It would be correct to say that organizations require the support of strong leaders so that organizations can grow and develop. The leaders of organizations have realized that managing change is one of the most difficult tasks. The objective of this report is to discuss the topic of ‘managing organizational change’. It is expected that this report would be useful for the senior manager of the hypothetical information. When considering strategy and guidance with change, Anderson & Anderson, (2010) provide strategies of change using five core elements of change. These elements explain the most effective forms of change in the organization and how they are best used. It is expected that the lack of support from employees could be one of the biggest hindrances in the entire change management process. Therefore, it is important that change agents should focus on effective communication channels. The drivers of the reasons of the change should be communicated to all the employees at different levels.
This is a great starting point when needing to better understand change and the success it can bring. It is important that the change should be initiated from the top leaders and senior management. It is believed that the change management is relatively easy for small organizations as compared to the large organizations (Mishra, 2013). The organic, horizontal structure generally found in small organizations seems ideally suited for idea generation and implementation, in large part because all employees are working together closely and form a sort of de facto innovation task force. Larger, well established organizations with more bureaucratic, vertical structures will likely have to take specific steps to harness their potential for idea development and implementation. The paper also discusses various change management models like Kotter change management model, Lewin change management model etc. It is expected that this report would be useful for senior manager to manage the change in an effective manner (Worley & Mohrman, 2014).
Authors argued that the change in the organization should be driven from senior leaders. If leadership comes to a meeting and says “Corporate is making us do this, this and this. We have to do it so let’s get it done” then the change is going to have a negative connotation and those negative attitudes will continue. However, if leadership comes in and paints a picture of an opportunity to grow and improve, and displays a positive attitude about the upcoming changes, it will be much easier for other employees to follow suit (Bucciarelli, 2015).
It is important that innovation should be an integral part of change management process. The organizations can use the ambidextrous approach to integrate innovation with change. An ambidextrous approach allows for creativity in discovering new ideas and implementation of those ideas, when the organization is ready to move forward with the proposed change. According to Daft (2016), “The organization can be designed to behave in an organic way for exploring new ideas and in a mechanistic way to exploit and use the ideas” (p. 430). This is an effective way to handle change, because it combines the two necessary elements of creating and implementing, utilizing two common organizational structures.
This approach is more effective than either a purely organic or a purely mechanistic approach. Organic structures may lack the ability to bring a new idea to fruition, while a mechanistic structure may lack the characteristics necessary to allow for innovative thinking (Hornstein, 2015). Shafiee, Razminia, and Zeymaran (2016) stressed the importance of choosing the appropriate organizational structure, stating that organizational structure “is considered as one of the essential provisions for successful adaptation with changes” (p. 161).
Appelbaum & Habashay (2012) outlines in detail the concept of organizations taking a change management approach relative to growth and development of organization. The main ingredients are the matching up of innovation and change processes and thus exploiting growth possibilities to achieve future organizational goals. It is important that the organizations must be able to assess the internal environment before taking any change decision. It is believed that the small organizations are able to assess them quickly as compared to the large organizations. Therefore, literature suggests that managing organizational change is relatively easy for small organizations as compared to the large organizations. The successful implementation of any change would also depend a lot on the change agents. It is suggested that the organizations should have a talented pool of employees that can manage the change in the organization (Hornstein, 2015). If the company is in the early stages of existence or if they are in the process of re-creating themselves through new or existing product innovation, the ambidextrous approach may be preferred over other approaches to growth and development. The logical model of Kotter change management model can be shown as:
Kotter provided and integrative model of organizational dynamics that could be used as a framework to change management. The Kotter model suggests that in order for an organization progressing through different developmental stages and experience growth over multiple levels of the company, they must be able to confirm to internal and external rules.
According to Duerden, Lundberg, and Shurma (2016), “Organizational relevance and longevity are tied to the ability to strategically innovate. Organizations that effectively innovate to best position themselves to address and take advantage of changing circumstances thrive” (p. 49). This is why a change management approach is so important for organizations. The literature suggests that change management approach has improvements for organizations such as “increased productivity, faster turnaround, shared learning, and a higher development satisfaction” (Vinekar, Slinkman, Neru, 2006, p. 32). The effective and reliable change management approach like Kotter change model or Lewin change management model can help organizations. The snapshot of the Lewin change management model can be shown as:
The Lewin model of change management suggests that all the three stages are critical for organizations. The first stage of the Lewin change model is the unfreeze stage. This is the stage where the urgency of the change is created. It is the stage where the senior managers should take all the employees together. The next and the most difficult stage of the change management model is the ‘change’ stage. This is the stage where change actually happens. This is the lengthy stage in the entire change management process. The last stage is the ‘Refreeze’ stage. This is the stage in which changes are freeze and organizations are ready to take the benefits of change. The challenge for organizations has been adjusting to discontinuous change as organizations grow within fast-changing global and technological climates. Tushman and O’Reilly (1996) emphasized the focus on culture as the counterbalance to strategy and technology through the example of IBM. IBM had a $8.1 billion loss in 1993 and the chief executive was quoted as having said the organization became too bureaucratic and preoccupied with IBM’s own view of the world squandering talent and technology (Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996).
The focus on organizational structure and effective change management helps an organization “produces a dual structure to deal with the paradox of stability and change” (Vinekar, Slinkman, Neru, 2006, p. 32). Therefore, it is recommended that organizations should have a flexible organization structure. The flexible organization structure would enable the organization to take quick decision through out the change process (Daft, 2015). When organizations have to manage the change then quick decision-making could be a key factor. It is also suggested that the organizations should take the support of various stakeholders while taking any decision. What I found interesting was that Honda and Canon are two companies that operate under the quick-decision making mode, in spite of the fact that both of these organizations are large organizations (Daft, 2015).
According to Burn, and Stalker, (1961). An “organismic form is appropriate to changing conditions, which give rise constantly to fresh problems and unforeseen requirements for action which cannot be broken down or distributed automatically arising from the functional roles defined with a hierarchic structure.” It is observed that the lean organizational structure is the recommended form of organizational structure. Even the organismic structure is very good for change, here, this is more useful first, because the focusing on the customers’ needs; and second, because of the separation between the new and the traditional processes, structures of the organization which help to avoid resistance in the decisions. According to O’Reilly, and Tushman (2004) the organizations that have success in this, used to “separate their new, exploratory units from their traditional, exploitative ones, allowing for different processes, structures, and cultures; at the same time, they maintain tight links across units at the senior executive level”. They separated the senior teams from the new innovation team. O’Reilly, and Tushman (2004) though that in order to have success, organization “must constantly pursue incremental innovations, small improvements in their existing products and operations that let them operate more efficiently and deliver ever greater value to customers”. I think this will be good for the organization development and sustainability, and I think to propose this to the senior managers and leaders.
Vinekar, Slinkman, and Nerur (2006) argued that organizations that are seeking to manage simultaneously for change and innovation as well as stability face something of a paradox. I had not though of the change management approach in precisely this way before but it makes a lot of sense. On the one hand, mature organizations generally have a stable product line that they sell to a core group of consumers. These established products and services often produce significant income and provide great value for stockholders. On the other hand, companies need to be responsive to new opportunities and new markets. One method of change management that is useful in a changing organization is the opportunity to pilot new ideas in small markets to see how well innovation does on a smaller scale. Piloting is an aspect of making small changes to advance innovation within the ambidextrous structure (O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004).
The above paper discusses the change management approach for organizations. It is important that organizations should consider the internal and the external factors before making any change. The lack of support from employees could be one of the biggest hindrances in the entire change management process. Therefore, it is important that change agents should focus on effective communication channels. The drivers of the reasons of the change should be communicated to all the employees at different levels.
It is recommended that the organizations should stick the logical change management model like Kotter change management model or Lewin change management model. It is also recommended that the change management strategies should also depend on the company’s life stage. In the entrepreneurial stage of a company’s life cycle this approach might seem a little more difficult. I think that if the organization’s founders are looking at not only what they have and desire, but also to the future and what changes will have to occur to move to the next stage, they are taking an ambidextrous approach. An organization that is in the elaboration stage must truly utilize this approach in order to survive. They have to take what works and keep it (exploit it), but also they need to find new ways (explore) of doing business to continue moving in the cycle. It is expected that the change management discussion and models would enable the organization to attain the path of continuous growth and development.
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Daft, R. L. (2016). Organization Theory & Design (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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