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Organizational Change

Unit 2: “Organizational Change”

Quality and Systems Theory

Management develops systems to monitor the performance of an organization on regular time

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intervals. These evaluations are generally conducted on a monthly or quarterly basis as the organization

attempts to meet the objectives of the strategic plan. The relationship between an organization’s

operation and its strategic plan is that the strategic plan establishes the overall policies and goals while

the operations deals with the actions directed at carrying out those policies and meeting those goals.

The Need for Change

Although economic and social forces can drive the need for major change in many organizations, there

are a number of other factors that push entities to change. For example, technology and globalization

of markets have made a major impact on organizations. Technology has given us faster and better

communications as well as faster and better transportation. There are more information networks

connecting people globally. Organizations must be able to immediately know what their competition is

doing in order to develop new strategies appropriate to changing markets.

Assessing Types of Change

In order to determine what type of change an organization needs, it is important to perform some type

of assessment. There are serious questions that need to be asked and answered. The answers will guide

the change process.

How far does the organization want to go with this change? Is it too far or not far enough? Is the

direction we plan to take the path of least resistance or is it really where we need to go? What are the

short-term and long-term results we want? Do we want a permanent change? Will the change risk the

flexibility needed to make other changes in the future? How much change can the organization absorb

at one time or cumulatively? Can the changes that are being considered be portrayed in a positive light?

What happens if we don’t change at all?

Conditions for Change

Organizations change at various levels, on different timetables, and in a multitude of ways. This can

prove chaotic. One way to manage change is through planned change. In The Planning of Change. 4th

ed., the authors describe planned change as the “conscious, deliberate, and collaborative effort to

improve the operation of a human system.” This collaborative effort involves both employees and

managers. In many operations, the intent of planned change is to improve individual and organizational

performance. For real change to occur, the organization must prepare. The organization must identify potential

resistance and address that resistance. Members of the organization must agree to take ownership of a

shared vision and the resulting change. A shared vision does not just happen. It must be crafted and

shaped through communication, negotiation. Planned change should maximize support for the process

and the results.

External and internal factors will have an impact on the change process. Internal forces include

operational processes, habits and behaviors, group dynamics, and communication. External forces may

include demographics, politics, technology, social conditions, and economic factors. Because the

organization does not exist in a vacuum, organizational leadership should be alert to opportunities for

change as well as the need for change.

Obstacles to Change

Organizations consist of people. As a result, individual personalities are a major obstacle to change.

Some people are comfortable with the familiar and do not want change. Some simply possess a fear of

the unknown. When change happens, there are unexpected and unintended consequences. These

unknowns may develop into traumatic events for those involved. Change may also be a threat to an

individual’s power and influence in the organization. Individuals who perceive a loss of power or

influence may attempt to undermine the change process. The loss through change may also be

economic.

There may also be corporate resistance to change. Corporate resistance could be a result of

organizational design, organizational culture, investor expectations, or financial structure. The

organization may not have enough staff or money to successfully change. Other constraints on the

change process may include existing agreements or contracts.

Lewin’s Change Model

In 1951, Kurt Lewin, regarded as the “grandfather of organizational change,” theorized that there were

three stages in the change process. The stages in Lewin’s Change Model are unfreeze, change, and

refreeze. In the unfreeze stage, the environment for change is created. Old ideals and processes are

tossed aside to allow new ones to be learned. In the change stage, new information or concepts are

introduced to the employees to become part of their behavior. There are mixed emotions and a lot of

coaching is required as individuals practice the new ideals and processes. In the refreeze stage,

employees integrate the changed behavior into their normal way of doing things. The process is not

unlike Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ grieving process.

Employee Empowerment

How can organizations empower their employees? In order to empower employees, management must

communicate a sensible vision to employees. It is necessary that the employees perceive and share a

sense of purpose, which will make it easier to later initiate actions needed to achieve the purpose.

Structures in the organizations must be compatible with the vision. There is a need to align personnel

and information systems with the organization’s vision.

Employees are empowered when they are able to use their skills, knowledge, and abilities to effect

change in the organization and to make decisions as needed. A significant aspect of this empowerment

is the transformation of the employee into a lifelong learner able to help the organization achieve its

goals. In true empowerment, employees are allowed to form working relationships that are based on

the mutual interest of meeting the outcomes and mission of the organization.

There is also a need to provide the training needed by the people in the organization. If workers lack

the essential skills and aptitude to do the job in a satisfactory manner, they will feel impotent

Unit 2: “Organizational Change”

 

Quality and Systems Theory

 

Management develops systems to monitor the performance of an organization on regular time

 

intervals. These evaluations are generally conducted on a monthly or quarterly basis as the organization

 

attempts to meet the objectives of the strategic plan. The re

lationship between an organization’s

 

operation and its strategic plan is that the strategic plan establishes the overall policies and goals while

 

the operations deals with the actions directed at carrying out those policies and meeting those goals.

 

The Nee

d for Change

 

Although economic and social forces can drive the need for major change in many organizations, there

 

are a number of other factors that push entities to change. For example, technology and globalization

 

of markets have made a major impact on o

rganizations. Technology has given us faster and better

 

communications as well as faster and better transportation. There are more information networks

 

connecting people globally. Organizations must be able to immediately know what their competition is

 

doi

ng in order to develop new strategies appropriate to changing markets.

 

Assessing Types of Change

 

In order to determine what type of change an organization needs, it is important to perform some type

 

of assessment. There are serious questions that need to b

e asked and answered. The answers will guide

 

the change process.

 

How far does the organization want to go with this change? Is it too far or not far enough? Is the

 

direction we plan to take the path of least resistance or is it really where we need to go?

What are the

 

short

term and long

term results we want? Do we want a permanent change? Will the change risk the

 

flexibility needed to make other changes in the future? How much change can the organization absorb

 

at one time or cumulatively? Can the changes

that are being considered be portrayed in a positive light?

 

What happens if we don’t change at all?

 

Conditions for Change

 

Organizations change at various levels, on different timetables, and in a multitude of ways. This can

 

prove chaotic. One way to manage

 

change is through planned change. In The Planning of Change. 4th

 

ed., the authors describe planned change as the “conscious, deliberate, and collaborative effort to

 

improve the operation of a human system.” This collaborative effort involves both employees and

 

Unit 2: “Organizational Change”

Quality and Systems Theory

Management develops systems to monitor the performance of an organization on regular time

intervals. These evaluations are generally conducted on a monthly or quarterly basis as the organization

attempts to meet the objectives of the strategic plan. The relationship between an organization’s

operation and its strategic plan is that the strategic plan establishes the overall policies and goals while

the operations deals with the actions directed at carrying out those policies and meeting those goals.

The Need for Change

Although economic and social forces can drive the need for major change in many organizations, there

are a number of other factors that push entities to change. For example, technology and globalization

of markets have made a major impact on organizations. Technology has given us faster and better

communications as well as faster and better transportation. There are more information networks

connecting people globally. Organizations must be able to immediately know what their competition is

doing in order to develop new strategies appropriate to changing markets.

Assessing Types of Change

In order to determine what type of change an organization needs, it is important to perform some type

of assessment. There are serious questions that need to be asked and answered. The answers will guide

the change process.

How far does the organization want to go with this change? Is it too far or not far enough? Is the

direction we plan to take the path of least resistance or is it really where we need to go? What are the

short-term and long-term results we want? Do we want a permanent change? Will the change risk the

flexibility needed to make other changes in the future? How much change can the organization absorb

at one time or cumulatively? Can the changes that are being considered be portrayed in a positive light?

What happens if we don’t change at all?

Conditions for Change

Organizations change at various levels, on different timetables, and in a multitude of ways. This can

prove chaotic. One way to manage change is through planned change. In The Planning of Change. 4th

ed., the authors describe planned change as the “conscious, deliberate, and collaborative effort to

improve the operation of a human system.” This collaborative effort involves both employees and

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