Withthe highly evolving business environment, businesses around the worldengage in constant change. In order to enhance effective businessoperations and management, businesses need to develop the bestapproaches to manage and communicate change. According toSavaneviciene and Stankeviciute (2011), change management requiresthe coordination between top level managers and the first-linemanagers. However, the two lines of management have different rolesin terms of change strategies and management. While the topmanagement is concerned with the strategic direction of the entireorganisation, the first-line management is concerned with tacticalapproaches to effecting change.
Thetop management is responsible for communicating the change ofstrategic direction in the organisation, while the first-levelmanagement is responsible for management of daily activities that areintended to create change. In other words, the top managers set goalsand objectives, and change those goals and objectives regularlydepending on changes in the business environment. As the op managersset new goals as part of a continuous change process, the first-linemanagers interact with the employees on a daily basis and influencetheir task performance in order to achieve the changing direction ofthe organisation. The first-line managers make decisions thatinfluence change in the way tasks are performed at the workplace.
Strategicplan for change is also developed by the top management, while thefirst-line managers manage activities that are involved in theimplementation of such plans (Pugh & Mayle, 2009). The strategicplans for change includes setting goals that are linked toorganisational objectives, describes how they are going to beimplemented, and specifying the human resource requirements forimplementation. Once the top managers develop this strategic plan,the first-line managers guide the employees to implement theactivities that will enable the company to attain its goals. Thisinvolves coordination, effective change communication, negotiationwith employees, motivation and supervision.
Anexample of a balanced approach to change is striving to improve theperception of customers about the services offered by the companywhile at the same time aligning the business activities withstrategic vision and overall objectives of the organisation. Whileattempting to provide superior services and win the trust and loyaltyof customers, employees may fail to live up to the financialrequirements and culture of the organisation. A change to improvecustomer perception may require the organisation to change one ormore of its internal processes, which may lead to a different outcomethat may be contrary to the business objectives of the organization(Pugh & Mayle, 2009). Service operations within the organisationare supervised by first-line managers who also communicate withcustomers. Change management in a balanced approach should thereforebe implemented uniformly from the internal process to the point ofcommunication with customers. This ensures that the perspectives ofcustomers are changed while at the same time aligning internalprocesses with the strategic direction of the organisation.
Achievingthis balanced approach to change management requires the top managersto communicate the strategic vision and objectives of theorganisation to the first-line managers who then guide employees andsupport them to change the internal processes in a way that theperceptions of customers are changed but they are still aligned tothe strategic objectives of the organisation.
DuBrin,A.J. Essentialsof Management. 6thed. Peterborough, Ontario: Thomson South-Western.
Pugh,D.S., & Mayle, D. (2009). Changemanagement.Los Angeles: SAGE.
Savaneviciene,A., & Stankeviciute, Z. (2011). The Interaction between TopManagement and Line Managers Implementing Strategic Directions intoPraxis. EngineeringEconomics, 22(4),412-422.