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Describe and discuss the difficulties encountered when managing organisation wide change in a hierarchical organisation. Your answer should refer to appropriate theories and concepts a

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University of Leicester MBA April 2004 Intake Implementing Strategies (1) What is Change? 3 Hierarchical Organisation Structure and Culture 5 Implementing Change in a Hierarchical Organisation 5 Psychological resistance to change 7 Cultural Resistance to Change 7 Political Resistance to Change 8 Field Force Analysis 8 Implementing Change in a Hierarchical Organisation 10 Types of People 10 Overcoming Barriers to Change 10 Key Elements in a Change Plan 11 Organisation Structure and Environment 13 Change and the Learning Organisation 14 Conclusion 15 Name Shamith Rajitha Dias-Abeygunewardene Course MBA, University of Leicester Intake April 2004 Question 2: Describe and discuss the difficulties encountered when managing organisation wide change in a hierarchical organisation. Your answer should refer to appropriate theories and concepts and consider the impact of structure, the nature of the workforce and the need to be seen to manage the process fairly. Word limit: Minimum 2,500 - maximum 3,500 words for the whole assignment. What is Change? "It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change" - Charles Darwin In a world of new technologies, transforming economies, fluctuating consumer preference and dynamic competition, it is not a question of whether firms should change but rather when, where and how they should change. While change could be seen everywhere not all is of a strategic nature. Much of it is ongoing operational kind. From an organisation context change can be considered from 3 perspectives: * Crisis - When a need arises to respond to a situation that will cause a loss or damage to the organisation. This type change is usually reactive. It may involve finding temporary solution to a problem. * Non-crisis - Such change is in response to a problem situation that does not have a degree of urgency. The change here is again reactive. * Opportunity - This type of change is directed at creating a new type of alignment to gain competitive business advantage. ...read more.


By implementing change there is the prospect of losing power, prestige or pay. Certain departments themselves could run the risk of losing power to other departments. This is sufficient for them to block the change. Field Force Analysis In order to analyse change and the leadership strategy Kurt Lewin developed a model called Force-field analysis10. Driving forces can be though of as problems or opportunities that provide motivation for change. Restraining forces are the barriers to change such as middle management resistance, lack of resources etc. Such barriers to change have been explained in the previous sections under the sub-headings of: psychological resistance, cultural resistance and political resistance. When change is to be introduced the top management should analyse both the pressures for change and the restraining forces. The following diagram illustrates how a typical Force-field analysis for a hierarchical organisation would like. Figure 5: Force-field Analysis In this example the driving forces are the external or internal factors that cause the change. Eg. Change due to competitive forces, customer demands or economic situation. The restraining forces are the organisation structure, people, culture and processes. Insert Business system and organisation structure, culture, process Figure 6: Organisational System A classic example of an organisation whose market leadership position was lost due to not adapting to market changes is British retail giant Marks & Spencer. This company had a bureaucratic culture where a hierarchical organisation structure was being enforced. The roots of the culture can be traced back to the founder himself who enforced a top-down approach to management and there was one-way communication. The management had no idea as to what the customers wanted as they were closer to the employees who had no decision making power. There was a clear separation of roles and learning was not encouraged. Structure, culture and organisation change strategy are inter-related. When Marks & Spender wanted to change due to increased competition it found that the organisation culture and structure did not support it. ...read more.


In such hierarchical organisations, the following can be observed that inhibit flexibility in implementing change: * Employees become too rigid, relying on standard procedures and routines. * Employees tend to be satisfied with average levels of performance. They wont strive for higher levels of performance or to learn new technology * Too mechanical, no incentives for innovation or experimentation. Therefore hinders experimentation and learning. There is no right or wrong structure. If the external environment is volatile then the structure has to be adaptable to cater for the necessary changes. In such environments change is continuous. Therefore traditional models such as unfreezing the old culture, changing and refreeze for stability, may not be applicable in modern days where change is continuous. This gives rise to learning organisations where everyone is engaged in identifying and solving problems. There are certain adjustments that need to be made in order to develop a learning organisation: team based structure (where hierarchical structures are replaced with horizontal ones), empowering employees and information sharing. Such organisations are according to Gavin17, skilled at: systematic problem solving, experimenting with new ideas, learning from own experience and history and transferring knowledge quickly through the organisation to others. 1 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p376 2 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p387 3 Source: Bob De Wit and Ron Meyer, Strategy - Process, Content, Context, 2004, p170 4 Source: University of Leicester, Implementing Strategies, p0.13 5 Source: University of Leicester, Implementing Strategies, p1.4 6 Source: Morgen Witzel, Financial Times, A Life Unlocking Defences: Chris Argyris, August 2003 7 Source: http://www.newfoundations.com/OrgTheory/Bolognese721.html 8 Source: Daft, Management, 2004, p46 9 Source: Bob De Wit and Ron Meyer, Strategy - Process, Content, Context, 2004, p209 10 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p383 11 Source: Lecture Notes, University of Leicester, MBA Module 3, Andy Cope 12 Source: Lecture Notes, University of Leicester, MBA Module 3, Andy Cope 13 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p358 14 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p359 15 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p357 16 Source: Daft, Management, 2003, p55 17 Source: University of Leicester, Implementing Strategies, p1.4 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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