.
  • Communication: Improving communications is one of the important factors that directly help an organisation in achieving success and at the same time maintaining high morale of the employees.
  • Conflict Resolution: Developing rapid and effective conflict resolution processes is a must to keep an organisation working smoothly. It has been seen that conflicts increase the labour turnover of organisations. It is important by keeping positive communication conflicts can be resolved.

Leadership and employee motivation: Team morale is one of the key factors that influence productivity of staff in an organisation (Bryman, 1996). The higher the morale higher is the productivity and it is important for organisations to maintain high team morale. Lewis Caskie in his research stated that team building and team skills are important for project teams. He further states that Team building with a group that has not yet been exposed to team skills is not likely to be successful. Conversely, the fact that a control room crew possesses superior team skills does not necessarily ensure team success. Both team skills training and team building play an important role in the ability of control room crews to become high performance teams. It is very important to setup high performing teams (Caskie, 1992, 356-358).

Not only this, Anthony from his research found out that Leadership behaviour is also a significant predictor is predicting an organisations success while neither team building nor team member characteristics were found to be significant predictors of performance (Ammeter, 2002, 3-10). From this it is evident that team leadership plays a significant role and it is important that apart from skills and training and culture, the leadership behaviour has a deeper impact (Price, 2004).

Managers must be provided with special training to ensure that their relationship with employees is strong and there is negligible amount of problems. Workers confidence in the employers must always be high and the management must always encourage workers to perform at full potential (Thornhill, 1998).

Research has been conducted recently and it has been seen that hospitality industries suffer from high labour turnover (Burke, 2000). One of the reasons for high labour turnover is due to low morale and confidence among team members. Organisations generally monitor labour turnover and keep it at a reasonable level.

High labour turnover generally causes severe wastage of resources. Due to high turnover, training sessions are held for employees who tend to leave the organisation in a short duration of time. The organisation's spending on training and development increases as labour turnover increases (Storey, 2001). It has been seen that one of the main reasons for this is poor team management. Apart from these, lack of organisations encouragement and industrial conflicts are other reasons. It is necessary for organisations to introduce staff retaining procedures such as career development plans, staff rewarding schemes such as bonus schemes, job security and protection. Leadership plays an important role and the following the leadership theories that exists in various organisations.

To attract an effective workforce to support an organisation: Organisations believe in providing the best service to its customers and to achieve this it needs staff who can deliver this. There were many different recruitment methods used by the organisation to employ staff (Arnold, 2005). Traditional methods such as personal interviews and telephonic interviews have been widely used. Along with other methods, such as, conducting mental ability and decision making tests to analyse their ability to perform under pressure. organisation until recently was very much dependent on temporary staff recruited from agencies to meet the increasing demands but presently more permanent employees are being recruited (Cartwright, 2000). Considering the selection methods employed, most managers in organisations do not assign much importance to traditional selection devices such as CVs, references, and formal interviews. Instead, they preferred to conduct a practical assessment of the applicant's technical skills and have an informal dialogue with the applicant to determine person-organisation fit. Though, background security clearance checks were mandatory for all applicants.

Training and development of the workforce: In organisation it is mandatory for all new workforces joining to undergo compulsory training. The training mainly involved Health and Safety and other skills training (Thomson, 2002, 134-137). Training at organisation is done on a regular basis and new skills are imparted to the staff members as new technology is being introduced on a regular basis. Performance appraisal, the process of observing and evaluating employees' performance and providing feedback, is a potentially important method for developing an effective workforce (Bernard, 1965, 132-136). Regular performance appraisals are being conducted to study any skills gap present in employees because of whom there is a drop in their performance potential. Every department has its own performance measurement setup to allow them to understand their own performance abilities of their employees. Performance development is the core aspect of organisation as it reflects the mission statement of delivering the best to its customers. In some departments performance appraisals are conducted once every 3 months. organisation can further benefit by employing the psychological contract framework.

Psychological Contract: The relationship between an organisation and the employer can be best defined in terms of psychological contract, Guest and Conway in 2002 state that the psychological contract is a ‘two way exchange of perceived promises and obligations'. The psychological contract defines the main core elements of the employee relationship from an employer's perspective (Andrea, 2003, 78-91).

Rousseau in the year 1995 introduced the typology of the psychological contract and brought about the main characteristics that closely relate the transactional terms and relational terms which are time frame and performance requirements.

Time frame can be defined as the length of the contract between the employer and the employee. Performance requirements can be defined as ‘the degree that the job requirements are the ones specified in the contract presented'. As per Rousseau there are four types of contract systems (Andrea, 2003, 78-91). They are:

  • The relational contract
  • The transactional contract
  • The balanced contract
  • The transitional contract

Impact of Changes to the Psychological Contract: The changes caused to the psychological contract due to organisation reacting to the various business pressures have been outlined as follows:

  • Changes to the management style
  • Changes to the mode and style of communication among the staff
  • Changes to the induction process and adopting procedures that can be used to select right skilled people
  • Introduction of training schemes to train the staff with necessary skills
  • Changes in the rewarding schemes and procedures
  • Introduction of flexible options.
  • Improving employee relationships and motivate the staff.
  • Decentralisation of performance appraisals.
  • Making the organisation more flexible so that the management of change is a simple task.

From Rousseau's model depicting typology of psychological contract the organisation organisation flagged off maintaining a relational contract system with its employees since many years.

Relational Contract: In this type of contract the relationship involves ‘open-ended agreements to establish and maintain a relationship involving monetary and non-monetary exchange' (Peter, 2003, 232-267).

A relational contract promises:

  • Growth and development opportunities for employees
  • Job Security
  • Proper recognition of diverse styles
  • Ongoing training and progression. Development of skills and techniques.

Maintaining of the workforce: This has been the core HR issue with organisation in recent times. The labour turnover appeared high compared to other organisations and this is mainly due to the fact that there is low motivation to perform among the staff members (David, 1997, 145-187). Organisations must ensure that the staff motivation is kept high at all times. Motivation is a critical issue and is very important for organisation to achieve this to keep it high at all times. In relation to the psychological contract framework, organisation can work towards achieving a status of flexible firm which will allow minimising the impact of external environmental factors on human resources, at the same time maintain high motivation.

Flexible firm: Considering the aspect of maintaining the workforce, the model of the flexible form has formed a very useful tool in measuring the relationship of the employer with its employees. It not only measures the relationship but also presents the performance of the company on the whole. This model helps in developing future business strategies and also identifies core human resource sectors which need to be worked upon to improve the relationship (Robert, 2004, 67-78).

Learning organisation: One of the ways organisations can achieve success is by setting up a learning organisation culture. From the research it was found that from the various management practices considered in the present times, the study found that team orientation has received top emphasis followed by dissemination of the core values and organisational capability development (Peter, 1990). In terms of performance measures, the offering of new services to their clients ranks number one followed by brainstorming practices in problems solving. Employee empowerment has not received much emphasis from the management despite being associated with various measures of performance such as client satisfaction, job satisfaction, quality of services, revenue growth, and improved skills of employees in evaluating organisational success or failures, and successful implementation of organisational programs. Although creating change, organisational learning, and team orientation indicate positive correlations with the majority of performance measures there is no evidence of their relationship with financial measure of performance like revenue growth (Peter, 1990).


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