“MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE”
SUBJECT: STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
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Management of Change under the guidance of ____.
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Management of Change.
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Last, but not the least, I would like to thank my friends & colleagues for always
Management of change
Factors that may cause change in an organization
Perspective of change management
Participants in change management process
Process of organizational change
Models of change management
Types of changes in an organisation
Techniques to manage change in an organization
Resistance to change
Overcoming resistance to change
Benefits of change management
The disadvantages of organizational changes
Summary and conclusion
Bibliography & webliography
MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from
the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. For an organization,
change management means defining and implementing procedures and/or
technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from
According to Stephen P. Robbins- Change is concerned with making things
different. Things must be different because they change constantly.
Change can be defined as – when an organizational system is disturbed by
some internal or external force, change frequently occurs. Change as a
process, is simply modification of the structure or process of a system. It
may be good or bad, the concept is descriptive only."
Successful adaptation to change is as crucial within an organization as it is in the
natural world. Just like plants and animals, organizations and the individuals in
them inevitably encounter changing conditions that they are powerless to control.
The more effectively you deal with change, the more likely you are to thrive.
Adaptation might involve establishing a structured methodology for responding to
changes in the business environment (such as a fluctuation in the economy, or a
threat from a competitor) or establishing coping mechanisms for responding to
changes in the workplace (such as new policies, or technologies).
Terry Paulson, the author of Paulson on Change, quotes an uncle's advice: "It's
easiest to ride a horse in the direction it is going." In other words, don't struggle
against change; learn to use it to your advantage.
Outside environment of the organization is ever changing, even socially and
politically we are always on the move, looking for newer and better ways of doing
things. The industrial revolution & shareholders and other stakeholders demand in
an organization today also presses the organizations to move. Added to this, the
globalization and inter-cultural exchange had made us even more susceptible to
change than ever before. We are becoming increasingly expected to adopt new
techniques, due to the fast additions & changes in technology and even in
management theories and practices. Competition and changing management focus
also makes it inevitable. The strategic emphasis on cost cutting and being
innovative and competitive makes it even more important to be open to change
rather to resist it. Accepting change whether it is structural, operational, functional,
role oriented, compensatory or strategic is important.
Change is inevitable in the life of an organization. Change is difficult to define
because each organization will face its own challenges and, therefore, its own
rationale for change. Equally, each organization has differing resources, company
culture and personal dynamics. The leaders of individual organizations have
varying aims. Among all differences, one point remains intact and that is Change
is the only permanent thing that modern day organizations of varying
businesses, sizes and ethnicity have to adopt in order to survive and sustain.
A somewhat ambiguous term, change management has at least three different
aspects, including: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change. A
proactive approach to dealing with change is at the core of all three aspects.
FACTORS THAT MAY CAUSE CHANGE IN AN ORGANIZATION
As societies continue to evolve and changing demand creates the need for new
products and services, businesses often are forced to make changes to stay
competitive. The businesses that continue to survive and even thrive are usually the
ones that most readily adapt to change. A variety of factors can cause a business to
reevaluate its methods of operation.
There are a number of factors both internal and external which affect
organizational functioning. Any change in these factors necessitates changes in an
organisation. The more important factors are as follows:
Every organization exists in some context; no organization is an island in itself.
Each must continually interact with other organizations and individuals- the
consumers, suppliers, unions, shareholders, government and many more. Each
organization has goals and responsibilities related to each other in the environment.
The present day environment is dynamic and will continue to be dynamic. Changes
in social, political, economic, technology, and legal environment force
organizations to change themselves. Such changes may result in organizational
changes like major functions production process, labour-management relations,
nature of competitions, economic constraints, organizational methods etc. In order
to survive in the changing environment, organization must change. How the
change in various environmental, organizations, must change. How the changes in
various environmental factors necessitate change in the organization may be seen
in following context:Technology: When there is a change in technology in the organizational
environment and other organizations adopt the new technology, the
organizations under focus become less cost effective and its competitive
position weakens. Therefore, it has to adopt new technology, its work
structure is affected and a new equilibrium has to be established.
Competition: The entrance of a new competitor into a market can cause a
business to change its marketing strategy. For example, a small electronics
store that was the only game in town might have to change its image in the
marketplace when a large chain store opens nearby. While the smaller store
might not be able to compete in price, it can use advertising to position itself
as the friendly, service-oriented local alternative.
Social changes: Social changes reflect in terms of people‟s aspirations, the
needs, and their ways of working. Social changes have taken place because
of the several forces like level of education, urbanization, feeling of
autonomy, and international impact due to new information sources. These
social changes affect the behavior of people in the organization. There, it is
required to make adjustment in its working so that it matches with people.
Government Regulations: Changes in government regulations can have an
impact on how a company does business. Newly mandated safety procedures
can force a factory to change its production process to create a safer work
environment. Changes in laws and government regulations have to be
mandatorily adhered by the company.
Customer Needs: Change is important for any organization because,
without change, businesses would likely lose their competitive edge and fail
to meet the needs of what most hope to be a growing base of loyal
customers. As the world evolves, customer needs change and grow, creating
new demand for new types of products and services -- and opening up new
areas of opportunity for companies to meet those needs.
The Economy: The economy can impact organizations in both positive and
negative ways and both can be stressful. A strong economy and increasing
demand for products and services will mean that companies must consider
expansion that might involve the addition of staff and new facilities. A weak
economy can create even more problems as companies find themselves
needing to make difficult decisions that can impact employees' salaries and
benefits and even threaten their jobs. The ability to manage both ends of the
spectrum are critical for organizations that want to maintain a strong brand
and strong relationships with customers as well as employees.
It is not only the changes in external factors, which may necessitate organizational
changes; any change in organization‟s internal factors may also necessitate
changes. Such a change is required because of two reasons: changes in managerial
personnel and deficiency in existing organizational practices.
Changes in the managerial personnel: Besides environmental changes
there is a change in managerial personnel. Old managers are replaced by
new mangers, which necessitated because of retirement, promotion, transfer
or dismissal. Each new manager brings his own ideas and way of working in
the organization. The relationships, more in the organization. The
relationships, more particularly informal ones, changes because of changes
in managerial personnel. Moreover, attitude of the personnel change even
though there is no changes in them. The result in that an organization has to
organization: Sometimes, changes are
necessary because of deficiency in the
present organizational arrangement and
process. These deficiencies may be in
the form of unmanageable span of
managerial levels, lack in co-ordination
between various departments, obstacles
in communication, multiplicity of committees, lack of uniformity in policy
decisions, lack of cooperation between the line and staff, and so on.
Nature of the work force: The nature of work force has changed over a
passage of time. Different work values have been expressed by different
generations. Workers who are in the age group of 50 plus value loyalty to
their employers. Workers in their mid thirties to forties are loyal to
themselves only. The youngest generation of workers is loyal to their career.
The profile of the workforce is also changing fast. The new generation of
workers has better educational; they place greater emphasis on human values
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and questions authority of managers. Their behavior has also become very
complex and leading them towards organizational goals is a challenge for
the managers. The employee turnover is also very high which again put
strain on the management.
To avoid developing inertia: In many cases, organizational changes take
place just to avoid developing inertia or inflexibility. Conscious manager
take into account this view of organization that organization should be
dynamic because any single method is not the best tool of management
every time. Thus, changes are incorporated so that the personnel develop
liking for change and there is no unnecessary resistance when major change
in the organization are brought about.
Growth Opportunities: Change is important in organizations to allow
employees to learn new skills, explore new opportunities and exercise their
creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization through new ideas
and increased commitment. Preparing employees to deal with these changes
is important. Also, organizations need to do a good job of evaluating
employees' capabilities and then taking steps to fill the gaps between current
skills and the skills required to respond to growth.
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PERSPECTIVE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Change management requires both an individual and an organizational perspective
Individual change management
Organizational change management
Understanding how one person
makes a change successfully
Understanding what tools we have to
help individuals make changes
Organizations don't change, individuals
do. No matter how large of a project you
are taking on, the success of that project
ultimately lies with each employee doing
their work differently, multiplied across
all of the employees impacted by the
change. Effective change management
requires an understanding for and
appreciation of how one person makes a
change successfully. Without an
individual perspective, we are left with
activities but no idea of the goal or
outcome that we are trying to achieve.
While change happens one person at a
time, there are processes and tools that
can be used to facilitate this change.
Tools like communication and training
are often the only activities when no
structured approach is applied. When
there is an organizational change
management perspective, a process
emerges for how to scale change
management activities and how to use
the complete set of tools available for
project leaders and business managers.
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PARTICIPANTS IN CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS
The quote from Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist and “father of evolution”
points out that “survival of the fittest” is not about I.Q., or brute strength, but more
about adaptability. Species that are able to adapt quickly and efficiently are the
fittest for the long-term. The dinosaurs are a good example of this. Even though
the dinosaurs once dominated the earth, were often huge in size and certainly fierce
enough, they died out and became extinct because they could not adapt to changes
that occurred on Earth. This rule applies to all of us in today‟s world – we must try
to adapt to change not only to survive, but to thrive, or grow because of it.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the
one most responsive to change.”
The change management process flow diagram shown here offers a simple model
for how people typically react to change:
Pioneers like change and often all things “new” because it‟s new and gives them
something to explore. They are generally perceived a little too curious, but they
account for a large majority of the new approaches and inventions of the world,
even though this may be only 2-5% of the population.
Early Adopters pay close attention to the Pioneers, and have the ability to more
widely communicate the best of the Pioneer‟s feedback to the rest of the
population. The early adopters are a little more cautious about new approaches and
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change than pioneers but not by much. However they will typically make up 1520% of any given population.
Followers (sometimes also called Late Adopters)
Followers want the things they use to be mainstream before they will accept a
change. Usually this is done by watching the early adopter experience over a
reasonable amount of time and making sure that any problems and difficulties have
been “ironed out”. About 60% of a given population are Followers.
Resistors (sometimes also called Laggards)
Resistors will generally stay with what they have “always done” even if it is fairly
obvious to everyone else that newer ways are better. Some may even actively resist
a change to hold on to the familiar or the tried and trusted ways. Resistors typically
account for around 15-20% of any given population.
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PROCESS OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
Managing change is itself a term that has at least two meanings. One meaning of
managing change refers to the making of changes in a planned and managed or
systematic fashion. The aim is to more effectively implement new methods and
systems in an ongoing organization. The changes to be managed lie within and are
controlled by the organization.
However, these internal changes might have been triggered by events originating
outside the organization, in what is usually termed “the external environment.”
Hence, the second meaning of managing change, which is the response to changes
over which the organization exercises little or no control (e.g., legislation, social
and political upheaval, the actions of competitors, shifting economic tides and
currents, and so on). Change management researchers and practitioners alike
typically distinguish between a “knee-jerk” or reactive response and an anticipative
or proactive response.
So, what is the organizational change process?
There is a simple cycle that will help you
identify where organizational change seems to
be needed and plan its introduction (establish
where we are now), set a vision for the future
and implement (establish where we are going
and how we get there) and just to make sure that
we have learned from our experience, review the success of our efforts. Being a
natural cycle the process typically goes around again and again, continuously of
1. Establish: Where are we now?
The first stage in the cycle is to identify “where you are now”. You may feel that
this is pretty simple: just list what we do, how we do it and where it fits in and that
part of the process is done. However, this is not the end of the story. If think about
the analogy of a tree, what you see at first glance are the leaves, branches and at
appropriate times, flowers and berries. However, below the surface is another set
of structures that holds the visible parts down and gives them their foundation.
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There is a deep-rooted, hidden side of the tree and this applies just as much when
thinking about organizational change too.
What you will see in a team or a department or even a whole organization is the
outward and obvious part of the reality. Tasks, equipment, work flow and
procedures are clearly visible, as are the structures between jobs, the connecting
“lines” between inputs and outputs. These things are typically managed in a very
active way and are discussed regularly by managers. What you will not see are the
values, the culture and the operating norms of individual work groups. You will
also not see the informal relationships or the loyalties that may exist between
people and unless you take a “sideways” look, you may well miss the real
motivating factors that affect performance and thereby potentially inhibit or
accelerate a future change or transition.
2. Establish: Where are we going?
How would you start to identify where you should be and where you are going to
better cope in the future (again as an individual, a team or a whole organization)
and criteria would you possible use to measure how big the gap is likely to be?
Whatever you decide, your change management strategies have to be SMART
(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). In other words, you
need to set very clear objectives. A simple and practical way of setting objectives
about where you are going is to use the following:
What, specifically, is the outcome we want? By when? How will we know when
we have got there?
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3. Establish: How do we get there?
Your overall plan in the previous step is an overall organizational change strategy
or describes the broad intentions for getting to where in the future you may want to
be. However, “what” needs to change is only one part of the equation and you
now need to add “how” the change is to be carried out. How we get to the future
is the “means” of getting you there or the tactics that underpin the overall change
strategy. The simple task here therefore is to put the “flesh on the bones” of you
overall change plan and describe each step and milestone along the way very
4. Review success
In this final step in the cycle, we look back at the plan we originally established
and its actual implementation and determine where better strategies could have
been employed, so that this can be taken into account next time a major change
There are many change management tools and change planning techniques
available to managers. However, there are some common factors that apply
whichever techniques you use. The most important and most difficult factor relates
to the impact of change on individuals and on the emotional well-being of the
people. It is fundamental to effective organizational change management that
people experience the absolute minimum trauma and distress. This is not just so
that you seem to be a caring boss or executive team; it is effective management
that works towards change with minimal disruption to systems and output. Two
other key points to consider are:
Involve other people so they can help plan the journey, see what the issues are and
share ownership of the process
If you can‟t involve them all, communicate as you have never done before, to
avoid speculation and rumor, and to raise overall levels of cooperation and
If people are with you in the planning, they are more likely to support you in the
implementation and monitoring.
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Determining the right organizational change strategy
Once we are clear about the nature of the change that we are about to face, it is
always tempting to rush out and take action, just to get things moving. Whilst we
shouldn‟t stifle our enthusiasm to deal with it, it is also critical to ensure that our
efforts are as focused as possible.
In order to choose the most appropriate change strategy you need to consider
where you are starting out from in terms of a range of factors including:
Your present position: What is the current state or situation as we understand it?
Available resources: Have we got enough resources to cope for as long as
Time available: Some organizations fail to factor in the degree of change already
under way when planning the timing of another significant change.
Personal preference: Some changes may not fit the expectations, abilities needs,
wants and desires of existing employees, suppliers or customers.
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MODELS OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Lewin’s Change Management Model
This change management model was created in the 1950s by psychologist Kurt
Lewin. Lewin noted that the majority of people tend to prefer and operate within
certain zones of safety. He recognized three stages of change:
1. Unfreeze – Lewin explains that people‟s mindsets are “frozen” around the
current approach (“we‟ve always done it that way”). So first, we have to dismantle
those existing structures that reinforce the status quo – what he called the process
of “unfreezing,” showing, for example, how or why something isn‟t working well,
creating an awareness of a better possibility.
2. Change – we have to actively introduce the change – we can‟t simply let go of
something secure and try to grasp nothing; there must be a new way, new
approach, or new structure to grab hold of. We also have to expect that the change
experience will typically be confusing and uncertain. We don‟t know how things
work, processes are unfamiliar, and unexpected challenges or issues will confront
Once change is initiated, the company moves into a transition period, which may
last for some time. Adequate leadership and reassurance is necessary for the
process to be successful.
3. Refreeze – After change has been accepted and successfully implemented, the
company becomes stable again, and staff refreezes as they operate under the new
While this change management model remains widely used today, it is takes time
to implement. Of course, since it is easy to use, most companies tend to prefer this
model to enact major changes.
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Kubler-Ross: Stages of Change
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross became well-known for her work on grief, especially her
1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” in which she introduced the stages people
typically go through when grieving a loss – which can include loss of familiar
ways of working, colleagues, or responsibilities. Even when there is something
new to work with and new opportunities, it is typical for us to grieve what we‟ve
had to let go of. Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief:
psychologists not only saw her work to be applicable to any major change, but
added other steps in the process, such as the initial “shock” phase and the addition
of an “Testing/Experiment” phase. These extra steps, and some more commonly
used change-coping terms are shown in the diagram below:
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TYPES OF CHANGES IN AN ORGANISATION
No organization can be prepared for every change. Unforeseeable events will
occur, catching even the most prepared organizations by surprise. However, most
changes are more predicable. When sudden change does occur, organizations
typically react instinctively and in a disorganized manner. That is why planning
and preparation are so important, allowing organizations to react proactively.
Most changes in an organization are minor and only require simple adjustments. A
new manager may need to be trained or a different product produced or service
offered. More significant changes, such as restructuring the organization or
working in collaboration with another partner, require organization-wide change.
Such changes take time to both plan and monitor, often necessitating a change in
the organization‟s culture. For major organizational changes, it is often costeffective to hire an outside firm to develop and monitor the restructuring.
When an organization discovers that its structure and culture are not working well,
or no longer reflect its needs, transformational change is usually needed. A
company may want to change from a top-down, hierarchical structure to a more
cooperative structure. Or it may also want a more flat structure that relies largely
on departmental decision making. Again, this type of change will take a great deal
of planning and time to initiate and monitor. It is also important to review the
existing structure and culture to make sure they are causing the problem before
investing the time and money needed to change them.
This type of change is designed to fix an existing problem, such as poor
productivity, employee burnout or a large budget deficit. To do so, the cause of the
problem must be identified. A common mistake is to assume causation and start
trying to fix the problem right away. As with any other change, the root cause of
the problem needs to be identified before any changes are initiated. Sometimes, the
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entire organizational structure will have to be changed. At other times, a new
program or change in leadership may be required.
When a company must drastically adapt to external factors, it may undergo a major
strategic change. Strategic organizational changes are usually quite transformative,
as they typically include major adjustments or complete upheavals of the current
way the company operates. For example, when a company changes its fundamental
approach of doing business, such as changing from an in-person retail environment
to a heavy web presence, it is considered a strategic change. Other strategic
changes include changing the target market, level of global activity and long-time
Process changes are usually an attempt to improve overall workflow efficiency and
productivity. They may include implementing technology changes, such as
robotics in manufacturing, or requiring sales teams to begin documenting and
reporting activities in a new way. Another example of this type of change is when
a grocery store chain implements self-scanning checkout counters to improve
customer processing times. Companies that implement these types of changes are
more successful when the new process is proposed to employee focus groups.
People changes can be large-scale or incremental. Large-scale people changes
include replacing the top executives with new employees in order to change the
entire company culture. Smaller-scale or incremental people changes may include
sending management personnel to team-building workshops and classes. People
changes may be planned or unplanned, and they can impact the overall employee
attitudes, behaviors and performances, according to Free Management Library.
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TECHNIQUES TO MANAGE CHANGE IN AN ORGANIZATION
Businesses and organizations must be able to adapt to changes in the marketplace,
world, political climate and other areas. Managing change can be difficult, because
most people become accustomed to one way of doing things, and change can cause
stress for individuals. You can use some proven techniques to manage change in an
organization and help to diminish the stress and potentially damaging effects on
the organization and its members, employees and customers.
Introduce Changes Gradually
One effective technique for managing change in an organization is to introduce
changes gradually. By phasing in new techniques, procedures or responsibilities
over time, the shock of the new will be lessened.
Focus on Training
Another effective method of reducing the stress of change in an organization is to
focus on training. Determine what new skills will be necessary to properly
implement the desired changes, and train, train, train. Make sure people feel
confident and comfortable with the new roles they are playing, and they will be
less likely to become disgruntled or discouraged by their new responsibilities. By
creating a training plan ahead of time, you will be able to bring people up to speed
and help make the transition to their new roles more seamless.
One important method for managing change in an organization is to communicate.
Have open meetings to discuss the new requirements. Network with employees
individually and as a group to get input on what they feel could be done to
effectively change the organization with a minimum of drama and stress. Keep an
open communication structure throughout the changing process so that individuals
can come to you with questions or concerns, without feeling as though they are
being bothersome or out of line.
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RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
Despite the potential positive outcomes,
change is often resisted at both the
individual and the organisational level.
Resistance to change – or the thought of
the implications of the change – appears to
be a common phenomenon. There is the
psychological dimension of „future
shock‟, and that people are naturally wary
of change. „Among many there is an
uneasy mood – a suspicion that change is
out of control.‟
Resistance to change can take many forms and it is often difficult to pinpoint the
exact reasons. The forces against change in work organisations include: ignoring
the needs and expectations of members; when members have insufficient
information about the nature of the change; or if they do not perceive the need for
change. Resistance can be on Individual level or organizational level.
Some common reasons for individual resistance to change within organisations
include the following:
■ Selective perception: People‟s interpretation of stimuli presents a unique
picture or image of the „real‟ world and can result in selective perception. This can
lead to a biased view of a particular situation, which fits most comfortably into a
person‟s own perception of reality, and can cause resistance to change. For
example, trade unionists may have a stereotyped view of management as
untrustworthy and therefore oppose any management change, however well
founded might have been the intention.
■ Habit: People tend to respond to situations in an established and accustomed
manner. Habits may serve as a means of comfort and security, and as a guide for
easy decision-making. Proposed changes to habits, especially if the habits are well
established and require little effort, may well be resisted. However, if there is a
clearly perceived advantage, for example a reduction in working hours without loss
of pay, there is likely to be less, if any, resistance to the change, although some
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people may, because of habit, still find it difficult to adjust to the new times.
■ Inconvenience or loss of freedom: If the change is seen as likely to prove
inconvenient, make life more difficult, reduce freedom of action or result in
increased control, there will be resistance.
■ Economic implications: People are likely to resist change that is perceived as
reducing either directly or indirectly their pay or other rewards, requiring an
increase in work for the same level of pay or acting as a threat to their job security.
People tend to have established patterns of working and a vested interest in
maintaining the status quo.
■ Fear of the unknown: Changes which confront people with the unknown tend
to cause anxiety or fear. Many major changes in a work organisation present a
degree of uncertainty, for example the introduction of new technology or methods
of working. A person may resist promotion because of uncertainty over changes in
responsibilities or the increased social demands of the higher position.
■ Security in the past: There is a tendency for some people to find a sense of
security in the past. In times of frustration or difficulty, or when faced with new or
unfamiliar ideas or methods, people may reflect on the past. There is a wish to
retain old and comfortable ways. For example, in bureaucratic organisations,
officials often tend to place faith in well-established („tried and trusted‟)
procedures and cling to these as giving a feeling of security.
■ Security in the past: There is a tendency for some people to find a sense of
security in the past. In times of frustration or difficulty, or when faced with new or
unfamiliar ideas or methods, people may reflect on the past. There is a wish to
retain old and comfortable ways. For example, in bureaucratic organisations,
officials often tend to place faith in well-established („tried and trusted‟)
procedures and cling to these as giving a feeling of security.
Although organisations have to adapt to their environment, they tend to feel
comfortable operating within the structure, policies and procedures which have
been formulated to deal with a range of present situations. To ensure operational
effectiveness, organisations often set up defences against change and prefer to
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concentrate on the routine things they perform well. Some of the main reasons for
organisational resistance against change are as follows:
■ Organisation culture: Culture of an organisation develops over time and may
not be easy to change. The pervasive nature of culture in terms of „how things
are done around here‟ also has a significant effect on organisational processes
and the behaviour of staff. An ineffective culture may result in a lack of
flexibility for, or acceptance of, change.
■ Maintaining stability: Organisations, especially large-scale ones, pay much
attention to maintaining stability and predictability. The need for formal
organisation structure and the division of work, narrow definitions of assigned
duties and responsibilities, established rules, procedures and methods of work,
can result in resistance to change. The more mechanistic the structure, the less
likely it is that the organisation will be responsive to change.
■ Investment in resources: Change often requires large resources that may
already be committed to investments in other areas or strategies. Assets such as
buildings, technology, equipment and people cannot easily be altered. For
example, a car manufacturer may not find it easy to change to a socio-technical
approach and the use of autonomous work groups because it cannot afford the
cost of a new purpose-built plant and specialised equipment.
■ Past contracts or agreements: Organisations enter into contracts or agreements
with other parties, such as the government, other organisations, trade unions,
suppliers and customers. These contracts and agreements can limit changes in
behaviour – for example, organisations operating under a special licence or
permit, or a fixed-price contract to supply goods/services to a government
■ Threats to power or influence. Change may be seen as a threat to the power or
influence of certain groups within the organisation, such as their control over
decisions, resources or information. For eg. managers may resist the introduction
of quality circles or worker-directors because they see this as increasing the role
and influence of non-managerial staff, and a threat to the power in their own
positions. Where a group of people have, over a period of time, established what
they perceive as their „territorial rights‟, they are likely to resist change.
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OVERCOMING RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
Problem of overcoming resistance to change can be handled at two levels:1.
At the individual level.
At the group level through group dynamics.
1. Efforts at the Individual Level
The management can use the following strategies to overcome resistance by the
people and to introduce changes successfully:
Participation and Involvement: Individuals often find it difficult to accept
changes. Prior to making a change, all those persons who are going to the
affected by the change, can be brought into the decision making process.
Their doubts and objectives should be removed to win their cooperation.
Getting opinions out in the open, so that they are looked at and evaluated is
an important trust building task. This involvement of the workers can
overcome resistance, obtain personal commitment and increase the quality
of the change decisions.
Effective Communication: Inaccurate information can be a reason for the
resistance to change. An appropriate communication program can help in
overcoming this resistance. Workers can give necessary education about the
change, its process and its working through training class, meeting and
conferences. The reasons about change must be communicated very clearly
and without ambiguity. Communication can help dissipate some fear of
unknown elements. Management should also see that there is a two way
communication between the management and workers so that the so former
comes to know about the reactions of the latter directly without delay.
Facilitation and support: Experts can offer facilitation and supportive
efforts to overcome resistance. Facilitative support means removing physical
barriers in implementing change by providing appropriate training, tools,
machinery etc. Supportive efforts include listening, providing guidance,
allowing time off after a difficult period and providing emotional support.
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Emotional support is provided by showing personal concern to the
employees during periods of stress and strain. The drawback of this method
is that it is time consuming and expensive.
Leadership: Leadership plays an important role in overcoming resistance to
change. A capable leader can reinforce a climate of psychological support
for change. Greater the prestige and credibility of the person who is acting as
a change agent, the greater will be the influence upon the employees who are
involved in the change process. A strong and effective leader can exert
emotional pressure on his subordinates to bring about the desired change.
Negotiation and Agreement: Negotiation and Agreement technique is used
when costs and benefits must be balanced for the benefit of all concerned
parties. If people or groups are losing something significant in the change
and if they have enough power to resist strongly. Negotiation before
implementation can make the change go much more smoothly, even if at the
later stages if some problems arise, the negotiated agreement can be referred
Manipulation and Co-optation: This method is used in the situation, where
other methods are not working or are not available. Managers can resort to
manipulation of information, resources and favors to overcome resistance.
Or they can resort to co-optation which means to co-opt an individual,
perhaps a key person with in a group, by giving him a desirable role in
designing or carrying out the change process. This technique has some
doubtful ethics and it may also backfire in some cases.
Coercion: Managers may resort to coercion if all other methods fail or for
some reason are inappropriate. Coercion may be in form of explicit or
implicit threats involving loss of jobs, lack of promotion and the like.
Managers sometimes dismiss or transfer employees who stand in the way of
change. Coercion can seriously affect employee‟s attitudes and have adverse
consequences in the long run.
Timing of Change: Timing of introduction of change can have a
considerable impact on the resistance. The right time will meet less
resistance. Therefore, management must be very careful in choosing the time
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when the organizational climate is highly favorable to change. An example
of right time is immediately after a major improvement in working
2. Efforts at the Group Level
A group is a cluster of persons related in some way by common interests over a
period of time. Members of the group interact with each other and develop group
cohesiveness among themselves. That is why although change can be obtained
individually; it is more meaningful if it is done through group. Therefore,
management should consider the group and not the individual as the basic unit of
change. Group dynamics offer some basic help in the regard.
Darwin Cartwright has identified the following characteristics of group as a means
of overcoming resistance to change:
If both the change agent and the people target for change belong to the same
group, the role of group is more effective.
If the people have more cohesiveness and strong belonging to the group,
change is easier to achieve.
The more attractive the group is to the numbers, the greater is the influence
of the group to accept or resist a change.
Group can exert pressure on those factors of the members which are
responsible for the group being attractive to the members. Normally
attitudes, values and behaviour are more common factors determining the
The degree of prestige of a group, as interpreted by the members will
determine the degree of influence the group has over its members.
If any attempt is made to change any individual or some individuals who
deviates the group norms there is likelihood of the change attempt being
resisted by the group.
Thus, the management should consider the group as the basic unit of change.
Group interactions should be encouraged; it should be provided full information by
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the management. The management should also explain the rationale of change and
try to convince that the interests of the group members would not be adversely
affected. Group dynamics also help in providing various training programmers for
accepting and implementing change.
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BENEFITS OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT
The greatest importance of change management is that it provides conceptual
scaffolding for the people, the process, and the organisation implementing change.
It is a framework used to support and understand the change and its effect on the
organization and its people.
Benefits of change management to the organization:
Change is a planned and managed process. The benefits of the change are known
before implementation and serve as motivators and assessment of progress
The organization can respond faster to customer demands
Helps to align existing resources within the organization
Change management allows the organization to assess the overall impact of a
Change can be implemented without negatively effecting the day to day running
Organizational effectiveness and efficiency is maintained or even improved by
acknowledging the concerns of staff
The time needed to implement change is reduced
The possibility of unsuccessful change is reduced
Employee performance increases when staff feel supported and understand the
Increased customer service and effective service to clients from confident and
Change management provides a way to anticipate challenges and respond to
An effective change management process lowers the risk associated with change
Managed costs of change: change management helps to contain costs associated
with the change
Increased return on investment (ROI)
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Creates an opportunity for the development of "best practices", leadership
development, and team development
Benefits of change management for individuals / staff:
Effective change management supports a smooth transition from the old to the
new while maintaining morale, productivity, and even company image
Provides management and staff support for concerns regarding changes
An efficient change management process creates the correct perception of the
change for staff and public
Helps to plan efficient communication strategies
Minimizes resistance to change
Improves morale, productivity and quality of work
Improves cooperation, collaboration and communication
A carefully planned approach to change reduces stress and anxiety and
encourages people to stay loyal to the organization
Increased employee acceptance of the change
Personal loss/gain to individuals is acknowledged and addressed
Change management reduces disruptive aspects and emphasises positive
opportunities in the change process
Further benefits of change management:
Careful planning helps to ensure that the change process is started and managed
by the right people at the right time
Planned change management allows you to include specific tasks and events that
are appropriate for each stage in the change process
Change management ensures that customers, suppliers and other stakeholders
understand and support the change
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THE DISADVANTAGES OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
Change in business is good, but it's seldom easy and can often be expensive.
Managers are often drawn to change by imagining the possibilities and positive
impact it can have on their organization. Before launching an idea, however, spend
a little time wrestling with the costs and disadvantages also a part of the change.
Change Might Not Equal Progress
Many companies emphasize a culture of continuous improvement. While never
being satisfied with the status quo can drive excellence in your organization, there
is some wisdom in the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Mistaking change
for progress is similar to the common problem of mistaking activity for
productivity. Every organization can be improved, no matter how well it is
performing, but a manager should always ask the question, "How is this proposed
change going to improve my organization's ability to achieve our key goals?"
Change is never free. Every change also has opportunity cost. Changing the oil in
your car takes time and materials, which cost money. Changing the phone system
in your building costs time, money and training; spending your equipment budget
on new computers means you have to wait to upgrade the phones. And there are
intangible costs such as morale and customer satisfaction during the adjustment
period. Determine whether the cost of a change is outweighed by the benefit that
change will create.
According to an study on organizational change, the top two reasons people resist
change are lack of knowledge about coming changes and fear of the unknown. You
can expect some level of resistance to any change, no matter how small or how
much benefit it might promise. The key tools for managing this problem are
complete, honest, and timely communication with your work force, clear
communication of the value of the change, and patience with your team as they go
through an inevitable adjustment phase.
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Choosing the Wrong Solution
Organizations often initiate change because they have a problem that needs to be
solved. But it's dangerous to assume you know the root cause of a problem and
implement a solution prematurely. Sometimes management doesn't sufficiently
investigate the true cause of a problem, the stakeholders affected by the solution,
and potential unintended consequences of change. This approach creates all the
costs of change without the intended benefit, plus it can create problems in areas
that were functioning properly.
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SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
Can change ever really be managed or controlled? After all, change just inevitably
happens doesn‟t it? Sometimes it‟s very slow and almost unnoticeable, and
sometimes it happens at breakneck speed and we are suddenly caught up in the
whirlwind. It may therefore be more accurate to say then that we can try to better
plan for change, small and large-scale, or to manage ourselves to be more prepared
for change when it does come along. To do this (even though we can never be fully
prepared for all eventualities of course), we need to be much more aware of what
could happen as we engage with life, at home or at work (as opposed to developing
a “let‟s do as little as possible” approach in the hope that we may be able to
“dodge” any changes when they come along).
Such awareness may take many forms, such as reading more widely and
eclectically, talking with friends and colleagues on broader topics than you may be
used to talking about, listening to information from various sources (perhaps with a
new source being added each month), researching on the internet widely to educate
yourself and any other activities that can alert you to what others have experienced
and might apply to your own situation in the short or the longer term. The simple
idea here is not that you will necessarily be ready for a particular change but that
you will increase your overall levels of mental alertness and adaptability when you
get caught up in future change.
Today change is the essential of survival and a way of carrying out your business.
Every business firm whether big or small has to change with time or it will perish.
This change along with it brings insecurities and pain that forces human beings or
individuals to come out of their comfort zones to zone of uncomfortable debate and
this leads to resistance to change. How effectively and efficiently the top
management and leadership within the organization address these issues and how
well are they prepare to handle the resistance will decide the faith of the
organization and its success in implementing change. The importance of good
communication system and the role it plays in make change process smooth and
less painful cannot be undermined.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent,
but the most responsive to change.”
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BIBLIOGRAPHY & WEBLIOGRAPHY
BOOK-Strategic Management- Michael Vaz
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