ABC Ltd. is a profitable manufacturing company with a good track record of continuous growth over the last decade. The general business environment is rapidly changing with the introduction of new manufacturing processes and market liberalisation in the region.
The board has appointed a new managing director who is anxious to create a momentum for innovation and change in the organisation. He is aware that introducing change is relatively easy when a company is facing a crisis but far more difficult when all is well. As a business development manager in ABC Ltd., the director has asked you for advice.
Prepare a memorandum to the managing director in which you discuss:
a) The organisational life cycle concept in relation to the difficulties of introducing innovation and change in a successful organisation.
b) How the company may stimulate a pro-change culture in the organisation.
a) The organizational life cycle concept in relation to the difficulties of introducing innovation and change in a successful organization:
Organizations, like humans and products are entities that undergo the cycle of inception, growth, maturity and decline. Strategies need to be developed at each of the phases to ensure that change, which is inevitable, is appropriately managed to keep the organization towards its objectives. The difficulties characterizing the introduction of change and innovation generally includes:
i) Different perception: certain employees may see the change as beneficial to only the initiator of the change; because of this kind of perception, they would always resist change
ii) Uncertainty: The effects of proposed changes on both the organization and employees are usually uncertain. This uncertainty would always be avoided the employees
iii) Loss: Changes often result in job loss to some employees (laid off/declared redundant) and even lower productivity for certain departments. Individuals and groups will therefore not be willing to accept the loss.
iv) Self-interest and fear: Naturally employees would se always fear change because of the uncertainties with regard to the effects of the change. Some employees would also want changes that would cater for their own interest and not the group or organizational interest.
b) How the company may stimulate a pro-change culture in the organization:
i) Motivation-There is need to motivate subordinates to initiate the change and therefore to support the change
ii) The informal organisation-There is need to use the informal leaders to help initiate the change since informal organisations are prone to resistance of change.
iii) Participatory decision making-The whole organisation needs to be involved in making a decision that results in change initiation.
iv) Plan for the change-Planned changes help reduce the uncertainties with regard to the effects of change. While it is obvious that some of the reasons for change are beyond the scope of management, management can nevertheless try to anticipate the change and plan for it.
v) Effective leadership-Effective leadership capable of keeping the change process under control is likely to mitigate resistance from the persons concerned.
vi) Improving employees’ perception of change getting their views.
vii) Facilitation-management expects resistance and introduces change gradually.
viii) Open communication-let employees know when changes are to be made.