Change Management MGMT625
Lesson # 32
Determinants of a Successful Change Management
This lesson is about the change management implementation. If an organization wants to pursue its
change management plan than what are the key determinants for its successful implementation
Here we deal with some determinants in a generic way and will trace-out different factors or variables
which an organization manages them promptly in order to have an effective implementation of the
change plan. In the management literature, we have number of models and determinants sought out by
various authors and scholars for dealing on effective change implementation. According to one author
there are three crucial determinants for any organization to make its change plan or strategy effective,
which are as under:
3. Management Orientation
The general tendency in this order is that environmental alignment determinant is aligned at the top, the
structural alignment at the middle point, and the management orientation at the lower end. The point
here is that the management orientation should be appropriately aligned to the organization structural
which in turn should be made compatible or aligned with organizational strategy or `strategic change
plan' and this strategic change must always relate or oriented to the environment.
While going through change, the organization must have to focus on the needs and wants of the
customer. If customer needs and wants change then this should be imperative for an organization to
change its products and hence strategies likewise. For instance, change in environment will be coupled
with the followings:
change in product line
change in services
or development of a new product
or target the customer at some other market place
or in terms of better quality.
So here the case in a point is that the organization must move around the customer while its
involvement in change process. This is because the customer is considered `sovereign' or more
pronouncedly a `King'. Customer is the most prominent actor in the external environment of a business
Here the typical consideration for an organization is that its structure of must be compatible with the
strategy of the organization. Otherwise, it is a most common and typical flaw in strategy-structure
But it is important to note that there is no single or universal prescription, here at this point, about the
nature of the structure and its compatibility with the strategy. For instance we have different scenarios
or imperatives in dealing structures such as functional, divisional, or matrix which correspond to the
strategy of an organization. In retaining ourselves into this example, we further exemplify that we have
a divisional structure in an organization then what should be the level of the intensity of `control' as a
determinant. The author suggests here is that the control should be loose or tight, given the situation:
- lose in the sense of autonomy
- tight in the sense of setting-up of high performance goals
Change Management MGMT625
The other important point here is that the control depends on strategic requirement and change in
strategy. For instance, in an organization where previously the structure is control oriented. But for new
strategic requirements of change is to go for decentralization in control. Here we have a very conclusive
statement which has been extracted out from latest researches about successful organizations:
"Highly successful organizations operate with simple and appropriate structure with adequate staff
instead of empire building."
High Performance Organizations (HPOs) means those organizations which are performing constantly in
every environmental scenario and perpetuate it as the best organizations. For instance, Fortune 500
companies the world's best 500 companies. Most advanced researches were taken-out on these
companies about their behavior in respect of change in environment and their reactionary attributions.
For example, the studies of Tom Peter and Waterman (particularly the Waterman's `In search of
excellence') in which they sorted out successful attributes of the highly successful organizations.
Therefore HPOs always tend to adapt their structure to organization's mission and vision, or in totality
what is known as strategy.
a) At management orientation level, we also have some variables which are crucial in success in change
implementation. For the orientation of such variables let us first focus on the following statement:
Successful organizations are those where entrepreneurship and risk-taking is encouraged at divisional
level and innovation being rewarded at multiple tiers of hierarchy. Often in such cases where the
organization promotes the concepts such as control (tight or stiff), loyalty, and obedience which may be
rewarded in short term bases that affect the behavioral element of human force. But in the long run, it is
highly unlikely that these factors give lasting and consistent outcomes. However, researches show that
organizations which believe in values such as innovation, risk-taking, and entrepreneurship are more
successful and progressive.
b) The second feature of successful organizations believes on realistic rather then on idealistic approach
in managing organizations. The following statement portrays similar rationale:
"Goal attainment is preferred over paralysis through analysis of alternatives"
In other words, instead of satisficing, action that ensures goal attainment is encouraged. For instance
few years back, one survey showed that the companies in US spending their energies and resources
more on strategy making, scenario buildings and analyses, policies and strategies manipulations rather
then on implementation strategies. So practically goes too idealistic rather then on realistic approach.
The point here is that organization should focus on actions for goal attainment as against strategy
c) Sticking to one's knitting to original area of organization instead of being led by different attractive
alternatives. Sticking to one's knitting means living around the core of the business which definitely is
the area of being or mission statement. This balance is lost when organizations attain some successes
and see various attractive alternatives. At this point there could likely be a chance of deviation form its
core. For instance, decision of organization to opt for the strategy of diversification, either for related or
unrelated one. The author here gives preference for the related diversification over the un-related
diversification. But this is not a universal phenomenon. In developed countries, we have seen often the
best examples of firms following unrelated diversification. While in developing world, the scenario of
un-related diversification is more visible in the forms of conglomerates (diversified industrial groups)
rather then the related diversification.
d) Stress upon single value this is minimizing cost and satisfying the unique need of the customer. Or
satisfying the unique needs of the customer and single dominant value is highlighted (single/dominant
value is highlighted in the promotion and training of employees
Change Management MGMT625
The case here is that the focus of the organization is at single value rather then on multiple values.
Suppose an organization production system is based on quality production or in other words on
differentiation in product range then it should retain itself into Differentiation Specialty rather go for
Cost leadership type of production strategy.
e) Finally, successful organization seek consensus of employees agreement over performance of
goals. The question here is that how an organization can be made more participative at all levels of
hierarchy or equally involved in new change strategy. Here the outer structure of the organization,
again, very relevant. Here attribution of the OD model are very compatible with this kind of change
strategy and create an environment of participation, empowerment, and delegation.
Determinants of A Failure in Organizational Change
The author classifies the determinants of failure into following three broad categories:
3. Management Orientation
In other words, the same factors which can be cause for success or failure in organizations.
In environmental determinants, for instance, the change in technology is more crucial. When
technological level is changed or advanced that can also cause a change in consumer patterns. Now it is
imperative for the organization to change its technological configuration to match the customers', in
order to retain the customer base.
It is not technology as the only isolated factor which can cause hindrance in the way of organization
success but some other related and relevant variables also has the equal ability to cause damage. For
- gap between the new and existing technological skills levels
- organization culture is not be learning oriented
- financial resources availability to go for up gradation in technology
Change in government policies and procedures may cause failure in organizations such as subsidy and
cut backs etc. Therefore the case in the point is organizations should not be dependent on government
but to go for internal development rather then to get addict on governmental concessions.
Dependency on single supplier should be avoided. In other words a diversified portfolio of vendors is
needed for coping with such danger. Similarly reliance on single customer also becomes dangerous for
Inadequate control mechanism and inability to sense change also results in poor product quality and
loss of customer.
Indecisive leadership (half hearted) leads to a tendency to overanalyze data or to take a `wait-and-see'
attitude may cause a firm to loose ground to competitors and may exacerbate internal problems. A basic
concern here is the quality of leadership that how leadership can facilitate the design of the structure
and its role as an intermediary of a new or changed strategy of an organization.
Nadler's requirements for organization change
For Nadler requirements for organizational change are three:
Change Management MGMT625
1. Motivating change
2. Managing the transition
3. Shaping the political dynamics of change
Nadler is a very well known figure in management research and consultancy. He recommended the
following prerequisites for installing a change in an organization.
1. Motivating Change (attitude-to-behavioural change approach)
It focuses on two method of manipulating attitude and behavioural change:
Persuasion / Cognitive / Emotional method (based on psychotherapy)
Rational / Intellectual method (based on cost-and-benefit analysis method)
Hence managers get motivated on the above identified ways ad means.
2. Managing the Transition
Manager ought to develop switching skills in order to develop and acquire skills and values of newer
systems, processes, technologies, and even to new strategies. Whenever an organization is in transition,
it means that managers and organizations have to bear the burden of both systems; newer and the older
one. In this situation a balance is required for achieving the harmony and smooth progression from
turning one system to another one is extremely difficult. This has been earlier explained to you in
3. Shaping the political Dynamics of Change
When change occurs in an organization an environment of politics emerge automatically as change
creates winners and losers. The results would be the winners and losers will engage in organization
conflict. So at this situation a dominant condition of interest is required for resolution of the conflict.
Though it appears simplistic but the author analysis show that environmental factors are more likely to
pose potential threats to an organization's well-being, while structural factors are an organization's
major means of achieving success or, at least, coping with threats.
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