Consider an organisational change that you have recently experienced. Write a reflective essay that indicates how you personally transitioned in the change. Reflecting on the content of the unit identify the concepts, theories and tools you feel would be most helpful if you were invited to advise your organisation about how best to manage change.
Experience of Organisational Change
Organisational change is the process through which an organisation faces changes in strategies, technologies, culture and other factors which are essential for an organisation. Recently I have also faced a scenario of organisational change, and this has made me understand the concept clearly. During my summer holidays, I did not want to sit at home idle and wanted to earn some extra money which is why I approached a local retail store near my house and opted to work there through the summer holidays for two months. The retail store was on being bought by another businessman in some days. However, the old owner was still the boss when he hired me. I started working soon in the store and became accustomed to the rules and the people who worked there. The employees of the store were mostly aged people who have been there for a long time, and they were quite friendly. The owner was very flexible with the working hours and allowed the people to come and go as they deemed fit provided the job was being done properly. Since the owner was from the same locality, he even gave credits to the people whom he knew for a long time.
Everyone liked the owner, but the store did not have many customers since they failed to provide good stocks of products due to the long credits and the less income that they made. The owner told me that this was the reason that he was selling the store since he was not capable of managing it any further. Soon the store was sold to the businessman, and on the first day itself the new owner set down some rules that had to be followed by the employees of the store from then on. He firstly let go of all the aged employees in a polite way stating that young people would be more enthusiastic to work and contribute to the development of the store. This decision received much backlash from the people of the community as well as the people who were being let go since they have been associated with the store for a vast length of time. However, the new owner and the management was fixed on their decision and made the changes accordingly. They also made several other changes such as no provision for credits to any customer, fixed shift hours with stipulated numbers of leaves every month. They also established a reporting hierarchy where we employees had to report to their managers about their work progress every month, and every employee was given a target which they had to meet. An incentive system was also started where the best performing employee of every month was awarded incentives. The structure and the culture of the organisation became more organised and systematic.
Impact on Personal Transition
This incident made me had a high impact on me since this was my first exposure to any organisation and the operations that occur within. I had to adapt myself to a more professional environment from a friendly and personal environment that I was hired into. When I was first hired by the old owner, I experienced a very free environment where the people with whom I worked were friends, and they guided me in any work that I had difficulty in. Since this was not a permanent job for me, the owner did not put much pressure on me. However, with the changes that occurred in the store, the environment and culture of the workplace also changed. Every person who worked in the store had to follow the same rules irrespective of the time that they would be working for. This sudden changes had a significant impact on me as well as on the old employees who were still working. However, within a few days, the store became more organised and received more customers than they had before. The stock was fully updated, and new varieties were provided which attracted many customers. The positive effects of the change were visible within a few days, and even we were motivated to work harder due to the incentive structure that was established by the management.
This change that I have experienced can be better understood with the help of a theory of organisational change. The most relatable theory according to me is the teleological theory of change. Burke (2017) states that in the teleological theory, the change that occurs is intentional which is done to achieve a particular goal. The theory establishes that a change occurs in an organisation with the motive to reach a set goal which is done by the management (Tuck and Yang 2013). To ensure the achievement of this goal the management changes many aspects of the organisation with only one agenda in mind to succeed in their work. The whole organisation has to work as one unit to reach the desired goal and have to follow the changes that have been made by the management for the success of the changes that have been done by the management (Langley et al. 2013). The progress has to be strictly monitored by the management, and the proper measure has to be taken. The employees need to be appropriately directed and should be provided with the best ways that would help them to work correctly (Gioia et al. 2013). This kind of change is also established in the vision, mission and the objectives of the organisation which would help them to form a strategic direction which would be followed by the whole organisation (Gunitsky 2013).
Related Theory of Organisational Change
This theory is highly relatable to my own experience since the change that was made in the store was also purposeful by the management. The new owner decided to make the changes so that he could form a new direction in the store which would eventually lead it to be one of the successful stores in the area. He realised the problems and the challenges that were earlier faced by the old owner which led to the downfall of the store and made the changes accordingly by eradicating and controlling most of the issues (Robey, Anderson and Raymond 2013). The issues were the first things that were addressed by the owner before he introduced anything new. He made policies and rules which would, in reality, help the employees to do their work correctly. This proper establishment of the policies have created a strict environment in the workplace but have been a positive change (Wufka and Ralph 2015). Even though it might seem that the policies are harsh and the changes that have been made have initially received much negativity, after some time it was seen that the same changes had received positive feedback from the people of the society.
From my above experience, I have learnt that change can be both positive and negative. However, it is not right to judge the effects of a change without waiting for the results. Any change would require a great deal of time to show their effects (Küng 2013). Moreover, the management would always do what is best for the organisation. Their approaches might be different since every person have a different outlook. However, no matter what the approach is the change would positively contribute to the betterment of the organisation. I have also understood that it is not just the work of the management to make sure that the change is for the better (Georgalis et al. 2015). The whole organisation have to work as one unit to make the change successful and to help the organisation to succeed in their mission, vision and objectives that have been set by the management. Furthermore, it is also the job of the management to conduct changes and introduce policies which will motivate the employees to work hard, and they receive incentives and rewards for their excellent performances.
This incident has made me ready for any future organisations where I would work. I now have a clear understanding of organisational change, having experienced a real-life scenario. I have derived that for staying in an organisation for a long-term, I would have to work hard and adapt to the changes that are done by the management so that I may be able to contribute to the development and the good future of the organisation. It is also understood that change is not always a negative thing and is sometimes essential for the proper functioning and operation of an organisation. Organisational change is, therefore, an essential aspect of an organisation when the need arises and this would be understood better by the management (Lozano, Ceulemans and Seatter 2015). The change has to receive the support of all members of the organisation and the management to be successful and to becoming a developing step towards the better future of the organisation. Thus, I can say that I had a fruitful summer experience which has enabled me to learn new things which would greatly help me in my future endeavours. The experience that I had was helpful in shaping me and my views towards working in any organisation in future times and have made me ready regarding the challenges that I would be facing.
Burke, W.W., 2017. Organization change: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.
Georgalis, J., Samaratunge, R., Kimberley, N. and Lu, Y., 2015. Change process characteristics and resistance to organisational change: The role of employee perceptions of justice. Australian Journal of Management, 40(1), pp.89-113.
Gioia, D.A., Patvardhan, S.D., Hamilton, A.L. and Corley, K.G., 2013. Organizational identity formation and change. The Academy of Management Annals, 7(1), pp.123-193.
Gunitsky, S., 2013. Complexity and theories of change in international politics. International Theory, 5(1), pp.35-63.
Küng, L., 2013. Innovation, technology and organisational change. Media innovations: A multidisciplinary study of change, pp.9-12.
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, 56(1), pp.1-13.
Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K. and Seatter, C.S., 2015. Teaching organisational change management for sustainability: designing and delivering a course at the University of Leeds to better prepare future sustainability change agents. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, pp.205-215.
Robey, D., Anderson, C. and Raymond, B., 2013. Information technology, materiality, and organizational change: A professional odyssey. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14(7), p.379.
Tuck, E. and Yang, K.W. eds., 2013. Youth resistance research and theories of change. Routledge.
Wufka, M. and Ralph, P., 2015, August. Explaining agility with a process theory of change. In 2015 Agile Conference (AGILE) (pp. 60-64). IEEE.
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