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The Importance of Change Management

Discuss about the Organizational Change Management for Asia-Pacific Education Researcher.

In the current business scenario, one of the major challenges being faced by the contemporary business organizations is the rapid and frequent change in the external business environment. This is mainly due to the reason that in the current business scenario, organizations are more global in nature with having their business operation in different countries or regions around the world. Thus, the more diversified are the business operations of organizations, the more will be their external factors for considerations (Langley et al. 2013). In this case, it becomes more important for the contemporary business organizations to change their current and existing business process and policies in accordance to the market trend and requirements. Initiation of the change management is the most effective and widely used strategy for the contemporary business organizations. Change management process refers to the implementation of change in the current business process of the organizations and adopting new policies and approaches in order to cope up with the change in the external business factors. 

A leading retail organization in the Australian region based in Sydney initiated a radical change management process in their organizations a few years ago. Though initiation of the change management process by the contemporary business organizations is not new but the different factors that got emerged from the change management process of the particular retail organization is denoting the different elements in the entire process of change management. In the recent time, retail sector of Australia is going through rapid evolution in terms of the business approach and use of latest technologies. Thus, it became important for the players in this sector to change themselves in according to the market demand. The particular retail organization also initiated the change management process in order to counter the change in the market trend and approach. The change that they initiated is purely technological change. This is due to the reason that the retail organization initiated to use automated checkout and billing process for the customers over their existing use of manual forces. This is initiated in order to reduce the time taken in the checkout and billing process for the customers. In addition, another objective of initiating this change is to offer more updated service to the customers and enhancing their convenience and satisfaction level. Though the core objective of initiating the change management was good but it faced resistance from different involved stakeholders along with facing some other issues.

Positive and Negative Factors of Change Management

The core objective and goal of the initiation of the change process is good and favorable and it could enhance the organizational performance and effectiveness in the long term. However, the implications of the change management process were not positive for all the stakeholders including the employees. It should also be noted that prior to the initiation of the change management process in the organization, the retail organization should have consult with all the involved stakeholders. This is due to the reason that determination of the feedback and opinion of the employee and other involved stakeholders is important in order to prevent the future origination of the issues and challenges. Moreover, it is also important to have a consensus among all the involved stakeholders before the implementation of the change management process. This is due to the reason that in the any particular change management process, all stakeholders should have same approach in order to fulfill the objective collectively. 


Evaluation of the change management of this retail organization identified number of positive and negative factors or reasons. One of the major positive factors identified from the change management process of this organization is the objective of increasing the customer convenience. In the current business scenario, providing convenience to the customers is one of the major factors to be considered by the business organizations. In addition, the initiative of automated checkout and billing system will also help this retail organization in staying ahead in the competition. However, apart from these positive factors, there are number of negative factors also being identified from the initiation of the change management process. One of the major negative factors is no determining the feedback and opinion of the employees before initiating the change management process. The initiative of the change management process in this organization is solely taken by the upper level management without determining the opinion of the employees and other lower level stakeholders. Thus, initiation of the change management process may cause enhancement of the convenience and level of satisfaction of the customers; it will cause the opposite case for the internal stakeholders. On the other hand, another major negative factor being identified is the lack of communication of the upper level management regarding the objective of the change management process to the employees. Thus, the employees were not having any idea about what are going to change in the organization and how that will help them in their workplace (Hechanova and Cementina-Olpoc 2013). This also led to the origination of the resistances from the side of the employees. It was also important for the retail organization to check the internal infrastructure before initiating the change management process in the organization. This is due to the reason that before initiation of the change management process, the particular organization should have the knowledge about the available resources including the financial resources. However, in the case of this particular retail organization, they have evaluated their available resources and infrastructure and went ahead with the plan of initiation of the change management process. Thus, it caused difficulty in the long term and they cannot able to match their available resources with that of the change management requirements. Moreover, in the case of the technological change, it is more important due to the reason that huge investment is important ad required in the initiation of the technological change.

Challenges of Implementing Change Management

Thus, it can be concluded that there are number of factors that caused challenges for the retail organization in effectively implementing the change management process. The major challenge that they faced is the resistance from the side of the employees. This is due to the fact that employees do not had the knowledge about what the change is all about and how they will get benefited from it. Thus, they developed majorly negative impression about the change management process and caused resistance in implementing it. Moreover due to the lack of communication between the employees and the upper level managers, employees were of no idea about what will go to happen with their job after the implementation of the automated billing and checkout process. Thus, majority of the employees were having the opinion that their job is stake and this also lead to the emergence of the resistance from the side of the employees. The last resistance that the organization faced in the initiation of the change management is purely infrastructural due to the reason that they do not have required infrastructure to match the requirement of the proposed change management. Thus, this led to the origination of hindrances in between the implementation process of the new processes. 


The major mode of change that could have helped in this case is the lewin mode of change management. This is due to the reason that according to the lewin change management model, there are mainly three steps that should be followed by the organizations in having an effective process of implementation of the change management (van den Heuvel et al. 2013). The first step of this process is unfreezing the existing process of the organizations. In this step, it is important for the organizations and the managers to determine and identify the gap areas in the existing process. In accordance to these gap areas, the change management process should be initiated. In addition, according to this model, it is also suggested that in the unfreezing process, managers should gain insights from the employees regarding the change management. This will help the managers to have the idea and understanding about the opinion of the employees and how they will react with the implementation of the change process. Thus, the more effective will be the unfreezing process, the more benefits can be gained by the managers regarding the prevention of the challenges in future.

The Lewin Model of Change Management

The next step in this model is implementing the change. In this step, the change process should be implemented effectively and in accordance to the gap areas identified in the last section. In this step, it should also be noted by the managers that the implementation process should be in phased manner. This will ensure that identification of ant issues or shortcomings can be rectified before implementing in other areas. The last step is the refreezing process. In this step, it is recommended that the managers should determine and evaluate the feedback from the side of the employee regarding the effectiveness of the change management. This will help them to identify the issues in the new process and how the employees are the aligning them with the new process. This will also ensure that further modification and rectification can be initiated if the proper feedback can be generated.

The organization aimed at implementing the automated billing system that will help in enhancing the functions of the same while undertaking the billing functions of the business. However, the change that was planned by the organization faced resistance from the employees as the job of the billing staff was at stake through the change (Cummings  and Worley 2014). The fear of losing the employment made the employees to resist to the change that was planned by the organization as they felt that the organizational decision was based on the benefits of the business. On the other hand, the identification of the change in the systems has affected the morale of the employees who felt that the organization did not believe in the truthfulness of the people working as billing staffs for the business. 


The different steps that were undertaken by the organization were specially based on bringing forth improvements in the systems of the business without considering the employability of the employees. The different key elements of the change in the performance of the organization were supposed to be changed through the implementation of the automated checkout services (Hon, Bloom  and Crant  2014). The employees therefore took steps to escalate their voice against the change that was planned by the organization in support of their employment and emotional instincts. They believed that the ethics of the corporate sector was compromised through the implementation of the automated checkout systems. Therefore, the employees took steps to resist to the change that was planned by the business firm.  

The organization undertook several steps that helped to mitigate the issues that were faced by the same while implementing the change in the functioning of the business. The strategies used by the organization are being discussed in this section.

The company undertook negotiation with the employees to convince them of the profitability of the change in respect of both the organization and the employees (Bareil  2013). Convincing the employees of the experience, they would gather from the change and the manner in which their remuneration depends on the profitability and sustainability of the business helped the organization to implement the change. On the other hand, the company also undertook sessions with the employees to make them aware that they would not be losing their jobs, as they would be posted in different job roles as per their capabilities (Lozano 2013). It helped the organization to make the employees aware of the manner in which the change will be facilitating the employees to make a better career through the progression of the organization. On the other hand, the monetary benefits that the employees will be deriving from the change helped the organization to convince the employees of providing them with a broader scope. 

Reference

Bareil, C., 2013. Two Paradigms about Resistance to Change. Organization Development Journal, 31(3).

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

Hechanova, R.M. and Cementina-Olpoc, R., 2013. Transformational leadership, change management, and commitment to change: A comparison of academic and business organizations. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 22(1), pp.11-19.

Hon, A.H., Bloom, M. and Crant, J.M., 2014. Overcoming resistance to change and enhancing creative performance. Journal of Management, 40(3), pp.919-941.

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., 2013. Are companies planning their organisational changes for corporate sustainability? An analysis of three case studies on resistance to change and their strategies to overcome it. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 20(5), pp.275-295.

van den Heuvel, M., Demerouti, E., Bakker, A.B. and Schaufeli, W.B., 2013. Adapting to change: The value of change information and meaning-making. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(1), pp.11-21.

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