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Change Management ­MGMT625
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Lesson # 35
IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ
COMPANY)
In our previous lecture we have discussed some major constraints that can occurs during the
implementation phase of a changed strategy. Previously, we have discussed the following factors which
are tangible in nature:
Systems and subsystems
Structural
Strategic direction
Policies, plans and procedural alignment
Now the remaining two variables intangible in nature are followings:
People
Culture
People
The matter under discussion is how to manage people? It is the people who at the action level can make
change implementation either a successful or failure. So, people's traits, psyches, attitudes, behaviours
and their orientation is required to be analyzed particularly at lower levels where masses of people
directly involved in change orientation and execution.
(a) Fear of failure ­ non performance and humiliation
It is a general tendency that whenever a change program, or a plan introduced in an organization and is
perceived negative by greater majority of managers in the organization as against the established
patterns, norms, and conventions then the resistance level will quite high. One such reason for higher
resistance towards change plan has been the perceived threat of non-performance which acts as a source
of failure associated with humiliation. Here, innovative organizational structure provides some
remedies. For instance, it allows failure to occur. This also means that organization culture is not geared
towards learning.
(b) Resistance to change ­ non comfort zone
Again, the fear of change lead the individuals or groups from a comfort zone to a non comfort zone
where learning about new values, new technologies, new patterns or fears about unknowns produce
resistance. This resistance to change can cause considerable loss of efficiency in organizations. In fact,
if organization goes for successful execution of strategic change then strategists should go for removing
this phenomenon. Therefore, there must be the introduction of learning oriented culture or
entrepreneurship like attributes in organizational environment.
(c) Parochial bias ­ ethnocentrisms
Parochialism, provincialism or ethnocentrisms means to interpret the things or developments on self
reference basis. Again, there is tendency among individuals or among groups that they percept changes
narrowly and un-sophisticatedly. At organizational level where we have different hierarchies, groups,
departments, and divisions, the parochialism is dangerous for the health of the organization. Under such
situation management consultant and strategists must workout for exploring the dominant interpretation
of the change acceptability and ensure that the benefits of that change should be for large masses with
minimized costs.
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(d) Turf protection ­ hiding behaviour
Turf protection means favouritism or protection of individuals or a group or groups who have some
vested interest with change process. For instance, the protection for those ones: (1) who are non-
performers or (2) may be for those who are loyalist toward change initiators. The turf protection,
therefore, leads an organization towards failure in change implementation. In the context of developing
countries, for instance, where we have seen a more personalized style of management, the turf
protection culture is more prominent and highly lucrative.
(e) Short-term orientation
Short term orientation means short sightedness. Earlier in strategic direction variable we have discussed
that, the leaders who have short term view in respect of time often go for immediate calculations
instead long term of deferred gratifications. This is a myopic view of organizing and such behaviour is
actually associated with individual psyche. The same behaviour also matter for organizational
perspective. The organizations who go for immediate calculations suffer losses in the long run.
Contrarily, the organizations who go for deferred attitude may be at deficit in short term but in the long
run they are more lucrative.
In cross cultural terms, for instance, traditional Asiatic peoples such as Japanese, Chinese or Malays
have had long term behaviour then other Asiatic ones. In reality, we have also seen them more
developed and rich.
(f) Complacency ­ satisficing behaviour
It is generally observed that the people who involved in change process are more satisficing and
complacent than from those who actually are not involved. Therefore, complacent people are those who
retained their energies at certain level which may be appropriately below from maximizing level.
In general, the behaviour of employees are satisficing rather than toward maximizing. One thing that
produces such scenario is organization structure and design. If an organization structure is decentralized
and behaviour of employees is complacence towards objective setting and achieving than it goes for
maximizing behaviour. On the other hand, organizations that are based on centralized structure then
normal behaviour of employees are not complacent and based on `wait-and-see' strategy. Therefore,
this is satisficing behaviour instead of maximizing because of the least involvement of employees.
Complacency concept actually studied under the domain of Management by Objective (MBO) in both
Management and Change Management disciplines. It is normally used as a tool for avoiding resistance
and conflicts.
(g) Inappropriate talent/ skills
If an organization wants to avoid resistance then they should be appropriately equipped with the
requisite level of skills, knowledge and aptitude. It is based on learning behaviour or on learning culture
in an organization. Here organization strategists can play an important role in change implementation
process by determining the required skills and aptitudes and how can these be acquired. Because it is
crucial for change implementation and for achieving the desired level of productivity.
Culture
(a) Ill-defined values or preferences and priorities
Managers, often top mangers, sometimes cannot create the climate for the enterprise. Sometimes, this is
because they have unable to define and prioritise the values and preferences in organization. The values
and preferences of the organization are depending on the values and preferences of the top management
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because their values influence the direction of the firm. Also some times, top management has
conceived the values and preferences but unable to share them with the bottom of the organization. That
makes implementation difficult and can create conflict in organizations. So, why values preferences and
priorities are important? Because:
Values can be thought of as forming an ideology that permeates every day decisions.
In successful organizations, value-driven corporate leaders serve as role model, and are a symbol to the
external environment.
The organization culture created by corporate leaders can result in managerial functions being carried
out in quite different ways.
(b) Lack of consensus over priorities
This concept has already been discussed in our previous sessions that there must be consensus over
priorities, goals and objectives formulation. Because people interpret and differ on organization goals
and objectives both in qualitative or quantitative terms, and also give meanings to events at self
reference basis. If consensus lacks then naturally conflict is bound to occur.
(c) Lack of fit
The point here is that there must be a fit or balance between organizational culture and newly
formulated strategy. For instance in Higgins 8-S model, the first 7-Ss: Strategy, Structure, Systems and
Processes, Style (leadership/management style), Staff, ReSources, Shared Values (organizational
culture) are derived form waterman's model and 8th S derived by Higgins that is Strategic
Performance. So what actually Strategic Performance means? The complimentarily or alignment of all
seven variables is given in the connotation of strategic performance variable. If there is some misfit
between any of theses variables then there could be the resistance in organization against desired
change.
(d) Values that conflict with entrepreneurial requirement
Sometimes an organization based itself on such values which may contrary to the values of an
entrepreneurial or progressive organization. Such kind of organizations normally has the following
attributes:
·  risk averting rather than risk taking attitude
·  fearful about failure
·  non innovative
·  introvert personality
·  least progressive thinking
For coping with such problems, the organization should move for transforming the attitudes and
behaviours of his people that it is in the best interest of our organization to have entrepreneurial like
values or behaviour. So values and strategies should be compatible to each other.
(e) Non-egalitarian values (elitist-orientation)
Egalitarianism means believing in equality or maintaining, relating to, or based on a belief that all
people are, in principle, equal and should enjoy equal social, political, and economic rights and
opportunities. In organizations context, there should be very little gap between leader and follower, or
between bosses and subordinates. Therefore, such kind of organizations is considered very progressive
and long lasting.
We can also found similar attribute in context of economies. For instance, the economies where gap
between rich and poor is wider, therefore, such economies are very less progressive, least growth
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oriented, and have high degree of power distance . We can see such characterization especially in
agrarian societies.
Similarly, the non-egalitarianism, or in other words hierarchy and power differentiation in organizations
also affects the change implementation process. If an organization is based on non-egalitarian kind of
behaviour then it creates a moral deficit in actions which are vital for successful change
implementation. In these organizations, the element of resistance is rather high as against those
organizations which are egalitarian.
Why implementing strategic change is so difficult?
The author Alex Miller has cited some further variables which can cause constraints in implementation
of a revised change strategy.
Organization Immune system
It is the tendency of the human system that human system seeks homeostasis and equilibrium. In every
organization, there is an immune system which is working for the achievement of a comfort zone. In
other words human system desired a world which could be more stable, more predictable, and more
controllable. The same spirit is also working behind the base of scientific knowledge that it is struggling
for achieving certainty, reliability, and predictability. And same spirit is working behind the social
sciences that it is also struggling for predicting the various kind of human behavior. So that appropriate
controllability could be achieved. Therefore, on the basis of this knowledge, which a management
paradigm manifests, desired level of policies, actions, and processes has been designed.
But when a change occurs, firstly it creates a kind of disequilibrium and unstable environment. At
second place, a resistance against this is emerged which is again a human system or immune system
phenomena that makes the implementation process so difficult. So to overcome such resistance, one
should associate different kind of incentives or packages that could lead the people to change their
existing perceptual patterns and toward next level of equilibrium.
Numerous complex variables are at work
It means in organizations where simultaneously numerous complex variables are working
interactively any intervention in one field or domain do not yield results. Why Miller has said this?
Because commonly, number of strategists or even scholars associate a whole change process with
one or two apparent variables that, according to them, brings a successful change in organizations.
For instance, you have often heard a common sentence from number of intellectuals on television
that if education could improve then all problems related to development could be solved. Another
one says that if political structure could effectively be solved then all problems will be
automatically solved. And so on and so forth. But in real life many variables are interconnected
with each other and form a complex system. Similarly in organizational perspectives, management
consultants often suggest that training is the most important component for dealing approximately
all sorts of managerial problems. This training paradigm is more popular during 60s, 70s, and even
in 80s. And in 90s, technology paradigm is considered vital for all sorts of managerial hindrances
and can go for efficiency and competitive advantages.
Interconnectedness of various element
As Alex Miller said metaphorically:
"Organization is like a woven fabric or sweater ­ if you pull one string or single thread, you
run the danger of unraveling the whole."
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The change management in organization is a difficult process. It is because strategists normally
consider a single variable instead of the holistic view of the organization. For instance, what should
be the ramifications for other departments or for the culture of the organization when an organization
goes for introducing the new technology? So, these kind of issues or linkages must properly be
addressed or analyzed when an organization go for a change because Organization is just like a
woven fabric.
The Need to change every thing at once
The phenomenon that `change should be happened overnight' is the most basic reason behind many
change programs failures. There are two schools of thought about change implementation patterns. One
is the incremental or gradual school of thought and the other is radical school of thought.
The first school of thought believes that if change pattern should be incremental of gradual then it is
more effective, efficient and long lasting. As Mintzberg (1987) argued that many strategic changes are
actually emergent strategies, or those that evolve incrementally over long period of time. The second
school of thought believe that people already conceive gradual changes into their day-to-day businesses
which is a continuous learning phenomena in organizations. So, any gradual changes have very little
impact on the overall results of the organizations. The real change could only be achieved through large
scale transformational or radical pattern which is based on shock-therapy or to compel people's
mobility from comfort zone to non comfort zone. The Japanese, for instance, normally believe on
incrementalism while the Russian believe on radicalism in context of change management patterns.
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Table of Contents:
  1. COURSE ORIENTATION:Course objectives, Reading material, Scope of the subject
  2. BENEFITS AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT:Traditional management domain
  3. KURT LEWIN MODEL: ASSUMPTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Change Movement, Refreeze
  4. IMPLICATIONS OF KURT LEWIN MODEL:Sequence of event also matters, A Critical Look
  5. SOME BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS:Strategic change, Logical incrementalism
  6. TRANSACTIONAL VS. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP:Micro-changes, Organisation Development
  7. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  8. LIFE CYCLE THEORY:Unit of Change, Mode of change, Organisation death
  9. TELEOLOGICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of change, Mode of Change, Limitations
  10. DIALECTICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of Change, Strategic planning
  11. A DIALECTICAL APPROACH TO ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY AND PLANNING:
  12. LIMITATION OF DIALECTICS; DA AND DI:Overview of application of dialectics
  13. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  14. APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY:Managerial focus
  15. FURTHER APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES:Criticism
  16. GREINER’S MODEL OF ORGANISATIONAL– EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION
  17. GROWTH RATE OF THE INDUSTRY:CREATIVITY, DIRECTION, DELEGATION
  18. COORDINATION:COLLABORATION, The Crisis
  19. ORGANISATION ECOLOGY:Structural Inertia, Internal Structural Arrangements, External Factors
  20. CLASSIFICATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL SPECIES:Extent of Environmental Selection, Determinants of Vital Rates,
  21. FOOTNOTES TO ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE:Stable Processes of Change, Rule Following, Conflict
  22. SOME COMPLEXITIES OF CHANGE:Superstitious Learning, Solution Driven Problems
  23. ORGANIZATIONAL ADAPTATION:The Entrepreneurial problem, The Administrative Problem
  24. PROSPECTORS:Analyzer, Reactors, Adaptation and Strategic Management
  25. SKELETAL MODEL OF ADAPTATION:Determinants of Adaptive ability, The Process of Adaptation
  26. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Nature of Change, The Importance of Context, Force field Analysis
  27. Management Styles and Roles:Change Agent Roles, Levers for managing strategic Change
  28. SYMBOLIC PROCESSES:Political Processes, COMMUNICATING CHANGE, Change Tactics
  29. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Pettigrew & Whipp’s Typology, Context on X-axis (Why of change)
  30. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Attributes of SOC Model, Implications for Management
  31. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Flow of Information, Recruitment, SOC Process
  32. Determinants of a Successful Change Management:Environmental, Management Orientation, Management Orientation
  33. Higgins 08 S Model – An Adaptation from Waterman’s Seven S model:Strategy, Systems and Processes, Resources
  34. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  35. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  36. WHY IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIC CHANGE IS SO DIFFICULT?:Change Typology, Technical Change
  37. IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES:Attributes of incremental change,
  38. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  39. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Definition of Leadership, Follower Work Facilitation
  40. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Recognize the challenge
  41. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  42. IMPLEMENTATION: PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM MODEL:Features of Radical Change, Theory of P-E model
  43. CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION: OD MODELS:The Transactional Factors
  44. CULTURE, VALUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Significance and Role of Values, Values Compete
  45. ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES, CULTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Issues in Change Management