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Essay: Managing change in an organisation

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  • Published: 17 September 2015*
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In corporate management, there are different activities that can lead to effective change within an organization. Figure 1 in Appendix briefly outlines these activities for effective change management. Once there is strong evidence to support advantageous results for change the most obvious activity is encouraging the desired change or motivation in general. There are two associated responsibilities to successfully motivated change. The first is generating the willingness for change. The audience must at least already be sensitive or manipulated into being sensitive to the issues that need change. This is accomplished by influencing others that they are not satisfied with their existing circumstances. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).
These individuals must also firmly believe in the benefit of the promoted change. ‘Significant discrepancies between actual and ideal states can motivate organization members to initiate corrective changes, particularly when members are committed to achieving those ideals’ (Cummings and Worley, 2008). This statement explains how it would benefit the party promoting change to actively pinpoint the disadvantages between their current situations directly to their more desired circumstance. The second associated task under the motivating activity is disabling any apparent opposition to the change. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

This is accomplished through various methods. The change supporter must practice empathy and really attempt to understand where the change resistor is coming from. They must also fully utilize communication so the individual has all the necessary information and is able to make educated decision with regards to the change at hand. A third tool is to get the change resistor involved in the change. If they feel a part of the change with the ability to add input, they will be less likely to protest the change. All of these strategies are emotional intelligence tools and usually prove to be effective in influencing the target. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

From there, management must produce a vision for the company in order to encourage effective change. The vision must be a visualization of all parts of the company, management and employees alike. Creating a vision that all employees can identify with is the way to surround the change in a positive light. First, the organizations primary values and philosophy must be outlined. They must be specific, important and concrete regardless of changing times. It must answer the basic questions of why the organization originally began. This normally relates to the service or good provided to consumers. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

From there management should use those primary values and begin to develop the anticipated future conditions of the organization. A company’s vision is very different from its core values. A vision should change depending on the current or foreseeable economic conditions an organization is presently in. In addition, the accessibility of supplies and the level of consumer demand will also affect a company’s vision. There are two rudiments that can be conveyed members of a running business in order to properly outline the vision at hand. The first component is to clearly identify the desired performance of the transformation. The sought after outcomes within any particular organization must be communicated before management can go about creating a vision. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

The second rudiment is that all involved parties express their wishes for the organization’s future. Based on the whole employee decided core values and core purpose, a vision statement can be outlined. The company’s vision statement must reflect the consensus of this anticipated forthcoming state of the business. It is also important that this part of the process be stimulating and impress members of the organization. The vision should ‘create a word picture that is emotionally powerful to members and motivates them to change’ (Cummings and Worley, 2008). This activity will aid in encouraging effective change.

The next activity for producing effective fundamental change would be for corporate management to attain some level of combined political support in the organization. Various tiers of employees or even departments likely have their own personal goals for the company. These goals may or may not conflict with one another. This can cause political conflict between groups in the company which is will most likely pose as a weakness overall for the organization. Addressing this issue would require management to search out a source of power, or influence within the company. This source would be an individual or group in the company that has the ability to inspire and influences others especially in the case of a desired change. This directly leads to identifying who are the key shareholders that would take interest in the particular change. The textbook states the basic question of ‘Who stands to gain or to lose from the changes’? (Cummings and Worley, 2008). The answer to this question will be your targeted shareholders in the company.

As soon as the change agent and the shareholders have been identified, the final activity in obtaining political support can be completed. The change agent must be used to influence those critical shareholders. There a few strategies to successfully gaining the necessary political support. The most prevalently utilized approach is referred to as ‘playing it straight’ and is simply distinguishing the shareholders’ wants and explaining how the change will accomplish those wants or at least benefit them. Another method is to fully exploit business networking.

This would include organizing meetings with key influential individual or groups to develop a rapport, find common interests and hopefully create an alliance to build political strength. (Cummings and Worley, 2008). A less employed approach is bypassing the formal system of implementing change. This route is taken less due to the unlikelihood of success. In order for this strategy to work, the change agent must a highly qualified and well respected individual. Otherwise the audience will not be responsive in a positive manner to someone that is seemingly breaking the rules they would be forced to follow themselves. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

Once the transition for change has commenced, management must redirect activity focus to supervising the transition itself. While all of the aforementioned activities are taking place, management must not forget to pause and measure the success of the ongoing transition. Two basic images should be assessed. Before a transformation has begun and a change is desired the organization’s condition must be detailed. Then an image of the organization’s condition at the present time should also be noted. Once both states have been described they should each be compared and contrasted. The difference between the company’s conditions is how the transition is measured for efficiency. If there are not noticeable or positive changes occurring then management must rethink their transition approach. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

Active and commitment planning should be utilized during this activity. Active planning includes outline detailed happenings that must occur for the transition to be considered a success. This type of planning should be relatively inexpensive, flexible enough that its course can change based on the situation as well as be approved by management. Commitment planning involves revisiting the already identified significant individuals or groups that must be dedicated to the change in order for the change to actually occur. An approach must be devised to gain those targets’ ultimate support. A final activity for management that requires change is maintaining the energy behind the progress of the incoming change. Like any good mechanism, we wish to continue its efforts on so that the full transition will take place and change will occur. Creating the vision and new stages of change tend to be exciting but this will habitually disappear over time or upon adversity. The change agents must focus on supporting the employees involved in the change. They must continue to cultivate new proficiencies and reinforce those new conducts. This support system will encourage the employees to continue their support for change and the transition will be able to thrive and likely even sustain momentum. (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

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