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Running head: ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT Organizational Change Management Warrien Poole Abstract This research project focused on organizational change management initiated through strategic planning. Knowing that organizational changes are inevitable and necessary for companies to achieve their mission and goals, the intent was to present an analysis on some of the important areas that could affect successful outcomes. Included are strategy, technology, structure, and people as the four major areas of concentration because they are related and most cases, interchangeable when there is change.

There are also techniques explored that counter the resistance of employees either afraid or unwilling to change. Introduction Organizational change occurs when a company makes a transition from its current state to some desired future state. Managing organizational change is the process of planning and implementing change in organizations in such a way as to minimize employee resistance and cost to the organization, while also maximizing the effectiveness of the change effort.

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Today’s business environment requires companies to undergo changes almost constantly if they are to remain competitive. Factors such as globalization of markets and rapidly evolving technology force businesses to respond in order to survive. Such changes may be relatively minor as in the case of installing a new software program or quite major as in the case of refocusing an overall marketing strategy. “Organizations must change because their environments change,” according to Jeff Hiatt book Management: Function and Strategy. Today, businesses are bombarded by incredibly high rates of change from a frustratingly large number of sources. Inside pressures come from top managers and lower-level employees who push for change. Outside pressures can come from changes in the legal, competitive, technological, and economic environments. “Bateman and Zeithaml identified four major areas of organizational change: strategy, technology, structure, and people. All four areas are related, and companies often must institute changes in the other areas when they attempt to change one area.

The first area, strategy changes, can take place on a large scale, for example, when a company shifts its resources to enter a new line of business or on a small scale for example, when a company makes productivity improvements in order to reduce costs. There are three basic stages for a company making a strategic change: 1) Realizing that the current strategy is no longer suitable for the company’s situation. 2) Establishing a vision for the company’s future direction. 3) Implementing the change and setting up new systems to support it.

Technological changes are often introduced as components of larger strategic changes, although they sometimes take place on their own. An important aspect of changing technology is determining who in the organization will be threatened by the change. To be successful, a technology change must be incorporated into the company’s overall systems, and a management structure must be created to support it. Structural changes can also occur due to strategic changes—as in the case where a company decides to acquire another business and must integrate it as well as due to operational changes or changes in managerial style.

For example, a company that wished to implement more participative decision making might need to change its hierarchical structure. People changes can become necessary due to other changes, or sometimes companies simply seek to change workers’ attitudes and behaviors in order to increase their effectiveness. “Attempting a strategic change, introducing a new technology, and other changes in the work environment may affect people’s attitudes (sometimes in a negative way), “Bateman and Zeithaml wrote. But management frequently initiates programs with a conscious goal of directly and positively changing the people themselves. ” In any case, people changes can be the most difficult and important part of the overall change process. The science of organization development was created to deal with changing people on the job through techniques such as education and training, team building, and career planning. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this research was to understand how successful organizations adapt strategic planning to the need for change.

I also wanted to explore the various methods and responsibilities for implementing changes effectively. My objectives were to identify successful strategies, how to respond to resistance, and effectively implement change. Method Collection of information for this project included books, journals, videos, interviews and performance observation with organization administrators and employees. Findings/Results A successful organization responds intelligently to factors which precipitate change.

Economic climates, political trends, changes in consumer demands, management policy or structure, employment levels and financial resources all these elements are constantly at play to ensure that organizations clinging on to static structures will ultimately lose out. But change is a dynamic and alarming thing and HRD must address how to manage it positively, so that employees give their support and the positive goals set are worked towards with enthusiasm. Research shows that the success rate for implementing major organizational change is quite low, for several reasons.

First, asking organizations to change the way they conduct their business is similar to asking individuals to change their lifestyle. It can be done but only with the greatest determination, discipline, persistence, commitment and a clear plan for implementing the change. According to Dr. Harold Resnick, “resistance to change is a natural human phenomenon. All people resist change, some more than others. Managing that resistance is an essential part of the process. ” Strategic planning is less about future decisions than about the future impact and consequences of today’s decisions.

Strategic planning examines the necessities of today and tomorrow in light of an organization’s goals and capabilities. And it lets organizations update their goals and identify new capabilities they may need on board, tying strategic goals to a strategic management plan and goal setting. 1. The real benefit of the strategic planning process is the process, not the plan document. 2. There is no “perfect” plan. There’s doing your best at strategic thinking and implementation, and learning from what you’re doing to enhance what you’re doing the next time around. 3.

The strategic planning process is usually not an “aha! ” experience. It’s like the management process itself — it’s a series of small moves that together keep the organization doing things right as it heads in the right direction. 4. In planning, things usually aren’t as bad as you fear nor as good as you’d like. 5. Start simple, but start! References 1. Hiatt, Jeffery. “Employee’s Survival Guide to Change”. 2. Filicetti, John (August 20, 2007). “Project Management Dictionary”. PM Hut. http://www. pmhut. com/pmo-and-project-management-dictionary. Retrieved November 29, 2011.

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