This paper deals with the various problems organizations face while implementing change. It looks at change both from the organizational point of view and the individual’s perspective focusing more on the latter. It considers the various process and models involved in change management. The paper compromises gist’s of a case studies which is attached as an appendice. Finally the paper concludes by pointing out the drawbacks and offering suitable suggestions for the organization undergoing change taking into account the short term and long term benefits.
NOTE: Case study summarized in appendix 1
CCC- Cox’s Container Company
BBC- Byfield’s Business College
Change is a continuous process which every organization or individual undergoes at some point. Defining change management is sometimes a very complicated process. To find the exact definition to fit the purpose underpins the professionalism of the organization. Voropajev (1998) states change management as an integral process related to all internal and external factors in projects, influencing project changes. It also involves identification of possible changes already occurred and coordinated changes across the entire project. (Appendix) write out the 6 points in Voropajev BNET Business Dictionary best describes it by keeping it simple and states it as “the coordination of a structured period of transition from situation A to situation B in order to achieve lasting change within an organization.” To make it simpler we can describe it as the changes organizations perform to realize benefits or to develop a profit making business.
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Change is the requirement for competitive success. Change is not a simple process done overnight, it requires thoughtful planning and implementation and should involve consultation and involvement of all the people (stakeholders, employees, consumers) who are going to be affected by the change. Change management faces both internal, external factors and approaches related to projects. Hence managing change is a very important.
Change is not a single action or initiative. It involves various theories underpinned by Cameron & Green (2004) such as
- Organizational change
- Team Change
- Individual change
- Cultural change
The core objective to be put forward is whether the organization is entitled for benefits due to the changes suggested and the dis-benefits the organization will face if the changes are not initiated. Change needs to be measurable, realistic and achievable for it to have an impact on the organization and individual.
Burnes (2009) identified the two dominant managing change approaches as identifying the strengths and weakness of organizations, and situations they are designed to address. But even by applying this does not cover problems organizations face. Burnes (2009) also states that both planned and emergent changes have benefits both practically and theoretically but they neglect other approaches. So a framework built to fit change is a better option and making it flexible for future changes goes even further.
The ADKAR model (Appendix) proposed by porsci () acts as a useful tool and when realized in a sequence of steps helps individuals and organizations to manage successful change. Many organizations used this to good effect and Jeff Hiatt (1998,2006) developed it further and prioritized on individuals when achieving change successful.
Reasons for Changes – Problems facing Cox’s Container Company (CCC)
- Nearing retirement of Founder & Managing Director
- High Market Competition
- Reduced margins
- Erica Wilson survey entirely on her own
- Fear of job cuts
- No training
- Change not consulted with employees
- Cultural issues
- Non co-operation of manager & employees
- Addition of new consultant
- Lack of communication between top management & employees
- 2/3 staff work in the production department
- Are people ready to change?
- What is the best strategy for change?
- What is the best leadership style – Vermeulen (1997)
Resistance to change
We (human beings) have always constituted to the major share of resistance to change. The bulk of scientific evidence suggests that the more the individual is enabled to exercise control over his/her task and relates his efforts to his fellows it is lot more likely to gain a positive commitment. Paton & James (2008) This shows a basis of a democratic government. A fair amount of disagreement and resistant is often seen in change because it is disruptive and stressful. Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) suggested four ways why people resist change
- Parochial or narrow-minded self-interest
- Low tolerance to change
- Different assessments of the situation
People tend to posses fixed ideas and follow certain rules which have worked well for them in the past. But due to advancement in technology, science and trends different organizations tend to be updated with the latest advancement which requires changes or perhaps even re-organising the way they work. Organizational personnel’s not adapting to this change face the 4 change resistance stated above by Kotter and Schlesinger. But the leader has to assess the situation before implementing the new changes. BBC & CCC (Appendix) both don’t indicate the assessment being carried out taking all stakeholders involved in the change.
Who Performs the Change?
A highly debated question is that not many people like change and the people making the decisions come in the firing line if it backfires. Habits are part of every persons life but is counterproductive when it deals with change. Change process or change curve evolves through number of mental phases.
- Negotiating or bargaining
- Discovery of delight
- Intergration – Baekdal, Hansen, Todbjerg and Mikkelsen (2006)
Leaders or managers are the people who initiate the change. As mentioned earlier by Cameron & Green (2004) the various changes taking place usually the initiator plays a huge part. At BBC’s (Appendix) the director forced changes which affected the work environment and a lot of resistance from employees was portrayed but it invariablelly brought down the performance.
Two rather contrasting points to put forward both in BBC & CCC the individuals accepted change and the individual repelled changes respectively.
John l Thompson 73
Role of Leader in Change Management
Leaders seem to infer the phrase change management as means of getting the organization to perform what they want. Cramm (2003) in her research article stress that this only affects the people. This could only lead to the lack of the vision not being migrated from the head of the leader to the hands of the employee. Even strategic planning can go to the drain if there is lack in vision.
VISION STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION
Leaders need not possess single recommended style. Thompson (1997) Some are autocratic others democratic in the way they make their decisions. Each relies on different strengths such as planning and analyzing, some are intuitive and visionary. What exactly we need of leaders is going up to people and involving them as part of the process.
- Gaining Inputs
- Stakeholder views
- Likes & Dislikes
Cramm (2003) states that “true spirit of change management is enabling all employees to express and apply their knowledge in a way that benefits each of them and the organization.” Burnes (2009) also emphasis that employee empowerment as crucial to successful change, especially when there is attitude and culture involved. For this in turn leads us to motivation being an important criterion. He further compared three theories in order to understand employee involvement.
- Depth of Intervention
- Cognitive Dissonance
- Psychological Contract – Burnes (2009)
There are a few key aspects to be considered by leaders or managers who take on challenge of change.
- Recognizing group consent a major influence on willingness to change
- Convey and emphasize two trust
- Training a part of building process
- Allowing enough time for change
- Encourage people to adopt basic idea to fit the real world and them
– Vermulen (1997) et al. Deal & Kennedy (1988)
The employees have to be convinced that this change is going to benefit them and is done taking into account the best interest of the organization and the employees.
Fragmented leadership is a huge cause of outputs being brought down. There always is a need for a well structured plan to achieve transformation. Carr & Littman (1990, p. 195) et al. Vermulen (1997) identified nine steps needed for successful cultural transformation process.
- Planning for cultural change
- Assessing the current state of quality culture
- Training managers and the workforce
- Management adopting and modeling the new behavior
- Making organizational and regulation changes that support quality action
- Redesign individual performance appraisal and monetary reward systems to reflect the principles of total quality management
- Changing budget practices
- Rewarding positive changes
- Using communication tools to reinforce TQM principles
Hence the leader has to pay extensive attention to cultural change since it is a sensitive issue. Diagnosing and analyzing the organizations character will provide assessment of the strength and weakness. This can be further built upon. This makes the implementation a easier procedure to be carried out.
Managing the Individual & Culture
Changing organizational structure can be done rather quickly but the cultural change is a long process and consumes time. Kanter (1992) et al Burnes (2009) The fact that many people or even teams are repulsive towards the word change is that they are worried if their individual roles and responsibilities would be affected. People are more suited towards performing actions which they are familiar with. Hence Cameron & Green (2004) stress the fact that managing the individual and people within the organization is an important criteria. Thompson (1997) states that if culture and power is overlooked, implementation may not be possible.
Baekdal, Hansen, Todbjerg and Mikkelsen (2006) state that change management is more about the people and higher efficiency does not come from working harder but from within. Higher efficiency comes from motivation, complete understanding for the entire process and self worth. This has to be focused on a large scale if the company is to improve. The strategic leader plays an important part in the culture of the organization. Attitudes and behavior of employees are affected as well as willingness to accept responsibilities and taking measured risks due to these changes.
The culture of an organization is associated to the personality of the individual. Culture and communication cannot be separated and for this to be put in place common assumptions have to be made. Catwright et al Mullins (2005) sees culture as a system of management authority and states three ways employees react.
- They identify themselves with their organization & accept its rules when it is the right thing to do.
- Internalize the organisation’s values when they believe they are right and
- They motivated to achieve the organization objectives – Catwright et al Mullins (2005)
There are many types of cultures seen in organizations which are cited in Mullins (2005) pg 892 – 893). But person culture plays as a huge part usually. It sometimes could be people getting together to agreeing with a certain system like the one of sharing cakes on Fridays at BBC. This atmosphere has worked well and has not hindered their success. But forced changes made by the new management has affected the working and led to inefficiencies. Every organization has its own unique culture and large organization posses a mix or cultures. Different people like working in different environments and they get more satisfied and this makes them happy which reflects on their performance. But Dean & Kennedy et al Burnes (2005) categorise corporate cultures bearing two factors
- The degree of risk associated with the organisation’s activities and
- The speed at which organizations and their employees receive feedback on the success of decisions or strategies.
- Free market competition is a driving source for organizations and individuals to innovate and change
Communication & communication strategy
Involving people who are going to be directly affected by the changes is crucial and setting up a communication strategy is vital. This has immense effect on reducing the uncertainty people face and assures them of their involvement. By implementing this particular procedure the employee’s are draw into discussions and gives them the right to debate about the changes. This discussion can convince them why the change is needed rather than just being told to do changes which they really don’t know why is being suggested. This can reduce anger, frustration etc being cultivated.
This is best described in a mini case study cited in Burnes (2009) where the trade union convenor for NHS had problems with the top management’s way of implementing change. Change was not consulted but ordered. This de-motivated the entire department and lack of staff support was evident. The situation seemed not like changing until the new chief executive taking the post on the very first day saw the problem and went to the head of the union. This was a huge step forward since it gave the union head and its employees the assurance of their involvement and them being heard out. This resulted in changes not being possible previously were possible now. It required only a little bit of courtesy and thought to initiate this step. This small win was a big step forward which contributed heavily to the change process.
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Management Union Meetings
Having management union meetings to address the problems facing the organization and the drop in operational quality is needed. The fact that none of the changes have been discussed with the union is seen as a drawback. The management and the employees can come to mutual agreements and speak over conflicts which are hindering the changes from not being employed. Perhaps suggesting a few compensations to employees might work in favour of the management. Corbett (1994)
Drawbacks of Change
To every positive there is a negative. If change is not realized tendency to rely on a particular area is too strong and critical factor needed for success will not be built upon. In this every changing world change is the essence for success. Case study at McDonalds Thompson (1997) the smallest change such as change in menu also affects the people involved in making the food since they are accustomed to making the same previous menu. The motivation and moral is suppressed due to this change which will affect quality and time initially. But the organization is going to benefit so this change has to be realized. Forced change and accepted change are two changes which are not discussed often.
Since over 2/3 of the company’s employee’s work in production department and the fact that they have been working for the past 10 years, managing them to adapt to the changes is critical. Two main steps to put down are
- Involvement of employees in changes
- Finding ways to manage them
Ezzamel, Green, Lilley & Willmott (1995) state that organizations should be leaner, creative and adaptive. Bureaucracy & hierarchical control have a lot of drawbacks. Having a network with a shared culture will make the employees committed to the core values of the organization which will bring down the cumbersome hierarchy and its cost. This is needed since there seems to be a vacuum when it comes to confrontation between top management and employees. This new wave management can lead to lot of future emphasis such as
- Problem-solve through participation
- Facilitate employee self-discipline
- Effectively develop HR
- Flexibly appreciate contingency & ambiguity – Ezzamel et al. (1995)
Ezzamel et al. (1995) also state that managers are not required enforcing rules to control workforce. But this could lead to some problems with respect to disciplinary and motivation. Having cross-functional managers is a way to bring the top management and employee’s closer. This will bring self disciple as well as a constant monitoring process together which will benefit the organization. This eradicates functional specialism and boundary wjich are seen as obstacles for project management.
The steps mentioned below is probably the basic & best process in achieving change. Planning to achieve the desired output needs a strategy to be implemented. Morgans (1986) et al. Burnes (2009) organizational metaphors 8 point description is good but many people rather prefer Johnsons & Scholes (1993) et al.
Some problems cannot be solved but only managed and adding value helps to manage change.
Values such as awareness, responsibility, teamwork, tolerance and teamwork are supreme just as flexibility and change readiness.
Specify time line
Specifying the time line for the change to take place is often neglected by organizations. As seen from CCC or BBC case study (Appendix) there is no mention of time frame which does not help to achieve short term or long term wins. This could sometimes weaken the change process and become barriers for change management. Drawing time lines & analyzing time lines are crucial to planning and implementation process.
- Engaging people
- Ways to make them understand (Educate & Regulate them of the situation)
- Stats (projections)
Positive attitude – we are not victims, don’t take it personal, global competition
Get out of a comfort zone – loss or opportunities
Be a better player – you fail company fails
Re tool and re invent yourself – einstien slogan
Ask better questions – – & + attitude
Poor planning – involve team – communicate
Don’t see the point why will they want to change
If ROI is not there then no company will be happy
Manage change & Setting Exampes
Managing change is an important ingredient to achieving change. It is the responsibility of the management and many organizations fail to do so. There is no point blaming the workers. McCormic () states that effectively dealing with emotional response to change as a key criteria. Managers have their reasons to resist change. This may be due to the fact that they might feel that the change is not going to have effects or lack of trust in the management.
- Top management needs to consider solutions from managers and them in turn from workers. People disagreeing must not be beaten down for their expressions.
- Top management must review the suggestions and analyze there is enough funds (Executive Sponsorship) to carry out the process if agreed.
- Open communication two way and honest opinions must be given
- Expectations must be robust and everyone must be aware of the change.
- Reporting system must be initiated on mutual grounds.
By implementing these steps most managers will tend to be won over by the management and the employees will follow suit.
Cultural effects on TQM
Culture plays an important part in an organization involving every individual contributing to it and helps change over a period of time. Management plays the most important roles in achieving this transformation. Vermulen (1997)
Vermulen (1997) identifies company’s culture as major issue hindering TQM and change. Companies through is policies and day to day actions usually send signals defining what is important and proper which in turn helps employees act accordingly. If an audit could be carried out like questionnaires, personal interviews etc this can assess the situation and a feedback system would be created which helps gain commitment and awareness of the present situation. Vermulen (1997) states management must accept and follow accordingly even though there might be differences more than conformance. But what this does in the CCC’s situation is that since 2/3 of the company employees work in the same department and are of similar cultural background. This is not always the solution.
What effects change can bring
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