Managing Change in Organisations Assignment
Choose an organisation with which you are familiar. This should ideally be the organisation in which you currently work, or one for which you have a sound knowledge of internal communication processes, organisational culture and management style.
The assignment is not designed to be completed as an external project based on information that is solely in the public domain. If in doubt consult your tutor.
The Study Pack contains a broad spectrum of models, frameworks and ideas for the analysis of organisational change. The assignment will require the application of most, or all, of the following: environmental turbulence, organisation structure and life cycle, types of change, management style and type of organisation, change strategies, involving stakeholders, organisational culture, leadership, and models for continuous change.
Write a report on Managing Organisational Change in Your Organisation. The report should have three main sections:
1. The Background to Change.
I work in a medium sized software development firm named Infosys. In a very competitive environment it introduced a new step in the development cycle to improve quality ? code inspections. The affected population? The designers and testers? recognized the value of code inspections. They saw the value to both to quality and to improving all designers' familiarity with software that they did not design, but with which they might have to interface. Everyone affected was given training in how to conduct and participate in code inspections. However, like most quality efforts, code inspections require a fair amount of data collection and analysis. The firm failed to provide any tools or automated way to collect and collate the data. There were designers who actually created and made available such tools on their own, but the company did not recognize them for their spontaneous efforts. Further, the firm did not add any time in the design schedule to accomplish the extra design step. This lack of infrastructure and poor recognition for extraordinary efforts quickly soured the affected population. This organizational change had clear business value and eventually was implemented. However, properly supported, it could have been accomplished in one design cycle and less than one year. Instead, full implementation dragged on over several years and impacted many design cycles.
2. The Process of Change
This section should examine the organisation's stakeholders and its culture. It should explore and evaluate how these and other models and tools could be used in a practical way to bring about change in the organisation.
In order to successfully manage change processes, it is necessary to analyze the phases of this process. Managers need to know in which phase they have to expect what types of situations and problems. Most successful organizations are those that are able to adjust themselves to new conditions quickly. This requires planned learning processes that lead to improved organizational effectiveness. Ideally, employees are able to reflect their own behavior in relation to the organizational context (e.g. processes, products, resources, customers).
Normally, people perceive change processes in seven typical stages.
The seven phases of change can be described as follows:
|Shock and Surprise||Confrontation with unexpected situations. This can happen 'by accident' (e.g. losses in particular business units) or planned events (e.g. workshops for personal development and team performance improvement). These situations make people realize that their own patterns of doing things are not suitable for new conditions any more. Thus, their perceived own competence decreases.|
|Denial and Refusal||People activate values as support for their conviction that change is not necessary. Hence, they believe there is no need for change; their perceived competency increases again.|
|Rational Understanding||People realize the need for change. According to this insight, their perceived competence decreases again. People focus on finding short term solutions, thus they only cure symptoms. There is no willingness to change own patterns of behavior.|
|Emotional Acceptance||This phase, which is also called 'crisis' is the most important one. Only if management succeeds to create a willingness for changing values, beliefs, and behaviors, the organization will be able to exploit their real potentials. In the worst case, however, change processes will be stopped or slowed down here.|
|Exercising and Learning||The new acceptance of change creates a new willingness for learning. People start to try new behaviors and processes. They will experience success and failure during this phase. It is the change managers task to create some early wins (e.g. by starting with easier projects). This will lead to an increase in peoples perceived own competence.|
|Realization||People gather more information by learning and exercising. This knowledge has a feedback-effect. People understand which behavior is effective in which situation. This, in turn, opens up their minds for new experiences. |
These extended patterns of behavior increase organizational flexibility. Perceived competency has reached a higher level than prior to change.
|Integration||People totally integrate their newly acquired patterns of thinking and acting. The new behaviors become routine.|
Only if change managers understand these phases of change, and only if they act accordingly, they will be able to successfully manage change processes without destroying peoples motivation and commitment.
3. Ongoing Change
This section should draw conclusions based on the previous two sections, and propose models for the structure, operation, management, leadership and planning of the organisation in future that will help to ensure that ongoing change is managed effectively.
It's clear that culture change is an ongoing process, so it's very hard to identify organizations that have "completed" a successful culture change. We can, however, find examples of change-in-progress, in organizations that range from Harley-Davidson to the Pittsburgh Symphony. As we look at several examples, in this installment and the next, we will see some version of the process described above in each-even in organizations that did not originally set out to change their cultures!
Levi-Strauss is a company that did engage in a purposeful culture change process. In 1985, a group of minority and women managers requested a meeting with the CEO, complaining of discrimination. The CEO convened a three-day facilitated retreat at which white, male managers engaged in intense discussions with minority and female managers. These discussions revealed that there were, indeed, hidden attitudes in the organization that were in conflict with its espoused values.
Since that time, Levi-Strauss has worked hard to generate cultural change. The company developed an "Aspiration Statement" including desired beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour. The statement specifies the company's commitment to communication, ethical management practices, employee empowerment, and recognition for those who contribute to the mission of the company.
Employees at all levels also participate in training sessions on leadership, diversity, and ethics. Employee evaluations are based partially on how well they support the "Aspiration Statement."
To underscore the fact that changing an organization's culture can take a long time, we would note that at Levi-Strauss, change has not been entirely positive in the lowest tiers of the hierarchy. Increased teamwork and peer evaluation have demanded major adjustments in people's expectations and behaviour, and that has led to increased conflict at times.
Prescriptions for change--keeping score provides necessary feedback
Leadership, vision, communication, and action are the building blocks to profitable change. However, for change to occur, activities must be measured and evaluated, and results compared. In simple words, What gets measured, gets done. What gets rewarded, gets done again! Suitable rewards might include money, promotion, recognition, autonomy, preferred work assignments, overtime, and training and professional development opportunities.
Measurement must be simple and easy to understand. Every business situation can be measured in one or more of four quantitative terms:
- units produced
- time to produce
- cost to produce, and/or
- customer satisfaction
The results of measurement must be quickly and freely communicated within the organization to close the loop of motivation-action-results, motivation-action Prescriptions for change--staying ahead once you get ahead Change cannot be a one-time event within the business. Change is a continuous process. Some specific suggestions for remaining ahead once you arrive:
Every three years, an organization should challenge every product, service, and policy with the question, If we were not in it already, would we be going into it now?
Study what goes on outside the business, and especially study your non-customers. That is where changes in the market will appear first.
Get back to and stick to the basics. Organizations pick up extra baggage along the way. The more successful you are, he more excess baggage you pick up. Success breeds wouldn't it be nice extras such as new tools, better or newer trucks, more telephones, longer vacations, larger or newer offices, and other excess baggage items into the organization.
The successful organization will be structured for learning, innovation, and constant change, and for the systematic abandonment of whatever is established, customary, familiar, and comfortable. A manager can safely assume that a person with some knowledge will have to acquire new knowledge every four or five years or become obsolete. Learning is essential to mastering change. Learning must be a lifelong process!
Change and uncertainty is managed by having a plan for the future. With a plan, uncertainty ceases to be a threat and becomes an opportunity. When the opportunity of change and uncertainty knocks, the successful business will continuously create the resources of people, technology, and knowledge to respond.
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Leadership and Change Management
Successful change management is highly dependent upon the effective leadership style. If the leadership is effective than only the change management could become result oriented. Here in this report the effectiveness of leadership with respect to change management has been examined. For the same purpose certain management theories and models has been applied so that the deep knowledge about the subject matter could be developed.
Summarise the key themes from the literature
The leadership style is something that has huge relevancy with the change management and most importantly it is highly relevant with the two major aspects of change management. First are those leaders always focusing upon the identification of change that could be required in near past or for the future course of action. Second factor is that the leadership always focuses upon the implementation of that identified change within the organization. Between these two factors the leaders or managers focus on variety of aspects which are completely dependent upon their leadership style. With the leadership style it becomes easier to control the situation and most importantly the change could be inherited within the business operations. The implications of various leadership styles could shed more light on the discussed topic. If any manager has identified the change then it shows the transformation leadership style form his side. The leaders who focus upon the visionary approach they normally show their inclination towards the transformational leadership style. Thus it is a basis of change that has been experienced. It is a responsibility of leaders that they need to identify the available opportunities into the business environment and have to make decisions accordingly. Afterwards the major responsibilities and duties of manager start towards the implementation of change. Here the manager need to create the aura of transactional leadership style and has to apply various other leadership style along with transactional one.
The transactional leadership style facilitates to inherit discipline and core management practices within the organization which are most required and prevalent ingredients for the change management. It should be the core focus area for the leader but need to rely upon various other leadership styles also. The managers need to understand that people behave in different manner and it is not easier for everyone to accept the change. Thus here the role of situational leadership style is immense. Through supportive leadership style the manager can try to understand the reason behind the resistance level of employees. Further the supportive leadership style is most suitable with the perspective of gaining the vote of confidence from employees. Ahead another essential factor for the successful implementation of change should also clear to the leaders as it is also a part of supportive leadership style. The list of essential factors includes the explanation of benefits that could be availed by both company and employees. Through providing the reasons behind the change the manager can eradicate the sense of fear and easy implementation could be noticed. Without providing the reason behind the change the manager cannot justify with the change management and can never get support from the employees. After becoming familiar with the reasons behind introducing the change it could be possible that the staff people can give their contribution towards the planned change.
The major area of concern is that once the change has been proposed now the manager need to focus on communicating the change to the staff people and have to take their consent towards the change. The participative leadership style could help immensely in the change management as it provides the guideline to deal with the resistance level of employees. The combination of both supportive and participative leadership style could be highly immense on the ground of effective change management. The element of participative leadership indicates towards the fact that the employees and other stakeholders must be communicated properly towards the change and their opinions must also get reverence into the change management process. They should have information about the change. Thus the participative leadership provides the favorable environment towards the change implementation. Further the leadership style of laissez faire could not be effective at any cost until n unless the organizations have highly experienced and motivated employees. Through laissez faire the employees can never think better and effective decisions for them. Actual it is very common fact that change may be increases the efficiency and productivity of the company but implementing the change is actually is very tough task. It demands huge patients and efforts in terms of aligning with new change. So it might be possible that through laissez faire leadership style the employees can postpone the change on their cost of hard work and comfortable working environment. In laissez faire style of leadership the leaders don’t interfere much into the decision making process and according to various management experts this style of leadership is not ideal leadership. On the contrary same fact has been delivered by the management experts that if any kind of change is demanded only in upper hierarchy level, where top level employees understand the urgency of change for their growth and benefits, the organization should adopt the laissez faire style of leadership.
Mostly adopted leadership style is the autocratic leadership that has been relied by most of the managers and leaders in today’s business world. Through autocratic leadership style the managers try to suppress the employees and foster the environment of following their instructions only. Here the combination of transactional and autocratic leadership could be noticed. Through transactional leadership the manager’s remains stick towards the huge level of discipline and autocratic leadership style make the scenario more worst. These leadership styles show the negative impact and most importantly the level of job dissatisfaction also increases at very large scale. Staff people feel highly de-motivated and just feel the restrictions and stress at workplace. It just minimizes the productivity also and the change management could produce negative results. Thus in this way these are certain traditional leadership styles which have their impact at the change management process in both negative and positive manner.
The most interesting fact about today’s globalized business environment is that none of the leader or manager can rely upon the implementation of one leadership style within the organization. There is huge requirement of focusing upon the innovative leadership style that might help with respect to manage the globalization. Now days in organization the level of diversity is very huge and managers need to deal with people who possess various behavioral aspects. It is not easy to predict the nature of any person and one leadership style could not be suitable for every staff people. So here the situational leadership style is most idealized and suitable. It supports every style of leadership within one manager. The time has come that the managers develop their personality traits in such a way that they could behave in situational way. The situational leadership facilitates the leaders to react as per the situation and managing the change in an appropriate and effective manner.
Topic’s relevancy for project managers
On the basis of above discussion about the leadership theories with the context of change management it could be stated that there is positive relationship between change management and leadership. The leadership styles are major management approach which is relevant for managers in order to handle their business operations and controlling the various variables of business environment. The project managers are the one who handles the big projects and the elements of uncertainty and unpredictable business environment is very common for them. The change into the various aspects of particular project is the major issue of their task or project. But as per the viewpoint of various change managers it is to acknowledge that handling the responses and resistance of stakeholder is more challenging then the change management or implementation. The managers work as linkage between the top level employees and lower level employees. The managers have to convince both the parties for the particular change as if they failed to do so then the change cannot be implemented properly and the efficiency of project or any task could also go down. Thus aligning with the leadership qualities is highly required for complete change management process, straight from change identification to monitoring and controlling of change.
The managers need to understand that after the change the performance improvement is possible only if the leaders are able to align with the effective leadership style. Above the expediency of situational leadership style has been depicted in an articulated manner. The manager needs to develop the skill set to mold the behavior as per the situation and the way people are behaving after the change. It can increase their familiarity with the significance of leadership and change management both. The leadership is nothing if it is not effective to bring appropriate results towards introducing the innovation and continuous improvement within the organization. The continuous improvement and change process both are required to be handled and it could be possible only through aligning with appropriate leadership styles.
The relevancy of this topic is directly related to the improvement in the leadership qualities of the leader. Mainly the huge level of improvement could be faced on the ground of people handling skills. The leader or project manager could come to know that how people could be managed as per their behavioral aspects. It is one of the major improvements that could be availed by the project managers. The leadership style provides the wide range of skills with respect to people handling and dealing with their changing moods and perspectives. The leaders can understand the two most basic requirements of leadership quality. Effective communication and developing the trust could also become effective after gaining the proper understanding about the above study. It is to acknowledge that the effective communication is the basis of bringing the change within the organization. None of the project manager can bring change until n unless it is not communicated to the people of company. It must be communicates properly and its pros cons all must be clear to the stakeholders. If the communication is not effective then the doubts and resistance will be obvious scenario with the organization. Ahead the trust level of stakeholders is second stage to move on from informing stage. Once the proposed or identified change is communicated then there is huge requirement of developing the trust level among the people so that their consensus of maximum number of people could be generated. It is essential for the continuity of change. It is also possible when the planning of the project manager is effective. Again it is linked to the transformation leadership style that the visionary approach of the leader or manager is essential with respect to identify the benefits or disadvantages of any change strategy. It is another benefit that could be availed by the project managers that can influence the stakeholders through explaining the proper planning and possible benefits. Thus the trust and confidence of employees could be gained at very large scale. Once the project managers has informed and gained the vote of confidence then it is essential to manage the change and monitor the results as per the expected results. Any kind of loop holes must be eradicated on the immediate basis. Keeping the eyes on the change activities is also a quality trait of transactional leadership style. Thus in this way it could be stated that leadership can show its expediency in effective change management.
Thus it becomes clear that diverse leadership qualities are effective into the different situation of change management. The leaders cannot focus on one leadership skill or quality if they are dedicated to yield positive result out of that change.
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