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Managing Organizational Change And Culture

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Question:

Discuss about the Managing Organizational Change and Culture.
 
 

Answer:

Leadership and staff management is a vital attribute of a manager who is good and effective for any firm. This unit helps the manager to understand the basic principles that an employee can uphold in his/her behaviour and also appreciate, in an informed way, the importance of humans as a resource (Baxter 2015). As such, the manager’s ability to reflect on the former and superimpose it to the latter can help in the optimisation of the performance of the employees for the betterment of the organisation. When a manager focusses on the relationship between the performance of the organisation and the management of people, he or she will amass insights into the myriad forms of people management in an environment that is constantly changing. Furthermore, the unit affirms the link between leadership that is superb and the organisational strategic goals. The historical purview of organisational progress is anchored on leadership and management (Baxter 2015). There are no organisations that have seen rapid growth without having an uncanny grasp of this concept as far as management is concerned. Some of the biggest firms to ever exist on the globe such as Walmart, Microsoft, Apple Inc., Samsung Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen, Chevrolet and others have attributed their success to the employee commitment and satisfaction. The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of most of these firms have reiterated that one of the qualities that they use to select various managers is the ability to serve as a role model through good and efficient leadership and management of human resource.

Therefore, this is an area that should not be taken lightly but a deeper understanding has to be in the front-run for the success of a firm is anchored on it. In this regard, it is imperative to reflect on the topic “management of organisational change” as an example in the unit for a better understanding of its worth (Adamou 2017).

 


Changes in organisations occur when they transition from the current state to the desired one in the future. Therefore, this process demands proper skills and good will from every party that is involved because it carries factors that can either be predicted or not. Furthermore, these anticipated parameters can be detrimental to the firm and its workforce or be beneficial at the same time (Zhang 2012). A such, organisational change management refers to the process of making a plan and implementing the changes in the organisation in a way that minimises the resistance from employees and reduces organisational costs but at the same time ensuring that the change is effectively maximised for the benefit of the firm (Bratton & Gold 2017). This process cannot be evaded because to maintain a competitive advantage over other companies; an organisation needs to adopt new methods of production, new materials, productive staff, environmental conservation among other processes. Furthermore, parameters like market globalisation and a rapidly changing technology demand a prompt response from firms to maintain their survival. The organisational changes can be minor, for example, requiring the installation of a software program that is updated or major, where a strategy of marketing may need to be refocused, or fighting a takeover that is hostile or organisational transformation due to a foreign competition that is unrelenting (Bratton & Gold 2017).

Therefore, organisational change possesses more than meets the eye (Gover & Duxbury 2012).

Various models and theories underlie the management of organisational change (Hallencreutz 2016). This theoretical space has some factors in common, and they include; viewing change in the position of a manager, and the fact that there exist two primary ways of organisational change approach (Zhang 2012). These two ways include; process description and the means of planned change implementation. Process description analyses the change as opposed to giving the norms for its application. One of the well-known models was developed by Harold J Leavitt. He was an author from America and believed that organisations are systems which are multivariate with not less than four variables: structure, players, technology and goal (Gover & Duxbury 2012). Leavitt considered “structure” as the structures of responsibility, authority, work relations and communication. He reiterated that the organisational employees represented the players. Furthermore, he defined technology as the total techniques and instruments utilised in the move to realise the goals of the organisation. Finally, the goal was considered as the rationale for the firm’s existence (Zhang 2012). These four facets are considered to be the representations for change thus referring to them as the four types of change. This model holds that these parameters depend on one another. Thus, any alteration in one affects the other. Therefore, there exist two consequences for this fact; that there can be a deliberate modification of one of the variables to cause a change that is desired in the others (Gover & Duxbury 2012).

Secondly, it holds that a change in one of the variables may cause changes that are not desired in others thus straining the firm. These relationships are quite clear to decipher (Bratton & Gold 2017).

 


The second model for consideration was developed by Kurt Lewin. Lewin held that change could only occur when the forces that maintained the stability behaviour of the system were altered (Hallencreutz 2016). In a specific way, he maintained that at any given moment in time, the system’s situation is in tandem with the interaction between forces in two groups; those that modify the status quo and those that tend to uphold its maintenance (Katkov 2013). In approximation, when the two groups of forces are equal, then the system can be referred to as being in a “quasi-stationary equilibrium” state. In a bid to achieve the modification of this state, then one of the groups should be strengthened (Katkov 2013). Lewin stressed that the alteration of the forces of stability would likely create less resistance from the workforce as opposed to the forces that are pro-change. The stability forces are responsible for the maintenance of the status quo. Lewin believes that change surfaces as a process in three levels.  Unfreezing, change proper and refreezing. Freezing refers to the minimization of the forces which maintain the current level of behaviour in the system. This can be achieved by the introduction of data that would unearth discrepancies between the actual behaviour and the one that the employees desire. Secondly, change proper entails the modification of behaviour in the organisation and is all about getting to another level of the plan (Katkov 2013).

Furthermore, there is the development of new attitudes, behaviours, and values by altering the processes and structures of the organisation. Lastly, the refreezing stage calls for the stabilisation of the newer organisational state in a bid to reinforce the new elements; the accomplishment can be achieved through norms, culture, structures and policies (K?z?l 2017).

The third model is known as Kotter’s theory of change management developed by John P Kotter, a professor at the Business School of Harvard. He divided it into eight stages where a vital principle about the people’s response to change is identified in each (Hallencreutz 2016). The first stage is urgency increase where people are motivated by enhancing their urge. Team building is the second stage and it entails mixing skills and talents to champion the change. Thirdly, he suggests correctly getting the vision. It involves focusing the minds of the employees to the firm’s purpose and target (Thomas-Hunt, Gethin-Jones & Fleming 2017). Afterwards, he encourages communication, then getting everything working. This involves empowering the employees and encouraging them to work harder. He then redirects to focusing on the goals that are short term and never giving up. This last step ensures that reinforcement is upheld to promote a culture of utilisation by the firm. Other additional models include the nudge theory that focusses on economics, political theory and behavioural sciences, the Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement (ADKAR) model, Bridge’s Model of Transition and Kubler-Ross Model of five Stages (K?z?l 2017).

 


Management of change is advantageous to the manager in various ways. First of all, it fosters incorporation of newer strategies of management and thus achievement of managerial goals. Here, the manager meets his/her desired outcomes especially after having learnt the new ideas from elsewhere where it works better. Secondly, change management boosts the competitive advantage of the firm (Thomas-Hunt, Gethin-Jones & Fleming 2017). The role of the manager is seen through results and profits. As such, managing change promotes the results and the credit goes to the manager. Furthermore, the process enables the managers to curb undesirable behaviour from employees. For example, a manager may realise that a certain employee may not sustain the desired change and therefore needs to be replaced or demoted. Change management further boosts the skills of the manager in running the organisation through understanding the employees and enhancing their morale to work in a challenging environment (O'Leary 2013).

Conversely, change may prove to be disadvantageous to the manager and the firm. When the desired results of change are not met, fear may develop in the manager and eventual decline in the spirit of work. This will eventually advantage the close competitors of the firm. Additionally, a manager may waste the resources of the enterprise to actualize change that never materialises, as such, the firm’s top management may have a negative attitude towards the managers and warrant their sacking (O'Leary 2013).

Despite these disadvantages, change management rarely fails because projections are almost accurate in most cases. Change management has worked well with most of the renowned firms, and it is only lack of commitment and proper research that unwanted results may ensue (O'Leary 2013).

Furthermore, consultations and extensive caution guarantee success in change management. A bad plan for change may also be a contributor to the failure of the firm’s activities. Additionally, the process can go wrong if the manager does not understand the culture of his/her organisation and more so because the desired changes may have risks outweighing potential benefits. Without the above factors and much more, organisational change may not be easily realised and fruitful (Smith 2014).

Examples of organisations that embraced change management and realised good results include Yahoo, California State University (CSU) and British Airways. When Marissa Mayer assumed the CEO’s role at Yahoo, the firm was below average, and many employees had fled. However, she focused on talents by introducing initiatives that were employee-focused and boosted their morale. She also encouraged them to embrace change through rewards and friendly programs. Ultimately, former employees came back, and Yahoo regained its competitive advantage. The CSU management introduced a new IT system that affected the students and staff. However, the new system was introduced smoothly and automatically by redefining the roles of everybody. Eventually, everyone embraced the change. In 1981, a new CEO was introduced at British Airways, and he restructured the organisation by reducing the workforce. He introduced layoffs but honestly communicated to the employees and the press. As such, everybody was satisfied, and it is currently one of the leading airlines around the globe (Smith 2014).

 


Considering the view that there are no right answers in this unit, it is imperative to note that some answers are closer to being right than others (Smith 2014). The decisions and plans must always be in tandem with the firm’s capabilities and culture because any step missed may create major setbacks. Therefore, only researched and prepared answers are the best in this unit.

In conclusion, organisational change management aims at preventing resistance from employees and simultaneously leveraging on the changes that have occurred. Again, changes in the organisation can be easily projected or initiated by an uncanny manager. Therefore, this section of leading and managing people is vital for any manager. Models of change management include Leavitt’s Model that focusses on four variables; structure, players, technology and goal, and Lewin’s Model that stresses on the stages of organisational change as a state similar to a box of ice; freezing, change proper and unfreezing. Other models include Kotter’s theory, Kubler-Ross’s five stage model, ADKAR, Bridge’s and nudge models. Some of the advantages of change management to the manager include a control of the human resource, the realisation of profits for the firm, acquisition of newer skills among others. Some of the disadvantages include demotivation especially when the desired outcomes are not met and a wastage of resources. Notwithstanding, improper preparation and a lack of an understanding of the organisational culture guarantees failure of this process. This premise has been used by firms like Yahoo, British Airways and CSU and has borne fruits. Lastly, the view that any answer is right should not be held because the manager must always make good decisions for the firm and the entire process of management.

Having considered all the parameters in this report, suggestions have to be postulated. First, ensure that resources are available for the managers who will take the MBA because they will learn a lot of helpful parameters for the firm. Secondly, as the manager, there is need to similarly seek this knowledge by taking the MBA. Furthermore, always refer to the parameters of leadership and management of people because it is one of the pillars of management that one cannot afford to lose. Moreover, there is need to blend skills from other units as mentioned in the email with the management of change in order to achieve the goals of the firm. Lastly, ensure that every manager seeking the MBA is motivated.

 

Works Cited

Adamou, C. 2017. Leading and managing people effectively in the face of global public health emergencies: lessons from Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks. Strategic HR Review, 16(1), pp.45-48.

Baxter, J. 2015. Book Review: Leading and Managing People in EducationBushTonyMiddlewoodDavidLeading and Managing People in EducationLondon: SAGE, 2013, ISBN: 9781446256527. Management in Education, 29(3), pp.140-141.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2017. Human resource management. 1st ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gover, L. and Duxbury, L. 2012. Organisational Faultlines: Social Identity Dynamics and Organizational Change. Journal of Change Management, 12(1), pp.53-75.

Hallencreutz, J. 2016. Process-based System Models for Accelerating Change. The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management: Annual Review, 8(9), pp.119-132.

Katkov, A. 2013. Organizational Change Management in Thailand. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 6(2), pp.51-52.

K?z?l, C. 2017. Book Review of “The Real Warren Buffett - Managing Capital, Leading People”. EMAJ: Emerging Markets Journal, 6(2), pp.43-46.

O'Leary, D. 2013. Leading, managing and developing people. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 10(1), pp.79-83.

Smith, J. 2014. Leading, Managing and Developing People2014 2 Gary Rees and Ray French 4th ed. Leading, Managing and Developing People 2013. Industrial and Commercial Training, 46(4), pp.229-230.

Thomas-Hunt, M., Gethin-Jones, M. and Fleming, S. 2017. Marissa Mayer at Google. Darden Business Publishing Cases, 1(1), pp.1-13.

Zhang, M. 2012. The development of human resource management in China: An overview. Human Resource Management Review, 22(3), pp.161-164.

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