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Perhaps, every organisation wants to initiate a management system and strategy that could maintain the organisation's capability, strength and competitiveness. It is important that the management team and the organisation per se 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. Thus, this paper will discuss and evaluate a large-planned organisational change that would help an organisation to achieve its mission and to survive with the stiff competition. Specifically, this paper will study the organisational change that would be imposed in Cable Duct Installation Company. The discussion will be in threefold: diagnosis, intervention and evaluation of the organisational change imposed.
This paper had selected a Cable Duct Installation Company based in UK. This company had recently adopted a particular change management project. The main core of the business is the installation of small bore (100mm) plastic ducting pipes buried in the road or the public footway. The purpose of the ducting is to carry telephone or fibre optic cables, electric cables, gas, oil or water. The work is done by either sub-contract or directly employed manual workers using J.C.B. excavators, dumper tucks, picks and shovels. The workers dig out a trench, put in the duct then backfill the trench followed by tarmac reinstatement. The company has applied a certain change management focused on a reengineering project. Before planning for this particular project, the company had made an extensive evaluation of its facilities, communication services and labour management. Based on evaluation, the company's requirement for change was brought about by the sharp down turn in the telecommunications market. This eventually led to a reduced demand for cable duct carrying fibre optic cable, which was the bulk of the company's workload. The problem made the company realize the need for diversification by setting up a division, which responded to emergency call outs for the repair of damaged fibre optic cables. There was a demand for this, as many fibre networks exist throughout the U.K. linking with other networks throughout the rest of the world. A cable could become damaged because of wear and tear, damage caused by others, ground movements and others. The costs associated with the down time were enormous. Another problem that has been traced is the poor quality of company's service facilities, particularly in connection to electronic information technologies.
The telecommunications problem was also traced down to the poor quality of the company's service facilities, specifically in connection to electronic information technologies. Difficulty in communication between the employees and the clients as well as the suppliers had been a common complaint. The poor facilities eventually affected the company's service quality, cost and timeliness. Knowing this problem, the company had realized that this is being caused by their inefficient repair and maintenance functions. Labour has also been a problem within the company especially in handling work assignments in various parts of the country. External influences such as competition with similar organisations have also been considered by the company and motivated it to apply the change project. Both the internal and external influences surrounding the company are significant for it to progress, thus the implementation of change management is necessary.
The reengineering project of the company employed change management on the following aspects; facilities which includes installation of new electronic facilities, design a software program for the customers access to the company, creating a company website in posting clients' concerns and advertisement; maintenance unit composed of appointment repair and adding maintenance teams to each company unit that would provide electronic devices repair and regular maintenance in order to avoid potential problems; communications services that would include hiring of a new communications manager and creation of communication centre for fault reporting; and human resource management by hiring human resource staff to handle and coordinate labour assignments for the company units.
It cannot be denied that the only constant in this world is change and with the tremendous growth of technologies, many people especially those in the business arena find themselves normally adapting. In this manner, the Cable Duct Installation Company is never an exception. This is because change can bring about so much improvement 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 adopted by various work organisations for varied reasons. Known as change management, companies and businesses are integrating change into their work systems so as to be competitive and more efficient.
The major concern of this paper is to describe and evaluate the change management process of the Cable Duct Installation Company. Due to the problems that have been distinguished by this company, the management team has decided to create a project in relation to change of management. As mentioned earlier, the reengineering project of the company has employed change management for facilities, maintenance unit, communications services and human resource management. Primarily, the major objective of the company to utilise change management process is to enhance their customer-supplier relations and to satisfy their clients.
The company has urgently design and implement the project plan for their change management process, which includes the reengineering of their facilities, addition of maintenance units, enhancing communication services and adding of human resource management. These changes have been implemented for making the Cable Duct Installation Company more competitive and adjust the organisation to the existing changes emerging with the internal and external environment. With the change management process implemented by this company, there are certain reactions arise from the stakeholders of the company.
Upon conducting some interviews with some of the stakeholders of the company, majority of the respondents says that they were in favour and satisfied in advancing the technological facilities of their offices s well as the installation of a new software program in the company. However, some replied that the improvement must be done for these technological facilities since it has a tendency to malfunctions. Although, maintenance teams are included in the reengineering project and were assigned to each of the company unit, it might occur that these maintenance personnel might not be proportional to the occurrences of malfunctioning or potential problems. Moreover, because of the fast paced of technological advancement nowadays, specifically the information technology, the computer units put in the offices of the company might be depreciated as time goes, thus may add to other bigger problems.
On the other hand, the responses of the customers/suppliers and the communication employees on the creation of communication centres and company website appear to be mainly divided between satisfied and needs improvement aspects. This means that not all is happy with the changes. Some reactions imply that there is a need for improvement and others stated it was unnecessary. Some respondents claimed that the creation of the communication centres was implemented without much orientation from the management. Also, there is a few newly hired communication service employees that were not as proficient in handling customer concerns and faulty reports. Thus, occasional customer complaints had occurred in terms of timeliness of the company's reply on faulty reports. Few problems in work coordination with the HR staff for labour assignments have also been reported. Other respondents find the project unnecessary particularly on the installation of the company website as most customers and suppliers would still prefer to make actual phone calls for their concerns rather than post them on the site. According to the human resource employees, the creation of the communication centres had further facilitated their coordination with the labourers and their assignments.
With these occurrences the project manager and the project team members see to it that negative responses will soon deteriorate by providing them their demands. First, as the employees uttered that one of the problems they might encounter is the deterioration of the computer unit due to technological advancement, with this, the managers, have provided a software program that will be utilised much longer, a system that guarantees a long lasting functions than any other program. Secondly, since there is also a problem with the shortage of enough personnel that will handle maintenance care for each company unite and skilled communications personnel that will handle customer reports and the new human resource personnel, the project manager in cooperation with the management of the organisation have provided a follow-up program to conduct training and development for all their staff categorizing from maintenance, communication personnel and human resource personnel.
With the solutions made by the project managers and the project team members who implemented the change management process to Duct Installation Company, the implementation of the project plan had resulted positively and efficiently. As employees work alongside with the application and implementation of the change management process, along with the solution provided with the encountered difficulties, the employees had find it more helpful since their tasks that usually requires a lot of time to finished, now take a lesser effort. It can also be summarised that the overall performance of the change management process have also resulted to enhance the performance of the employees of the company. Basically, the organisation has achieved its primary goal of enhancing the customer/supplier relation when they established a communication services. And although there are still some minor problems encountered in handling faulty reports, this had significantly decreased compared to the company's past performances. With regards to Human resources department, each personnel, seems to have more confidence with their works since the responsibilities that they handle are lesser and are evenly distributed for all. With the addition of human resource personnel, the employees have had more time to finish their work in compliance with what the company needs.
Change management is basically defined as the formulation and assimilation of change in a methodical process. The major objective of change management is the introduction of innovative means and systems in the work organisation. This can similarly be compared to the application of certain information technologies in the company or the adoption of new marketing strategies. Businesses must normally undergo change in order to evolve to a higher level of for instance, stability, management or production. Appointing a new head officer, for example, can greatly enhance his subordinates based on his management principles and personality.
Adding a new member in the organisation or reconstructing an old company program are called smaller versions of change and are significantly different from that of change management. The scope of organisational change is much wider as compared to minor company changes. This may include changing the company's mission, reforming business operations, application of new technologies, major group efforts, or adoption of new programs. Usually, the organisation is encouraged on settling on change management due to external influences, usually termed as the environment (Nickols, 2004). Thus, change management can alternately be defined as the response of different business to changes brought about by environmental influences in which organisations have minimal or absolutely no control over.
Perhaps the space between the new organisation design and implementing it into actuality is the whole coverage of organisation change and development. As mentioned in the introduction, people are adaptive to change. However, certain skills must be present from the initiators of change so as to successfully implement their project. Thus, managers need to have the necessary abilities not only on detecting what needs to be changed but also how to introduce the change effectively. Thus, in this review of related literature, some of the approaches, common problems, influences, case studies and best practices in change management will be analysed in relation to the research problem.
A number of approaches can be done in order to introduce change management in the organisation. There are approaches that are more focused on what is needed to be changed, still others emphasise on how change can be accomplished. Leavitt had defined three approaches to organisation, which includes structure, technology and people (Leavitt, 1964). New formal guidelines and procedures like organisation chart, budgeting methods, rules and regulations can also be structural approaches on inducing change. On the other hand, rearrangements in work flow through new physical layouts, work methods, job descriptions and work standards can be done as technological approaches. Some organisations stress on people approaches which includes alterations in attitudes, motivation and behavioural skills. This can be done through new training programs, selection procedures, and performance appraisal schemes. Other descriptions have focused more on the how approaches to organisation change. Based on one survey from previous studies on change management, seven approaches frequently used by managers had been identified (Greiner, 1967). These approaches had been categorised into three: the unilateral power, which focuses on changing a component of the organisation; shared power that emphasises on addressing change through group discussion and agreement; and delegated power in which certain change catalysts or agents are in charge of disseminating change.
Both Leavitt's and Greiner's concepts are both useful in relation to change management and its application. However, if one will analyse, the approaches differ in many ways. For instance, the structural approaches are rather formal and impersonal, while people-inclined approaches are more humanistic and democratic. Realising this, managers are to consider the nature of their work environment in order to implement the most applicable approach to initiate change. In the same way, the cable duct installation company had made an evaluation of the company's needs and problems before implementing change. . According to Barbeschi (2002), the process of making an organization is simultaneously the growth and maintenance of relationships among individuals who are working towards a common goal and the actual accomplishment of tasks, individually and collectively. In any organization, there exist two dimensions (Barbeschi, 2002). The technical dimension includes elements that are generally visible but hard to decipher like the control systems (recruitment mechanisms, administrative rules and procedures, etc.), structures (departments and divisions and physical facilities), and techniques and procedures (performance, working methods).
There are four change management strategies to choose from, these are the empirical-rational strategy, normative reeducative strategy, power-coercive (Bennis et al, 1969) and the environmental-adaptive strategy (Nickols, 2004). In the first strategy, individuals are rational and follow their self-interest once revealed. Herein, changes are basically based, on the communication and the tendering of rewards. For the normative-reeducative, the people are considers as social beings attached to unique cultural norms and values. Here, the changes focus on redeployment and redefining of the existing norms and values of the organisations and adapting to new development brought about by changes. On the other hand, for the power-coercive techniques, the people are the primary submissive and will probably do what they are asked or can be made to do. In this manner, the changes are based of the employment of authority and the annoyance of sanctions. And lastly for the least technique, the people are described as oppose loss and interference but these people are more likely to adapt new circumstances. This means, that the changes here are related to building of a new organisation and gradually outsourcing people from the old to new.
In accordance with the literature, as stated in the work of Leavitt (1964), and Benne et al (1969) the approach made by the Cable Duct Installation Company is related to the change management process of the people and the technology that it utilises which is known as the empirical-rational strategy. The project managers and the management team who initiates the change management process have been able to do its core responsibility in determining the problems encountered by the whole organisation in the implementation of the project. After such, evaluation of the problems, the team who conducted the changes that the company will be taken, the teams have also provided certain solutions to each pf the problems. Thru, thorough investigation and evaluation of the company, they have found out that the company is really in need of the change management plan. And through strategic planning which is needed in conducting any organisational changes, the company has provided enough time to investigate the current problems of the company, make a necessary change management plan that will meet the requirements for the company's demand and implement the plan, strategically in relation with the studied made by some experts. Moreover, during the application and implementation of the change management plan, the company and the project managers do not end its obligations; instead, for them it is just the beginning of more complicated problems. When, the changes were implemented like when the software program, communications services, human resource management and the maintenance unit were all being enhanced, the management team who imposed the changes of management and strategy for the company, has conducted its own evaluation in order to know the problems that the new imposed management system had encounter. And since all the employees became very vocal about it, the company had easily known the problem and immediately provide a solution for the sake of the stakeholders and the organisation/company as well.
With regards to ethical issues, the managers had been able to take considerations of what would be the reaction of their employees to the changes that would be imposed. Furthermore, the managers have seen to it that their employees have undergone critical explanations about the reasons why the change of management system and strategy is needed for a certain aspects within the company. The managers have given the employees enough time to master the skills and proficiency of their employees from maintenance, communication services and human resource management in utilising the changes made by the organisation. This is done by providing them enough trainings and orientation to explain the changes made.
The unforeseen problems that the organisation might encounter are the cultural differences of its stakeholders. When assessing the interaction between culture and empowerment, the company must be able to identify and understand those subcultures that might engender a work environment more or less empowering than the larger organizational system (Wilkins & Dyer, 1988). The management should be able to develop a thriving organizational culture and a stronger organization by good management of the stakeholders, providing their needs and the things that they deserve in order for them to be motivated for their sake and for the organization's sake as well. In addition, Elements such as work processes, organization design, career path, performance management and a compensation program are part of human capital management strategy and a plan to ensure continuing success. The change management process imposed by the company must have been seen that there may also encounter problem with some of their stakeholders like employees, customers and others.
Also, in managing people, the human capital management should also incorporate a governance process to ensure equality among employees. Hence, even though managing people in organization is the most difficult responsibility to be taken, it is also the most challenging part that if given enough attention, focus and consideration, this would enhance the employees loyalty and hard work that may not only benefit them but as well as the organization may it be a non-profit or a profit oriented organization. In general, people can give more than what is expected if the management were able to provide them extra hand and minds and if the management give them extra time, extra information and extra people in order to do their job properly.
This study was conducted in order to evaluate the efficacy of change management in an actual working organisation as well as to identify the various effects of change to individuals. The cable duct installation company had implemented a reengineering project that generally aims to improve its communication means and work management. Specifically, these general objectives were integrated in the company operations through the addition of technological facilities, creation of communication centres and designation of a human resource staff. One year after the project has been fully implemented in the company, an investigation was done by the researcher through actual interviews and observations. It seems that the predicted outcomes have been achieved by the company since the change management process has reached its primary objective and that is to be more competitive. In addition it attains its goal having an improve communication services and work management. The in-depth company analysis and the scope of the project had paved the way for the company to effectively construct a change management plan that will not only respond to its core problem but will also benefit the people involved in the project.
Therefore, it is concluded that, changes of management is not bad as long as the changes made can really enhance the competitiveness and strength of an organisation. It is effective, if and only if, a thorough investigation and evaluation of the company's performance has made. And if the study suggests that there is a need for change, then that is the only time, the organisation should imposed required changes to be done. Because, change of management system is very critical, one wrong move, the company, might faced its biggest downturn instead of strengthen its business portfolio and survive to the stiff competition in the business arena. It is recommended that any organisation, who will undergo some changes on their management system must see to it that the changes are well planned and implemented carefully, because this will the basis for the success and/or failure of any organisation.