Change Management 1
University of XXXXXXX
ORG/205: Human Relations and Organizational Behavior
September 14, 2005
The purpose of the paper is to analyze the issues involved in the “Organizational Structure” simulation and address the following questions.
1. Describe at least 3 internal and external drivers of change for the organization in this simulation.
Change is inevitable. If one analyzes the Synergetic Solutions Inc, the main internal drivers of change are strategic ambitions, pressure for change, declining efficiency, changes in employee expectations and changes in work climate. To survive in the market environment Synergetic Solutions decided to venture into the network solutions business of designing and implementing complex computing networks. As a result of strategic initiatives or strategic ambitions change is now evident. Pressure for change that originates inside the organization indicates that something needs to be changed. Declining effectiveness is a pressure to change. The company was forced to take corrective action by changing the line of business. Changes in work climate can also trigger change in organization. Workforce that seems unskilled, unmotivated, and dissatisfied can stimulate change. A change in employee expectation is another factor. When the job role and job descriptions change, the expectations also change (McAdam & Henderson, 2002).
The Major external drives of change for this organization are globalization, technological change, workforce diversity, and external competition. It is evident from the simulation that Synergetic has offices in five locations across the east coast. Expanding into such ventures requires extreme adaptability and flexibility. All of these changes have led Synergetic to rethink the borders of their market and to encourage their employees to think globally. ”Globalization of markets and reorganization of distribution are mutually dependent processes that involve changes in market structures.” (Mattsson, 2003). Technological change is another factor for change in organizations. If an organization fails to keep pace with technological innovation it can quickly fall behind. “Technological change transforms the nature of the marketplace by changing the relative cost, features and availability of products.” (Krell, 2000). Workforce diversity is another external factor. Synergetic is hiring young and skilled workers. The majority of current employees are middle-aged. Workforce diversity becomes more evident when one link globalization with change in organizations. External competition is yet another factor. Synergetic is encountering stiff challenge from several trading and networking organizations.
2.What factors does a leader in this organization need to weigh to implement a change strategy successfully?
A leader in this organization needs to weigh team-based structure, work environment, skill sets of current employees, availability of new hires with relevant skills, allocated budget, and timeline. “Team-based management systems appear to be a possible avenue for increasing the productivity and effectiveness of organizations.” (Whitfield, Anthony, & Kacmar, 1995). Developing the required skill sets and promoting the right people is essential for organizational growth. Skill sets of current employee’s should be considered while instituting a change process. Strategy should be in place to upgrade current employee skill sets or hire new employees with relevant skills (Hawkins, 2004). The leader has to consider the time and cost of the options and their repercussions. The strategy for change needs to address immediate concerns and its impact. The leader needs to balance the advice of the experts and use his own judgment in making decisions.
3.What kinds of resistance might the leader expect to see? Identify and explain at least five of these. What strategies might you employ to manage each of these areas ofresistance?
The leader might encounter resistance of several types. Some of the major reasons for resistance are fear of unknown, fear of loss, fear of failure, politics, breaking routines, disruption of interpersonal relationships, and saving face. Changes often brings with it substantial uncertainty. Some people may resist change simply because it introduces ambiguity into what was once a comfortable situation for them. This is especially a problem when there has been little communication about the change. When a change is announced some employees may fear losing their jobs. Employees may also lose their status, and power. Change can also diminish the positive qualities the individual enjoys in the job. Some employees fear changes because they fear their own failure. Employees tend to think that changes may result in increased workloads or increased task difficulty. This can also result in higher performance expectations. Resistance can also stem from a fear that the change itself will not really take place. Organizational change may also shift the existing balance of power in the organization. Individuals who hold power under the current arrangement may be threatened with losing these political advantages. Employees may resist change if it threatens interpersonal relationships. Individuals would like to stay within their comfort zone. People defy change when they feel they have to learn new things or function in new roles. They are not willing to break the existing routines. Some employees resist change just to prove that the decision made by management is wrong. “Resistance to change is an essential factor to be considered in any change process, since a proper management of resistance is the key for change success or failure.” (Val & Fuentes, 2003).
During the period of transition, the leader must communicate to all employees the need for change, the ultimate growth potential, training plans to upgrade current employee skill sets, career prospects for all eligible employees, and initiate programs to help employees make transition. “In this context, change entails bringing new conversations into a sustained existence and the job of change managers is to create the conversational realities that produce effective action rather than to align organizations with some “true” reality.”(Ford, 1999). The leader should use his communication and management skills to manage resistance by looking at ways to utilize it rather than overcoming it. “The overwhelming suggestion in the management literature is that participative techniques are the best method of handling resistance.” (Waddell & Sohal, 1998).
4. How can leadership styles influence the effectiveness of the change management process?(use at least two sources)
“The path-goal theory of leadership states that the leader helps subordinates to achieve their goals by providing a clear path for them to follow.” (Silverthome, 2001).Based on the simulation one tends to feel that the leader may use directive style to give specific guidance about work tasks and let followers know what is expected. In selecting the appropriate leadership style, the leader must consider both the followers and the work environment. During certain stages of the change management process the leader has to switch over to supportive style to express concern for follower’s well-being. While dealing with strategic decision-making activities the leader must deploy participative style. This will make the followers feel important and part of decision-making body. Sometimes the leader has to use achievement-oriented style to set challenging goals.” If there is a lesson here for the general manager it is that the chances are that he/she follows as well as leads, and that in both capacities sensitivity to the importance of followers and followership skills may lead to a healthier organization.” (Brown & Thornborrow, 1996). There is disagreement among scholars with regard to effective leadership style. The leader has to change the management style based on the situation (Yousef, 1998). During the change management process, the leader must always choose the leadership style that helps followers achieve their goals.
5. What did you learn in this simulation with regard to change management? How might you apply this to changes in your organization?
The leader should anticipate changes, communicate to the employees and make them aware of ones expectations. Change management helps the employees and the companies prepare themselves for the upcoming changes. Change management process helps an organization make the necessary changes in vision, work processes, and employee performance needed to sustain the organization and improve performance. It is a commitment of time and resources to get organizations ready to implement a change management strategy and mitigate risks of failure to maximize the return on an investment. One must use change management to get work done efficiently and effectively. Budget, timeline, internal factors, external factors, employee motivation, organizational culture, and organizational structure should be ascertained before launching the change management process. Management of change is a crucial factor in organizational performance and existence (Burnes & James, 1995).
Change management helps organizations like IP to streamline its work processes and employee performance management systems. The bottom line is that change is inevitable, but can be managed. We are currently using very effective change management strategies in IP. After completing my MBA, I am sure I will be able to contribute more towards streamlining the change management process.
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Mattsson, L. (2003). Reorganization of distribution in globalization of markets: the dynamic context of supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 8(5), 416-426. Retrieved August 26, 2005, from Emerald database.
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Waddell, D. & Sohal, A. (1998). Resistance: a constructive tool for change management. Management Decision, 36(8), 543-548. Retrieved August 24, 2005, from Emerald database.
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Yousef, D. (1995). Correlates of perceived leadership style in a culturally mixed environment. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 19(5), 275-284. Retrieved August 30, 2005, from Emerald database.
Excellent paper all around.