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Probable challenges in organizational change management

  1. It can be argued that the successful management of organisational change is crucial to any organisation in order to survive and succeed in the highly competitive business environment of today. Critically discuss, using theory, the potential challenges of change and the way in which change can be managed effectively to overcome such challenges.

Your essay needs to be presented in essay format using concepts and theories to support the discussion; referencing must be in compliance with APA 6th edition. It is expected that you will draw upon academic journals to support the work with examples of research carried out in the field of management, work and/or organisational behaviour. 

The University regards any action by a student that may result in an unfair academic advantage as a serious offence. It is your responsibility to ensure at all times that the assessments you complete are entirely your own work and that you have used the relevant referencing technique correctly and in full. The full set of regulations, which govern Academic Integrity, can be found under Section 4, Assessment Regulations 3 and 4. 

Essay - general assessment criteria, undergraduate.  criteria below are not intended to be either exhaustive or definitive and are to be taken as guidelines rather than imposing absolute standards. 

Mark range 90 – 100% A piece of work should fall within this class if it displays characteristics of: 

  •  Original, incisive and creative research, using relevant and contemporary literature
  •  Outstanding comprehension displayed
  •  Insightful, outstanding analysis
  •  Compelling evidence, supporting analysis
  •  Complete and authoritative piece of work 

Mark range 80 – 89% Work in this category will display characteristics of:

  •  Original, incisive and creative research, using relevant and contemporary literature
  •  Outstanding comprehension displayed, with some evidence of misconceptions/errors
  •  Outstanding analysis, though lacking some relevant insights
  •  Compelling evidence, supporting analysis
  •  An authoritative piece of work, though may lack completeness  

Mark range 70 – 79%

Work in this category should display an excellent understanding of the assessment area, with a clear demonstration of pertinent, critical analysis. Work presented will demonstrate an excellent understanding of appropriate concepts and contemporary, contextual appreciation of literature. 

Mark range 60 – 69%

Work in this category should display a high level of competence, with clear demonstration of critical analysis relevant to assessment requirement and some contemporary, contextual appreciation of literature. 

Mark range 50 - 59%

Work in this category should display overall competence, however it will be lacking in analytical depth and /or display a limited comprehension of the subject matter so that the work falls short of a B grade. A good deal of the relevant content may have been presented by the student but this will be less well articulated and developed than the grade B student. The more difficult concepts will be omitted or dealt with superficially. The application of the principles and theory to the problem/question will be more limited and perhaps dealt with in a more “re-gurgitative” manner. The work may contain minor errors; however there should be no major misunderstandings. 

Mark range 40 – 49%

Work will fall into this category if it contains relevant material in relation to the issues raised by the problem/question, including the central issue. The answer will be presented in a coherent and largely correct manner, although the analytical aspects and comprehension will be of a limited nature. Use of principles, theory and evidence may be poor and the overall coverage of the subject matter will be of a limited nature. 

Mark range 30 – 39%

Work in this category has elements that are correct: however the work displays a number of major misconceptions that call into question the student’s comprehension of the material. The analytical contents may be very weak or even non-existent. Application of principles, theory and evidence to the problem may be weak. Overall coverage may be poor. Reference to sources or authorities may be weak or inappropriate. Structure may be weak. 

Mark range – below 30% 

The work is limited and contains fundamental errors that indicate a substantial lack of comprehension by the student. There will be little or no analytical content and the references to authorities and sources will very limited or non-existent. The presentation and structure of the work may be poor. The work may also be characterized by falling far short of the overall word limit and possibly repetition of material or arguments. Conclusions may be non-existent or limited.

Probable challenges in organizational change management

The current business scenario is much more challenging and complex for the contemporary business organizations. This is due to the reason that contemporary business organizations mainly operates in the global market and global business scenario is having different factors for consideration. On the other hand, the increase in the competition in the global market is also forcing the business organizations to change their existing business strategy and make it more effective according to the present market situation. Moreover, it is also to be noted that current market scenario is frequently changing in nature and it is becoming difficult for the business organizations to cope up with the market and business change.

            One of the major strategies that are being initiated by the contemporary business organizations in meeting the current business requirements is initiation of the change management. This policy refers to the implementation of the change in the existing organizational policy and initiating new policies to better coping up with the present business scenario. In the current time, there are number of real world examples emerged where business organizations have implemented change management. Some of these initiatives succeeded while some others got failed. Number of reasons is identified behind the failure of the change management process, which are also terms as barriers to the implementation of the organizational change process.

            This report will discuss about the potential and most common barriers in implementing the change management in the organization. In addition, the steps that should be initiated in order to overcome the barriers will also be discussed in this report.

Probable challenges in organizational change management

            One of the major challenges that can get emerged in implementing the change management in the organization is managing the diversified teams. This is due to the reason that in the current business organizations, employees belongs from different social and cultural backgrounds. All these employees are having different set of requirements and expectations in their workplace. Thus, it becomes difficult for the management to fulfill the diverse requirements of the employees in one go. According to Nielsen and Nielsen (2013), implementing change in the diversified workforce is one of the major challenges for the management. This is due to the reason that change management is initiated in the organization with some particular approaches and objectives. Thus, according to the authors, it is not possible for the management to fulfill all the requirement of the diverse employees with the initiation of the particular change management policy.

Lack of organizational capability

            Thus, the set of employees who will not get satisfied with the approach of the change management will cause issues with the organization. This will lead to the ineffectiveness of the change management plan and will cause failure for the entire process. However, on other hand, it will also not be possible for the leadership team to consider the diverse criterions in designing the change management program. It is a huge challenge for the leadership to meet all the diverse requirements of the diverse set of employees.

Lack of organizational capability

            Change management refers to the transition of the new policies over the older ones. However, changing of the older system and processes will require enhanced organizational capability for the management. In this case, there are various challenges that may get faced by the management in having the favorable organizational structure and capability. One of the major challenges is the requirement of capital for investment in the new processes. Large business organizations are having the opportunity to invest more in changing the existing business process, for the small and medium business organizations, it will be difficult to invest in having proper infrastructure for the change management.

            According to Ardalani, Houy, Fettke and Loos, (2013), a certain cost is involved in initiating the change management. Moreover, business organizations will have huge requirement of capital due to the reason that the initiation of new process in the organization will require training for the associated stakeholders, changing the organizational infrastructure and having resources for the new systems. Thus, according to the authors, it will not viable for the all the organizations to incur huge cost in the initiation of the change management. Organizations will face the challenge in regulating the cost in the initiation of the change management.

Lack of consensus

justify;">            Lack of consensus is another issue that can get emerged in the implementation process of change management. This is due to the reason that in the majority of cases, change management involves stakeholders from the upper level management to the lower level employees. Thus, huge number of stakeholders is being involved in the change management process and it is challenging to generate consensus from all of them. Moreover, due to the fact that in the current business scenario, business organizations operate in larger section and thus they are having more associated stakeholders with different vested interest in the change management process.

            According to Wibowo and Deng (2013), creation or building of consensus is important in the decision making process. Thus, in the implementation of the change management plan, creation of consensus will help in having effective and proper decision making process. However, according to the authors, the major challenge that will be faced by the management in creating consensus is the difference of opinions among the stakeholders. Creation of the consensus will require adjustments from all the stakeholders, which will be challenging for the management. They will face the challenge of pursuing the associated stakeholders in adhering with the consensus.

Lack of consensus

Rapidly changing market scenario

            The current market scenario in the global state of affairs is changing rapidly. This is due to the reason that with the change in time, requirement of the customers is also evolving. Thus, it is challenging and difficult for the business organizations to rapidly change their business processes according to the present market scenario. As discussed earlier, initiation of the change management process is having the requirement of investment along with changing the existing organizational practices. However, if the market scenario gets change in more frequent manner, then it will be difficult for the business organizations to amend the approach of their change management process.

            According to Sandberg and Aarikka-Stenroos (2014), majority of the business organizations initiate change management process by initiating innovative and radical business practices. Thus, huge resources are being invested in developing the innovative business processes. However, with the rapid change in the market scenario, the innovative business processes are becoming obsolete more often. According to the authors, it is reducing the viability of the change management process. Thus, it is a challenge for the business organizations to maintain the sustainability of the change process.

Employee resistance

            Resistance from the side of the employees is one of the major and most common barriers that can get emerged in the implementation process of the change management. This is due to the reason that employees are always skeptical about the probable benefits and advantages of implementing the change management. They are having the perception that implementing the new process in the organization will reduce their value in the workplace and heir job security will be at stake. This led them to resist to the change and it is a challenging task for the management to pursue the employees about having positive impression about the change management.

            According to Bateh, Castaneda and Farah (2013), employee resistance is the most probable challenge for the business organizations as well as for the upper level management. This is due to the reason that initiation of the change management cannot be able to fulfill or mitigate all the issues related to the employees. Thus, there will always be some set of the employees who will be satisfied with the new processes being implemented. It is also being stated that resistance from the side of the employees will reduce the effectiveness of the change management and the core objectives of initiating the change management cannot get fulfilled.

Rapidly changing market scenario

Steps to overcome the identified challenges

            The above sections have identified different challenges that will be faced by the management in implementing the change management. In accordance to that, there are number steps that can be initiated by the organizations in order to overcome the identified challenges. 

Lewin model of change management

            Lewin model of change management will help in effectively mitigating the barriers in the change management. According to this model, there are three steps that should be considered by the project managers in implanting the change management process in the organization. The first step is unfreezing the existing organizational processes and practices. In this step, it is expected that managers will effectively identify the gaps in the existing organizational processes in order to design the new policies. This will help in having the idea about the areas, which need to be changed. Effective determination of the gap areas in the primary stage of the change management will ensure that the current position can get identified and the proposed change management process will be in accordance to that.

            According to Cummings, Bridgman and Brown (2016), effective process of unfreezing the existing organizational policies will help the managers to determine the areas of improvement. On the other hand, it is also stated by the authors that effective process of unfreezing will also involve communicating the employees about the benefits of the change. Thus, the more effectively employees will be communicated; the less will be the chance of generation of resistance from the side of the employees. It is also stated by the authors that employees should be involved in the change management process in the first step of unfreezing. This will enable the managers to identify the requirements and opinions of the employee regarding the change management. According to the authors, this will also reduce the probability of employee issues.

            The next process is the implementation of the change. In this step, it is recommended that change process should be implemented in phased manner. This is due to the reason that implementation of the change management process in phased manner will help to identify the shortcomings of the process in the primary stage. Moreover, it will also help the managers to rectify the shortcomings at earliest and implement the change in other phases. Thus, the effectiveness of the change management process will get increased.

            The last step is refreezing the organizational process. According to van den Heuvel, Demerouti, Bakker and Schaufeli (2013), refreezing is also important in implementing the change management due o the reason that the new process and the practices being implemented in the organization should be effectively evaluated and gauged. Periodic evaluation of the implemented processes should be done in order to determine the effectiveness of the change management process. In addition, it is also being stated by the authors that feedback from the employees should be gathered in order to have the idea about the opinion of the employees regarding the implemented change. It is the responsibility of the managers to change the approach of the change management process according to the identified factors.

Mckinsey’s 7 s model

            Another effective theory that will be beneficial for overcoming the challenges in implementing change in the organization is the Mckinsey & 7 s model. According to this model, there are mainly 7 steps that should be considered by the managers in having effective change management program. The first step is the strategy, which denotes that organizations should have an effective strategy in implementing the change and it is recommended that organizations should have long term strategy in implementing the change (Hornstein, 2015). The next step is the structure. It is important for the organizations to have well organized structure in place in order to effectively implement the change management (Kral & Kralova, 2016). The structure should be modified according to the strategy of change management.

            The next element is the organizational systems. This refers to the daily activities and processes of the organization. This element should also be determined effectively in order identify the areas for improvement in the existing organizational process of the organizations. The next one is the staff. This is the human resources and man power in the organization who should be involved in the implementation process of the change management. They should be given training and motivated and engaged in order to make them accustomed with the new organizational processes (Lau & Roopnarain, 2014). The next element is the leadership and management style of the top level managers. They should have situation based leadership style in place in order to change the leadership approach according to the situation faced.

            The last element is the shared values. This refers to the organizational rules, regulations and cultures that should be followed by the involved stakeholders in the change management process (Singh, 2013). The shared values of the organization should be effective enough in order to have positive relationship among the stakeholders. This will ensure that the process of communication will be effective and all the issues generated from the involved stakeholders will be effectively communicated and mitigated. 

Reference

Ardalani, P., Houy, C., Fettke, P., & Loos, P. (2013). Towards A Minimal Cost Of Change Approach For Inductive Reference Model Development. In ECIS (p. 127).

Bateh, J., Castaneda, M. E., & Farah, J. E. (2013). Employee resistance to organizational change. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (Online), 17(2), 113.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), 33-60.

Hornstein, H. A. (2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 291-298.

Král, P., & Králová, V. (2016). Approaches to changing organizational structure: The effect of drivers and communication. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5169-5174.

Lau, C. M., & Roopnarain, K. (2014). The effects of nonfinancial and financial measures on employee motivation to participate in target setting. The British accounting review, 46(3), 228-247.

Nielsen, B. B., & Nielsen, S. (2013). Top management team nationality diversity and firm performance: A multilevel study. Strategic Management Journal, 34(3), 373-382.

Sandberg, B., & Aarikka-Stenroos, L. (2014). What makes it so difficult? A systematic review on barriers to radical innovation. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(8), 1293-1305.

Singh, A. (2013). A study of role of McKinsey's 7S framework in achieving organizational excellence. Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 39.

van den Heuvel, M., Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2013). Adapting to change: The value of change information and meaning-making. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(1), 11-21.

Wibowo, S., & Deng, H. (2013). Consensus-based decision support for multicriteria group decision making. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 66(4), 625-633.

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