Organizaional Changes

Modern business is very dynamic. In order to achieve success in the competition, companies need to be flexible and innovate. In this case, as the most successful companies, the changes will be an ongoing process. Therefore, with the acute question of effective management.

Change Management – is an applied discipline that there is “at the crossroads” of psychology, sociology, management and economics. Several main groups of components that are ”up” successful management of organizational change: the tools and processes management and leadership competencies at all levels of leadership; potential adaptive organization in relation to external influences. In this case, change management involves work in two main areas:

The technical side – the objectives and scope of changes, the parties responsible for the implementation, support, and financing of the project changes, and so on;

Working with people – it provides measures to ensure that employees understand and accept the need for change, and awakening in them the desire to support these changes.

It is important to note that there are many statistical studies that confirm the existence of a correlation between the presence of the organization change management and business efficiency. Consider the specific benefits that the organization can get in case of the effective management of change:

  1. Formation of a unified approach to organizational change – establishing the necessary processes, the use of appropriate tools, creating a single context of objectives, vision.
  2. Mitigation of resistance to change and, therefore, avoid factors such as performance degradation, conflicts between management and staff, professional burnout of staff changes sabotage, evasion of work, high turnover, and so on.
  3. Consistency and stability changes, accelerated learning, the ability to continuously improve processes and implement changes to develop a strategy for organizational development.

It is essential to distinguish between partial and radical change. The first is based on the existing value systems, structures and processes. During the partial transformation dominates practical suitability of the project, not the absolute achievement of ideal (conceptual) state. Radical changes are urgently needed due to the rapid development of the surrounding market conditions after a long phase of stability and long-term neglect of adaptation steps. So “revolutionary” process of change in order to achieve the benefits in relation to competitors can be strategically desirable, but met strong resistance from the staff.

Examples of organizational change can be:

  1. Changes in technology
  2. Changes in the structure
  3. Changing attitudes to behavior of staff

For the diagnosis and initiation of planned organizational change theory offers various models of their conduct. Let us consider the three most famous and popular models of change.

Three step model of change

The idea of this model belongs to the American researcher K. Levin, and was offered from him for organizational change conducting.

Kurt Lewin identified three stages of the change process:

1. “Unfreezing” – this is the stage where the actions of the manager are aimed at getting people to recognize the need for change. ” “Unfreezing”- this is the stage when it is reasonable to allow people to experience the legitimate pride in doing business the usual way, and demonstrate recognition of their past achievements. People should be provided with adequate support and personal safety, so they decided to take part in risky chance of change.

2. “Unfreezing” may be sudden and unplanned. It can occur at the individual level. “Unfreezing” can be made at the group level and the result of informal conversations, comparisons with colleagues from other organizations or conflicts of interest between different professions and can also be the result of external influences emanating from the individual patients or organizations, such as professional associations of doctors, which or specialty.

However, the manager decided to implement the changes, cannot wait until there will be similar “unfreezing” event. He must look for ways to intervene to improve the current situation, identify possible sources of resistance to proposed changes and find ways to overcome this resistance.

For the successful implementation of change is not enough to have a good idea and inspire its actors, requires a strategy change, consistent with the basic features of the situation.

Need to monitor the process of change and to take timely corrective actions. Without careful management of stage 2 it cannot be successfully passed.

3. “Unfreeing” – when we establish new norms of behavior. Following the old rules in some way “punished”, and the new rules – “rewarded.” At this stage, changes may be required controls.

Lewin viewed change as a modification of the forces that contribute to the stability of certain behavior. Preponderance of these forces in either direction can speed up or slow down the process of organizational change.

Lewin’s model provides some groundwork for understanding the process of change in the organization. Of course, it should be noted that the three-step change – it’s a very broad understanding of the process. But deep in the development of the specific situation of each of them will succeed.

Another model that we will consider- the model the “research – action”.

Model “research – action” is based on the data acquisition process of solving the problems of organizational changes implemented in some cyclic order. This gradual process is based on the close cooperation of management organization and external (to the company) consultants or trainers, specializing in organizational development. In this process, a strong emphasis is placed on data collection and analysis before they are planned and implemented changes. It also includes a thorough analysis and assessment of actions taken.

At the conclusion of this phase on the basis of data collected, assessment of the results is carried out, and if they have not been achieved to the extent that both were pre-specified, the entire cycle is repeated from the first stage. Iteration can take a lot of time until then, until desired results are obtained. Depending on the scale and depth of change and the situation in which they occur, the project can last from six months to two years.

The next model that we consider – Model of the planned changes. Model of the planned changes is a comprehensive approach to the definition phase of planned changes, developed initially by R. Lippitt, J. Watson, and B. Westley and upgraded later (Lippitt, Watson, & Westley, 1958.). Two basic principles are the basis of this model:

  1. all available information must be freely and openly exchanged between managers and consultants (or change agents),
  2. the value of information is determined by its suitability for use in practice. Illustratively the most developed model consists of seven phases.

As an example of a model of research – action, we will consider the process of implementing changes in the company “Europroject”. Ltd. “Europroject” is on the market since 1995, the main activity of the company – selling European materials and equipment for the automotive sector of the market. At the time of realization of the need of global change company is a representative of small business. The total number of employees is about 35 (now – about 70).

With the necessary organizational changes sooner or later faces in its operations of each company. In this regard, the example of LLC “Europroject” which are typical to the restructuring of small businesses. However, as with the increase in sales in the company’s frequent crashes. The staff was not prepared for the rapid and significant change.

It was at this point guide Ltd. “Europroject” decide on the urgent need for organizational changes create a focal point, defines the strategic goals of the company, forming processes, the units and individual employees. In preparation for the changes in the maximum number of employees involved.

Thus of great interest is the experience of LLC “Europroject” to organize the distribution function of its employees. In particular, formed on the basis of questionnaires, library functions, and the matrix of control workers can specify the responsibilities which unnecessarily duplicated simultaneously by multiple positions or offices. Each post should be provided for the intended work some opportunities and conditions. Action adapted to these capabilities, thereby forming organic functions of the post. In turn, the concretization function is effective for improving workplace organization and unit structure.

Due to activities carried out in the company a complete set of documentation of personnel was developed, commercial, financial and administrative information, approved all necessary reporting forms and created the necessary legal framework for the establishment of regional offices. It is noteworthy that throughout 2003, and the work on the project began in February and continues to this day, along with the restructuring in the company “Europroject” four regional offices were opened.

Thus, it is very important that the final preparation phase of organizational change in any company was approached with understanding the causes of problems and a clear vision of necessary adjustments. This will help in the future, not only in the stabilization of the company in general, but also will contribute to the concerted action of all its employees.

It can be argued that, in general, these problems are common to any company undergoing the process of transition to the phase of intensive growth. The company is growing rapidly, there are secondary and tertiary control units, but communication is not changed, still significantly affect the long-standing interpersonal communication, frequent are conflicts over the lack of clear criteria for assessing the work of everyone.

Primary objectives were set:

  • to select a higher or secondary control link (to determine the level of authority and responsibility of managers);
  • to divide authority within the company (identify the main and auxiliary functions and their hierarchy of units);
  • to clearly describe the schemes of work and interaction procedures (algorithms interaction provisions departments, guidelines for the management of documents and work with the database, timing and mode of transmission of information);
  • to isolate duplicate (performed by several employees or divisions) and lost (not performed by any employee or department) function.

HR-manager, who appears in the company (or join to work) at this stage, can either sit on the fence, performing operational functions, or to try to be the coordinator of the organizational analysis of the situation. It may seem at first glance that for this task at the personnel manager is not enough power or the work is too complex for such a professional level, but do not take an active part in HR-manager can not.

Taking on the coordination of work on organizational design, especially important to involve the interaction of the first face of the company. We’ll have to prepare for a long and thorough consultation with the heads of departments, because they may become or ardent opponents, or loyal allies in this work. At the same time we should pay special attention to the process of leadership training, which can be done both through internal resources (if the company has a staff of employees who are able to conduct such training), and by external providers (eg, seminars, consultancy company).

At this stage, HR-manager will intelligently analyze training needs and select the most suitable for the situation of learning. The company was selected following scheme: Deputy General Director for Personnel and advertising manager (graduate student of a Moscow university) have studied in detail the theoretical foundations of organizational analysis, attended specialized workshops and presentations, and then conducted seminars on the theory of management restructuring of the company managers.

Service personnel were given great credit. This was more due to personal preference manager, rather than objective reasons. However, this work is not possible in the absence coordinated team. If this command is not present, then you probably should start with a leadership team building training to the leaders of the company.

In a more detailed study of the question action team (team of managers and employees working on the project of restructuring the company) decided to buy an inexpensive and simple software that enables quick and easy process received information.

At the preparatory stage, the most important was the work with managers. It was necessary to convey to management the importance and necessity of the upcoming changes. Developed a detailed sequence of actions, in conversations emphasized the need for active participation of each of the leaders, a focal point and the terms of the restructuring.

We first need to understand how the distribution of roles at the moment, and set focus to each employee. For this purpose we developed a questionnaire-based questionnaire, which was filled by each employee, including managers. Along with the questionnaire was sent to employees of a cover letter explaining the purpose of the survey and announced the forthcoming work.

Immediately after sending a questionnaire to each manager had in his unit explanatory conversation, which was attended by representatives of HR-service. Within two weeks, the staff evaluated the work, formulate proposals for its improvement, expressed wishes and requirements. Thus, in the preparation of change was the maximum number of people involved.

After we received the completed questionnaires were to form a library of functions and create a matrix of control, reflecting the status quo first identified the main and auxiliary activities of the company, ensuring its functions, functions of management and structural units.

Created three projections: directions to the structural units of the functions of the software on the structural units, management functions into manageable units. In practice, it looks like this. The table is created in which the horizontal columns – are structural units, and the vertical – is the variable component (activities, functions security management functions), the cells are made crossing point. The result is a matrix of control, visually reflecting the present state of things in the company.

After creating a matrix that reflects the actual distribution functions in the company, it was necessary to analyze the picture. Each division was tried jointly with his head in all parameters, functions, problems, excesses and deficiencies in the work. The outputs of each leader had the vision of the current situation, formulate proposals for its amendment, and most importantly – the managers appeared a clear idea of what other units and the extent of the work they do.

Due to activities carried out in the company developed a complete set of documentation of personnel, commercial, financial and administrative information, approved all necessary reporting forms and created the necessary legal framework for the establishment of regional offices. It is noteworthy that throughout 2003, and the work on the project began in February and continues to this day, along with the restructuring in the company “Europroject” were opened four regional offices.

Thus, it is very important that the final preparation phase of organizational change in any company approached with understanding the causes of problems and a clear vision necessary adjustments. This will help in the future, not only in the stabilization of the company in general, but also will contribute to the concerted action of all its employees.

Experience in implementing large-scale projects in the world’s leading companies found that the success of these innovations is largely determined by a well-designed and well-implemented strategy and tactics of implementing changes to the Company and all of its structural elements. It should be remembered that any change program implemented by specific people – employees of organizations. However, aspects of human systems in the companies most neglected.

There are a lot of models and approaches to change management in the organization. They have advantages and disadvantages for certain situations. Efficiency as their use depends on how the method used corresponds to features of the organization.

Management of organizational change – self-management course, an integral part of the effective functioning of any modern enterprise. This direction allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in the external and internal environment, to find the best time, location, speed, scope and sequence of implementation of organizational change, to achieve effective implementation of the planned changes to reduce the cost and time to implement the planned changes, the effective functioning of strategic management, effectively establish mechanisms of self-organization and adaptation gain and hold a competitive advantage to enable the sustainable development of the organization in the medium and long term.

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