To survive a world that is changing increasingly rapidly, business needs to be able to anticipate change and to keep configuring themselves (Lawler and Worley, 2006). Change is often refused to accept at both the individual and the organizational level, although it has some potential positive outcomes (Mullins, 2005). It is often possible to anticipate responses to organizational change, and use that knowledge both to develop support for change and to address to change. It can be argued that change has both positive and negative aspects, and this will be discussed in this essay. On the one hand, change implies experiment and the creation of something new. On the other hand, it means discontinuity and the destruction of familiar arrangements and relationships. Despite the positive attributes, change can be refused to accept because it involves confrontation with the unknown and loss of the familiar (Buchman and Huczynski, 2004). Resistance to change and the thought of the implication of the change appears to be natural and a common phenomenon (Mullins, 2005; Buchman and Huczynski, 2004). Therefore, the knowledge of managing change has become very significant concept to implement the change successfully in the organization. In addition, I believe that the knowledge of managing change will help me in my future career to deal with any problem, which will arise from the change in the organization. This essay will critically discuss the nature of managing change by exploring different definitions, and the different views among the writers regarding managing change. Then, it will discuss the application of literature of managing change in the perspective of OA Ltd case study. Later, it will describe the application of job rotation to bring changes in OA Ltd. Finally, It will discuss the possible problems arises from the job rotation.
According to Mullins (2005, p.909), “Change is pervasive influence, we all are subject to continual change of one form or another.” It appears that Mullins sees change as an influence which spread widely throughout a group of people. He believes that everybody is subject to change. Moreover, Mullins extends his definition of change to incorporate the view that ‘Change is an inescapable part of both social and organisational life.’ this would seem to suggest that change is a part of social and organizational life, and this would seem to suggest that change is impossible to escape by both social and organizational life. This author claims that everybody is subject to change which perhaps is not a useful claim to make. From my past work experience, I realized that change became an inescapable part of organizational life. In my previous company (an out sourcing company), I found that the general manager was not communicating directly to the executive levels, rather he was trying to communicate through the hierarchy (via team managers and team leaders). Therefore, the he was not aware about the problems happened in the executive levels. As a result, the employees in the executive levels were switching their jobs to some other companies. Therefore, the group of employees including the general manager understood the need of change in my previous organization. According to Huse (1982, p.303), “The application of behavioural science knowledge in a long range effort to improve an organization’s ability to cope with changes in its external environment and increase its internal problem solving capabilities.” It appears that Huse sees managing change as a long range effort to improve an organization which is known as an organizational development approach. He believes that managing change is to cope with the external environment and increase its internal problem solving ability. Moreover, Huse also assumes that change is the application of behavioural science knowledge. However, Huse does not claim that change is subject to all. He would seem to suggest that change is to cope with the external environment of an organization and he also would seem to suggest that change increase the internal problem solving ability of an organization. Moreover, Mullin discusses the nature of the change in his definition and Huse discusses how to manage the change. On the other hand, both Mullins and Huse view change in the perspective of organization.
We are now going to discuss an important aspect of managing change, which is power. According to Lee (1980, p.249), “because the ability to produce change is more a function of power- the ability to influence- than method.” Lee defines the managing change as the political process instead of suggesting it as the organizational development approach. He believes that managing change is a function of power. This author prefers the function of power in case of managing change to the other approaches of change. It appears that lee sees ‘change’ is more responsive to the function of power. For example, from my previous work experience, I realized that most of the changes were done by the general manager, who had the highest authoritative power to influence changes in the organization. The general manager was in the top position according to the hierarchy. Therefore, majority of the employees have the tendency to accept any change bought by the general manager. Another author: Stephenson (1985) argues that the skills required to cope with change are substantially political emphasising the centrality of negotiation and bargaining, urging and cajoling, coping with resistance, assessing the power of opposed forces, forming coalitions, choosing optimal timing for actions and using the threat of coercion. Stephenson believes that political skills like bargaining, the centrality of negotiation, coping with resistance etc. are required for managing change. For example, I found in my previous organization that the general manager increased salary of the well performed executives to retain them. This change could create problems among others whose salary were not increased. To implement the change successfully, he told to the every employee not to discuss the salary with others. Otherwise, they could lose the job, and it was a threat of coercion. It can be argued that both Lee and Stephenson see ‘managing change’ as a political process. However, Lee believes that managing change is a function of power whereas Stephenson believes that managing change requires the political skills.
Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) argue that successfully dealing with resistance to change depends on managers being able to appraise to situation realistically and to use the appropriate method based on recognition of their respective strengths and limitations. Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) argue that successfully depends on managers being able to appraise the situation realistically is the particular way of managing change with the particular situation. He believes that managers are able to bring the change by analysing the respective strengths and limitations of particular methods and choose the suitable method to deal with resistance to change. It appears that Kotter and Schlesinger see managing change can be done by managers, whereas other authors do not discuss the managers. For example, the general manager in my previous company was not aware about the problems in the executives because of lacking direct communication with the executives. Therefore, the general manager could flatter the organizational hierarchy to avoid the resistance to change, and he could also involve everyone in the decision making. However, he should not use any kind of threat to avoid the resistance to change. Thus, he could consider the situation to bring any change. I think that the claim of Kotter and Schlesinger is more appropriate than the other authors because it considers the particular situations to decide about the appropriate methods.
The HB department of OA Ltd was experiencing several acute problems. In my opinion, the main problem with OA Ltd was that the men in the production section used to complain that they were bored always doing the same jobs and some of their jobs were harder than others. Moreover, in OA Ltd employees received very little information on their performance and moreover employees had few decision making authority, low job satisfaction and low motivation, the salaries of the employees were not based on their performance or how much hard work they put in their work rather it was based on how many skills they know so an employee who knows only few skills can never be on high pay scale because of rigid grading system. Moreover, there was no recognition for the production team & it was known as the worst in OA Ltd. The production in OA Ltd fell well below targets based on work study standards which resulted in high level of scrap. In OA Ltd, there were 40 lines for producing sweet which I think was too many for workers and the demand for the sweets was also not that much that they need so many lines for production, as a result of which there was more scrap, and it also needed more maintenance for the machines as there were frequent breakdowns during the busy period which resulted in poor performance when company needed to produce more. Moreover, there were conflicts among the packing and production sections as well as they never worked hand in hand when there was pressure on the other section, even concerns from packing teams to decrease speed of work on packing was also ignored by the supervisor & employees in the production team. Moreover, too much conflict in OA Ltd made management spend too much time resolving conflict issues rather than seeking to find means of improving team performance to achieve target. Furthermore, I think in OA Ltd nobody communicated with the employees, the responsibility of supervisors and managers was to give proper feedback to the workers in the respective departments so that they can improve their work and perform well. The employees in OA Ltd also were working like an individual, and there was no understanding between the two departments, and at times demands of the workers to slow down the speed of production during afternoon was ignored, and there was also no sense of motivation from the supervisor or the management to improve the performance of the employees which eventually resulted in low production and high level of scrap.
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- managing change organisation manage change organisational analysis organization Lewin’s model resistance to chanage Job rotation Mullin Kotter and Schlesinger