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Overview of Change Management

Question:

Case study on "Managing Change".
 

The change management within the organization is performed in a structured manner by including the systematic approaches. The concept of change management is developed to drive the overall workforce of the organization to shift from its current state to a secured position in the future. Therefore, the organizational transformation is considered as a developmental process of aiding the employees to accept and adapt to the specific changes as part of the current business environment. In this case, the definition provided by Kotter can be considered in order to clear the concept associated with the organizational development and transformational process (Waddell, et al. 2013). According to Kotter, organizational transformation or change management is known as measuring and controlling the organizational change efforts by utilising the basic structures and tools.

Considering the history of organizational development and transformation, multiple examples of mergers and acquisitions can be observed in the global environment. Out of the investigation, it is determined that these efforts are adopted by the companies to achieve the strategic as well as financial goals. From the current context of the organizational transformation, the example of the acquisition can be observed regarding the decision of Wesfarmers to acquire The Coles Group back in 2007 (Reynolds and Holwell 2010). With the help of such a transformation, Wesfarmers has successfully able to manage the enhancement of the company growth and financial performance despite the presence of challenges observed in the global market.

Based on the current dimension of organizational change and transformation process, the examination should need to be performed on the leadership behaviours and conducts influencing the formation of strategy by Wesfarmers. With the help of the discussion, one certain fact can be acknowledged that the certain strategies applied by the firm as part of the organizational transformation and development framework, a greater amount of revenues is ensured to generate during the post-acquisition operation of the identified company, i.e. Wesfarmers (Andersson 2015).  

It is critically understood that coping with the process of shifting from an unsatisfactory state in the current situation to a desired and comparatively better position in the future scenario is known as a change from the organizational perspective. Therefore, a wide range of change managers from the organization is required to undertake some predetermined set of actions for ensuring the improvement of the organizational operations (Hanson 2013). It should need to remember that the numerous concepts of change management developed with the involvement of people and their behaviours, which are also responsible for shaping up the outputs of the organization.

In order to undertake and implement the change, there is a particular model for ensuring the success. The development of such model is based on the key individual stages, such as recognising the need for change, diagnosing, and planning the change, managing the transition, and measuring and maintaining the identified change. Therefore, the general model of planned change associated with Wesfarmers is based on determining the needs of the organizational stakeholders to formulate the goals while considering the stimulating and challenging forces (Vaccarezza and Rizzi 2014). For ensuring the achievement of such process, some specific theories of planned change must need to be considered. Primarily, in the case of Wesfarmers, force-field analysis is highly relevant by looking at the management structure and approaches of the company. The particular theory gives way to analyse the factors responsible for driving changes and the forces restraining the process. Based on the theoretical explanation, the driving forces stimulates the company towards the desirable position in the upcoming future. On the other hand, the restraining forces are responsible for putting pressure on resisting the implementation of new approaches to continue with the previous sets of practices (Welbourne 2014). The combination of the both forces drives the development of quasi-Stationary Equilibrium for the company, where the analysis of the associated factors supports the management of the company to establish the reasons facilitating the resistance.

History of Organizational Development and Transformation

Based on the analysis, Wesfarmers has successfully identified different types of planned changes. Apart from the decision to engage in the merger and acquisition process, the company announced to restructure its organizational and senior management structure. The particular type of change is identified by the company due to achieve some planned attributes (Zippelâ€ÂSchultz and Schultz 2011). It is investigated that the major change is expected by the company to help to streamline the management of the company for the achievement of future growth. 

The planned changes undertaken by Wesfarmers are ones of the most notable radical variations in the history of Australian retail market. Especially, the decision of Wesfarmers to acquire the ownership of the Coles Group is one of the vital events in the particular industry within the country. Considering the case of Wesfarmers and Coles, the involvement of different leadership styles can be observed in different scenarios. According to the investigation, the managers and supervisors of Wesfarmers had promoted the adoption of transactional leadership before engaging in the acquisition process (David and David 2016). Considering the explanation to the transactional leadership, the concepts as part of such leadership behaviour and approach are developed by employing two different aspects such as contingency intimidating action and contingency reinforcement theories. Based on the approaches as part of the contingency reward theory, the employees are greatly rewarded if the excel in their performance. Alternatively, the opposite scenario can be observed regarding the contingency intimidating approach, where the managers or the supervisors take some enforcing actions if the employee fails to achieve the desired level of performance according to the contingency intimidating construct.

Therefore, based on the transforming event of the company, it can be quietly observed that accepting the proposed changes in order to conduct the acquisition successfully is only influenced positively by the involvement of transactional leadership style adopted by Wesfarmers (Goetsch and Davis 2014). At the same time, not only the proposed changes are achieved effectively by the company, but also the same leadership approach helped the company to maintain the job satisfaction and excellent performance throughout the post-acquisition period comprehensively. Based on the overall discussion, it can be understood that the identified leadership and the roles played by the change agents within the organization ensured the emergence of innovative thinking and involvement of clear objectives throughout the overall operational process.  

As discussed in the earlier paragraphs, it is acknowledged that transformational leadership is the foundation to initiate the planned and proposed changes within the organizational structure of Wesfarmers. In the case of implementing the change, different kinds of resistances come into the action, which is needed to be managed and controlled by the managers or superiors. In the case of the transformational leadership, the approaches are needed to be adopted with the application of emotional intelligence (Cummings and Worley 2014). It is majorly observed that out of the different academic resources that emotional intelligence is highly critical for effectively handling various types of change management situations. Further investigation of these resources helps to develop a guideline for the managers as part of the senior leadership on how to control the various resistances to change. A vast range of scholarly studies is conducted to develop the implication of the emotional intelligence on leadership (Ward and Peppard 2016). These studies come up with the findings that the organizational leaders must need to possess the processing skills related to the social effectiveness exceling the positive performance and comprehensiveness.

Leadership Behaviours and Conducts Influencing the Formation of Strategy by Wesfarmers

With the help of the understanding, it is critically determined that leaders of Wesfarmers with the possession of emotional intelligence have constantly work in the close association with their followers. With the help of the process, the effective communication can be developed between the organizational leaders and the followers driving the proper understanding and influencing the subordinates. Such process ensured Wesfarmers to attain the measurable goals and objectives of the organization in an adequate manner. 

In the case of the selected organization, namely Wesfarmers, two different kinds of changes can be observed. These changes are the primary transformation processes undertaken by the company. The incident of acquisition and structural reformation are the two identified changes primarily seen in Wesfarmers. In the case of an acquisition, the certain changes in the leadership structure had been implemented by Wesfarmers to provide the necessary boost to the operations of the company from the sluggish markets (Langley, et al. 2013). Here, the transformational leadership is adopted by the firm in order to introduce the process of transformation smoothly. With the result of the particular change, the business areas of the company were extended by a possible increase in the number of business products. This particular change is identified by the leadership and management of Wesfarmers to counter the impact of competition majorly caused by Woolworth in the Australian domestic retail market. The transformational leadership adopted by the company helped its workforce to adopt the changing workflow of the enterprise while maintaining their desired level of performance.

Another major transformation of the company is restructuring the company structure to support the growth of the organization and becoming one of the largest listed companies in Australia (Rothaermel 2015). Various processes are adopted as part of the changing fabric of the company, and these processes include the development of operations in the multiple divisions like a supermarket, convenience stores, hotels, liquors, department stores, office supplies, and many more. The basic impact of these processes associated with the change management initiative, Wesfarmers becomes one of the largest private sectors in Australia with the shareholder base of around 500,000.  

The increasing number of beliefs in the world relies on the application of systems thinking to cause the enhancement of complexity throughout the different workplaces across the world. Despite the strong declarations and welfares from various organizational contexts, the particular relationship between the systems thinking and complex decision-making has given the negligible amount of importance by the literature (MacKay and Chia 2013). By considering the classification scheme designed by Richmond (1997), Verbal Protocol Analysis (VPA) methodology is required to investigate the link between the systems thinking and complex situation of the organization.

Based on the different findings analysed out of the multiple studies, it has been observed that specific categories of systems thinking are highly relevant to the performance of the organization given the particular degrees of systems thinking. By looking at the case of the particular workforce of Wesfarmers, both the combination of good and poor performers can be observed. The evidence collected from different findings reveals that the performance of a particular job significantly depends on the individual approaches to the associated problems (Galliers and Leidner 2014). There is a sound distinction between the patterns of thinking of the good performers and the poor performers. Based on the in-depth investigation, it can be ascertained that the better performers of the individual organization tend to gain a clear understanding of the system structure before designing any strategy or engaging in certain actions. It is a major fact that the contributions made by the good performers have continuously helped Wesfarmers to achieve the desired success despite the struggling conditions of the world economy (Cameron and Green 2015). Concerning such identified fact, it can be proposed that a cyclical though the pattern is consistently followed by the participants who performed better in the entire period.

General Model of Planned Change and Specific Theories of Planned Change

In conclusion, the change managers of the organization should need to consider five system approaches such as System Dynamics (SD), Viable System Model (VSM), Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) including the cognitive mapping, Soft System Methodology, and Critical System Heuristics. 

The organizational change followed and undertaken in Wesfarmers with the purpose of developing the set of critical modern day activities to cope up with the overwhelming pressure of the completion and the changing needs of the global market (Mantere, Schildt, and Sillince 2012). The change management process adopted in Wesfarmers is embraced with the aim of achieving and maintaining the following aspects effectively:

  • Ensuring the exceptional growth in the knowledge base of the company, which is fluctuating with the needs of current business environment
  • Eliminating the restrictions in terms of operations and competition limiting the geographic boundaries with the help of developing a global organization
  • Adopting the advancement of technology to the work processes carried on by the organization to cope up with the rapid changes
  • Facilitating the survival and growth in the period of rapid growth by increasing adaptability and reengineering and restructuring the overall company structure 

Interventions play the role of fundamental learning processes in the action stage of the organizational development. In order to improve the task performance, the involvement of the interventions can be observed individually or in combined basis. Therefore, for an organization like Wesfarmers, there is the requirement to develop an improvement program with ensuring the proper roles played by the organizational change agents for introducing the proposed interventions (Senge 2014).

In order to introduce the identified interventions to the internal organizational structure comprehensively, different types of activities are performed by the change agents. These include experimental exercises, attitude surveys, questionnaires, relevant group discussions, and interviews with the change agents and various members of the organization. Therefore, the development of intervention within the internal organization framework of Wesfarmers is based on the particular set of actions influencing the improvement of the relationship between the agent and client (Ward and Peppard 2016). Regarding Wesfarmers, the actions, and approaches designed by the company are crucially based on adhering four core values such as accountability, integrity, boldness, and openness.  

Integrated strategic change is observed in Wesfarmers after taking over the Coles Group for extracting more out of the current market. One of the major factors observed by the managing director of Wesfarmers is the need to change in the senior management of the company. As part of the process, different movements in the senior management position can be observed to ensure the proper replacements within the senior administration and control division.

The managing director’s decision to identify such change is based on the ancient truth of inevitability of the change, especially in the world of business. By looking at such an incident, it is ascertained that management of change program is established within the company by considering multiple criteria to implement the proposed changes (Goetsch and Davis 2014). The certain transformation in the senior management structure has provided appropriate focus on the social and ethical responsibilities of the management with ensuring the proper understanding of the concepts associated with the proposed transformation. Therefore, the identified strategies are implemented within Wesfarmers influenced by the superior role played by the leadership in the overall change management. 

The proposed change in the management structure in Wesfarmers has been introduced right after the acquisition decision of the company. The particular decision behind acquiring the Coles Group by Wesfarmers was based on improving the future operations and standing of the company. The senior management of the company involved in such activities with the aim of expanding the operations of the company by eliminating the geographical boundary (Langley, et al. 2013). Because of the acquisition, the possible increase in the business products of the company happened effectively to cover more areas in the respective market. Therefore, the certain decisions associated with the organizational transformation contribute to the development of identified company by changing operations in a global setting. 

References

Andersson, G., 2015. Resisting Organizational Change. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning, 8(1).

Cameron, E. and Green, M., 2015. Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C.G., 2014. Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

David, F. and David, F.R., 2016. Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases.

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. pearson.

Hanson, S., 2013. Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness for the HR Professional.

Langley, A., 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, 56(1), pp.1-13.

MacKay, R.B. and Chia, R., 2013. Choice, chance, and unintended consequences in strategic change: a process understanding of the rise and fall of Northco Automotive. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), pp.208-230.

Mantere, S., Schildt, H.A. and Sillince, J.A., 2012. Reversal of strategic change. Academy of Management Journal, 55(1), pp.172-196.

Reynolds, M. and Holwell, S., 2010. Systems approaches to managing change: a practical guide (pp. 1-24). London: Springer.

Rothaermel, F.T., 2015. Strategic management. McGraw-Hill.

Senge, P.M., 2014. The dance of change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization. Crown Business.

Vaccarezza, A. and Rizzi, G., 2014. Change management dashboard: an adaptive approach to lead a change program. People and Strategy, 37(1), p.46.

Waddell, D., Creed, A., Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C., 2013.Organisational change: development and transformation. Cengage Learning.

Ward, J. and Peppard, J., 2016. The Strategic Management of Information Systems: Building a Digital Strategy. John Wiley & Sons.

Welbourne, TM 2014, ‘Change management needs a change’, Employment Relations Today, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 17–23.

Zippelâ€ÂSchultz, B. and Schultz, C., 2011. Mediated and moderated effects of business and project planning on innovation projects in hospitals. Creativity and Innovation Management, 20(4), pp.296-310.

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