Reflective case analysis on workplace change and change management:
Whether it is personal life or professional life any sorts change creates tension. It is accepted by each and every person as well as scholars in the world that human mind always resists changes (Shanley, 2007). On the other hand, according to eminent philosophers, changes are the beauty of life. There is an old English idiom which says rolling stones gather no moss (Hannay, Ben Jaafar & Earl, 2013). Hence in order to make the change accepted by the target group, a number of theories are evolved throughout the century (Govender, 2013). In this reflective account, I am going to explain the changes that I have experienced in my workplace. I also try to explain the impacts of the change both positive and negative with the help of various change management theories and tools (van Diermen et al.2016). I will record my experience in this essay in such as way so it can serve as a secondary source of information regarding change management for the prospective researcher. This knowledge also helps me to manage changes in my future career (van Diermen et al.2016).
I work in a small departmental store Located in Melbourne. My role as an employee in there to engage with the customer and assists them to choose the desired product (Hayes, 2014). When I first joined as customer service executive in the store, our immediate boss was the store manager whose leadership style was a bit autocratic in nature (Frankland et al. 2013). However, most of the employees are quite familiar with the leadership strategy followed by our manager and the store operations run smoothly. Our manager was bit aged and every of the employee accepts him as a father figure. We all respect him with awe (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). Though he takes good care of each and every employee working the departmental store but none of us has the courage to question his authority (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015). We just do what he wants us to do. However, due to age related problem and illness, he retired from the job suddenly and the company has recruited and MBA female candidate in his place (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015).
Our new manager is totally opposite to our previous one. She is charming, young and extrovert whereas our previous manager was introvert and authoritarian (Hannay, Ben Jaafar & Earl, 2013). Furthermore, the democratic leadership style along with the implementation of modern technique and question the traditional ways make the old and aged employee unsatisfied and agitated (Alas, Sharifi & Sun, 2015). The sudden change in the managing body, make the employee agitated. Few of the employees completely deny obeying her due to her young age and a shortage of professional experience (Govender, 2013). Few of the employees expected that they will be promoted to the post; but as the managing authority takes another decision, this will create employee unrest within the organisation (van Diermen et al.2016).
In order to understand what is went wrong in the contextual scenario, I going to examine the whole scenario on the basis of two change management theories namely Kurt Lewin theory of change and Kotter's 8-Step Change Model (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016). I will also see what can be done to change the scenario and make it more acceptable to the corresponding employees. I will also try to understand the utility of different change management model along with its utility in real life scenario (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015).
According to Kurt Lewin theory of change, in order to implement any change; a three step process need to be employed (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015). The three stages of Kurt Lewin theory of change model are Unfreeze, change and freeze. During the Unfreeze stages, the target group on which the change is implemented are made ready (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016). While implementing changes on the employees it is highly important, they should inform the workforce, prior to making changes. This information helps them to get prepared for the change.
In the given case scenario, the management does not inform the workforce regarding the changes. Hence, when they are intended to implement the changes they have faced huge resistance (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015). Instead of directly imposing the changes over the employees, they can inform their employee beforehand and ask for their advice. By this way, they can ensure the smooth transition, which in the given case is missing (Frankland et al. 2013). The managing authority also needs to explain why they choose the contextual candidate as the Manager of the departmental store (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015). So, the employee can understand the situation. Furthermore, the company also needs to introduce the new manager to the store which is not done in this case (Alas, Sharifi & Sun, 2015).
Hence, it is quite evident that the managing authority fails to implement the Kurt Lewin theory of change which specifying the pre-change information giving process and also implementing the change process (Frankland et al. 2013). However, the new manager is efficiently managing the refreeze process. She personally talks with each and every employee so that she can understand their grievance and take the necessary step to address that (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter, 2015). She also engages employee in decision making process, so that the older employees feel values and cooperate with the entire process.
On the other hand, the Kotler’s 8 step change model is a bit extended by nature. It comprises the following steps namely; Step 1: Create Urgency, Step 2: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step 3: Create a Vision for Change, Step 4: Communicate the Vision, Step 5: Remove Obstacles, Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins, Step 7: Build on the Change, Step 8: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture. Each step is self explanatory in nature (Alas, Sharifi & Sun, 2015).
This model tells, creating the urgency for a change is highly recommended which is altogether absent in the given case scenario. The second step of this process demands coalition with the existing leader in the target group (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016). It is said if the leader within the target group is convinced, it is easy to convince the rest of the group. However, in the contextual scenario, the managing authority pay no attention to convince the group which is resulted as the employee unrest (Hannay, Ben Jaafar & Earl, 2013).
The step 3 and the step 4 is interconnected by nature. In step 3, it is recommended to create a vision, which can be in the concerned case the new face of the company (Frankland et al. 2013). In the fourth step the created vision is needed to be communicated to the target group. In the next step, the authority is expected to judge the situation and eliminated any potential threats from the equation. The rest of the three steps are alike with the Kurt Lewin theory of change which says to fix short term goal, implement the change and make the change to be permanent by supervising and monitoring (van Diermen et al. 2016).
Finally, I have learnt in the due course, any changes need time and strategy to be implemented which is, in this case, is totally absent. From the case scenario, it is quite evident that the company has implemented the change hastily which is the reason behind huge resistance and employee unrest.
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