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Organizational change has become a way of life of the company in pursuit of success in the today's dynamic world. For any organization that is willing to survive in the current environment, it is therefore paramount to respond to its changes. I most cases changers are stressful to the employees yet inevitable. Therefore, it is imperative for the managers to have techniques that will help them manage all types of the organizational change (Osborne, & Brown, 2005). They should be well acquitted to changes that occur in the organization as well as being able to overcome these changes and to have knowledge about the workplace policies.
In fully understanding what organization partakes, it is very important to get the forces that initiate change in any organization and how the changes can be managed in the organization. It is important also to understand the resistance change. It is important to ensure that ways of managing transition and establishment of Continuous Process Improvement Program.
Organizational change is a concept regarding wide organizational change as opposed to smaller changes such as adding a new person or modifying a program. According to Hughes, 2007, organization wide change include such things as change in mission, restructuring operations, new technologies, mergers, major collaborations, right sizing and improvising new programs such as Total Quality Management and re-engineering.
Forces causing organizational changes
Various forces make organizations to change especially in the current world. These forces make organizations to change their process strategies in order to make sure that they are capable of remaining competitive and profitable in the current global economy. Various forces stimulate changes in the nature of the work force, technology, competition, social trends and the political arena in the world.
The first force that affects these changes is the nature of the work force. This affects every part of the organization. Due to the increased cultural diversity, nature of work is highly affected. There has been increased market widening and globalization that makes people from different cultures, backgrounds, manners, languages and thought process to come together and create work teams (Sminia & Nistelrooij, 2006). When an organization is capable of realizing the differences that have developed, they will be able to benefit their company through innovations and creating effectiveness. Decision-making can be very much improved through the diversity created by the working group, as they are capable of providing different perspective in any problem that has arisen.
The second force is education and skills requirement to perform a certain task. Employers in many cases require their employs to be having a certain level of education and skills to perform ascertain tasks in the organization. In current world, there has been increasing requirements of the frontline supervisors to make different organization decision. Therefore, this has made it a requirement for the organization a managers to have certain specific skills in the company. There has also been a great technological advancement that has made it a requirement for the employees to advance continuously their knowledge. In most cases, it has been a requirement for them to have at least entry-level technical skills to the career (Balogun & Hailey 2004). Therefore, many organizations have established certain level of knowledge inn computer to be a requirement in the entry of the career position. There after, they are required to increase their telecommunication skills with time. These technological skills acts as baseline to increase the productivity and the efficiency of the organization, thus employers tends to make their proficiency a priority.
Another factor that has forced the organization to change is the nature of aging population of the work force in an organization. From the statistics that were given out by the U.S Department of Labor's Bureau In 2008, the median age of the work force were 40.7. This was projected to create forces that that necessitate changes in the workforce. Therefore, according to analyst, this translate to companies coming up with a website to warn eyesight, put more attention on ergonomics, increase elder care as a benefits package, anticipate more medical claims and provide flexibility in the workplace (Burnes, 2004). The aging workforce of the organization also meant that there would be many retirement cases. Therefore, as the younger employees pursue other careers, the older employees will be the backbone of the organization.
Another force for change in an organization is technology. This will affect the way an organization transfer its inputs top outputs. Technology at times in happens to get in the organization slowly whereas at time it just gets in fast. Just to see how some technology in the world take time, automobile took 55 years to spread in the world since its invention in 1886 in comparison to World Wide Web that only took seven years since its invention to spread world wide.
Therefore, technology in the work place has turned to be very useful tool and very useful in making the work done. Cummings, & Worley 2005 says that, in most of the organization, the technology has been upheld so much that they have automated their areas of production, distribution and the customer services. It has gone to a point where an organization has to consult electronic device during their decision-making. In most of the organization, they have put in place pervasive gadgets to ensure that employees communicate to each other through this method to ensure effective communication. Some of the gadgets that organization has employed in their organization are beepers, cell phone, two way radios, internet, and cable line wireless among others.
Technological change changes the way the company produces their goods and markets their products and services. Some of the technologies come because of upgrading the existing ones while in some other cases; new technology emerges that take an organization in a completely different direction. Despite of the kind of technology, the organization is forced to encompass this technology and utilize it to the fullest. This means that the employees are liable of adapting and learning to use it to ensure that they are able to operate the equipment that uses this technology that has been introduced in their work place (French, Bell & Zawacki, 2000).
Competition is the other force that necessitates change in an organization. Due to mergers and globalization that makes the market to expands, restructuring competition and globalization has made the companies and organization to find for better methods of managing change and staying dynamic amid reigning competition in the market (O'Brien, 2002). These factors are among the main one that create more competition forcing the organization to have a changing strategy towards their competition. Therefore, an organization is liable of identifying the need to change and implement the change successfully to ensure that they are capable of making the organization a more competitive one.
Globalization is another very important force especially of later that has been in the center stage of organizational change. This because, globalization has brought the competition too closes to each organization no matter the place where the organization is in the world. Due to the rise that ahs been noted of recent of the internet, there has been interconnectivity of economies that enhance competition globally. It has to enhance the room for growth in the organizations thus going over their borders to ensure that they increase their market share. To ensure that then the organization indentify innovative offerings of the product improvements, it is paramount for them to monitor their competitors' strategy and their product line. Through rapid response to their competitor's strategies, organizations are capable of developing more improved products that will satisfy their customers need sooner. Nevertheless, to acquire this, an organization requires equally flexible and responsive employees who are capable to radically change the organization conditions at the required time (Patchett, 2005). Through this, an organization is capable of maintaining a competitive advantage.
Social trend cannot be overlooked as a force that will make the company change. This is more evident when the organization decides to take advantage of the society range of views. In evaluation of the social trends, different factors are considered by an organization. One of the factors is where the business is located. Before any change is made, cultural challenges that may prevent certain actions in the organization should be considered. Another social culture that has been rise in recent years is the increased amount of the Baby Boomer retirements. Most of the employees especially those who were born after Second World War are getting to retirements age at a very high rate. As these people retire, they took a lot of knowledge with them that otherwise could have been used in the organization.
The other social trend that prompted organizational change is the use of the technological gadgets that were mentioned earlier (Cummings, & Worley, 2005). This has made it possible for the customer to be in a position to communicate with their friends, co-workers and family members across the globe. This has a great impact as they can use word of mouth marketing. Through this kind of informal communication, customers are able to notify their counter part of any new products in the store. Therefore, it is advisable for the organization to address their social trends regularly to ensure that their processes meet their target market.
Finally, world politics is the last force for change in an organization. World politics affects the way an organization operates in various ways. First, it is the stability of a certain part of the world. The stability of the part of the world at hand can be either economic wise, political wise as well as stable in the nature of natural disasters occurrence. For example, oil rich economies affect the economy of the whole world directly. Taking an example, terrorist attack makes the global market fluctuate as most f the consumers change their spending habits thus reducing demand for various goods (Robertson & Seneviratne 1995).
Secondly, most of the countries are embracing across border trade that is offering their customers a taste of goods and services that they have never experienced. For example in china, so many people in the country are in the internet. This makes it a good place for the investors to offer such services in such countries. Therefore, Robbins 2003 emphasized that it is the mandate of the organization to indentify these potential customers and make changes in their business processes to meet their needs. This will eventually translate to the organization becoming more profitable and more innovative.
Once an organization has realized the force of change that is affecting their environment, it is now their turn to mange their planned changes. Change management is the effective process that executive leaders, managers and employees implement successfully organizational change through technological or organizational change.
Goals that successful organizational change has to meet
- Well-managed change in an organization should ensure that they minimize the productivity impact.
- It minimizes loss of valued employees and avoid unnecessary turnover.
- It ensures that any adverse impact that may be passed to the customers is eliminated.
- Any successful organizational change achieve the desired business outcomes within the shortest time possible
As the organization start the process of managing change, it is important for them to understand the two-perspective difference on changes. The first view is the management standpoint. This can also be termed as organizational change management that focuses on the broad change in the management practices and the skills that the organization have to get to ensure that they accept and support the organizational change (Dessler, 2004).
The other perspective that is important is that from the employees views which is known as individual change management. Employees are typically asked to implement organizational changes and therefore individual management acts as a tool and technique that is required within the process of change.
Organizational change theories
There may be no other choice for an organization apart from changing due to the forces that were discussed above. Due to the sudden change that might be brought upon by either of the forces, the organization is supposed to understand the process of the organizational change to help them handle the change in the best way possible. Organization change theories are as follows.
This theory makes use of the interrelationship of the parts of the organization. Therefore, to ensure that one part is changed, consideration is supposed to be done in relation to other parts in the system. There is some of the consideration that is supposed to be done before making any system change. Such considerations include infrastructures, tasks, technologies and resources both human and financial. Therefore, changes can be instituted through making alteration of either one of this singly or more than one at a time.
In the first study, the range of organizational variables is the one that is focused. Some of the variables that can be measured according to Jones et al 2004, include data management, organization practice, quality improvement, customer satisfaction and the performance of the products in the market. The data that is gotten can be used to stimulate improvement in the organization.
Organizational development theory
This is a discrete plan of change in an organization through which behavioral science is applied and therefore emphasis human process in an organization. This theory has an assumption that the success of the organization change relies on the agreement that has been made between the individual and organizational goals.
Through this theory, effective team is focused for the improvement of the quality in an organization. There has been evidence that has been realized that support the relationship between team working variables that include, empowerment, communication, flexibility and organizational performance (Jan, 2007). Therefore, through combination of the teamwork, work satisfaction and customer satisfaction, organizational change is well realized.
This is the study of the systems that are affected by non-linear dynamics. This means that its practices are complex adaptive systems that consists local agents, which leads to interactions therefore affecting emerging behaviors. Therefore, changes results in the process of interactions between the agents at a local level in the complex system and the system environment (Salvatore, 2005). Therefore, any changed to be effected in the system, good understanding should follow the change that has been brought out. Through this theory, focus is made on the informally reviewing process and structures in a way that can help the team creating a sense on what works well and what should be improved.
Social world's theory
Social world theory says that a change emerges from negotiation and renegotiation that happens from more than two social worlds. This theory emphases on the importance of the organization to have knowledge on who is using the change indicators and of for what purposes he/she is using them. Therefore, a tension then is created between the activities that are believed to lead to improvement of quality target and the things that are done to satisfy the customers. Taking an example that this theory exist is the tension that exist in the United kingdom on the rising expectations of the patients and the desire to meet these expected quality standards that have been imposed from the external environment.