The three stages of Change Management

We live in the age of alteration. The deduction of this statement, is non that changes merely go on in our clip, but, is that alterations in the recent few decennaries have been relatively more frequent and exert comparatively major influences on every facet of human life. In fact, alterations command so much attending that, in recent old ages, the limelight has been on how to pull off alteration: Change Management.

Change direction, harmonizing to definition from BNET Business Dictionary ( n.d. ) is ‘the coordination of a structured period of passage from state of affairs A to state of affairs B in order to accomplish enduring alteration within an organisation ‘ . Change direction in the organisational context is the survey of alteration, how to exert alteration, how to get by with alteration and the necessity of alteration to guarantee sustainability. Management of alteration is a complex topic of survey ; attending has to be paid in respects to the continuity of alteration, i.e. there are 2 types of alteration viz. incremental alteration ( minor alteration, version, alteration ) and discontinuous alteration ( radical alteration, transformational alteration ) . Organizations experience consistent rhythms of alteration in which periods of incremental alteration are punctuated by intervals of discontinuous alteration ( Nadler and Tushman 1995, cited in Hayes 2002, p. 5 ) . This rhythm is referred to as ‘punctuated equilibrium ‘ by Romanelli and Tushman in 1994 ( cited in Hayes 2002, p. 5 ) .

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Academicians and bookmans have, throughout clip, developed assorted theories on alteration direction. One of the celebrated mind in the field of alteration direction, Lewin ( 1951, cited in Campbell and Craig 2008, p. 512 ) introduced the ‘force-field theoretical account ‘ which describes the province of alteration in an organisation as the equilibrium between the force that push for alteration and the keeping force that struggles to maintain the position quo unchanged.

Additionally, Kotter ( 1995, cited in Huczynski and Buchanan 2007, p. 604 ) proposes 8 stairss to organisational transmutation:

Establish a sense of urgency

Form a guiding alliance

Make a vision

Communicate the vision

Empower people to move on the vision

Create ‘short-term wins ‘

Consolidate betterments to bring forth farther alteration

Institutionalize new attacks

Kurt Lewin in 1951 ( cited in Kinicki and Kreitner 2008, p. 402 ) besides introduced a 3-stage theoretical account for alteration. What are the 3 phases?

Unfreezing: In a nutshell it means that to alter, an organisation foremost necessitate to hold the desire for alteration. Organization needs to be ‘unhappy ‘ with the old behavior.

Changing: Traveling to the coveted province of alteration.

Refreezing: Stabilize and normalise the changed province.

Mentioned above are few of the theories that pupils analyzing Organizational Behaviour will happen familiar. Kurt Lewin ‘s theoretical accounts for alteration remain mostly applicable even in the twenty-first century as successful alteration ever depends on striking a balance between alteration execution and pull offing opposition to alter. Besides, the 3-stage theoretical account right illustrated the procedure of alteration ; the difference now being the increasing velocity of the alteration rhythm as organisational environment becomes more volatile. In my low sentiment nevertheless, Kotter ‘s 8-step theoretical account is an over-simplified reading of the procedure of alteration. The cardinal premise that alteration happens in logical sequence and that directors are all rational existences are in themselves impractical as alterations frequently involve unpredictable abnormalities and directors do non ever ‘follow the book ‘ . Realistically, determinations made by directors are seldom rational.

When organisations try to set into action alteration programs, it is about ever certain that the attempt will be met with opposition. Resistance to alter comes in one signifier or another. To borrow the words of Fronda and Moriceau ( 2008 ) , there are 3 signifiers of opposition: rebellion, backdown ( disaffection from work ) and discreet opposition ( low morale, low productiveness and high absenteeism ) .

On opposition towards alteration, we started off with a instead negative perceptual experience in the last paragraph. However, this is non needfully so, opposition is damaging merely when it is non finely handled, downplayed or ignored. Waddell and Sohal ( 1998 ) in their journal article titled ‘Resistance: a constructive tool for alteration direction ‘ provinces that opposition to alter shows that it is absurd to presume right away that all alteration is good ; that it is human nature to doubt the result of alteration. Furthermore they argued that opposition to alter ensures a balance between organisation ‘s desire for alteration and its practical demand of ‘stability and stability ‘ ( Waddell and Sohal 1998 ) .

The important inquiry remained: How can direction follow the ‘right ‘ scheme so as to be successful in alteration induction?

Many people have this immense misconception about the being of the fabulous ‘best scheme for alteration ‘ . In my sentiment, it is downright absurd to reason that there is one best scheme to be used for all alteration enterprises ; each organisation is affected by its distinguishable external and internal factors when implementing alteration. After a modus operandi of extended reading, I found the eventuality attack to alter advocated by Dunphy and Stace ( 2001, cited in Huczynski and Buchanan, p. 603 ) most feasible.

The Dunphy-Stace eventuality attack to alter execution

The tabular array content outlines the different schemes that directors can use under different fortunes to implementing alterations. Participative alteration direction, despite being touted by a figure of faculty members in the field of alteration direction as the best solutions to alter, does non ever work. This is because engagement and engagement in alteration procedure, from preparation to execution, is highly time-consuming, even more so when consensus fails to be reached. Therefore when organisations are put under state of affairss where the demand for alteration is so critical that it is ‘change or decease ‘ , directors will be better off exerting decision and dictatorial decision-making.

Ideally, nevertheless, it is ever best to affect employees in planning and transporting out alteration to minimise opposition and guarantee cooperation. My position is echoed in the diary article by Stanleigh ( 2008 ) titled ‘Effecting successful alteration direction enterprises ‘ , in which he states 6 grounds why change enterprises fail:

Not prosecuting all employees

Pull offing alteration merely at the executive degree

Stating people they have to alter, we ‘re in a crisis

Sending staffs on a alteration plan and anticipating alteration to happen

Not honoring the yesteryear

Not giving clip for staffs to vent foremost and so alteration

Not to be forgotten is the function of constructive conversation. Attempts to convey about alteration frequently fail because the alteration agent failed to listen. Jabri, Adrian and Boje ( 2008 ) in their article remark on alteration agents:

[ degree Celsius ] hange agents want to alter the organisation ; so, they have been trained to alter it. Change agents may even cognize what the organisation needs. Many alteration agents have been trained to believe about how to pass on the alteration in ways that people will accept it. That developing reflects a lovingness for the audience, even as it limits the audience ‘s engagement. The audience is mere witness to the alteration, instead than informant to it.

In order to alter successfully, an effectual, bipartisan communicating between directors and employees must be in topographic point. Directors must larn to listen to the voices of the employees because the employees possess hands-on cognition which might non be readily available to person in managerial place. Conversation enables the part of every employee to be to the full appreciated and integrated into the ‘grand program ‘ of alteration.

Summarizing up my statement in the old paragraphs, to be able to follow a clearly defined scheme for the successful induction of alteration, direction demands to measure current state of affairs, the necessity for alteration, and the urgency for the alteration. Management so needs to make up one’s mind on a suited attack based on the theoretical account proposed by Dexter Dunphy and Doug Stace ( 2001 ) . Whenever possible, directors should maximise stakeholders ‘ engagement in the alteration procedure. Furthermore, from be aftering to execution of alteration, directors should ne’er overlook the importance of conversation. The direction as the alteration agent needs to larn to listen.

Throughout history we can see a big figure of organisations that have made efforts to alter. Some of these organisations succeeded ; some, unluckily, failed. By following the right schemes, we observe that organisations can pull off their alteration successfully. One recent illustration is the attempt by Dell Inc. to cut down the power ingestion of its about 50000 computing machines during non-operational hours. In visible radiation of the increasing cost of energy, or more specifically, electricity, Dell Inc. has decided to set into action an inspection and repair of its power direction. To explicate a company-wide power direction program, Jay Taylor, the senior applied scientist planetary strategian at Dell, brought together several sections at Dell, including merchandise, installations direction, CTO and IT groups. These stakeholders all contributed their expertness in their several Fieldss to help in the planning. By organizing the accomplishments of its employees in different Fieldss, and partner offing this attempt with the latest engineering, Dell managed to come up with a really efficient power direction program which resulted in 40 % decrease in computer-related energy cost, interpreting to US $ 1.8 million nest eggs yearly. The inspiring portion of the whole enterprise is that Dell managed to implement the power direction program and accomplish cost-saving without haltering its daily operation, thanks to its adept handling of available expertness and effectual co-ordinations between stakeholders from different Fieldss.

As a decision, alteration direction plays an indispensable function in guaranting organisations ‘ endurance. To accomplish competitory advantage and sustainability in this disruptive period of economic system, organisation demands to be able to accommodate to the external environment quickly and routinely by invariably larning. It is hence imperative for leaders and directors likewise to hold a thorough apprehension of the nature, theories and pattern of alteration direction.

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