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‘All approaches to organisational development rely on some theory about planned change. These theories/models describe the different stages through which planned change may be effected in organisations’ (Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2011, p. 32).

Describe at least 3 widely-accepted models for diagnosis and implementation of change in organisations. Critique (analyse and evaluate) these models. Explain the sources of change that impact on the organisation from its external and internal environments. Explain how these sources of change might determine if these models are appropriate for an individual organisation to use.

Widely-Accepted Models for Diagnosis and Implementation of Change in Organisations

The research and practice of organizational change is aimed at improving and developing organizations for purposes of enhancing the responsiveness to external environment changes (Armenakis and Harris 2009 p. 131). The practice and research is carried out through better management of people, structures, systems, communications, and competence. The approaches and methods of the discipline are being practiced in both the government and businesses. In addition, due to the increasingly changing environments, companies are being confronted constantly with the need of implementing changes in culture, process, structure, and strategy. Various factors have contributed to the effectiveness of the implementation of changes to organizations. Organizational changes have intense implications for the development and management of people, whether incremental or revolutionary, planned and strategic, or unplanned and discontinuous. Any kind of change results in the need for change in culture, learning, creativity, and innovation, all of which are legitimate and lie within the boundaries of development and personal interest. Organizational professionals working in development and personnel could be central performers in change management in different matters including structures of reward, learning, and development, people resourcing and developing new relations of employees in strategic contexts. Senior level professionals for personnel and development should demonstrate their contributions in assisting the people in the organization.

Understanding the need for a change is critical in beginning a successful process of change. According to Shirey (2013 p. 70) change motivation should be generated before the occurrence of change. Lewin’s change management theory shows that a manager should be assisted in re-examining various important assumptions about themselves and their relationship with others, which is the unfreezing stage which is the beginning of change. The stage involves the preparation of the organization in accepting the necessity of change, including the breaking down of the status quos which exist in the company before bringing new ways of operations. To succeed, a compelling message which shows the dissatisfaction with the current ways in which things are done should be developed. For the successful preparation of the organization, the manager should start at its core by challenging the behaviors, attitudes, values, and beliefs which define the organization.

In the second stage of change, people start solving the uncertainty created in the unfreezing stage and start finding a new way of doing things. They start believing and acting differently in support of the new direction. The transition between unfreeze and change stage takes time as people participate and embrace the new direction taken by the organization.  The refreeze stage occurs when people are taking up the change and embracing the new working ways. The stage is characterized by job descriptions which are consistent, stable charts of organizations, and other factors. The refreeze stage assists the organization and the people in institutionalizing and internalizing the change.

Critique of Models

A model is a tool for the analysis of the organizational design of a firm by looking at seven elements including staff, skills, style, values which are shared, structure, systems, and strategy, for the identification of their effective alignment and allowance of the achievement of the organizational objectives and effectiveness. Developed in the 1980s by the consultants of McKinsey namely Julien Philips, Robert Waterman, and Tom Peters, the model is used widely by practitioners and academics and remains to be a renowned tool for planning. The model aimed at presenting and emphasizing on human resources, as opposed to the traditional tangibles of mass production of infrastructure, equipment, and capital, as a key to an increased performance of the organization. The model’s goals are for the interconnection of all the seven areas and that if one area changes, other areas should also change for the effective performance of the firm (Palatkova 2011 p. 48).

John Kotter, a change management and leadership guru, and a professor at the Harvard Business School in his book, “Leading Change” introduced the eight-step process of change model. The eight steps are the of urgency creation, powerful coalition formation, change vision creation, vision communication, obstacles removal, short-term wins creation, building on the change, and change anchoring in corporate culture. To change organizations successfully, managers have to work extra hard. By building the proper foundation and planning carefully, it can be easy to implement change through the improvement of the chances of success.  However, managers may be too impatient by expecting the best results in a short period of time, hence resulting to a failure of their plans for change (Weiner 2009 p. 67).  To succeed, managers must enhance the creation of a sense of urgency, build on their momentum, create quick wins, remove obstacles, enhance the building and effective communication of the vision, and recruit powerful leaders for change. In doing this, managers can help in making the change part of the culture of the organization, resulting to a declaration of true victory for change (Appelbaum et al 2012 p.670).

Lewin’s model for change management has been deeply criticized. The model thrives in the accusations that it is generally simplistic, wildly inappropriate, and quaintly linear and static. The reasons may be due to the change of things since the model was developed, and the business environment has highly and quickly evolved. However, the model is still extremely relevant to various practitioners and authors. The critics of the McKinsey 7S Framework argue that an organization cannot just change several variables in order to effect change on the whole organization. They argue that there should be a change of the variables for congruency as a system for a long-term benefit. However, the critics have acknowledged the existence of the other variables and that the model only presents the most important variables. Moreover, Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model is criticized that it is based on the assumption for the occurrence of the processes in a systematic, rational, and logical sequence. In the business world of today, change is not linear and processes unfold in iterative and complex ways (Langley et al. 2013 p. 10). Therefore, the model is considered to be too simplistic.

Sources of Change Impacting on Organisations

Internal sources of change that affect the organization are forces appearing inside the organization and controlling these changes is easy for both managers and entrepreneurs. Internal sources of change include processes, the structure of the organization and human resources or people (Karmiloff-Smith 2018 p. 64).

Process in the organization is considered as internal sources that collect all activities needed to be done for the transformation of input to output and that is believed to add customer value. In business, the processes exist in different forms like technological process, decision-making process, communication process, and management process (Birkinshaw, Hamel and Mol 2008 p. 825). The technological process transforms raw materials into the services or products, the decision-making process determines choices of people about the certain direction in the organization, while the management process defines how members are managed for the achievement of organizational goals. Furthermore, all the processes are internal sources of organizational change, as all problems within the organizations will require changes in solutions which result in new ways in which the organization handle its activities.

According to Rerup and Feldman (2011 p. 577) human resources or people are considered to be internal sources of change in an organization as they handle all activities taking place within the organization. Furthermore, an organization can have the best processes and structures in place but without people and human resources in the transformation processes of inputs into the outputs then there are no performances. People who are in the organization and termed as a source of organizational change include employees and managers. Additionally, employees are mandated to initiate changes in their jobs and change the task in an effective and efficient way that increases performances.

Organizational structure is an internal source of change that prevents conflicts in the workplace and provides joint relations of all components that exist in the organization (Furrer, Thomas and Goussevskaia 2008 p.1). Furthermore, organizational structures are known for providing employees divisions according to roles through rules, hierarchy, procedures, and norms. Over time, the organizational structure is believed not appropriate for answering needs for effective and efficient organizational work, as it becomes an internal source of change in the organization.

In the organization, external sources of organizational change include the economic environment, technological environment, social-cultural environment, political environment, and the international environment (Mol and Birkinshaw 2009 p. 1269).

In the economic environment, around the organization, there are suppliers, competitors, unemployment rates, gross domestic products, different interest rates, income settlement, international trade levels, and inflations. All these aspects influence the organization significantly and therefore there is a need for change so that they can be tracked for the organization to make the right decision for change implications.

Determining Appropriate Models for Change for an Individual Organisation

In the technological environment, the technology uses techniques, methods, and knowledge for the transformation of inputs into organizational outputs. Furthermore, technology’s extent as a change source impacting organizations varies from one industry to another (Xue, Liang and Boulton 2008 p. 67). Therefore, an organization not to keep on following technology development in the industry because technology usually requires organizational changes.

Social-cultural environment as an organizational change external source has norms, values of people, demographic characteristics, habits, and attitude. Furthermore, all societies are bound by varying sociocultural traits based on ethnics and regions. Therefore, all these factors influence businesses significantly in the way it operates currently or future operation.

Political environment as a source of organizational change deals with regulations and laws that are imposed by the government. The elements contained in the political environment include taxations, political stabilities, legislation, and neighboring countries situations. These sources of change must be observed by the organization and incorporated in their work.

An international environment as a source of organizational change has an impact on the organization because of the rapid growth of globalization markets. Furthermore, the activities taking place in the global market affect business. For example, a global crisis which is influencing the whole world.

Sources of change validate the models, which are appropriate for an organization. The internal sources of changes like organizational structure, leadership styles and company’s mission statements require models that accommodate activities that are simple and adaptable. According to West and Bogers (2014 p. 814) if an organization realizes that it is struggling with the change and both internal and external stakeholders are not satisfied with progress then these are signs of the inappropriate model being used in facilitating change. For example, human resources and people as internal sources of change take more time to adapt to the changing environment and others fail to adapt completely. Furthermore, if the change is needed urgently some people feel intimidated and not motivated and even others decide to look job somewhere else. Therefore, in this situation, the most appropriate model that will be appropriate is the one that motivates and supports employees before, during and after the change. The most appropriate model for the situation is Korter’s 8-change model that will see leaders building a dedicated team; employees are well communicated and followed up for effective adaption to change.

In the external environment, if sources of changes are showing that there is an increase in competition and consumer behavior patterns are changing, then these clearly indicate that the model of change that is implemented is not appropriate for organization operations. For example, before implementation of a change model, the organization used to have high sales turnover but after the implementation of a model sales margins starts declining then it means the model is not appropriate. Furthermore, if the benchmarking results of other organization show they have growth in profit margin and improved customer service, then the sources of changes shows that the model being used by the company need to be changed (Zack, McKeen and Singh 2009 p. 392).

Conclusion

Conclusion

The three models that are widely accepted for diagnosing and implementing change include Lewin's change management model, the McKinsey 7-S model, and Kotter’s 8-step change model. All the acceptable change models are implemented through experience and research on how they can manage change within the organization. Furthermore, all change models provide support to processes that are taking place within the organization. The models applicable in organizations are determined by sources of change that occurs in both the internal and external environment of the business. All sources of changes influence the operations of business and calls of change enacting for the organization to be able to sustain in the competitive market.

References

Appelbaum, S.H., Habashy, S., Malo, J.L. and Shafiq, H., 2012. Back to the future: revisiting Kotter's 1996 change model. Journal of Management Development. 8th ed. U.S.A: Wiley Online Library, pp.764-782.

Armenakis, A.A. and Harris, S.G., 2009. Reflections: Our journey in organizational change research and practice. Journal of Change Management. 2nd ed. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis, pp.127-142.

Birkinshaw, J., Hamel, G., and Mol, M.J., 2008. Management innovation. Academy of Management Review.4th ed .U.S.A : Elsevier pp.825-845.

Furrer, O., Thomas, H. and Goussevskaia, A., 2008. The structure and evolution of the strategic management field: A content analysis of 26 years of strategic management research. International Journal of Management Reviews. 1st ed. U.S. A: Wiley Online Library pp.1-23.

Karmiloff-Smith, A., 2018. Précis of Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science. In Thinking Developmentally from Constructivism to Neuroconstructivism. London: Routledge. (pp. 64-94)

Langley, A.N.N., Smallman, C., Tsoukas, H. and Van de Ven, A.H., 2013. Process studies of change in organization and management: Unveiling temporality, activity, and flow. Academy of management journal. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis, pp.1-13.

Mol, M.J. and Birkinshaw, J., 2009. The sources of management innovation: When firms introduce new management practices. Journal of business research.12th ed. London: Elsevier, pp.1269-1280.

Palatkova, M., 2011. The 7-S-McKinsey Model: an Implementation Tool of a Destination Marketing Strategy in the Czech Republic. Global Management Journal. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis

Rerup, C. and Feldman, M.S., 2011. Routines as a source of change in organizational schemata: The role of trial-and-error learning. Academy of Management Journal. 3rd ed. London: Elsevier pp.577-610.

Shirey, M.R., 2013. Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration. 2nd ed. United Kingdom: Sage Publications, pp.69-72.

Weiner, B.J., 2009. A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation science. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, p.67.

West, J. and Bogers, M., 2014. Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(4), pp.814-831.

Xue, Y., Liang, H. and Boulton, W.R., 2008. Information technology governance in information technology investment decision processes: The impact of investment characteristics, external environment, and internal context. Mis Quarterly. Chicago: Joster pp.67-96.

Zack, M., McKeen, J. and Singh, S., 2009. Knowledge management and organizational performance: an exploratory analysis. Journal of knowledge management.6th ed. U.K emeraldinsight pp.392-409.

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