Change Management

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Text of Change Management

By dr. desai

We are interested in approaches to planning and

implementing the changes required to achieve or shape strategic objectives We need to investigate the theoretical foundations of change management Three main theories underpin approaches to change management with varying focus on the individual, group and organisation-wide issues

Four generic perspectives on strategy development 1. Classical and to some extent systemic perspectives see change management initiatives arising from and contributing to the achievement of an organisations strategy 2. Evolutionary and processual perspectives see strategy to a large extent as arising from day to day decisions (changes) that an organisation makes in attempting to adapt to and cope with environmental and other pressures and constraints

The planned approach to change (dominated change

management since mid-1940s; views organisational change as a process of moving from one fixed state to another through a series of predictable and preplanned steps The emergent approach (since 1980s) starts by assuming that change is a continuous, open-ended and unpredictable process of aligning and realigning an organisation to its changing environment Neither approach is suitable in all situations

Three schools of thought on which change management stands The individual perspective school 2. The group dynamics school 3. The open systems school1.

The individual perspective school Behaviour results from an individuals interaction with their

environment; all behaviour is learned and the individual is a passive recipient of external and objective data; behaviour that is rewarded tends to be repeated and is modified by reinforcing stimuli (the behaviourist view) An individuals behaviour is the product of environment and reason; learning is a process of gaining or changing insight, outlooks, expectations or thought patterns, and the individual must come to terms with themselves (the Gestalt-Field view)

The Group Dynamics school Emphases bringing organisational change through teams or work

groups rather than individuals Individual behaviour must be seen, modified or changed in the light of group prevailing practices and norms A group is never in a steady state of equilibrium but in a continuous process of mutual adaptation The focus of change must be at group level and should concentrate on influencing and changing group norms, roles and values

The Open Systems school The primary reference point is the organisation in its entirety Organisations are composed of interconnected sub-systems Change in one part will have an impact on other parts The system is open to and interacts with the external environment, and

internally sub-systems interact with each other Need therefore clearly defined lines of co-ordination and interdependence so the overall business objectives are collectively pursued Training as a change mechanism unlikely to succeed on its own

The planned approach

The action research model

The three-step model The phases of planned change model

Action Research A collective approach to solving social and organisational problems The goal is to make action more effective action refers to: Programmes and interventions designed to solve a problem or improve a

condition Systematically collecting research data about an ongoing system relative to an objective, goal or need of that system Taking action by altering selected variables within the system based on data and hypotheses Evaluating the results of actions by collecting more data

Action Research The effective approach to solving organisational problems is through a

rational, systematic analysis of the issues The change process must become a learning process Usually involves three distinct groups the organisation (one or more senior managers), the subject (people from the area where the change is to take place) and the change agent (a consultant who may or may not be a member of the organisation) The three groups form the learning community where the research is carried out and the problem solved

The Three-step model

Change towards a higher level of group performance is frequently short-lived, and a group may soon revert to previous patternsA successful change project should (according to Lewin, 1958) involve three steps:1. 2. 3.

Unfreezing the present level (may required a confrontation) Moving to the new level (team building or other development) Refreezing the new level (vital, stabilisation and ensure new ways of working safe from regression)

Phases of planned change (Bullock and Batten 1985)1. 2.


Exploration phase (explore, awareness of need for change, decide whether to make specific changes, and if so, commit resources to planning the changes) Planning phase (understanding the problem or concern, collect information, establish change goals, design appropriate actions, getting decision-maker approval and support for proposed changes) Action phase (implementation of changes, to move to desired state, arrangements to manage the change process, evaluations, feedback) Integration phase (commences once changes successfully implemented, consolidates, stabilises, reinforcing new behaviours through feedback and reward systems, diffusion and training managers to monitor changes constantly and seek to improve them)

Emergent Approach to Organisational Change Relatively new and lacks an agreed set of methods and techniques Stresses the developing and unpredictable nature of change Views change as a process that unfolds through the interplay of

multiple variables (context, political processes etc) within an organisation Argues there is no simple prescription for managing organisational transitions successfully So less dependent on detailed plans and more an understanding of the complexity of the issues concerned and identifying a range of available options

Pettigrew and Whipp (1993) model of strategic and operational change

Five interrelated activities:Environmental assessment 2. Leading change 3. Coherence 4. Linking strategic and operational change 5. Developing human resources1.

To achieve a climate receptive to change needs four conditioning factors:


2. 3. 4.

The extent to which key players in the organisation are prepared to champion environmental assessment techniques that increase openness The degree to which assessment occurs and how effectively it is integrated with central business operations The extent to which environmental pressures are recognised The structural and cultural characteristics of the organisation

Organisational structure (crucial role in defining how people relate to each

other and in influencing the momentum for change; how effective in changing depends on recognising informal as well as formal aspects) Organisational culture (argued that the management of change is essentially a cultural and cognitive phenomenon; change has to be part of the way we do things around here) Organisational learning (willingness to change often stems from feeling there is no alternative, learning stems from effective communications from the top and promotion of self-development and confidence, this in turn encourages commitment to and shared ownership of the organisations vision, actions and decisions necessary to respond to the external environment) Managerial behaviour (change requires radical change in managerial behaviour)

Emergent Change: Summary Organisational change is a continuous process of experiment and adaptation

aimed at matching an organisations capabilities to the needs and dictates of a dynamic and uncertain environment This is best achieved through a multitude of mainly small-scale incremental

changes, over time leading to major reconfiguration and transformation of the organisation The role of managers is not to plan or implement change but to create or foster

an organisational structure and climate which encourages and sustains experimentation and risk-taking, and develop a workforce that will take responsibility for identifying the need for change and implementing it

1. 2. 3.

Managers are expected to become facilitators and responsible for developing a collective vision and common purpose, which gives direction to the organisation and judges the appropriateness of any proposed change The key organisational activities to enable this to happen successfully are: Information-gathering (about external environment, internal objectives and capabilities) Communication (transmission, analysis and discussion of information) Learning (ability to develop new skills, identify appropriate responses and draw knowledge from their own and others past and present actions)