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Organisational change.

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Introduction

The author Gareth Morgan, uses a metaphor when describing organisational change. The title of his book "Riding the waves of change" suggests that change is a very dynamic process and for like surfers, managers and their organisation have to ride on a sea of change that can twist and turn with all the power of the ocean. The ocean representing the organisations internal and external environment. John Harvey-Jones (1993, p21) once said organisations need to 'adapt or perish'. This is still as relevant now as it was in the 1990s. Change is due to a number of internal and external triggers. External triggers include, political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors and an increase in competition. Internal triggers are changes within the organisation. Change is now a major issue in which organisations, managers and their employees have to face. Organisations who fail to adapt to this dynamic environment in a suitable and appropriate manner, could face organisational failure, causing problems for individual jobs and careers. Managers need a pro-active mindset where they need to anticipate and confront challenges of the future, rather than manage in relation to events that have already occurred. When facing organisational change, managers must consider the people whom the change is affecting. ...read more.

Middle

Anticipating responses becomes possible when one understands the stakeholders concerned with a particular organisational change. John Kotter and Leo Schlesinger (1979) identified six methods for overcoming resistance: 1. Education and commitment Managers need to inform the people whom the change involves and affects about the nature of the problem prompting change. Their objections, perceptions and knowledge should be shared with these people to avoid misunderstandings which can cause resistance. It helps to get the facts straight, and to identify and resolve opposing views. There must be a large amount of trust between management and employees if this approach is to be used. Managers should pay special attention to skills that increase their power to communicate, to create shared understanding. 2. Participation and involvement By involving those people who resist change in the planning and implementation of it, their fears will be reduced about the impact of changes on them. Collaboration can reduce opposition and encourage dedication. If managers are to use this approach, it is important that the individuals have satisfactory knowledge and ability to contribute effectively. 3. Facilitation and support People's feelings may be altered towards change and they may be able to accept it if they are offered support to overcome the fears and anxieties. ...read more.

Conclusion

This kind of orientation can invigorate and empower people to reach the leading edge of change and stay there. It is also important to consider the customer when managing change in the organisation because in today's marketing orientated attitude to business, all decision making and planning must be based around customers requirements. This is an important factor contributing to the success of the organisation. Connected stakeholders, for example suppliers, also need to be considered and informed of the change. Their views and opinions need to be heard and taken into account. When dealing with stakeholders who have a certain degree of power over the organisation, it may be appropriate to negotiate and compromise with them. This will reduce any conflict which could lead to major problems for the organisation in the long run. Managers should use the views and needs of customers and other key stakeholders as a mirror in which they see and understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and act on these insights to reshape their relations with the environment. It is also important to consider the organisations competitors when managing change. Is the change going to create an advantage or disadvantage to competitors? Will the change encourage new competitors? Clearly, any program of change involves a high degree of skill in people management since people are at the very centre of the change. By considering the 'people factors' when managing change, the change will be successful. ...read more.

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