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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
Management Styles and Roles
Education and communication involve the reasons for and means of strategic change. Educating and
communicating about strategic change might be very time consuming activity, and direction might not
be clear to managers especially in large organizations. Change may be ineffective owing to
misinformation and ineffective communication. For strategic change to take place reliance on top
down communication processes may be problematic.
Collaboration or Participation in the change process is the involvement of those who will be affected
by strategic change in the identification of strategic issues, the strategic agenda, the strategic decision
making processes or the planning of strategic change. This can help in increasing ownership and
commitment to change and change process. It may entail the setting up of project teams or task forces.
Nonetheless, this may prove to be more time consuming process but would lead to enhance the quality
of decision. Strategy workshops can be quite useful for cross levels of management to work on
particular strategic problems, provide solution within a larger strategic framework and drive change
mechanisms down to routine aspects of organizational change
Intervention is the coordination of and authority over processes of change by a change agent who
delegates elements of the change process. Change agent retains control though interventions. For
example, at particular stages of change such as idea generation, data collection, detailed planning, the
development of rationale for change and the identification of critical success factors are delegated to
project teams. If such teams do not take full responsibilities of the change processes then change
sponsors tries to ensure the monitoring of change progress.
Direction involves the use of personal managerial authority to establish a clear future strategy and how
change will occur. It is essentially top down management of strategic change. It may be associated
with clear vision or strategic intent developed by someone seen as leader in the organization. There are
different styles of managing change. Two broad categories are directive and participative styles.
Different stages in the change process may require different styles of managing change. Directive style
is speedy and effective but runs the risk of overall acceptance while participation or intervention may
be helpful in gaining wider acceptance and commitment across the organization but at the same time
tends to be slower in its pace. If the organization corresponds to the kind of adhocracy, network or
learning organization, it is likely to employ collaboration or participation based styles. In the most
extreme for directive style becomes coercive, engaged in the imposition of change. This is a type of
forced learning entailing explicit use of power but may be necessary for the organization facing crisis
or concerned with large scale and rapid organizational transformation. Such type of transformation is
least successful without crisis or creating crisis.
Change Agent Roles
Change agent is an individual or group that affects strategic change in organization. In simple words
change agent is the creator of change or strategy. These may be senior executives or CEO, middle level
managers, and outsiders like consultants. Traditionally it is the external consultants, especially in the
Western economies who are hired for their specialized job and expertise to come and visit organization to
diagnose the ailment and give prescription for corrective measures in strategy or structure. Another type
of change agents are internal consultants or senior executives, and can be identified as strategic leaders
who are well verse with organization's problems and policies. The approach of such in-house strategic
leaders could be legal, bureaucratic, transactional or transformational. Nonetheless the common
prescription is that strategic change could take place meaningfully if the CEO or strategic leader is
visionary. Therefore we need a transformational or visionary leadership in order to have strategic change.
The question of course now will be what the attributes of such type of leadership are. From our own
cultural perspective one such prescriptions is given by our national poet as
Change Management ­MGMT625
The attributes of a leader as someone who is a visionary , true communicator ­ a communication which
touches heart and full of empathy and commitment ­ who stands committed and can have feelings of
Another perspective is MOUND model of change management which emphasizes greater role for the
middle level manager as change agent. Therefore, recall your memories for Z theory of management
which says policy making, implementation and organizational actions will be most effective at middle
levels of management instead of top down ( theory X) or bottom up (theory Y). This essentially is known
as "ringsei" in Japanese language which means consensus oriented decision making. The logic is that is
the middle level managers and their network who have greater levels of collegiality, communicability and
placed strategically between senior executives and lower level workers and supervisors to bridge the gap
and hence make organization effective in seeking its goals and objectives effectively. The MOUND
model is illustrated below:
T he Mound Model for Change
This means ay idea or strategy which is conceived by middle level of any one function area or department
quickly moves out at the same horizontal level to middle level managers in other function areas or
departments. The idea or strategy soon moves upward to senior executives and CEO, and once they get
convinced by newer suggestions make part of organization wide policies. Hence the new idea or strategy
then quickly moves downward. The MOUND model seems more appropriate for managing change in
large organizations and bureaucracies where distances between top level managers and implementation
levels are very high.
Recent concept of change agent might include lower level managers and workers, especially from
knowledge worker and knowledge management perspectives. The concept of knowledge worker is that all
members of the organizations are considered knowledge workers even those who are the shop-floor level,
have tacit knowledge and know their job best, and can contribute effectively for organization through a
conducive learning environment.
3. Levers for managing strategic Change
The followings are different levers that can be employed to manage strategic change:
Structure and Control Systems
Changing aspects of structure and control of organization are considered important aspects of strategic
change. But most of the time top managers may change strategy but behaviour and assumptions remain
the same, with the result that change programme tends to be ineffective. What is more important is that
whether the proposed strategic change brings in conformity of thinking values and system or promotes
and incorporates criticality? Generally when we talk of system we mean to stress uniformity, conformity
Change Management ­MGMT625
and stability but systemic thinking also tend to incorporate different views of reality and critical
thinking. Because system itself is composed of various subsystems having different demands and
functions. Therefore it is important for change agents and change leaders while designing structure and
control system that it should not just be considered for manufacturing consent instead should be directed
to promote knowledge and values appropriate for strategic change.
Routines are the organizationally "specific ways to do things around here" which tend to persist over
time and guide people's behaviour. Routines may also be considered as a double edge sword in the
sense that it may lead organization to carry its operations in distinct ways and achieve its competitive
edge, but also present a risk to act to block change and creativity, and may lead to strategic drift.
Changes in organizational routines can be a powerful signal of and stimulus for change because change
in strategy should correspond to change in implementation or operations. But then routines are closely
related with the existing paradigm, hence changing strategy means changes in taken for granted
assumptions and taken for granted routines and ways of doing things that are the cultural elements.
Routines are even considered more powerful than even education and communication technique of
changing people. Thus changing routine is a good technique to change behaviour which may help
people in evaluating and changing their beliefs and assumptions. Therefore it is suggested for managers
who are trying to effect strategic changes to take personal responsibility not only for identifying changes
in routines, but also for monitoring that they actually occur. The changes may appear to be mundane but
they can have significant impact.