In this assignment, it can be stated that a change agent is having a key role to perform for the creation of readiness in respect of change, to get individuals engaged in what will come next, to create an eagerness for supporting the effort related to change as well as plummeting the unknown fears by assisting others to view the changing perspective in a more positive manner. When the vision that has been created is not taken into consideration by every stakeholder, to make it function gets very much demanding. A facilitator who is respected as well as unbiased is needed for leading the team of discussions either by team or unit by unit. There is the prerequisite for having continuous feedback as well as communication regarding every group that is having the association.
1. Two different theoretical perspectives for organizational change
The term ‘ontology’ is referring to the theory of being not to being itself. To have an ontology is having a theory of what is existing. It is to do with our suppositions about how the world is made up and the characteristic of things. The term ‘ontological’ is used for explaining something that is considered being ‘real’.
Real and Reality
Despite the fact that, the terms ‘real’ and ‘reality’ are essential in respect of a discussion relating to ontology, these terms, however, are mostly used in a way that is inviting confusion as well as ambiguity. Critical realists are not reserving the term ‘real’ in respect of things that are material, or physical. For instance, they do not think that mountains, computers, buildings as well as kidneys are real but ideas, beliefs, concepts, as well as discourses are considered being non-real. So, then what is considered to be ‘real’ according to the critical realists. They believe that something is considered being real when it is having an effect or will be making a difference (Gollenia, 2016). As because, entities such as mountains as well as discourses are making a clear difference, in the sense that they are causing human beings for acting in manners they would not when these entities are not present, then mountains as well as discourses are not considered to be real.
Entities and their identification
According to the critical realists, a claim has been made that the effect of an entity will be having an independent existence in regard to our knowledge of it. There can occur the arising of ambiguity from the claim that an entity will be having an independent existence regarding our knowledge of it since, empiricists claim that there occurs the derivation of all information from observing things, and they place the argument that, there cannot occur the observation of any entity, they cannot be known about and as a result, there is no authorization for claiming that it, or some of its traits are having an existence (Goetsch, 2014). There can also occur the rising of ambiguity from the claim that there occurs the existence of an entity in an independent manner in respect of our knowledge regarding it due to the fact that, the postmodernists as well as poststructuralists are often denying that entities are considered to be independent.
Modes of reality
There is a possibility for doing the identification of four kinds of reality or four different varied ways, in which there might occur the differentiation of real entities, even though with certain overlapping, such as material, artefactual, social as well as ideal.
The term, ‘materially real’ is referring to the material entities such as the oceans, the weather, the moon as well as mountains that can, and often do, exist in an independent manner of what individuals or communities are doing, saying or thinking. In a clear manner, it can be stated that in certain scenarios, materially real entities get influenced by the actions that are being taken. In certain cases, it might be more pertinent for classifying what is considered, at first blush, being materially real entities as artefacts such as quarries. Despite the fact that, much will be depending upon the context, the segment ‘materially real’ will be allowing us in handling those entities that are existing in an independent manner regarding what is being done, said or thought (Cummings, 2014). Although, materially real entities are having an independent existence regarding our identification of them, in most scenarios we are identifying them, as a result of which we might be referring to them as conceptually arbitrated.
The term, ‘ideally real’ will be referring to the conceptual entities such as, language, genres, discourse, styles, signs, as well as symbols and semiotised entities such as models, theories, representations, explanations and many more. Ideally real entities may or may not be having a referent. Also, the referent might be considered to be real in an ideal or non-ideal manner. Despite the fact that, critical realists are claiming that there is more to the world than discourse, this should not be considered for suggesting that they think discourse is not having any relevance. It is to be noted that the discourses like financial audit, quality control as well as risk management, are regarded as ‘generative mechanisms’ having ‘performative potential’. For instance, taking into consideration the example of skills as well as gender, it can be stated that the female workers are having the possession of skills in similarity to those acquired by male workers.
Although, discourses are making a difference, not every discourse is making a difference and we often are required to take into consideration as to whose discourse will be reckoned. Semiosis is considered being an essential part of social life but it is not exhausting the latter. Therefore, as because texts are regarded as socially structuring as well as socially structured, we are required examining not just ways by which the texts do the generation of meaning and as a result, assist in the generation of social structure but also the ways by which the production of meaning is itself constricted by surfacing, non-semiotic attributes relating to social structure (Free, 2013).
The term, ‘artefactually real’ is referring to the entities like cosmetics, computers or the hole in the ozone layer. Computers are regarded to be an amalgamation of the physically, ideally as well as socially real. Since, there occurs the conceptual mediation of entities, we are interpreting them in different, as well as often varied ways.
The term ‘socially real’ is referring to the practices, state of affairs or entities such as to care for children, to become unemployed, the mechanism of the market, social structural aspects as well as establishments. Entities that are considered being socially real, are social in two senses. Firstly, like entities that are considered being ideally real, they are not containing a speck of materiality, we cannot be touching, smelling or holding a social entity (Johnson, 2014). Secondly, and in a most important manner, they are considered being social due to the fact that, they are having dependence on certain activities to exist. Entities that are considered being socially real might be the subject of discourse, but they are having a dimension that is considered being extra-discursive.
To recognize the distinguishing aspect within socially as well as superlatively real domains, will be allowing the critical realists in recognizing the complex processes by which there occurs the relation of discourse with the phenomenon that is considered being extra-discursive (Quinn, 2014).
This is considered being the process of investigating into the nature of knowledge itself. The study of epistemology is focusing on the ways to acquire information and in what ways we will be differentiating between the truth as well as untruth. Epistemology is considered significant due to the fact that, it is fundamental as to way we are thinking (Olins, 2017). Without certain ways to understand in what ways we are acquiring information, in what ways we are relying upon our senses, and in what ways we are doing the development of the concepts in our minds, there exists no rational path in respect of our thought process. There is the requirement of an effective epistemology in respect of the presence of an effective process to think as well as reason (Anthony, 2015).
In respect of linear epistemology, it can be stated that there is a body of correct information that the experts are holding, the expert presenters are having the knowledge of the answers regarding the problems related to organizational performance. There exists very less diversity regarding the values in respect of topics as well as solutions within the participants. There should also occur the giving out of appropriate information in the most effective way (Nahavandi, 2016). Also, top-down is the most effective way for getting a single articulate message to all employees within the establishment. The objective relating to the goals of the evaluation method, regarding linear epistemology is related with the aspect of making the process of presentation to have more focus, packaging the message in a more explicit as well as coherent manner, as well as measuring the actualization of the organizational objectives (Barber, 2013).
In respect of non-linear social constructivist epistemology, it can be stated that, some of the best solutions related to business will be coming from the co-workers. Every participants are possessing information that is considered to be of high worth. Moreover, there occurs the viewing of the participants as constructivist as well as active thinkers with emerging theories in respect of working as well as learning (Johnson, 2013). There will occur the encouragement of participants for changing via assistance as well as modelling from the group. The objective relating to the goals of the evaluation method, regarding non-linear social constructivist epistemology is related with the aspect of providing feedback in respect of learning to everyone who is having an involvement, for improving the contexts of learning as well as methods, and determining the levels of meaning actualized by the participants (Hayes, 2014).
Epistemology is having the concern regarding the aspect of knowing in what ways it can be known. Positivist epistemology does the assumption that it can be discovered what is truly occurring in establishments via the categorization as well as scientific measurement of the individual’s behavioural aspects as well as methods. Positivists are also assuming that language does the mirroring of the reality, i.e., there can occur the describing of the reality as well as its objects by the use of language without the loss of meaning or innate prejudice (Honrstein, 2015). In respect of the positivists, there occurs the generation of better information through the development of hypothesis as well as suggestions, to gather as well as analyze data and then testing the hypothesis as well as suggestions against the external reality represented with the help of their data for seeing whether they are correct. In this manner, modernists will be doing the development of the general theories to explain various aspects of one overarching reality, as well as making prophecies relating to the future (Morgan, 2013).
Positivist epistemology is depending upon the foundational principles that do the celebration of the reasoning values, truth as well as validity. The positivist organization theorists do the studying of the establishments as objective entities and are having the attraction towards methods adapted from the physical as well as hard sciences (Lucas, 2014). They do the gathering of data via the use of surveys as well as laboratory or field experiments that relies upon the behavioural measures that their assumptions are leading them to consider as objectives. Depending upon statistical evaluation of the data that has been collected through the use of these processes, they do the deriving of the theoretical models that they believe are providing factual explanations of the ways by which establishments are functioning (Bradley, 2016).
Antipositivist or interpretive epistemology does the assumption that there will occur the creation as well as understanding of the knowledge from the viewpoint of the individuals who are living as well as working in a specific organizational culture. Interpretivists do the assumption that each of us are acting in circumstances as well as making sense of what is occurring depending upon our experience of that circumstance as well as the memories and expectations we are bringing to it (Langley, 2013). This is stating that there might be various kinds of interpretations as well as understandings relating to the reality as well as interpretive epistemology will be leading us towards the aspect of using processes designed for accessing the meanings that others have made as well as describing in what ways they will be coming to make those meanings (Booth, 2015). On the other hand, it is known that our understanding of others get filtered via our individual experiences, and as a result, we can never be purposeful relating to the interpretations that others have made.
To take an interpretive epistemological position, will be assisting in becoming sensitive to the ways by which individuals make meaning to the point where, the instinctive capacity can be developed for the anticipation of the range of meanings that will be emerging in given situations with the help of particular individuals with whom sufficient intersubjective understanding will get shared (Jones, 2015).
2. Brief introduction of an organization where change is occurring
HMRC or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is a non-ministerial department of the Government of UK having the responsibility towards the collection of taxes, the payment of certain kinds of state transport as well as the administration of other regulatory regimes that includes the national minimum wage. The formation of HMRC took place through the merger of the Inland Revenue as well as Her Majesty’s Custom and Excise that came into effect on 18th April, 2005. The department is having the responsibility in respect of administering as well as collecting the direct taxes that include income tax as well as corporations tax, capital taxes, indirect taxes and so on (Johnson, 2013).
HMRC is an agency for the enforcement of law that is having a strong cadre of Criminal Investigators having the responsibility towards the investigation of Serious Organized Fiscal Crime. There is also the listing of HMRC under parts of the British Government that is contributing to the aspect of collecting, analysing as well as assessing the intelligence. The department is systematized around four functional groups, which are considered as personal tax, benefits and credits, business tax as well as enforcement and compliance. Moreover, there are five supporting groups as well, which are considered as Permanent Secretary for Tax group, Chief Finance Officer group, Chief Information Officer group, General Counsel and Solicitor Group as well as Chief People Officer group. HMRC is dealing with the top 2,000 huge businesses through CRM (Bosch, 2016).
Identification of the change occurring in HMRC
The 2010 spending review did the signalling of one of the most demanding as well as ambitious changing periods faced by HMRC in recent past. A 25% decrease in IT spend was having an expectation by 2014-15, in parallel with the growing demands on quality as well as performance and comprehensive changes in the legislation. Moreover, a new platform was required for processing 800,000 payments every day, for setting up without the disruption of the business regarding HMRC, or its customers. The project will be affecting all the aspect relating to the business of HMRC, with the majority of services having the involvement of interdependencies that are considered being complex (Parker, 2013). In this context, there occurred the development of an accessible as well as sustainable structure for mitigating as well as managing threats in association with future changing aspects across the multifaceted environment regarding IT.
Also, in respect of the changes occurring in HMRC, a series of focus groups with managers were conducted for understanding what they were doing in a correct way. It was also discussed with them, what they required for the maintaining the trusting associations they were having with their team. It was found out that most of the managers at HMRC are having a strong association with their teams, as well as having a loyalty in respect of their people as well as towards the Department stating that they will be trying to give their utmost (Hayes, 2014). Therefore, change programmes at HMRC is required having the involvement of front-line managers.
Current state of the business
HMRC, UK is having the commitment towards taking the perspective of business into consideration for the implementation of the policy decisions as well as designing the systems as well as processes, via more steady consultation. Employees are required to get equipped with the various kinds of abilities, competencies as well as assistance required for understanding the perspective of large business as well as dealing in a confident manner with complex commercial relevant matters in respect of large business in an environment that is constantly changing (Bradley, 2016).
3. SWOT Analysis for HMRC
HMRC is very adjustable to the demands that are changing, which has been proved by its response towards languishing audit fees as well as uncertainty relating to the new rules of competition through the diversification into different areas.
As the hostility of the media as well as the public increases regarding the idea of avoidance of taxes, HMRC is faced with the damage of reputation in respect of acting regarding those who use schemes for the avoidance of taxes (Cameron, 2015).
The rising elderly population, as well as the good fortunes and the comparatively high net worth of the generation of baby boomers will be seeing an increased workload in the future regarding retirement, tax as well as inheritance planning.
HMRC made the announcement that it was stepping up its endeavours for stamping out personal schemes relating to the avoidance of taxes. The Government feels that this will be eliminating the incentive from entering into such a scheme primarily and further do the reduction of the demand in respect of planning for taxes in this way (Burge, 2014).
4. Key conceptualizations of role of the change agent
Change agent is considered being a comparatively new role the purpose of which is developing the climate in respect of planned change through the overcoming of resistance as well as rallying the forces in respect of positive development. Moreover, a change agent is an individual who is initiating, stimulating, or facilitating a change program by being supportive.
The role of a change agent needs to be understood depending upon the organizational change processes. HMRC will be going through the change that has been planned. According to the Lewin’s model, it can be stated that they will primarily be experiencing unfreezing of traditional thoughts as well as processes. Then via the restructuring process, there begins the shifting in the behaviour of the organization. Finally, in respect of refreezing, there occurs the stabilization of the new behavioural aspects, cultural aspects as well as the suppositions (Lucas, 2014).
There has been the development of a seven-stage practical plan of intervention that can be utilized by the managers to be a change agent. There is the requirement to set a new style of leadership regarding a participative leadership, which will create a share vision in respect of quality outcomes, which does the establishment of improving the methods via the department teams, to foster staff buy-in via the work teams that are empowered, to specify the measurements for observing the systems in action, incorporation of leadership as well as training related teamwork-skills as well as continuous development via continuous feedback as well as review. This is considered as effective guidelines in respect of change agents who are having the task of undertaking changes within the organization. ‘
There are two kinds of change agents such as internal change agent as well as external change agent. The internal change agents are comprising of the corporate board members, executives, managers as well as others within the establishment, whereas the external change agents are including the investors, suppliers, government regulators (Anthony, 2015).
Internal change agents are generally coming from either the HR department or the senior level management and they are having a major function to perform regarding the organizational restructuring. The internal change agents are faced with challenges for ensuring that they are getting influenced by the power games of other individuals, as they would be having the information relating to internal politics. They will also be requited convincing others that they are having the required abilities as well as proficiencies, which will be contributing in an effective manner to the changes in the organization (Johnson, 2014). The aspects of selecting the internal change agents are very much essential and are required to be selected judiciously. This is due to the fact that change is having the involvement of employee participation.
External change agents are often considered to be agents whose hiring is done depending upon their proficiencies as well as portfolio that they are having. Their hiring is often taking place due to the fact that the senior management is having the feeling that there are no pertinent or capable individuals within the establishment for getting appointed as internal agents of change and therefore, there occurs the outsourced recruiting of skilled consultants (Smith, 2016). Moreover, the external change agents are having the benefit of being purposeful for the aspect of analyzing as well as examining the different cultural aspects, practices as well as viewpoints within the establishment.
5. Problem-centric approaches to change
The problem-centric approaches to change is focusing upon the organizational as well as environmental concerns and are having the tendency for taking the rational positivist approach towards change. The problem-centric approaches are having the tendency of being action-oriented. Moreover, the problem-centric approach is focusing on getting the change with the help of the aspect of ‘telling’ (Barber, 2013).
Dialogic approaches to change
The Dialogic change approach functions when they are catalyzing the materialization of new ideas within the target group that is having two qualities such as providing new methods to seek as well as think regarding concerns the effort of change is about. Because of these new images, viewpoints as well as metaphors, new options in respect of actions as well as decisions, which did not occur to individuals earlier, will now be occurring to them. These new viewpoints, metaphors as well as images are compelling to the individuals (Storey, 2014). Consultants and managers can do the utilization of dialogic approaches for the generation of new viewpoints as well as solutions and then converging upon a solution and working towards implementing it.
Dialogic approaches to change is resting on the assumption that change is occurring when the everyday thinking of individuals did the alteration of their daily decisions as well as actions, leading towards the changing scenario regarding the cultural aspect of community that will be entrenching the new means of thinking (Olins, 2017). By undertaking a research on Appreciative Inquiry, it was found out that the generativity level relating to intervention will be explaining the transformational level within HMRC.
To conclude, it can be stated that there is the existence of the role regarding the change agent via discourse within a power-resistance association. Finally, HMRC is having the expectation that the change agents will be bringing about the changing aspects. The changes within the organization are to change the organizational discourse via language. Individuals might not be accepting the justification behind shifts in the discursive formations as well as the power regarding language is positioning them in an unfavourable manner. A different way to understand change and the change agent’s role is by looking through the ‘lens’ of ‘Habitus’. Habitus does the influencing of the individual conjectures. Habitus is a product of history, which does the production of practices that are considered being individual as well as collective.
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