MANAGING CORPORATE CHANGE

Corporate Change 8

MANAGINGCORPORATE CHANGE

Tableof Contents

  1. Situational Analysis

  1. The Organization’s Change Analysis

  2. Change Agents’ Approach Analysis

  1. The Image of the Type of Change held by the Agents of Change

  2. The “Culture” of the Changing Setting and Role played in the Change

  3. Diagnosis of Change in an Organization

  4. The Extent in which Change (Envisioned and Actual) was Adaptive or Tectonic

  5. The Method(s) for Implementing Change

  6. The Vision for the Change

  7. How Change was Communicated

  1. Change Agent’s Overall Evaluation

  2. Recommendations

  3. Conclusion

  4. Bibliography

Corporatechange occurs when an organization or a company underwent atransition from the current state to a desired future. Managingcorporate change is a planning and implementing process of change inorganizations. The process aims at minimizing employee resistance andcosts to the organization in question, while simultaneouslymaximizing the effectiveness of change effort. In today’s businessenvironment, Quinn (2002, p. 23) noted that it require the corporatesto constantly undergo changes of its management system if they are toremain relevant, effective, and competitive.

Thereare factors that force response from these corporates in order tosurvive. Such factors include rapidly evolving technology andglobalization of markets (Quinn, 2002, p. 27). The changes may berelatively minor for example, the installation of a new softwareprogram, or it could be major, for instance the case of refocusingoverall strategic management, prevention of hostile takeover, ortransformation of a company that faces competition from foreignfirms.

There are corporate change initiatives that frequently arise out ofchallenges experienced by a company. However, there are cases wherebycompanies change under the illusion that enlightens leaders who firstidentify and then exploit new opportunities that are dormant withinthe organization or due to circumstances. Observers would soberlylabel this as a “performance gap” (Prigogine, 1997, p. 87), whichthe able management is able to inspire for closure.

Withcorporate change comes restriction, and in its promoter’s opinion,would fail. The failure may be as a result of the manner in which thechange has been earmarked, visualized, communicated, and implemented,or may be due to how internal resistance is built (Peters&amp Waterman, 2002, p. 36).Employees within the organization may also sabotage the changes putin place since they view it as antithetical to some of the interestthey hold.

  1. Situational Analysis

Basedon the above, the paper will base its findings on the situation of anorganization Tesco Manufacturers Limited. The paper will studycorporate change from the perspective of drawing importance of changefrom the sidelines, not as a participant, but through reporting oninformation found in secondary sources. Although the name of thecompany has been altered, the situation and context for the change isthe same. Back in 2005, Tesco Manufacturers Limited hired a new ChiefExecutive to oversee operations within the company for a stipulatedperiod of time as indicated in the contract. When he started, herealized that the company was very inefficient in its operations, andthat valuable resources within the company were wasted.

Changewas inevitable, and in order to realize more profits, there was needto restructure the entire company. The best way to carry out changeat the time was through methodology management plan. The ChiefExecutive led the change and the company systematically began toreduce the number of its workforce. Before it was done, he, throughhis leadership on corporate change, gave the company a number ofreasons for privatization and restructuring for better preparation ofthe upcoming change. The company was directed through a rigorouscommunication and leadership, which could have also been disastrouswithout resistance to effective change management.

TheOrganization’s Change Analysis

Thenew CEO went ahead to execute change as mandated by his jobdescription. The procedure for change created basic tension withinthe organization. The tension, based on the situation describedabove, underlined numerous discussions of the need for change withinthe organization. The tension would not have been a necessity ifindividuals in Tesco Manufacturers had performed their duties theright way. Planned change, as indicated by the new CEO, is oftentriggered by the people’s failure to come up with continuouslyadaptive organizations (Stacey, 1993, p. 120). Corporate change,according to Boje (2000, p. 542), routinely occurs within the contextof failure of some kind. Boje (2000, p. 543) mused that “first,there were losses experienced, then there was a plan to conductchange, and implementation followed, which eventually led tounexpected results.”

Failureto execute organizational goals and the waste of resources forced thenew chief executive to conduct change amid resistance from thecompany’s board. Change would have been carried out based on thethree stages of change, namely unfreeze, change, and refreeze, whichaccording to Harung et al., (1999, p. 112), continuous to be regardedas the recipe for organizational change. Led by the chief executiveas part of agents of change, the transformational change of thecompany stood in between success and failure depending on how thecompany and its employees could cope with the change.

Thedecision to restructure Tesco meant that transformational failureswere likely to be experienced depending on certain justifications onthe same. Macintosh &amp MacLean (2001, p. 134) observed thatfailures, as a result of corporate change, are mostly directed tofailure of justifying the change to the company’s structure. Forinstance, if Tesco’s new chief executive fails to justify hisdecision to alter the company’s system, one of his defense could bebased on the downsize of certain percentage of the company’sworkforce (Sullivan, 1999, p. 147). The response from the companywould be one of the surreptitious and resentment communicationsbehind closed doors, from the board, with a lot of mistrusts from thehierarchical superiors.

Thecompany experienced the kind of situation, which needed promptcalculation for the unexpected change. This kind of change in thecompany’s structural system led to a kind of drama from the topexecutive, which deliberately brought about some form of emotionalstir-up against the projected change. Stohl &amp Cheney (2001, p.20) made it clear that such emotional stir-up led to breakdown ofcomplacency and self-righteousness that led to this situation in thefirst place. Since the company may require breaking of bothequilibrium and transition in order to create new equilibrium change,the situation Tesco Manufacturers is in, is most likely associatedwith the planned and intentional change.

Inan organization, there are agents of change, and Tesco Manufacturersis no exception. With this kind of corporate change, TescoManufacturers is represented by the new CEO followed by other topexecutives. They are agents of change representing prime movers whocreates structural and operational change within the company. The newCEO also saw it fit to change how operations of the company wereconducted, which in turn represent the agent of change. Step by stepprocedure aimed at enacting the role of a prime mover (Nonaka, 1988,p. 87). What is different in the newer changes within an organizationis that the CEO demonstrates that an individual in every sector ofthe corporate world can be a prime mover in making big changes thanin the past.

Decisionto restructure Tesco’s operations, the number of employees, andproper use of resources also represents a continuous corporatechange. The new CEO saw the need to carry out long term plans of thecompany. Based on such a scenario, Macintosh &amp MacLean (2001, p.134) uses “continuous change” as a phrase to group organizationalchanges, which appears to be evolving, ongoing, and is cumulative.Tesco as a company would experience change as a presumption ofactions carried out by agents of change, including the new CEO. As aresult, decision to conserve the company’s resources is the“realization of an organization’s new pattern of organizing,especially with the absence of priori intentions” (Macintosh &ampMacLean, 1999, p. 32).

ChangeAgents’ Approach Analysis

Theapproach taken by the change agents revolved around Field Theory,which according to Macbeth (2002, p. 12), understands the groupbehavior in an organization before the totality and complexity ofchange is handled by the change agents. These agents for change,including the new CEO, have a history of success. The company’sprojects to be changed, involved complexity by the workers, makingproper use of resources, and moving the company forward. Tobach(1994, p. 91) identified organizational change to be a symbolicinteraction. These agents of change approach every situation with themindset that emphasizes “failure is not an option”.

  1. The Image of the Type of Change held by the Agents of Change

Theagents of change held a “continuous change” as a type of changethat describes the organization’s position within which itundertake its operations, while it transitions gradually. This typeof change held a certain image that is aimed at creating a certainsituation grounded on a continuing updates of operations’ processwithin the organization (Sullivan, 1999, p. 47). The image is createdsuch that it abides by small continuous adjustments, which arecreated simultaneously on units and in the long term, can create andaccumulate substantial changes to organizational change.

Theimagery is that of dynamics, which are different, and are shiftedoccasionally to a more on micro-perspective notion that everythinggradually changes all the time (Styhre, 2002, p. 343). From a closerin, the agents of change held the imagery of continuous change, asassociation of organizational view built around joint interactions.These interactions bring feedback, authority associated with tiedtasks, response repertoires as continuing development, and systemswithin the organization that are self-organizing (Stohl &amp Cheney,2001, p. 25). All these create an image that the agents of change,projects it to have straightforward outcomes, and are built aroundstability.

Organizationalimage held by agents of change, are compatible with the continuouschange. The image is built around different ideas, including ideas ofimprovisation, learning, and translation. Organizational image thatis built around improvisation is that one which has variable inputsto self-organization of actors. It induces continuity of modifiedwork practices and ways of relating (Stacey et al., 2002, p. 45). Theimage held by change agents is a representation of the statement thatviews change to be “often realization of the ongoing variationsthat emerges frequently, more so with imperceptibly in theimprovisations and slippages of daily activities” (Elrod et al.,2002, p. 273).

Elden&amp Chisholm (1993, p. 129) observed that improvisation occurs whenthe “time gap between the two events of planning andimplementation, are narrowed down to allow convergence of execution.”The more an act is improvised, the narrower the time gap betweenperforming and composing, designing and producing, and planning andimplementation is carried out. Empirically, the agents of changefound out that improvisation of image often replaces the use ofstandard procedure when a new product is developed based on theorganization’s memory (Dent &amp Goldberg, 1999, p. 39). Theorganizational memory, would in turn develops a positive effect onthe design of effective cost saving.

Theagents of change held organization’s image to be that, which isbuilt around translation idea, and is one of a setting whereby thereis continuous editing and adoption (Day et al., 2002, p. 98).Continuous editing and adoption of ideas, which bypasses plannedchange apparatus, and is believed to have an impact throughcombination of fit and purpose at hand. Dawson (2003, p. 47) believesthat the idea held by agents of change is that of a continuousprocess based on translation derivatives from extended gloss ofLatour’s observations. Additionally, agents of change believe thatthe impetus for spreading ideas does not necessarily lie with theability to persuade the originator of that idea.

  1. The “Culture” of the Changing Setting and Role played in the Change

Continuouschange in an organization could be viewed to be a series of rapidmini-episodes of change, whereby case inertia could take tendenciesform to acquired normalization in an organization or competencytraps, according to Dawson, (1994, p. 70). Triggers to change, couldtake temporal milestones form or the dissonance between beliefs andactions. Replaces may take substituting form of expert practices, butmore central issues in regard to the case of continuous change in thesaid organization, are those of continuity and sales.

Continuityhas always resulted in a number of issues, which are associated withconceptual organizational culture (Darwin et al., 2000, p. 109). Therole of culture within the change setting is that it holds multiplechanges together, and at the same time, gives legitimacy to some ofthe nonconforming actions, which improves adaptability, while itembeds adaptation know-how into values and norms. Culture is avehicle which preserves adaptation know-how that is implied in thedescription “culture, after some time, becomes recipe patterns forhandling different upcoming situations, which routinely are taken forgranted” (Brodbeck, 2002, p. 56).

Theculture of the changing setting, views stock of knowledge to beexpressional scheme that strains what the people do and schemeinterpretation, which constraints how the doing undergoes evaluation.A change in culture requires a change in climate (Black, 2000, p.521), which in turn uncover the stock of knowledge throughexperiments that resurfaces particulars, or reconstruct languageparadigm within the organization. As much as the role of culture hassince been a useful tool in understanding change and stability, thereare growing suggestions, in which an individual moves away fromtreatment as a social control system, which may weaken the concept.

  1. Diagnosis of Change in an Organization

TakingTesco Manufacturers for example, diagnosis of change is based on theinitial appearance, result, and with time, the gradual change resultinto growth or deterioration of the company’s operations.Organizational diagnosis of change remains an effective way ofstudying an organization to determine the existing gaps between theold, current, and desired future performance, and the manner in whichgoals can be achieved. The new CEO studied the company TescoManufactures, and identified some of the operations that neededchange.

Diagnosisfor change required patient and gradual understudied, which the newCEO carried out diligently. First, there was massive downwardmovement of the company’s operations, sluggishness on theemployees’ side, wasteful habits, and poor use of availableresources. Additionally, the company also experienced delays in itsoperations due to the inability of the outgoing CEO to turn aroundthe company for the best. Bemstein (1968, p. 14) observes thateffective diagnosis of organizational change should be viewed to bean organic process. This is because once the operating employeeswithin the company begin to look at the structures put in place, whatcan and cannot be done, change begins, and as it progresses, and sodoes the current performance.

Andorganization is purposed to act as a vehicle for generating profitsfor the owners, or offering valued services to its customers, if notfor profits. Tesco Manufactures also had the same objectives tosatisfy the customers’ needs. However, diagnosis for change beganwhen the new CEO was brought in, anyhow use of company’s resourcesstopped, reduction of workers carried out, and organizationalobjectives and goals reevaluated. All this diagnostics were meant totrigger rapid returns on investments. The owners of the companybrought in a new CEO, solely to ensure organizational goals are metthrough appropriate use of company’s resources, for example people,machinery, and equipment.

Additionally,the fact that changes are diagnosed to e micro does not necessarilymean that they are trivial (Beeson &amp Davis, 2000, p. 23). Thecompany in question may be diagnosed with micro changes on the onsetof major overhaul, which Johnson &amp Scholes (2002, p. 134)observes it as “the organizational micro-complexity is generated.”Major corporate changes occur through diversity and severalmicro-conversations between the top executives and the employees withthe company.

  1. The Extent in which Change (Envisioned and Actual) was Adaptive or Tectonic

Beforethe new CEO started to lead the company, he first envisioned theposition of the company and where he wanted to lead it to. Changeswithin the company’s structure began when change interventions weresought for. According to Hatch (1997, p. 76), there was idea modelthat would ensure effective functioning of the organization. Instead,the envisioned change suggested the directions to be followed inimplementing change and judging the extent of success of theorganization.

MarkThomas, the new CEO ensured that his top executive and employees inthe company, were ready to adapt to change he envisioned to bring tothe organization. Harung et al., (1999, p. 105) observes that anideal organization is that one which embraces envisioned change, andcontinues to adapt. Whatever was an envisioned change was made to beactual following the changes that followed thereafter. First, majorchange was experienced when the number of employees within theorganization was reduced drastically to minimize on the resources.Structures of operation were also altered to accommodate new mode oftechnology, and finally, major change was also through increasedlevel of productivity, while motivating employees on the need tofocus on the new objectives and goals of the company.

  1. The Method(s) for Implementing Change

Becauseof the instability experienced in the business world today,organizations often face the need to change their mode of operationsfor purposes of realizing profits. Opportunities to move into newbusiness ventures or the need to acquire new resources may arise.Again, there may be threats from competitions or the governmentregulations may turn out to be more salient. To face these newchallenges, the organization will have to come up with method(s) ofchange in preparation for these (Dent &amp Goldberg, 1999, p. 35).The company in question, just like any other company, hasResource-Based View (RBV), and according to, method (s) of changewould only be focused on the acquisition and correct use ofresources. Method (s) of change may involve (a) reconfiguringexisting resources, (b) acquiring new resources and reconfiguringthem, (3) acquiring and reconfiguring them, (d) preserve the statusquo, while engaging in “business as usual strategy”.

First,it involves the use of resources that was in existence when the newCEO arrived enabled the company to do something that is beneficial,considering any resource is considered to be beneficial and of value,one method of change could use a resource, especially as amanufacturing plant. To change, the resource used must be rarely inorder to warrant the firm in question to do things other competitorscould not do at least temporarily (Watson, 1997, p. 90).Reconfiguring with new resources is another method of change thatwould enable the company use existing resources and those that thecompany will acquire to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency ofoperations.

Additionally,Watcher (1993, p. 65) gave an example of an organization thatpurchases a computer hardware and software as part of strategy andintegrates it as part of existing change to accommodate new equipmentand resources within the company’s system. There is also anothermethod, which acquires new resources without having to reconfigure.The say way Tesco Manufacturers hired a top executive, cut on wastingresources, and reduced the number of employees to allow smoothhandling of operations. Finally, another method of executing change“business as usual” strategy, where the company in question woulduse this method, especially when there is risk of trying out a newventure (Stacey, 1993, p. 123). It may include minor variations inoperations most importantly the company may not involve inertiaforces that are restricted to potential adjustments.

  1. The Vision for the Change

Afterthe arrival of a new CEO, Tesco Manufacturers needed a new form ofleadership, which will begin with the principle of developingcreative tension. With a new creative tension established in thecompany, there is a sense of seeing clearly where the company isheaded to. The vision for change and telling the truth about thecurrent situation of the company generates a sense of naturaltension. By highlighting the current reality towards the kind ofvision needed in the company, or rather by lowering the vision downto the current reality would enable the company to use generatedenergy in realizing their vision.

Thenew CEO for Tesco Manufacturers would have to lead through creativetension, which according to Dawson (1994, p. 32), is quite differentfrom solving problems. Mark Thomas will have to get solve the currentsituation by may require him to move away from problem solving tocreative tension since the former is undesirable. Integratingcreative tension to Tesco’s current situation could ensure theenergy for change result in the tension, which is from what thecompany wants to create and incorporate with its current situation.

Thevision for change in Mark’s company does not necessarily involvewhat the company has and aspire to accomplish, but also what type ofa leader was hired to oversee the company’s operations. Mark Thomasas the new Chief Executive Officer of the company must be regarded asthe designer of the “ship” (Cummings &amp Worley, 1997, p. 103).Cooke (1999, p. 101) enthused that no one has great sweepinginfluence that what the designer has. The designer is regarded as thesocial architecture, which is supposed to constitute initial tasks ofleadership within the organization. The visions of change includeprojected profitability that the company will highly likely to haveafter the above mentioned changes have been made. Hiring of a new CEOhighlighted the need for change in the long run.

  1. How Change was Communicated

Tocommunicate need for change in an organization is the first steptowards instilling purposeful behavior of accomplishing goals. Theseare behaviors that will define business values in the future of theorganization. When business processes are assumed to change as aresult of the company’s reliability excellence initiative, then itis important to understand that behaviors that are driven by ritualsand habits also require change (Bennett, 1983, p. 76). In order tocommunicate change, there is need to communicate it. However, how thechange is communicated will determine success of the company.According to Brown &amp Eisenhardt, (1997, p. 25), noted thatcommunication is important when an organization raises the level ofunderstanding towards accomplishing its goals and objectives.

InTesco Manufacturers, entry of a new CEO paved way for how change wasgoing to be executed. First, the manner in which this change wascommunicated determined how successful the company would be in itsoperations. As the leader of the company, Mark Thomas convened ameeting of all stakeholders and employees of the company. His messageto both parties was in form of questions. The questions helped openup on the need to contribute positively to the company’s vision andmission. He asked every what role will they play towards changing thedirection of the company’s operations. The leaders of everydepartment appeared to elicit a sense of innovation and eagernesstowards improvement.

MarkThomas emphasized on the need to change the communication phase ofthe projects put in place. He highlighted the need to changemanagement circles in every department. The management circles are nomore than 20% of the organizations operations. He communicated withenergy and vigor, and how projects faced resistance to commit. He hadstarted by inquiring on the exact need to change and reasons for it. Boje (2000, p. 560) cautioned that some projects may appear to belight on the substance, but are a jargon in reality. Mark Thomassought after the root need of why change was important, while puttinginto perspective organizational behavior at the time. Additionally,communication strategists were put in the discussion, which was aimedat creating a strategic plan.

ChangeAgent’s Overall Evaluation

Thequality of work the change agents did was based on the overall resultprojected at the end of the project. Effective communication wasslightly lower than it had been anticipated. The reason for this wasbased on the company’s traditions, which became hard to change.Time taken for the new CEO to instill different ideas, way ofthinking, and the manner of handling operations took considerableamount of time. The agents of change as the prime movers ensuredemployees within the organization, enacted the role of executingchange. Burgelman (1991, p. 62) observed that many practitionersfocused more on larger gatherings, but the company in question placedissues the table, which made it possible for immediate action to beconducted. However, what dragged the progress was about the lack ofknowledge on the need to incorporate technology in making the projecteasy to accomplish within the stipulated time frame.

TescoManufacturers experienced a drag due to training methods used andunclear communications between the executive and the employees. Theproject was not completed within the time frame stipulated before itsinception mainly because of the inability of the organization tostick to the initial plan. According to Beer &amp Nohria (2000, p.135), the role of a change agent is simply to be a leader (MarkThomas) and also as a role model. Other top executives were alsoagents of change, but failure to finish the project in time meantthat they were not freed from daily tasks in order to focus only ondriving the change needed in the organization. On a positiveperspective, they implemented new processes, which was done by firsttraining the employees on different levels of handling the project,while emphasis on embracing different methods of carrying outassignments.

Recommendations

Accordingto Bate (1990, p. 106), the first thing revolved around identifyingthe right agents of change before assigning the project. There arenumerous philosophies used to identify credible change agents. First,one useful method to identify the right change agents’ means onehas to anticipate reactionary behavior from the staff members in theorganization. The reactionary behavior is evident whenever a newchief executive position is announced. It is recommended that highperforming executives be selected individuals that demands respectwhile sending a clear signal involving management, which should betaken seriously.

Secondly,a credible management team should be selected to oversee thecompany’s project within the stipulated time. Change agents shouldbe those that understand better the need of the company’s explicitcareer opportunities and benefits of the project once it iscompleted. Once they are selected, it is essential that they are allin full buy-in of the company’s vision. This is because changeagents can build adoption as much as they can destroy it. Allaire &ampFirsirotu, (1984, p. 199) cautioned that having a change agent who ispart on board can put doubts on the project in progress. As much asthere will be challenges, the change agents must be willing toexecute a good front to every individual and buy completely into theproject team.

Conclusion

Changecomes natural, but with the right team, an organization can implementchange through chosen change agents. Proactive change management canhelp in optimizing future adaptability in an invariably more creativeway of handling the dynamism of the industry. It should be donethrough the competent change agents rather than letting it happen byitself. The project to be completed will only happen throughsuccessful change management of the organization, especially that ofthe company’s human resource rather than by itself.

Managingcorporate change effectively can only be done through moving thecompany from its dilapidating current state, like that of TescoManufacturers, to the desired state in the future. From the aboverecommendations, the current state of the company has to beunderstood, which means the problems faced by the company will haveto be put into consideration, analyzing the impact of each, and theneed for change. It also involves envisioning the lay down theimportance of future state once the change is implemented.

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