1. The current competitive nature of organizations requires businessesand companies to make continually some changes to put up with theever-changing nature of organizational operations. These changes canbe minor or major depending on their scope and significance to theorganization. Organizational change management refers to thecollection of activities regarding the planning and subsequentimplementation of change in a given organization.
Organizationalchange has several approaches, including the rational and creativeapproaches. Palmer, Dunford, & Akin, (2009) assert that the twomethods are different in design and implementation. The rationalapproach is viewed as the best approach to organizational change. Therational approach is systematic and implementable. It gives leaders awell-formulated process that guides them on how to bring about thedesired change. The founding principle of that rational approach isthat a change manager must possess quality management skills on topof leadership competencies.
Thecreative approach on the other hand dwells on exploring thecreativity of the workforce in an organization in general andindividual creativity. It seeks to bring change by making people gobeyond the confines of the mindset and limited visions to manageorganizational change. This approach aims to transform organizationstaff and leaders into conscious creators who can create the strategyand implementation techniques to bring the desired change in theorganization.
AsLewis, (2011) notes, change has varied effects on an organization andits employees. The most common impacts include loss ofself-confidence, confusion, and conflicts. These results are verysignificant because they are the main reason people resist change. If not well addressed, these impacts can have adverse effects on anorganization and its employees, resulting in inefficiency and lowproductivity.
2. Accordingto Pham, (2005), organizational change aims at achieving two goals.The first goal is to address challenges that have already occurredand are negatively affecting the organization. The goal purpose is toprevent possible challenges that have been predicted to happen ifcertain aspects of the organization are not changed. External andinternal pressure, and at times a combination of the two, forcechange in an organization.
Internalpressures are the forces that originate from inside the organization.They refer to all the things that are within the organization, alsoreferred to as the internal environment of the organization as asystem. They include declining effectiveness, crisis, change inemployee expectations, and change in the work climate. These factorsare under the power of the organization and can influence theactivities, decisions, and employee behavior. Making changes isnecessary to ensure that they do not negatively affect theorganization.
Externalpressures, on the other hand, refer to external factors that arebeyond the control of an organization but still affect itsoperations. They include customers, the state of the economy,competition, technology, politics and resources that have an impacton an organization. Hughes,Ginnet, & Curphy,(2009) insist that despite occurring outside an organization, thesefactors have significant effects on an organization’s operations.Consequently, organizations must make changes to address thesefactors and adapt to the changes.
Themanagement of an organization is key the change process. Managementhelps the organization and its employees to formulate and implementthe necessary changes to identify and address the internal andexternal pressure forcing change in the organization. The success ofany change strategy in an organization directly depends on theability of the management to make the employees accept and embracethe proposed changes.
3. No matter how necessary it is, embracing change in any organizationis not always a smooth process. For some reasons, resistance tochange is a common phenomenon that occurs in many organizations.Managers attempting to effect a change in their organizations shouldexpect resistance, no matter how small or easy to implement thechange might be. (Pham, 2005) Some of the reasons why organizationsresist change are as elaborated below:
TheCost of Change – Organizations resist change to avoid the costs that come withchange as these costs can eat into the financial strengths of theorganization.
OrganizationalCulture – Eachorganization, has its culture. Most organizations are bound to resistchange if it requires them to change certain aspects of theirorganizational culture.
RigidStructures – Mostorganizations operate using rigid structures that they may not bewilling to change. They will actively resist any change that affectstheir organizational structure.
ContractualAgreement– Some changes may require organizations to change bits or all ofthe contractual agreements, something that is not easy for companiesto implement.
Deep-rootedinterests– Organization Management and staff may resist change if they feelit is most likely to keep them from attaining their personalinterests and goals in the organization.
Oneof the most effective strategies for managing resistance to change isproper communication and awareness creation. (Lewis, 2011) Themanagement should take the initiative of informing its employees ofthe intended changes and their rationales. This can be done throughmeetings, memos, reports, and one on one discussion with employees toavoid rumors and speculations. Involvement of workers in thedesigning and implementation of change strategies also helps tominimize resistance to change.
Hughes,R. L., Ginnet, R. C. & Curphy, G. J. (2005). “Leadership:Enhancing the Lessons of Experience”. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Lewis,L. K. (2011). Organizationalchange: Creating change through strategic communication.Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Palmer,I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2009). Managing OrganizationalChange: A multiple perspectives approach (2nd ed.). New York, NY:McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Pham,T. T. B. (2005). OrganizationalBarriers and Employees` Resistance in Strategic Change Processes.Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.