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Essay: Organisational change

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  • Published: 1 November 2015*
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In modern era economy, organisational change is necessary in order to cope and to remain exist in the business, it happens continuously due to rapid change in business environment either internal or external. It is considered very important for an organisation perspective in terms of success, for better customer satisfaction and creating new competitive advantages, eliminating those activities which does add value to organisation operation. Change is not always easy and people organisation may resist if their voice suppressed and as a result a resistance is created.
Change, Resistance and importance
Change in any organisation occurs either internally when an organisation changes it vision and mission from present state to desired one or externally when it is facing issues related to PESTEL (Political, Economical, Social, Technology, Ecological and Legal) in order to cope with change in the way organisation do business (Fiona GRAETZ, 2011). A change can also occur when business organisation is facing downsizing, rapid or unexpected growth or when an organisation is in growing phase (tolerosolutions.com, 2012).
It is a basic conception and usual perception that there will be resistance to change despite a positive outcomes from people within business organisation as it will directly effects them, they will try to oppose or resist the change and it will impact an organisation in attaining those desired vision and mission objectives.
There can be many reasons for the resistance of change as given below:
‘ Organisational Politics
Where personal agenda and self interest are given priority rather than organisational long term increase in shareholder wealth, also people playing for retaining and gaining power within organisation (Businessdictionary, N.P).
‘ Inappropriate Use of Power
Where employee having some power trying to manipulate minds about the pros and cons of change and create artificial forceful resistance or unwanted resistance within organisation to remain with the power they have.
‘ Lack of Understanding of change
Nathaniel Branden said “The first toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”. Employees want justification over the change (Berube, 2014), and this is one of main reason for the resistance that they are unaware of area of change and their benefits and that is the reason they are prone to manipulation.
‘ Fear
Fear that there will be redundancies, fear that their routine will be change, fear that there will be change in reporting hierarchy, fear that change will not go successful.
‘ Management failure
Management failure to provide reasonable information for a change like why change is necessary, discussion for change so that employee feel that their voices will be heard, also by providing or involving employees in change might lead management of change to win their trust, confidence and support for change (Riley, 2012).
‘ Other include organisational culture impact, lack of cooperation….
If management of change fail to properly manage change, it might result in huge loss like loss of human capital which may lead in loss competitive advantage, loss of financial and resources or may even in worst cases lead to bankruptcy. For an effective and successful change management, management of change need to plan strategically to manage and reduces those forces of resistance and increase forces in favour for change . Sometimes resistance to change can play crucial positive role in the effective change by taking resistants opinion and advice on change. It is considered as one of the pre-requisite of any successful change (Fiona GRAETZ, 2011).
Power and Resistance
In any organisation, power is considered as ability of an employee to make things done from other employee(s) and that they will have to do without any resistance or objection (Fiona GRAETZ, 2011). Employee having power can use influence, pressure or manipulate situation to get things done but exerting pressuring may lead to resistance. In other words resistance is overcome by the use of power. For a change to be successful and complete the desired changes, there has to be someone in an organisation who has power to do so, who has power to manage everything, has ability to lead from the front. In all what power does the change leader have to impose change?
Power can be seen from social theory and organisational theory perspective. In social perspective Karl marx viewed power as intentional misuse of power and continuous use of exploitation to employees of an organisation who are powerless in capitalist system and it provide unequal power distribution which is opening doors for resistance to those who are powerless, which further Max Weber acknowledges. In organisational theory, power is used to beat powerless employees and he also provided the relationship between power and resistance that resistance could be overcome through use of hard, direct and confrontational intervention (Fiona GRAETZ, 2011).
Employees resistance can help organisations to generate good ideas for change and prevention of bad ideas, it will make senior management to stop and think for better (Berube, 2014). But use of hard, direct and confrontational intervention the explicit use power should last option, and it is not a desirable way to overcome resistance, however it depend on the circumstances like when co is facing any bankruptcy than it may be the best and suitable option to use explicit power them realise that why change it necessity for organisation. But use of power over changes in PESTEL can be dangerous for organisation and there will be chances that best people (best in the business) can leave organisation (opentuition.com, N.P, pp. 71 – 74).
Ethics of Managerial and Resistance positions
Every organisation has clear constitution and policies about how organisation wants its employees to behave. As a manager and in the top management it is their responsibility to make sure that these codes of conduct, policies and constitution followed by every employee within organisation. As every situation cannot be part of constitution and policies than ethics play vital role in organisation, which is based on moral principles (basic thinking of what is right and wrong). Managers and employees are encouraged to follow their personal values as well as values of an organisation but use of power and politics for decision for personal benefit is considered unethical approach (Jr., 2014)
Every employee in organisation have right to stand for his/her rights and it is management ethical responsibility to hear those voices and try to reach at a conclusion, management’s manipulating minds of resistant position and obtaining commitment and participation is unethical. Therefore it is management’s responsibility to identify resistance position (all related parties in the change process) and its root cause to ensure that no unethical decision is imposed or taken, respect their position of resistants, hear their voices and make sure that they are given free hand to bring whatever they feel for change.
Management and resistance position should try to avoid dirty politics which may lead to unethical decision for other party, management make sure that they provide such environment which create openness and honest commitment and participation from resistant and they can trust each other. It is possible to make deals with other parties as being in charge of managing change management should ensure that deal does not affect other parties position (Jr., 2014).
Change management should target in a way that they bring change that is effective and ethical, therefore management should create an environment where the process of change should provide fair treatment to all stakeholder and resistance position, respect each other’s values, behaviour and ideas and resistance (Jr., 2014).
Effective Change Management
Managing change will be more successful if management and resistant act in the best interest of organisation as whole (rather prevailing their own interest) and respecting each other’s ethical position. Change can be effective in both parties eyes if it is realistic, achievable and measurable and comes through proper planning and sensitive implementation, this can only be achieved with the consultation and involvement of employees who are being affected by it (businessballs.com, N.P).
Initial big task for management is to identify all the resistance position and its root cause, once management of organisation find reasons for resistance than management should try to reduce those forces of resistance and increase forces in favour for resistance. This can be achieved in various ways as given below:
‘ Through communication, one of the major reason for resistance is that employee don’t know anything about change as a result their fear grows and they resist change. It is therefore managements responsibility to communicate, that why change is being necessary for their organisation and their impacts on employee and also impacts on business if they don’t change the organisation the way it is now.
‘ Through participation, in this management needs to explain those reasons for the change and its importance and then collect suggestion and ideas from employees for better implementation of change.
‘ Intervention where management delegates power to various individual within organisation for change.
‘ In extreme situation use of power and threat for survival.
Lewin suggest change can be manage through his three step process; step 1 Unfreezing: management should unfreeze all its current operation or situation and then explain its importance to the people of organisation and prepare them for a change, step 2 Changing: it is step where change is in transition and implementation process, step 3 Refreezing: this is the final stage and it is a stage where change is become the norm and form policy within organisation (education-portal.com, N.P).
Once change is implemented, the next step is to monitor the effectiveness of change and this can be achieved in Conventional way comparing movements of share price (any positive change in share price in stock market), market share (whether change resulted in increase in market share of an organisation), though profitability (increase in sales, increases in profit margins, reduction in cost), cash flow (what are the major causes of cash out flow previously as compared to current one, any changes in cash in hand) and overall organisations budgets (whether budgets and targets of an organisation are achieved and what are their positive or negative result as compared to before change operation). Monitoring through Strategy-driven measures meeting those critical success factor and key performance indicators for vision, mission, strategy and implementation phase. Monitoring through Benchmarking and it involve comparison with internal previous benchmarking, industry or competitive benchmarking and process benchmarking (Fiona GRAETZ, 2011).
Nowadays, change is a necessity for almost every organisation for its survival, competition, growth and it is critical for an organisation. Without change it will be hard for an organisation to grab new opportunities, may result in losing competitive staff, far away from meeting business objectives, losing productivity. Therefore its management and leadership who will have to decide what, when and how to change organisation to meet those objectives and missions and how they respond to any resistance in organisation. Organisation who can handle resistance and have the ability to manage can lead to not only organisation success but also increase shareholder wealth and as well employees or organisation.

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